There's something really special about looking back every now and again. Stopping to pause and reflect on how far you've come or how much things have changed in a matter of years can breathe new life into old plans while also bringing a refreshed sense of gratitude for every experience had along the way.
Today, I'm sharing the first of many posts to come of a new "Then & Now" series I'll be sharing here on the blog. A #tbt post in a sense, sharing favorite images from weddings and portrait sessions I've photographed in the past, along with stories from the couples/families featured on where their journey in life has taken them since. These posts will also feature some super first-hand advice for new married couples and families just starting out on their own journey.
I couldn't have imagined a more perfect couple to kick this series off, then Ashley & Bryan, who celebrate 5 years of marriage TOMORROW!
Here is a small glimpse into their story, in their own words, with a select few of my favorite photos from their wedding day (as orignally edited):
How did you meet?
We met in NYC in October 2008. We were set up by mutual friends that knew we were both from Buffalo. They set us up on a date (Bryan knowing, Ashley not knowing) for a Jersey City open art studios night.
When and where were you married?
April 14th, 2012 at Asbury Hall in Buffalo, NY
Looking back, would you have chosen to do anything differently on your wedding day -- or -- any advice for future couples planning a wedding?
We would have tried to eat more of the food! But seriously, it was a great day and we wouldn't have changed anything. Advice - you just need to relax during the day of the wedding and let it naturally play out. You've already done so much planning now, the big day should be for having fun... be in the moment! It will be the best party you will ever throw, so enjoy it!
What are some of your favorite memories from that day?
The most awesome part was looking around the room and seeing all of the people who came to support us on our wedding day. It was such a special feeling knowing that everyone came to celebrate. We also will never forget the moment we walked into our reception - the room looked so beautiful! All that planning really paid off and it was amazing to see how everything finally came together. We love looking back at our photos that captured all these special moments!
In the past 5 years, where has life taken you?
When we got married we were living in San Francisco. Shortly after the wedding we moved back to Brooklyn and are now in Jersey City with our 1 year old daughter Emma.
(Side note: I was able to meet up with Ashley & Bryan and their adorable sweetheart, Emma, this past weekend for a short, impromptu photo session while they were back in Buffalo visiting family for a few days. Aren't they the most adorable family?!)
WORDS OF WISDOM
Do you have any advice for newly married couples?
There will be ups and downs but you'll always have someone to navigate through life with. Remember not to sweat the small stuff, to laugh often and always take time for your marriage.
Ashley + Bryan, thank you so much again for the opportunity to get to know you both, be a part of your wedding day, and share your story in a visual legacy that will hopefully be passed on for generations to come. You're the sweetest couple and I cannot wait until we see each other again! I wish you the best wedding anniversary yet!