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I’m Ready

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????  When you’re young, many people set up an overall timeline and specific expectations for yourselves; when you’ll get married, how many children you’ll have, where you’ll live, your occupation, and so on. As you age, reality hits and you realize that oftentimes those were either pipe dreams, needed to be added a lot further down on your timeline, or not what you really wanted. The one thing you cannot easily predict is when you’ll get married.

 

When I was growing up, for some reason or another twenty-six was the magic age of when I would get hitched. I’ll get married at 26 and finish having kids by 30. By the time I hit 22, I was teetering on whether to even get married. A friend of mine and I even made a pact that if we weren’t married or in the process by 30, we were going to become nuns. By 26, marriage was off the table and I just wanted a long-term boyfriend (and maybe we could live together after some years). It’s funny how time changes you and life transforms you, your thoughts, your priorities and standards.

 

Is there a best age to get married? Yes, but you cannot predict it. Only time can tell when you are mentally, physically, financially, and emotionally ready. Once you’ve reached that point, then that is the perfect age. When you’re twelve, you cannot say how put together you’ll be twenty years from then because shit happens. Also, if your age ends in -teen, then I definitely think you’re too young to be thinking about what ‘forever’ means. I do, however, believe that if you aren’t ready on all of those different levels then you shouldn’t even attempt. Marriage is an investment; time, effort, financial- the works. Nowadays, people (especially celebrities) only prepare for the wedding and not the marriage or the future. That’s purely immature thinking from a person who is clearly not ready. You’ll know when that time comes.

 

What’s your take on this? Did you have a specific timeline for marriage and family? And if so, did you meet your goals on time?

 

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Listen Up

time to listen  Wedding planning can be extremely stressful at times, but that also depends on the company you keep. If you have family and friends who keep their opinions to themselves, then things will go really smooth. On the other hand, if you have people around you who have bumped their gums about anything and everything from what color your draws should be on your big day to flower arrangements, you have lost control and need to take a step back (no wonder you’re stressed!).

There were months where I was confused- no stress…aren’t I supposed to be doing something? With six months to plan, there were a couple of months that coasted by because everything was in place or needed to be done right before the wedding. So instead of stressing, I focused on more important things, such as paying bills, money in general, and the honeymoon:)

Now that my big day has come and gone, there were a couple of things that were said to me that stood out during those six months of engagement and planning. These are the top four pieces of advice that were given to me that every bride should keep in mind.

1. “Plan for the marriage and don’t stress the wedding.”

This is extremely important. Those who plan for the wedding and not the marriage are in for a rude awakening and have an immature mindset. How many times have you heard, “Marriage is forever?” Umm…it’s true. It’s not just for the day and there are PLENTY of days after the honeymoon. Mature minds know that when you plan for MARRIAGE, you are planning a future.

2. “It’s your day.”

Meaning…I didn’t have to give a kiddie about what was good with anybody else. As a bride, you have to take on this selfish attitude. I wasn’t comfortable with it, but it’s necessary when you have to make big decisions, such as weeding out people who aren’t truly happy for you off of the invite list, choosing food and music you like, etc. You would hate to be unhappy on the happiest day of your life and the one day you will be in the spotlight all day long.

3. “Look around and take in the scene.”

Believe it or not, the day will be a big blur to you. During the reception, I took a few minutes to look around at all the people who came out to celebrate with us. It was an indescribable feeling to see old and new friends and family, all enjoying themselves and who were there to see me and my husband take the biggest step of our lives. There’s no other day that can capture this. What I didn’t do was do the same thing at the ceremony and I regret that. Brides-to-be, please take this advice both at the ceremony and the reception.

4. “Relax.”

There are going to be mishaps, people rushing around, and things that are overlooked. The last thing you need is to be stressed, especially if they are things that are out of your control. I was upset at my reception because the tables were messed up and one table of my family members ended up in the back which is not where I put them. Could I stop the dinner and toasts and move people? Could I have people switch tables? Could I physically move the tables the way I mapped them out? Are you kidding?? I had to learn to let that go. Like I stated before, the day goes by so fast that there’s not any time to be stressing about stupid stuff. Just relax, let go, and be merry. Focus on the marriage, not the wedding, and be happy.

Do you have any advice that you would like to share for future brides?

The Guest List

cake  Weddings are (mostly) beautiful and intimate. But most of all, they are expensive. The last thing an engaged couple needs to worry about is inviting everybody and their mama- literally. Having been through the process recently, I’d like to give a little advice for those who are going through the process themselves. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out who stays on the list and who goes, but the following people should definitely not get a second thought. Here are the top five people to never invite to your wedding.

1. Your jealous friend or “frenemy”… if this is a fake friend or someone who is not truly happy for you taking this major step in your life, they don’t need to be a part of it. You need to reconsider the nature of your friendship and if this person deserves to be in your life.

2. Your ex… your past has no business being invited into your future. Period.

3. Someone you hardly know… this could be a long lost relative, a coworker, or someone you’ve only known for a month. You are paying for their plate of food. And for what?

4. A friend of a friend… you don’t even know them for real! You know them through someone else. How intimate is that?

5. Estranged parents… I understand that this may be harsh, but if your parent hasn’t been a parent and a part of your life, why would you include them in your special day? I’m not talking about you having a fight and you haven’t talked to your mom or dad in a week or two. I’m talking three plus years. They won’t be able to spot you on the street type of deal. You have to be selective in who’s involved in your special day, so save your uninvolved parent invite for a family reunion.

Single N’ Shy

bouquet  Being single definitely has its perks. No one to answer to or check in with. Go out and go home whenever you feel like it. Roll over every inch of the bed without someone being there. However, there are some benefits to being attached, especially those times when you are single…shy…and going to a wedding.

Below are the top three reasons single ladies hate going to weddings. {Disclaimer: This does not pertain to the newly single women who are celebrating their freedom or the too busy to care about dating women.}

#3. No dance partner… When you are shy like me, you aren’t going up to any man to ask him to dance. On the other hand, you realize that you are at risk for getting asked by the ugly drunk cousin across the room. So, find a friend and stick to them like glue.

#2. The invitation alone… Now you feel obligated to search high and low for someone to accompany you. Do I invite the guy I’m casually dating? I have NO ONE who is wedding worthy! Nobody says that you have to go with a date. Family is not off limits (unless they can’t hold their liquor…then they just ruined the party and you are now associated with the party killer).

#1. The bouquet toss… This was the worst. For years I was literally dragged out into the middle of the floor to catch somebody’s stupid bouquet. I hated it. Now everybody and their mama knows you’re single. So what should you do instead…either grin and bear it because you LOVE the bride, or have a sudden urge to go to the bathroom. Whichever one you choose, make sure you choose wisely (and don’t blame me if you make the wrong choice;)