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Weddings and Marriage: Share your advice!

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Old 07-06-2011, 04:18 AM   #1
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Talking Weddings and Marriage: Share your advice!

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?
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:04 AM   #2
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Congratulations! You must be so excited.

You may like the Indie Bride 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!
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:23 AM   #3
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Skip the big frou frou wedding and use that money for a house downpayment.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:24 AM   #4
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CONGRATULATIONS! How exciting! 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

- 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! ^^
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:39 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:00 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:12 AM   #7
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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'.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:23 AM   #8
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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!
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:15 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BodyByButter View Post
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.
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:48 PM   #11
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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!!!
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:48 PM   #12
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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!
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:55 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:12 PM   #14
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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.

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Old 07-06-2011, 11:10 PM   #15
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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
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