Satvedi Saturday: Why We Attended a Marriage Retreat

We recently returned from one of the best marriage retreats in Rome, Georgia!

Why marriage retreat you ask? Well, before we answer that question, let us explain some of the common myths about marriage retreats.

A Marriage Retreat is NOT:

  • A sign that a marriage is in trouble or that there is something wrong with your marriage
  • A lecture-style workshop where you and your spouse spend 8 hours a day learning from marriage experts
  • Meeting with some church counselors or MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) to discuss marital hardships in the middle of nowhere for hours

A marriage retreat, as the term suggests, is actually a treat for your marriage! It creates the perfect opportunity for you to reconnect with your spouse, to learn more about each other, and to learn tools on how to enhance your marriage! Before we got married, although we did not know what marriage retreats were for, so many couples recommended us to attend marriage retreats on an annual or biannual basis! After we got married, we have realized that we are surrounded by married couples who genuinely want to partner with us in our lives and on our marriage journey. Their support has been impeccable, especially in the challenging times of our marriage. We have gradually developed the desire to invest in other newly married couples, especially since we have been loved and received so much support as we started our marriage journey!

 Us with Zach and Jody Gray. We love them!

Us with Zach and Jody Gray. We love them!

Since we became a husband and wife photography team, we realized that we needed to learn integral ways to manage the dynamic of our relationship as business partners. Being able to work with your spouse is a privilege and a challenge! We embrace our roles as business partners, but we know that we need to be even more intentional in investing in our marriage. Establishing a business and working with each other is a new territory for us. Recently, during the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) Conference, we met the very talented and down-to-earth educators and speakers Zach and Jody Gray. That's where we learned about the CONNECT Retreat, an annual Christian retreat established by Zach and Jody for couples who are in business together. We were ecstatic and grateful to have the opportunity to head to Georgia and meet and make some new friends at this retreat!

The Connect Retreat took place at the WinShape Retreat Center, a stunning venue located on the tranquil green hill of Mount Berry. It is on the outskirts of the Berry College Campus, which has 27,000 acres of spectacular views and exquisite French-inspired architecture! The WinShape Foundation, founded by the Cathy Family (Truett and Jeannette) in 1982, has the mission to “strengthen families and bring people closer to God and each other.” The Retreat Center has common dining hall, information center, worship center, and rooms with vaulted ceilings. The simple, rustic, yet elegant setting really helps guests to relax during their stay!

CONNECT Retreat
WinShape Retreat Center
CONNECT Retreat
WinShape Retreat Center

CONNECT Retreat was exactly what we needed! We met, learned, and connected with couples who have experienced success and hardships as husband-and-wife teams managing their businesses. Most importantly, we learned the importance of prioritizing our lives:  God first, then marriage, then health, then family and followed by business. During the retreat, we connected with God and each other more intimately. We were hungry to learn and soak it all in. We want to learn so that we can pass it on to other married couples, just like the way others have poured into our lives!

We were among 64 couples owning businesses such as photography, event rentals, graphic designing, and fitness training (to name a few). We made some great new friends, and enjoyed crying and laughing with them over the 4-day retreat! It seemed like we had known each other for years!

CONNECT Retreat
CONNECT Retreat
CONNECT Retreat

Through the various sessions led by some amazing speakers, we heard how God had transformed their marriages, businesses, and lives through their experiences. We walked away refreshed, with some new tools in our bags to help our marriage grow as God intended it to be. We were also given plenty of free time to reflect, relax and soak in some Georgia sun.

Overall, our time at Connect Retreat was educational, restful, and restorative! We walked away with a new sense of gratitude, got inspired by life experiences from our new friends, as well as an invigorating sense of empowerment as photographers. We are blessed to have the honor to serve our clients as their storytellers and memory builders. Photographing clients on one of their most memorable days is truly a gift! As we have been invested in, our desire is to invest in other couples who are starting their married life journey. We were reminded of the joy and passion which motivated us to become wedding photographers.

If you are married and have every thought of attending a marriage retreat, go for it! Now is the time! No matter how good or challenging of a marriage season you are in, you will walk away feeling energized and CONNECTED with your spouse. And you will build relationships with other couples who you can share life with.

Thank you, Connect Retreat, for helping us discover and establish new friendships! Our spirit was lifted and our hearts are full.