Monday, July 30, 2012

Keeping Up with the Joneses

You're planning your dream wedding and think you have it all figured out until you hear what someone else is doing for their wedding.  Now you begin second guessing yourself.  It happens all the time in life and may pop up as you plan this special occasion. It's the popular notion of "keeping up with the Joneses." If your neighbor, friend, relative, etc.  has a brand new luxury car, you want one too.  If they show up to dinner wearing designer clothes, you start reconsidering your wardrobe.  And if they just returned from their grand vacation at a Five Star resort, your weekend getaway at the local beach suddenly doesn't sound all that exciting.  Feelings of jealousy or inadequacy and second-guessing our choices surface.  It happens to all of us at some point or other in our lives, and can have overarching effects if not kept in check.
As you plan, think of your hopes and dreams for your wedding.  Remind yourself that it doesn't have to be the biggest or flashiest to be beautiful.   Don't think about what other brides are doing, unless it's something that appeals to you.  Make sure your choices are coming from a place within you and are not a nagging influence to keep up with the trends.   Stay within your means and always keep it real.  The moments you create during the wedding will be far more memorable than having a dessert buffet, ice sculptures, or a ten piece band.
The wonderful thing about weddings is that there are so many ways to do it.  You have the chance to make it your own.  Be creative, be unique, and most importantly, be  you.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In the Face of Tragedy

How can we continue to be happy in the face of tragedy? Feelings of guilt sometimes creep up on us as we try to navigate our feelings of joy and happiness (as in the case of getting married), with those of suffering around us. People deal with calamities, be it on a personal or national level, in different ways.  You will recognize how you handle such situations and determine whether it is helpful or not in your ability to cope.  If the initial shock of a tragedy passes and you are able to move forward with your daily activities, even though you may continue feeling the pain and suffering, you are likely coping effectively.  If, however, you are finding it difficult to do things you normally do months after the tragedy occurred, you may need to ask for additional help.  Keep in mind that there are too many variables to suggest there is a clear cut way of determining how effective a person is at coping.  Every situation is different and needs its own assessment.
As you deal with tragedy, know that it is okay to still feel happiness and joy.   The opposite emotions you may be feeling do not need to be mingled together, as each situation warrants its own sentiment.  If you are planning a wedding and are suddenly hit with bad news, take some time to understand it.  Then remind yourself, that although there is misfortune, there is also happiness that lies ahead.  And your happiness and joy deserve the same consideration.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Agree to Disagree

People don't always agree, even if we're madly in love with each other.  As individuals, we formulate our own ideas and opinions.  When we come together as a couple or in a group, opinions vary and ideas multiply.  That's the nature of mankind.  Keep that in mind as you plan your wedding, which comes with a good deal of decision making. From the start, tell your fiance you want to have an "agree to disagree" policy.  Have an open and honest discussion on how it's okay to not agree on everything.  There will be some decisions that are harder to make than others.  For those, the two of you will have to compromise or find another way of coming to the conclusion.  Disagreeing with one another, doesn't have to mean that one of you is right and one of you is wrong.  Keep judgments out of it.  It simply means you have differing views and for the sake of maintaining a healthy and peaceful relationship while planning a wedding, you will commit to one or the other.  I often hear brides remark about wedding planning, "I just want my fiance and I to be talking at the end of this."  That's how stressful this entire process can be!
Remember that your relationship takes a front seat to the wedding planning.  Don't let the color scheme or guest list come in between you.  If you disagree, talk it out, make a decision or compromise, and move forward.  If there is something important that you cannot agree on, ask an impartial person to help the two of you come to a conclusion.  At the end of the day, your wedding choices last for one day, while your relationship with each other lasts a lifetime.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


As you plan your wedding, you have many things to do and a lot on your mind.   You may be rushing through the day hoping to cross off as many items as you can from your check list.  You do your best to fit in family and social time.  You're even committed to your daily exercise routine.  You are a power bride getting it all done.  Stop now and turn yourself and all of the busyness surrounding you off. Including meditation in your daily regimen will help you relax, stay focused, and reduce some of your unhealthy stress.  It also helps you tune in to you and work on your relationship with yourself.  Meditation generally involves finding a quiet spot away from any distractions, paying attention to your breathing, and observing your body and mind.  It is "not just sitting quietly," as B. Allan Wallace, says in his book, Genuine Happiness.  "It is sitting quietly and then getting up and moving in stillness, remaining silent, in a sense, even as you are speaking," Wallace explains.  In other words, the more we practice meditation, the more likely we can get to this point of always being in a meditative state no matter where we are or what our circumstance.   Wouldn't that be wonderful?!
We are all within reach of this lofty goal.  Everyone can meditate.  It costs nothing but time, once you learn how and put it into practice.  There are different kinds of meditation and many books and CDs to match.  Find the one that fits for you and add it to your daily routine.  Many people practice meditating when they wake up and before they go to sleep.  Do what works for you and as you see the benefits, you will decide the best ways of implementing it.  More importantly, if you continue meditating regularly, the peacefulness that comes from it will stay with you long after you plan your wedding.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Independence Day

With Independence Day on the horizon, I decided it was appropriate to tackle the topic of going from Miss Independent to Mrs. Married.  Some women are afraid that stepping into matrimony means stepping out of an independent lifestyle and into a more dependent one.  With marriage your sense of freedom may decrease, but that doesn't mean your actual independence does.  It is rather a change in feeling. Whether you're the type of woman who is used to spontaneous weekend getaways or enjoys hosting intimate parties with friends, once you are married you'll find you have to take into consideration your significant other.  Your plans may or may not be as easy to arrange as they used to be, depending on your spouse and his feelings about it.  This can feel limiting, especially if you are accustomed to a particular lifestyle or habit.  Share your feelings and hopes with your significant other and find a way to compromise.  Remember that he wants to retain his sense of independence too.
Both you and your fiance are separate individuals.  When united by marriage, you will become dependent on each other to make the right choices as a couple.  Compromise and mutual decision making comes with the territory.  It's a change from what you may be used to, but if the two of you work together to make sure both of your needs are being met, you will continue to feel your personal independence through the  support of each other.