Trista Sutter was the very first ‘Bachelorette’ to grace our television screens and win not only the hearts of America but of her now husband, Ryan Sutter. I have had the privilege to meet, talk and hang out with Trista and I can honestly say she is everything you hope for her to be. She is gracious, sweet, charismatic, loving and the perfect person to offer relationship, love and life advice.
As Valentine’s Day creeps closer and closer we are either reminded of the love we have for another or the love we so desperately want in our lives. With that said, Trista shares her experience and advice for married couples along with words of wisdom for all the single ladies out there.
It’s been a little over 10 years since you appeared on ‘The Bachelorette’. Is there anything that you miss about it or that you still remember as you watch the new seasons? Any surprises as you watch the new seasons!?
Don’t remind me! I’m old! 😉 Just kidding. You know I love to live vicariously through the gorgeous beauties who have more recently been blessed with The Bachelorette title… including you! Now, to answer your question… I don’t miss anything at all. I definitely look back on the six weeks I spent falling in love with Ryan as some of the best six weeks of my life, but I’m sort of in love with the life that we created after the show. Taping ‘The Bachelorette’ was a time that was filled with moments I cherish because it was the beginning of my family.
By tuning in each season, I get to be reminded of how my love story unfolded and how truly lucky I am. I wouldn’t say I’m surprised by anything… although maybe by the actions of people on the show. It’s been around for 13 years now! They should know that everything you say or do can and will be used against you, and not to drown yourself during downtime in the free booze!
After meeting your husband, Ryan, on ‘The Bachelorette’ is there any piece of advice you would give to those in a new relationship?
Sure! Choose your words wisely, as well as your battles. Don’t rush things. Enjoy yourselves, but make sure that you are both on the same page about your status. Get to the deal breakers quickly. No reason to stay with someone if the deal will be broken months later. Make sure you give as much to your relationship as you do to your job or hobbies or kids or friends and always remember that the keys of a relationship include humor, respect, trust, friendship, gratitude, forgiveness, communication, and of course… love.
What was it about Ryan that made you know he was ‘the one’ and that it would last forever?
Too many things to mention on a blog. 😉 I think first things first, I was attracted to his gentle, sincere, loving nature. Right alongside that was my physical attraction to him. He was tall, dark, handsome, athletic, and had eyes I could lose myself in, and still do! After spending time with him, it became clear that he would always make me laugh, keep me safe, make me proud to be his wife, keep me on my toes to be a better person, and be a wonderful, caring father.
To boot, I cannot imagine a better kisser on the planet. On paper, I knew he could be ‘the one’, but honestly, it really was all about a feeling. We did get engaged after only 6 weeks of dating in the circus that is ‘The Bachelorette’, so I really had to go with my gut feeling and it guided me straight to him.
Photo: Cara Leonard Photography
How long have you two lovebirds been married? What has been the best part about being married?
We have been married for 11 years now… since December 6, 2003… the best eleven years of my life. What I love most is getting to experience life and raise a family with my best friend.
What is your favorite date night with Ryan and why? Any ideas you would suggest for married couples with children?
My favorite date night recently was on our anniversary. We attended a charity event that supports one of our favorite local charities, the Vail Valley Foundation, which just so happened to be at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch. We got gussied up, hung out with good friends, then headed back to the room we booked that night as a mini staycation. It was bliss!!! The kids were loving every second of their sleepovers with friends, while we were loving every second of our time together… just us!
Ideas? The best suggestion I would give is to be efficient with your time management. Take full advantage of nap time, sleepovers, bedtime, and school time as well as help from friends and family to make sure that your relationship stays at the top of the priority list. Trade with friends to watch over each others kids, hire babysitters, plan daytime dates while kids are at school, and go on vacations/staycations… whatever!! Just get out and enjoy life with the one you vowed to spend the rest of your life with.
What are some of your favorite activities to do together as a couple?
Family time with our kiddos, really anywhere and everywhere. Traveling. Movies. Concerts. Hiking. Snuggling. Volunteering. Rock Climbing. Hanging out with friends, and most recently, playtime with our new fur-baby, sweet Sophie Sutter. 🙂
What was the best Valentines Day gift Ryan ever got for you and vice-versa?
Before we were married, he gave me a book of photographs called “Love: A Reflection of Humanity” and he wrote a love letter to me on the inside cover. He is an incredibly eloquent and thoughtful writer and I’ve always cherished his words. My best gift to him is hopefully the one I got him this year, but I can’t spoil it in case he reads this!
Do you any fun ideas for those who still need to get gifts for their significant other?
I may be a little biased, but my Grateful Heart Collection is the perfect stop for a thoughtful gift for Valentine’s day or any occasion, really. 😉 In fact, five of my favorites are 14% off through 2/14 with the code GRATEFULHEART, including 2 picture frames that I would gift any of my loved ones. Just visit my Instagram page @tristasutter and the graphic I posted on 2/9. Bottom line… surprise them with thoughtfulness and you’ll never fail.
What is the best dating advice you can give to those that are single?
Never give up hope and don’t ever settle. Love can happen in the most unconventional of ways (I’m living proof of that!), so be willing to color outside the lines and be open to your destiny.
What will you be doing this Valentines Day, any plans?
We don’t have any big plans this year. With Ryan’s work schedule at the fire department, a new puppy, and Max and Blakesley, we’ll be enjoying a low key day.
You recently wrote a book called ‘Happily Ever After: The Life-Changing Power of a Grateful Heart’. What first inspired you to write this book and what can readers expect to take from it?
I really wanted to write something that would inspire people… through both my stories and the stories of others who have inspired me. I’m not a writer by trade, and because I didn’t want to have to hire someone to write it for me, I decided on a topic that I felt passionate about and had an authentic connection to: gratitude. It’s always been a powerful force in my life and my hope is to reach one person at a time, through the words on its pages, inspiring them to look to the positive, to embrace a grateful heart and truly live a happier life.