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10 things you need for a fantastic vow renewal

Do you remember your wedding day fondly, and even yearn for a similar experience once again?

Most couples wait till a milestone anniversary to renew their vows. However, there is no need to wait that long. This article on the Huffington Post tells us that it is never too early nor too late to renew your vows. It also has a list of beautiful readings of interesting variety, from which every couple can find one they love. Take a look, and we are sure you will be enchanted by the very idea of having a vow renewal!

Vow renewals are usually done on a wedding anniversary day, as this date is significant to your relationship. If your anniversary is soon approaching, why don’t you think of renewing your vows to each other on this day? You can have a ceremony that is as big or as small as you wish. All that really matters is that it is just as special as your wedding day!

And for a fantastic vow renewal that will recreate the magic of your wedding day, there are some things you must have. So, what are they?

Here is our list of the 10 things you absolutely must have for an amazing vow renewal.

1.A gorgeous dress

Remember the anticipation and excitement of shopping for your wedding dress? Relive those memories when you pick an outfit for your vow renewal. If you still love your original wedding dress, consider this to be the right occasion to pull it out of the box. You may be lucky if it still fits you perfectly. Else, you can always have it altered.

However, if you prefer a different style, pick another elegant dress. Your vow renewal is the perfect occasion to shop for a dress that suits your current style and helps you look and feel beautiful. If you prefer a casual or even colorful dress, find one that meets your expectations. Depending on the style of the ceremony and your personal preferences, choose a dress that is right for you. This could be an evening dress or even a summer frock.

Unlike a wedding, there are no rules for what you should wear. If you want to include something other than the wedding dress from your wedding, wear your original wedding accessories.

2.A venue you love

This could be a church, the beach, a garden, hall or even your backyard. Or if you always wanted a destination wedding but couldn’t have it the first time, this is the opportunity for you to get away with your husband and live your dream.

We suggest that you make it a personal experience. A place that is meaningful to both you and your spouse would be best. If you aren’t sure of what you like, sit down together and brainstorm. Think of the budget you have. Then consider the various options available and what you both would like most. Finally shortlist your list of venues, and zero-in on the right one after considering all relevant factors.

3.Close friends and family

The best thing about a vow renewal is that you can share this experience with the people who matter most to you. Unlike a wedding, you need not worry about a detailed guest list or annoying anyone by excluding them from the event. It is after all a very personal and intimate celebration. Invite only those who you really want beside you on this occasion. This would mean close family and friends.

You may even like to designate roles in the ceremony to your children and grandchildren, if any. This would make it more special. Since there are no rules to follow, make it your day! You can plan a very intimate vow renewal ceremony with just you and your husband, if that is what you both prefer. Or if you prefer a big party, go all out and invite all the people you know to the event. Whether you have it on a grand-scale or a small-scale is entirely up to you.

4.A proper invitation

An invitation gives your vow renewal the importance it deserves. So, your guests will take it with due importance and try to participate in it.Irrespective of whether you will have a formal or informal vow renewal, you should draft a proper invitation for the function. This can be a regular invitation or one that you send by email.

As soon as you decide on the venue and the date, get around to drafting the invitation. While you may follow the traditional format of a wedding invitation, it would be nice to explore alternative options also. Consider adding a photo of you and your spouse, and nice wordings that reflect the tone of the event. You can find some sample wordings here. 

5.A pretty bouquet

The presence of flowers uplifts the ambiance of any setting. So, don’t forget your bouquet. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune or be as elaborate as your original wedding bouquet. You can pick one that is available at your local florist. Or make your own with your favorite flowers on the day of the vow renewal.

Keep it elegant and classic, and it will suit the occasion better. Another idea is to create a miniature replica of your original wedding bouquet. Share the pictures of your wedding day with your florist, and she will tell you if it is possible. Add a sentimental note to this accessory by adopting one of the following ideas:

  • Tie the lace from your original wedding dress or veil around the handle
  • Decorate it with a photo locket of your family
  • If there are friends or family members who have departed after your wedding, remember them by including their picture in the bouquet

You may even have saved and preserved your original wedding bouquet. If it is in good condition, you can use it as such or give it a small boost. Or you can add a few flowers from the original bouquet into this one. If you haven’t preserved your wedding bouquet, but like the idea, take a look at this article for all you need to know to do it for your vow renewal. 

6.Excellent food

You do not have to serve a feast as grand as your wedding meal. Nonetheless, ensure that you serve excellent food at the event. If it is a daytime affair, consider a brunch buffet. If you have an evening ceremony, have a buffet or plated meal based on the venue and event style. Considering that the number of people in your party will be far fewer than at a wedding, you can have a more intimate setting.

Don’t forget to consider the décor and table arrangement. Do it in style, so it adds to the grandeur and importance of the occasion. If there are family dishes that are a favorite, add them into the menu. Or give your guests a gourmet experience by choosing from international cuisines. Also, serve some signature drinks to add to the fun. There are some ideas for interesting drinks in this previous post. Make the menu just as special as the event, and it will be remembered fondly by all your guests.

7.A special cake

There is no rule that you should have cake at your vow renewal. However, the cake cutting is a wedding ritual that you can repeat with fanfare. For a small ceremony, the cake can double up as dessert. Choose a cake that reflects the theme and décor of the event. You can also pick a gourmet cake that is specially designed and decorated for the occasion.

If you had a big wedding cake, you can create a miniature version of it. Finally, if you aren’t fond of cake, have a unique dessert instead. Here are some ideas for attractive alternatives to cake. Plan the cake design according to the weather and the venue where the function will be held. If it is an outdoor event, keep the cake refrigerated till it is time to cut and serve.

8.A good photographer

Your vow renewal is all about celebrating memories and making new ones. In that way, it is a milestone celebration. Invest in a good photographer for covering the occasion. With friends and family involved, it is a good idea to book a professional who can capture the events of the day. However, if you have a friend or relative who is great at taking pictures of people, put him in charge of the photography.

Since the event will be more casual than a wedding, there will be ample opportunities for candid clicks. As long as your photographer is able to capture all these light moments as well as cover the event, it doesn’t matter who it is. Ultimately, your aim is to have a good collection of photos that you can browse through later and pass on to your family.

9.Photos that tell your story

You can add a personal and unique touch to your vow renewal by including photos of your time together. There are many ways in which you can bring this element into the function. It could be using photo posters or collages throughout the venue. Or you could do a digital version that displays a running sequence of pictures.

It could even be photos in your invitation. Another place where photos can be displayed is at the welcome area of the venue. Don’t forget to add your wedding photos into the décor. This will be a beautiful conversation piece. Also add photos of the best times you have had together. Include milestones like the birth of your children, your new home or pictures of family celebrations and your guests are sure to love it. You can also create a memory timeline of the different events in your milestone. This will be helpful especially for guests who you made friends with later in your marriage.

10.A plan for the ceremony

Weddings usually follow a set pattern. There is an officiant who tells you what to do and you simply follow his instructions. However, vow renewals needn’t be so formal. You can choose your sequence of events, add or remove steps from the wedding format or come up with your own ideas.

This flexibility gives you the freedom to plan the ceremony as you choose. Nonetheless, it is important that you have a definite plan in mind and not come up with one at the time. Consider whether you want to walk down the aisle yourself or have someone escort you. After you say your vows, will you be exchanging rings. Would you like to have someone do a reading for both of you? Plan what happens during the ceremony and it will be easier to organize.

Vow renewals are special occasions that give you the chance to reaffirm your lifetime commitment to each other. It is also a fun occasion for family and close friends to get together and celebrate you as a couple. Hence, it is a joyous event, and you should definitely do it at least once during your marriage.

Whether you choose to dress as a bride in white for the occasion or prefer something different, you can find your outfit at Best for Bride. For bridal gowns that are modern, classic, contemporary, unusual and trendy, visit this page for our bridal dress collections. If you prefer to pick your dress from our evening gowns and dresses for special occasions, this is the link to our collection. For any further assistance you may need regarding placing your order, you may get in touch with our Best for Bride team or visit any of our stores.

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10 Tips to plan an amazing Rehearsal Dinner

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The rehearsal dinner is typically the first occasion when you get a sneak peek at how your actual wedding day will be. Although it isn’t an essential in the list of wedding-related events, it is quite popular. If you are planning to have one before your wedding, our tips will help you organize it well. Before we get to the tips, let us first try to understand in detail, what the rehearsal dinner is all about.

What you need to know about the rehearsal dinner

The main thing couples should know about planning a rehearsal dinner is that it should be a simple event that shouldn’t further strain their pockets nor nerves. Most couples already have their bank balances stretched thin by the wedding expenses. If this is the case, you can altogether skip the event, or tone it down as you deem suitable.

The rehearsal dinner is usually held close to the wedding date, mostly during the week leading up to the wedding. Both the bride’s and bridegroom’s extended families would be in town to attend the wedding, by this time. So, the rehearsal dinner gives them an opportunity to meet each other in an informal setting, so they are better acquainted in time for the wedding.

This is also when the bride and groom usually meet the rest of their in-laws, and so it is a great opportunity for introductions prior to the wedding. Traditionally, the wedding was hosted by the bride’s family, and so the rehearsal dinner was conducted by the groom’s family. Nowadays, there are no such hard and fast rules. Usually, the bride and groom themselves pitch in for the rehearsal dinner.

Although it is called a wedding rehearsal dinner, the setting for the event doesn’t have to be similar to the wedding. It can be organized in an entirely different venue, and you have the flexibility of planning the menu and event details based on your personal preferences. This article on A Practical Wedding Blog tells us about the actual intentions behind rehearsal dinners. This is perhaps the only time when your folks and your partner’s families will all be together, and you might as well make the most of it by hanging out together. So, host a rehearsal dinner to make the most of this opportunity.

If the wedding attendants and family will not be arriving early, you can even replace the rehearsal dinner with a casual get-together on the wedding morning. Basically, you do not need a huge budget for the rehearsal dinner. The main aim is to just break the ice and help all the main people at the wedding relax and get to know each other, so they can have fun together at the wedding. You can also use this opportunity to discuss wedding day plans and share relevant information regarding arrangements, with the concerned people.

Now that we know the gist of what the rehearsal dinner is all about, let us move on to the interesting part of how to plan this event right.

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Tips to nail the rehearsal dinner

1.Keep it relaxed

You will have enough formality at your wedding, so let your rehearsal dinner be casual. Since there are no steadfast rules to planning this event, try to set the ambiance for the venue and meal in a relaxed style, so everyone enjoys the company. Rather than having a traditional sit-down plated meal, opt for an open buffet or even consider a barbecue. The menu needn’t be too elaborate or expensive. Instead, focus on keeping the company entertained. You can have a semi-formal to casual dress code for the event.

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2.Plan the guest list well

The rehearsal dinner is intended only for those who are really close to the bride, groom and their families. This includes the wedding attendants, extended families and close friends. If there are too many people, the atmosphere will cease to be relaxed and fun. So, try to limit the guest list. If you have any out-of-town guests arriving in time for the dinner, do consider inviting them to it. If your budget doesn’t permit too many guests, you can have an exclusive dinner for those who are very close to you, and host a brief tea party or dessert party for the rest of the people on the list.

3.Get the timing right

Rehearsal dinners are usually held on the wedding eve. This allows the wedding attendants to take time off work the evening before, and be free and relaxed in time for the wedding. It also gave an exciting start to the wedding festivities that they were to be involved in. However, this may not always be the best idea, if your wedding isn’t on a weekend. If so, it is better to plan the wedding rehearsal dinner two days prior to the wedding, so all have time to settle down after this event. It may also be better for the couple, if either of them are easily overwhelmed with organizing or attending an event so close to the actual wedding day. If there aren’t many out-of-town guests in the rehearsal dinner invite list, you can plan it for the weekend before the wedding. The main thing to remember is that it should be convenient for you and leave you enough time to recuperate for the wedding celebration.

4.Plan the venue right

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We’ve seen rehearsal dinners held everywhere—from banquet halls, to country clubs, parks and even in backyards. Although there is no right or wrong location, the chosen venue should be one that appeals to the couple. We loved one idea, where the couple decided to bring back some special memories by planning their rehearsal dinner at a quaint restaurant where they had their first date. The wedding was a huge affair, so this was an entirely different and refreshing experience. Your choice of venue should also be based on how much you want to handle yourself. When you pick a restaurant or club, all the details will be handled by the staff. So, you can relax and not worry too much, especially if you have a lot to do on the wedding day. On the other hand, if you have outsourced most of your wedding planning to a wedding planner, you may like to plan the rehearsal dinner yourself, so you can be involved in this fully. A party held in your home or backyard will require more effort, and you must have the time and bandwidth to set it up and clean up afterwards. However, this will usually be a cheaper option, as you will not have to rent the place, and can plan the décor and theme based on what is economical.

5.Pick a theme

Although this is an informal event, having a theme makes it more interesting. The theme could be as simple as a color combination or pattern, or even a style from an era, depending on your personal taste. Although many brides worry that picking a theme will make it more work, the opposite is actually true. A theme gives you an outline to work with. This is better than looking at hundreds of options and ending up totally confused about whether all that you choose will come together. This rehearsal dinner guide on the Martha Stewart wedding blog suggests that you pick a choose a theme that is entirely different from your wedding. This should be a representation of your personalities, and it is also an opportunity to use those quirky ideas that you love, but were not wedding appropriate.

6.Make it interesting by planning activities and games

Although all the people at your party may have heard of each other, they may not know everyone there, and may not ease up till they do. Get them going, by planning some activities where they get to break the ice and help them mingle. You could pass the mike around and ask them to introduce themselves, or start off with a game or fun activity that they will like to join in. Also serve the drinks up right at the beginning of the party, as this quickly lets guests ease into the party spirit and start conversing. It is also a good idea to plan the seating arrangements so everyone gets to sit with someone they will find interesting. Mix up both sides of the party, so guests do not sit with people they already know. This will also allow you to avoid uncomfortable situations where people who do not get along may end up sitting together.

7.Chat with everyone

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You may be too busy on your wedding day to get in touch with everyone. Although you should acknowledge all your guests on your wedding day as well, it is likely that it may not be practical especially if you have a large wedding. Nevertheless, the people at your rehearsal dinner deserve to be specially acknowledged just for the fact that they are important enough to be a part of this event. So, make sure you find time to greet and meet each and every guest there, both from your side as well as your groom’s. Since the gathering isn’t formal, and you do not have any elaborate time schedule for the event, this shouldn’t be a problem. Also use this opportunity to introduce members of the party to each other, so they can start a conversation. Give these new associations a good start, and you will have many more dear ones to add to your circle.

8.Toasts and roasts are fun

One of the fun parts of rehearsal weddings is that the informal atmosphere allows people who toast the couple, to open up and share more than they can at the wedding. There may be a lot of leg-pulling, but take it in the right spirit and it will also be fun as the crowd there knows either of you very well. You can have a bridesmaid or groomsman to emcee the toast(“or roast”) session, just in case you expect some people to hijack the mike for themselves. Nevertheless, plan this into the time-line, probably during the main course, so everyone enjoys it to the most, and you can also listen comfortably to all that they have to say.

9.Gifts are a great idea

You may have party favors for all the wedding attendees. However, the rehearsal dinner is the right chance for you to give a special token of your love to your extra-special guests. So, plan this in advance, and get the invitees a valuable gift to remember you by. It isn’t necessary to give everyone the same gift, as you would at your wedding. Choose different gifts for different groups, like one for men and another for women, or choose the gifts based on age. If you have a color or pattern theme going on at the wedding, consider getting gifts that are customized to match this theme for more excitement.

10.This is the right time for announcements

Before everyone leaves the party, make sure you share any relevant information or updates about the wedding day. Since many of the guests will be playing active roles on your wedding day, use this opportunity for last-minute instructions and updates. Double-check whether they are all aware of the timings, what they should bring and where they should be at what time. Remember that this is not the time for last-minute changes, you should only use this time to remind everyone of what they already know.

Finally, wind up the day and enjoy your journey home, for it will be soon time for wedding bells to ring.

Just like with the wedding, you should dress to impress at your rehearsal dinner. All eyes will be on you, the bride, and you need a fantastic dress to impress the guests from your groom’s side. Find a fabulous dress that will be perfect for the event, from our evening dress collection at Best for Bride. Check out our collection here.

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Bridal Shower Etiquette- Tips for the host and the bride

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Bridal showers are now an essential part of a wedding, and an occasion for the bride to socialize and enjoy herself with her close circle of friends and relatives. Bridal showers are usually hosted by friends or bridesmaids, and not by the bride’s immediate family. However, the lines have blurred now, and it isn’t uncommon to find showers being hosted by the bride’s sister or mother.

As with any other party, certain etiquette rules are associated with bridal showers too. Let us look at some rules that you should pay attention to, if you are a bridal shower host. We will also briefly touch upon etiquette for the bride at the shower.

Limit the party guests

There are two things to pay attention to when inviting guests for the shower

  • only invite guests who are invited to the wedding too
  • the number of guests at the bridal shower is not huge.

The idea of hosting a bridal shower is to have an intimate gathering with the people who mean the most to the bride. These people are definitely on the wedding list. If you are not sure of who to invite, here is some help. Make sure you invite the bridal party, the bride’s close friends and family. It is also alright to ask the bride if you have missed anyone she would like to have at her party.

Timing is crucial

A wedding shower should be held at least two weeks ahead of the wedding date, but no earlier than a month. Make sure that you send out the invitations at least two weeks before the date, so the guests are allowed sufficient time to make plans to attend the party.

Plan the cost and date and be prepared to pay

It is the host of the bridal shower who pays for the party—not the bride, nor the bridesmaids. Unless all the bridesmaids want to pitch in and help with both conducting and paying for the party, they are not obligated to. In any case, make sure that the party is properly budgeted for and the expenses and ideas are agreed upon beforee going ahead with plans.

Now here are the rules for the bride

Thank the host with a gift

After all, your host has gone through a lot of trouble to plan your wedding shower. It is only appropriate to give her a small gift to appreciate her efforts. This could be a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers. Don’t forget to include a thank you note as well.

Don’t be demanding and don’t make suggestions unless you are asked

You can have your wedding the way you want it, but don’t expect the same of your bridal shower. Gifts you receive at the bridal shower are usually less expensive than wedding gifts. So, be gracious and enjoy the ritual of opening your gifts at the party, instead of focusing on what you receive. Make sure you write thank you notes to the guests for what they gifted you on this occasion.

For more wedding tips and advice, visit us on Best for Bride.

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10 topics you must discuss with your partner before marriage

kiss“Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice.”    Fawn Weaver

A happy marriage involves a lot of adjustments and compromises. The change in your relationship status will reflect on how you see each other as a couple, and also have a significant effect on your personal and social lives. There are many things that are bound to change. Some of these will be evident from the minute you are engaged, while others become obvious over time. As with any other relationship, expectations change, obligations increase and with all this, the scope for arguments also increases. Soon after the honeymoon phase wears off, many couples start battling challenges.

Nevertheless, no relationship is hassle-free. While most factors will fall into place over time, discussing the potential problem areas in a relationship before you tie the knot will help you avoid quarrels to a great extent, in the future.

Let us take a look at the most important things (in no specific order) that couples should discuss with each other, and reach a consensus on, before they agree to spend their lifetime together.

We do not suggest that you sit down and discuss all this in one go. Instead, take your time to talk about it, but make sure everything is sorted out.

1.Finances and bills

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How do you intend to settle your bills, once you are married? What is your household budget? Will you pool all your income together, or will you retain individual bank accounts and split the expenses? If so, who pays what? How much personal spending is too much? Discuss how you will handle emergencies, gift giving and daily spending, and there will be fewer nasty surprises in the future.

Making a plan and sticking to it, is a lot easier if you are currently living together, and already have sorted things out to a great extent. Nevertheless, this should be a definite point to discuss, as a surprisingly large number of marriages are affected by money problems. If either of the partners comes into the marriage with an outstanding debt, you should discuss how this will be handled. The same goes for a partner who has an asset, how will this be treated?

2.Careers

Both you and your partner should be aware of where the other is on the career ladder, and what your job aspirations are. Discuss what your careers will be like five years from now. Will you be taking on a more demanding role, and if so, what will that involve for your spouse? Do you see yourself quitting work to finish studies? If so, how long will that take, and when do you plan to do it? Will your career require you to travel extensively or relocate to a new destination in the future, and is your spouse fine with this?

While you are at this, also discuss options for worst-case scenarios, say one of you couldn’t work. How will you handle such a situation? This will prepare you in advance for giving due importance to both your career aspirations in the coming years.

3.Your dreams and biggest wishes

If your current career is just a stepping stone till you put aside enough money to start your own business or pursue an artistic venture, make sure your partner knows about it. Whether you will be without an income for a short while in the future, or you need support while you try to break into a new career, your partner will be better equipped to assist you, if he/she is in the know and agreeable to it. This is very important, especially if your future plans involve drastic changes to your current situation.

It is not just about your job, but you should share your ideas for your personal goals too. Do you wish to move abroad and settle down in the future? If so, it wouldn’t be fun when you put this idea across to your partner post-marriage, and he/she is shocked by the very idea. It may be too early to think of settling down, but you should still discuss where you would prefer to buy a house and live long-term. Although all this may change in due course, you should both be open to the current expectations, or it can be a huge source of worry.

4.Family obligations

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Once you are married, it is no longer “me”, but “we.” You cannot just assume that everything you’ve done with the rest of your family, will continue to be the same in future. Your partner’s family will also enter into the equation, and radical changes are to be expected. Remember that your partner may not be as excited as you are, about spending every Sunday at your parents’ place, just as you may not be if it were the reverse.

Have reasonable expectations, and your fiancé will respect your requests and appreciate your personal space better. Rather than argue about where to spend next Christmas, it will be better if you discuss this upfront. How about family vacations? Will this be a continuing practice, or will you consider each event only if it works for you at the time? You can always change your plans down the line, but setting the expectations right will prepare you better for the near future.

5.Children

 

baby-17369_1280There are couples who decide they want to start a family right away, those that want to put off having children for years, and some that don’t want children at all. The important thing is that you realize your partner may not share your idea. So, be sure to discuss this before you commit. Just because he loves playing with kids, it doesn’t mean he will want some of his own, or that he is ready to bear the responsibilities of a child soon after marriage.

So, don’t put off the discussion regarding having children, till after you are married. It would also be a good idea if you can decide how long you should wait before having your first child, so you can plan your life ahead accordingly. Discuss how long you would try naturally before considering medical help and what methods you are prepared to consider if there is an issue.

6.Boundaries

Arguments are part of a healthy relationship, but there shouldn’t be anything that constantly results in disagreement and either of you refuse to relent. Whether it is having his friends over all the time, either of you volunteering the other for a job the person despises, or your excessive shopping, make sure you both know where either of you have draw the line. If you take a look at the many wedding forums, you will quickly notice that many spouses constantly struggle with handling a certain habit or action of their partner. Most of the time, this puts a strain on the relationship and is a constant cause for worry. The problem usually is that these couples didn’t discuss their boundaries before they got married, or despite doing this, their partner doesn’t honor their interests.

Marriage is all about compromises and adjustments, but it should be in a direction that promotes a healthy relationship. Whether it involves family or friends, you should both realize that your partner too has a say in it, just as you do in their case, once you are married. So, you may have to rethink the way you handled things in the past. If some aspect leaves one of the partners constantly miserable, it is unfair and means that the other person should be more accommodating. Ensure that both partners know what drives the other nuts, and the two of you work on a solution to it. This will save your sanity in the future.

7.Past events

The past may be gone, but cannot always be forgotten. Honesty is crucial to building trust in a marriage, and you should share all the relevant details of your past with your partner. If there is some event in the past that will have significant bearing in your future, your fiancé should know of it. Make sure that your partner knows your family history, your past relationships and how they have shaped you, your sorrows and also achievements.

It is not just the negative, but the positives too that you should share with each other. Remember that discussing the past allows you to understand each other better, and build intimacy. Nothing shatters a relationship so much as when a partner comes of know of something significant in your past, which they believe you should have told them prior to marriage.

8.Faith and beliefs

If either of you are religious, and expect your partner to participate in religious celebrations or events, make sure your partner knows. One’s family background needn’t be an indication of how they conform to a particular faith. So, don’t assume your partner is religious just because his parents are. On the contrary, if your partner is dedicated to his faith, while you don’t plan to be involved in it, it will be best if you convey this to him and avoid a rift in the future.

If you plan to have children, you should also discuss how you will bring them up, if both of you don’t share the same beliefs.

9.Division of household responsibilities

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Gone are the days when the woman ruled the roost, and the man provided for the family. Now, the boundaries have blurred so much, that both are equal partners with equally demanding roles at home and at work. Unless you already have a list of who does what, you should discuss this before you tie the knot.

Don’t expect to divide the task list into two, but make sure that both of you do your reasonable share. If there is something like cooking or laundry that you hate doing, don’t just delegate this responsibility to your fiancé. Instead, inform them and work on a solution. These things are best sorted out at the beginning of the relationship, as it can otherwise trigger arguments, when one partner feels they are handling the lion’s share of the responsibilities at home.

10.“Me” time

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Neither of you can forego of your personal relationships, just because you get married. You have your friends, and he has his. You are lucky if you mostly have common friends, and don’t mind sharing all your time together. However, this isn’t always the case. There could be times when he wants to chill out with his friends, or you want to go on a shopping expedition with yours.

Don’t let your marriage stand in the way of your having fun. Make an arrangement with each other to continue doing what you love, without the other stepping in the way. Spending time alone, without your spouse, will give you some space to yourself. It will also make the transition from “me” to “us” easier. Try to be respectful of when the other is spending time away from you, by not planning any couple activities or family events that disrupt this routine. So, the next time you are invited home for a family dinner on Sunday, ask your partner before accepting the invitation, if that is when he will be having his band practice with his mates.

 

New year

It is of course, possible that your individual situation will involve more factors. For example, this list on the Huffington Post,  prioritizes a discussion on how important IKEA is in your life. It may sound irrelevant (even funny) to many. But as they say, at least some marriages are greatly affected by something as trivial as spending too much time at a home improvement store. So, expand your list, to suit your personal situation.

Relationship counselor and author, Leslie Vernick says, “ A healthy relationship is one where both people in the relationship give and both receive. There is a safe and open exchange of ideas, feelings and thoughts and all perspectives are considered and valued. There is also the freedom to respectfully challenge, confront and strengthen one another.”

Let this guide you as you enjoy your engagement and begin your marriage on the right note. For more wedding tips and advice, keep visiting us at Best for Bride.