My last article highlighted five things I thought every man should know
before getting married. I think it’s important for men to direct most
of their relationship advice to other men because we don’t have many
outlets to learn about what it takes to have healthy relationships. I
also know it takes two to create a successful marriage so I wanted to
make a similar list for women. Here are five things I think every woman
should know before saying “I do”:
1. You can live a fulfilled life without getting married
I think it’s important to start here because sometimes people talk
about women and marriage as if a woman’s life is incomplete or
unfulfilled if she doesn’t get married. I don’t agree with that line of
thinking. Some women have no desire to get married and others may
believe they haven’t found the right person. Either way, it is possible
to have companionship, experience love, and find fulfillment without a
husband. In fact, an extended period of singleness can help you in your
process of self-discovery. Another reason to use this as a starting
point is because a woman who feels she must get married at all costs
might be more prone to making choices that are motivated by fear and
desperation or compromising her standards–especially as she ages and
feels like the pool of marriageable men is dwindling. We often say that
something is better than nothing but linking yourself to the wrong
person can be worse than not being linked to anyone at all.
2. There should be a difference between what you desire and what you require
Unlike many people, I don’t believe most women have standards that
are too high. In fact, I think the standards of some women aren’t high
enough. That said, it’s important for women, like men, to distinguish
their “must-haves” from their “nice-to-haves”. The reason why, is a
matter of simple math: the more non-negotiables you have, the fewer
eligible men there are. If the only requirement is that he must live in
the US, then you’ll have a pretty extensive pool from which to choose.
If, on the other hand, he must be African American, over six-foot-five,
make six figures, atheist, and live in Madison, Wisconsin, then you’ll
be choosing from a much smaller pool. That’s why I think a woman’s list
of non-negotiables should focus on the things they believe are most
important. A woman who knows that financial stability is important
should probably eliminate potential suitors whose actions show they
can’t be trusted with money. Also, women who say that sharing the same
religious background is important should not make a habit of seriously
entertaining guys that don’t. It is completely normal to have desires
but it makes more sense to be flexible with the things you think can
live without than to compromise on the things you know you can’t live
3. His salary isn’t as important as his character
Whenever I hear about a famous couple splitting over the man’s
(generally speaking) infidelity I always wonder whether the woman knew
he was that way before committing to him. At times it seems like some
women are willing to tolerate unfaithfulness as long as the man is able
to support a certain type of lifestyle. Even though it comes up most
often with celebrities, athletes, and other men in the public eye, it
isn’t confined to men who are famous. One of my previous posts on BMWK
included a story about a woman who stated that one of the perks of
having a cheating boyfriend was all the nice things he bought her.
A man’s salary should be a reflection of how much he earns, not how much your heart is worth.
The latter is exactly what happens anytime you prioritize his money
over your desires. It might seem like a smart compromise at first but
very few people can find true joy, love, and contentment in that type of
scenario. I believe one of a husband’s roles is to provide for his
family but I don’t think a man’s earning potential is as important as
his character. A high-character guy can earn more money but a
high-earner can’t buy more character. His honesty, consistency, and
integrity are what will really be most important in the long run as you
face the type of challenges that inevitably come up in marriage.
4. You need to love you before you can love him
I said this to the men in my previous post and the same holds true
for the ladies. You need to love and accept yourself, flaws and all, if
you hope to love a spouse. One of the first steps to loving yourself is
learning and accepting who you really are. This means being honest about
your desires, your hurts, your insecurities, the things that make you
unique, and everything else that shapes who you are. Doing this type of
work before you get married will help in a number of areas. First, it
will help you to not look to your husband as your sole source of
happiness. Second, it will help you become more self-aware, a trait that
is very useful in marriage. Sometimes our spouses can do things to
trigger issues we brought into the relationship but self-awareness can
help us distinguish new hurts from past pains. Third, a commitment to
self-knowledge and self-love is needed to receive love from others. It’s
hard to imagine someone accepting and loving parts of us if we can’t do
the same for ourselves. This can lead to the rejection of people who
actually want to be with you and the continuation of a cycle of feeling
unloved and unlovable.
5. You can’t make a man move before he’s ready
I believe every man makes the decision to marry on his own terms but
some guys take longer to get to that point than others. I understand why
a woman who has been in a relationship for years might feel like she
needs to put a little pressure on her significant other to get him to
take their relationship to the next level. I believe both people in a
relationship have the right to move according to a timeline that works
for them but they should both know that the other person is not
obligated to accept that timeframe. My advice? Talk to him about his
intentions and the direction of your relationship after an appropriate
period of time. Let your desires (e.g., marriage, children, etc.) be
known, ask about his, and believe what he says. You shouldn’t have to
pester, badger, trick, or force a person into a relationship with you.
That’s not love. If he says he doesn’t believe in marriage and has no
desire to get married, you can take that knowledge and choose to stay or
you can leave in hope of finding someone whose desires match your own.
This is why communication is so important in relationships. There’s no
way to know what the other person wants unless you talk. Making
assumptions isn’t going to cut it. Just because a guy takes you out,
buys you gifts, says he likes spending time with you, and spends the
night doesn’t mean he wants to marry you. It doesn’t even mean he wants
to be in an exclusive relationship with you. He needs to move forward
when he’s ready. Just know that you can move on whenever you’re ready.
There are certainly other things I could say to my single sisters but
I think these five are a good start. Marriage is a big commitment and
it works best when both people have taken steps in singleness to be
their best selves in marriage. Sometimes it means challenging the things
we’ve been taught or told by others that might hold us back from truly
being in a position to give and receive love. It may feel like hard work
but it’s necessary if you want your marriage to be successful. Trust
me, your future husband will thank you.
I’ve been married for almost two years, but I still feel compelled
at times to share bits of wisdom I’ve collected over the years with
singles that have intentions of being married some day. I think it’s
especially important for married men to share with single men because so
much of what we have all been taught about being a man is
counterproductive to having a good marriage. I hope current husbands
will also find this list useful because sometimes we don’t realize we’ve
brought some unhealthy beliefs into our relationship until after we’re
married. That said, here’s a simple list of five things every man should
know before tying the knot.
1. Women are people, not objects
Seems obvious, right? Unfortunately too many men have grown up
believing women are objects to be collected or challenges to be
conquered. This is a global problem, but this first lesson is especially
important for the millions of black men who grew up hearing men that
look like them casually refer to women as “bitches” and “hoes” in their
music, in movies, and on TV shows. Understanding this fact will impact
every interaction you have with a woman, whether as a single man on the
dating scene or a married man at work. Most men will give lip service to
how precious women are when they are talking about their own mother,
aunts, grandmother, or daughters. Sadly, some of the same men who talk
about their love for mom will leave their mother’s house and harass the
first woman they see on the street. Your future wife will have her own
thoughts, desires, ambitions, and feelings, but it will be hard for you
to receive them and value them if you don’t see her as your equal. Always remember, “objects are collected, people are respected”.
2. Being a good husband requires more than having a degree and a job.
I know a number of black women who have dated in big cities that have
described what I would characterize as a sense of entitlement among
many of the black men they have encountered. Given the effects of
substandard schools, mass incarceration, and unemployment, I could
understand how some men with a degree and a job could have an
over-inflated sense of their value on the dating market. While
impressive on paper, advanced degrees and ambitious career aspirations
say nothing of your ability or desire to resolve conflict, practice
forgiveness, or encourage your future wife in her professional
endeavors. Make no mistake, I certainly believe that part of my duty as a
husband is to provide for my family. But, meeting material needs is
only one aspect of provision. My wife also has social, emotional, and
spiritual needs that a paycheck or letters behind my name won’t help me
meet. I’ve learned the hard way that becoming a good husband requires moving beyond the basics.
3. Nothing you bring to the table is as important as your character
The type of husband you become will be strongly influenced by the
type of man you are, and ultimately the consequences of a lack of
character development (e.g. infidelity, abuse, etc.) will be remembered
far longer than your ability to pay the bills. Your honesty,
consistency, and integrity are not just a personal foundation for you.
And, will also serve as a source of stability in your marriage and
prepare you for the many challenges that you will face over the course
of your relationship. Men have been mistaught for so long to focus on
the parts of our lives that are easiest to quantify while neglecting the
intangible qualities that really make us who we are. Thankfully, it’s never too late to develop the type of character that will help you weather the storms that will come in your marriage.
4. You need to love you before you can love her
I’m willing to bet that almost every relationship book for women
includes some advice to women about learning to love themselves. The
same advice holds true for men. A man that does not love himself or
cannot accept himself is not ready to become a husband. If you are not
happy with your life or have not dealt with the hurt caused by bad
relationships, abuse, or family issues, you will find it difficult to
fully receive or give love in your marriage. It’s important to know the
type of baggage you bring into your relationship so that you can own
your feelings and start on the road to healing. There’s one other point
you need to know about being comfortable with who you are and where you
are in life. If you are intimidated by a woman that is smart and
successful or makes more money than you, that’s your problem, not hers. No woman wants to be with a man that has to make her (or others) feel small for him to feel adequate.
5. One body has to be enough
Sex is one of the most important parts of marriage, but many people
don’t realize that we begin preparation for our married sex lives long
before our wedding day. As a Christian, I believe that sex was created
to be enjoyed within the context of marriage. While that may seem
archaic to some, I have seen the types of problems that arise when one
or both parties fail to properly manage their sexuality as singles.
For men, mismanaged sexuality often takes the form of unrestrained
indulgence. We are trained from an early age to believe that manhood is
defined in part by the number of women we’ve been with. We are also
taught that it is normal for men to feed our sexual appetite in whatever
ways we find convenient, from mistresses to strip clubs to pornography.
All of these things reinforce one message: one body is not enough. And
while we have come to see this as a fact of life for single men, taking
this attitude into marriage is a recipe for disaster.
A man who has sought variety and relished the feeling of conquest
(again, see #1) may find the transition to a single partner in marriage
to be quite difficult. That’s why men who have no desire or show little
ability to remain monogamous should not get married. One body has to be enough.
That’s what you commit to when you take your vows and that is the
expectation your wife should rightfully have. In the event that you fall
short of that standard for any reason your response should be to
confess what you have done wrong, accept the consequences of your
actions, and begin to do the hard work of rebuilding trust in your
There are certainly other things I could say to my single brothers,
but I think these five are a good start. Marriage is a big commitment
and it is never too early to begin preparing to be a husband. Doing so
will likely require throwing out some of the things you’ve learned about
what it means to be a man. It may feel like hard work, but it’s
necessary if you want your marriage to be successful. Trust me, your
future wife will thank you.
What I love about used books is that in a strange way, they connect
people and imbue an otherwise solitary activity -- reading -- with a
sense of community. Our opinions on Raskolnikov and his actions may
differ, but here's something we have in common. We've both held this
book in our hands and eagerly turned its pages.
At the Strand Bookstore in Manhattan, we find a lot of mementos tucked in to the pages of used books: traces of other readers. Besides old family photographs,
notes are some of my favorite things to find -- particularly when
they're handwritten. The photos are great at revealing a single moment,
but the letters and post cards often tell more of a story.
Here's a selection of some of the recent notes we've found in used books at the store. To see more found objects, check out the Strand Tumblr.
Wedding planning can be stressful, but the honeymoon is a sweet,
sweet reward. If you're planning a trip for 2015, you may want to
consider one of these trending honeymoon destinations. Whatever season
you choose to travel in, a world of incredible locales awaits.
1. Turkey. For the couple who loves
history, Istanbul is perfect, especially in the spring. The days are
long and the weather is calm throughout the country. Because of its
welcoming culture, incredible landscapes, and luxurious resorts, Turkey
is becoming increasingly popular for tourists all over the world.
2. Italy. A longtime favorite of many
couples, Italy is a feast for all of the senses. Consider Rome,
Florence, or the Amalfi coast. (Lauren Conrad headed to Italy on her recent honeymoon!) Shack up with your sweetie on Lake Cuomo, and keep your eyes peeled for George and Amal.
3. Indonesia. A long (but worthwhile!)
flight for those of us in the US, Indonesia boasts ancient cities,
unbeatable beaches, and French-inspired cuisine. This exotic locale will
leave you and your love feeling oh-so-inspired.
4. Japan. There's something for everyone
on this island. The white sand beaches of Okinawa, the hustle and
bustle of Tokyo, or the hot springs of Northern Japan. This country is
particularly beautiful in the fall, when the maple leaves turn lavish
shades of red and gold.
5. New England. After late-summer or
fall nuptials, honeymooning in New England can be the perfect
continuation of the festivities. World-renown for its autumn foliage,
places like New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine offer cabin or inn rentals
for a crisp and colorful getaway.
6. Northern California. For the fall
bride, this is perhaps the best time of year to visit cities like San
Francisco, Sacramento, or Sonoma. The leaves turn to match the hue of
the "Golden State," tourists crowds thin, and couples have a wider range
of places to stay and enjoy.
7. Belize. The well-traveled bride and
groom will love Belize; it offers the warmth and sun of many Central
American countries, without a language barrier for English-speaking
couples. Explore the white sand Caribbean beaches, learn to make
chocolate in Toledo, or just cuddle up as newlyweds in one of Belize's
In this Sept. 12, 1953 photo released by RR
Auction, John F. Kennedy and his new bride Jacqueline leave St. Mary's
Roman Catholic Church after their wedding in Newport, R.I.
Frank Ataman/RR Auction/AP Photo
It's been more than 50 years since the death President John F. Kennedy
and more than 60 years since he married Jacqueline Kennedy, but the
allure of this Royal-like couple still remains to this day.
With this in mind, RR Auction house in Boston is putting up 13 original negatives from their 1963 wedding.
The description on the auction website reads: "Collection of 13 original
and most likely unpublished negatives from the wedding of John F. and
Jacqueline Kennedy. Each negative measures 3.75 x 5, four feature the
newlywed couple, two show the entire wedding party, and the remainder
show the cake, reception, and wedding attendees."
Frank Ataman/RR Auction
PHOTO: Kennedy Wedding Photo Auction
The website also says, "These images were originally taken by a
freelance photographer who had been asked to be a ‘back-up’ photographer
for the wedding, and were discovered in his darkroom after his passing.
Accompanied by 5 x 4 printouts of each negative, the very first prints
that have been made from these negatives. In fine condition. John and
Jacqueline Kennedy were married on September 12, 1953, in Newport, Rhode
Island. The entire event was chronicled by Life magazine, which noted
‘their wedding turned out to be the most impressive the old society
stronghold had seen in 30 years.’"
The letter in the collection states that the negatives came from the estate of Arthur C. Borges.
Frank Ataman/RR Auction/AP Photo
PHOTO: Kennedy Wedding Photo Auction
The auction ends at 7 p.m. today.
One of the intimate photos even shows JFK cutting his wedding cake.
Photo: Christian Oth Studio
Think wedding planning is all tulle and peonies?
Think again. The road to matrimony is paved with poignant moments and
important life lessons that every bride should take note of. Here are a
few key things you might learn along the way.
1. Anything can be done ... in small steps.
When a bride first begins planning her wedding, the amount that needs to
be done can feel insurmountable. "How can I plan a 200-person wedding
when I can't even decide which save the date to use?"
The problem here lies in considering what needs to be done in
totality, instead of individual tasks. Of course, you cannot make every
decision for your life-changing event at once! You can, however, break your to do's into individual tasks and handle them singularly.
It's an important life lesson to remember when challenges or changes
seem insurmountable. Marathon runners don't wake up one morning and
decide to go for a 26-mile jaunt. Instead, they reach the finish line by
training in intervals (and eating pasta... which also may be the
fastest route to happiness).
2. Priorities are important.
Unless you're blessed with a Kardashian-sized wedding budget,
chances are you've had to learn the word "prioritization" while
planning your wedding. It's a process that may seems like the ultimate
evil when you're forced to cut back on floral arrangements,
but prioritizing is actually a blessing because it forces you to assess
what really matters most to you — in your wedding, and in your life.
Let your priorities color your choices, and you can't go wrong.
3. People matter most.
Go ahead and call us sappy, but weddings prove time and time again, that
what matters most of all is the people you surround yourself with. Even
if the cake topples; the rain falls; and the priest stutters, a bride
and groom are ecstatic on their big day because they're marrying each
other surrounded by their favorite people. It's a fact that extends far
beyond the wedding day: life is brighter when you spend your days with the ones you love.
4. Life goes on.
When planning a wedding it pretty much feels like your big day will be
the culmination of humanity. When you dedicate so much of your time and
effort to something — whether it's a wedding, a career goal or a
personal loss — it hard to see past the horizon. Surprisingly, though,
the world always keeps turning.
Photo: BlueSpark Photography Being in someone else's bridal party is both a pleasure and a responsibility. When you consider which of your closest relatives and friends to include as bridesmaids
and groomsmen, think about your expectations and how much you are
likely to depend on your attendants — not just at the wedding but
throughout the planning and preparation. Think of it this way: Just
because Betty is your best friend and confidante doesn't mean she's the
gal you want to count on to wrangle all of your elderly guests at
important events. This doesn't mean you have to exclude her! Simply
remember what matters most from attendants so that you can gently nudge
her toward the things that are important. In that light, consider these
three fundamental traits for selecting bridesmaids and groomsmen:
Reliability. An attendant should be a person you can
count on to stay in touch in the weeks and months preceding the
wedding, to listen to instructions, to follow up on requests without
being reminded, and to show up on time and ready for all events.
Consideration. Considerate attendants may offer
suggestions but will understand that they aren't in charge. They will
look for opportunities to be helpful but won't add to the bridal
couple's worries with special demands or needless criticism.
Courtesy. In a sense, attendants are ambassadors for
the bridal couple and their families. At pre-wedding events and during
the wedding reception, they will mix and mingle with guests, make
introductions, look out for people with special needs, and behave
appropriately at all times.
Choosing to wear a wedding veil comes with lots of decisions. What
type of veil looks best with your face and wedding dress, to how to wear
it, what hairstyles work best with a wedding veil and what accessories
will work too. We asked accessories designers Liv Hart of Enchanted Atelier and Myra Callan of Twigs & Honey for their advice on choosing the perfect wedding veil style — plus placement and how to rock this classic topper.
First things first: choosing the right veil. Just like the rest of
your bridal accessories, you want to put a little thought into your
selection. A few things to consider: color, level of detail and your reception venue. Try to choose a veil in a similar shade to your gown
(this probably isn’t the best time to color block…), but don’t get too
hung up on this detail. “Your gown and veil probably won’t be from the
same designer, so the colors won’t match perfectly,” says Liv Hart, “But
as long as the veil is in a similar shade it will blend in with your
gown. You won’t believe how many shades of ivory and white are
available.” Myra Callan suggests choosing something simple for a dress
that is heavily embellished, but for a more understated gown feel free
to jazz things up with rhinestones, lace or other intricate details.
(See more on choosing the right veil here.)
Once you’ve picked a style you love, it helps to know where and how
to wear it. Both Hart and Callan agree that it depends on both the style
of the veil and your personal preference. In general though, the veil sweet spot is the crown of the head, where your head starts to curve downward, or just below.
“It really illuminates the bride’s face,” says Hart. Before your
wedding day, Callan recommends testing out comb placement. “You want to
see how the blusher (if there is one) hangs and where the bottom edge
hits to find the spot that is most complimentary to your overall look,”
she says. Veils can be fastened with combs or clips. “For extra hold,
you can slide bobby pins at a perpendicular angle to the teeth of the
comb or make an “x” along the teeth of the comb,” says Callan.
To help you figure out where your veil will go check out the most popular veils below and tips for styling each:
The Drop Wedding Veil
Veil by Hushed Commotion, Photo: Jen Huang
The halo or drop veil is on-trend right now and has a distinctly
bohemian style. “An illusion comb is stitched in with invisible thread
to allow the veil to almost float on top of your hairstyle. It can be
placed at the crown of the head or just below,” explains Hart. And don’t
worry too much about matching the color of your veil to your wedding
dress. As long as the shades are close, they’ll blend nicely together.
Tip: To really highlight your veil, add a hair vine or elegant headpiece.
The Juliet Wedding Cap
Veil by Twigs & Honey, Phot: Elizabeth Messina
To add a vintage or bohemian edge to your look a Juliet cap veil is
it. “There are two ways to wear this style,” says Hart. “You can either
take a lace or bead-trimmed veil and wear it as a cap, with the sides
pinned back with combs or pins behind each ear, or with a veil attached
to a separate cap.”
Tip: Add something extra to your veil between ceremony and reception. Flowers, combs and pins are all fun ideas.
The Cathedral Veil
Photo: Joey Kennedy Photography
Traditional veils like the elbow length, fingertip, chapel and
cathedral styles can be worn with or without a blusher, depending on
whether or not you plan to cover your face for the ceremony. “Typically,
they are placed at the back of the head,” says Callan, “but longer
veils can be placed further back.”
Tip: A long tulle veil like this one could crinkle easily. Have it steamed (not ironed!) before the wedding day.
The Blusher Veil
Heather Roth Photography
We love the modern edge of a blusher veil, especially when paired
with a lacy, feminine gown. “Like the more classic styles, blusher veils
are placed at the crown of the head, but can be made longer or shorter,
depending on how far back you place the comb,” says Callan.
Tip: Want a more structured look? Instead of a nylon blend, choose a blusher in a heavier and more opaque silk tulle.
The Bandeau Veil
Veil by Liv Hart Enchanted Atelier, Photo: Laura Gordon
“The bandeau veil is perfect for the fashion-forward bride. It’s
typically worn across the eyes to the tip of the nose. It can be secured
with combs or alligator clips depending on the style,” says Hart.
Tip: Make sure your wedding dress truly complements (and doesn’t compete with) this fashion-forward veil.
The Cage Wedding Veil
Veil by Liv Hart Enchanted Atelier, Photo: Gossamer Vintage
The birdcage veil is the signature accessory for a vintage-glam
wedding. “A cage veil is not always a standard size or shape, so you
should find out which design is best for communicating your signature
style,” says Hart. “I recommend a 9″ cage veil length. It’s the perfect
length to place the veil off to the side of the head and drape across
your face diagonally to allow your lips to be free.”
Tip: Try not to exceed 9″ — if the netting is any
longer, it could come in contact with your lipstick, leaving you with
a smudge on the netting and possibly your face .
A Word: Not feeling the veil but plan to wear one to
please mom or grandma? Callan and Hart recommend wearing your veil
lower on your head to avoid having it distract from your gown or
face. “Another thing to consider if you want a subtle veil is width,”
says Hart. “A narrower cut will lay flatter and offer more transparency
than a wider, gathering veil.”
A recent study by Facebook has some surprising revelations about the post-wedding travel tendencies of 2014's newlyweds.
gathered data from couples who "checked in" at destinations more than
twenty miles from their homes within two weeks after posting a marriage
life event. While the study is far from scientific, it does provide some
interesting data about Facebook users.
Namely, although relaxing
beach towns predictably claimed nine of the top 10 spots, Las Vegas was
the most popular destination among both international and American
newlyweds. Sin City was significantly more popular for international
couples than those from the U.S., or as Facebook put it, "Newlyweds from
the US were much less likely to check into Las Vegas on Facebook than
couples from outside the US."
The graph below shows the median
distance traveled by honeymooners based on country of origin. Couples
from South Korea ventured the farthest, traveling more than 4,000 miles
from home, while Americans' median distance was just over 500 miles.
(Click on the image to view a larger version).
Here are the top 10 destinations among couples worldwide:
had celebrated earlier so I didn't remember until I was driving to
work. I called him. Told him I loved him. I got grocery store flowers
when I got home. Beautifully arranged by the way.
What ever did we do without grocery store flowers?
being a marital therapist and my own experience, I have learned a few
things. Since I am on year #24, I've divided them into 12's. Just to be
12 THINGS THAT MARRIAGE IS NOT:
1) Marriage is not for sissies. It's hard work.
Marriage is not about getting what you want all the time. It's not a
dictatorship. It's not wanting to win all the time because that would
mean the other person would lose all the time. May be OK for you. Not
good for the marriage.
3) Marriage is not rocket science. The
principles it's based on are really pretty simple. Kindness. Respect.
Loyalty. That kind of thing.
4) Marriage is not unfashionable. It stays vital. Even Brangelina must think so.
Marriage is not in and of itself stimulating. Since you are with the
same person over a long time, the two of you can get in a rut. You have
to keep things fresh.
6) Marriage is not about collecting things.
The joys of marriage aren't tangible. You live them. That's what makes
them so very special.
7) Marriage is not for the impatient. Some
of the best stuff takes a while to develop. You have to stick around to
find that out.
8) Marriage is not the place for criticism. For
abuse. If it is found there, it will ruin any chance of true intimacy or
trust and dissolve the hope that once might have existed.
Marriage is not a 24-hour repair shop. Your marital partner is not
supposed to meet your every need. Some of those needs you may have to
take care of yourself. Through your friendships or other activities.
10) Marriage is not self-sustaining. It does not thrive on its own. If all you focus on is the kids, you are making a mistake.
Marriage is not boring. Two lives woven together can be quite exciting!
There's just something about watching someone very different from you,
living their life in an extremely different way. Up close and personal.
You learn from that.
12) Marriage is not without conflict. Knowing
how to disagree and work through anger and disappointment is probably
the key to lots of stuff going well. Getting to that cooperating,
mentioned in #2.
12 Things That Marriage Is:
1) Marriage is the potential for an intense, deep and diverse intimacy. Sexual. Emotional. Relational.
2) Marriage is knowing someone has your back. Always. You have theirs. It's about interdependence.
Marriage is realizing that you have been seen in your worst times, and
that you are still loved.
There's an overriding sense of gratitude and
4) Marriage is sharing old jokes. Or some story that may
be told over and over but it still makes you laugh 'til you are left
gasping for breath.
5) Marriage is getting teary-eyed together.
6) Marriage is thinking about the other one not being there anymore. And not being able to think about it.
Marriage is getting irritated by the things that always irritate you.
Have irritated you for 24 years. Will irritate you for 24 more. And
tolerating it because it is way overbalanced by the good stuff.
8) Marriage is not being able to wait to get home to share some little something.
9) Marriage is wishing you were the one having the operation. Or the illness. Not him.
Marriage is sometimes fighting. Trying to slowly learn to fight more
fairly. To apologize. To listen. To learn. To find resolution.
Marriage is about vulnerability. Giving someone the right to hurt or
disappoint you. While simultaneously giving that someone the opportunity
to bring you tremendous joy and laughter.
12) Marriage is a
promise. A vow. To try the hardest you have ever tried in your life.
Marriage is a place for the achievement of a personal integrity like no
After months of searching and saving, you've found your perfect
gown! And while the dress is certainly is near and dear to your heart
right now, one question lingers: what will become of it after the
wedding? Many brides are taking a new look at the life of their wedding
dress, post-ceremony. We've rounded up eight ideas for what to do with
the dress once your big day has passed.
2. Make it into a work of art. Dresses,
garters, and veils can all be professionally framed into custom art,
preserving the happiness of your day for years to come.
3. Turn it into a gown for your little one. Christening
gowns are becoming a popular way to re-work wedding dresses. You could
also have your gown made into an outfit for a naming ceremony or even a
first birthday party.
4. Have a cocktail...dress, that is! You've
worked with your seamstress to have the dress perfectly tailored...so
why not reach out post-wedding to have a custom cocktail dress created? A
dress that is both loved and fits like a glove could become a great
conversation piece at next summer's soiree.
5. Transform it. Dresses made of satin,
lace, or tulle can be transformed into beautiful evening bags; we love
the idea of carrying your dress in clutch form to your first anniversary
dinner. If staying in is more your speed, dresses can also be made into
pillows or quilts. What better way to add a cherished touch to your
7. Preserve it for posterity. Every
bride loves her dress, and if the saying "like mother like daughter"
proves true in your family, your unique gown may be just what your
children may want when their day comes. Even if that seems unlikely, you
still may find yourself unable to part with it.
8. Trash it! This last idea can be a fun
way to send your dress off in style. Brides have swum underwater,
played in muddy farms, or even set fire to their frocks. With a
photographer standing by, trashing your dress can create fun and
Ashley Campbell isn’t a young woman who spent a lot of time thinking
about the perfect partner, the perfect wedding, the perfect life.
Campbell, 22, has cystic fibrosis (CF) and all she wanted to do was
breathe, just a little bit easier.
Courtesy of Ashley Campbell
"An organ donor gave Ryan and me a chance at a life together," says Ashley Campbell.
lungs were failing, standard treatments weren’t working and her only
hope for survival was a double-lung transplant. However, donor organs
are scare. And with a chronic, life-threatening disease like CF, she was
never quite sure she would meet a man who would be brave enough to join
his life with hers. Those partners are scarce, too.
But life can indeed be filled with surprises.
March of this year, Ashley was in the Cleveland Clinic’s intensive care
unit fighting for her life. She suffered a serious setback and had to
be flown to Cleveland from her home in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Her
boyfriend, Ryan Denkenberger, 20 — the proverbial "friend of a friend"
she met on Facebook — was at her side, watching a ventilator do her
breathing as she lay on the bed, sedated.
remembers their first date on August 5, 2013. It was nothing fancy, he
says, just dinner and a movie. Ashley calls him a gentle man, “... a
rock, whose mother
raised him right.” He would help her carry her oxygen, and when she
couldn’t make it up to the second-story of her home, Ryan would put her
on his back and climb the stairs piggyback style.
Ryan was a
young man in love, but he didn’t know if Ashley was going to survive.
But Ashley did stabilize and when she was taken off sedation one of the
first people she saw was Ryan.
J. Wilfong Photography
When Ashley Campbell awoke from sedation after a serious setback, one
of the first people she saw was Ryan Denkenberger, who had a ring and a
He was on bended knee, right at her bedside. He had a ring and asked Ashley to marry him.
“I wanted her to know just how much I loved her, no matter what,” says Ryan, who works in the energy industry. “He changed my life,” says Ashley. “I thought it couldn’t get any better than that.”
But it could, and did. A few hours later another life-changing event happened. Her family
and fiancé were told Ashley was a match for a pair of donor lungs, and
she was finally going to get her transplant after being listed for more
than two years.
Campbell is one of the estimated 30,000 people in
the U.S. with CF, a genetic disease that causes a buildup of mucus in
the lungs, pancreas and other organs. That mucous buildup can lead to
severe respiratory problems, and trouble with digestion and absorption.
With advances in medication and management, many patients with CF live well into their 30s, 40s and sometimes beyond.
transplants are reserved for those individuals who have severe lung
disease and who meet other criteria. Although the surgery doesn’t cure
CF, it could potentially buy Ashley many years of a more normal life.
Courtesy of Ashley Campbell
The couple hasn't set a wedding date yet, but they’re happy to be home,
cuddling on the couch, and binge-watching movies and TV shows.
to the CF Foundation Patient Registry, nearly 2,800 people with CF have
received lung transplants since 1990. More than 80 percent of these
patients are alive one year after transplant, and more than 50 percent
are alive after five years.
People over the age of 12 who are waiting for lung transplants are assessed on a regular basis to determine their health status and their likelihood of staying healthy after transplantation.
Instead of allocating lungs based on wait time, available donor lungs are given to those who are the most sick.
For Ashley, the future looks much brighter than it ever has before.
living, medication compliance and a healthy soul, in a perfect world,
there would be nothing to hold Ashley back,” says Dr. Marie Budev.
medical director of the clinic’s lung transplant center, which performed
98 lung transplants last year, 12 of which were for patients with CF.
patient is an individual, but patients with CF seem to do quite well
after transplant,” says Budev. “We want to see people go back to
college, get married, live a life. Transplants are about more than just
Ashley hopes to go back to college to study nursing. Ryan was in college studying business,
and would like to go back and perhaps study physical therapy. The
couple has not yet set a wedding date. Right now they’re happy to be at
home, cuddling on the couch, and binge-watching movies and television
shows, while Ashley eats one of her favorite meals: a "Mr. Hero Romanburger" and fries with cheese.
finally putting some weight on,” says Ashley who, at one point, weighed
only 64 pounds, and now tips the scale at about 75 pounds. Her goal is
to get to about 115 pounds.
“People like us, with serious health conditions,
we dream of a healthy life,” she says, "and organ donors . . . can give
someone that second chance. In my case, an organ donor gave Ryan and me
a chance at a life, together.”
1. If you've hired a wedding planner or consultant, you should
include him or her in the tasting; it's the wedding planner's job to be
the clear-eyed troubleshooter, and to make sure you get the service you
2. Look for signs of good-quality foods and ingredients. If the ends
of cheese slices appear dry and discolored, that could mean that the
cheese was cut hours before — or even yesterday. Are the vegetables
brightly colored and not soggy? Is the salad fresh and not wilting? Are
baked breads soft and chewy and not stale and hard? Even little things
like butter having a refrigerator taste, can be a clue to a caterer's
attention — or inattention — to detail.
3. Notice the attentiveness of the staff. If you're attending a
buffet tasting, note whether food is allowed to sit out for long periods
without being replenished. The caterer should have sufficient staff to
keep presentation as fresh looking at 3 p.m. as it was at noon.
4. Ask if it's possible to meet the chef at your tasting. Be sure to
thank the chef and offer positive feedback. Once you empower a chef with
your attention and confidence, the results can be amazing.
Ahh ... compromise. It's a word that all happy couples
understand well, but when it comes to wedding planning, often it's not
with each other that they have to compromise, but with their parents.
Regardless of where you and your parents may fall on the
Bridezilla/Momzilla scale, there will be times when you won't things see
eye to eye. We asked wedding planners Amy Katz, founder of Amy Katz Events and Nicolle Sellers, principal planner at Mother of the Bride, to share the most common planning disagreements they encounter and offer their wise advise on how to resolve them.
1. The Guest List
Parents don't want to feel limited in how many people they can invite to the wedding,
says Katz. "This becomes an especially sticky subject if they also
happen to be footing the bill." The key to navigating the issue is to be
respectful of feelings at all times. "Don't yell or fight," warns Katz.
"Instead, sit down together and make a joint list of who the most
important people are to the families and how realistic it is to
accommodate everyone given the venue and budget. Any reasonable parent
will understand that they shouldn't invite 10 work clients that have
never even met the couple if that means the bride's college roommates
would need to be cut."
2. The Invitation Wording
Invitations might look pretty and pristine, but they can be the source
of a lot of tension. "Sometimes if the bride's family is paying for the
entire wedding, they can get adamant that the groom's parents' names not
be anywhere on the invitation," explains Katz. Unfortunately, this may
cause the groom to feel slighted and starting off a marriage with a
bride vs. groom family feud is never a good idea. "There are ways to list names in order on the invitation
that makes it clear who is the host," Katz says. "Your best bet is to
have your wedding planner — an expert who has dealt with this before and
can bring an impartial view to the situation."
3. The Open Bar
"A lot of disagreements between the couple and their parents come down
to the bar," says Sellers. "Whether it's because they want guests to
drink responsibly or because it's such a large line item on the budget,
many parents want to cap how long the open bar lasts, whereas the couple may want it to go all night." An easy fix? "Split the cost of the bar," suggests Sellers.
4. The More Traditional Aspects of a Wedding
Keep in mind that norms have changed a lot in the past 30 to 50 years,
when your parents had their wedding, says Katz. "For example, now
couples don't think twice about having a dessert bar or a coffee bar,
but when the parents were getting married, the proper thing to do was to
have coffee service at the table. Both sides need to compromise a
little if they're getting worked up over these types of details."
Another traditional part of the wedding that many parents find important but couples find less so is having a receiving line.
"Parents see the receiving line as an opportunity for the couple to
thank people who have traveled to see them and brought them a gift,"
says Sellers. If you have a lot of older relatives who are attending
your wedding, Sellers recommends that couples compromise on this to
avoid any hurt feelings. "But if a receiving line is not possible
because of time or space constraints, then couples should specifically
make a point to greet and thank their guests individually."
Looking for wedding favors that your guests will want to stash
instead of throw in the trash? The best gifts are those that are usable
and beautifully wrapped, and a wedding favor is no exception. To thank
guests for attending your wedding, consider these adorable gestures your
guests will love to take home.
1. Talk about a way to get things popping! These popcorn kernels are an adorable way to thank guests for attending.
9.Show your gratitude by giving guests delicious
preserves in sweet jars tied with twine. It’s a surefire way to make
sure your guests are still talking about your wedding over breakfast the