I've been married for almost 10 years and I have to tell you the absolute, God's honest truth -- every day is Valentine's Day with Bill as my husband. I know it sounds cheesy, and believe me, I'm taking a serious risk by admitting that he makes me as happy as he does (don't want him giving up laundry duty or any of the other sweet things he does now, do we?), but the truth of the matter is that putting a big red heart sticker on a specific calendar date doesn't change anything about going out to dinner that night.
I am a humungous advocate of celebrating your anniversary in a special way every month, whether it's just an at-home "date night" sans social media, or the night you get the babysitter every month, without fail. However you like to celebrate it, it's a date worth acknowledging. Because marriage is hard people... there's nothing easy about it. So many couples don't make it that those who are genuinely happy must strive to maintain whatever special balance has gotten them to that place. It's very easy to say "I'm busy" or "I have to work." Hell, I'm not perfect. Some of the biggest disagreements my husband and I have had are over me not being home from the office at a reasonable hour. See, we're a normal couple, albeit a very happy one.
Don't just celebrate your monthly wedding anniversary. Do you remember the date you first met? Your first date? The date he or she proposed? The first kiss? The first time you said "I love you" to each other? These are all opportunities to create a romantic atmosphere, an excuse to celebrate your love and your success at making a relationship work. I can name most of those dates, and while Bill and I don't celebrate ALL of them because, let's face it, we're busy planning weddings so that other people can spend the next 50 years celebrating their monthly anniversaries too, we try to acknowledge the important ones. And not a month goes by that I don't think about my wedding on the 4th. Am I silly? Maybe. Am I happy? Yes.
Valentine's Day can be a special night out on the town, but every date night with your spouse should feel like Valentine's Day. That means that if one of you has business travel this year and you cannot be together, the world will not come to an end. For you single ladies, it's not an excuse to go get hammered and do something with another guy that you'll regret the next day. For the second year in a row, Bill and I have a wedding group's welcome party on Valentine's Day. Don't get me wrong -- we love our clients but we've only had one Valentine's Day off since we started wedding planning, and that was because Bill was sick. Eight years without an official date on Cupid's big day is a little pathetic (especially for professional wedding planners), but it's the sad truth. Has that hurt our relationship in any way? No. Do either of us get upset about it? No. I laughed at Bill when he asked what we were doing this year -- he obviously hadn't checked the weekly schedule in his mailbox yet. But he's a good sport. And as he describes what we do for a living, "we make people happy," even on Valentine's Day.
And that's okay because we can have Valentine's Day the next night. Or we can go away in two weeks and call it Valentine's Day. The only Valentine's Day we've spent not working in the past eight years was the year Bill was sick in Georgetown Hospital, and we weren't sure he was going to survive. I'll take a wedding welcome party with my healthy, happy husband standing beside me any day of the week over the terror of watching someone I love with their life hanging in the balance.
If Valentine's Day is super important to you, ask yourself why. Is it for the gifts? Is it the extra attention? Just another excuse to get dressed up and go out? None of those are bad reasons but they are all things that a couple in a happy relationship should already be doing on a somewhat regular basis, and not just because the calendar and Hallmark told them to. Making each other feel special, dressing up to impress your spouse, and going the extra mile to surprise each other for no particular reason are all things that well-matched, balanced couples do together on a regular basis. Having children is no excuse - God invented grandmothers and babysitters for a purpose, use them! Married couples need alone time or the marriage will eventually fall apart.
Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!