Wednesday, December 28, 2011


As 2012 approaches most of us are likely to create New Year's resolutions.  We do every year.  But how often are we successful with our resolutions? Most of us come out of the starting gate with lots of enthusiasm and commitment towards our said resolutions; unfortunately, as time goes by our enthusiasm and commitment begins to wane and our goals fall by the wayside.

The key to successful New Year's resolutions lies in their creation.  I will use weight loss as an example of a resolution in the section, as it is a common one; however, any resolution can be substituted here.  Firstly, make your goal achievable.  There is no sense in creating a resolution that's unrealistic.  If you never exercised a day in your life before and you resolve to go to the gym everyday in the New Year, you're not likely to succeed in the long run.  Better to create a smaller goal that fits in with your abilities, personality, schedule, etc.  Secondly, make your goal measurable.  Don't just tell yourself, "I want to lose weight."  Make your goal measurable by putting in an actual number. "I want to lose ten pounds." Thirdly, give yourself a timeline. "I want to lose ten pounds by July 4, 2012".  Again, remember to make your timetable realistic too.  Fourth, fill in the details of how you plan on accomplishing your goals.  Now that you have a sensible and realistic goal, ask yourself how will you get there. "I plan to lose ten pounds by July 4, 2012 by exercising and eating healthier," is not going to cut it.  You have to come up with a step by step plan to get there.  "I plan to lose ten pounds by July 4, 2012 by: I will go to XYZ Gym on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 7:00-8:00am beginning the first week in January; I will enroll/follow the XYZ diet by January 15, 2012; I will eliminate all empty calorie foods on weekdays, etc.  These are merely ideas, but you get the idea.  Do your research for what works best for you and then detail it for your resolution.

Finally, write it down!  Putting your goals in writing makes it tangible.  Place your written resolution somewhere you can see it daily.  This will keep your desired goal in the forefront of your thoughts and hopefully, more motivated to making it happen.  Brides, take note, that following these steps to creating successful resolutions will help you with your wedding planning goals too.  Realistic, measurable, time specific, and detailed goals helps you ensure your wedding planning is successful and on schedule.

A healthy, happy, prosperous, and peaceful New Year to you all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gifts with Meaning

Shopping for the right gift for your significant other at Christmas or any time of the year is fun, but can also be challenging.  Sure, you have some ideas, you know what he likes and what he doesn't; but you want your gift to be special, to stand out and say I have put a lot of thought into this. There are two parts to figuring out what that special gift is: listening and meaning.

Listening to someone when they're speaking to you and really hearing what they say gives you a lot of insight into that person.  And that means paying attention to them even when they are simply talking about random things.  For example, it's December and your fiance hints around at wanting a new watch for the holidays. Easy enough.  But maybe back in the summer while listening to the radio he also mentioned how he always wished he could see a favorite musician live and as it happens you know (or you researched and discovered) that artist will be coming to town in the next couple months.  Paying attention to those cursory remarks gives you a second potential gift option.

Finding a gift that's meaningful sounds obvious. You want the gift to have special meaning, for the receiver.  You may love the symphony and think that a romantic evening listening to classical music will be a lovely and special gift. And it very well may be; however, before settling on your ideas think about your fiance's likes and preferences.  When it comes to gifts for him, put his likes first.  That may mean trading the symphony for a football game, but it shows that you want to make him happy even if you would rather be doing something else.   Of course, you shouldn't pick something you can't tolerate or feel good and comfortable about getting (i.e., the leg lamp from A Christmas Story comes to mind).

Put those two parts together-something you heard your significant other talk about and something you know he will find meaningful- and you've got a great gift idea.  Don't limit yourself to finding a meaningful gift for your fiance only. Giving meaningful gifts to family and friends alike shows you've been listening and that you want to do something special for them.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Family Feuds

'Tis the season of holidays and for many of us, family gatherings.  And while the idea of coming together with our relatives to celebrate the holidays and special occasions sounds warm and inviting, it can also be stressful.  Whether we want to admit it or not, family get-togethers are not always pleasant.  Grudges, rehashing past experiences and uncomfortable conversations can lead you to counting down the minutes until everybody leaves.

So how can you manage all the emotions and feelings that come up when your family is visiting? While there is no clear cut answer to that question, since everybody's situation differs, it's helpful to remind yourself that though you may not be able to control other people's words and actions, you can control your own.  Staying in a place of peace and calm will help you maintain control of the events surrounding you.  Not allowing yourself to get drawn into family drama will reduce the likelihood of escalating negative emotions. Informing family members that you would prefer everybody focus on the positive things in life during this holiday season may set the stage for a better experience.  Of course, you are likely to have to make several such requests.  If family members persist in bringing your holiday spirits down with unwanted chatter, it might be worth it to try taking them aside and acknowledging the importance of what they would like to discuss.  Then let them know that you can give them your full attention to address the matter on such and such day after the holidays.

This holds true for brides as well.  Certainly at family gatherings, relatives will be giving you unsolicited advice about your wedding.  If  you'd rather not discuss all the wedding details and get into potential squabbles, tell them that the holiday is your day off  from wedding planning and that you are not engaging in any wedding talk, but would rather focus on family, friends, etc. (see the previous post).  Sticking to what you say is important as well.  Show others that you have the strength to stand up for what you've decided and  the will to maintain your positive and happy disposition throughout.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

So Much To Do, So Little Time

As the holidays are fast approaching, many of us find ourselves asking, how are we going to get it all done.  All the more so, the bride.  In addition to planning your wedding, you no doubt have holiday shopping, baking, decorating, or other preparations to contend with as well.  Your obligations may have expanded a bit and you're wondering, which one is more important to focus on now.  I would suggest not to weigh the two equally.  In fact, sometimes it's better not to compare things at all.

Your wedding and spending time on the holidays are both important parts of life.  They are two very different experiences, and both that will eventually create memories of their own.  Knowing this, you can put aside any thoughts of "what's more important" and focus on the memories you'd like to create.  Holidays are a meaningful part of life and dedicating time to it and sharing with others in them will not only help you take a breather from all the wedding stuff, but will also remind you that you don't have to put your life on hold while preparing for the big day.  Each day is a new opportunity to create wonderful and meaningful memories with all of your loved ones and it's important not to let your growing list of things to do get in the way of that.  While you may decide there are some things that you can or cannot do, given your plans and time constraints, do pick at least one day during this time of year-whether it's Christmas eve or day, Chanukah, etc.- to have a wedding planning free day.  Be in the moment. Enjoy the holidays and cherish the memories.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Giving Thanks

As Thanksgiving approaches, it's a good time to take a breather and be thankful for everything you have.  It's also a good time to verbally express appreciation to everyone around you who is helping with your wedding plans.  Give your family thanks for being supportive during this happy, but sometimes stressful time.  Let your friends and others know how thankful you are to have them in your life and that you look forward to sharing the joy on your wedding day and spending more time with everybody afterwards.  Do something special for your fiance to let him know you are grateful for having found him and for all the nice things he does for you.

Tell your vendors how excited you are to be working with them and how much you appreciate their hard work on your behalf.  Sending cards, small token gifts, or doing something special or unexpected like, baking a batch of cookies, for family, friends, or vendors lets them know you are thinking about them and that you recognize all that they do.  Adding a little something to the "thank yous" you shower your vendors with may distinguish you from other clients and they will remember it fondly.

If you don't have one already, begin writing a gratitude journal.  At the end of each day, write a list of everything and everyone you are thankful for.  Use your journal to help you connect to those people in it and share your appreciation with them.  Putting things in writing makes it more real and serves as a reminder of the many blessings we all have, especially on days we feel a bit blah. Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for reading!

Monday, October 3, 2011

And Then There Were Three (or more)

A topic that often isn't discussed in wedding planning materials, is that of blended families.  Deciding to get married and spend a life with someone takes a great deal of love and time.  And while, you made the decision and feel ready for the next step, your children might not be.  Regardless of your children's age, it's important to sit down with them and discuss your decision to marry before announcing your engagement.  Talk to them in a manner appropriate for their age level and help them understand your decision and what it means to you.  Ask them if they have any questions or concerns.  Inform them that even though you will be spending time planning your wedding, they are your priority too and that you love them very much.  See how involved they may like to be in the wedding planning, if they are old enough.  Open communication is key and listening to what they have to say will help you navigate, what can sometimes be, a rocky road.

Adjusting to a new family life is challenging.  Be aware of any behavioral changes in your children, which can indicate they are having a harder time coping with your decision than you might have imagined.  Sleep disturbances, trouble at school, or a change in eating habits are some examples of what to be on the lookout for.  If you notice such changes, address it with your children and see if it does have to do with your recent engagement or if it's something else.  If you can't work out the problem behavior together, seek out someone who can help.  Remember that it may take a while for children to accept your decision to marry.  Continuing to show that you love them and respect their need for time will help them in the process.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Turning a New Leaf

The change of seasons is a good time for introspection.  What are you doing that can be done better? Are there relationships you can improve?  Can you use your time more effectively? Taking a moment to look inside and better yourself is a constant challenge, especially when you're preoccupied with so much to do.  But what better time to do it, then now, as you find yourself getting ready to begin a new stage in your life.

It's easy to say you'd like to start fresh, but turning a new leaf is no easy task.  It is best to start small.  Pick something you want to work on.  Make sure it is something that you truly feel compelled to change.  That will keep you motivated through the process.  Also ask yourself, is this goal realistic and achievable.  If it's not, than see if you can turn it into one.  You may not be able to repair broken relationships with a family members before your wedding day, but you may be able to find a way not to argue with them, for example.  When you follow through with your intended action, go ahead and pat yourself on your back.  Change is hard work.  The more you stick to it, the more likely you'll create the outcome you intend.  And a better you will be a great springboard into your marriage.  Happy Autumn!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Life Outside of Wedding Planning

There is so much to talk about and do when it comes to planning your wedding, that your life may become too focused on the wedding.  It's important for you to find a healthy balance between getting things done in a timely manner and making the time for those people who are important in your life.  Just because you have a million things to do, doesn't mean you should neglect your social life.

First and foremost, brides need to make sure they are nurturing their relationships with their partners. And while brides and grooms may be tackling some of their planning together, it's critical to spend some time continuing to go out for fun.  Schedule dates outside of wedding stuff.  Have a romantic dinner, take and stroll in the park, see a show, or whatever it is that the two of you enjoy doing.  Spending all your time on your wedding can become stressful and trying in any relationship, and taking a break will do you both a world of good  .

Family and friends also need to know that they are still an important part of your life.  Let them know ahead of time that you are excited about your upcoming nuptials and their sharing in your joy.  Inform them that you will be busy in the coming months, but will make every effort to stay connected.  Tell them you hope they understand that you may not be available for every get together during certain periods.  Explaining ahead of time your availability and time constraints means no surprises for your loved ones later.  Showing up, however, to a family affair or social event with friends, even if for a short time, is a great way to turn your attention to someone else and to remind yourself that as you share in the joys of others, so will they share in your happiness on your wedding day.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Setting your priorities when you have a long list of things to do can be challenging.  How do you know what is most important, in what order to do things, etc.?  The answers to these questions will depend on the person.  Finding the right vendors for all your needs will likely be the most difficult task.  Once you find the right people to help you actualize your wedding, you can create a rough daily, weekly, or monthly schedule.

Ideally, you want to jump on the items that will take longer to get done.  Reserving a location for the ceremony and reception is definitely a priority.  Many places book up fast and well in advance; so if you have a special place in mind, make sure it's available and reserve the spot!  Once you have your wedding date and location available, you can start working on the other details.  If you're custom making your gown, get an idea of how long that process will take and the time commitment you have to make.  Routine dress fittings will generally play a big part in your plans until your wedding day.   Invitations are also important to have done early on so you can give your guests a reasonable time to respond.  Creating a gift registry?  Having one completed early on will save you time later and will be helpful to family and friends shopping for your wedding or bridal shower.

After you start working with your vendors, you'll see that you will likely have to connect with each of them multiple times.  Set your priorities here too.  Arrange your schedule based on your mutual needs.  If the caterer can only schedule with you during normal business hours, but the florist is open on the weekends for appointments, then meet with the caterer on a weekday and hold off on the flowers for the weekend if time.  It may sound obvious, but with so many things to do, timing really is everything.  

Friday, August 12, 2011


As a bride, you look forward to your wedding daily.  You anticipate the big day when you will officially share your life with someone else forever.  Expectations for your wedding day is high, no doubt.  It would be wise, however, from steering clear of thinking it will be perfect.  I don't think I've ever been to a wedding or heard of a wedding that was "perfect."  In most cases, some unexpected glitch is bound to surface. At least a half a dozen of these little glitches came up at my wedding.  It is difficult to create perfection, as very little in life has a guarantee of being perfect.  And that is okay.

Weddings and other special occasions are meant to be as close to perfect as possible, but paying too much attention to the fine details may end up dampening your mood.  Better to live in the moment, laugh off minor hiccups, and enjoy everything that is running smoothly.  It's your wedding day.  Let someone else worry about the details, if it's fixable.  If you hired a consultant, that's what you're paying them to do.  If you don't have someone running the show, call on a family member or friend to help.  As the bride, your job is to be having fun and to be happy with your husband.  Remember that the bigger picture is your relationship and that no matter what happens, big or small, the two of you will weather it together.  It's a good lesson in life and good way for you to begin your new marriage.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Money Talks

Now more than ever, people are concerned about their finances.  Money is an important part of everyone's lives, and brides and grooms will do well to discuss a wedding budget and money matters before planning their wedding.  Discussing finances can be challenging, but it is important, not only for the wedding expenses, but for your future together.  While there are many financial considerations to discuss, both of you should understand how the other manages money, what debt may be looming, and who plans to pay for what.  If family members are paying for your wedding, talk with them ahead of time about your wedding goals to see if it will work.  Make sure to have an actual sit down discussion where everybody understands exactly what the budget is, how it will be paid and who will pay it .

As you move along in the planning process, determine how much you will be willing to spend on your entire wedding, as well as for various vendors.  If food is more important to you than flowers, maybe you will budget more money towards a caterer than to a florist. You will certainly save money if you do some things yourself or enlist family and friend's help.  Share your ideas with your significant other and family members paying for part of the wedding. It will show them your priorities and how you plan on getting the most for your money. They will also appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Hi All!
Sorry for the interruption in writing. Since my last post, I delivered and have been caring for a healthy and beautiful baby girl.  Not quite five months old, but she is fairly active and keeps me on my toes.  This brings me to the appropriate topic of interruptions.  Everything in life does not always go smoothly.  There's bound to be things that get in the way.  And although you're planning what will be one of the most important days in your life, there may be something that you didn't plan for that could distract you from your planning.  For me, it was an ill grandfather.  I planned my wedding under strict time constraints so that he would be able to see one of his grandchildren married.  Although he couldn't attend the wedding, we recreated it in the nursing home he was residing in across the country a few days later.  He passed away two months afterwards.

Coping with the stress of  an ill loved one or any other emotional situation makes planning a wedding a lot more challenging.  The key to getting through it is your mental attitude.  Instead of focusing on how guilty I would feel if my grandfather didn't see me married, I continuously reminded myself that my grandfather loved me and would be happy for me no matter what.  I also envisioned our "second" wedding at the nursing home and what a wonderful day that would be.  I understood that letting my emotions get in the way of the planning aspect or starting to feel bad about myself would not help my family or myself.  Staying positive and focused help me deal with this unexpected situation.  Positive mental attitude in all situations-expected or not- is key!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Getting the Support You Need

Being a bride is a wonderfully exciting experience.  You're the belle of the ball and all eyes will be turned towards you.  With this newfound attention, you'll begin to notice that lots of people will have some piece of advice for you.  Advice can be good at times; it can also be unwelcome, depending on who it's coming from and how it's given.

As the bride, you will be faced with many decisions about your wedding.  And though it can be overwhelming, it's important to remind yourself that this is your wedding.  You've had dreams about this day for a long time and now is the time to make those dreams a reality.  In doing so, you want to make sure that you have strong support network in your corner.  These are people who believe in your dreams and want to help you realize them.  They may be family, friends, colleagues, vendors, and everyone who is in your corner. You will recognize these individuals because they are supportive, comforting, and helpful.  They may offer assistance or suggestions, but they always put your wedding needs and wants first.

Unfortunately, there are others who seem like they want to help, but may have a different agenda than you.  They may advise you on your gown or your centerpieces, but if you have a different opinion, they are not as supportive as you hoped they might be.  They are the ones who make you second guess your decisions, not because you are weighing all your options, but because somehow all of the sudden you start to feel guilty or pressured into something you don't truly want.  It's best to limit these individuals from playing a big role in your wedding planning.  This is supposed to be the happiest time in your life and that means having happy, supportive people around you.  Having the opposite around you will dampen your spirits and make the planning process a lot more trying.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Visualizing Your Dream Wedding

You see yourself looking beautiful in a gorgeous gown.  You picture a great venue, delicious food, a fantastic band, the beautiful ambiance, and your happy guests.  You are visualizing your dream wedding.

Much has been said recently about the power of forming mental images of your hopes and dreams or what is called visualization.  Many popular self-help and inspiration books and motivational speakers discuss at length its usefulness and encourage people to use this powerful tool in manifesting their dreams.  And it has helped countless people in achieving their goals.

Why is it that this relatively easy task is so effective?  Firstly, it opens your mind to focus on the positive things you want to happen in your life instead of the doubts and obstacles we generally gravitate towards.  By training ourselves to have a mental picture of how we want things to be, we become more inclined to work towards those goals, rather than get bogged down by things that could get in the way of them.  Second, visualization is the springboard to acting "as if."  Acting "as if" refers to acting as though you already have what you visualize. And no, that doesn't mean if your goal is to become a millionaire you act as if you are one by spending money you don't have.  It means thinking like a millionaire, surrounding yourself with successful people, reading what they read, and doing anything else that would be within your limits of acting as if you were a millionaire.  The imagery and constant focus of your determined goal will keep you focused and motivated to success.

All brides picture their wedding.  No matter what your idea of your dream wedding, you should begin to set out to achieve it by visualizing it .  Picturing your wedding in your mind is a good start, but often it's difficult to hold the image for very long and our minds get distracted.  The best way to visualize is to create something you can look at to hold your mental images for longer, like a vision board.  A vision board can be simple or elaborate, depending on your preference.  Essentially, it is a a board, paper, web page or other medium where you can make your dreams come to life.  Vision boards can include real photos, words, pictures from magazines, or anything else that depicts your dream wedding. In most cases, pictures and images are more powerful than words, but the choice is yours.

Once you create your dream wedding vision board, look at it and visualize it every morning when you wake up and each evening before you go to sleep.  Keeping your dreams alive in your head is key to knowing what you want, staying on track, and eventually realizing the wedding you always wanted.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What exactly is coaching?

According to the International Coach Federation coaching is "partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential."  It is centered around goal achievement. You may have heard of life coaching or corporate coaching, which has become more widespread lately.  In these settings, individuals might have goals such as starting a new business or overcoming shyness, while corporate entities might want to improve client satisfaction or increase workplace safety.

Coaching is future focused, goal oriented, and designed for those who are motivated to take action to create the change they seek.  It is also important to note that coaching is not therapy, which is generally intended to deal with pain, conflict, or dysfunction for improved emotional health.

Bridal coaching is exactly what it sounds like.  It is coaching that focuses on goals the bride and/or her family wants to achieve while planning her wedding.  Some goals brides may have are staying organized while planning a wedding, getting in shape before the big day, or learning how to stay focused and calm while taking care of all the wedding preparations.  Whatever your goals, a coach will provide you with the structure and support you need to help you be successful.  A coach may not only provide you with a road map to help you along the way, but may also give you "homework" that you'll be held accountable for to ensure that your are moving forward in the process.

Coaches are generally flexible to help you meet your needs, and so you might meet with your coach weekly or you may just be in contact with her over the phone or via email.  Whatever the case, it's important that you check in with each other regularly to make sure you're on track with meeting your goals.  With everything you need to accomplish before your wedding day, having a coach help you feel peace of mind along the way may be just the right decision.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Welcome to the Bridal Coaching Blog!

Congratulations on your engagement!  There is such excitement and much to look forward to. And though this is the happiest time in your life, it may also be the most stressful. Between the emotions you're feeling and your ever growing to do list, your life might begin to feel like a whirlwind.  Questions start to cross your mind. "Where do I begin?"  "Will everything get done?" "How do I manage it all?"

Enter your bridal coach.  Not to be confused with a bridal consultant, who helps a bride plan her wedding, a bridal coach helps the bride maximize her personal potential.  A coach can do this by helping her achieve her goals, stay focused and organized, and maintain her physical and mental health and well being during the wedding planning process.  While all of these aspects are important throughout life, how much more so during this important time.

Different coaches help with different things and everybody has their unique personalities, styles, and areas of focus.  My goal in this blog and as a bridal coach, is to help brides and their families reach their goals so they can plan their dream wedding, while moving into a place of balance and peace of mind. I also want to help newlywed brides as they move into a new chapter in their lives. I hope to do this by writing insightful posts that will help you be a happy bride not only while managing your wedding details, but also through your first years of marriage.

I wish you all the best and much joy and happiness!