Thursday, March 10, 2016


It is with mixed emotions that I write what will likely be my final Bridal Balance blog post. Over the past several years, I  enjoyed being a part of the wedding industry, making new friends, networking, helping brides and their families while they plan their weddings. And while a part of me will always belong to the industry and keep an ear open to wedding news, I feel I have come to a point in my life where I need a make a change.
I have other interests and activities I would like to pursue, like hopefully publishing a piece of fiction one day. As I decide where my new passions lie and how they will manifest (and take care of my kiddos, of course), I simply won't have time to dedicate to Bridal Balance. I plan on archiving this blog on Blogger, so you can refer back to it at any time. I'll also maintain my Twitter and Facebook accounts to stay in the loop! And I'll update this post if I start up another blog in case you'd like to follow along my new adventure. 
It's been fun and I thank each of you for reaching out to me, teaching me, and reading along. I hope to stay in touch with many of you and will definitely keep up with your happenings. For now, I am signing off  and wishing you all peace, balance, and happiness!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Top 3 Reasons to Take Breaks from Wedding Planning

If you're a spring or summer bride this year, you may find yourself handling all the final details of your wedding day. After all, spring is only a few weeks away! While it's important to be on top of things, it's also beneficial to take breaks while planning your wedding. Here's three good reasons to take a breather if you find you're consumed with wedding planning lately:
1) Reduces Your Stress- You may think that taking a break would increase your stress because it means less time for you to get things done. In actuality, time away from planning your wedding can help you re-energize yourself so you don't get bogged down with all the details of your upcoming nuptials. Much like other areas of your life, like work or school, it's healthy to take 'vacations' so the stress doesn't get to you. 
2) Refreshes Your Perspective- Too much wedding planning can cloud your thoughts. If you're finding yourself unsure about certain decisions, taking some time off can help put things into perspective. It will keep you from getting that "deer in the headlight" look and clear your mind from unnecessary clutter. Often when we step aside from a project, it gives our brain a chance to settle. Suddenly, the right decision or idea pops into our head. 
3) It's Supposed to be Fun- You usually get one shot at planning your wedding, so you want it to be fun. Trying on dresses, tasting cake, and looking through invitations is supposed to be exciting. But if it's something you're doing day in and day out, it becomes rote and uninteresting. By choosing a few days or set hours a week to focus on your wedding, you give yourself something to look forward to instead of dread. Create natural breaks in your week to spend on other things in your life and planning your wedding will feel less like a job and more like a once in a lifetime experience.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Uncluttered Bride

My husband and I went on a cleaning spree this weekend. It all started when he brought home the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I read the book and thought it would be interesting to try out some of her suggestions (check out the author's ideas on how to arrange your clothes drawers). One change led to another and before we knew it, we unloaded three bags of clothing, two bags of toys, a number of larger baby items we aren't currently using, and enough trash to fill up our large garbage bin. In just two days, our lives became more clutter-free.
To be clear, we didn't live in a messy house. I've always prided myself on being neat. But after marriage, moving into a house, and two kids we accumulated a lot of stuff! The stuff would go in the closets or the drawers. There were neat piles of papers in various corners and plenty of toys out in the open for our young children to play with. And while we couldn't pinpoint it at the time, my husband and I were feeling stuck, distracted. Once we cleared out most of our access stuff, we immediately felt a weight lift off our shoulders. We woke up feeling energized and invigorated. We realized that the clutter in our home created clutter in our minds and how much easier it is to think, act, and live in an environment free of stuff we didn't need.
One of the greatest assets you'll find while planning your wedding is being organized. So it's a good goal to begin de-cluttering the stuff around you now.  Look around your living space. Is it a bit messy? Have you misplaced any documents or other items recently? Are there piles of papers on you desk or table? Do you own clothes or other items you haven't used in years? If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, start tidying up today.
Your wedding is before you and one way to make the planning less stressful is by transforming your home into a relaxing environment. That means cleaning out or giving away everything you don't use and going through your paperwork and eliminating the need to 'get to it later.' Not only will this create more space physically, it will help clear your mind mentally. With this transformation, you can jump headfirst into planning your wedding. You'll be better equipped to organize your wedding materials and stay focused on the task at hand, without becoming distracted by the stuff around you. An uncluttered bride is more apt to get her to-do list done without all the stress. It also sets a great precedent,  as you'll lay the foundation for a clutter-free life together. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

5 Things I learned about Marriage from My Grandmother

Last week my grandmother died. I was very close to her, so this is a bittersweet blog dedicated to her. It's bitter because, of course, I miss her terribly. But it's sweet, because I feel blessed to have spent so much time with her growing up. My grandmother taught me a great deal in life. She was married for over 50 years and in that time, I learned a lot about what it takes to have a great marriage, like they did. Whether you're planning your wedding, a newlywed, or already married for some time, here are some great tips for a long and happy marriage: 
1) Humor- More important than anything else, my grandmother always stressed how important it is to laugh in marriage. It helps when you have a partner who makes you laugh, but laughter itself can help lighten the mood in a household when things get tough. I know they had challenges and difficult moments throughout their lives, but somehow they were able to find something humorous about a situation or at least make each other smile. And the smiles and laughter definitely kept their relationship going.
2) Let Little Things Slide- My grandparents worked very hard. They owned a small store, where the two of them worked tirelessly and came home to more work. In all of those years, I never heard my grandmother get upset at my grandfather for doing or not doing something. If he left his coffee cup out, she would wash it and put it away. She never let little things or his quirky habits bother her. It was part of the marriage package and not worth getting upset over in the long run.  
3) Faith- My grandmother had lots of faith. She prayed every day for her family and those around her who needed prayers. She took things she couldn't control, like finances, and sent those worries up to Heaven. She would always say, "you just have to believe, have faith." She felt strongly that G-d would take care of the things she couldn't. That belief kept her worrying to a minimum, which in turn strengthened her marriage.  
4) Compliment- My grandmother knew how important it was to show her love and affection to my grandfather. She would compliment him when she had the chance, even if it was something little. "I like that sweater on you" or "the chicken you cooked is delicious," she would say. And he would reciprocate too. Pointing out those little details in marriage is important for both sides to know they are loved and appreciated.  
5) Space- Both of my grandparents had their roles at home and even so, my grandmother would give my grandfather his space to do things he enjoyed, like gardening, reading, and listening to his music. She allowed him time and space without pressure to get stuff done at home. Each of them having the space to do the things they enjoyed helped them come together to get things done in the end. My grandfather would clean the house weekly, while my grandmother cooked and baked. He would took care of the garbage, she did the laundry. He did the business bills, she payed the household ones. Their work was very equal, as was their down time. I never heard them talk about it, but somehow there was this magic about their partnership. They lived and worked happily side by side each and every day. 
If you're not doing so already and want to better your relationship, try implementing one of these things. If you want to dramatically improve your marriage, try doing all of them. It's hard and we all forget to at times, but I feel like they are little magical relationship tools. Try whipping one of these things out before a disagreement is about to start. Offer a compliment instead or tell your partner to take some time to do XYZ that he enjoys. See what happens and let me know! 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Powerball & Your Relationship: How They're Connected

Tonight the Powerball drawing is a record $1.5 billion. I don't usually play the lottery and I know the odds are less then favorable, but I bought a ticket anyway. I bought the ticket because, like most of us, I like to dream. What would I do if I won a ton of money?
I started telling my husband my lottery winning ideas: the house upgrades I'd like to make, that Honeymoon we never took, a dog for our daughter. He told me we didn't need so much money and that he'd give most of it away. Certainly I understand giving a bunch away, but couldn't we fantasize about the fun things we could do with it first? That's when he said some magic words: "We haven't even won the lottery and it's tearing us apart already."
Now, he said that in a funny, humorous way. We were joking about it all and it wasn't really tearing us apart, but it got me to thinking. Big decisions, like what to do with a billion dollars, need to be approached as a couple. It's a great way to check in with each other and make sure you're on the same page. It's true that neither I nor anyone reading this will probably win the lottery, but dreaming about it together can be a relationship builder.
After our initial conversation about our winnings, my husband and I sat down and had a more serious look at what we would do if we didn't have to worry about money. The first thing we both agreed on was to set aside a huge portion for charitable purposes. There are plenty of worthy organizations out there and it forced us to talk about causes important to each of us. We also think it would be fun to play "angel donors" and go to crowdfunding sources and anonymously help the many individuals and families in need.
The next thing we want to do is use it as a teachable moment for our children. Granted they are quite young, but they understand that it costs money to buy things and they can't get everything they want. That said, we know animals are very important to our 4 year old daughter, who very badly wants to adopt a doggie. We don't have the funds for a pet at the moment, but if we did we could show her how donating money can help nurture and save the lives of many animals. Of course, we'd get her a dog or two as well.
Then we talked about work and what we'd really like to do if money wasn't an issue. My husband would pursue his passion for music and further his music non profit and I would focus on my writing, publish, maybe launch a new magazine or website. It made us fully aware that these are goals we can aspire to with or without a billion dollars. 
Talking about winning the lottery helped us learn more about ourselves, our relationship, and what's most important to us. If you haven't done so yet, I encourage you and your partner to sit down and discuss what you would seriously do if you won the lottery. You can even relate it to your wedding planning. If money wasn't an issue, how would your wedding look? What would you do differently? Are you both on the same page? Continue the conversation from there. What did you learn? I'd love to know. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year, New You: Create a Resolution You're Passionate About

Now that 2016 has arrived, I'm sure you already have or are planning on setting up some New Year resolutions. And there are plenty articles out there about creating resolutions and  how to keep them. I've even blogged about it before. But in this post, I want to focus on something else: Passion.
That's right. Instead of thinking about common goals, like losing weight or getting organized, ask yourself what you are passionate about in life. Take a few minutes to reflect on what's most important to you, what you love to do or what you've always wanted to do. Is family your #1 priority, but it's been a little neglected while planning your wedding? Are you passionate about painting? Have you always wanted to learn to dance, but never seemed to find the time? Discover what drives you and make that your resolution for the New Year. It's a great way to kick off the year because if you want something badly enough, you'll be more inclined to go out and get it.
Don't let excuses get in the way either. Sure, you're busy, money is tight, or you might get to it later, but think of how much better you'll feel once you start doing what you love to do. It will make you feel good, which will make you happier and more satisfied in other areas of your life. Plus, you don't have to fulfill these dreams all at once. If you love your family, but lack time to spend with them, pick an hour each week to go out with a different family member. Think of how important they'll feel with the 1:1 time and how good you'll feel keeping the connection going. If you want to paint or dance, but can't afford lessons, watch a video and learn on your own. Grab your partner and learn together or just paint or dance for the fun of it. Make it a habit and have a little fun every night, even if it's for 5 minutes. 
The point is: our New Year's resolutions are often boring, rote,  and typical. Half the time, that's why we never accomplish them. Change the way you live, by changing those resolutions to something that is truly important to you. So, what are you passionate about? I'd love to hear how 2016 will be your best year yet!