One of the keys to love and relationships is simply taking time for one another. In a world filled with hustle and bustle it’s easy to take that time and attention for granted, but there’s nothing to beat the curative powers of a little quality rest between two souls! So, naturally, when Brendan & Francesca’s first post-baby anniversary came to call, they decided to pull out a few stops and take a little jaunt to Paris! I’d say that’s time well spent!
Love notes from the couple, Brendan & Francesca:
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
Francesca: “Brendan and I both attended the University of Notre Dame and graduated the same year. We never met until 4 years later when our sisters — who were roommates — were graduating. We both attended their graduation weekend and hit it off on the dance floor of our old favorite dive bar, Finny’s. We immediately were attracted to each other’s outgoing personality, fun dance skills, and common interests. We went on our first date just a few days later and subsequently spent the entire summer together getting to know each other and falling in love.”
Tell us a funny story relating to your relationship!
Francesca: “I was sure we were going to get engaged the Christmas after we had been dating for a year and a half. I had dropped lots of hints to Brendan about wanting a ring and that we would need lots of time to plan our wedding since we were dating long distance. I flew down to spend New Years with him and was ecstatic when he pulled out a small box for me and asked if I wanted to open my Christmas present. I eagerly ripped into it and was unpleasantly surprised to find a claddagh ring with our alma mater emblem on it. He genuinely thought I would love it because we had both gone to Notre Dame and also had gone to Ireland together the year before. Although it was a very thoughtful gift it wasn’t ‘THE ring’ I was hoping for. We got engaged the next year and now we laugh about how eager I was.”
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship.
“We dated long distance between Charleston and Atlanta for three years including some of the year leading up to our wedding. Long distance relationships are extremely challenging and required us to trust each other and learn to be good communicators. We talked on the phone every day and built a great foundation of knowing each other early in our relationship. We also learned to prioritize time together and enjoy our shared experiences when we did have time in the same place.”
What is the most important thing in your marriage?
Francesca: “Quality time together. We both work long hours, Brendan often travels for work, and we don’t get to spend much time together during the week. We make a point whenever we are both in town to eat dinner together at the table. On weekends and sometimes even on weekdays we try to go on dates together. We also agree that traveling together is important and regularly spend our weekends visiting friends, family, or seeing a new city.”
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
“Work through your issues and try not to go to bed angry. Don’t keep your frustrations in and let them snowball. Even if you can’t come to an agreement it’s better to talk about things and try to reach some compromises.”
What is the most honest thing you can say about love?
“Being married is hard work, especially once you start having kids and doing adult things like buying a house and getting a dog. We don’t always agree on everything and we aren’t afraid to argue. At the end of the day though it’s amazing to spend your life with your best friend.”
photographer, stylist, planner, and designer: Tom Schelling Photography / venue: Paris, France / floral designer: Flower.fr / dress boutique and designer: ASOS / men’s formalwear: Jos A. Banks / accessories, decor, and calligraphy: Designs by Ellen / woman’s rings: Magnum Jewelers in St. Thomas / film lab: The Find Lab