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.
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.
Suzanne: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.