What Makes a Marriage?
This is a question I’ve been more and more curious about as I age and as my own marriage accumulates in years and moments. What keeps 2 people together, through huge life changes like careers, moving, CHILDREN, death, illness, aging, and on and on it goes? How do couples maintain their feelings as they age, grow and change as humans? How do they not let it slip to the bottom of their priority list, how do they keep laughing, and kissing, and reaching for each other first above all others for years and decades?
Ever since I started photographing couples 10 years ago, it has been one of my favourite subjects to photograph. To see how each couple presents their affection and relationship through touch is always so interesting to me; some are admittedly more reserved and private, which I used to think was a ‘bad’ thing (my ego as a photographer getting in the way), but now I know and respect that every relationship is different an that there is no ‘right’ way to be in love (I do believe, however, that certain behaviors and habits can lead to happier marriages, and that conversely, certain behaviors and habits can sabotage your marriage.)
With the 2020 pandemic I ended up with fewer couples to photograph than usual, so I decided to finally get to work on a project I’ve been thinking about for years; the ‘What Makes a Marriage‘ project. I ran a Facebook contest back in June and chose 5 couples, all who have been together and married for 10 years or more, and asked them a series of questions about marriage. We met up over the summer and I allowed them to reconnect, focus on each other, and remind themselves of why they are married in the first place. It was fun to photograph more ‘seasoned’ couples, as opposed to the newly engaged or newly married folks I usually do (or, conversely, parents with young children running around, a totally different vibe…) It was a nice reminder that there is still so much love, much joy, and much happiness in the world, even if it’s just within our own homes.
Enjoy the images and interviews!
Names: Brittany and Brandon
Ages: 26 & 27
Number of years married: 4 years
Number of years together: 12 years
Number of children and their ages: One in heaven <3
Ages when married: Both 22.
1. Describe your wedding day.
We were married in my (Britt) sister’s backyard in Norton. September 24, 2016, the weather was a clear, breezy fall day. Our wedding was quaint, and very personal. 60 Guests, our officiant was our youth pastor, who shared personal stories of our youth. Our ceremony was flawless, and fabulous.
2. What has been the hardest part of marriage (either from outside or inside influences)?
We both can easily agree on this one, our struggle with fertility has by far been the most testing, and difficult part of our marriage. We have been trying to conceive for about five years now.
3. What are your hopes and dreams for the future of your marriage at this age?
To have a large, happy, healthy, family.
4. Why do you think that so many marriage fail?
5. Has having children (if applicable) affected your marriage (both positively and negatively), and how?
Brandon and I have one little baby in heaven. This little baby has had so much impact on our lives. Although terribly devastated, our little baby has brought so much hope and joy to us. Our baby reminds us everyday that the impossible, is possible.
6. How much of a priority is your marriage at this point in your life? (Be honest.) What do you do to show that it’s a priority (or don’t do if it isn’t).
Our marriage is always our priority. Since we’ve been together since we were 15, every aspect of our life is intertwined. We’re always working towards mutual goals, supporting one another along the way.
7. What has changed in your relationship since getting married? Have you changed?
We were children when we started dating, and together for eight years before getting married. Our relationship has evolved so much over the years. We have both changed as people, as people do as they get older, however nothing specifically has changed since our wedding.
8. How does seeing these images of you both at this point in your marriage make you feel?
These images make us feel happy! We look at these photos differently. Previously, we always want to see how we look physically, but this time, we look at the photos and see how we feel. We see happiness, and love.
9. What makes a good marriage?
Communication. Humor. Balance. Hard work.