Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich have been married for eight months now, and they’re still very much in the honeymoon phase. If you follow either of them on social media, you’ve probably seen their many, many sweet posts about each other and the life they share. Whether on red carpets in Hollywood or the streets of Paris, they always seem totally in sync — and totally in love.
Keep reading to find out what they said about the best and most challenging parts of marriage, the most romantic things they’ve ever done for each other, and how they’re trying to unite the world through their charity.
Brit + Co: People always say the first year of marriage is the hardest. How are you finding newlywed life? What’s the best part?
Brooks Laich: The best part is just seeing your best friend every day. Being part of her journey. Watching the things that make her light up. Being part of those joys. Being part of her sorrows. Just being there. And being part of this journey with her. And knowing where she’s been and where she’s going. Knowing that we are creating this life together.
Julianne Hough: He took the words right out of my mouth! I’d say the exact same thing.
B+C: And what’s the most challenging part?
JH: Usually your greatest strength can be your biggest weakness, or your biggest weakness can be your greatest strength. In the past, we have been so independent, and we made quick decisions because it was just a decision for ourselves. Now we have each other, and we have to take into account that other person and how the decision will impact them. While we are more powerful together, the biggest challenge for me is just knowing that it’s not about me — it’s about us and ensuring that I make the right decisions for us as a couple.
BL: For me, the movies I have to sit through. When we go on date nights, I have to watch some movies I definitely would never have seen otherwise.
B+C: I loved all of your photos from Paris. What was your favorite part of the trip?
BL: Watching Julianne. She had been saying that we should go to Paris together since we met four years ago, so watching how she lit up in the city was just the best.
JH: We had both been to Paris separately and different times in our lives. Everyone had always said it is the most romantic city on earth, and I have never experienced that. So I knew that I wanted to go to Paris with the love of my life, my husband. And going there with him, I got it. We both got it.
B+C: What other romantic things, big or small, do you do for each other?
JH: There are so many things, but one of the most thoughtful, most sentimental gifts I’ll have for the rest of my life are these love notes he put in a jar for me when we were still dating long distance. We were used to seeing each other every other week, but this time it was going to be a month before we saw each other due to his hockey schedule and my work schedule.
BL: 34 days, actually.
JH: So he wrote me 34 love notes, and each day I would open one. What did you call it?
BL: A message a day while I’m away.
JH: A message a day while I’m away. It’s something I’ll always treasure and share with our kids one day.
BL: She’s great at planning romantic surprises, but one of the things that comes to mind was a Valentine’s Day surprise. It was at our current home before we moved in and renovated it. She filled the place with candles, and everything blew me away. It was really the first time in my life that I felt love. Two days later, I asked her to be my girlfriend. But in that moment, I felt my heart begin to open and really feel love.
B+C: Tell me about Love United. What inspired you to start this humanitarian mission? And what are your goals for the charity going forward?
BL: Love United was inspired in 2016 when Julianne and I went to South Africa. We met a woman in Zambia who told us about how they would send their kids to the river for water, and their children never came back due to crocodile attacks. At that moment, we looked at each other and said, “We need to do something about this.” Access to clean water is a luxury, but it’s something that we take for granted. We just go to the tap, and turn it on. But this community is literally losing their children to crocodile attacks. There are over 660 million people who don’t have access to clean sustainable water, and we want to be part of changing that.
JH: And to add onto that, 1 in every 10 children will pass away from dehydration. The numbers are devastating. Access to clean water is one of the most basic necessities, so we partnered with charity:water to help raise funds to bring clean sustainable water to those in need. Eventually, we will branch out and do even more – food, education, and medical facilities. We want to unite the world through love and contribution, and that’s where Love United came from.
BL: That is what is so cool about our partnership with Propel. Through Love United, we are trying to unite the world through love and humanitarian efforts. Propel is also trying to unite people through fitness and hydration. And with our first mission being on clean sustainable water, it just made so much sense for us to work with them.
B+C: What is the Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival, and how are you involved?
JH: The Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival is a one-of-a-kind experience with live music, amazing mash-up workouts, great food, and more. I’m excited to join a class with one of my favorite instructors, Simone de la Rue of Body by Simone.
BL: A portion of proceeds raised from Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festivals in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and Chicago will be donated to our foundation Love United, which is about bringing the humanitarian community together.
Find out more and get your tickets at www.propelcolabsla.com.
B+C: You’re both in incredible shape — how often do you work out together, and how do you motivate each other in the gym, or elsewhere?
JH: We don’t work out together that often – Brooks is a morning guy, and I like to sleep in, but we love to do anything active and adventurous together. We go hiking and biking. We want to go rock climbing together. We really just try to find as much to do as possible to stay active, to move, to get a good energy flow. That’s important to us every single day.
(photos via Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Lorraine Schwartz + Neilson Barnard/Getty Images + Michael Simon/StarTracksPhoto.com)