Seven Years Down – Forever To Go



seven years down, forever to go keychain

Craig & Ashley are celebrating!

Seven Years Down – Forever To Go! According to Google, this is the ‘Copper & Wool’ anniversary.

We have had the privilege of watching and photographing these two amazing people beginning on their wedding day and many, many times since then.

groom holding bride, dipping back and kissing
July 28th 2012
man holding woman, dipping back and kissing
July 28th, 2019

We just did their family photo shoot at Founders Hall in Hershey and Ashley mentioned that they were going on seven years already! How time flies! We asked to do an interview of their wedding and marriage and they happily agreed. Here are some thought from the happy couple…

What was one of your favorite parts of your wedding day?

“Being able to say I do and make our life long commitment in front of all our family and friends.  Craig says the wedding night. 🙂 “

black and white photo of bride holding grooms wedding ring
Bender Wedding Highlights Link
bride with tiara and royal blue flower bouquet
Ceremony at Lebanon Valley Bible Church
silhouette of bride and groom in front of a window
bride and groom in woods with wedding party in royal blue in the background
Outdoor Photos at Levitz Memorial Park
groom and groomsmen in woods jumping over the bride and bridesmaids
bride and groom holding their pinkys out in a pinky promise. rings showing
You can check out more J & D Studio weddings here
bride and groom kissing against a tree in the woods with brides shoes in front
fredericksburg community center reception - bride and groom dancing
Reception at: Fredericksburg Community Center
black and white photo of close up of hands while bride and groom are dancing their first dance

What would you have changed about your wedding day?

“We wish more people would have stayed longer at the reception. “

Reception decor floating candle in royal blue with hershey kisses in mason jar

Deb here with some tips on how to get guests to stay longer at the reception…

Tip 1 – Do a ‘First Look’ …..

Example timeline: 12:30 – Bride and Groom meet at a secluded place with only photographers capturing. 1:00 – Adults from the Wedding party 2:00 – Kids from the wedding party 2:15 – Immediate family 2:45 Go back to ceremony site and get re-prepped, eat and rest. 3:00 ceremony! This way you only need to take photos of Grandparents and extended family after the ceremony. You can also join in the cocktail hour this way! This keeps the party rolling with less ‘down time’ for your guests to get bored and feel like they have been there a long time.

Tip 2 – If you have a cocktail hour, be sure to give your guests plenty of games to play, things to look at and LOTS of FOOD to eat.

Tip 3 – Don’t put out desserts or cut the cake until a little later. Guests start taking desserts right after they eat unless there is a cute little sign saying to wait till the cake cutting. Guests often start leaving after they have had dessert and/or cake cutting.

fancy diamond studded silver and royal blue wedding cake
Cake by the amazing Katie’s Cakes Cakery!
bride and groom caking each other
rainbow above bride and groom
A rainbow even came out on their big day!

Is marriage easier or harder than you thought it would be?

“It’s harder then we thought it would be. I don’t know if this is for everyone but in the church we grew up in everyone’s marriage seemed great and that it was easy being married. Then when you start running into conflict or issues and become frustrated we would talk to people and find out that those things were normal. No one ever explains that till you are already married. “

maternity photo of mom and dad with hands around tummy close up in studio
Baby Bender # 1
before - maternity picture and then same pose after - baby held in arms now
mom and dad with newborn baby in arms, looking down at her in studio
newborn girl - duck dynasty newborn outfit in studio with duck calls
Got to add the duck calls for Daddy!
daddy in cowboy boots and jeans with little girl feet on top of his boots. close up with tutu on baby girl
baby girl in tutu being tossed up in air by daddy
daddy holding baby girl in tutu, kissing her on the cheek
Daddy’s Girl
close up of mommy tummy with big sister sitting in front of it, looking up at camera
Baby Bender # 2
mommy sitting and holding 'big sister' on her baby tummy, looking at big sister
two year old girl laying, kissing baby brother on forehead
Proud big sister
newborn boy in firefighter outfit on white background in studio
Just like Daddy
2 year old girl and 4 month old baby boy laying in grass
mommy and little baby boy in fall leaves
Mommy’s boy
parents kissing over top two kids standing at a lane in the woods
parents kissing outdoor at a lane with kids hanging upsidedown on their arms

How about parenting?

“It is both more fun and more frustrating than we thought it would be. The highs are higher then we thought and the lows are lower. But in the end when they look up to you and smile and say Daddy or Mommy I love you Its all worth it.  And everyone goes through rough patches with your kids don’t ever feel like you’re alone. We’ve all been there. “

close up of a young married couple looking at each other - blurry woods in background
couple kissing, blurry in background with kids in focus in front putting their hands over their eyes.

Some marriage advice…

“Don’t stress over the little things that may go wrong. Nobody will know. Communication is key!! Not just the standard you are listening. Make sure you are understanding what they are saying and that they are understanding what you are saying. 70 to 80% of conflict comes from misunderstandings not actual disagreements. Don’t go to bed angry that doesn’t mean you need to solve all the problems it just means you need to resolve any hurt feelings. “

“Try to make time for date nights especially when you have kids. Even if it’s a night in after they go to bed.” 

2 year old girl holding 4 year old boy hand standing on a lane in the woods
2 Year olds turn into 4 year olds very quickly…
2 year old boy and 4 year old girl holding hands and making faces at each other on a bridge with trees in the background
‘Don’t blink”
mom with two year old boy on left and 4 year old girl on right hugging mom and looking at camera. blurry flowers in the background
family laying on their bellys looking at camera on a wooden bridge with blurry trees in background
black and white photo of dad kissing moms cheek with mom smiling at camera and 2 year old boy watching with a smile and 4 year old girl hugging mom
We love Mommy!
couple kissing on a bridge with sunbeam and woods in the background
Seven years down – Forever to go
couple looking at each other with sunbeam coming through behind them
black and white photo of man holding woman and tipping her back and kissing her. Blurry flowers in background

Well folks, there ya have it. And to Craig & Ashley, Seven Years Down – Forever To Go! Congratulations guys! Looking forward to capturing the next seven years!

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