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I’m about to get a little sappy, friends, and I’m not even ashamed of it.

No matter how many photos I’ve seen of anniversary sessions, I will literally never tire of them.

That’s because one of the most cherished dreams of my life is reaching old age with my husband, because that means we will have had the opportunity to live all of those years alongside each other – something that not everyone is so lucky to do.

If I am granted those years, I can’t help but think that I’ll look at the age spots on both of our hands with tenderness instead of regret or disgust (reactions which seem so common in our youth-obsessed culture). Those age spots will mean we’re still by each other’s side, holding each other’s hands. And in a world where it seems so easy for things to go wrong even for people who do everything right, that is nothing short of a miracle.

Friends, please enjoy these anniversary photos of Judi and Dave, by their friend, photographer Hannah Forsberg. And don’t miss the thoughts from all three of them, sprinkled throughout!

From Hannah: In a culture that often treats love and marriage as disposable, Judi and Dave are a couple that have a beautiful and rare story of just the opposite. Not only are they such a joy to be around and wonderful mentors, but they are also dear friends. I’ve had the privilege of watching their marriage for years and the way they love each other unconditionally is an inspiration and testament to the popular verse that is so often recited during weddings — “love never fails.”

While getting coffee with Judi and hearing her advice on love and marriage, I realized that I needed to share their story with the world. During the wedding planning process, it is so easy in this visually-driven society we live in to become caught up in the things that will pass away – forgetting that your marriage is what matters most and that it is hard work. Love goes beyond the wedding day. You only have your venue for a few hours, your flowers will fade, your wedding dress will go into storage, and your wedding album will be sitting on your living room table. But your marriage? That is what matters most and that is what will have the lasting effect. I hope that these images serve as a reminder that love is a commitment – a commitment of humility, patience, and forgiveness.

From Dave: Judi and I met in Cheyenne, Wyoming where I was serving in the Air Force and Judi was attending stewardess training for United Airlines. It was a short four and a half weeks of getting to know one another, but in that short time, we fell in love and promised to marry each other. The only obstacle was I had an overseas commitment left in my tour of duty. I was sent to Puerto Rico, and we began writing letters to each other every day for the next two years until I finished my tour of duty. After I was able to obtain leave of service, we became engaged over a New Year’s weekend on January 1st, 1963 at 12:01am. We married that same year in September after I was discharged.

What was important to both of us was to be together after waiting and being separated by distance for almost two years. We had hardly any money, so our wedding day was very simple. We loved each other, and that is what mattered. Our wedding was one bridesmaid, a borrowed wedding dress, and one best man in a church in Judi’s home town of Downers Grove, Illinois.

My favorite thing about Judi is that she loves learning and is very diligent in her pursuits. She makes wise choices with her gift of creativity, which is shown in every room in our home. She is always industrious, and I love telling others how much of a Proverbs 31 woman she has become in our almost 55 years of marriage. She works hard, plans ahead, respects me greatly, is a wise counselor, and is a wonderful model of a Godly woman.

From Judi: What I love about Dave is that he is a patient man, asks good questions, and is not a rash decision maker. I have learned a lot from him. He is conservative by nature, orderly and thorough at everything he does. I trust him implicitly. He is kind and generous and has given me a lot of freedom to develop my interests without demanding anything from me. Of course, this causes me to want to serve and love him more. The most honest thing that I can say about love is that love is learned behavior. It can be romantic, but often it is just living and serving each other, working together toward healthy living with family, children, parents, in-laws, etc. The biggest thing I’ve learned over the years and give as advice to other couples is to accept each other and don’t try to change the person. Pray for your spouse, ask God to make changes in YOU, and let God move your spouse’s heart.

Photographer: Hannah Forsberg | Film Lab: The Find Lab | Florist: Ginger Rose | Hair stylist and makeup artist: Erin Ryser | Calligraphy: Morphosis Studio | Cake: Gingerspice Bakery | Lace Top: BHLDN

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa Hays reply

    What a sweet couple! They are indeed lucky to have had each other for such a great period of time. My husband and I were high school sweethearts who went our separate ways but came back together and blended 2 families. We knew we not might see 25 years but we are praying for 20 as he battles cancer. To all the sweet, young brides I say follow Judi’s wisdom and be thankful for every day since we are only promised today.

  2. avatar Sara Dunn reply

    Oh my gosh! What gorgeous photos. Don’t apologize for getting sappy, this is so beautiful. I hope my husband and I can do this 43 years from now ;)

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Though your wedding might be your first chance to have professional photos taken of the two of you, we certainly hope it’s not your last! Candids and snapshots tell an important part of any relationship’s story, but a thoughtfully planned and executed portrait session can also be a meaningful and beautiful way to mark time. And because another year of marriage is the perfect opportunity to book a session, here are our six best tips for planning anniversary photos!

1. Choose a meaningful location. Maybe it’s your newlywed home, the park you take walks in every night after dinner, or the coffee shop you frequent on Saturday mornings. Whatever it is for you, choose a location that helps tell the story of this moment in your life.

2. Don’t go overboard on props. Cluttering the frame with piles of styling items takes the focus off the best part: your smiling faces! As these photos from Maggie Colleta so beautifully demonstrate, simple photos with a classic aesthetic will stand the test of time. Let your location and your outfits provide the context! (Whether you choose black tie attire or cut-off jean shorts, what you wear can add so much to the photos!)

3. Do, however, make a nod to your wedding. Since this is an anniversary session, we love the idea of including a detail that echos your wedding day. Ask your photographer to take a close-up shot of your rings, or wear the same shoes you sported when you said I do.

4. Do your hair and makeup. Are you a whiz at applying blush and curling your hair? Fantastic! You’re probably good to get yourself prettified. Are you anything like me, and can barely brush on mineral foundation? Do yourself a favor and hire a professional (or bring in a talented friend!). Nothing too fancy or “done,” of course, but even a little extra polish can help you feel confident and in love with the final images.

5. Take the opportunity to reminisce. During your session, you’ll likely be hugging, kissing, holding hands, and walking side by side — and your phone will be off to the side! In between clicks, use this free-from-distractions time to remind each other of your favorite memories from your wedding day, and from the year or years that followed. “Remember when…?”

6. Make a date of it. Don’t let those cute outfits and good hair days go to waste! Make a dinner reservation for that evening and toast to a beautiful year of growing in love!

Photography: Maggie Colletta Photography | Florals: Abany Bauer | Venue: Serenbe | Hair and Makeup: Joanna with Irrelephant Blog

emily Written with love by Emily
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    When we started making V5 last year, we turned to our Sweet Tea Society manifesto to bring us back to our roots. The theme of the issue, Love Never Fails, is one that we now frequently say in and out of the office. It’s our motto for life, which is why we love and appreciate the reminders we get that it rings true. When Jeremy & Kristin sent over Beth + Brody’s sixth-month anniversary session, we were impressed not just by the gorgeous photos, but how they translate B + B’s love story on camera — one that has endured so much faith, courage and love in just their first few months of marriage.

    Beth was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after their Texas wedding, giving the newlyweds an obstacle to conquer that many couples have never faced. We love that Jeremy & Kristin saw their anniversary session as an opportunity to show everyone that this season of life is beautiful and that love conquers all.

    How sweet are the two photos below? I love these sweet moments Jeremy & Kristin captured.

    From Jeremy & Kristin:

    Beth and Brody met at summer camp. They were both counselors, and had a passion for teaching kids. The thing was, they were going to be there all summer and they weren’t allowed to date in front of the campers, so they wrote letters. Though they saw each other every day, their relationship began with summer camp letters. They got to know each other and soon they were rearranging their schedules so that they could have the same day off.

    Beth and Brody are two of the sweetest, most genuine, and down to earth people we have ever met. The kind of people you feel you have known all your life after meeting them just once. They have learned that love is strong, and that they are stronger together. They are walking this path with courage and faith.

    nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
    15 Comments
    1. avatar Jordan reply

      Wow, this is so beautiful!

    2. avatar Emily reply

      Beautiful in every way. Also, it has to be said, her gown is gorgeous :)

    3. avatar Marissa reply

      Stunning! These pictures speak of true beauty, strength, and courage. Absolutely gorgeous.

    4. avatar Jeremy reply

      Thank you so much for featuring Beth & Brody’s story! We are forever grateful!

    5. avatar Anna reply

      My heart is so full! These images leave me speechless.

    6. avatar Marissa reply

      Such an incredible shoot. So much strength and courage, and the best example that love never fails!

    7. avatar Audrey @ In Shape Cupcake reply

      This is so sweet! All the pictures are so precious. Thankful they are walking in faith! :)

    8. avatar Kristin reply

      In tears over this powerful and beautiful expression of love. I agree M!! What an amazing testimony to the idea that Love Never Fails!

    9. avatar Staciiii reply

      Stunning!!!!!

    10. avatar Jen Rios reply

      Beth & Brody are such an inspiration. Thank you for telling their sweet story!

    11. avatar Abby reply

      Absolutely a tear jerker! I love how much joy is exuded in these photos! Incredibly touching as well as beautiful.

    12. avatar Love Never Fails :: Beth & Brody featured on Southern Weddings | Beauty&theBlush reply

      […] Here’s a few of my favorite shots …. but you can see the full feature on Southern Weddings HERE!  […]

    13. avatar Plum Pretty Sugar reply

      Thank you for sharing all this love! So lovely!
      xo
      plumprettysugar.blogspot.com

    14. avatar Wedding Planning | Dallas + Fort Worth + Hill Country + Texas | Wedding DesignWedding Planning + Wedding Design | Jen Rios Design | Dallas + Fort Worth + Hill Country + Texas reply

      […] courage these two share is unmatched and their love story gives us chills! We were thrilled when Southern Weddings agreed to feature their story on their blog. In case you missed the feature yesterday here is a […]

    15. avatar A cura no amor! | Buquê de sonhos reply

      […] Ela é uma linda e super estilosa!! Quando vi a história deles me emocionei, quer saber mais dessa linda história, entre aqui.!! […]

    Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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