**Six Lessons from Married Couples and Successful Marriage**
Want a successful marriage? Do not depend on the single factor of compatibility to keep your marriage great and healthy over the years. In fact, according to many couples in successful marriages, many factors determine if your wedding will weather the sands of time and the trials of life.
**Celebrate the Positive Moments**
Decreased decisive moments rather than increased negative ones cause a significant toll on a marriage. By celebrating the good, taking the time to have lots of fun as well as cultivating your friendship, you will strengthen your marriage.
Successfully married couples learn the importance of clear communication. Just hinting or trying to be passive aggressive in the way you express your appreciation, requests, and displeasure will only hurt your relationship. Because your spouse will not get your point and you will not get the understanding and support and gratitude or apology you desire. Lack of effective communication breeds resentment and undermines your relationship.
**Have Realistic Expectations**
By knowing what you expect from marriage in general and yours in particular as well as learning about both of your needs and deal breakers, you can suffer fewer frustrations stemming from unmet expectations.
**Maintain the Chemistry through Romance, Change, and Affirmations**
Chemistry both sexual and social is the feeling of passion you get when interacting with your spouse in a sexual or just social manner. Married couples should have chemistry to keep their marriage successful. They should also have regular sex and reap the benefits such as a better mood from it. By changing up routines whenever a rut threatens to form, engaging in fun activities together, and keeping the romance alive through loving gestures, you can build appreciation, self-worth and increased satisfaction. This leads to a happier relationship and hence a more successful marriage.
**Maintain Other Relationships Such As Your Friendships and Familial Relationships**
Most married couples tend to disappear into their marriages and neglect the other relationships in their lives. By expecting your spouse to meet all your emotional demands, you can find yourself getting disappointed and frustrated more often as well as overwhelming your spouse. Have interests and support that go beyond your main relationship for a more successful marriage.
**Don’t Allow Your Happiness to Depend Solely On Your Spouse**
While events in your married life, as well as your husband, make you happy, don’t, however, expect your wife happy all the time. Take time and discover what makes you happy and cultivate it so that when the glow of positive moments fades, you remain as happy a person as you normally are.
**Try New Things Together**
Traveling to explore new places and trying out new exciting activities together, allows married couples to keep the passion and rush of desire burning and this will bring them closer as they keep creating amazing positive memories together.
Quеѕtiоnѕ tо Aѕk Bеfоrе Mаrriаgе
In еасh оf thеѕе ѕесtiоnѕ оnе itеm соuld bе аddеd thаt I hаvе nоt liѕtеd, nаmеlу, Hоw dо уоu hаndlе аnd livе with diffеrеnсеѕ? Hоw dо уоu dесidе whаt саn rеmаin diffеrеnсеѕ withоut jеораrdizing thе rеlаtiоnѕhiр? Sо аѕ уоu dеаl with еасh ѕubhеаding, inсludе thаt in thе diѕсuѕѕiоn.
Whаt dо уоu bеliеvе аbоut . . . Еvеrуthing? Pеrhарѕ rеаd thrоugh thе Dеѕiring Gоd Affirmаtiоn оf Fаith tо ѕее whаt уоu еасh bеliеvе аbоut vаriоuѕ bibliсаl dосtrinеѕ. Diѕсоvеr hоw уоu fоrm уоur viеwѕ. Whаt iѕ thе rеаѕоning-bеliеving рrосеѕѕ? Hоw dо уоu hаndlе thе Biblе?
Wоrѕhiр аnd Dеvоtiоn
Hоw imроrtаnt iѕ соrроrаtе wоrѕhiр? Othеr раrtiсiраtiоn in сhurсh lifе? Hоw imроrtаnt iѕ it tо bе раrt оf a ѕmаll ассоuntаbilitу/ѕuрроrt grоuр? Whаt iѕ thе imроrtаnсе оf muѕiс in lifе аnd wоrѕhiр? Whаt аrе уоur dаilу реrѕоnаl dеvоtiоnаl рrасtiсеѕ? (Prауеr, rеаding, mеditаtiоn, mеmоrizаtiоn) Whаt wоuld оur fаmilу dеvоtiоnѕ lооk likе? Whо lеаdѕ оut in thiѕ? Arе wе dоing thiѕ nоw in аn аррrорriаtе wау: рrауing tоgеthеr аbоut оur livеѕ аnd futurе, rеаding thе Biblе tоgеthеr?
Huѕbаnd аnd Wifе
Whаt iѕ thе mеаning оf hеаdѕhiр аnd ѕubmiѕѕiоn in thе Biblе аnd оur mаrriаgе? Whаt аrе еxресtаtiоnѕ аbоut ѕituаtiоnѕ whеrе оnе оf uѕ might bе аlоnе with ѕоmеоnе оf thе орроѕitе ѕеx? Hоw аrе tаѕkѕ ѕhаrеd in thе hоmе: сlеаning, сооking, wаѕhing diѕhеѕ, уаrd wоrk, саr uрkеер, rераirѕ, ѕhоррing fоr fооd, аnd hоuѕеhоld ѕtuff? Whаt аrе thе еxресtаtiоnѕ fоr tоgеthеrnеѕѕ? Whаt iѕ аn idеаl nоn-ѕресiаl еvеning? Hоw dо уоu undеrѕtаnd whо initiаtеѕ ѕеx аnd hоw оftеn? Whо dоеѕ thе сhесkbооk — оr аrе thеrе twо?
Shоuld wе hаvе сhildrеn? If ѕо, whеn? Whу? Hоw mаnу? Hоw fаr араrt? Wоuld wе соnѕidеr аdорtiоn? Whаt аrе thе ѕtаndаrdѕ оf bеhаviоr? Whаt аrе thе аррrорriаtе wауѕ tо diѕсiрlinе thеm? Hоw mаnу ѕtrikеѕ bеfоrе thеу’rе . . . Whаtеvеr? Whаt аrе thе еxресtаtiоnѕ оf timе ѕреnt with thеm аnd whеn thеу gо tо bеd? Whаt ѕignѕ оf аffесtiоn will уоu ѕhоw thеm? Whаt аbоut ѕсhооl? Hоmе ѕсhооl? Chriѕtiаn ѕсhооl? Publiс ѕсhооl?
Own a hоmе оr nоt? Whу? Whаt kind оf nеighbоrhооd? Whу? Hоw mаnу саrѕ? Nеw? Uѕеd? Viеw оf mоnеу in gеnеrаl. Hоw muсh tо thе сhurсh? Hоw dо уоu mаkе mоnеу dесiѕiоnѕ? Whеrе will уоu buу сlоthеѕ: Dераrtmеnt ѕtоrе? Thrift ѕtоrе? In bеtwееn? Whу?
Hоw muсh mоnеу ѕhоuld wе ѕреnd оn еntеrtаinmеnt? Hоw оftеn ѕhоuld wе еаt оut? Whеrе? Whаt kind оf vасаtiоnѕ аrе аррrорriаtе аnd hеlрful fоr uѕ? Hоw mаnу tоуѕ? Snоwmоbilе, bоаt, саbin? Shоuld wе hаvе a tеlеviѕiоn? Whеrе? Whаt iѕ fitting tо wаtсh? Hоw muсh? Whаt аrе thе сritеriа fоr mоviеѕ аnd thеаtеr? Whаt will оur guidеlinеѕ bе fоr thе kidѕ?
Hеаlth аnd Siсknеѕѕ
Dо уоu hаvе, оr hаvе уоu hаd аnу, ѕiсknеѕѕеѕ оr рhуѕiсаl рrоblеmѕ thаt соuld аffесt оur rеlаtiоnѕhiр? (Allеrgiеѕ, саnсеr, еаting diѕоrdеrѕ, vеnеrеаl diѕеаѕе, еtс.) Dо уоu bеliеvе in divinе hеаling, аnd hоw wоuld рrауеr rеlаtе tо mеdiсаl аttеntiоn? Hоw dо уоu think аbоut еxеrсiѕе аnd hеаlthу еаting? Dо уоu hаvе аnу hаbitѕ thаt аdvеrѕеlу аffесt hеаlth?
Prераring fоr Mаrriаgе
You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity is a book that has amazing insight for Christian couples on how to build a great marriage. whеthеr dаting аnd соnѕidеring mаrriаgе оr еngаgеd аnd рrераring fоr mаrriаgе — gеt tо knоw еасh оthеr bеttеr in ѕоmе оf lifе’ѕ mоѕt ѕignifiсаnt mаttеrѕ аnd bе mоrе fit tо diѕсеrn Gоd’ѕ lеаding fоr thеir livеѕ.
While reminiscing about our wedding day, my husband and I laughingly remembered that he forgot our marriage license at home. Sadly, our wedding venue was over an hour from our hometown, and we were leaving for England the next morning. Needless to say, the license went unsigned for several weeks, and that one loose end we never tied kept nagging me throughout our honeymoon.
The only reason we can laugh about it now? Our wedding was years ago. But to avoid making a dreaded mistake like ours, I’ve compiled a list of items that brides (or grooms) forget on their wedding day. Check these off to ensure your loose ends are tied into a pretty bow:
**Your Makeup Bag:**
There’s a good chance that tears will be shed before you walk down the aisle, and some of them may be your own. Be sure to bring your makeup along for last minute touch-ups, and tote it along to the reception, too.
**Something Old, Something New, etc.:**
So, in the movies, someone always pulls out a blue handkerchief or an antique brooch. Unfortunately, this doesn’t typically happen in real-life scenarios. When you’re checking your last-minute inventory, make sure these four items are along for the ride.
**Your Phone Chargers:**
Whether you’re sneaking last-minute texts to your groom-to-be or making eleventh-hour phone calls, chances are you won’t forget your cell on your wedding day. But don’t leave your charger behind; I’m certain this is one of the number one items newly married couples have to stop for post-wedding.
**Your Wedding Planner:**
I’m referring to the binder-type, not the person, although he/she is important, too! In all seriousness, take along your planner, especially if you have contracts or tips stashed away in it.
Okay, this one may seem obvious, but the flurry of activity pre-wedding may leave you a little less put-together than usual. If you have a large bridal party and/or you are staying in a hotel, make sure everyone has a ride to the ceremony. No bride wants an angry bridesmaid on her wedding day.
If you and your soon-to-be-hubby have written your own vows, be sure to take them along. Even if you don’t need to use the paper version, I promise that just having it will give you peace of mind… something we all need on the most important day of our lives.
There is just something about him slipping on that ring that takes a girl from bride-to-be to full-on bride! (If your groom is in charge of this task, send in a reminder crew.)
If you’re donning stilettos under your gown, consider toting along a pretty pair of flats (or lower heels) for the reception. This detail is often overlooked and (just as often) regretted.
**An overnight bag:**
Don’t forget the essentials for your wedding night and the next day. One necessity that’s easy to forget? Your medicine or vitamins.
If you’ll be traveling overseas for your honeymoon, don’t forget to pack these safely in a bag you will be traveling with (a purse is perfect!)… Even though I knew I had mine, I checked and double-checked multiple times.
There are so many things that a bride has to remember leading up to the big day, but from the walk down the aisle to the grand exit into marital bliss, the tiniest details make all the difference.
PS: Don’t forget your marriage license!
**FIVE MONEY-SAVING MENU TIPS FOR YOUR WEDDING**
Out of all the expenses that come with planning a perfect wedding, the food often takes over the budget. It’s understandable that you want your guests to leave your reception full and filled with great memories. The good news is, you can feed them well and still save on the spending.
Plan your wedding early in the day: Rather than serving a steak dinner, you can offer a light brunch to guests. Bonus: You will save on drinks, as simple champagne will pair perfectly with your meal.
Don’t be afraid to DIY: Do-it-yourself can go way beyond craft projects when you choose to serve simple hors d’oeuvres and snacks to family and friends. A nice spread of cheeses, crackers, cookies, fruits, and veggies makes for a great starter. Finger sandwiches can also be served, but don’t overthink it. Consider what you would love to dive into at a wedding, and go with your gut! More often than not, we remember simple and delicious over elaborate and tasteless.
Make it Interactive: If a fancy, multi-course meal is not in the cards (or the budget), opt to offer stations instead. Food stations allow your guests to build a meal that they’ll love; your only concern will be having a couple of friends or family members keep the stations stocked, fresh, and hot (or cold). Some fun ideas for food stations? A baked potato bar, burger bar, taco bar, sandwich bar, coffee bar, waffle/pancake bar, sundae station, candy station, etc. There is something whimsical about this approach to a meal. Replace the fine dining with fun dining!
Have Your (Cup)cake & Eat it Too: Some brides and grooms are forgoing cake altogether to make room for pies and other desserts. But if you prefer to keep the tradition alive, save lots of money by serving cupcakes. Cupcakes will allow you to offer a variety of flavors, and the displays can double as decorations.
Serve It Up with Love: One service many brides underutilize is help offered from family and friends. When someone meets your engagement announcement with, “let me know what I can help with,” be honest about your cost-saving plans, and assign them a simple job. People love to know they’re helping, and your wedding is not the time to shy away from generous offers. Let your “staff” know you’re thankful for them before, during, and after the big day, and let them know you’re happy to return the favor.
photo credit: Clem Onojeghuo
No matter how you decide to cut food costs, try not to stress. Your wedding will offer an overall experience, not just a meal; serve what you like, serve it with love, and you’re sure to have happy guests!
With so much emphasis on the dress, the cake, and other exciting wedding planning elements, one very important component is often overlooked.. the lighting! Wedding reception lighting not only transforms the physical space; it sets the mood for the most important day of your life. And creating that ambiance doesn’t have to blow your wedding budget. DIYuplighting offers beautiful, affordable lighting you can set up yourself to customize the tone of your special day.
It’s understandable that the thought of DIY lighting may be overwhelming to some brides and grooms-to-be, but the set-up instructions are really quite simple. The rentable lights have seven built-in color options, plus they’re completely customizable to create the perfect mood for your wedding.
One welcome side effect of DIY lighting is the cascade of color that shines throughout the room. As you can see in the photo above, the entire space has been transformed, from the ceiling to the illuminated table settings.
While creating the perfect ambiance is essential, we understand that color scheme and theme are incredibly important to couples in the wedding planning process. This Orlando ballroom was customized using a mix of preset blue uplighting and custom sea green to create an underwater Atlantis theme. The result? Stunning.
The affordability of DIYuplighting is what really impressed us here at The Plunge Project. At only $17 per light, an ordinary space can be transformed into a wedding-worthy venue. This 10×30 tent in Glendale, California looks picture-perfect with only eight uplights:
The proof is in the pictures, and we just love how simple DIYuplighting makes the entire process. From checking availability online, to the easy set-up, and pre-paid return shipping label, DIYuplighting is our top pick for beautiful, affordable lighting for your dream wedding.
When brides begin the wedding planning process, they want to pull-off a unique experience they’ll always remember. No one sets out to create a cookie cutter wedding, but the limitless options make it difficult to stick to a distinctive theme. If you have a fondness for all things retro, why not create a vintage wedding that’s totally you? Here at The Plunge Project, we’ve come up with some simple (but completely effective) ways to achieve a retro wedding that you and your guests will also remember!
Bridal Style: A tea length swing dress is perfect for a vintage bride. However, any bridal gown can be transformed with accessories, makeup, and a retro hairstyle. Consider donning red lips or a smoky eye on your wedding day, and choose a wavy style or braided updo to create a glamorous vibe. A brooch or flower can be added to put a picture-perfect finishing touch on this vintage style.
The Girls: Choose bridesmaid dresses with a retro feel. If you’re not adverse to patterns, polka dots or floral designs work beautifully. Halter dresses or full-skirt options are often not difficult to find. Choose a hairstylist and makeup artist who are comfortable creating that vintage look, and treat your favorite gals to a flashback makeover!
The Guys: Once you’ve decked out the ladies, it’s time to think about the gents. Bowties, thin suspenders, vests, and hats can convert a basic tux into antiquated perfection. Add a pop of plaid to complete the retro vibe.
Bring on the Bling: Not only can a retro bride deck herself out in ‘diamonds’ and pearls; she can use them to decorate, too! Many florists are more than happy to incorporate these fancy adornments into bouquets and other décor, making this a fabulous way to add a flashback feel to your vintage wedding.
Music Matters: The right music can transport wedding guests to another era. “I Wanna Be Loved By You” will take friends and family straight back to the roaring 20’s, while “In the Still of the Night” is ideal for a 50’s celebration. Lists of top love songs can be found for each and every decade online. Mix and match, or choose one era and go for it!
Small, subtle touches will ensure you create a memorable vintage experience you and your guests will never forget.
Music has a way of transforming moments into memories. An event that is seemingly forgotten can come rushing back with just a few seconds of a song from the past. Brides and grooms-to-be have a wonderful opportunity to set the tone for their wedding day using lighting, décor, etc. But one of the most overlooked – and incredibly important – aspects of wedding planning is to create a mood with music. If you’re perplexed as to what tunes to turn-up for those big wedding moments, The Plunge Project is here to help…
Although many couples wish to incorporate modern music into their special day, the processional and recessional are a great time to include traditional songs. There are countless versions of Wagner’s Bridal Chorus, and Pachelbel’s Canon in D is a simply beautiful choice. However, more current songs work well, too! I Choose You by Sara Bareilles is sweet and slightly upbeat, while Train’s Marry Me is an obvious, yet romantic option. (Psst… it also makes a perfect first dance song.)
If you don’t have an entrance song in mind, think of what feeling you want to convey when you walk into the room as Mr. and Mrs. That vibe will carry over into the entire event. One song that’s sure to bring tears to your guests’ eyes is U2’s Beautiful Day. If you want to get the party started right away, consider Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO. Create a fun-filled atmosphere with Queen’s Another One Bite’s the Dust. It will let friends and family know they can cut loose and have a good time (plus it will give them a good giggle!)
If you and your sweetie have a song that has meaning for you, this is the perfect time to incorporate it. Nostalgia can play an extra-special part in a couple’s wedding. With that being said, many newlyweds may consider their first dance song their forever song, so take time to choose a tune you both adore. In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel is a memorable song with a great beat, and Lonestar’s Amazed is a breathtakingly romantic song choice.
It’s difficult to capture the love between father and daughter, but there are a couple of songs that certainly come close. My Little Girl by Tim McGraw is heartfelt and a definite tear-jerker, while Frank Sinatra’s The Way You Look Tonight is a classic that will let you and your dad show off your dance moves. As you decide on your wedding day music, don’t forget that these memories will live on forever. The day of your wedding, and for years to come, the choices you make today will be music to your ears and will live forever in your hearts.
The majority of married men and women would agree that walking down and aisle and saying “I do” were life-changing moments in their lives. But a wedding day is bittersweet for brides and grooms who have lost family members or friends who were dear to them.
Incorporating the memory of loved ones lost can bring a sense of peace to a bride or groom-to-be, and it also allows those who were left behind to feel that their friends or family members are there in spirit. Here at The Plunge Project, we’ve compiled a few meaningful ways to surround yourself with subtle reminders of your loved ones on your wedding day.
A Memory Table
Along with a guest book/welcome table and a gift table, create a memory table with photos and mementos in remembrance of your loved ones. Include candles and any other items that reminds you of them.
As a subtle reminder, play a song that reminds you of your friend or family member. Include a special mention in your wedding program. A beautiful choice is “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John. “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton is also a heartfelt option.
Many of us have old notes or photos that we’ve held onto from our favorite people over the years. Incorporate one of these special keepsakes by pinning it inside your gown as your “something old.”
A Touch of Gold
Do you have a piece of jewelry that belonged to your grandmother, father, or someone else in your life who has passed away? Wear it with pride on your wedding day. When you receive a compliment on the piece, you will most-likely touch it, which will remind you of them on your special day.
Reserve Them a Seat
Just because a loved one cannot physically attend your wedding doesn’t mean they can’t play a role in it. Reserve them a front row seat by laying a rose or other reminder on it. Include a poem or song lyrics which hold special meaning to you.
**Best Honeymoon on a Budget **
For the majority of future brides and grooms, budget is a big concern when it comes to Honeymoon on a budget. The whirlwind of planning a wedding that is financially friendly can give engaged couples tunnel vision, often resulting in a drained bank account with no wiggle room for a post-wedding getaway. Although your wedding will most-likely be one of the most memorable days of your life, you and your soulmate deserve a honeymoon. If you don’t think a romantic rendezvous is in the cards, consider one of these budget-friendly honeymoon destinations that may change your mind.
A Caribbean Cruise for the Best Honeymoon on a Budget
So many people think they can’t afford a dream Caribbean vacation, but cruises can be very affordable. Many cruise lines offer booking incentives, and meals are often included. I visited Travelocity.com and found 7-day cruises for as low as $399! Deals may vary depending on the month you plan to set sail, so be sure to plan ahead!
Montreal, Canada for the Best Honeymoon on a Budget
If you can find a destination which offers beautiful scenery and inexpensive lodging and food, you can plan a low-cost getaway; Montreal fits the bill! Luxury hotels start as low as $119/night according to tripadvisor.com, and with cheap public transport, you can feel good about saving money and still feel like you’re in a different world.
Patong Beach for the Best Honeymoon on a Budget
Okay, so Thailand may seem far-fetched for a couple who is looking for a low-cost vacation option, but it may not be. Depending on what time of year you are looking to get away, the Amari Phuket just might be your dream destination. They offer honeymoon packages, including international airfare, starting at $1519 per person for a 7-night stay. Sure, it’s not for everyone, but this deal was too good not to pass along…
Niagra Falls for the Best Honeymoon on a Budget
Getting away from it all doesn’t necessarily mean flying to faraway lands. The Falls offers travel packages (including one for wine lovers!) at ridiculously low prices. Niagrafallstourism.com offers an extensive breakdown of available packages, and it might surprise you how affordable they are! This is definitely a top pick for couples on a budget.
Outer Banks for the Best Honeymoon on a Budget
North Carolina has beautiful beaches and plenty of inexpensive hotel options. If you love to lounge on the beach, Outer Banks may be a homerun for a reasonably priced getaway. Be sure to mention that you are planning your honeymoon when you call to make reservations.
Although we’ve only mentioned a handful of locations, there are many affordable Honeymoon options for lovebirds. As a general rule, aim to stay during off-season months, and always ask about favorite non-tourist restaurants and attractions to save some extra cash. A low-cost romantic getaway is possible! Creative planning will get you places; we promise!