Have you ever thought about designing your own engagement ring? Learn how by reading this contributed post.
Deciding to get married is one of the most wonderful, exciting things that can happen in someone's life. And right at the start of it all is that one special thing: the ring. That outward sign to the world that you're ready to tie the knot! And, let's face it, it has to be perfect. No-one wants to walk around with a ring that they hate on their finger, do they? The other thing is that you don't want it to be just any ring. This is one of the biggest things that you'll ever do; you want it to be unique and individual. Your engagement ring should be something that represents the unique bond between you and your partner. So a lot of people have taken to designing their own ring. If the bespoke approach appeals to you, then here are some tips on designing your very own engagement ring.
Pick your stone
Now, the traditional approach would tell you that diamond engagement rings are always the best option. And, let's be honest, it's a classic for a reason! If that's the direction you want to go, then you can find diamonds in all sorts of shapes and sizes to suit your personal taste. If you're interested in something a little different, or your budget doesn't quite stretch to diamonds, then there are lots of other options available. You could choose your birthstone or even a ring that combined yours and your partner's. If you wanted to you could decorate the main stone with smaller diamonds, just to get that traditional quality in there without breaking the bank. The great thing about designing your own ring is that you have the freedom to base it around whatever you like, or at least whatever your budget will allow!
Once you've got your rock all picked out, you've got to decide how it is that you're going to set it. Think about your lifestyle. Are you an active, outdoorsy type? Then a lower setting might be better. But if you prefer to really show off your style and you want everyone to see it, then why not go for a really high profile setting! Again, the choice is completely up to you! This might seem like an extremely small touch and one that you really don't need to think too much about. But this is probably going to be a ring that you're going to be wearing, along with your wedding band, for the rest of your life. You want to make sure that everything about it exactly right for you, your tastes, and your lifestyle.
Choose the band
A lot of people focus so heavily on the jewel that they forget about the ring itself. You a have few choices here, but the most common are gold and platinum. Think about your personal style as well as the jewel you've chosen. If you prefer warm shades then gold might be best, but if your style and the jewel go better with cooler hues then platinum is probably your best bet. Of course, style isn't the only thing that you should consider. You also have things like the weight and strength of the band as well. Sure, gold or silver are incredibly traditional but they can also be rather soft and delicate. If you want something a little more weighty and strong then why not consider palladium instead? Again, these might seem like incredibly inconsequential changes but the truth is that crafting the perfect engagement ring is always going to come down to the little details and how you're able to make them work to achieve what you really want out of them.
Consider your budget
This might not be the thing that you really want to think about, but budget is always going to factor into the kind of ring that you're going to have when the day of the proposal arrives. Whether your partner is taking care of the cost of the ring or you're doing something a little more modern and splitting the cost between you, you need to make sure that you're working within your means. After all, as wonderful as it is to promise yourself to your partner, the last thing you want is to one or both of you to end up bankrupt for the sake of a ring. Sure, this might mean that there are some compromises that you might have to make, but you can almost certainly still find something really wonderful, even if you end up having cut a few corners here and there.
What about two rings?
Now, if you're a real stickler for tradition when it comes to your engagement and your wedding, you might want to look away now since this bit suggests something really rather unusual and different that more and more people are doing these days. Instead of a single engagement ring, why not get two, one for each of you? After all, as wonderful as it is to get to wear that all-important ring, your partner might feel like they're missing out on it as well. Not only that but it lets you take on the role of the one proposing as well as the one being proposed to! Again, this really isn't going to be for everyone but if you're interested in doing something a bit different that puts the two of you on equal footing then it's certainly something that's worth considering at least.
You might be thinking, "wait! Why am I the one doing this?" Well, why not! It's the Twenty-first century, after all; there's nothing wrong with having a hand in designing your own engagement ring! There's something wonderful about going through this process along with your partner to make sure that it's perfect. Sure, you might want to leave the planning of the proposal to them so you don't spoil the surprise for yourself, but being able to communicate with each other and plan these kinds of things is going to be great practice not only for your wedding but for your marriage as well!
A beautiful backyard can be a memorable wedding venue if you plan well. Read these useful tips in this contributed post to make your backyard wedding celebration perfect.
If you’ve seen the cost of hiring a wedding venue, you’ll likely have wondered if it’s possible to save the fee and instead host the wedding party in your own yard. Well, there’s good news: you can! But it’s not as simple as just inviting everyone around. You should treat this as serious as you would a party at another venue, and that means planning just as many - in fact, more - details so that everything’s just right. Below, we take a look at a few useful tips which will make your backyard wedding celebration perfect (and save you a lot of money in the process).
An Immaculate Yard
If you’re not a keen gardener, then do not host your wedding in your yard. We repeat: do not host your wedding in your yard! If you’re going to invite your friends and family to celebrate your love on your property, then the yard has to be inspiring. Making sure the grass is looking trim and healthy is just a starting point. You’ll also want to have colorful flower displays dotted around. Actually, it might be the case that this decision presents you with the opportunity to completely re-landscape your yard. Take it!
Not The Dining Table and Chairs
You’re saving money on the cost of hiring a venue. Don’t go overboard with the cost-saving measures. This is not a chance to show off your regular dining table, chairs, and cutlery your guests. Instead, work with a table hire company to ensure you’re getting table and chairs that are right for your function. It won’t just look better; it’s also practical. You might have enough tables for everyone, but are they all the same size and the right shape? It’s unlikely. You also want to invest in a fancy cutlery set, too - there’ll also be a great souvenir of your special day.
Trim The Guestlist
Wedding venues are experienced at hosting parties. They can tell you straight away how many people their place can comfortably accommodate. With your yard, you have no idea. You can make a rough estimate of how many people it can fit, but it’s hard to judge how many it can fit COMFORTABLY. You want people to have space to mingle and dance, and this will be difficult if they’re standing shoulder to shoulder with other people. If you think you might go overboard with the invites, do your best to keep the list trim.
Next Door Neighbors
The issue with having the party at your home might have nothing to do with you or your guests: it’ll be your neighbors. If you’re planning to party late into the night, they might not like being kept awake, even if it is at a wedding. As such, it’s imperative that you talk with the people who live around you before you decide to host the wedding on your property. If you have the space, then look at inviting them too. They’re not going to complain about the noise if they’re involved in the party!
Finding the one person for you feels amazing! If you are not sure, consider these signs in this contributed post that they are the one for you.
We all hope for the feeling of knowing for sure that the person we’re dating is the one. Not all relationships get to this point, but the ones that do can feel amazing. ‘The one’ also means different things to different people. It might mean something different at age 25 than it does at 30. It might not come to you until you reflect on the person you’re with through and through. Of course, thinking someone is the one may not be returned to you, so we’re often hesitant to apply that label until we’re absolutely sure.
Just like any matter of faith, instinct will often lead you to the right answer. There is no shame in falling in love with someone multiple times during your relationship, in fact this shows that life with this person could be truly novel! It may not be long before you’re comparing metal or silicone wedding rings, and walking over the threshold of your home as newlyweds. Until then, consider these signs they are the one for you:
If you can trust your partner, you have one of the vital pillars of a strong relationship already constructed. Without this, nothing else functions. You need to trust your partner to be true to you, to keep you aware, and to help you become your best self. In return, you must do the exact same for them. However, trust is not only found in the ways we imagine. For example, trusting a partner could be knowing they can speak to you authentically, that they will not filter their words around you. This could mean telling you when you’re acting out of line, or when they’re worried about you. Just as you expect a close friend to be candid with you, a lover will find a manner to build you up from your flaws, and to help you see them yourself rather than constantly remind you of them. If you trust in your partner 100%, perhaps more than you do yourself, they might just be ‘the one’ material.
If you can trust them to be responsible with their affairs, and to stand on their own two feet, and to put as much into the relationship as you do, and to keep building a life together with that as their main priority, then it could be that ‘the one’ is within your grasp. We often idealize love with spontanaeity, and for good reason. But sometimes, a little responsibility can help ease us, and know that this is the person we wish to build our life with.
While deep, burning and passionate love can be sustained for long periods of time, it does take work to do. What matters is that this person feels fresh whenever you see them, even after years. If you still get butterflies, if you still wish to impress one anohter with surprises, or if you find yourself trying to be the best you can for the sake of both of you and you’re sure they’re doing the same, you may have just found the one,
With these mature and sensible yet loving tips, you may identify the one sooner rather than later.
How to keep your bridesmaids happy and supportive on your wedding day is the focus of this contributed post.
When you choose your bridesmaids, you want to make sure you pick the women or girls (and maybe even the occasional man!) who you want to be stood next to you on your wedding day. It's not just about who you love and who will look pretty, but also about who will support you. Your eight-year-old cousin might not be much help when you're planning your wedding, but your sister or your best friends can be there for you. While it's an honor to be a bridesmaid, it's also important to remember that you're asking them a big favor too. So treating them right is essential.
Let Them Have Some Control Over Their Outfits
One of the best things that you can do for your bridesmaids is to allow them to have some element of control over their outfits. You don't have to let them wear anything they want, but it can be a good idea to pick a color or style and then allow them to choose what suits them, what they feel comfortable in, and what they can afford. If you go here, you can see several dresses in the same style but available in different colors. You can easily mix and match different blue or pink dresses in different lengths too.
Don't Ask Them to Spend Too Much
When you're thinking about outfits and other things that your bridesmaids might have to spend money on, keep their budgets in mind. It's not fair of you to ask them to spend too much, so try to resist insisting on anything too expensive. In some cultures, it's normal for the bride to pay for the bridesmaids' outfits - you could offer to if you're feeling particularly generous. Keep money in mind for other things too, from your bachelorette party to any other events.
Remember That They're Your Helpers - Not Servants
Everyone has heard nightmare stories about bridezillas who have let the power and stress get to them. And everyone swears that they won't be like that. However, planning a wedding can be hugely stressful, and it can get to you without you even realizing it. It's essential to remember that while your bridesmaids are there to help, they're not your slaves. If you're unsure about whether you could end up stepping out of line, appoint a strong-willed friend who can take you aside if they think you're getting too power-mad.
You must remember to thank your bridesmaids at every opportunity. Yes, you have invited them to be part of your special day, and they will probably thank you too. But they are ultimately doing you a favor and supporting you as you plan your wedding, and through your big day. As well as making sure that you say thank you in the run-up to your wedding and on the day (in your speech if you give one), you might want to give them each a gift.
Treat your bridesmaids right, and they will be there to support you when you need them most.
Do you know how to find the perfect venue for your wedding day? This contributed post has some great ideas to help you decide.
What do you think the most important part of a wedding day is? I’m sure that most brides will say that their wedding dress is their number-one priority, though most couples will also agree that their venue is equally as important. After all, it will be the setting for the entire day and will also feature heavily in the background of your wedding photography. So, there’s no wonder that getting the wedding venue is something that couples focus on when they are ready to start organizing their big day.
Are you ready to search for a brilliant wedding venue for your special day? Here are a few things that you should look for.
It Includes Catering
Some wedding venues will also cater your event as well as simply host it. Even though some couples prefer to hire a separate catering company to take care of the food, this still means that you will be paying for two firms to come and work on your wedding with you. So, it could be more economically viable for you to find a venue that will include all the food and catering with the venue hire.
It’s Within Your Budget
If there is one word that most people would use to describe a wedding, I’m sure that most people would use “expensive”! And it’s true, the cost of organizing a whole wedding day can be extremely high these days. Before you start looking for a venue, it is really important that you consider your budget and find one that you will be able to afford. After all, if you go for something too expensive, then you might end up needing to restrict your spending on a different area of your big day.
It’s In A Convenient Location
Next, it’s important to consider the location of your potential venue. Sure, rural venues will look super pretty in all of your wedding pictures, but they could be quite difficult for some of your guests to get to, especially those who don’t have a car. If you do want to get married in a very rural or hard-to-get-to location, it’s worth thinking about putting on some transport for all your guests so that they don’t struggle getting to your wedding.
Image courtesy of Image Studio Photography
The Capacity Suits Your Needs
Do you have an idea of how many wedding guests you’d like to invite? Well, this may all hinge on how many guests can fit in your venue! Each venue will have a limited capacity, so it’s important that you find this out before you book. Otherwise, you may end up limiting your guest list a lot more than what you had initially planned. If you are happy to have only a few guests with you on your wedding day, then this point may not be such a big deal when it comes to organizing the venue.
So, as you can see, there are quite a few factors that go into making a wedding venue such a special place. Hopefully, this blog post will help you find the perfect one for you!
Follow the advice in this contributed post to ensure you have the breathtaking photographs you desire on your wedding day!
Your wedding day is a day of firsts. It’s the first time you stand in front of an altar and say “I do.” It’s the first time you kiss as a married couple. It’s your first (and hopefully only) wedding ceremony. So, it’s vital that everything goes to plan, and that includes the photographs. After all, you want to document the big day and look back at a later date.
Unfortunately, hiring a photographer and asking him or her to do their best isn’t the way forward. To get breathtaking shots, you need to follow this advice.
Ask For Permission
From the church. A large percentage of ceremonies take place in churches because it’s classy and traditional. Sadly, religions aren’t famous for their flexibility, and some prohibit photographs inside the building. Yes, this rule applies on your wedding day too, so they’ll be zero shots of your first moments as a married couple. Now that you know this is a problem, you can ask the leaders if they will allow cameras inside. Most will say yes, but they may include a few caveats. For example, only the official photographer can take pics and not the guests. This is a compromise which isn’t too much of an issue so agree and warn your friends and family.
Choose A Different Location
Lots of photo albums include the same style of images. This is because of two reasons: photographers share techniques, and destinations are the same. To snap breathtaking pics, you need yours to stand out from the crowd and to do this, a new location is necessary. It depends on your style. Are you a traveler? If you are, see here for ideas. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, then these may be more suitable. Or, perhaps a beach wedding will make you happy. Whatever the destination, try and make it as incredible as possible.
Sanction Action Shots
There will be plenty of pics and vids where everyone is stood in position with their best smile. As nice as this is, it’s not real, and the best photos are genuine. With this in mind, speak to your photographer and tell them that you want lots of action shots throughout the day. In simple terms, this means you need them to take photographs of the guests while they’re not focusing! That way, they’ll capture the atmosphere and the experience of the day. Sometimes, posing can be boring and a little stale.
Involve The Guests
Quality shots come from the professionals most of the time, but that’s not to say your loved ones don’t have their moments. The truth is some guests know how to take a good photo, while others get lucky. Either way, it doesn’t matter who snaps it as long as it looks amazing. Therefore, give everyone at the party a Polaroid or an instant camera and let them go crazy. It takes some effort to sift through them all, yet it’s well worth the effort.
Come on – don’t you want memories which last a lifetime?
Fights don't mean the whole marriage has to crumble. This contributed post examines whether there are really any insurmountable hurdles in a marriage.
Every couple fights. Most couples have at least one or two (if not more) fights that go deep and shake your confidence in a relationship. If you’re married, these cracks can be even scarier. But that doesn’t mean you have to let the whole thing crumble. Here, we’re going to look at disagreements, wrongdoings, and fights, and whether there really are any insurmountable hurdles in a marriage.
Differences and similarities
One of the biggest issues that tend to creep up in a marriage over time is when you start to notice that not all of your plans are the same as your partner’s. The practicalities of future life, employment, where you live, children, and the core principles that make you who you are aren’t easy to discover all at once. You have to make an effort to talk about the future with your partner. Talk about specific plans, greatest desires, ambitions, and more at length. Mishaps and small fights can be nothing but pebbles on the road to growing into a better understanding and respect of one another. However, if you don’t share a vision of the future that at least meets in the middle, tension is only likely to increase as time goes on.
Get a sense of perspective
Sometimes you can see the forest for the trees. The same can be said of a marriage. You cannot be impartial, and it is nothing more than ego to believe that you can. One of the biggest benefits of marriage counseling is the chance to involve someone who doesn’t have an emotional investment in the relationship. The impartiality and lower risk of bias can help you and your spouse view things with a little more distance from a new perspective. It can help you divorce yourself from the gut reactions that turn disagreements into fights and wrong-doings into vendettas.
Listen without blame
Social relationships involve a lot of give and take. We are naturally inclined to “keep tally”, whether it’s seeing who has the upper hand, who owes what, or to assert a moral high ground. In marriages, this is extremely dangerous. Even when you have been wronged, if you want to repair the relationship, you have to listen to your partner’s concerns. Even if they sound like excuses, even if it’s for a transgression as deep as cheating, communication is crucial. You have to listen, to share your own thoughts, and repeat. In time, with enough honesty on both sides, the conceits start to fall away, and you can address the fears and insecurities that often lie at the heart of the original transgression.
Though it may be easier than ever to back out of it, your marriage commitment represents more than just a relationship with another human being. It represents your ability to commit, period. Commitment involves sacrifice and hardship, not just agreeing to a long-term status quo. There are some insurmountable hurdles in marriages, that can’t be denied. But you have to try to surmount them before you can make that judgment in good faith.
Forget basic! Step up your game and throw your friend a bachelor party he will never forget (and for great reasons, not because he was too drunk to remember it) Read more in this contributed post.
Bachelor parties are, by nature, wild. But if the bachelor’s already a wild guy with high demands then there’s even more pressure on the best man or the bachelor’s group of friends to throw an insane party. Forget strip clubs or bars. That’s the stereotypical formula for a bachelor party, and it’s too basic. You need to step up your game. If you want to leave your party-animal friend speechless then you need to give them a night that’ll almost top their wedding day itself. Here are some crazy ideas to give you some inspiration.
A road trip.
This is the perfect option for the indecisive party planner. If you’re struggling to think of a single thing that’ll make your bachelor buddy happy on their bucks night then why not do everything? You could even surprise them by only telling them this once you get in the car. They’ll ask where you’re going, and you can tell them you’re heading out on the open road. Try to keep each destination secret so as to make it even more special when you see the surprised look on their face as you arrive at different places.
You could even hire a cool car for the trip. Maybe you could get an RV if you’ll want to be able to crash into bed at the end of a long night/morning. Or if you think your buddy will want to look cool as you cruise from destination to destination then you could hire a sports car. Whatever the vehicle, the point is that you and your buddies will head off on a fun journey together. With snacks in the car and great tunes on the radio, you’ll have the makings of a great party before you’ve even reached any destinations.
A boat party.
Why drink beers in a bar or a club when you can drink them on a boat? Your friend will expect you to go big or go home when it comes to organising their last night as a free man. There’s no better way to do that than by hiring a boat for the evening and having a wild time out on the ocean, a lake, or even a marina. You might want to check out local charter options for bucks parties in your area. The cooler the boat, the cooler the evening. You could have a night of playing poker, drinking, or even enjoying entertainment that you hire for the boat (that doesn’t have to involve a stripper, of course).
Away from the bright lights of the city with its loud bars and clubs, you might think that there’s no way you could throw a wild bachelor party in nature. But the best parties only need a group of close friends (and maybe a few packs of booze). That’s why you should organise a camping trip for your friend’s big night. Forget the smartphones and all other aspects of the modern world. Have a tipsy night in a forest. You could play drinking games around a fire, tell each other funny stories, and just have a great night.
You don't have to be ashamed of your second wedding. Make it memorable! Read this contributed post for some ideas.
Getting married should be a time to celebrate. However, some people find it difficult to enjoy their second wedding as it can often feel like their first set of nuptials overshadows this latest ceremony. It can also be difficult if your family has been split ever since the breakdown of your first marriage - you might find that some of your relatives do not share your current joy and excitement about your upcoming wedding.
You might think that a second wedding needs to be very demure and not as elaborate as your first. That really isn't the case, though - it’s still OK to have the special day that you have always dreamed of, even if you’ve had one before! Here are some tips that will help you organize your next marriage.
You Can Still Wear White
Some brides think that they can’t wear a white wedding dress for the second time. After all, the white traditionally stands for innocence, and you might not be so innocent the second time around! But you shouldn’t listen to the traditionalists - you can wear whatever you want at your wedding. So, if you have your eye on a gorgeous white wedding dress, go for it!
Involve Your Kids
As second weddings often occur later in life, you might have children with your first partner or a previous relationship. If this is the case, you should involve them in the ceremony. For instance, your daughter could be a flower girl and follow you down the aisles in a pretty dress with a gorgeous mini bouquet. Boys will enjoy being page boys or ushers.
It Doesn’t Have To Be Modest
As I’ve previously mentioned, most people think that a second wedding needs to be fairly modest and demure. However, this really isn't the case. Just because you’ve already had one elaborate ceremony and reception doesn’t mean that you can’t go and do it all again! Of course, this time you might know just how stressful planning such a day can be. So, you might want to get details for a wedding planner who can help you with all the organization. There’s no point being super stressed for a second time and trying to do it all yourself, is there?!
Consider A Prenup
You’ve been here before and you know just how awful it is when a marriage starts to break down. Not only is there a lot of emotional stress to go through, but you will also have to deal with the legal aspect. If you don’t have a prenup in place, you will find that you might have to battle it out in court to get your share of all the family's finances. Are you sure you want to go through all of that again? I doubt it! So, it’s a good idea to discuss a prenup before you do get wed again. This will detail how your finances will be split in the event of a divorce, and will make all the potential legalities a lot easier to handle.
Enjoy your return to the altar!
What Makes Couples Last According To A Professional Montreal Relationship Coach
Facts about love that make sense.
by Irene Terehova
Throw Back Thursday.
An interview between Irene Terehova and Frank Kermit for MTL Blog from 2016
A very common problem I see in modern relationships is the longevity struggle. Relationships and marriages don't last. Break ups and divorces are at an all time rise. Why is this happening? Why are Montrealers losing patience and not willing to work harder? Is giving up on love the right way to go?
So I got in touch with Frank Kermit today, a Montreal based relationship and dating coach, in hopes of finding the truth in this confusing subject matter. Frank gave a beautiful and easy breakdown to my two simple questions.
Why do modern couples break up and divorce so often, Frank?
"The difference between a couple that lasts and a couple that divorces all comes down to their emotional needs. Each individual has a set of emotional needs. Although the emotional needs tend to be similar from person to person, each individual has a unique profile detailing, which emotional needs are more important and which ones are less important. A person with a high degree of the emotional need fear of abandonment will react very differently than a person with a lower degree of that same emotional need.
Couples come together because the emotional needs of both people are addressed when they are involved with each other. Couples break apart (separation and divorce) when the emotional needs of one (or both) of the people are very violated.
The emotional needs of an individual can also change over time. [...] For example, a person who is at a stage of life where their children are grown and they have arranged for financial security that is not dependent on any particular employer may not place too much importance on an emotional need like protection of reputation, as the person may have done at a younger age. So it can happen where a couple [who has been] together for a long time, have changed as individuals and thus their emotional needs have changed, and their relationship as it stands, can no longer address their particular new emotional needs."
What needs to be changed in order to make modern relationships last?
The only thing that really would have to change that would be realistic, is for people to learn the skills needed to manage their abundance of choice.
Today’s singles and couples have unlimited choice as to how they can manage their relationships and sex lives, but as I teach it, the power of choice, without the knowledgeable skills to know what to do with that power, can lead to a misery so great, it can sometimes be worse than living in a system of oppression that meets human beings basic needs.
[...] A person can choose to date, get married, have children, live together, not date at all, be child-free, be a single parent, date multiple people at the same time, have multiple sex partners at the same time, even have polyamourous multi-partner romantic relationship families. The sky is no longer the limit, as the freedom of choices for how people choose to manage their romantic lives has reached beyond the stars.
[...] A person that does not know him or her self, their personal boundaries, or who has never thought critically about what is in their own best long term interest is at a disadvantage, and may end up choosing the wrong partners to get involved with, and worse…could potentially walk away from a great life to choose a new partner and life that lands that person in emotional ruins.
Dating and Relationship Coach
Author of 15 books and 20 audio lectures sets, including:
The Emotional Needs of Women Analysis Workbook
The Emotional Needs of Men Analysis Workbook
Dr. Laurie Betito Quotes