Category Archives: spouses

It’s All Suitable

While the options for your wedding dress are so many and easily customizable that they may seem overwhelming, those for your groom’s attire are relatively few and, honestly, not very easy to individualize.  Thankfully, there are ways to play with accessories to help him both stand out from the crowd and show a glimpse of his personality.

If you decide on a tie, let him choose one that is fun, unique and sets him apart whether in shape, color or style. Perhaps he could wear a skinny tie or a bowtie while the groomsmen wear regular ones or he can opt for a playful color or even a print (as long as it stays within your color scheme and doesn’t cause a distraction of course).

Pocket squares can be either formal or casual, are often unexpected and come in every variety you can possibly imagine. They are a great way to add a whimsical touch to what is not (unlike your dress) the most exciting outfit your groom will ever wear. They can also be used as a handkerchief to wipe away any tears and kept as a special memento of your wedding.

Leave behind the boring, plain colored shirt and deck your fiancé out in stripes or some type of print. Depending on how far you want to go, let the stripes be diagonal or zig-zagged and the print be checkered or even floral. Again, it’s important not to cross the line and become obnoxious or completely clash with everything else but, if executed correctly, it’s a great way to show your husband’s personality and let him shine.

Should you opt for boutonnieres, make sure his is special in some sort of way, whether size, type of flower or by letting him wear one created as an ode to things he loves. For example, if he is an avid cyclist, have his flowers sitting in the basket of a miniature bicycle or, if he has been obsessed with comic books since childhood, craft his boutonniere into origami flowers made from comic book pages.

Suits are never a man’s favorite outfit, no matter the occasion, as many men are required to wear, at least most elements of them, every day for work. Therefore, a lack of excitement over your fiancés wedding garb should not be taken personally. That is why thinking outside of the box and adding personal touches is both important and a wonderful way to make him feel special and included.

Here’s to You

Seemingly, your wedding day is all about YOU as it is the day YOU have dreamt of your entire life, the day YOU have lost sleep over, stressed about every detail of and, for the most part, YOU are the focus of. However, in actuality, has nothing to do with YOU as it is a symbol of YOU becoming WE and, without your fiancé, there wouldn’t even be a wedding. Show your partner in life how much he means to you by giving him a meaningful gift on your special day that will last as long as your marriage and be a reminder of your love for him.

Have his closest friends and family make short videos (which can be easily done on their phones and sent to you) sharing how they met, why they love him so much, a favorite memory and some words of wisdom for your future together. Compile all of them into a single movie, play it at the reception and your thoughtfulness will knock his socks off.

Make arrangements for a guest who had to decline your invitation, leaving your groom feeling really upset, to make a surprise appearance. If they did so due to financial constraints, pay for their travel. If the reason was a prior commitment, reach out to them and let them know just how much their presence would mean and how disappointed your fiancé was to learn they would be unable to attend. Not only is it a gift to both your husband and the guest but also to you when you see the excitement and joy on his face.

Keep a journal of what has led up to your ceremony including each decision and the reasons behind them, the smallest ways he has made the stress of the entire process worth every second, how you have chosen things to incorporate his tastes and the excitement the experience has evoked about spending your life together. It is a tangible demonstration of both your devotion and commitment and he will be touched by how much you did to make your wedding flawless.

Of course the type of gift you give your future husband is both endless and easily personalized dependent upon his likes and dislikes. One thing it is not dependent upon is a budget as, whether you can afford to spend a million dollars or merely pennies, the importance of the gift is the sentiment behind it and the demonstration that, while most people were focused on you, you were focused on him.

All in the Families

Your wedding symbolizes the beginning of a life with your husband filled with new adventures, traditions, memories and, most likely, children of your own. It is also a blending of two existing families as you become a member of your husband’s and he does yours. This special time is a very appropriate one to remind your family that your bond and loving relationship will continue to grow.

When making your registry list, casually ask your parents what they would want if they were to get married again. Keep the response in mind and purchase it for them as a surprise (don’t add it to your list or they will likely find out). Doing so is a fun way to include your parents in your planning while giving them a keepsake of their own choosing without their even knowing.

Personalized handkerchiefs are appropriate for both of your parents and come in handy to wipe away tears during your ceremony. Additionally, thoughtful embroidered messages show your gratitude for the role they have played in your life to date as well as remind them that you will continue to nurture and treasure that relationship.  

One way to demonstrate the joining of your family with that of your husband’s in a creative and sentimental way also requires a bit of secrecy and snooping. Each of you need to ask friends and family which song your respective parents played for their first dance. After the two of you have danced to the one of your own choosing, play each of theirs. This shows that, as your new life begins, it does not do so as a party of two, but as a party of too many to count.

Your future in-laws should not be forgotten and perhaps the most meaningful token of appreciation is a handwritten note. Express to them not only your excitement about what lies ahead with their son, but your gratitude for their acceptance of you, and most importantly, for the wonderful job they did raising the one person who makes you complete.

Parents sometimes fear that they are “losing” their son or daughter once he/she gets married (perhaps it comes from the notion of “giving away”) rather than seeing it as gaining another child. With time, that fear dissipates but, small gestures on your part can keep it from ever arising.

Getting Trendy

Every year, wedding trends change and, while they may be a jumping off point when it comes time to begin planning, there is no need to base your entire day solely on what is currently in style. Many brides want to fit in with what is “hip” and “chic” in the moment and fear getting caught up in the past or seeming too far out of the box. However, here are some trends for 2016 and years to come.

Patterns: Have some fun. Not everything has to match nor does your color scheme have to solely consist of one or two colors. You can select the colors you want for flowers, decorations and bridesmaids dresses, making beautiful combinations of each for your save the date cards, invitations, napkins, etc. Color blocking/random combinations are both expressive and creative.

Sleeves: Although strapless, sweetheart neckline gowns were the rage for years, the creativity with both short and long sleeves is growing. Having either, especially with an open back, is very popular due to exuding femininity, sensuality and elegance at the same time. They can be made of lace, crystals or other beading and accentuate your dress whether simple or the most extravagant.

Incorporation: If you opt to have a reading included in your ceremony, rather than being performed by the pastor, give short portions to certain chosen guests where they can stand up and read them from their seats. Not only would each be honored to do (those won’t be chosen will not feel left out) but it creates an intimacy and an unspoken symbol of value to everyone you invited.

Personal Moments: Personal photo shoots have always been a tradition but now, rather than being intimate, it has become more stylish to take pictures as you get dressed with your bridesmaids, your mother and those nearest to you buttoning your dress or perfecting your veil because the most beautiful images are those which silently express your anticipation and excitement.

Smaller, more intimate unions are not only more meaningful to each person involved but make any sort of variety of old and new both fun and memorable, and that, perhaps, is the biggest new trend of all.

I Take You….Just Not Your Name

In the past, it was expected that you would take your husband’s last name upon getting married. Times have changed and there are many reasons why you may elect not to do so, none of which are either offensive or based in past traditions. However, you should consider some things before making that decision.

Identity: Beginning as a child, you have responded to, written and signed your last name throughout your life thus far. Perhaps you feel as if you would lose part of your individuality which is something partners in marriage should keep. Upon choosing your spouse, you are opting to make many compromises but need to feel as if you aren’t completely surrendering your entire self.

Preference: Possibly you have a unique surname and that of your fiancé doesn’t seem to match in conjunction with your first name or is is just too common. Maybe you just don’t like his at all. Many women practice being addressed by “Smith,” for example, and just cannot acclimate or become accustomed to it.

Professionalism: Chances are you graduated from college prior to getting engaged and your degree(s) has/have the inscription of your birth name. Unfortunately, the working world is much tougher for women in terms of gaining credibility, respect and the opportunity to advance. In addition to the difficulty required in making the alterations, much confusion would be involved.

Children: Because you select to keep your maiden name does not mean that your offspring must do the same. While a necessary conversation to have before walking down the aisle, typically babies do take the father’s name as hyphenation is nothing other than complicated to them but increases in complexity as they grow.

Your decision is your own and is not indicative of your level of love for your spouse. Your vows, pledges and responsibility to one another are what indicate the future the two of you have planned.

A MEmento to YOU

 

For the most part, brides and grooms exchange gifts (through third parties) on their wedding day both as a way to calm one another’s nerves and to remind each other of the excitement and preparedness for the moments, days and years to come. It is the meaning which is important and not the opulence or cost but it serves as a lasting reminder of the commitment made. While many brides choose gifts such as cuff links or watches, it’s fun to think outside of the box and give something one of a kind.

Go to a paint-your-own-pottery location and spend time creating something unique which would be representative of a memorable moment in your relationship. You can guarantee that, while it may not look perfect (unless you are an artist), it will be significant and the thought, time and energy invested are what make it sentimental. It could be anything from a bowl for him to eat cereal or soup out of to a monkey that reminds you of a date at the zoo. Most places have countless options to choose from.

Find a small box (perhaps with a personalized charm) and fill it with small one-sentence reasons why you are so excited for your future. Many can fit into the container and it’s a gift that he will be able to keep, open in the future, randomly select one and be reminded of your love for him.

Gift him with tickets to see his favorite team play with some of his friends. That way, he can relax and remember that, while marriage is complete devotion to one another, neither of you has to lose your individuality in the process.

Personalize a key chain. It doesn’t have to be ornate or flashy. Engrave your wedding date, a special message or something as simple as a heart. It’s just another way to provide a daily reminder of what your relationship and marriage mean to you.

No matter what you choose, it will be a representation of your union and the meaning behind the decision to spend your life together. Whether you’ve been married a day, a month, a year or twenty, it’s always nice to have a keepsake of the love, happiness and devotion you feel.

 

Making a Blueprint

You chose your partner, said yes when you were proposed to and decided to devote your life to your fiancé for a reason. There is an emotional investment and most of your free time is spent together but your knowledge is primarily based on life experiences, likes and dislikes etc. Getting caught up in love, the future, compatibility and how special you feel makes you forget the inevitable differences which certainly will arise.

Relationship stages differ but even more so after you exchange vows. Pre-marital counseling (usually conducted by your officiant) improves marriage success rates as it involves learning tools to handle uncomfortable situations. Another advantage is that the sessions are completely private and the words will not leave the walls in between which they are spoken.

Making a plan of action:  It is important to be on the same page as far as the future is concerned. Once things become real, locking down the number of children you want, how and with whom you will spend holidays, who will play what role in the home among many other things will change once you realize that you’ve now made fun, flirty and exciting a lifelong commitment.

Outside source:  An officiant is typically older, wiser, been married for many years and has wisdom that you may not yet. He/she can provide advice based on the issues they have already treaded through. You will learn ways of communicating that maybe haven’t crossed your mind or not been needed so far. Perhaps topics have been approached but often one responds in ways they feel will please their partner instead of what they actually want. Conversation tools will certainly benefit in minimizing future difficulties.

You need to keep an open mind as chances are you will hear things that you may not want to. The goal is not to win but to be completely honest and be willing to change things that maybe your fiancé has seemingly been fine with but actually always been irked by. It is also a time to show gratitude for being able to put everything out on the table and address the matters that could easily manifest themselves and lead to deterioration as time passes.