Todays interview is with one of our closest friends from University, a very talented photographer and adventure seeker; Sophie. Sophie was the first person we wanted to have capture our engagement in 2012, and she did a fabulous job of it (click here to see the wonderful photographs).
Sophie and her husband Cam are a dynamic couple with a massive heart for adventure and people, and we are so happy to call them our friends.
Q1: Please introduce yourself (age, of both yourself and your husband, where do you live, what do you do & how long have you been married for?)
My name is Sophie Smith and I have been married to my wonderful husband Cameron for almost 3 years and a half years. I am 26 and Cam is 28, and we are just starting out a new season in our lives in Cape Town. I am trained as a photojournalist, a teacher, and most recently, an outdoor adventure leader in the Canadian Rockies. But now we are back to real life in South Africa - I am working for a great online tourism company called Go2Africa as a photographer and image editor and Cam is the manager of a camp facility on the Table Mountain National Park near Llundudno. I am also doing wedding and couple photography and am hoping to expand the business over the next few years . You can see more of my work here>> SophieSmithPhotography
Q2: Which Disney character do you feel sums you up to a ‘T’?
Nala, from the Lion King
Q3: How did you and your hubby meet?
We met at the rock climbing wall at Rhodes University and became friends through Dale (Roxy’s hubby). We were friends for a number of years before we started dating… Well, Cam wanted to be more than friends for a number of years before I finally woke up and realized that, in the words of my dad; “He’s a good man and he’s not going to wait around for you forever”.
Q4: Was your wedding everything you hoped it would be? Would you go back and change anything? Do you have any advice for brides-to-be?
My wedding was wonderful but certainly not what I had imagined it would be when I was growing up. Cam and I kept it very local in Grahamstown and did not want to spend a huge amount of money on our wedding because it was just one day, and we wanted the emphasis to be on our marriage, not on our wedding. An example of this was getting my dress made but then selling it back to the boutique for rentals so I only paid half price. We also got friends and family involved in décor and set-up which was cheaper and way more fun. In retrospect I would have liked to pay a little more attention to some of the details but the people, the weather, and the whole day were wonderful.
There are two pieces of advice that I found useful when preparing for my wedding day. The first was not to stress about how things turned out because only you will know how it was meant to be. The second was to take in every detail and enjoy every moment of the day, don’t wish for the next part of the day, just enjoy every moment because it is over so soon. I took this advice to heart, especially when I was walking down the aisle.
Q5: Has ‘life after the dress’ been as you imagined it would be?
I didn’t find married life a huge challenge or transition, perhaps because Cam and I spent so much time together when we were dating. I think I went into marriage with some unrealistic expectations though and have learnt that, in the words of William Shakespeare, “Expectation is the root of all heartbreak”.
It has been amazing to have a friend and a partner to adventure through life with. We have not, and still do not, know what the future holds but it is great to know that we have God and each other and that is enough.
Q6: What have you learnt about yourself since being married?
I have learnt that I like to get my own way and normally can’t see how I could possibly be wrong. I’m normally late. I leave the cupboard doors open. I talk too much and don’t listen enough.
Q7: If you could describe your marriage in 3 words, what would they be?
Adventure, compromise, team
Q8: Do you have any pearls of wisdom you would like to share with my readers about being married? Perhaps something some wise person once told you, or something you’ve learnt the hard way?
I don’t believe in finding “the one”, because one day you may find “another one”. Marriage is a choice – a choice to love, a choice to forgive, a choice to stay together no matter what.
As I mentioned earlier, expectations can set you up for disappointment and frustration, especially when they are not communicated properly. Believe it or not, your husband can’t read your mind and know what you want or are hoping for.
Growing up, we watch Disney movies where Prince Charming sweeps the lovely heroine off her feet. While I love Disney movies, good old Prince Charming messed things up for me a bit. You see, they taught me that the Princess is only happy when she finds her Prince. But in marriage, you have to be whole and secure and happy in yourself before you get married. The other thing I learnt from Disney movies, or came to expect, is that my husband would be perfect and exciting everyday - which he isn’t, and that’s ok, because neither am I. It really helped when I realized that I was very far from a perfect princess and that it was unrealistic and unhelpful to expect Cam to be the perfect husband. In fact I think I like him better for his imperfections (A lot of these ideas are from a great book I read called Before you get Engaged by David Gudgel).
You can find Sophie at the following places:
In this series I am interviewing real woman and asking them questions about their lives after their wedding day. I am asking them real questions about their marriages, and of course having them give me and you some pearls of wisdom that they might like to share. If you would like to read more about this series, or if you would like to be featured here on the blog, click here or you can drop me an email here or leave me a comment below.