I recently approached a few couples whose weddings I photographed recently. I was curious to know how they felt about their marriage, a few months in, and whether they felt marriage was still relevant in this day and age.
Why was it important for you to get married?
“Because it signified an even deeper, stronger and everlasting commitment than just being partners. Marriage means in my eyes that we are together forever and will work through things because we have made that commitment.”
“It was a personal way to express my love for my wife and say to friends and family I will make her a priority in my life. And at the same time, I wanted my friends to keep me accountable, to help make sure I maintain this promise. Life can be hard and things get rough and that’s when you want your friends in your corner to help you fulfil your vows.”
“Because we were just so absolutely perfect for one another. Soul mates, best friends, dancing partners, love of my life!! Also being a same-sex couple it felt nice having that same right as every Hetero couple have always had!”
What is one thing you have learned since being married?
“Clothes go in the basket, not near it… hahahah really though: That happiness in a marriage isn’t when you get your way or what you want but when you champion or encourage your partner for greater or for better and they succeed! And you help them get what they need and want!!”
“I used to avoid eating vegetarian because I thought it had no flavour. Turns out I just never learnt to cook with spices! Learning that skill (from my wife) changed my appreciation for vegetarian meals. That’s just one example of how you are constantly sharing and growing with your spouse.”
“That things feel different to just being partners. It feels better, and we feel stronger just for knowing that we are married.”
“That we can get through anything together. That it’s just like being committed to the best person and constantly waking up and saying… holy shit we are married! I get to love you forever!”
What is your favourite thing about being married?
“Planning for the future with no hesitations, and knowing that life is going to get a whole lot more exciting, difficult and busy with a little baby on the way but that we will get through it.”
“Lower rent? :P”
“My favourite thing about being married so far is having access to an entirely different set of life knowledge and experience at my fingertips. I have become a more rounded person because I have someone to bounce off ideas and challenge the way I perceive the world. We grew up differently; cooked differently, washed clothes differently and we have different opinions on big world issues. I am learning from all of these different experiences.”
“Being able to introduce each other – “this is my wife”. It’s just so amazing!!!”
Is the institution of marriage still relevant in the 21st Century, and if so, why?
“The values of commitment, strength and persistence are still of the essence. Marriage in the 21st century is now more than ever a choice of commitment for love’s sake and an act of equality. It is a way of learning to be a better version of yourself through the qualities you admire in your partner.”
“I think for me, marriage was more than just a commitment. It is binding. It’s something you put effort into, you have to cherish it in order for it to grow. I feel like I would be ready to fight for my marriage: that is stronger than just “having a partner”. I stood in front of friends and family and made that commitment.”
“Marriage is still relevant. In the 21st Century we are so good at just running away from our problems. Being married makes it harder to just exit, discard, walk away from that person. I think that’s more than half of the reason it’s important. If you mean what you say in your wedding vows then it should be hard to turn your back on it.”
I am grateful for my job as a wedding photographer in Sydney. It is never lost on me the significance of getting married.
Having read some of the responses I received, I felt particularly moved by the underlying themes of commitment and discovery. Acknowledging you don’t know everything about the person you are about the marry seems to be a sensible approach, with the anticipation that you have the rest of your lives to learn about each other’s quirks and uniqueness.