Luke & Suzanne: from Muppet wedding to writing and grad school

Suzanne and Luke, then and now!
Suzanne and Luke, then and now!

Name & Occupation: Suzanne, Media Studies Professor
Partner's Name & Occupation: Luke, Television Editor
Wedding date: June 2010
Your Offbeat Bride profile: Luke and Suzanne's Muppet wedding

The past three years for us can be summed up in one word: writing. I finished my doctorate at USC, recently accepted a job as an Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies at ASU, and I'm working on my transforming my dissertation into a book. Luke was accepted to the Clarion Writers Workshop last summer, and has been writing his first science fiction novel when not working at Hart of Dixie.

Personally, things remain pretty much the same as pre-wedding. The bliss is now officially categorized as "marital," but we're still living in Echo Park with our cat, Penny, and getting into spirited debates about all things geek culture.

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Looking back all these years later, what do you remember most about your wedding?
Luke: Winning the bet on who would cry first in the service. Suzanne is not someone who cries easily, or often. I love how tough my lady is, and the fact that I get to see her soft side makes me feel special.

IMG_6943Suzanne: It's a tie between getting pre-wed by a Skeksis (thereby fulfilling a lifelong obsession with The Dark Crystal, and a perfect example of why we loved our venue), and Luke surprising me with a serenade of "Susanne" by Weezer during the reception.

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Did you re-purpose any wedding decor or attire? We want to see!
Almost all of our centerpieces, themed around our fandoms and characters we've cosplayed, used action figures and props from our personal collection, so they went immediately back up on the shelves and function as an awesome daily reminder of our wedding day.

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The Muppets, unfortunately, are packed away in our garage, we're waiting to have a big enough place to put them on proper display. We trust they're still making out like bandits in there.

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What big challenges have you faced? What have you learned from them?
We're about to face our biggest challenge, since work will be keeping us a state apart for the next few years. I've commuted for work reasons before (for the year leading up to our wedding), so we know it can be done, though it's obviously not ideal. Our relationship is really strong, so we're less concerned about strain, and more just aware of how much we're going to miss seeing each other every day.

We're going to do our best to spend 2-4 days a week together, but there will be some weeks when that doesn't happen. We're going to learn to love Skype, and do our best to get our commitments out of the way so that our limited time together can be spent just hanging out and falling back into old routines.

Anniversary dinner.
Anniversary dinner.

How do you keep your romance alive?
We strongly recommend serving In-N-Out (or, fill in your favorite, reasonably priced food here) as your wedding meal, as it's made our anniversary tradition both low maintenance and absolutely delicious!

We've always had fairly low key romantic traditions that are nonetheless very reflective of what makes us such a compatible couple. For us, watching either Army of Darkness or The Thing over pizza and a bottle of wine is the most romantic and special way to spend Valentine's Day, or any other evening… It helps that Bruce Campbell is a mutual first love of ours.

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Though it was a pre-wedding tradition, Comic-Con functions as a mini-honeymoon for us every year, and debating/laboring over costumes is one of our favorite couples traditions.

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Honestly, though, most of the romance comes from just being perpetually giddy to be in the other person's company, and in the little things. I love fighting with him about superhero movie minutiae. I love that we trade off being the one to get up 20 minutes early to painstakingly make pour over coffee for the other person. I love that we are constantly on the lookout for blog posts or tweets the other will find interesting. Romance in our house is consistently making the other person laugh or think.

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What advice do you have for newlyweds?
Every couple is different, so our best blanket advice is to not get caught up in others' advice/timetables/experiences, discuss everything openly with your partner, and do what's right for you as a couple.

I think it's been important to us to keep some autonomy in our relationship, both personally and financially. Keeping our accounts separate has been working well for us thus far, and we've probably avoided some classic newlywed fights because of that decision. It works because we're not tit-for-tat about who is paying for what, but we are attentive to maintaining a relatively even split and pick up the slack for the other person when need be.

Same goes for housework, when one of us is in a busy phase, we make a point to take over the cooking and cleaning to help lighten the load. In short, I'm going to presume that, since you married this other person, you like them more than the average roommate, so don't treat them like one… but still thank them when they do the dishes unexpectedly.

Now let's spy into Luke and Suzanne's life a bit more…

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  1. "most of the romance comes from just being perpetually giddy to be in the other person's company"

    I LOVE the way you described this, and I am lucky enough that I can relate 🙂

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  2. I agree about keeping autonomy in the relationship–it's so important to my husband and I to maintain our own personal hobbies and friendships as well as to spend time with one another doing the things we mutually enjoy.

    I'm only slightly ashamed to admit that Hart of Dixie is one of my favorite shows right now… It could be said that it one of my autonomous pursuits since my husband isn't really into that genre so much.

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  3. I loved this follow up! Sounds like you guys have a great future ahead of you! I loved the little details that mean the most to you both. My husband and I both share some of those same little quirks and I believe it makes us stronger in both our relationship and friendship.

  4. These two are awesome! So much nerdy love. Also: gratuitous kitty scritches are my weakness.

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  5. This is a neat new post idea, tying in the OBB and OBH- But my question is, will there be any "Where are they now- DIVORCED" posts?

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    • Absolutely. There are no guarantees that the couples we follow up with will still be together, so we have two different series of questions prepared, depending on where they are now!

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    • Of the couples I've reached out to, I've already heard from two who are separated. They haven't submitted their answers yet, but we're absolutely looking to share a full range of stories.

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      • That is awesome- not that I doubted you guys for being awesome, but I think its really important to show both sides of the coin. Like if you were recently seperated and now check out OBH instead of OBB and all you see is happy still married couples, could feel like you are all alone-er. Luckily not my situation but I like to see a variety of things on here! Again- you guys are awesome pants.

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  6. Suzanne, welcome to the Valley of the Sun! There are lots of amazing offbeat things to do, hopefully when you aren't traveling back and forth, you and Luke will have time to try them out . . . specifically I'm thinking the monthly adult puppet slam . . . .
    Sunscreen! Water bottles! Adventure!

  7. This is awesome, both the couple and the fact that these follow-up posts are starting up!

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  8. You two seem like such sweet, happy people, what a lovely follow up! I totally forgot until now that I totally bought that same fascinator for my own wedding after seeing the initial post- here's hoping it's a lucky fascinator and me and Davey are as happy in three years as you guys are 🙂

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  9. Love these updates! That is great advice about autonomy (and not treating your spouse like a roommate!) Good luck to the couple, esp. doing the long distance thing, that is tough but a strong relationship can get through it.

  10. Yay…this was my favorite wedding so far! Love this whimsical couple and I still want to know where they bought those awesome Muppets!

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