Here we are, friends–the end of a year of Sweet Tea Sundays! Every week this year, we’ve shared the thoughtful, insightful, sweet, practical, and motivating advice that 53 couples shared with us in V6. The great takeaway from all of this wisdom? Marriage is not always easy, but it is worth it.
In 2014, we’re looking forward to sharing answers to the sentence, “I love being married because…” and we would love to hear from you–send me your favorite picture of you and your beau and your completed sentence in an email with the subject “Sweet Tea Sunday,” and you may be featured on Southern Weddings this year! Answers can be long or short, silly or serious, and feel free to get creative. Before that though, we have one more couple’s story to share–Wendy and Ken, who will be celebrating 30 years of marriage in 2015. Enjoy!
Wedding date: January 19, 1985. Our engagement was four months long, and I had a bad attitude that I had to wait that long!
Children? Four, aged 15, 19, 21, and 24
When did you know he/she was the one? It took me awhile to realize Ken was “the one” (actually, it took me longer than it took him!). In October of our senior year, we went on a trip to Boston with our campus church group, and I really began to see him in a different light. I noticed how caring he was toward everyone, and I also began to see how hilarious he was! He told me that he was in love with me that December, but I was not able to return the sentiment for a few more months. In March of that year, we began to date seriously, and he asked me to marry him on September 8, 1984.
What is your favorite wedding memory? Our wedding was so simple compared to many of today’s weddings! My father told us that he would give us $1,000 toward our wedding, and we stayed within that budget! I purchased my wedding dress (complete with big, ‘80’s puffy sleeves) off a sale rack at a department store, and we had a friend make our wedding cake for $100 (the most expensive thing that we had to purchase). One of my favorite parts of our wedding was that my friends from church made all of the food (after all, we were in the South!). Another one of my favorite parts was my processional song. When I was a little girl, my Nana took me to see the movie The Sound of Music in the theater, and I was mesmerized. My processional was the wedding song from that movie—the one that Maria used. My Nana was at my wedding, so that made it extra special!
What’s the secret to your marriage? Our marriage is based on our common faith, and this has guided our marriage for 29 years. In addition, you have to LIKE the person you marry, and you have to REMEMBER that you LIKE that person. When your differences start to bug you, which they will, you have to talk about it. But, don’t talk about it in an angry, accusing way, do it in a humble way—it’s your problem, not theirs. Admit when you are wrong, apologize with sincerity, and apologize first (my husband is much better at this than I am!). Honor the one that you chose.
What’s your favorite thing to do together? We like to sit every evening and have a glass of wine and talk about our day or our vision for our future. We talk about our dreams (even at 50, we are still dreaming!). We are at the stage of life where our children are beginning to leave—college, marriage. It’s so bittersweet, and we reflect and cry together. You HAVE to enjoy being together at this stage of life, because it all circles back to just you and that guy who used to be your boyfriend!
What’s your best memory related to the South? I actually never realized that we have several family traditions related to food, until one year, I changed something and my oldest daughter protested, “That’s not what we do!” For example, EVERY New Year’s Day, I make Hoppin’ John and collards and everyone HAS to eat it for good health and wealth. There have been a few years when my daughters were not home for New Year’s Day, and they have called me from wherever they were to get the recipe. One year, my eldest daughter was in Philadelphia and she insisted that her husband take her to the grocery to buy the ingredients for Hoppin’ John!
What’s your best marriage advice? Marriage advice is hard to give because every person is a sum of their childhood, their successes and failures, their perceptions. But maybe there are building blocks which provide a firm foundation for everyone: faith, forgiveness, gentleness, laughter, humility. Make it your life’s work to make it last forever. You’ll never be richer.
Gracie Blue is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!