Sydnie and Bailey in 2016 and 2019. Courtesy of Sydnie and Bailey Haag

High school darlings don’t stay together forever. But some couples endure and overcome challenges beyond classrooms and corsages to build a life together.

Insider asked 12 married couples who have been together since high school to share their wedding-to-prom transformations – and their secrets to long-term relationships. This is how they do it.

Samantha and Cory went to prom together in 2007 and got married in 2018.

Prom wedding then and now

Samantha and Cory in 2007 and 2018. @ Samgrahamsmith / Twitter

“Communication is key! I can’t stress this enough,” Samantha told Insider. “We’re not afraid to talk about anything.”

Kelsey and Alexander were prom dates in 2013 and married in 2018.

Prom versus Wedding Kelsey

Kelsey and Alexander in 2013 and 2018. Courtesy Kelsey and Alexander

“We have similar interests, so we spend most of our days doing activities together that we both really enjoy,” said Kelsey. “But we also have our own hobbies and careers where we give each other space and support each other. I’m not sure we have a secret for a long relationship. We just know that we are soul mates Growing up side by side was the most amazing life experience. “

Darby and Aaron went to prom together in 2015 and tied the knot in 2018.

Wedding photo prom

Darby and Aaron in 2015 and 2018. Courtesy Darby Sullivan Aaron Hobgood

“I think the secret to having a long-lasting relationship is making sure you’re best of friends first,” said Darby.

Taylor and Rob went to prom together in 2012 and got married in 2018.

Prom versus wedding Taylor and Rob

Taylor and Rob in 2012 and 2018. Courtesy Taylor and Rob Dougherty

Taylor’s relationship advice is: “Laugh at each other and don’t brush anything under the carpet.”

Tashley and Chad went to prom in 2009 and said “I do” in 2018.

Prom versus wedding Tashley and Chad

Tashley and Chad in 2009 and 2018. Courtesy of Tashley and Chad Malgas

“Respect goes a long way,” said Tashley of her secret to making a relationship last. “And always support yourself in public, correct yourself privately! Appointments are a must and keep the fun going.”

The story goes on

Ginelli and John posed for prom photos in 2009 and wedding photos in 2019.

Prom versus wedding twitter

“Communication and a willingness to tackle problems together are important,” said Ginelli. “When you have that, you can overcome everything together.”

Melissa and Randy were prom dates in 1995 and married in 2002.

Prom versus wedding Melissa Randy

Melissa and Randy in 1995 and 2002. Courtesy Melissa and Randy Boose

“Make sure you are friends as well as partners,” said Melissa. “Life is a lot easier when you are married to your closest friend.”

Sydnie and Bailey went to prom together in 2016 and walked down the aisle in 2019.

sydnie bailey prom wedding

Sydnie and Bailey in 2016 and 2019. Courtesy of Sydnie and Bailey Haag

“Our secret to long-lasting relationships is to put God first, communicate a lot and not share everything with the whole world!” Said Sydnie.

Alaina and Bruce were prom dates in 2015 and became husband and wife in 2018.

Alaina Bruce prom wedding

Alaina and Bruce in 2015 and 2018. Courtesy of Alaina and Bruce

Alaina says when it comes to making a relationship lasting, “communication is key and always reminding each other of the things they love about each other.”

Lauren and Joel went to prom together in 2010 and tied the knot in 2019.

Lauren Joel Prom Wedding

Lauren and Joel in 2010 and 2019. Courtesy Lauren and Joel Medina

“The secret is that your spouse is your friend, your best friend, and communication and trust are key in a long-distance relationship,” said Lauren.

Michelle and Kurtis were prom dates in 2010 and married in 2018.

Michelle Kurtis prom wedding

Michelle and Kurtis in 2010 and 2018. Courtesy Michelle and Kurtis

Michelle’s advice for long-term relationships is “Be honest with one another, always communicate any problems, support each other’s goals, and do romantic things here and there.”

Chelsea and Brayden posed for fun prom photos in 2013 and equally fun wedding photos in 2017.

Chelsea Brayden Prom Wedding

Chelsea and Brayden in 2013 and 2017. Courtesy Chelsea and Brayden

“Our secret is we were best friends first so we were just a team getting married,” said Chelsea.

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