Author Archives: Grady Savage
In the Victorian era, it was decided that different plants and flowers had special, unique meanings. At that time, people began to use flowers to send each other personal messages or secret correspondances in situations where they would otherwise be unable to express themselves or their feelings for one another. Nowadays, although we are much more able to express our emotions openly, using flowers as a way to send a subtle message to a friend or your sweetheart is an extra-special way to add meaning to your wedding day.
Some common flowers that are often used to express a variety of positive emotions are as follows:
These gorgeous, often purple or blue downward-facing bulbs, were commonly used to express kindness and gratitude. Due to those expressions, they were also often used to symbolize everlasting love. Since they generally flower between April and June, bluebells would be a perfect edition to your spring wedding, to represent the gratitude and love between you and your future spouse.
Another very common flower used in floral communication was the tulip, a flower that comes in so many colors that it has many meanings, each depending on the color of the beautiful flower being presented. Traditionally, tulips in general are associated with perfect, passionate love, although you can add intricacies to that by varying the colors involved. For example, white tulips symbolize royalty or purity while yellow tulips are meant to be welcoming and friendly. Tulips are an especially great option for your wedding, as you can use different colors tulips to represent different things, all while keeping a cohesive look to your day.
These playful, fun flowers represent almost exactly what you would imagine they would: cheerfulness, playfulness, and innocence. The bright, cheery color combination of yellows and whites make these flowers pop, a
nd help solidify their meaning as a positive, playful, happy bloom. Use these in your bouquet or those of your bridesmaids to help cultivate a fun, lighthearted vibe.
Daffodils have a few traditional meanings, all of which lend themselves well to weddings and can be suited to fit the needs for your specific day! Some common understandings are chivalry, inspiration, and new beginnings. This sweet flower might just be the perfect bloom for a traditional couple, or even a blended family wedding—“new beginnings” sounds like the perfect fit for such an occasion!
Violets (which are also the traditional flower to represent a 50th wedding anniversary!) have a beautiful symbolic meaning. They are traditionally known to stand for modesty, candor (honesty), and love. Of course, those meanings are a beautiful enough reason to incorporate violets into your wedding, but it’s extra sweet to know that when you use them in your big day, you’re making a call out to your future 50th anniversary as well.
This flower, which is commonly found in many modern weddings, has a beautiful meaning behind it—the traditional understanding is that baby’s breath is symbolic for pure emotion or pure love. Because of this, it is not uncommon for many florists to include at least a few sprigs of this beautiful little bloom into bridal bouquets or wedding corsages for tradition’s sake. They are also often, unsurprisingly, included in bouquets given to expecting or new mothers.
And last, but certainly not least, we have the rose. The ever-traditional flower for every important celebration, roses are particularly interesting as far as Victorian flower language goes because their meanings are extremely relevant to their color, similar to tulips, but perhaps even more-so. Although most different types of roses represent love, the deepness and particulars of the love change depending on the color of the blooms. For example, red roses often represent passionate love while pink roses represent a more innocent, first love feeling.
How to Incorporate Flower Meanings Into Your Wedding
The wonderful thing about flower meanings is there are many options to choose from, which means you can use the different flowers in different aspects of your big day. Perhaps you’ll incorporate friendly, positive daisies into your centerpieces while having a focus on romantic roses for your bouquets. You could even choose a special type or color of flower for you and your partner’s bouquet or boutineer and keep it to yourselves, so the two of you can share a special secret symbol that no one else knows about. There are many, many different flowers with a whole plethora of meanings, so you’re sure to be able to find the exact option you’re looking for to fit the theme, aesthetic, and taste of your wedding, all while adding some extra special meaning elements as well.
If your spouse has a child from a previous relationship, after you get married it may feel like the next logical course of action would be to adopt your stepchild. Although this is one of the most common types of adoption in the United States, it can also be a confusing and complicated process, depending on the specifics of your situation. It will be very important, if you’re considering stepchild adoption, to look further into the laws in your state and consult legal counsel on the right course of action for your family. Here are a few essential things to know before you move forward with this decision.
State Laws on Stepparent Adoption Vary Greatly
States have many different requirements for stepparent adoption. Some states require home studies, some do not. Some require background checks, some do not. Some have a required minimum amount of marriage or time living together with the child, and some do not. Since adoption of a stepchild can happen for a variety of reasons—from simply a desire from all parties for family unity to an absent or unfit biological parent—the laws that surround the subject are just as varied. This means that, depending on your situation, different needs may apply. Be prepared for any and all of the above requirements, while also knowing you may not need any of them.
Consent Is Required
Getting consent from all necessary parties is often the most complicated and difficult part of the stepparent adoption process because consent is generally a non-negotiable requirement before your adoption can go through. You’ll need to get consent from the custodial parent (your partner), as well as from the other biological parent. It is important to know that, when the biological parent gives consent for the stepparent adoption, this adoption terminates their parental rights and responsibilities, including child support. It is possible to move forward with a stepparent adoption without the consent of both biological parents only if the parental rights have already been terminated prior, or if a situation like abandonment is in play, although the details of what is considered child abandonment do vary state by state. If you’re hoping to move forward with the condition of abandonment, do make sure you and your partner have as much proper documentation on this as possible, as courts are not quick to terminate a biological parent’s rights without clear proof of obvious parental irresponsibility.
In addition to the necessary consent of both biological parents, in many states older children (generally 10-14+, although this varies too) will need to consent as well. This can be both a beautiful and difficult topic for children, so be sure to approach the subject carefully and kindly, and be prepared for the potential of mixed-feelings, particularly if they already struggle with their relationship (or lack of relationship) with their biological parent. Although stepparent adoption does terminate the parental rights of the other biological parent, it does not necessarily mean the children will no longer have a relationship with that parent, if they so desire. If that’s something that may be a possibility in your family, it’s a good idea to make that clear to the kids, who may feel even more abandoned by their biological parent with this news.
Consult a Lawyer
Although a lawyer is not required to petition for stepparent adoption, it’s a good idea to get legal counsel, at least in the beginning of your adoption journey. This is important not only with the variety of state laws on the subject, but also because a lawyer with experience can be a huge help in navigating some of those more difficult conversations with biological parents and children alike. Having a great support system and lots of resources around you can do nothing but help in facilitating this process in a positive, clear, and organized way.
Stepparent Adoption is Not a Necessity
Stepparents get a bad rap in our culture and it can feel like an absolute necessity to adopt your stepchildren and do away with that negative stereotype, but it’s important to know that stepparent adoption is not always the right choice for every family and you should not feel any outside pressure to make such a major choice if it isn’t the right call for you. Being an amazing parental figure in your stepchild’s life can be done whether there is a legal adoption or not, so if it isn’t the right choice—or isn’t even an option—for your family, do not worry about it too much or allow it to negate the important role you already play in that child’s life.
The process of adopting your stepchild can be a complicated, exciting, scary, and wonderful, but if you’re clear about the laws in your state, obtain consent from all required parties, and obtain legal counsel to make sure everything goes as planned, you will be that much closer to a stepparent adoption.
Weddings can be complicated. And they can be even more complicated when there are children from previous relationships involved—either yours or your partners’ kids. With videos of brides saying vows to their stepchildren or family sand ceremonies being all the rage on social media, it can be tricky to figure out what’s the best option for your family when it comes to including children in your wedding. Here are some questions to consider as you make this important decision.
What Do You and Your Partner Want for Your Wedding?
The very first thing to consider is, of course, what you and your partner would like to do. How important is it that the children are involved or not involved with the wedding? For some people, the wedding should be strictly about the union of the couple. For others, the joining of the entire family is a key component of the day. Neither way is right or wrong, but it’s important to have a conversation with your partner and see where each of you stand on the issue. If you’re not on the same page, take some time to really think it through and talk about it—there may be a compromise you can come to that will make you both happy. At the end of the day, what you and your partner want is the highest priority here, so really take the time to consider your options and listen to your partner’s feelings on this matter.
What Do the Children Want?
The other really important factor to consider is how the children feel about the issue. You may feel very strongly about having the kiddos involved, but if that is not in their comfort level you may need to figure out an alternative plan. Weddings are highly emotional for children of divorce, and may bring on feelings in the kids that are unexpected to everyone, including them! Being sensitive to the potential needs of the children ahead of time will make the wedding day much easier and can help assure that you begin your newly married life on the right foot for your whole family.
Do You Want to Include Them in a Specific Portion of the Wedding Ceremony?
Some families choose to specifically include the children in the wedding ceremony itself, with things like sand ceremonies, family ring exchanges, or vows specifically dedicated to the children. This is a great option if you feel like your wedding is directed more towards your family becoming a unit, rather than just you and your partner joining together, and can make for an extremely special moment to be treasured forever.
Is There a Traditional Role That Might Work Well?
Depending on the age of the children, as well as their desired level of participation, there may be a traditional role that could be a great fit. Many people have their children as flower girls, ring bearers, junior bridemaids/groomsmen, or even best man or maid of honor, depending on the situation and family dynamic. Having the children in these traditional roles might be a great fit, as they will be involved in the ceremony but it will not specifically put a spotlight on them as a part of the wedding or vows.
Would That Be a Good Fit for the Kids?
Something I think should be highly considered when you’re making these ceremony decisions is whether the choices you’re making will ultimately be a good fit for the kids. It would, of course, potentially be lovely to have them included in many ways, but for some children it will be a much better, smoother day if they can just be in attendance and not feel the need to participate. This is where family dynamics come into play in a serious way. If the children are excited and really want to be involved—and you and your partner would like to include them in that way—then it’s awesome to have them as a big part of it. But if the children are feeling a lot of anxiety or outside pressure about this wedding, it might be best to give them the option to just opt out of that portion of participation. It can hurt to hear that, I know, but meeting children where they are with things like this actually has the potential to make a seriously positive difference in how your family continues to grow together after the wedding.
Are You Making a Choice Based on Outside Pressure?
As an extension of what was said above, make sure that you’re making the decision about how to include the children based on what’s best for you and what’s best for the kids. There can be a lot of pressure in this social-media driven world to do things a certain way, but sometimes it’s not the best fit for your family and that’s okay! My stepdaughter was a junior bridesmaid in our wedding, and that was wonderful. Although I would’ve loved to have had her involved in some other way, I know she would’ve felt shy and pressured if she had been placed in the spotlight, so we didn’t choose to do that and it was the right decision for our family.
You know your family and you know how to maneuver this celebration so that it’s as healthy and wonderful as possible for everyone involved. Take some time to think about the questions above and then plan your wedding ceremony the way you want to!
Booking a block of rooms for your wedding guests can be a complicated, stressful process. The more information you have ready before you make phone calls to hotels, the better. But just what will you be expected to know? Here are some important things to consider.
How Many Rooms Will You Need at the Hotel?
This is, of course, a major question that’s essential to know before you start to actually book hotel rooms. Although you can’t necessarily know for sure ahead of time, a good frame of reference would be to go through your wedding’s guest list and tally the number of out-of-town guests on the list, then divide this number by two and set aside that many rooms. You don’t want to overestimate, as you can sometimes be charged for the empty rooms, but it’s also a good idea to ask about their policy on adding rooms later if it turns out your estimate was under the needed amount.
How Many Hotels?
It’s considered good practice to book a block of rooms in at least two separate hotels. Keep in mind the difference in pricing (you’ll want to have one budget-friendly option and then perhaps a mid-level or higher-tier second option) as well as location and proximity to your wedding venue. You’ll also want to make sure the places you choose have a variety of room-type options, with rooms suitable for couples and families alike.
Talk to the Right Person at the Hotel
When you begin making calls to hotels in the area of your wedding, make sure you’re not just talking to someone at a call center or even the hotel’s front desk. Ask to speak to the person who manages group rates—they will be the right one to direct your questions to, as well as give you the best rates possible for your guests.
Will There Be a Cost Associated?
There are a few different ways to book rooms—a guaranteed block and a courtesy block. A guaranteed block ensures that whatever numbers of rooms you set aside will be available to you for your wedding day. Essentially, with this option you are booking that amount of rooms, which means you (or your guests) will be paying for that amount of rooms. This type of booking often requires a deposit when you make the initial reservation. A courtesy block will still set aside your desired number of rooms, but generally with a cut-off date associated (anywhere from 30 to 90 days before your event, depending on the venue). This type of block generally does not require any prior deposit. A courtesy block is the option most couples tend to use when booking a block of rooms ahead of time, as it doesn’t cost them any money up front and there’s no fee for not filling all the rooms. However, this option definitely requires clear communication on cut-off dates with your wedding guests, as the rooms will be released after the cut-off date passes.
Do You Need Additional Services?
Many hotels offer additional services when you book a block of rooms, but it is up to you to decide what services are important to you and then negotiate them. Would you like to make sure a breakfast is available to your guests on the morning following your event? Are you hoping for early check-in on your wedding day so folks can drop their things in their rooms, get ready, and head to your venue? Does the hotel have shuttle service available to get your guests to and from your event safely and in a timely manner?
Some or all of these may be an option for you, with or without an additional cost, depending on how you and the group sales manager negotiate rates and needs for your event. If you have an idea of a service you’d like (dropping off welcome bags, for example) but you’re not sure if the hotel offers this type of service, make sure to ask in your conversation with the manager and see if they’d be able to make something like that work. You may be surprised by how much the hotel will work with you to help facilitate this process.
Make Hotel Details Clear to Your Wedding Guests
Once you’ve booked rooms in one or more hotels, make sure your guests are very clear about where and when they need to book their rooms. If you have a wedding website, this would be key information to add there. Also, make sure important people (like parents, in-laws, and others who will probably be fielding questions on the subject) know the ins and outs of your plan and can help spread the word to out-of-town relatives and friends.
Although booking a block of hotel rooms for your wedding guests can seem like a complicated, overwhelming process, it can also be a huge help to your guests who are coming from far away to celebrate you and your partner’s special day. If you head into the conversation prepared and confident, you will come out of it with rooms booked, ready to fill with your favorite people for your favorite day! Good luck!
Floral arrangements and wedding bouquets are an absolutely key aspect of many weddings, but how can you make sure that your event has flowers that look stunning all day? Especially with the rise in outdoor weddings, it can be tricky to know what to do to keep your blooms fresh! Here are some ideas that will help you have beautiful flowers all day long.
This may seem like a silly one, but have your wedding flowers delivered as late as feasibly possible from your florist on your big day. Obviously make sure to give yourself, and anyone helping you prepare, enough cushion to be able to get everything set up, but wait as long as you can to have the flowers arrive. It is your florist’s job to make sure your blooms last and look lovely, so having that person hold onto them as long as possible will help ensure they stay stunning for a long time.
Keep Flowers in the Right Environment
Once you’ve received the flowers and they are your responsibility, try to keep them in the best environment possible until they are needed. This is most important if you’re having an outdoor wedding, as the hot sun or extreme wind can do a lot of damage in a short period of time. For most flowers, a cool, dark environment works best, and can really help keep everything looking fresh and vibrant for as long as possible. If you can, have a bridesmaid, your planner, or someone else who’s helping to coordinate everything be on “flower duty” and grab the flowers from their cool, dark storage place as close to the wedding ceremony and reception as possible.
Of course you’ll want to keep your flowers in water for as long as you can, but it’s also a great idea to make sure you have some flower food available for their vases as well. You know those little packets that come with bouquets? They are there to put in the water and help extend the life of your flowers. You can certainly ask your florist about providing or purchasing some for you, but it is also relatively easy to find online if you’re doing your own flowers or would just prefer to handle that aspect yourself. There are also recipes available online to make your own, if that is your preference, although it’s a good idea to make a batch and test it out on some flowers at home before your big day, just to make sure it works well. Your wedding day is probably not the time for untested experiments, after all!
If you’re making or receiving your flowers the day before and you have a small fridge available, it’s a good idea to put your flowers in there overnight. The cool, dark environment of a refrigerator is great for keeping your bouquets fresh, and you’ll have them all in one easy-to-access space when you need them. Just be sure the fridge has not recently been cleaned with harsh chemicals and that it isn’t filled with food so that no scents or chemicals accidentally get on or into the flowers and harm them. Some venues have small dormitory-sized refrigerators available just for the purpose of holding the bouquets for the bride and her wedding party, and if not, may be willing to allow you to bring one on site for this purpose—be sure to ask your venue if this is an option for you and your group.
If you do end up needing to hold onto your flowers for more than one day before your wedding, a simple but effective trick can be to put them in fresh water each day. Replacing the water in your vases can help your blooms by giving them access to new, clean water daily. Extra bonus points if you add the flower food mentioned earlier to each clean vase. Although it’s preferable to not need to keep your flowers more than a day before your wedding, this is not always possible, and having new water for them can really help sustain their lifespan and freshness longer than keeping them in the same water for a couple of days.
Keeping your wedding flowers fresh can seem like a big, stressful task, but being prepared with a proper environment for them to stay in, plus having a few tricks up your sleeve, can really help make the process much easier and more successful. And if you have any questions about this, remember that you can always ask your wedding florist if they have any tips or suggestions for the specific type of flowers you’ve chosen—they are there as a resource for you, and they’re an expert on this subject. If you have any concerns about how to care for your specific blooms, don’t be afraid to ask!
Taking a vacation is a fantastic way to unwind or recharge your life. Whether taking a relaxing trip to the beach or an adventurous trip to another country, traveling is good for the soul. But what about taking a vacation without your partner? Is it ever OK to get away by yourself? The short answer: of course! Just read on for more insight on the subject.
Traveling by Yourself
There’s no reason not to travel alone if that interests you. Some people really love to be by themselves and have a partner that understands that preference. Solo traveling can be a great way to get some perspective on other places and cultures. You can get yourself out of the normal routine of life for a little while. This is especially relevant if you’re traveling alone to visit family or close friends that aren’t shared with your partner; getting some one-on-one time with those important people is healthy. Vacationing alone can also improve the quality of your relationship, as you can be certain that you’re both comfortable letting each other have time by yourself when needed, which is a valuable relationship quality.
Traveling with Friends
Traveling with friends can be a wonderful, healthy experience. It can give you some time to explore interests that you don’t share with your partner, as well as allowing you to spend time with your friends or people you don’t otherwise get to spend a lot of time with. For example, taking a yearly vacation with your girl friends is a terrific way to get some much needed socializing and relaxation time with your ladies. It may not be a good fit to bring your partner along, unless you have shared friends. Consider that you might be interested in ancient history and your partner couldn’t care less. Why not take a trip with others who share your interests and give your partner the okay to stay home? This is a great option to keep your passions alive while not simultaneously forcing them on your uninterested spouse.
Being on the Same Page
It is absolutely essential to make sure you and your partner are on the same page if you are considering traveling alone. If one person isn’t comfortable with the idea or with the specific trip planned, it may be time to have another conversation and try to change some of the parameters. The key to a solo vacation being successful is that both parties in the relationship should be comfortable with it. If someone is not comfortable with the trip, but his or her partner goes anyway, this can cause a major rift in the relationship that may be difficult to repair. If your partner is concerned about your solo travel, sit down and have a conversation about his or her concerns to figure out what is causing the issue. Is it because of the length of the trip? The planned travel budget? The vacation activities involved? Making sure that your relationship is in a good state before taking the trip will make a world of difference to both of you.
Be Reasonable with Your Plans
Along the same lines as above, it’s important that the vacation is a reasonable choice for your life and family. For example, a 3-month solo trip around the world may not be the best choice for the father of a newborn, but a 3-day weekend with friends might be just fine. As you’re planning and discussing your vacation, make sure it will work well for all parties involved. Be willing to make changes to your itinerary, if what you have in mind is not possible or reasonable for your partner or lifestyle. Your trip will be much more enjoyable if you know your partner isn’t struggling with things alone at home.
It goes without saying, but there needs to be a high level of trust involved in order for a trip without your partner to go smoothly. If either party is concerned about the other person’s behavior (e.g., potential cheating, inability to take care of oneself alone, poor decision making, etc.) taking a vacation alone is likely to cause some major relationship problems. If you’re concerned about your partner’s potential behavior when traveling alone, now is the time to sit down and discuss what measures need to be put into place to help alleviate any potential problem. The reality is, if you can’t trust your partner alone when they’re away, there are probably bigger relationship issues that need to be addressed. Consider seeing a counselor to get these trust issues resolved, whether you go on vacation or not.
Going on vacation is wonderful thing, whether you go alone or with your partner. Take the time away to soak up the sun, go on an adventures, spend time with the people you love, and have an amazing time. Communicate with your partner throughout your trip, and you will know that when you get back, you’ll still have an amazing person waiting for you at home. A foundation of trust, openness, and honest communication with your partner will mean that either one of you can take a vacation alone if you want to, and your relationship with thrive because of it. Happy traveling!
One of the most exciting aspects of married life is the prospect of having a shared home together after the wedding. Putting together your household as a married couple can be one of the most fun, exciting, and rewarding parts of your new life. It can also cause unnecessary confusion and stress, if you don’t plan for some issues.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan your new household together:
Bringing Everything Together
As far as furniture pieces go, it can feel overwhelming to begin your new life with two beds, two coffee tables, two dining tables, two sofas, 12 chairs, etc. It’s a good idea to plan ahead as much as possible regarding which pieces you will use in your new household, so you don’t need to do double-duty when you’re moving all that furniture. Don’t forget that you might have friends and family who could use some of your duplicate items. If not, perhaps you could store some things in your attic or repurpose them for other uses in the house. The smaller dining table could become a kitchen table, for instance, or an extra coffee table might make a great piece for the porch. You can also choose to donate unwanted items to a local charity, have a yard sale or put some things up for sale in the local classified ads for some extra money.
Remember that this is supposed to be a fun time in your lives, so don’t let extra furniture bring you down. If you’re finding that none of your furniture options fit your style as a couple, just use some of that wedding money and purchase something that you’ll both enjoy.
What about the plans you’d like to make for your future family? Make sure you bring your plans out onto the table and start talking about what you hope your future home will look like. What about a guest room for when the in-laws come to stay? It can be overwhelming to realize that your lives are really merging together in a lot of ways. It’s good to discuss your hopes and dreams as soon as possible, so you both can really begin to plan your home.
Prioritize Your Household Needs
Working together to prioritize each of your needs, both in terms of the physical space and how you’d like to run your household together, can be one of the most difficult parts of forming your new home life. Sit down and have an honest, open conversation about what you would like to make a priority in your newfound family home. Whether it’s a decorative choice or a holiday tradition, learning what is important will help you see some new ways to work together and create a functional household that works well for everyone concerned.
Now that you have all of your priorities out in the open, you should each decide where you can compromise for the good of your relationship and for your family. This is especially important when communicating about common household questions like divvying up chores or preferences in home decor. Taking each other’s priorities into account, if each of you can compromise even a little on the small things, it will be that much easier to work together and resolve the more difficult problems and decisions you will face as a couple.
Schedule Your Household
Although this may sound like a very mundane thing to do, keeping a schedule or a shared calendar with your partner can really be a helpful way to stay connected. Whether you prefer a pen and paper calendar on the fridge or sharing a calendar through your phones, being aware of each other’s schedule can be helpful—especially when you are beginning your married life. Some couples choose to only put outside activities on their calendars, while others use it for everything from familial events (like birthdays) to tracking shared tasks around the house. Whatever method you choose, make a practice of keeping your schedules up-to-date for each other to see and you’ll save yourselves a lot of confusion and miscommunication.
Over-Communicate on the Issues
Speaking of communication, when you are in doubt, you should over-communicate. Your partner is not a mind-reader and neither are you. When you’re having discussions about your joint household and making decisions about it, big or small, it’s essential that you’re willing to be as open and communicative as possible with each other. Sometimes it can be difficult to state your opinion, particularly for your preferences on smaller decisions. Although some of these decisions might feel silly, if you really care about something, you should say so. The best thing you can do for your relationship is to keep the lines of communication as open as possible.
As you’re entering into this amazing and exciting new phase of newlywed life, don’t forget to take each other’s opinions, thoughts, and desires into account. Add a little compromise and a lot of communication and you’ll be off to a great start planning your household together!
Planning a wedding can be an extremely stressful process. It’s often made even more stressful by the many expectations put on brides and grooms to enjoy every moment of the process. Sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and find some techniques that you know will work to relax and calm you when you’re in a moment of extreme stress or frustration.
Here are some options that might be helpful:
Yoga Practices at Home
Yoga is a great way to help alleviate stress and keep you connected to your body and your breathing. But who has time to go to a yoga class when the tasks are piling up? Here’s a solution: an at-home yoga practice could be the perfect way for getting your yoga in without adding stress to your schedule. There are many many options available online if you’re looking for a guided practice that’s formulated more like a class (Yoga with Adrienne is a notable free option on YouTube).
You can also study a few “calming poses,” and just take a couple of minutes for yoga when you’re feeling overwhelmed to pull yourself back into alignment. The Lotus pose, Cat pose, Cow pose, Tree pose, and Child’s pose are all yoga poses that calm and focus the mind and body, and can be done almost anywhere. If you feel anxiety and stress coming on, pause for a moment to do five minutes of an in-the-moment yoga practice.
Meditation the Easy Way
Meditation can seem like an elusive, difficult practice. The reality is that guided meditation series are extremely easy to access and can really help calm your stress if done consistently. There are many websites that can talk you through some tips and techniques that might help ease you into a meditation practice. By far the simplest option is to find a meditation app and download it onto your phone. There are tons of meditation apps available and once you have one of those, peace and tranquility can be at your fingertips with the push of a button!
Journaling Your Stress Away
If you’re finding that a lot of your stress seems to be from an overactive brain, another great option could be starting to journal. Use whatever journaling technique works and feels best for you: free-writing, answering prompts, setting a timer and writing for that duration of time, etc. Sometimes getting your thoughts and feelings out on paper can really help calm you down and give you perspective on the things that are causing you stress. Of course, no one needs to see the things you’ve written (you can even get rid of them after you’ve done the work, if that feels good to you) so you can really write about everything on your mind.
Aromatherapy Can Trigger Calm Thoughts
Many people find using aromatherapy to be extremely helpful for combating stress and other difficult emotions. The use of specific scents is a great way to calm your mind and trigger positive emotional responses. If you’re really finding an excess of stress in your life, it may be a good idea to try aromatherapy and see if it makes a positive difference for you.
Breath Control Can Calm Your Mind
When all else fails, by making sure you have an active awareness of your breathe can make a big difference on your stress level. Pause for a moment, take a few deep breaths, and concentrate solely on your breathing. It’s a very easy, quick way to calm yourself down and to remind yourself to slow down. Focusing on your breathing alone can bring an instant calm to your mind that will help you refocus on your tasks and to do lists with less stress and anxiety.
If you’re feeling over-stressed or overwhelmed, any of the above suggestions can help get you back into a comfortable, calm state of mind. When in doubt, take a few moments to yourself, regardless of which method you choose to use, to focus on making an impact on your stress level.
As a couple, the very last thing you want to deal with on your big day is a guest committing a faux pas at your event, but that doesn’t mean one won’t happen. How do you manage those situations without letting it ruin the day for you?
Here are some ideas to stop these things before they start and make sure that you’re as ready to handle these things at your wedding as you possibly can be.
Taking Photos or Video During an Unplugged Ceremony
If you know you want to have an “unplugged” or cell-phone-free ceremony, the last thing you want is for your guests to ignore your request and start taking photos or videos on their phones while you and your partner are tying the knot. Although you likely can’t actually stop any guests from taking their phones out while you’re up there saying your vows, there are quite a few ways to make it as clear as possible that you’d like their eyes to be on your ceremony and not their screens.
Putting up a sign at the entrance to the venue stating your desires can help, as well as including that information in the program for the guests to read. Have your officiant take a moment to bring up the subject once everyone is seated, but before the ceremony begins. This is especially effective because now, if someone wants to ignore your requests, it is pretty blatant to everyone around them that they’re doing it, so there’s an added social pressure for them to put their phone down and behave.
The Guest Who Drinks a Little Too Much
This is an issue you absolutely do not want to be worrying about while you’re trying to enjoy your reception. It’s a good idea to have a designated person chosen beforehand—a groomsman, a sibling, the bartenders, whomever—to be on the lookout. Some people may need to be cut off or even taken aside for a little while to calm down and drink a glass of water.
The most important things here are that you and your partner are not the ones put in charge of managing “that guest” and that the person who is on the lookout makes sure to stop them before they cause any damage to the event—emotionally or literally!
Disagreement Among the Wedding Party
Hopefully the group of men and women you’ve chosen to celebrate your day with you are all able to get along (or at least fake it) for the entirety of your day. If they can’t get along for some reason, how do you handle it? This is where your Maid of Honor and/or Best Man come in. Their jobs are to make sure that any chaos or discontent within the wedding party stays far, far away from you and your partner. Keep this factor in mind when choosing your wedding party, and be sure to designate people in those key positions, who will be able to navigate the potential social complications, should they occur. An amazing Honor Attendant can keep a ton of negativity and drama away from you, keep the wedding party in check and getting along together, and keep you in a great, positive mood all day.
Any Other Faux Pas?
Just try to relax and ignore it. Your wedding day has so much potential for drama and craziness if you let it, but just think—at the end of the day, will this really matter to you? When in doubt, use the 5-5-5 rule: Will this matter in five minutes? Will it matter in five hours? Will it matter in five years? If it won’t, then just let it slide off your back. Allowing the actions of others to ruin even one minute of your special day will be the biggest regret. Don’t worry about your sister-in-law bringing her baby when she wasn’t supposed to or that one of your friends wore a too-casual-for-your-dress-code outfit.
I know it sounds simple, but keeping your focus on the good things and away from the negative will make a massive difference, especially on a day that has the potential to bring so much stress and overwhelm. Although it would be wonderful for all of your guests to arrive on time, behave and dress as expected, and go through the day without making a mistake or doing something you don’t like, sometimes reality doesn’t work that way, and controlling what you can—your attitude and reactions—will make a world of difference.
Don’t get me wrong—you should definitely still have your people at the ready to handle anything and anyone that needs to be handled—but remembering that at the end of the day, you and your partner will be married and that’s really the only thing that truly matters can really help when you’re faced with stress and a couple of clueless guests.