A Few Tips For Brides

By the time the first note of the bridal march is played, thousands of decisions have been made, for better or for worse. Knowing what to do and what not to do can help you to avoid missteps so you can make the most of your perfect day. There are many details involved in making your wedding a success, and careful attention should be paid to all of them, big and small.  Begin by getting an overview of all tasks ahead of you.

Here are a few reminders of what to do and what not to do while on your jounery to the altar.

What Not to Do?

  1.  Do not try to please others by doing your wedding as they suggest. It’s your wedding. Do it your way.
  2. Do not make major decisions with consulting your fiance’ (e).
  3. Do not discuss the details of your budget with other people. Unless they are helping to finance the event, the details are not their concern.
  4. Do not expect service providers to work for unreasonably low prices. Get the best deals you can, but be willing to pay appropriately for people’s time and efforts.
  5. Do not forget that everything will go perfectly. There are bound to be glitches, but you can deal with them.
  6. Do not make spur-of-the moment decisions about anything. Take time to consider everything carefully.
  7. Do not be rigid with your plans. Try to be flexible when possible.
  8. Do not spend so much on the wedding that you enter your new marriage heavily in debt.
  9. Do not make unreasonable demands of all the people helping you make your plans.
  10. Do not use your wedding as a time to highlight and perpetuate family differences.
  11. Do not allow differences of opinion about wedding details to come between you and your fiance’.
  12. Do not neglect your relationship with your fiance’ as you get caught up in planning the wedding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           What to Do?

  1. Leave enough time to handle all the unexpected details.
  2. Start at the beginning by getting a game plan.
  3. Don’t forget one of the most important things to do, “seek out pre marriage counseling” with a professional that you and your fiance’ trust and rremember that the marriage is the most important thing, not the wedding.
  4. The wedding party is an important feature of the wedding begin to think about who should be part of this select group.
  5. Take advantage of a professional wedding planner if possible. It will take some of the burden off your shoulders, and will leave you time to deal with other details that only you can handle.
  6. Ask professionals who will be helping you how much time they will need to get everything done properly.
  7. Select a date for your wedding that is not already notable for something else.
  8. Choose attendants and other member of the wedding party with care. They will part of your memories of your special day, and will be a part of the photos that you will cherish.
  9. Try to choose outfits that your attendants really can wear latter.
  10. Get details in writing.There is nothing worse than thinking you are getting a particular product or service in one way, and finding out that you are incorrect. Keep receipts for everything you pay in connection to the wedding.
  11. Select some method of keeping all your details organized there are many free wedding web sites that are designed to help you and your wedding party stay organized. Weddingwire.com is an excellent. Many brides still use index cards, and some find a loose leaf notebook system helpful.
  12. List all wedding tasks to be done and assign a due date for each. This will be helpful when meeting with suppliers of goods and services. 
  13. Find out deadlines by which you will have to have particular decisions made and abide by them. Remember they are intended to help you.
  14. Get a master calendar where all activities, plans, and deadlines will be recorded.
  15. Begin to think about what type of service you would like, wha traditions you would like to honor, and what religious elements you would like to include.
  16. Have a back up plan if your wedding is planned for outdoors.
  17. As you begin to think  of whom you will invite, keep a list of extras  that out-of-town guest will need, such as a ride to the rehearsal dinner.
  18. Enlist help ahead of time to help accommodate special needs of guests.
  19. Be ready to bear the cost of extras that you ask your attendants to have, such as professionally applied make-up or perfect manicure.
  20. Check well ahead of the wedding for marriage license requirements.
  21. What to wear?  You can ease the process of dressing everyone appropriately for the ceremony by knowing what your wedding vision is before you even start.
  22. Plan to show your appreciation to members of the wedding party with a gift to help commemorate the occasion.
  23.  Remember you are blending your families,so make sure you remain respectful of your fiance’s suggestions he knows them better than you do.
  24. Send thank-you notes promptly so you do not feel overwhelmed by the task.
  25. Take time to enjoy the journey to the altar. Relax and savor the process.
  26. Begin to develop a budget for your wedding expenses.
  27. Include in the budget honorarium for the minster, musicians, and others who help the ceremony but who are not attendants.
  28. Decide up front who will pay for what.There are traditional guidelines about this, though in recent years they have become more casual they are still an important facet of planning a wedding. 
  29. Consider setting up a wedding gift registry, it helps to take the guess-work out for those who are buying you and your fiance’ gifts.
  30. Remember to tie up the loose ends and finishing with finesse because you are creating a day you will cherish for a lifetime.

What’s On Your Wish List?

How many times have you started a sentence with the words “In my lifetime, I want to…”?

Perhaps what you wanted was something grand, like winning a medal for bravery. Maybe it was something modest, even mundane like a wish to clean out your car or to climb a tree.

Maybe you wished for something fantastic like having your own cooking show on HGTV, for example. Or something utterly practical, like making a budget and sticking to it.

Your wish might have taken you to the other side of the world or as far away as the moon, or it might have meant just a walk around the corner. Maybe you wished to do something generous, or something just for you.

What happened to all those wishes? Where did they go? Wishing is good for us. Daydreams, fantasies, castles in the air, and aspirations all drive us forward, impel us to make things happen. They also tell us a lot about ourselves. Our wishes came straight from our core, and they are loaded with vital information about who we are and who we can become.

Keeping track of our wishes helps us tap into the energy that propels us to go after our happiness. That’s what a wish list can do for you. It is to serve as a wellspring of ideas for things to do, have, see, taste, experience, achieve, give, be, learn, do for others, or try just once.

Complete this sentence: “In this lifetime, I want to …” Your collection should range from small, easily realizable goals to grandiose pipe dreams and everything in between. It works for ages 10 to 100. In fact wish lists looks like our own hopes and dreams.

Your wish list is not meant to be solely revelation it is meant to be used as your very personal “to do list for life.” Carry your wish list with you and when your creative daydreaming starts, scribble your own wishes on the blank lines. Check off or underline those wishes you want for yourself.

When you’ve achieved a wish, celebrate the fact by checking it off with a big red X next to it. As years go by and the wish list’s pages become dog-eared and yellow, you will have accumulated a profile of your changing view of happiness, your own evolving values, and your own fulfillment, Not a bad thing to have.

Here is a short list of wishes that might help you start your own list.

  • Try everything that is good once.
  • Witness an event that turns out to be a major historical occurrence.
  • Have a positive effect on people
  • Smell Florida’s night-blooming jasmine.
  • Be surprised by your children.
  • Live in a California beach house with the ocean for your front yard.
  • Attend a vintage motorcycle rally.
  • Coin a phrase.
  • Sing a song that your niece writes.
  • Dance at your grandson’s wedding.
  • Take underwater photographs.
  • Write the lyrics to a passionate love song for your husband / wife.

Summer at a villa in Tuscany. Lean to draw. Skinny-dip under a waterfall. Volunteer at the local soup kitchen. See a mountain gorilla in the wild. Meet your favorite motivational speaker. Work for someone you’ve always admired. Write a love poem.  Start your own blog. Watch the sun set over your favorite locations. Solve a mystery. Take the road less traveled. Your wish list is calling you, now get out there and start living.

Happy Endings Like The Kiss At The End Of A Fairy Tale

We all want happy endings like the kiss at the end of the fairy tale, we’re all waiting for it. 

 Rick and Liz are a couple who have experienced a fairy tale ending. When they first met their eyes were filled with only each other and they hung on every word said totally captivated by the sound each others her voices.

On their first date he was too nervous to eat, but Liz helped  him to loosen up a bit by asking ,”So how was your day?” He kind of looked at her, a bit surprised, and said, “What do you mean?” She said, ‘I mean how was your day?”

To Liz, that was a more caring way to find out about a person’s life rather than just up and asking them what they do for a living. So Rick shared with her about a problem he’d had at work that day. Then he said, “you’re a business owner, what would you have done? She said, “Hmm. I would have handled it completely differently.” And then she gave him her opinion. He started laughing and said, “Uh, why don’t you tell me how you really feel?” She said, “If you want a different answer, ask a different girl.”

Rick said, Oh I apologize if I sounded condescending your answer has given me a lot to think about and maybe in the further you and I can explore other business options that I haven’t considered. Liz smiled and said she would like that. During their first date Liz noticed that Rick took her seriously, and she liked that.

On the way home they talked about current music, books, movies, obscure artists. They shook hands at the end of the night, which was totally typical for Liz. The next weekend Rick and Liz went out on their second date she wore a summer halter dress with funny green butterflies in her hair thinking if she was dressed like a carefree woman it would help to loosen up her type A control-freak personality.

When they got into Ricks bright red Mazda Miata ( which Liz liked even more than she liked Rick) she leaned forward and to tell Rick what route to take to the restaurant. Rick remained quiet while she gave him her instructions, and then he said two words to her that shifted the whole dynamic. Those two words were: “Nice Perfume.” Liz didn’t know exactly what happened in that moment, but it was certainly chemical. There was no other way to explain it. She turned around and looked out the window and thought, Oh my, I love him. 

They went to a romantic bistro down by the sea-shore, and sat in the outdoor garden. Liz looked across the table at him, and she was thinking, How did this happen, could I already be in love with him? All of her senses were firing. She knew that something was going on here and she had recognized something familiar in Rick.

Liz said, “What’s the story with you, what’s the issue? There’s something a little broken in you, she could feel it. She figured it takes one shattered spirit to know another, and in the middle of dinner he opened up to her about his complicated family relationships, old wounds that were magnified by the fact that he worked with his father and uncle in the family business. He told her that he wanted to leave and make his own success, but he felt a tremendous obligation to carry on what his grandfather had started, and he was pretty resentful of it all. Liz listened and then said, why don’t you come work for me? Rick smiled.

They talked until 4:00 a.am. about everything and nothing. At nine the next morning Liz’s door bell rang, she opened it and there were two dozen red roses. After that they started competing for who could out            romance the other, and it was intoxicating and explosive and yet at the end of each date they always shook hands. Rick and Liz were finally ready to embrace love with a grateful, open heart and had chosen the right person to throw their arms around for the rest of their lives.

 Many couples forge into marriage with a mindset of “What’s in it for me?” What am I going to get out of this?” They consciously or unconsciously seek to get instead of give. Rick and Liz learned a more loving and humble approach would be to ask. “What can I bring to this marriage?” and “What can I learn from my spouse?” Have you ever thought about the purpose marriage? 

The number one reason people get married is love,” They want to spend the rest of their life with the person” and the second reason is “To have kids.” Rick and Liz wanted to do both. Rick learned from Liz a better way to operate a business and Liz learned to let go of the need to be controlling they both leaned a better way to love. What’s the purpose of your marriage?


Stella’s Honeymoon On Hamburgers, Milkshakes And Love

Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.

After Stella graduated from high school, she couldn’t afford college, so she went to nurse’s training school at the general hospital in her home town.

One day one of her patient’s son told her he was really crazy about her friend Betty, who was working on the ward with her, and asked if she could get him a date.

She said, “I’ll try. Betty said, Okay, but that she would not go out on a single date. “So he asked two guys, and I Stella asked another girl, and they went on a triple date. On the day of the date Stella had spent all afternoon at the beach sun bathing, she was red as a beet, her hair was a mess, and she really didn’t want to go.

At the last-minute Stella managed to pull herself together anyway and as she was walking down the stairs she saw the three guys sitting there, and she said to her friend, “Look at the hick; I’ll bet I get stuck with him.” And she did. She knew that he didn’t have any money. They wanted to stop for a hamburger, french fries and a milkshake, and he just frankly told her. “I can’t afford it.” Somehow or other that seemed honest to her. She said, ” Let’s just sit in the car and talk.” And talk they did. They talked themselves right into love and marriage. The next day she called him, they decided they wanted to see each other again and made plans to have lunch together.

When Dave went to the hospital to pick her up and unfortunately Stella wasn’t there. Dave waited for her longer that day than he had waited for anybody in his life. He wasn’t mad, he was disgusted  and wrote Stella off. After all no one did that to him, so he went back to work. 

Three days later Stella called him and explained to him that she had to attend a nurses luncheon and had left a note for Betty to give to him and Betty forgot to. Dave accepted her apology. Dave and Stella had the next Thursday off. He suggested that they go to Turkey Run State Park, which is about sixty miles from Indianapolis. That day turned out to be one of the most idyllic days of their lives.

Friday he took Stella out to the farm to meet his parents and on Saturday they spent the day with Stella’s parents. That was when her mother said to Dave, “I hope you’re not thinking about marrying my daughter, because you’ll marry her over my dead body!’  

He told her, “If I can find us a minister, we’re getting married tomorrow and no you wouldn’t die and she didn’t die!  He went out and found the same minister that had married his parents twenty-five years earlier. He pulled the minister right out of the revival meeting. His mother was an avid gardener, and had what seemed like thousands of gladiolas in full bloom.  His mother cut practically al of those glads, and the house was absolutely gorgeous with flowers everywhere they looked.

So they were married with their parents, grandparents, two best friends, his brother as his best man, and her four sisters and that was the wedding party. After the wedding ceremony Dave had twenty dollars in his pocket and borrowed forty dollars from his dad for the honeymoon, but in the rush and excitement of the wedding, he forgot to get it. They where half way to Lake Shafer on their honeymoon when they discovered that he only had a twenty in his wallet. 

So they honeymoon on twenty dollars. They found a motel for three dollars a night. They discovered a beautiful garden overlooking Lake Shafer and if they ate at the soda fountain they could order a hamburger, french fries and milkshake for seventy-five cents. So their honeymoon was for three-days and nights and they spent Dave’s twenty dollars. When they returned home Dave gave his father in law the forty dollars back.

Stella and Dave have had fifty-seven years of marriage, and never once regretted their short courtship and honeymoon on hamburgers, milkshakes and love. Stella worked as a nurse for twenty years and Dave became a doctor and they had four children but every Saturday night was hamburger, french fire and milkshake night.

Stella and Dave’s love story carries us from the excitement and anticipation of courtship to the deep connection of lifelong commitment, their story just goes to show that love is found in the most unexpected of places and in the shortest amount of time. And if you’re wondering yes this is a true story love story.

When Childhood Is Tea Parties and Chasing Butterflies

Childhood is hanging your pictures on the refrigerator, and tea parties you always cater.

Childhood is chasing butterflies and picking flowers, playing with blocks and making towers.

Childhood is hating nap time, and thinking everything is MINE.

Childhood is crayons and coloring books, playing hide and go seek in all the right nooks.  Childhood is falling asleep to your favorite lullaby. Childhood is wishing you had wings so you could soar into the sky. Childhood is only crying over a scrapped knee, or being stung by a Bumble Bee.

Childhood is collecting seashells, building sand castles, swimming and roasting marshmallows down by the seashore without a care in the world.

Childhood is thinking boys have cooties, or your mom making you wear itchy booties.
Childhood is ruining mommy’s new rocking chair, and making friends and keeping them forever.

Childhood is a time when we are innocent, when our world seems to be fair and when our universe is around out toys.

Childhood is a time when we live in dreams, when everyone seems selfless, when everyone appears to be a friend.

Childhood is the time when our life is full of colours, when sorrow never knocks on our door and when a smile is a gift presented to everyone.

Childhood is a time when love is pure, when there are no obligations and when tenderness prevails.

Childhood is a time which is long gone for many of us but smiles flow from our faces and our eyes sparkle when we revisit our childhood. Our childhood will never come back but the child within us will always be able to dream of catering tea parties and chasing butterflies.

When We Accept What Is

We usually mosey into relationships seeing their obvious possibilities, imagining specified outcomes, cocooning them with our own expectations.

But what actually occurs is often shockingly different from what we expected.

 The person you wanted to marry has a phobia about commitment. The woman you knew would make a great mother decides to go off to law school.

The suitor with the bottomless trust fund decides to give away all his money and live in a cave. Surprising revisions can happen on even at the simplest levels: “When I fell in love with him, he was wearing a black cashmere sweater and a pair of black dress pants; but after I married him, all he would wear was sweatshirts, his favorite sports hats and jeans.”

Expectations come in two forms: general and specific. General expectations have to do with our dreams and plans for a specific relationship that it will lead to marriage, that it will bring you children, that it will make you “happy.” Specific expectations have to do with what we think we can count on day-to-day – he’ll take out the trash, she’ll handle the kids in a way I approve of. On one level, these expectations are all quite reasonable;  it’s appropriate to have long-range plans and goals, and it’s legitimate to expect specific kinds of participation from your partner.

But when your relationship becomes a litany of failed expectations— what you hoped for but didn’t get—– its time to look at what’s happening from an entirely different perspective. Perhaps, instead of needing to “communicate better” or “negotiate your differences” on an emotional level, you’re being asked, on a spiritual level, to learn to accept what is.

Accepting — finding a way to be comfortable with things as they are—- is actually a very developed spiritual state. It means that you’re relinquished the preconceptions of your ego and surrendered to what’s been given to you. Maybe he’s not the provider you hoped for, but his spiritual strength is a constant inspiration; perhaps she’s not the housekeeper you wanted, but the way she nurtures your children is absolutely beautiful.

Acceptance allows your spirit to grow. When you’re able to recognize the little  miracles and great lessons that replace your expectations, you suddenly discover that what you hoped for— was pitifully puny compared to what was actually held in store for you. And in a way far more complex and elegant than you could have imagined, your life is following a sacred design. 

 So if you want a life that is larger than life and a relationship that is finer than even your wildest hopes, peel back your expectations and start to accept the good in what is.  (This only applies to mentally stable people.)

Escaping Memories…

 There is no escaping the memories of our life even if we want to or at least no escaping them for long, even the times when we don’t want to remember. In one sense the past is dead and gone, never to be repeated, over and done with, but in another sense, it is of course not done with at all or at least not done with us.

 Every person we have ever known, every place we have ever seen, everything that has ever happened to us somewhere whether, we like it or not the memories are there waiting for us.

 Sometimes it doesn’t take much to bring them back to the surface in bits and pieces. The words in a song that was popular years ago. A book we read as a child. A stretch of road we use to travel. An old photograph, an old letter, an old hallmark card. And don’t forget the good, bad, and ugly ones that come rushing back like an uninvited guest who just won’t leave.

There is no telling what trivial thing may do it, and then suddenly there it all is something that happened to us once. And it is not just as a picture on the wall to stand back and gaze at but as a reality, we are so much a part of still. Sometimes we feel a memory with the feelings something close to the original intensity and freshness of it. 

 Remember what it felt like to fall in love for the first time? It doesn’t matter how many years ago it was the memories come rushing back and our senses come alive again. We smell the smells, hear the sounds of laughter, we feel the love and feel the tears that ran down our checks when we remember how that love ended so many years ago. Times too beautiful to forget and too terrible to remember. 

 Memories come at us helter-skelter and unbidden, sometimes so thick and fast that they are more than we can handle in their poignant, sometimes so sparsely that we all but cry out to remember more.  Sometimes a dream seems to say more than that, to speak of a different kind of memory and to speak of remembering in a different kind of way. The kind of memories I have been naming are memories that come and go more or less on their own and apart from any choice of our own. Things remind us, and the power is in the things’, not our power. On the other hand we can gain power over our memories and how they affect us.

 We are all such escape artists you and I we don’t like to get too serious about things, especially about ourselves. When we are with other people, we are apt to talk about almost anything under the sun except for our own lives, except for what is going on in our own skins. We pass the time of day with endless chat, chat, chat, (emailing, texting, and, messaging).

We hold people at bay, keep our distance from them even when we know it’s not what we want. And it’s the same thing when we are alone. Let’s say it’s late evening and everybody else has gone away or gone to bed. The time is ripe for looking back over the day, the week, the year, and trying to figure out where you have come from and where you are going to, for sifting through the things you have done and the things you have left undone for a clue to who you are for better or worse. 

We turn on the television and check our emails or read a book.  We find some chore to do that could easily wait for the next day. We cling to the present out of wariness of the past. We cling to the surface out of fear of what lies beneath the surface. You may be thinking, ” Nobody know the trouble I’ve seen,” and of course nobody knows the trouble you’ve had. Nobody knows the hurt, the sadness, the bad mistakes, the crippling losses but you.

Don’t forget the happiness you’ve seen too. The precious times, the precious people, the moments in your life when you were better than you knew how to be. Nobody knows that either, but you do.  We are to remember it. And then, if your dream was really a true dream, you will find it,  beyond any feelings of joy or regret that one by one the memories give rise to, a profound and undergirding peace, a sense that is some unfathomable way all is well.

 You have survived and maybe that is at the heart of your remembering after twenty years, forty years, sixty years or eighty, you have made it to this year, this day. Each of us must speak for ourselves, you may have seen so much sorrow and enough pain to turn your heart to stone. Who hasn’t?  Many people can tell you that they have chosen the wrong road, or the right road for the wrong reason.

You may have loved the people in your life too much for either their good or yours. You might have loved with the devices and desires of your own heart, as the old prayer goes, yet often when your heart called out to be brave, to be kind, to be honest, to be loving, to be generous, you may have not followed this prayer and lost at love.

To remember your life is to remember countless times when you might have given up, gone under, when humanly speaking you might have gotten lost beyond the power to find you but you didn’t. You haven’t given up and with all the memories you have and the tales you could tell, you are a survivor and are here. And what does that tell us, about surviving? It tells us that weak as we are, a strength beyond our strength has pulled us through at least this far, at least to this day.

Foolish as we are, a wisdom beyond our wisdom has flickered up just often enough to shed its light and show us the right path through the forest, at least to path that leads forward, that is bearable. Faint of heart as you can be, a love beyond your own power has kept your heart alive. Is there away to escape memories? I wonder…