We are so thrilled to have Brittany & Ryan of Reel Special Productions be our next guest bloggers for our Marriage Matters series. These two exude joy and we love the way they love each other and the people around them. Enjoy reading about their love story & why they believe wholeheartedly that marriage truly does matter.
Tell us a little about yourself & your spouse.
Ryan is originally from Toledo, Ohio and moved to Kentucky to attend Asbury College (now Asbury University). He has worked for an insurance company for the last fourteen years and handles their corporate communications. Ryan also started two businesses in 2004: Reel Special Productions (wedding videos) and That One Company (creative design and consulting). He is SUPER creative and blows my mind with his talents and abilities.
I was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee and also attended Asbury (but not at the same time as Ryan). I've been an elementary teacher for the past eight years and for the last couple of years also taught for Asbury University. I fell in love with teaching higher education and decided to pursue my doctorate so I could be a professor. Little did I know my dream would happen so quickly; I start teaching full-time at Asbury this fall! I love cupcakes, especially if it’s a Sprinkles cupcake, and I’m a sucker for a good piece of wedding cake.
So, how'd Ryan and I meet? Well, it’s a pretty fun story! Ryan was filming a wedding back in 2008 when I just so happened to catch the bride's bouquet. He was too nervous to speak to me at the that wedding reception, but by the grace of God our paths intersected a few months later and the bride who threw that bouquet set us up on a double-date (we went to a University of Kentucky basketball game!).
We sealed the deal and said "I do!" in 2010. I joined in with Reel Special Productions after we tied the knot and since then we've been blessed to continue producing wedding videos together while also pursuing our full-time careers. We absolutely LOVE filming together and are honored to help capture the best day ever for our couples!
What's your favorite memory from your wedding?
Ryan and I both agree on this one that it was the moment I walked down the aisle. My most favorite part of any wedding is the groom's face as his bride walks down the aisle. There's something absolutely so special about that moment and Ryan's reaction to me as I walked towards him was absolutely perfect. We shared a first look prior to the ceremony, but it didn't compare to that moment we first saw one another as the ceremony began. I get all teary-eyed just thinking about it!
What has been the greatest joy and the hardest challenge you've experienced as husband and wife?
We love, love, love building relationships with young married couples in helping them to grow in their relationship with one another and with Christ. Our first year of marriage was incredibly challenging. We both struggled to realize things about ourselves that were less than attractive, and we had to face those things head on. But my goodness, did we grow closer than we could have ever realized at the time. Ryan and I help facilitate life groups for young married couples at Southland Christian Church and we also do pre-marriage counseling with engaged couples. To date, serving other couples has been one of our greatest joys since we've been married.
What surprised you most about marriage?
The two words that come to mind first are “companionship” and “FUN!” Being married brings about a bond that you never could have imagined. Ryan is my very best friend; he knows me inside and out. Yes, you have your best friends, but the bond you share between husband and wife is like none other. Don't get me wrong, it's not always heart-eye emojis and butterflies. We do annoy each other at times and marriage really is hard work, but every part of it is completely and totally worth it. 1000%.
And the fun part? Wow! Ryan convinced me to jump out of a freaking plane at 10,000 feet while on vacation in Aruba and that is something I can say with certainty I would have NEVER done on my own. I am a very Type-A, organized and by-the-book kind of person, but Ryan has brought so much spontaneity into my life. Whether we go on dates around town or travel halfway across the world, we have SOOO much fun together!
What has been the best source of support and encouragement for you all?
Godly community has been the key for us. We get our cups filled every time we are with life groups. It's a time to be vulnerable, to grow, to listen, and to just be real. I love knowing that we have a community of friends that love us, support us, pray for us and cheer us on. That’s exactly why we pour our hearts into connecting with other couples because we believe everyone needs that type of community.
Are there any books or other resources you would recommend to other couples?
We bought a book a year or so after we married called The Five Love Languages Devotional for Couples. We wanted something we could read together each night before going to bed. It's a short daily devotional that talks about a wide variety of "real" stuff and always ends with a prayer. We also love The Marriage App, Love and Respect, The Five Love Languages and of course, The Bible!
What are some hopes or dreams you have for your family's future?
Ryan and I would love to start a family. I’m just going to be totally open and vulnerable here: We've been trying for a while now and it's not going how we thought it would. I have some medical issues that we're trying to get worked out and we're trying to seek the right doctors to help make this dream become a reality. Through all of this we know it's in God's hands. We trust Him and know when He's ready for us to be parents, it will happen. In the meantime, we would really LOVE and value your prayers in this journey.
If you could change anything about your all's story, would you?
This isn't pretty to admit, but Ryan and I have both acted and said things to each other that were incredibly hurtful. I hate thinking about it actually, and yes, working through those things did make us stronger, but those are things that didn't have to happen. Think before you act. Don't ever do anything or say anything that you'd regret. Saying something out of hurt is not an excuse to say it.
What's the best advice you've ever been given about marriage?
Ryan would say the best advice he's heard is to always look for ways to “out-serve” your spouse and speak their love language. I echo this, but also want to add some advice I heard early on about learning how to fight fairly. Ryan’s parents and mine handled conflict very differently, and little did we know that as kids that would later influence how we deal with conflicts in our marriage. I tend to process conflict with an emotional heart (go figure!) but Ryan approaches it with a logical mind. In the heat of a disagreement, it is often difficult to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and think about how they are feeling, but we’re getting better at this and it has made a world of difference in our marriage. In fact, I’m writing this after a few hours of us working through an argument. Sometimes my insecurities can get the best of me, and they sure were fighting hard against me this weekend. Praise the Lord for new days and forgiveness. Can I get an amen?
Why does marriage matter?
Marriage matters because it creates a bond intended to last a lifetime. Couples get married to fulfill a deeper sense of purpose in their relationship, and we believe this type of "covenant" is a reflection of how God loves us...for better or worse. Ryan completes me in ways where I fall short, and I am able to do the same for him (and find joy and purpose in the process!).
In the words of Jack Johnson, “It’s always better when we’re together.”
They're pretty amazing, right?! I love their honest hearts and the way that invites people into the rawest form of love. Britt & Ryan, thank you for sharing your story with all of us! I have no doubt that you have encouraged the hearts of many through your heartfelt words & vulnerability. We love you guys! XOXO