Coming into a relationship, and especially preparing for marriage, you bring more than just yourself. You arrive at the door carrying with you a childhood, awkward teen years, a collection of your past loves and hurts, celebrations, and most painful experiences. The full bloom of a relationship lies in an agreement to live emotionally exposed to one another.

I have a history of tucking away my feelings. Pining’s that go unexpressed, sadness and doubt that I let live inside, and a constant stream of worry and fear that I’ve done something wrong or made someone mad. I fear that my feelings might become a burden if spoken aloud.

I’m afraid with every email I send that people may see through the screen to view me as a fraud, and that I will be exposed as just a woman working on finding balance, just like every other. I’m afraid that when I’m out with my children, even around people who know us well, that they will see that I’m not a perfect mother. What if I speak too honestly with my husband and expose myself as an undesireable wife?  What if everyone sees through me to realize that I’m not deserving or special or qualified enough for any of the gifts I’ve been given?

I have recently vowed to live emotionally exposed. To speak up. To let the words “I feel” roll off my tongue more often than I turn my back and abandon opportunities for truth and growth. And to be okay if someone sees me just as I am. A woman doing her best as a wife, mother, and in business. And to find confidence in my own desires.

I wish I would have allowed myself to experience the same level of exposure early on in our marriage. To exchange the bottling up of emotions for moments of conviction and sharing. To live in bloom while fully experiencing the process of stepping into a life of fulfillment, together, even in it’s imperfection.

"The full bloom of a relationship lies in an agreement to live emotionally exposed to one another."

Photography: Abigail Malone
Venue: The Cordell
Styling & Planning: Alexandrea Cantrell Events
Wardrobe: The Lace Atelier
Hair & Make-Up: JR and Co Salon
Calligraphy: Jenna Roberts Calligraphy
Rentals: 12th Table
Floral Design: Elder Floral
Model: Emily Alison
Film Scans: Photovision Prints
Assistant Photographer: The Fable Fox
Written By: Casey Davis, The Southeastern Bride.