General chatter - Weddings and Marriage: Share your advice!




indiblue
07-06-2011, 05:18 AM
I just got engaged last week. Since I have never been the kind of girl who sits around thinking about proposals, rings, and weddings I am all of a sudden thrown into a whole world of questions surrounding wedding details and what it means to be married!

So, I thought it would be fun to get advice from all the married and unmarried chicks and.... roosters?... here. :)

What is the most important advice you have about weddings? Color, theme, style, budget. If you were a bride/groom or just a participant, I'd love to hear it!

What is the most important advice you have about marriage? Whether you're divorced, married, or single, what makes a good marriage, or what do you look for in a future partner? For those of you happily married for a long time, what are your secrets? What does it mean to be a husband or wife?


Esofia
07-06-2011, 06:04 AM
Congratulations! You must be so excited.

You may like the Indie Bride (http://indiebride.com/) website (and forum). I haven't been married and don't plan to be, though, so I think that's it for marriage-related advice!

Relationship advice, let me see. I've been happily partnered for five years now, and we've had quite a lot of tough stuff to work through, including his highly stressful job, my being seriously ill, and assorted family dramas.

* (Almost) never use relationships you see in film, TV or in books as a model, no matter how magnetic the couple. Good relationships do not make good TV drama, and there are some really unhealthy patterns celebrated in romantic comedies and the like, such as glorifying stalking.

* No matter what happens, keep talking to each other. If you're anything like us, the big talks won't happen until well past when they're essential, by which point one or both partners will be exhausted, stressed, weepy, angry or what have you. Learn to work with that, unless you're supernaturally good at discussing painful issues the moment they arise instead of putting them off like everyone else does.

* Learn how to sulk correctly. Sulking is actually quite a useful tool. There are times when the best thing all round is for one partner to stomp off in a huff, go for a walk while muttering all the things they shouldn't really be saying to their beloved, get it out of their system in private, come back, and rap on the bedroom door with a little, "Darling, are you OK? I love you and I don't want to fight. Let's sort this out." On the other hand, sulking as frequently practised can be awful, when one person holds onto a grudge for a long time and lets the resentment build up without sharing what's bothering them.

* Snuggle daily and have lots of silly jokes together!

BodyByButter
07-06-2011, 08:23 AM
Skip the big frou frou wedding and use that money for a house downpayment.


Lovely
07-06-2011, 08:24 AM
CONGRATULATIONS! How exciting! :D Yay! :yay:

Weddings :

- Invest in an etiquette book. (I highly recommend Miss Manners or Emily Post.) I actually love etiquette books... but I found the weddings ones invaluable not only for planning my own wedding, but what to do about all other weddings. There are all sorts of things pointed out that I'd never considered before, and the books reminded me to keep level-headed, and stay gracious for every kind thing done.

- Don't confuse the wedding (a single day) with the marriage (a lifelong commitment). There are likely to be a few stressing times when things happen while planning the wedding... but don't let it overshadow the joy of getting married to the person you love!

- Pick your battles. There are going to be big things that you or your future husband want done a certain way. Stick to your guns about them. But, if there's a minor issue that comes up and you couldn't care about it either way, then let someone else help out and decide.

- ENJOY YOUR DAY! I've been to a number of weddings. Fancier ones, middle of the road ones, and weddings thrown in backyards. They've all been lovely. The true difference, though, is when you can see that the COUPLE is happy on their day. It really shows, and can light up a room. (Or a backyard!)

- Send thank you notes. In this I will not waver. Handwritten, thoughtful, personal, thank you notes. Whether someone is kind enough to give a gift for an engagement party or for a bridal shower or your wedding... they deserve a handwritten thank you note addressed by yourself. It takes only a moment of time, and it often means a lot to receive a thoughtful card when you've sent a gift to someone.

---

Relationships :

- Pick your battles... still applies :lol:

- Keep talking. About big things, and little things. About how your days were, or about how you're feeling. Keep communicating.

- Have time together. A date night, or a shared hobby. Keep having some things in common to share with each other.

- Have time apart. It's definitely okay to enjoy doing things separately. You might love each other, but you don't have to like doing every single thing together all the time.

- Have inside jokes. Just the two of you.


Again, congratulations to you and your future husband! Have fun planning and picking things out and just enjoy all of it! It's a great time! ^^

bargoo
07-06-2011, 09:39 AM
For the wedding ceremony , have the one you and your fiance want. Do not let parents talk you into something more grandiose than you can afford. If you want to get married on the beach, do it, if you want to get married in a cathedral, do it.About marriage, the most importnt thing besides loyalty is communication. Learn to share your feelings in a non threatening way.If you feel hurt, neglected, ignored , tell him , talk about it and find resolution.
My other advice, relax and enjoy this time.

aimeebell
07-06-2011, 10:00 AM
Most importantly, have fun, don't stress about the little things, and besides picking the right groom, it is all little things. My first wedding day turned out beautiful, but the planning, ugh, a nightmare. So remember in the end, it will be lovely, and try to enjoy the planning and have fun with it.

I am getting married a second time, and I really want to go to Vegas. I want something simple, fun, romantic. I don't want to worry about proper wedding etiquette, which champagne flutes to choose, what type of salad would please the most amount of people, etc. BUT I already did the big wedding once.

Turns out even simple isn't simple. My three sons really want to be there. My mother, who is Ms. Etiquette, has always thought people getting married a second time were unworthy of a real wedding and should just go to a courthouse, but suddenly has changed her mind. And my best friend is on my boy's side. The guilt is setting in.

IsabellaOlivia
07-06-2011, 10:12 AM
Good food and enough food to make the guests full.
Good beverage. And plenty of beverage during the dinner because there's a lot of cheering, which constantly require having something in the guests' glass.
Limit speeches because they are boring to anyone but the bride + groom
Limit homemade songs etc because most of them are BAD. Truly horrifying bad.
2,5 hours is plenty of time to eat a dinner. After that time, my butt starts to taste like wood.
Let people sit with who they want to sit with. Don't put me with your 80-year-old aunt Olga while my boyfriend is sitting on the other side of the room because you like your guests to 'mix'.

MindiV
07-06-2011, 10:23 AM
What is the most important advice you have about weddings?
My best advice? Do what YOU want to do. If you want a big wedding, plan one. If you know in your heart that you don't, then don't be pressured into one. I wanted a small wedding, with just close friends and family. I wanted the dress and a small little informal reception. My husband wanted it to be just me and him with the pastor in the church, and that's it. I let him talk me into doing what he wanted to do, and I've longed for the wedding I didn't get to have ever since then.
* That being said, unless you have the funds for a big shindig, don't go all-out. I've seen too many friends max out multiple credit cards on big weddings and go into their marriage so far in debt they've never dug out. It's the first day of your lives together -- not the ONLY day. Don't do more than you can afford to do!

What is the most important advice you have about marriage?
* Talk to each other. Don't ever get to the point where you don't talk about your day. Sure, silence is sometimes good, and it's comfortable to sit on the couch together and just not say anything sometimes. But don't start ignoring the everyday conversation.
* Don't lose yourself. Don't stop having girl time, or letting him have guy time. Don't write off your friends like I did. Now he has guy time with his guy friends and I have nobody, because I let all my friends go and focused too much on being married and not enough on life outside of marriage.
* I agree...Pick your battles! Sometimes it's good to let the small things go.
* Don't hold grudges. If you argue about something then resolve it, make sure it's really resolved. Don't bring it up over and over again.
* Also a fan of date night! Set one night a month, or a week, and spend it with just the two of you. My husband and I go out monthly -- I pick the restaurant and he picks an activity. Then the next month we switch -- he picks the restaurant and I choose what to do.

Good luck and congrats!

Jelma
07-06-2011, 04:15 PM
Congrats!

I definitely agree with the posters above - do what you want, don't let someone else try to convince you of something you don't feel comfortable with.

Really random piece of advice about decor - go with colored tablecloths, it sounds strange but I have worked at and been to quite a few weddings and colored tablecloths always look so much better than white.

berryblondeboys
07-06-2011, 04:21 PM
Skip the big frou frou wedding and use that money for a house downpayment.

Yep... So not worth the money for a one day thing. Hubbub and I got married at a courthouse and at memory and day is just a special as if we spent a fortune.

Coondocks
07-06-2011, 04:48 PM
with quite a few friends getting married in teh coming year they all seem to be stressing out thinking if the wedding isn't perfect OMG what will I do???

Only advice I have, the wedding is not the marriage, just remember that if you get to the point you are stressing and fighting with eachother about it.

Congrats to you!!!

Michi702
07-06-2011, 04:48 PM
Oh gosh... I'm one of those girls who has it almost all figured out wedding wise. I live for the wedding magazines! If you're looking at getting a few, my personal favorite is Brides followed by The Knot and then Bridal Guide.

I've been together with my boyfriend for almost three and a half years and the best advice I have is to always keep some level of independence - whether it be a girls night or weekend away every so often or having a hobby or two that's uniquely yours. For as much as I love to hang out with my guy, I never thought it was healthy when couples go from two people to one person with the same interests, same opinions, same tastes etc.

As far as the wedding goes, I have heard that some couples do wish they had a smaller wedding instead of going extravagant. I know for me, I want a moderate wedding and even if it is somewhat impractical I'll really regret it after years of looking forward to it. Go with your gut but don't be afraid to personalize the day to your way and find cheaper alternatives. I plan to skip things like a champagne toast or giant cake and I'll be saving big :) Do what's right for you and your fiance!

ERHR
07-06-2011, 07:55 PM
I'm going to keep this short as I've only been married about a year...

Wedding advice: Plan your wedding with your fiance. I did this with my husband and it was an incredible bonding experience to work together in that new way. I see so many brides plan primarily with their mothers or sisters or bridesmaids or friends - why? Why are would you spend all that time with them when you could be growing closer to your future spouse??

Marriage advice: Have lots of sex. As often as you can. If your husband turns out to have a higher sex drive than you, challenge yourself to not deny him ever/very often/only under special circumstances.

Purrfect
07-06-2011, 08:12 PM
Take an IMAGO weekend right away, before the wedding. It is the best preparation for any relationship. I'm married 29 years (to the same man!) and can tell you that all relationships need teaching lessons to really keep you connected.

I"d also take a small wedding and use the money for a fabulous honeymoon and downpament on a house if possible. YOu will hardly ever look at the photos and a small, intimate wedding with your closest family and friends is so much better than all the fan fare, and as a bride, you'll feel alot more meaning than being pulled in a zillion directions and stressed out.

:smug:

Harriette
07-07-2011, 12:10 AM
Wow there is some amazing advice on here!

IMHO Have the wedding you want not what you think you should have or what someone else wants. If you want big in a castle great but if you want small and simple that's great too! As long as your guests get a good meal (and maybe free drinks) and are comfortable - not too hot or cold or in the elements they will have a great time.

Hire a photographer. Spend the money - you never look as beautiful as you will on your wedding day (unless you are a model!). Professional pictures you will enjoy looking at for the rest of your life are worth the $$.

Relationship advice? I think everyone has given great advice! Do things together as much as possible but do not lose yourself. Have some separate interests. Be best friends. It's not all fireworks and romance but being great friends helps pull you through those times. (I have been married 9 years and we have been together for 15 so hopefully I qualify to give advice :)

astrophe
07-07-2011, 12:15 AM
What is the most important advice you have about weddings? Color, theme, style, budget. If you were a bride/groom or just a participant, I'd love to hear it!

Remember the marriage is about the union, not the party foo foo stuff. Take the marriage class your county extension or church offers if you have the opportunity to.

A long engagement is a nice thing. So's a long coupledom before adding kids to the mix. Give yourself and the families time to know you and you them.

Enjoy the party after the ceremony if you have one, but keep it simple. It doesn't have to get all Cinderella crazy. Stick with what you can afford. Don't make your wedding party wear crazy stuff or eat crazy stuff or buy you crazy gifts.

While the party part is for family and friends to share in your joy, don't let them get all bonkers over it either and talk you into things you do not want or cannot afford.

What is the most important advice you have about marriage? Whether you're divorced, married, or single, what makes a good marriage, or what do you look for in a future partner? For those of you happily married for a long time, what are your secrets? What does it mean to be a husband or wife?

We've been together 18 years, married 16.

What makes the marriage work? Honesty, trust, communication, time spent together as well as time spent apart. It is a balance thing. You don't want to be so tight you get suffocated, but neither so apart you drift.

Your spouse is your companion and helpmate, not your doormat. Treat them well. Don't take them for granted. When conflict happens, fight fair and view conflict as a chance to grow in understanding of each other. Not a chance to get even. It is ok to agree to disagree, if there's no compromise but don't be keeping score or holding grudges against your spouse.

Your spouse is in a relationship with you -- so make time to relate. It's not like you got to the altar and that's it. Relationships have to be cultivated and renewed periodically. Spend quality time together talking about stuff beyond what is for dinner and who got the laundry.

Keep a sense of humor about Life in general. You guys get a front seat at it together and there's a long journey ahead. Face it together with love, humor, and courage. Whatever life holds.

Whatever it is you do now, THINK before you do it in terms of extended family. You are trying to build your own little family branch together now, and def if you plan to have children. Do not get sucked into the traditions of the families of origins if you no longer want to continue them. Be kind, but be firm and don't be surprised if the elders in your family struggle to adapt to this new family branch suddenly appearing on two family trees.

GL and congrats!
A.

chickadee32
07-07-2011, 12:25 AM
Congratulations on your engagement!! I am truly very excited for you. :)

The few things that immediately came to my mind when I read your questions were:

What is the most important advice you have about weddings?
If you're considering having a large-ish, traditional-ish wedding, hire a wedding coordinator/planner. There are only about three things I wish I had done differently with my wedding, and that's the biggest one. My mother, who is extremely budget-conscious, agrees. Having a coordinator would have taken SO much stress out of the wedding day, and I wish I'd spent my budget money on that and less on centerpieces, etc. You can hire wedding coordinators at different rates for different levels of involvement; for a larger wedding (100+ guests) I'd highly recommend hiring a "day of" coordinator.

What is the most important advice you have about marriage?
Your spouse should be your best friend. It's wonderful and highly desirable for you and your spouse to have different interests and things you enjoy separately from one another. But, if all goes according to plan, your spouse is the person you will spend more time with than any other soul on earth. Work to maintain not just the romantic aspect of your relationship, but the friendship aspect. There will be times when the romance just isn't as strong as it's been in the past, and it will be that strong friendship that will carry you through.

When you're angry and arguing, step/walk/drive away until you're both calmer and can talk more rationally. This is really a tough one for me, as my instinct is to fight it out and get through it and over it immediately. It took me a surprisingly long time to learn that fighting it out is just about the worst thing I can do when it comes to my husband, and it usually just leads to more anger on his part and more hurt feelings on mine. A time out from one another is very often the only thing we need to get past an argument - he might go and play a game for a bit and I'll take a bath, or if it's a really angry argument one of us might take off in the car and get a cup of coffee, go to the bookstore, etc. for a bit. By the time we're both ready to talk again, 99% of the time it's all apologies and I love yous on both sides, and no lasting harm is done. Taking those few minutes or few hours apart to calm down can really work miracles.


I wish you all the best in your wedding planning, and much happiness in your married life!! :)

shcirerf
07-07-2011, 01:17 AM
Having a large extended family and done lots of weddings.

Skip the the big fancy wedding unless you really want it. People don't come to see the wedding, they come for the reception and the party. Keep the wedding small and intimate and meaningful. If you want lots of guests, throw an all out reception!

As far as marriage. Wow. I could say a ton of things. Marriage is not 2 people, it's 3. You, your spouse and the marriage. The union is like a 3rd person. After 34 years of marriage to the same guy. *sigh* Some days I want to smack him upside the head with a skillet, but, I can't imagine not having him. We've been through a lot, and he is the one I want to sit with in retirement and argue politics, holler at the dogs, laugh and enjoy the grandkids, and what have you.

konfyoozed
07-07-2011, 01:25 AM
Skip the big frou frou wedding and use that money for a house downpayment.

THIS.

i just got married, and the whole shindig cost less than $7000 and it was a formal wedding... i would say, if you can avoid it, don't put anything on credit cards. starting a married life thousands of dollars in debt because of the wedding would not be a good way to go!

also, things will go wrong, but don't stress it! laugh about it. it makes memories, and in the end you'll be married to the one you love and that's what matters. :)

indiblue
07-07-2011, 03:38 AM
This is all so interesting, thank you guys!

Regarding having a "frou frou" wedding versus spending the money on a house... it's a very practical point. My fiance and I are both very rational people and at times this option has appealed to us. But to us, what it comes down to, is the only chance in our lives to celebrate our relationship with the people who mean the most to us. We live overseas and don't see friends and family but once a year. My family hasn't even met his family.

We are going to pay for the wedding ourselves and neither of us have any debt (nor will we be charging a cent of the wedding). If we can give the people we love most, and each other, a chance to celebrate family, love and friendship, we are excited to do that!

Anyway, all that said each of you has given me a lot to think about and it's recommendations like this that are helpful for me to work through ideas. So thank you!

Keep 'em coming!

RawrDinosaur
07-08-2011, 10:17 AM
* (Almost) never use relationships you see in film, TV or in books as a model, no matter how magnetic the couple. Good relationships do not make good TV drama, and there are some really unhealthy patterns celebrated in romantic comedies and the like, such as glorifying stalking.

* No matter what happens, keep talking to each other. If you're anything like us, the big talks won't happen until well past when they're essential, by which point one or both partners will be exhausted, stressed, weepy, angry or what have you. Learn to work with that, unless you're supernaturally good at discussing painful issues the moment they arise instead of putting them off like everyone else does.

* Learn how to sulk correctly. Sulking is actually quite a useful tool. There are times when the best thing all round is for one partner to stomp off in a huff, go for a walk while muttering all the things they shouldn't really be saying to their beloved, get it out of their system in private, come back, and rap on the bedroom door with a little, "Darling, are you OK? I love you and I don't want to fight. Let's sort this out." On the other hand, sulking as frequently practised can be awful, when one person holds onto a grudge for a long time and lets the resentment build up without sharing what's bothering them.

* Snuggle daily and have lots of silly jokes together!

My husband and I have been together for almost 10 years. The advice above is spot on.


I'm also adding to those who say don't spend your money on the wedding. Spend it on your future(a house), or an experience you both will remember and enjoy(a great honeymoon or trip after the much smaller, cheaper wedding).
My husband and I got married in our living room, wearing jeans, boots, and band t-shirts. We spent most of our money on a lovely(and delicious!) wedding cake from a local bakery(just $35). We only invited our closest friends and family. really. Just the CLOSEST.

Afterwards, we all went out to dinner at a local restaurant(my mother's treat).
In total, we paid less than $120 for our wedding, and that includes the licenses and paying the officiant(we're non-religious).
If it hadn't been February 14th, we probably would have had the wedding at a local lake. It doesn't take much money to have an intimate, memorable wedding.
I don't believe for a second that more money being thrown at it would have made the day more special to me. If anything, the low stress atmosphere probably made it above average. :)

I do see that you want lots of family to come, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to go all out with the frou frou. It can still be done in a more intimate and less over the top way. But you also said you guys are practical, so you'll probably do that anyway.
Good luck!

edit: going back and reading through more, everyone's advice is great.
My husband was my best friend, and became more. The most successful marriages I know are between people who share a ton in common, with just a tiny bit of difference - just enough to keep a spark to keep things interesting. ;)

FrouFrou
07-09-2011, 02:11 PM
I don't want to repeat what the others have said...great advice! So I will just say CONGRATULATION'S!

vwdeano
07-11-2011, 01:16 PM
The only advice I can give(especially being one of the few men on here) is something I had picked up somewhere...

If you always have to be right, then your spouse always has to be wrong... Every time you fight to be the winner, that means you go out of your way to make them the loser.

How do you think someone feels who is proven wrong every day? Or who life beats down every day?

Sorry, kind of a downer, but it really affected me when I heard it... Something good to remember, though. My wife and I have been married 19 years, and I hope for many, many more.

Care for each other no matter what!

Congrats.

Davallie622
07-11-2011, 04:46 PM
I just got engaged also. Congrats! It's pretty exciting but also very overwhelming thinking about everything you have to do! This weekend I chose my wedding colors and started a guest list...I figure I'll just do it little by little at first (the wedding is a little over a year away.) Good luck to you!! =]

CrystalZ10
07-20-2011, 02:09 AM
I just got engaged last week. Since I have never been the kind of girl who sits around thinking about proposals, rings, and weddings I am all of a sudden thrown into a whole world of questions surrounding wedding details and what it means to be married!

So, I thought it would be fun to get advice from all the married and unmarried chicks and.... roosters?... here. :)

What is the most important advice you have about weddings? Color, theme, style, budget. If you were a bride/groom or just a participant, I'd love to hear it!

What is the most important advice you have about marriage? Whether you're divorced, married, or single, what makes a good marriage, or what do you look for in a future partner? For those of you happily married for a long time, what are your secrets? What does it mean to be a husband or wife?

I kept our wedding simple. I wore a traditional white dress, (since I earned the right to wear it, and that wasn't easy!:D), :DI had a flower girl, and her mom picked out a dress without asking me and I loved her choice. I didn't require my husband or best man to wear a tux either. They just wore nice suits and matching peach shirts.

My dad...lol oh my goodness. He wore a light powder blue suit with a white shirt. Almost the same thing he wore at his own wedding in 1974!! lol But I said nothing and enjoyed that my loved ones were there, comfortable and happy.

I think its more important to focus on why your getting married and keeping it as simple as you can so you can enjoy your day and everyone there to celebrate with you.:hug:

As far as marriage goes, there is a lot to say.
1. You are agreeing to marry this guy as he is. Don't think of him as a project or try to change him. It never works.

2. Treat him the way you want to be treated and he will do the same for you, and no nagging ever needed. For example, whenever my DH complained about anything, hungry, thirsty, headache, bellyache, etc, I jump up and get him what he needs. It took a month of this and he started doing it for me too. He even tries to anticipate what I might need ahead of time. lol :cloud9:


3. There was a quote in a card given to me by a friend during my engagment party that said, "Marriage is made up of two good forgivers." I've never forgoten that and we make an effort to talk out any issues and to get past and forgive each other. Its made for a peaceful marriage. :)

I am still learning as I go. Congrats on your engagement and upcoming marriage!! :hug:

PreciousMissy
07-22-2011, 05:27 PM
Congratulations!!!!

I see there are already a few responses, but I thought I'd still weigh in :D

What is the most important advice you have about weddings?

Learn how to politely turn down advice haha! I've been through two weddings with my friends and everyone wants to tell them how to have their wedding or who should be in it. It's your wedding. Unless you have a wedding planner the shield you, the smaller the better.

What is the most important advice you have about marriage? Whether you're divorced, married, or single, what makes a good marriage, or what do you look for in a future partner? For those of you happily married for a long time, what are your secrets? What does it mean to be a husband or wife?

Just to reiterate...pick your battles. Decide whether or not something is that important to you that you're willing to fight for it and possibly make someone else's life miserable. And never, never, ever, ever think "if he doesn't know what's wrong I'm not going to tell him". Men are not mind readers. If he guesses wrong you're just going to be more upset because "he doesn't care"...then he'll become gun shy out of fear that he'll be wrong. I have a motto in life...if I don't tell you what's wrong then I don't have a right to be mad, you may not know what has upset me. The second time they do it then you have the right to be mad, but still tell them ;).

fitmom
07-22-2011, 05:49 PM
Congrats to you!! :) I've been married for almost fifteen years so I guess by today's standards that's kind of a long time, right? Anyway, advice about the wedding. Don't get too caught up in the planning of it, enjoy it and remember it's only one day, the marriage is what really counts. It's nice to have a groom but even better to have a husband, you understand the difference.

As far as what works for me and my hubby: to be best friends first and foremost. He's seriously my best friend. Of course, he's a lover, partner, co-parent, etc., etc. but we were friends first and the other stuff like romance was born out of a mutual respect for one another.

I'm so happy for you. :D

mom4life
07-22-2011, 07:01 PM
we've been married for over 10yrs now. If anything we've grown closer then apart. I can honestly say we both feel like we've entered another honeymoon stage this year, I think it has to do with the fact that we opened up to each other about more things that we didn't know about each other or that we thought we were hiding. LOL This openness went from sex to things we loved about each other.
I agree with everyone here...talk. Remember he's your bestfriend treat him as such. Love each other for who they are and not what others say he should be. Marriage isn't what's showed on TV...marriage is what you both put into it.
As for the wedding: don't fall into pressure of the perfect wedding in everyone else's eyes. What do you want? I had a couple friends excited to help me plan our wedding with all their hints and secrets but I wants something cheap and easy so that I could enjoy my husband and the day without worrying about the $$$ and stresses. I got what I wanted and we loved it, we were both in perfect peace. We were married in Vegas with our family and friends present. In all we spent $300.00 :)