Hello and welcome to the next episode of my #LifeAfterTheDress series here on my 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. You can read more about the other ladies I have interviewed so far by clicking here.
Today I have blogger and traveler extraordinaire, Stephanie Hedger. Stephanie makes up half of the drool worthy, Hedgers Abroad blog along with her husband, Ryan. Having connected with her over social media, I am so looking forward to meeting her in person later this month to collaborate on a new styled photo shoot I have in the pipeline.
So grab yourself a cuppa and get ready to be inspired.
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?)
Hi! My name is Stephanie and my husband’s is Ryan. We are both 28 years old and are we are from small towns in Oklahoma. Two and a half years ago we moved to South Korea to teach English and blog about our travels at Hedgers Abroad! In July we celebrated our 4 year (?!) wedding anniversary!
Q2: Which Disney character do you feel sums you up to a ‘T’?
Good, well rounded Disney female characters are hard to come by. Most of them are just girls who go through some sort of hardship which is eventually solved by falling in love.
I think the character that I could identify most with would be Merida from “Brave.” When I was young, I was very headstrong and quite the tomboy. I had a hard time seeing eye-to-eye with my parents and always wanted to do things my way. I guess I am still sort of like that now haha!
Q3: How did you and your hubby meet?
We met in college while hosting a conference for Oklahoma State University. It was awful timing as he was planning to pack up and move to Chicago for photography school in just a few short months. We just had the summer to be together and by the end of it we decided that we were simply just meant to be. He stayed just to be with me and reenrolled at our university. We have been inseparable ever since.
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?
Planning our wedding was stressful. A lot of people had a lot of opinions about how we should be doing it. We actually considered eloping halfway through the planning, but stuck it out. In the end, our day turned out to be really special and our friends and family came from all over the country just to be there. We were glad that we stuck it out and had the celebration with everyone there. If we could go back and change anything, we would just have kept everything low key and simple; get married in the fall out in our family’s backyard.
There is so much pressure to have the PERFECT wedding that couples can easily lose sight of what is most important. So figure out what’s the most important for you to have on your special day and consider nixing the rest. Don’t get so caught up in the planning that you forget to enjoy yourself!
Q5: Has ‘life after the dress’ been as you imagined it would be?
Yes! We dated for three years before getting married, two of which we spent living together. We were basically already a married couple at that point without the actual paperwork. By the time we were married, we already knew everything about each other and the only thing that changed was my last name.
This trend is becoming more popular with couples and I think it really helps to test relationships. When there is a fight, you can’t just walk away and wait to see who will call to apologize first. You have to face problems head-on. You become a team and, in time, you are able to see the other person’s values and priorities.
We loved living together and even adopted a few animals in the process. We knew pretty much right away that we wanted to be together for the rest of our lives and after that, it was only a matter of time before Ryan popped the question!
Q6: What do you think makes marriage work?
My advice is to never stop dating each other. Just because you are married doesn’t mean you can just stop trying! Do new and exciting things together, be spontaneous, learn something new, go on road trips, or find a new hobby to do together. Don’t become complacent.
Q7: What have you learnt about yourself since being married?
I have learned that I have the tendency to pile WAY TO MUCH onto my plate. Eventually, I stress out and in the midst of my panic and frustration, there’s Ryan to pull me out of my spiral. He goes through life with such a carefree attitude and it is something I really admire. I get so caught up in life that sometimes I completely forget to take it easy, but I am working on it.
Q8: If you could describe your marriage in 3 words, what would they be?
Fun, daring, happy
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?
Be silly. Make each other laugh. Life isn’t as serious as everyone makes it out to be.
You can follow our journey!
Blog: Hedgers Abroad (www.hedgersabroad.wordpress.com)
Instagram: @hedgersabroad (https://instagram.com/hedgersabroad/)
Facebook: Hedgers Abroad (https://www.facebook.com/hedgersabroad)
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!