Hannah here: In July, my mister and I celebrated 10 years of marriage. 10 years! YES we were babies when we wed, and no, we have no regrets. It is the very best decision we’ve made. We have had rough patches, and it takes work, but overall we feel pretty mega proud of the union we made.
I look back now I see how risky it was to pour our heart and souls into each other SO fully at such a young age. To be so in love and so certain in our teenage hearts, that we wanted to marry; to be the MOST together you can be and tell the WORLD about it. We were so earnest! But the risk (although we didn’t see it like that at the time) has paid off. We have literally grown up and into each other. Weathered many a vicious storm and some hideous losses, beginning rather horribly, with Dave’s mum when we were 18. Going through something like that so young, at such an early stage in our relationship, is bound to be ‘make or break’. It made us. There’s also been a very DIY wedding in my Dad’s garden, 7 different jobs between us varying from gouge-your-eyes-out-boring, to heart palpitatingly and sickeningly stressful, to just not right for us, and fist-pump dream jobs too. There have been 4 house moves that I’d rather not dwell on, years of plenty and years of frugality and lastly, our biggest achievement, 1 amazing bright kiddo and navigating that life changing transition between coupledom and parentdom.
We’ve changed so much! And our marriage has grown too; in the little things like the now wordless decisions we make about how we have our coffee or how we’ll deal with a thorny question from Frankie, to the great big decisions that require seemingly unending words about what we’re going to DO with ourselves and where we want to end up, and what’s the POINT in all this and how we’re going to stay financially solvent in the process of forming all those words.
Suffice to say we fee pretty proud and we wanted to really celebrate 10 years. I’ll use any excuse for a celebration- A good work day, an unexpected weekend as a trio and just because it’s a Tuesday are all causes for mini parties in our house; Birthday celebrations last for days! So 10 years required some serious celebrating. We decided to spread the celebrations throughout the year. For our actual anniversary, we lastminute.com’ed it and ended up staying at Great John Street Hotel in Manchester. It was lovely. We’ve had two nights away from Frankie since she was born, both for our anniversary, and it’s such an important thing to do every now and then as a couple- to just remember the shape of things when it's just the two of you.
Some places we love in Manchester:
The Great John Street Hotel, recommended by Susie . We stayed in their sister hotel, Didsbury hotel, on our wedding night.
Luck, Lust, Liquor and Burn where we ate delicious burgers by a sunny window and people-watched
Fred Aldous- craft shop of dreams, somewhere I've loved since I was a teenager. It has the coolest the vintage photo booth.
Fig and Sparrow for Coffee and shopping, thanks to Cat for the tip.
Foundation Coffee for more more coffee and delicious cake.
From Dusk till Pawn for cocktails.
Old Grenada Studio's, a cavernous space where we saw the FKA Twigs dance show and after show party as part of Manchester International Festival (thanks to Dave’s connections!). Go if you can.
Here is the rest of the list we came up with.
10 things for 10 years
- Have a night in a hotel. See above.
- Go camping together as a family. (done)
- Go away to a cottage for the weekend. (Coming up!)
- Have marriage counselling. Our marriage is generally in a good place but there are always challenging bits and I love the idea of doing a health check. This feels like an investment.
- We originally wanted a big party with our friends too but it didn’t happen this summer due to lack of organisation and funds, so we may do something next year, or wait for 15 years. Lots of our best friends didn’t even know us when we got married so we love the idea of having a camping party with them where we would say a few simple vows to each other and eat good food.
- Schedule every Friday night as telly free date night. We work a lot in the evenings (the downside of sharing childcare and work, and not putting Frankie in tons of childcare) but we have decided to really try to carve out one night a week to cook a special meal and just talk.
- Be kinder to each other in the morning (!) Early mornings in our bed had become a marriage battle ground, waged over Frankie-Rose’s fuzzy bed head who was often wedged in the middle of us. The battle? Who would win the precious lie in. But as of a couple of weeks ago we are being more gracious with each other, and waking the other with a coffee. It’s the little things after all.
- Get tattoo’s. Yeah baby! Totally going there. Probably not matching, but related to each other.
- Keep talking about eeeeerrything. This is the foundation to the ‘success’ of our marriage. I could write a whole separate post on this.
- And the last was that I wanted to cook a lovely meal for us at home. I snapped a few photo’s after I had finished setting up.
I love using my Linen Me linens, they feel so indulgent, and I get them out often when friends come for dinner. But it's quite rare for us to get out the nice crockery and linens just for the two of us, it felt lovely! I'm amassing a lovely collection of ceramic bowls (one is technically a plant hanger but...details) which again bring joy each time I use them. Yes, joy! Some simple Rosemary from the garden and some Wild Ruscus leaf finished it off.
Have we missed anything off our list?! Whats your idea of the perfect anniversary? A day in bed? Being whisked away to Paris? I'm so nosey, I'd love to know...