I study romantic relationships. I'm also engaged. So, of course, I've
given a tremendous amount of thought as to what it really means for my
partner and I to marry one another. Researchers have found that weddings
are deeply significant life events, but we don't really know why
they're so meaningful. Marriage may simply be about celebrating a
milestone: recognizing the relationship that a couple has built together
and the love that they share for each other. But weddings are also very
future-oriented, as the couple publicly promises to maintain their
relationship for life. I suspect that it's really these vows -- the
solemn promises that the newlyweds make to each other in front of their
closest friends and family -- that are at the crux of why weddings have
such an emotional impact.
No pressure. As my partner and I sat
down to think about our own vows, clearly we had a lot to consider. If
these promises are the essence of what it means to be married, then what
exactly do we want to promise each other? We could always go
with the traditional marriage vows: for richer, for poorer, in sickness
and in health, for better for worse... but, these seemed a bit too vague
for our tastes. We decided that we wanted to make more specific,
behavioural promises: things we can strive to do for each other that
would help us to not only remain together, but also happy and fulfilled
in our marriage.
Conveniently, I had decades of research at my
fingertips to help us figure out what it really means to be a good
spouse. Why not harness those resources for our wedding? In other words
-- and this may sound completely over-the-top nerdy to some -- we
decided to write some research-based vows.
Below are the ten
promises that we've decided to make to each other. We believe that each
of these promises is going to help us to achieve long-term marital
bliss. Here's why:
1. "I promise to respect, admire, and appreciate you for who you are, as well as for the person you wish to become."
Research on positive illusions
shows that it's helpful to see romantic partners in a positive light --
to appreciate their positive qualities rather than ruminating about
their flaws. Not only does this sunny outlook lead to better
relationship satisfaction, but positive illusions help partners to feel
better about themselves.1 So, in the first part of this vow, we're promising to always see the best in each other.
In the second part of this vow, my partner and I are promising to
support each other's attempts to grow and improve ourselves over time.
This is called the Michelangelo phenomenon,
and research shows that supporting your partner's changes to their self
in this way is very beneficial both for the partner and for the
relationship.2 Importantly, I'm not promising to help my partner improve in the way I
want him to improve, but in the way he wants to improve himself, and
vice versa. It's all about supporting the partner's own personal goals.
"I promise to support and protect your freedom; because although our
lives are intertwined, your choices are still yours alone."
This vow draws from research on autonomy.
Although humans are social creatures who both need and enjoy
relationships, it's also important for us to maintain our individuality.
In particular, we need to feel like the decisions we're making are
truly coming from us. When people feel forced or coerced into making
choices -- like they didn't have any real choice in the matter --
they're less happy and less fulfilled. And, as you might have guessed,
that lack of happiness is problematic for relationships.3 In
this vow, my partner and I are promising to avoid pressuring, guilting,
or otherwise coercing each other into making decisions, striving instead
to always respect each other's right to make choices for ourselves.
3. "I promise to seek a deep understanding of your wishes, your desires, your fears and your dreams."
This vow draws from research on responsiveness,
which involves sensitively meeting your partner's needs. Striving to
meet each other's needs is a cornerstone of healthy relationships.4
However, you can't meet a partner's needs if you don't know what they
are. Understanding one's partner is the first step to being responsive,
which is why we each promise to seek a deep understanding of one
4. "I promise to always strive to meet your needs; not out of obligation, but because it delights me to see you happy."
we figure out what each other's needs are, my partner and I promise
that we will try our best to meet those needs. Of course, this can be
easier said than done. Sometimes, giving your partner what they need
involves difficult sacrifices on your part.
on sacrifice shows that it's important not to make sacrifices for
avoidance-based reasons, such as feeling as though you "should" be
giving something to your partner. Both partners are better off when any
sacrifices are made out of approach motives, such as genuinely wanting
to make your partner happy.5 So, with this vow, my partner
and I are promising each other that when we do sacrifice for each other,
we'll do it only with love and care, and not with reluctance or
resentment. If and when we can't make sacrifices for the right reasons,
it's probably better not to make the sacrifice at all.
5. "I promise to be there for you when you need me, whenever you need me."
This vow is based on what it means to be a good attachment figure:
the person in your life who you most strongly rely on for support. With
this vow, we're promising to reliably be there for each other when one
of us is distressed: to be each other's soft place to fall, or what
researchers call a "safe haven".6
6. I promise to nurture your goals and ambitions; to support you through misfortune and celebrate your triumphs.
vow covers the other side of being a good attachment figure: being
there for your partner when they're not distressed. Basically, my
partner and I both want to know that we can take risks, make mistakes,
and come home to a supportive partner at the end of the day. Letting
your partner go out and conquer their goals, knowing that you're there
in the background cheering them on, is called being a "secure base".7 7. "I promise to keep our lives exciting, adventurous, and full of passion."
Here, we draw from research on self-expansion theory, showing that couples are happier when they engage in new, interesting things together.8 Basically, we're promising each other not to let our relationship fall into a rut.9
We're going to keep courting each other, keep travelling and exploring
together, and keep sharing novel and interesting experiences with each
other for the rest of our lives.
8. "I promise to persevere when times get tough, knowing that any challenges we might face, we will conquer them together."
is the closest that our vows come to representing the traditional vows
about being together "for better, for worse"; in other words, to stay committed
to each other. Research shows that by having this committed outlook --
where we intend to stay together through thick and thin -- we should be
better able to deal with any adversity that might come our way. This is
because, when a couple sees themselves as a permanent partnership, their
perspective on problems tends to shift from being about "me against
you" to being about "us against the issue". Researchers call this
"transformation of motivation": commitment helps people to stop treating
conflicts as zero-sum, instead keeping the wellbeing of their partner
and their relationship in mind.10 So, by acting like a team, we'll be in a better position to face challenges together.
9. "I promise to treat you with compassion over fairness, because we are a team, now and for always."
This vow draws from research on communal orientation.
Being communally-oriented means that you contribute to your
relationship based on what is needed and based on what you have to give.11
In other words, it's about being a team player. With this vow, we're
promising not to "track and trade," keeping careful tabs on each other
to ensure that we're each contributing to the relationship fairly and
equally ("I did the dishes yesterday, so you should do them today").
Instead, we're promising to always strive to contribute what we can,
based on the needs of our partner ("You got home very late and had a
stressful day -- I'll do the dishes tonight"). We trust that our
respective efforts will more or less balance out in the long run.
Communal strength, or this willingness to give to the relationship
without much concern for what you're receiving in return, is associated
with a whole range of positive relationship outcomes.12 10. "I promise to show you, every day, that I know exactly how lucky I am to have you in my life."
With this last vow, we draw from research on the emotion of gratitude.13
When people feel appreciative of their partners, they're happier and
more committed to their relationships. And when people express gratitude
to their partners, their partners feel appreciated, that makes those
partners feel happier, more committed, and more appreciative themselves.
It's all a wonderful cycle of goodness. So in this vow, my partner and I
are promising to never take each other for granted, but rather to
appreciate what we have and express that appreciation to each other
After the wedding, we're planning on getting
these engraved and hung up in our hallway, to remind ourselves regularly
that we made these promises. Clearly, actually following them is the
real challenge. But the effort we put into keeping them will undoubtedly
make our relationship stronger.
We all want to stay at the Four Seasons, but some of us also like to pay our rent. Give your out-of-town guests hotel options at different price points to keep them happy and debt-free.
Ah, wedding planning. It brings out the best and the worst in people. As a bride-to-be, you're probably trying really
hard to not become a bridezilla, but also realizing just how hard it is
to bite your tongue. While you understand that it's in everyone's best
interest for you to listen to the old adage, "if you don't have anything
nice to say, don't say anything at all," we get that there are some
things you wish you could just get off your chest. Here are the 11
things every bride wishes she could post to social media for all the
world to see, but probably shouldn't.
1. "GAH. My parents seriously need to STOP. This is MY wedding, not theirs!"
If your parents are hosting the wedding, and especially if they're
footing the bill, chances are they're going to have some strong opinions
about how everything plays out. From the food being served to whether
or not there's a receiving line, they're going to have ideas and they
won't be afaird to let you know what they are.
2. "Thanks EVERYONE, but I didn't ask for your opinion."
Once you get engaged, everyone you know is going to start sending you
unsolicited wedding advice. You'll quickly learn what dress your mom
thinks would look best on you, what your bridesmaids think your first
dance song should be, and why hiring a DJ is so much better than booking
a band. One minute your friends and family might be asking about your
engagement story, and the next, they'll be judging all of the choices
3. "OMG. If I get ONE MORE cheeseboard, I will punch someone."
It's nice to get gifts and all, but when you start getting duplicates
(or quadruplicates...) of the same thing, it's like enough already. You
registered for a reason. You wanted ONE vase, not six.
4. "Hey, pregnant sister...I really, really don't care if you think you're going to look fat in your bridemaid dress. No one is going to be looking at you anyway."
At some point during the wedding planning process, one of your
bridesmaids may announce that they're having a baby. Sure you'll be
excited for her and will love that child like it's your own, but you
just don't have time to worry about how she's going to look at your
wedding. You have enough to worrry about...like how to get some killer
5. "Attention bridesmaids: Being tardy to the party is NOT cool."
You may find that some of your bridesmaids develop a punctuality
problem. While you don't want to be a bridezilla, if the shower invite
says noon and you don't show up until 12:45pm, that's just plain rude.
Cue Stephanie Tanner.
6. "Can someone please explain why I have to
invite [my boss/my dad's golfing buddies/my grandma's mahjong partners]
to the wedding?! I don't even know/like them." The guest list
is always a hotly debated topic because everyone feels like thier
contribution to the list is the most important one. Be prepared to have a
few freakouts over who gets the invite and who gets the snub.
7. "So...not to brag or anything, but our wedding
is going to be SO much better than every other wedding in all of
history because [we're having Cirque du Soleil dancers/I'm going to sing
a song at the reception/we're just that awesome]." You're
going to think this way at some point during the planning process,
especially when you have a great idea, hire a fabulous vendor, or find
the PERFECT venue to host the wedding of your dreams. How could anyone
else's wedding be THIS amazing?!
8. "[Newly engaged friends/new parents/new
homeowners]: It's cool that you have something amazing going on in your
life, but can we PLEASE focus on ME for a little bit? K, thanks.
Weirdly the world keeps on spinning while you're planning your wedding,
so people are going to have fun thigns happen to them throughout the
months leading up to your big day. It's inevitable, but it doesn't make
it any less upsetting when people stop talking about how exciting your
life is right now.
9. "I just don't get it. How is it THAT hard to send back your RSVP?!"
Ah, the dredded RSVP deadline. There will always be those friends and
family members that just can't get their act together to be able to send
their RSVPs back in time, even if you give them WEEKS to respond.
10. "WHY DOESN'T MY [FLORIST/WEDDING COORDINATOR/PHOTOGRAPHER] RESPOND TO ANY OF MY EMAILS/TEXTS/PHONE CALLS?! #iampayingyou"
By the time the wedding rolls around, nightmaring vendors is going to
be your favorite pasttime. We get it, you're busy, but your questions
should definitely take priority.
11. "[147/112/87/32] days until I get MAAAARRIED!!! #soexcited"
Don't you wish you could do a daily countdown to your wedding? It's
just as big of a deal as the dawning of the new milennium was, after
all. Since Times Square wouldn't agree to do a balldrop, Price should at
least write a song for you: Gonna party like it's the night before my
We don’t have to tell you that engagement rings cost a lot of money. The
average ring costs $5,403 to be exact (according to our research). No
matter what your budget, here’s how to get the most bang for your bling!
1. Be strategic with the setting.
If your budget won’t allow for that larger stone you have your eye on,
not to worry. You can actually create the illusion of additional carats
by choosing a halo setting (a circle of smaller stones around the center
stone). Not only can this type of setting make the stone in the middle
look bigger, it can also completely change the appearance of the diamond
by giving it a vintage look that will stand out from an everyday
2. Pick a prong.
Less metal means a lower cost, says Josh Holland, spokesman for the
online jeweler BlueNile.com, so opt for a more minimal prong setting
(which secures the diamond like a tripod above the band) over a bezel
one (a metal ring that encircles the sides of the gemstone to hold it in
place). Since more of the stone is visible, a prong setting is a great
way to highlight the diamond, as well as make cleaning the ring a lot
easier. Just make sure to go with platinum for the prongs (even if the
rest of the ring is gold or some other metal), since it’s much stronger
and will hold the diamond firmly in place.
3. Consider pavé diamonds.
Do you dream of having a flashy rock that rivals Kim Kardashian’s, but
don’t exactly have her budget? Well, you can fake the look thanks to
pavé diamonds. “Pavé diamonds are tiny diamonds that add a distinctive
‘crushed ice’ look to engagement rings,” Holland says. Because they’re
so small, beautiful stones are much more common and therefore less
expensive. Think about buying a slightly smaller center stone, and then
lining the entire band in pavé diamonds. You’ll get just as much sparkle
as a big diamond, for a much lower cost.
4. Buy shy.
As you might have heard, shopping for a diamond centers around the “4
Cs”—cut, carat, clarity and color. When it comes to the carat size, you
can save a considerable amount of money without sacrificing the look of
the stone by buying shy, Holland advises. Diamond prices jump
disproportionately at the carat and half-carat marks, which means buying
just shy (say, 1.8 carats instead of 2) can equal a potential savings
of nearly 20 percent—but the difference in the diamond will hardly be
noticeable, if at all.
5. Find the sweet spot.
Similar to carat size, as color and clarity (how “clean” or clear the
diamond is) grades improve, diamonds go up in price. But the naked eye
can’t tell the difference between perfect and near perfect, so even
though you pay extra for perfection, you can’t see it, says Holland, who
likens it to paying someone to paint the bottom of your house. For an
excellent value, choose a near colorless, “eye clean” diamond—it will
look perfect to the unaided eye while you get to save considerably,
6. Go for gold instead of platinum.
There are plenty of pros when it comes to platinum: It’s very durable,
so it’s great if you have an active lifestyle; it’s a natural white
metal, so it won’t change color or fade; and it gives off a gorgeous
white shine and silky polish. But all those good qualities unfortunately
come with a price. “Platinum is 30 times more rare than gold, which
makes it more expensive,” Holland says. To get the same fashionable look
as platinum (with fewer of the benefits), white gold is a great choice:
It’s an enduring element, resistant to rust, tarnish and corrosion; it
still looks really pretty; and—the best part—it will be a lot easier on
7. Opt for an emerald cut.
An emerald cut has fewer facets (the surfaces that reflect light and
make the diamond sparkle), so it won't be as shiny, but the shape allows
the diamond to cover more surface area than other cuts of the same
carat weight do (read: it will look bigger). And it's a timeless style,
so your ring will never seem passé.
8. Make it a set.
This may not work if you want to be surprised, but if you and your
fiancé-to-be are going to research the rings and shop for them together,
sometimes you can score a deal if you buy the engagement ring and the
wedding band at the same time. You might even be able to get his wedding
band as well for —you guessed it—even more savings.
Your wedding party is a group of people who will be there for you every
step of the way during your wedding planning and beyond. Usually
reserved for your closest family members and friends, deciding who
should be in your wedding party isn’t always the easiest decision. Here
are our top tips for figuring out who will stand by your side on your
Pick Your Nearest and Dearest
Your siblings (both yours and your future spouse’s) should most
likely be included in your wedding party, but beyond that it’s really up
to you. Close friends and family members from both sides are other easy
picks. Think about people who are trustworthy and have known you and
your fiancé(e) for the entirety of your relationship.
The size of your wedding party should be somewhat proportional to
your total number of guests. If you’re having a small wedding (under
150 people), you should keep your wedding party small, as well – meaning
five or fewer attendants per side (and yes, if you want to just have
one attendant, that’s totally cool too!).
But if you’re having a large wedding, feel free to have a bigger
wedding party. How big is too big? It’s really up to you – as long as
everyone will fit standing side-by-side at the altar on your wedding
Don’t Worry About Being Even
Sure, it may make photos look nice, but if you’re having trouble
having an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen, don’t sweat it. The
photos will look fine, you can double up for the walk down the aisle,
and the important thing is having a wedding party that reflects your
closest friends and family members. There’s no need to add a person
that you have lukewarm feelings for to your wedding party just to keep
things even – you’ll likely regret it in the long run.
Mix It Up
Sure, tradition dictates that bride’s side is all girls and the
groom’s side is all guys, but rules are meant to broken, right? The
sides should be chosen based on the relationship with the couple, not
gender roles. So if the bride has a guy friend who she’s known since
kindergarten, make him a “bridesman.” Or if the groom and his sister
have always been a dynamic duo, she can be a “groomslady.” You can even
mix up the attire so the groomsladies wear a different dress than the
bridesmaids that still matches the color scheme, and the groomsmen can
wear different ties.
Maid of Honor and Best Man
You don’t have to have a maid of honor or best man, especially if
it’s not clear who those people should be. And if there’s more than one
person that fits the bill, it’s okay to “break the rules” and have
multiple maids of honor, best men – or “men of honor” or “best women,”
if you’d like!
Consider Your Current Relationships
You want to make sure your wedding party includes the people you
are closest with right now. Just because you were a bridesmaid in a
friend’s wedding years ago and you’re no longer as close, you don’t have
to invite her to be in your wedding. With family members, however, you
should tread a bit more carefully. If you were in the wedding party of a
family member years ago, it might be a good idea to include him/her in
yours to avoid family drama.
Yes, your wedding is your day and you should be able to pick the
wedding party you want. But, consider people’s feelings while you’re at
it. If you have two sisters, don’t exclude one from the wedding party
because she didn’t buy you a birthday present six years ago. And if you
really think excluding someone from the wedding party will cause serious
family drama, you might consider including that person – or giving them
another special role, like performing a reading at the ceremony, as an
Kids or No Kids?
Remember, you don’t have to invite children to your wedding – and
don’t feel like you’re required to have a flower girl and ring bearer
just to amp up the cute factor of your wedding day. If there are
children who you are truly close to, by all means, include them in your
wedding, but it’s okay to have a no-kids wedding party if that’s more
Remember when you said, "I do!" to being a bridesmaid? Well, you also verbally agreed to a grocery-sized list of tasks
that are going to invade your very personal space, everything from
dancing the tango to a Bruno Mars song with the bride's balding uncle to
helping her go to the bathroom in a wedding dress. So in the middle of getting your hair curled or your drink on,
expect a couple of 15 minute adventures to the bathroom stall, where
you'll grab and twist and hold whatever you have to hold in order to
help her pee anywhere but on her dress. Here are some tips and tricks to
make sure that goes without a splash.
1. Grab Another Pair of Hands
Invite another warrior bridesmaid along. One of you should conquer the
left side of her dress and the other, the right side. As the bride
squats, both of you should grab and lift as much fabric as you can.
2. To the Window, to the Wall
This may be the opposite of everything you've learned or done in your
20-something years, but the easiest way to do this is by having the
bride face the wall and straddle the toilet in that direction. That way,
the back/train of her dress will be away from the toilet.
3. Handicap Stall or Bust
Don't even try to go in a bathroom that's not the handicap stall. You'll
want to grab onto the bars and use the extra space to spread out while
you assist the bride with holding the layers of her dress.
4. Snap Out of It
If things prove to be too difficult, have her take her dress off. But if
that's the case, slice off about 25-minutes for each bathroom trip.
5. Pee on Queue
Set up times for your bride to hit the bathroom in advance: before the ceremony and reception, after the toasts, and before you get so drunk you might be the one that needs help in the bathroom.
6. Friends Who Pee Together ...
Because once you've figured out a way for your bride to go to the
bathroom, you'll realize that there are few people in this world who can
pee on demand, let alone with two other people standing by your side
watching. Run the water or ask another bridesmaid to come along with you
and go in a different stall.
There's a good chance that your wedding will be the biggest and best
party you'll ever throw. When you think about it that way, it only makes
sense to inject as much fun into the big day as humanly possible.
Below are 18 wedding ideas that will help transform your wedding from stuffy occasion to super cool celebration.
Adam Levine might be busy judging the final rounds of NBC's The Voice, but he still found time to crash not one, but multiple weddings! The 35-year-old lead singer of Maroon 5 surprised a few unsuspecting newlyweds by showing up to their nuptials and performing some of the band's hit songs. The stunt was for their new music video, "Sugar," from their latest album, titled "V."
In an interview with Access Hollywood, Levine shared that director David Dobkin came up with the creative concept. The experience was "Really surreal...It was so much more amazing than I realized it was going to be." He also jokingly added that he didn't leave without trying some cake first (as if we needed another reason to love him).
Duke Khodaverdian of Duke Photographyin Los Angeles, California, filmed one of the couple's weddings. He tells us that "it was a surprise of a lifetime for the couple and for their wedding guests, one that no one will ever forget."
There are some things you just don't find out until you try on a wedding dress yourself.
1. Breakfast actually is the most important meal of the day.
Starting out "hangry" is like shopping suicide. You probably don't need
to wolf down a burger and fries moments before you step into that slinky
gown, but make sure you have something to eat before getting started.
Trying on gowns is emotionally and physically draining (some dresses
weigh twice as much as a puppy!). You may even sweat a little, so fuel
2. Choose your companions wisely.
Most bridal salons are happy to welcome you and a few guests (not your
entire entourage). This is actually a good thing! There's only room for a
couple extra bodies and all that tulle anyway, and you'll have fewer
people weighing in on your decision. Its great to have trusted opinions,
but too many and you'll be paralyzed with fear of making the wrong
3. Wear a touch more make up than usual.
Buying a fancy dress is not an everyday occurrence -- it's going to be a
tricky decision no matter what. Not to mention the unflattering
florescent lighting typical of most fitting rooms. Do yourself a favor
and wear a touch more makeup than your usual look (we're talking some
blush and black eyeliner) to your appointment. You'll look more like you
will on your wedding day, which will ultimately make it easier to pull
the trigger on a gown.
4. Be prepared to strip down.
Truth: A veritable stranger may catch glimpses of you naked. Most
consultants will give you some privacy, but because dresses can be
unwieldy or delicate they'll want to help you in and out of them. Wear
undergarments that you don't mind seeing the light of day (we recommend
light-color boy shorts and a strapless bra). If you're a modest-kind of
girl, speak up from the start.
5. Trust your consultant.
She may be older than your Mom or still single, but she wouldn't be
doing this if she wasn't totally qualified. Your consultant knows the
dresses and sees hundreds of brides with varying body shapes try them on
every day. Make sure you share your wants (lace, a-line, sleeves) but
be open to her suggestions--you may end up with one of her picks when
its all said and done.
6. A bridal 8 is not a J.Crew 8.
Don't panic. You do not need to enroll in Bridal Boot Camp -- wedding
gown sizes are not the same as "street" clothes. If you wear an 8 in
your favorite summer dress, there's a good chance you'll be wearing a 12
or 14 down the aisle. Focus on how great you feel in the dress, not the
number on the tag.
7. Try on styles that aren't "you."
Even if you have your heart set on a mermaid lace gown, or think you
can't wear silk, try on a variety of gowns. You're only going to do this
once and you may surprise yourself by choosing something completely
different than the pins on your inspiration board. And try the dress
that your mother (or grandmother or mother-in-law-to-be) is just sure is
"the one" -- she's been looking forward to this day too. She'll either
see that you were right about the skirt swallowing you whole, or you may
shock yourself by actually liking the dress -- it's a win-win.
8. Some "other" bride might be wearing "your" dress.
Let's get real: you're not the only bride planning a June wedding, so
its entirely possible someone else will be trying on "your" dream dress.
Or, you may see someone wearing an illusion back gown that you hadn't
considered and want to try it on RIGHT. THIS. MINUTE. Play nice -- share
the mirrors, pedestals and even the gowns.
9. Don't just stand there, move around!
Sure, there will be moments when you're standing still at your wedding
(like when you say I do). But you'll also be sitting and mingling and
getting down on the dance floor. If you think the dress is a serious
contender, take a walk around the salon, sit down, practice your
"SHOUT!" technique. You may feel foolish in the moment, but you'll be
glad you gave the gown a test drive when you're comfortable all day and
10. You may not cry.
Maybe emotion will overcome you. Maybe your Mom will get choked up too.
But it's totally okay if no one cries. It doesn't mean you picked the
wrong gown (even if you're the first to tear at a sappy commercial).
Every bride is different so don't put pressure on yourself to react a
certain way. Also, your consultant may not pop a bottle of champagne
(some can't due to liquor laws) like you see on TV. Take your shopping
companions out for a celebratory drink instead -- you all deserve it!
When you've found the dress, most salons require you to sign a contract
and put down a deposit on the spot. You may have to commit to things
like a size and any customizations (adding sleeves, dropping the waist)
you and your consultant discussed. Ask about alteration costs, which can
add up. And ask if any discounts are available -- you're not going to
get half off, but there may be an upcoming trunk show or a special rate
for purchasing your bridesmaids dresses at the same salon. Sometimes
you'll get lucky and they'll throw in a veil -- it never hurts to ask!
Ten years ago, at this very minute, I married him for the second time.
and legally, our first wedding was a secret affair, merely to let my
then Australian boyfriend remain in the country with me. We regarded it
as "the step between moving in together and actually getting married."
It was held at a registry office on Kings Road, where Judy Garland,
Roman Polanski and allegedly George Clooney all had previously wed. We
only told a couple of close friends, who we asked to be our witnesses. I
wore a white suit, and he wore a nervous smile.
Looking back on
that day, some folks would have called me crazy to marry a man I had
only known for a year. But I knew, deep down, that he was the one for
me. Even though it took him another 14 months to actually propose and
another year for us to have the actual church wedding and all the formal
celebrations with all of our friends and family.
Prior to meeting
my husband at 28, I'd had 6 long years in the dating wilderness filled
with broken hearts (mine) and terrible dates. I had almost given up on
"The One" ever appearing. I would quiz all my married friends, desperate
to know how they "knew" and what had separated Mr. Right from all the
Mr. Wrongs that went before. Most people mystifyingly said things like,
"I just knew," and "it was different," which wasn't very helpful.
then I met my husband and I finally understood what all my friends had
been talking about. So now I'm here to give YOU advice -- the same
advice I had been seeking all those years ago. How do you know when he's
Mr. Right as opposed to Mr. Right Now? How can you be sure that he
isn't gonna run off at the first hurdle, or he wants the same things out
of life that you do? In short, how do you "just know"?
Here are a few things to look out for:
1. It came easy.
Not that any relationship is easy -- over time there are all sorts of
things couples have to negotiate -- but what I realized most about my
husband in the beginning was that it all happened pretty easily. He
didn't play games. He called when he said he would. He didn't play it
cool, but he didn't chase me either. It just felt like I'd known him a
long, long time and every time we hung out, we had a great laugh. Plus, I
fancied the pants off him. Before him, the men/boys I'd dated were all
either super-hot and super-dull or really great but really unsexy. I
couldn't find someone that I wanted to go to the movies with and then
rip his clothes off later.
2. I didn't find him by sitting on my ass.
I met my husband when I walked through the wrong door in a hotel hoping
to find the bathroom, only to knock him on the head and send him flying.
Turned out he was the cute hotel bartender and later, a bit tipsy, I
gave him my number. He looked at that bit of paper as if I had handed
him a used tissue. I didn't expect him to call, so I shouted as I left
the bar something like, "I believe in Carpe Diem, so if you call, you
call. If you don't, you don't!" He thought that was funny and called. In
short: You'll never meet Mr. Right by sitting alone, waiting for him to
come to you. Get off your arse and give a hot guy your number!
3. I didn't freak out just because he sucked on the phone.
When my husband first called me, he left the DULLEST message I've ever
heard. Next bit of advice: if he sounds awful on the phone, do NOT
despair (most men are useless on the phone). He expected me to call him
back and be a "sure thing." Nice. I was busy with work, so didn't get to
call him back until five days later.
4. I actually WANTED to wait to have sex with him.
We met for coffee, which is a brilliant first date. Why? Because you
don't get hammered and fall into bed with him, wake up, leave and never
see him again. Day time dates are key because you get to talk, see them
in cold, harsh daylight, and all that stress of whether or not he
expects to come back to your place later doesn't exist. I waited five
dates until he stayed over. And every woman I know who waited five dates
to sleep with someone, married them. True story.
5. He supported me really early on in our relationship.
On our second date, I heard that an acquaintance of mine had died. A bit
of a mood killer on a date, obviously. But he was totally supportive.
He took me for food and tried to be as understanding as he could given
that he barely knew me. A week later, after the funeral, he called to
see how I was doing. When I asked about his day, he responded, "I called
to see how YOU are. I didn't call to talk about me and my day." In that
split second I realized he was special. It took one moment -- one
seemingly insignificant sentence -- and I knew. After that, I let myself
fall in love with him, which we'll get to in the next point.
6. I was mentally and emotionally ready to fall in love with someone.
It's crucial to be ready (really ready!) to love someone else. Sometimes
we think we are ready, but we're not. We often have our own baggage we
need to address before we can allow ourselves to love someone else.
Plus, falling in love is scary business. It makes you vulnerable, and
for those who have had their hearts trampled on in the past, it is twice
as hard to let yourself trust again. But when it's right, it shouldn't
be scary. We only feel anxious and fretful when we're involved in bad
love because our intuition is telling us it's not right. Listen to your
gut. It's there for a reason.
7. My list of requirements? I disposed of it immediately.
My husband moved in three months later. Right before we were married, I
found a diary entry from years ago with a list of qualities my ideal man
would have: where he'd live, what job he'd have, and a bunch of
superficial stuff about what books he'd read and movies he'd watch, etc.
What a load of crap! If you're single, take that list and burn it
immediately because guess what? No single person will ever meet all your
requirements. And when you do finally find the elusive "one" (and for
the record, I believe there are many "ones" along the way that you could
meet, not just one, true soulmate), your partners will have qualities
that are even better than anything you could have written on a list.
one day, you'll wake up and realize you've been married for 10 years.
Someone will congratulate you and ask how you knew he was the one, and
you'll find yourself saying, "I just knew."
On this day 16 years ago, God blessed me with a healthy and happy baby girl. From the very first moment I saw her sweet face, I knew that not only was she my greatest achievement but the great love of my life. She has grown up to be an exceptional young lady and no one makes me prouder to be a Mom like she does....
Happy Birthday Jacelyn Breanna Jackson, I Love You!
Some grooms get away with just showing up for the wedding pre-parties and being where they're supposed to be, when they're supposed to be there, and wearing what they're supposed to be wearing on the wedding day.
If the bride doesn't mind that the groom isn't participating in the
planning, there's nothing wrong with that scenario. But even when that's
all the groom wants to do, there are a few things he must do:
1. The groom is responsible for getting the guest list
(with correct salutations and addresses) from his parents. He's also
responsible for tracking down all of his own friends' addresses that the
bride wouldn't have in her own phone book.
2. Making sure the groomsmen
have been invited to be members of the wedding party, know what they
have to wear, show up for fittings as necessary, and have all the
details about the schedule is the responsibility of the groom. He can
ask his best man to help coordinate, but it's definitely on him to make sure things are done.
3. Traditionally, the groom gives the bride a wedding gift of some
kind (and vice versa). He's responsible for buying something special,
making sure it's wrapped and has a heartfelt note attached to it. If
they don't exchange gifts the night before like many couples do, he
should have the gift delivered to the bride while she's getting ready on
the wedding day.
5. The groom is responsible for tracking down missing RSVPs
from his side of the guest list. Even if it includes getting their
dinner orders. The bride and the groom should each do the follow-ups for
their own half of the list.