Marriage has always been a very serious activity that takes a lot of hard work to help it succeed. But actually deciding to tie the knot should also be given a lot of serious thought as well. In recent years marriage has become something that many couples seemed to have shied away from. Surveys have suggested that the marriage rate is dropping by as much as 5 percent every year. This article looks at why this trend has developed and suggests some pre-marriage checks that may help a few of you before choosing the matrimonial route.
Why Are Marriages Less Cool Than Before?
In past years, couples have taken the plunge far more often than nowadays, but what has happened to change this tradition? It may be because modern couples are more tuned in to the commitment issues, we are also becoming more financially aware of the possible outcomes.
Are Education and Careers An Issue?
It is a fact that young men and woman are also pushing back the average age of committing to this serious relationship change. Men are now around 28 before they pop the question and their partners are usually 26 years old. It may be due to the happy couple wishing to complete their college degree and finding a decent career before splicing their nuptials. They are also concerned about the rising divorce rates amongst newlyweds.
Do We Need To Be More Certain?
There is no doubt that many marriages fail before they reach the first hurdle due to incompatibility issues. When you fall head over heels you are unlikely to worry about small details, but maybe we should look at some of the more important issues that define who we are.
One of the biggest choices that you will need to make, after saying yes, is whether or not you both want to start a family. We cannot simply assume that the other significant half harbours the same desires as we do. Many marriages hit a brick wall when one of us decides that they would rather stay as a couple instead of adding to the union. This needs to be discussed in full before taking that next step. We should also agree on a timeline for this incredibly important progression.
Careers Are Important
The whole ‘starting a family’ issue is connected to both of your careers, because you need to be on the same page regarding how important this is to the pair of you. A demanding career choice can cause a lot of resentment and confusion in a young marriage. Explain to each other how much you want from your job and how likely this is to affect your time and commitment together.
Personality And Lifestyle
As we get older, our personalities tend to develop somewhat, and that is something neither of us can change. But is we start our married life with a chasm of difference between us, this will surely widen as we mature. Marriage is not like a magic spell that ensures we will both feel closer once we walk down the aisle. Our lifestyle choices are also something that we need to be in the same ballpark in, or otherwise one of us is going to end up very unhappy. Ask each other what is the ideal position we would like to be in, in 10 or 20 years?
Be Just As Sure As You Can Be!
This is by no means a definitive guide to checking your pre-wedding compatibility. But you really could do a lot worse than thinking about each other’s likes and dislikes before booking your wedding band and speaking to the caterers – Good Luck!
Ricky Foster works for a wedding band in Toronto. Music is his soul, and loves the fact that he gets to play his trade on a momentous occasion like a marriage. An avid blogger, he is a regualr feature on many blogging sites.
One of the most important decisions you and your future spouse need to take when planning your special day is hiring a good wedding photographer. Sure, anyone with a camera can take photos, but not everyone can take photos that justify the moment. Photos are not mere snapshots or summaries of your big day. Photos capture a wedding’s intimate moments and preserve them for a lifetime. So before your Uncle Bob or Cousin Mary takes blurry photos of you walking down the aisle or drinking champagne with your other half, here are the ABCs of choosing the perfect wedding photographer:
You can start your search for the perfect wedding photographer by asking your friends if they know of one. Those who recently got married and are impressed by the work of their photographers would surely recommend them to you. Attending wedding fairs is another way of meeting different photographers who could cover your wedding. But when all else fails, you could always turn to the web. Professional photographers nowadays feature their digital portfolio and contact details online so it can be easy to find one who’s based in your area.
Book an Appointment
Once you’ve come up with a list of the photographers whose works impressed you or were highly recommended by others, contact them immediately and book an appointment. Excellent photographers are typically in demand during peak wedding seasons so it’s important to get in touch with them as early as possible. Once you’ve set an appointment, make sure to arm yourself with a bunch of questions to get to know the photographers better. Ask them about their experience, photography style, the kind of equipment they use, and if they offer affordable wedding photography services, if you’re tight on budget.
The following questions can serve as your guide to learn more about your potential wedding photographers:
- How long have you been in the business?
- What’s your style?
- Do you incorporate different styles or themes in every shoot?
- What were the challenges you’ve encountered with your previous clients?
- What are the wedding photography packages you offer?
- Can we come up with a tailored package?
- How long does it take to process the pictures?
- Do you print photo books?
Maintain a relaxed atmosphere throughout the meeting to assess the photographer’s personality. Attitude is a big factor to consider because you definitely don’t want to work with someone rude. Most importantly, ask to view their portfolio since it is the easiest way to know about the kind of work they do.
Check the References
After your initial meeting with the photographers, you could narrow down the list to up to two or three photographers. You could then proceed to contact the references they’ve provided and inquire about their performance, professionalism, creativity, and quality of work. By then, you could have gained a good insight on the kind of work they do.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask for a Pre-Wedding Photo Shoot
After crossing out your other options, arrange a meeting with the photographer whom you feel could help you achieve the best outcomes. Communication is key; so let him or her know your expectations and the kind of shots you want captured. It is also advisable to set up a pre-wedding photo shoot to test the waters and establish rapport so you could be more confident and comfortable with the camera once the big day comes.
If you want to preserve romantic memories of your wedding day and avoid unflattering shots, be sure to pick the perfect wedding photographer by following these tips.
Debra Wright blogs about a plethora of topics including affordable wedding photography in budget wedding photography and other fields. Wright considered Matt Elliott Photo as one of the leaders in wedding photography packages.
Preparing for a wedding can be many things. Initially, you may feel like you are floating on air and then the butterflies set in. You may find yourself not sure what to do or how to begin the process. Not only do you need to pick a date, but you need to create wedding invitations, set up entertainment and try to make everyone happy, as well as stay true to your beliefs and the desires of both yourself and your spouse. Allow us to help you begin with the basics to minimize your stress and make your big day something you will remember for the rest of your life.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time and Enjoy Every Moment
Many couples feel that once they are engaged, they need to hurry up and become married. While this may work for some people, do not feel pressured into doing so. The most important aspect to any wedding is your happiness. The big day is all about you and if you need to think a few things over before going ahead and selecting a rough date, then by all means, allow yourself that luxury. It is also important to plan ahead because this allows you to expect the unexpected. When all you have to work with is a tight schedule and there is no wiggle room, something such as a mistake on your cake or mishap with the wedding dress could potentially make the big day not happen when you'd planned.
Many couples create journals or memory books surrounding their relationship. Take a few moments to write about how the proposal took place, where you were and add photos or keepsakes that you've accumulated along the way. Later down the road, this book can be passed on to your children and used to reminisce on just how far you have grown as a couple.
Before you begin shopping around too much for things such as wedding cakes, dresses and the tux, it's important that you and your partner sit down and discuss a budget. Whether you are deciding on a set amount that you will not go over or a range that you are comfortable spending, be sure to do so very early on in the process. If you find yourself wanting items that are more expensive than you'd anticipated, see if you can't find more affordable solutions to other aspects of the big day. One way to save a large amount of cash would be to have the wedding on family property versus at a venue. This will also save you time, because most popular venues are going to be booked out around a year in advance.
Choosing a Date and Other Specific Details
Once you know how many people you plan to invite to your wedding and have the space accommodations based on the location, it's time to select a date. A few questions to ask yourself: Do you want an indoor or outdoor wedding? What would you like the weather to be like? While you cannot guarantee a sunny beach wedding, what you can do is select a time of year where the weather is more likely to be what you want.
Selecting the Perfect Theme
Of course, knowing what kind of theme you are going for is imperative before you can book your location. Are you looking to go a more traditional route or a more casual style? Themes don't have to be specific. You can simply choose some of yours and your future-spouse's favorite colors and make them blend beautifully throughout the area. The outfits you choose for yourselves and your bridesmaids and entertainers will add that finishing touch to bring everything together.
Prepping Meals and Providing Great Entertainment
Many venues are going to offer catering services. Discuss whether you would like them to bring food directly to your guests' tables or if you'd like a more buffet-style set up. Choose foods that you love and a variety of things that your attendees can enjoy. It's always a good idea to ask about food allergies before making your final decisions.
As far as entertainment is concerned, one of the most important things to consider is music. What style is going to match your theme? Add some of your personal favorites and incorporate other artists that you think will help liven up the party. There is a lot of sitting at weddings so anything you can do to get people up, moving around and mingling is a great idea. Maybe you want to have a DJ on the dance floor taking requests or a photo booth where memories can be captured throughout the day.
Once you're ready and the big day is closing in you can begin to prepare your invitations. Having them made by a professional is a popular choice, but don't hesitate to make your own if you have an artsy personality. Another neat idea is to make wedding programs so your guests know what to expect each step along the way.
This article was written by Irine Pierre from Bridal Solutions Inc. Her company is a popular Toronto wedding planner firm and works with all types of budgets.
A common assumption about brides is that we all dream of having a "fairy tale wedding." But whether that means being whisked away in a Cinderella-ish pumpkin chariot or something more like the car that appeared in a Nightmare Before Christmas is entirely up to the bride and groom. It’s your wedding, after all, so why not indulge your wackiest whims? To unlock your inner zany wedding designer, here are 5 creative wedding ideas for a little inspiration.
One note: Since many of these themes are so unique, they’ll likely need a lot of DIY effort to pull them off – more than you can handle on your own. A good idea would be to add "brainstorming" and "help putting things together" to your list of bridesmaids duties. The more people you can get involved in the decorating process, the better!
Lace up that white wedding dress and toss some books into a satchel; we’re headed to the chapel library. Bookworms will be right at home in the stacks, and can I just say: high ceilings; marble and rich wood walls; building-sized windows; and Keats’ name on the wall. What could make for a more beautiful setting? Opportunities for cute little touches abound here, from bookmark placecards to books as table decoration to library slip wedding invites.
Just assure any guests with overdue books that they’ll still be let in the door. For now.
If you love to travel but a destination wedding isn’t in the cards, bring that exotic locale to you with maps, both old and new. Mini globes work great as table decoration or in gift bags, as do personalized maps that tell a story about where you’ve traveled as a couple or where you’re headed on your honeymoon. Wall maps are both fun and interactive as tablecloths, but they look even better on the walls of your venue, particularly if you choose a variety of antique maps that reflect something new and interesting about the era in which they were made. And don’t forget cute little signposts pointing in all of the directions you’d like to head!
For those with a penchant for everything wacky, a carnival theme is just the route to go. Kids and kids at heart will enjoy the balloon animals, not to mention any performers and games. Giant admissions tickets make for excellent invites, and why not turn that plain old white wedding tent into a tent of wonders? Don’t forget the bags of popcorn and cotton candy on every table!
4. Favorite Movie
From Aladdin to Little Shop of Horrors we all have our favorite movies. Why not use them as a means of celebration? This bride, for instance got hitched Hunger Games style, using symbols from the movie as decoration and baking cupcakes with one of the main character’s arrows shot through the middle. Another Harry Potterish bride assigned guests not just to different tables but to the different houses that appeared in the movies, while one Star Wars fan couple demonstrated their love by dressing up like Hans Solo and Leia and exchanging vows with a troupe of Stormtroopers watching over them. Pick your movie, and go to town!
On your wedding day, you’ll likely feel that you can do just about anything. Why not celebrate that fact with a superhero themed wedding? Ditch those bridesmaids dresses for full-out Wonder Woman costumes, or keep it traditional but add a superhero mask. Decorate your cake and glasses with comic book-style exclamations like "WHAM!" and "SHAZAM!", and distribute superhero cereals around the dinner tables, like "Captain America Crunch" and "Cocoa Kryptonite." And if the party ever lags, just jump into the middle of the dance floor and let guests know that you are kindly available to, "SAVE THE DAY!"
From Hogwarts to the fairgrounds, your wedding can be traditional or creative as you so choose. Don’t be afraid to kiss tradition goodbye and have a little fun. After all, it’s your wedding: party like a superhero if you want to!
Alyssa is a bridal-savvy blogger and avid DIY-er living in the Seattle area. Through her work as a professional wedding photographer, Alyssa has developed a keen eye for both classic wedding styles and modern day trends (though she tends to gravitate towards all things vintage!). You can keep up with Alyssa via Twitter.
An often overlooked part of planning the perfect wedding is the small matter of how to keep the guests happy. After all, it might be the brides big day but it’s also a day that quite a few people have sacrificed their weekends to be a part of.
The good news is that keeping wedding guests happy isn’t difficult. All you need to do is keep their needs in mind when making all of the big decisions. Here are ten simple tips for a wedding that your guests enjoy almost as much as you do.
1. Choose a Convenient Date
The first rule of keeping your guests happy is to simply choose a convenient date. Avoid major sporting events, long weekends and of course, your best friends birthday. And don’t forget to provide plenty of notice. Wedding invitations are generally expected to be sent out at least two months in advance.
2. Make it Easy to Get to
If some of your guests will be visiting from out of town, try to provide clear driving instructions. Stressful car journeys tend to lead to stressed out guests. Creating a list of cheap hotels in the area is also very much recommended. Just because you’re willing to splash out on a fancy hotel, that doesn’t mean that your guests will be.
3. Allow Plus Ones
If money is tight, plus ones can seem like an unnecessary expense but the reality is that nobody wants to go to a wedding alone. If you want to invite somebody single, don’t hold their relationship status against them. The old “no ring, no bring” rule is not a popular strategy among wedding guests.
4. Keep Things Short and Sweet
Everyone loves a beautiful wedding ceremony but very few people want to spend hours inside a church. It’s your big day and there’s certainly no need to rush but do you really want a two hour ceremony? Remember, the less time you spend at the church, the more time you’ll have at the party afterwards.
5. Don’t Leave People Standing Around
A common wedding mistake is to leave the guests standing around for an hour while the bride and groom are getting their photo taken. The last thing that you want to do is rush your wedding photos but it’s important to offer your guests some kind of entertainment while they wait. Consider some outdoor music, some free champagne and some games for any children in attendance.
6. Let Them Sit Where They Want
Most brides to be obsess over seating arrangements but did you know that professional wedding planners generally recommend against them? Nobody likes being told where to sit and weddings are no exception. Rather than allocating seats, just allocate tables and let people sit next to whoever they want. The result is less planning for you and more freedom for your guests.
7. Keep the Music Down
Music is a vital part of any wedding party but it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone likes to dance. And it’s pretty difficult to have a conversation when you can’t hear what the other person is saying. There’s nothing wrong with occasionally turning things up but try to be considerate of those who are more interested in talking than dancing.
8. Offer a Choice of Food
One of the most common sources of wedding guest complaints is a poor selection of food. Different people have different preferences and it’s important for you to keep this in mind when planning your menu. Find out if any of your guests have specific preferences or food allergies. And don’t forget to provide at least one child friendly choice.
9. Pay for a Free Bar
If you can afford it, nothing makes wedding guests happier than free booze. Offering your guests a free bar doesn’t necessarily have to be that expensive either. There’s no rule that says you can’t limit the beverages to beer and wine. A word of warning however, some people do seem to mistake the term “free bar” for “drinking competition”.
10. Cut the Cake on Time
Finally, we have the small matter of the cake cutting, it’s generally recommended that you don’t leave it too late in the night. The reason for this is simple, nobody wants to leave before the cake gets cut but not everyone wants to party past midnight. By getting the cake cutting out of the way, older wedding guests will be able to leave early, leaving you free to party the night away.
The author of this post, Arnold Parker, has a keen interest in wedding planning as well as photography and resorts to guest blogging to share his thoughts on it. He is part of the team at Jamieson Dean Photography and is the best wedding photographer in Toronto.