It's been quite a while since my last Life After the Dress story (click here to read about the other ladies I've had here on the blog). In this series I interview married women of all ages and from all walks of life and ask them real questions about their lives now, after all the glitter and sparkle of their wedding day is over. Today I've got Elicia, a fellow English Teacher & blogger here in South Korea.
So grab yourself a cup of tea and be ready to be inspired!
Q1: Please introduce yourself (age, of both yourself and your husband, where you live, what do you do & how long you been married for?)
Hi! I am Elicia and my husband is Tom. Together we are the Shepards. I am 25. Tom is the ripe old age of 28!! We were married 2 and a 1/2 years ago in the Dominican Republic on a destination wedding and now we are currently both teaching English in Korea! We’ve been here for about 2 years and in just about 2 months we will pack up our stuff and say goodbye to Korea!!! After some traveling and some time at home in the USA we will be headed to Morocco to teach at an international school there. I married this guy who has given me quite the life full of adventure and Jesus.
Q2: Which Disney character do you feel sums you up to a ‘T’?
ANA from Frozen!!! I love the sisterly bond her and Elsa have (I have 3 sisters!) & because my students are constantly calling me “ANA TEACHER!” when I wear my hair in a braid.
Q3: How did you and your hubby meet?
We met through a mutual friend. My friend was dating his childhood bestie and we met going to church actually. The boys picked me up for church and this ridiculously polite tall handsome guy got out of the backseat to let me have the front seat. I remember thinking “wow what a guy!” and trying not to stare as we drove to church. At church we sat next to each other and whispered back and forth during the service (oops!) but we were sharing our favorite bible verses. After church we made a massive breakfast and that sort of became our tradition each Sunday. We hung out pretty much constantly from that point on. He was hilarious and there was just something about us that made it extremely special It’s no coincidence I remember almost every detail from that first day. HAHA!
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?
YES!!!! We began to plan our wedding after being engaged and it became very very very expensive very quickly. How were we going to narrow down the list? We initially wanted an old barn style wedding with an outdoor reception in the states. We both love the outdoors and I love vintage deco so we began to plan for that. I became stressed trying to call all the vendors and when we started adding up the costs it just didn’t “feel” right. Tom asked me one day- “Elicia, what do you really want? WHAT is your dream?” I responded quickly with “to be on a beach in a tropical place.” It was as simple as that. Next thing I knew we were looking at tropical destinations and settled upon the Dominican. We had about 25 close family and friends attend and our pastor from church flew out to marry us. It was so intimate and so special for us. The beach/resort was fantastic and I loved that we just took the plunge and did it! That was just the beginning of our life of adventure together. I wished our grandparents could have been there, but it was what we had dreamed of and the low key environment was totally just- us! My advice for brides to be…. Listen to your gut! When hiring vendors or choosing a location whether local or abroad make sure you listen to that little voice inside you- are you “clicking” with them? Do you trust them? Will they work with you to provide you with what you want/need!?
Q5: Has ‘life after the dress’ been as you imagined it would be?
Yes. And no! I’ll start with no. The beginning was sort of an adjustment period. We didn’t live together before we were married and so it took quite some time to figure out how to converge our two lives into one. We had to learn how to share our space, chores, and life with each other. Which wasn’t always the easiest in the beginning. You learn what each of your strengths are as you go and I think marriage only gets better and better. As time passes I know Tom better than I did the day before! We are always working together as Tom says “in lock step” so that we are walking through this thing we call life together- hand in hand. Each decision is no longer MY decision but OUR decision. So in a sense, yes, life after the dress has been what I imagined. I always envisioned us as a team working together- moving forward together!
Q6: What do you think makes marriage work?
For us- I can think of three things God, compromise, and LOVE or RESPECT. Depending on which one of us you ask ;)
Also, I think just having fun together. We make time to hang out together and just enjoy each other’s company. I want to be with him because I love hanging out with him and vice versa (I hope!) HAHA!
Q7: What have you learnt about yourself since being married?
I’ve learned a lot. Marriage has been challenging at times and rewarding at others. I’ve realized that I’m not really that good at saying I am sorry first. I’ve also learned that I am the more laid back one when it comes to the house. Tom really likes things a specific way and done in a timely manner (love you hunny!) and so even though I think in real life he is much more laid back than me- when it comes to the household those roles are reversed!
On a more serious note, I’ve learned that love/marriage is a choice that I must make each day. I must wake up and choose love. To walk in the light and respect my husband. Some days are harder than others, but I’ve made it my mission to not allow any other choice but to respect and love him.
Q8: If you could describe your marriage in 3 words, what would they be?
Exciting. Evolving. Adventurous.
Q9: 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?
My grandmother always told me “love all” and I think that (perhaps most importantly) applies to marriage. Also I would add : Be kind to each other & don’t let the little things that bother you turn into big things that bother you and get in the way of why you married each other.
You can find Elicia at the following places:
I hope you have been enjoying this series as much as I have enjoyed putting it together.
If you would like to be featured here on the blog, you can drop me an email using the contact form above or leave me a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!