Getting married is a memorable milestone full of possibility. It's the start of a couple's journey as they build their life together. But, it's going to take more than a memory of a fun wedding to get to 25 years and beyond. Inspired by the Obama's recent anniversary celebrations, here are nine real-life couples who share what it takes to build a love that lasts.
Celebrate the imperfections
"Accept that it is not always going to be perfect. It is a journey together through good and bad times. Learn how to compromise. Life throws curveballs and it's important to work through them together. These curveballs bring you closer together as you learn to love even harder because you're doing all of this together. Big adventures are fun (like a trip to Italy) but don't forget, the little things (like picking flowers for your home) are too." Grace Guerrero and Jim Zwit married 30 years.
Learn to laugh
"Humor is key! Don't take yourself or your spouse too seriously. It's a choice to be light or annoyed. Be silly together and laugh like little kids goofing around. Look for the humor, even in the dark times." Carol and John Tingwall, celebrating 41 years in December
"There will be fights. When this happens, use all your self control to not do something life changing (like walking out). Once done, some things can never be taken back. Sometimes you need to walk away literally and figuratively." Vicki H. Buzard married 40 years in January
"Patience is key. Think before speaking." Alejandra Moran married 25 years.
"Participate in each other interests. We make deals with each other. We say "I'll go along with you on this, but then you have to go along with me on that." We frequently venture outside of our comfort zone, expand our interests and have more shared experiences. We are both surprised by the joy we get out of activities we previously said we had no interest in doing. Now at 72, we are very different than the 19-year-olds that started this journey. By doing so much together, it's helped us grow closer together." Josie Hamilton, married 53 years.
Forgiveness is key
"We bring out the best in each other, however, we also know that there are times when we bring out the worst in each other, too. As a result, forgiveness is an important component. Love and forgiveness always prevail." Andrea and Guy Banicki, married 43 years.
Look for a life partner
"Pick the person who is a good companion and cares about making the marriage succeed. The relationship has to be really, really important to both people and they need to devote time to building and strengthening the relationship." Sheila Urman, married 49 years.
Accept each other as you are
"Appreciate your spouse and accept them the way they are. Neither person is perfect. Be prepared to accept your differences and make the best of." Marisel A. Hernandez, married 32 years
"The most important thing is love, because love never ends." Grasilda and Paul Petkus, married 33 years.
Style Me Pretty Contributor - Ximena N. Larkin is a writer and publicist. She lives in Chicago with her husband and dog. For more visit: ximenalarkin.com.