Let me say, I love Instagram. I love the captivating images whether professional or shot with iPhones. I love portraits of husbands and wives immersed in conversation over beautifully styled tables, images of couples walking blissfully hand in hand, and pictures of adventurous moments of couples scaling mountains together. Pictures capture the colors, textures, and scenes of marriage in beautiful ways that words can’t accurately depict.

But just as much as I love all the images of couples on Instagram, I hate them because they’re totally not real life. Seriously, who and their spouse actually look fabulous every waking moment of the day? And who actually washes their hair and puts makeup on every day? Not me. Does anyone else in the world have to do boring things like laundry, paying bills and yard work? Or is it just me and my unglamorous life and marriage?

Social media has changed our world as we know it. It gives us the ability to connect with people all over the world and provides a community in the nontraditional sense. What I love the most about community is being around people who understand. It’s the people, your people, who get the reality of marriage. They know the best times that words can’t explain and the hard moments that we shy away from voicing. We’re convinced that, surely, we’re the only people who dysfunctional in our marriage. It’s the people who know and see the deep investment and beautiful commitment of your marriage. It’s also the people who know the weak spots in your relationship. It’s vulnerable yet incredible to have these people. They’re the people who remind you in a thousand ways that marriage is totally worth it. They’re the ones who remind you that marriage is way better than any Instagram account portrays. They’re also the ones who remind you that Instagram marriages are not real, but yours is, which is why it’s hard some days.

So here’s to Instagram marriages because the love, depth, and connection portrayed through stunning images depict the parts of marriage that we could never accurately portray with words. And here’s to real life marriages within real communities, because that’s where the nitty gritty stuff happens. That’s where foundations are laid and grace is born. Real life marriages are where we are known, seen, and loved with a love like we’ve never known before.

What was once an idea of an Instagram satire of virtual marriage perfection, evolved into a celebration of marriage through pictures that words could never do justice. It started as a joke and became a place where real life marriage moments are shared. Head over to @real_life_marriage on Instagram and check it out!

I would love to feature your real life marriage. Email me a picture of you and your darling. Don’t forget to include a little blurb, whether funny or serious, Instagram life or real life!