Our Five Year Anniversary | Arkansas Wedding Photographer


Five years ago today, Nathan spent 45 minutes telling me about air soft and I still decided to stick around.

All humor aside, Nathan and I have spent a lot of time this week really appreciating each other and talking about what we love most about each other and how we’ve changed since we met.

I feel like each five years in a relationship is such a milestone. A LOT can happen in five years and it should be celebrated when you can stick together and come out the other side more in love than before. Our five years isn’t much when you think about a lifetime, but I still see it as an accomplishment.

We met when I was 17 and he was barely 20, and we somehow stuck together through all of those transformative years. I can’t believe how different we are from five years ago. 

We started out as young, silly kids who loved God and had huge crushes on each other. We knew nothing about real relationships or how to put each other first. Nathan had never really dated anyone before and all of my past relationships were either platonic or big mistakes.

But when I decided to transfer to a college 2.5 hours away, we had to grow up a little bit and learn to communicate. We began to tell each other everything. He was the first person I wanted to tell news to, even though he was the only one who wasn’t there. We even had regular Skype “dates” where we’d play a movie at the same time on our laptops and eat candy. When we’d only been dating 7 months, he was gone for a month and a half, going on adventures around the world.

We made it through all of that, naive and young as we were, and that really built a strong foundation for our marriage. We had no choice but to trust each other.

We’ve experienced really, really hard times together since being married. Constant ailments, countless unexpected bills, stress from debt, job losses, living off of savings, loss of family members, two totaled cars in three months.

But we’ve also conquered so many victories together. Both of us graduating college, me finishing college debt free, climbing up a fourteener in Colorado (okay, we only made it up 12K feet), surviving 15 straight hours in a car together, Nathan finding his dream job, never missing a bill payment even when we were dirt poor, always communicating, never going to bed without resolving issues/one of us on the couch. 

I love having someone to voice my thoughts with that I know will never judge me. If I ever murdered someone, he’d probably help me hide the body and THEN ask what the heck is wrong with me.

Nathan and I talk about our thoughts and feelings probably more than anyone else we know. We love digging deep and getting to the root of unknown issues. We play devil’s advocate for each other and help each other really understand why we believe what we believe. We can be intellectual, but we can also be downright silly. I love everything about how our personalities mesh. Even when we get mad at each other, we always talk it out and learn from it.

Nathan has made me a better person. A more mature, thoughtful, selfless person. I am so thankful that I followed that random guy on Twitter when I was 17 and that God orchestrated all of this for us. I could have been murdered and left in a ditch, but instead I found my husband.

(PSA: I wouldn’t recommend meeting random strangers on the internet alone. It’s a miracle I’m alive.)

I get a lot of flack for how gushy I can be with Nathan. People who have been married decades say that we are so young and don’t know anything about marriage.

“Just wait until you’ve been married __ years!”

I know we’re still babies. I get it. But the best way to make sure we get to decades of marriage is to always have this passionate, selfless love for each other. So I’ll continue to brag on my Nathan any chance I get, go on weekly dates with him, and hold his hand in public. Because I plan on never, ever losing this wonderful thing we have.

If you want to get emotional during these photos, I recommend listening to this song. This was our first dance at our wedding. Fun fact: we actually were 19 and 21 the year we got engaged.

And here are a few tripod photos I took on Sunday because I realized we haven’t taken any professional photos together in a year and a half! For this mini-shoot, I decided to wear the sweater I wore when he asked me out. Scroll back up, you’ll see it also in the first photo we ever took together!

I love the older photos of us, but these new photos really make my heart thankful because in just the past few months, we’ve experienced some of our lowest lows together, but we love each other more than ever.

(Congrats, you made it through the last of the sappy words I’ll write!)

Claudia Young is a 20-something creative based out of Fayetteville, Arkansas. She specializes in capturing moments instead of going off a Pinterest list. She shoots a lot of couples and weddings, but she loves photographing individuals and families as well! Do you love genuine moments and seeing your personality come out in photos? She's got you covered.