I’ve been married nearly half my life, coming up 20 years July 2019, so I feel somewhat qualified to talk about marriage. I can actually only really talk about my own marriage, because I have no idea how other couples navigate their own relationships, and quite frankly that really has nothing to do with me.
If you can’t be silly with your husband, who can you be silly with?
So what does marriage mean to me?
To me it means sharing my life with someone who I love.
To me it means that I will share the great experiences, the fun stuff, the adventures, the travel, the life-changing stuff (like the kid arriving and the raising of him) and the silly conversations, it also means that he’ll be there for the not so great things too, like sickness, like grumpy days, like depression, like those times when things don’t turn out the way you wanted them too. He’ll be there for those times, when I can’t make up my mind what I want to eat, when I really want to figure out how to do something myself and get frustrated when I need to ask for help, and when I make less than stellar decisions, and I need him to help me pick up the pieces. For me it doesn’t mean that I become one with him, because literally I’m not sure how that would happen, and I’m my own person, always have been, always will be, just like he is. It also doesn’t mean that I love everything little thing about him, because there are definitely things about him, that absolutely drive me up the wall, and I’m sure there are things that he is not so enamoured by me either, but it does mean that I love his vibe, I love his values, and his outlook on life.
For me it means that we’ll dig in deep when the sh#t hits the fan, because we’re both committed to making this work. It means that we always love hard, but that we love harder when things are not quite as amazing as they can be. It means that I can be completely honest with him, about how I’m feeling about all the things, because that is what he signed on for. It also means that I will stop and listen to him when he needs to off load. It means that I can’t promise to fix all the things that are wrong, but that I will always be there to help him figure it out, and then cheer him on. It means that I honour and respect myself, and know that occasionally I need time to myself to work on myself, to help me grow into the person I need to be and that I know he needs time to follow his own passion, whatever that looks like.
It means knowing that I will continue to love him, in all the different forms he will encompass throughout our lives together, just as I hope he will for me. Because we are definitely not the same people we were when we stood before each other, and our friends and family and promised to love each other on our wedding day.
And frankly I can’t think of a better person to share this crazy thing called life with!
Any one who’s been in a relationship longer than five minutes knows that you will inevitably have an argument at some point. I mean of course you will because you are expecting two people to come together and share their lives together, two people who come from completely different backgrounds, have different relationship role models and have different personalities, it’s a wonder any relationships make it at all!
Yes, you’re going to fight, but how are you doing it, and is your style of fighting a help or hindrance in your relationship. Here’s a few things to think about before that little petty, nagging argument turns into WW3.
Agree that fighting is normal and a sign of a healthy relationship. If you didn’t fight it meant that you didn’t care enough about your relationship, and it’s completely normal to disagree, but it’s how you argue that’s going to make or break your bond.
Don’t go for the low blow. Don’t resort to name calling or playing on your partners insecurities, it’s not cool, and it’s not really going to do anything in helping you resolve the issue your arguing about. This is the person that you love, do you really want to hurt them like that?
Be honest. Don’t say what you think your partner wants to hear, instead of what you actually think.
Don’t read your partners mind. You don’t always know what’s going on in the other person’s head, and it can be a dangerous game to assume.
Take responsibility for your own part. Successful partnerships require both partners to take ownership of their own stuff, their mistakes, assumptions, and not blame everything on the other person. As the saying goes “It takes two to tango!”
Don’t run from the fight. It’s definitely easy to walk away from a fight, and bury your head in the sand and pretend that everything’s hunky dory but … it won’t go away, it will continue to show up in your relationship over and over again, until you deal with it.
Don’t fight when you are hungry (hangry) or tired or distracted. These three scenarios are the perfect storm for a fight to escalate to the next level, and sometimes the very reason that could be arguing in the first place is that you are hangry, tired or distracted.
Acknowledge the other’s feelings and point of view. Just because you acknowledge the other’s feelings, doesn’t mean that you are agreeing with them. All anyone wants in an argument is to know that what they are saying and feeling is being heard by the other person.
Fight about one thing at a time. It’s so easy to go from fighting about spending money to move on to why the other person is never home, to how they don’t pull their weight around the house to how they always leave the toilet seat up. You need to stay on track and if you go off on a tangent then rein it in back to the original issue you started with.
Don’t text fight. Or email or DM or any of today’s modern ways of communicating. Texting is possibly the easiest way in the world to misconstrue the meaning behind a message, because there are no facial expressions, or tone of voice to help frame a message. Keep it to face to face or phone.
Take turns talking, and let the person finish what they want to say before you start talking. Listening with out interrupting or mentally thinking about your response is one of the hardest skills to master, but one of the most important. Each person needs to have the opportunity to state their case.
Ultimately you need to remember that it’s completely normal and even healthy to argue, it means that you are passionate about your relationship, and feel safe and secure enough to share how you feel with your partner. One thing that sticks in my mind is the thought that in the big picture we are a team, and that we both need to feel happy, fulfilled and content with our relationship.
All you need is love … and to not be a dick when planning your wedding.
Weddings are stressful, and expensive and hard work. There we said it! The process of planning a wedding will probably be one of the biggest, most expensive things you will ever do in your life, and because you’re only planning on doing it once, you absolutely want to do it right the first time.
But … that doesn’t mean that you get to be a dick!
How not to be a dick to your vendors: Yes your wedding is super important to you, and you want it to go perfectly, and you want to get the most bang for your buck, and weddings are expensive. Vendors all know this, and most vendors have been around the block a few times so will definitely have advice and maybe even tips and professional tricks to help you make your day the absolute best. The old saying “You get more flies with honey” or something along these lines, definitely rings true here. Vendors are people too, who have lives and kids and sometimes other jobs too, so they will not necessarily be at your beck and call all hours of the day and night, to answer those 3am questions that you just have to ask at 3am! All vendors ask is that they are treated with respect, that you respect that they are people too, and should be treated with courtesy and like the professionals that they are. Building a relationship with a vendor starts from that very first enquiry.
How not to be a dick to your bridesmaids: You’re excited about planning your wedding, and are just as excited that you’re going to have your girls beside you to enjoy the journey with you. Sometimes your girls are not as excited (and/or consumed) about the wedding as you may be, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be a tremendous support and help to you, leading up to the wedding and of course on the day. Weddings can make or break some friendships, usually because the bride has very high expectations for the level of involvement they require of their bridesmaids. You need to think carefully before you choose your girls, especially if you have friends who have high flying careers and work alot, or friends who are planning on getting pregnant or have small children, or friends that live on the other side of the world. In my honest opinion when asking your friends to be bridemaids, have a very honest conversation about the level of involvement, and cost of the wedding. If you require your bridesmaids to attend weekly planning meetings and pay for an overseas hen’s weekend and a very expensive dress (that they probably won’t ever wear again, let’s be honest), then lay that out on the table before it becomes ugly and friendships are strained.
How not to be a dick to friends and family: Sometimes your family wants to pay (or help pay) for the wedding, sometimes they don’t. And sometimes if they want to pay or at least contribute, then they may impose some conditions on their offer. They may feel as though that entitles them to add some extras to the guest list, or decide what alcohol will be provided. Once again communication is key when dealing with these issues, you need to be able to stand up to the family (as a united front), if you need to, and you need to be able to walk away from any offer if it feels like you’re going to be held to ransom. I think the most important thing is to have a clear idea of how you see your day going, stick to your guns, if you need to and be polite but fair with well meaning friends and family.
How not to be a dick to each other: Just because you’ve finally snagged your partner and promised to marry them, doesn’t give you licence to be a dick to them. After all this is the person you’re choosing to spend the rest of your life with. Weddings, and especially the last couple of weeks, can be incredibly stressful for a couple. You have friends and family giving you their two cents worth, you may have different priorities and ideas about your wedding, and there may be huge financial pressure on you both. So it’s incredibly important to communicate and be kind to each other. I’ve seen many a bride go off her nut at a groom at the rehearsal because he didn’t do what he was supposed to do when he was supposed to do it, or usually it’s because he just didn’t know what he was supposed to do.
Being a bride doesn’t mean you get to be a dick too.
All you need is love and … love and fun and celebration.
This wedding season 2016/2017 is officially over for me. It’s been my biggest yet, with over 25 weddings performed, and I have absolutely loved every moment of it. Well, what’s not to love, I get to be right in the thick of a whole lotta love, and people pay me for it, crazy, I know.
My wedding season, here in Dunedin, pretty much runs from September to May, because not a lot of people down here choose winter weddings. This season has seen my marry 4 different Sarah’s, one Angela (in fact every year I’ve married an Angela, which is crazy, and I even have one lined up for next season) and one friend, and second brother from the same family.
I have married couples in their favourite restaurants (at least they knew the food was going to be outstanding) and in their living rooms. I have performed weddings in gardens, in beautiful chapels, in tiny little churches in tiny little places with magnificent views, and on beaches. I have wed couples on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and even Wednesdays. There have been morning weddings and late afternoon weddings, and even a surprise wedding, where the guests didn’t know there was going to be a wedding. There were weddings with 200 guests and weddings with only 10. I have had brides arrive by tractor, and a groom land in a helicopter. I have had brides be late, early and right on time. I have had some of the cutest ring bearers and flower girls you could imagine.
I have worked with some amazing suppliers who have toiled tirelessly to make sure that a couple’s dreams and ideas will come to life and exceed their expectations, and have been gracious enough to share their work with me.
I have offered advice on everything from dress choices to photographers, to time lines to invitations to florists, and of course wedding ceremonies.
Every single wedding is different, because every single couple and love story is different, I have married couples who met at Intermediate School, and other couples who met on Social Media. I have married couples who have been together for a short time, and others who have been together for 18 years. Every single wedding makes my heart sing, because every single bride and groom are being brave enough to put their hearts on the line, and share what it means to love and be loved, and you can’t really get better than that.
Yes there have been moments when things didn’t go according to plan, little people didn’t want to play ball, or some-one forgot to use the fancy thingy the bride bought especially, but you know what, no-one cared, because everyone was too swept up in the love filled moments which were happening all around them.
I can’t think of another job that exists where everyone’s happy. Maybe not a the rehearsal, generally brides are overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done, and can be a little stressed, but that smile on a bride’s face when she walks down the aisle is absolutely priceless.
I can’t wait until September when I get to do this amazing job all over again.
This past weekend I was sick, and not the pretty girl kind of sick, but the horrendous ‘wish I was dead’ kind of sick, you know the one, like the hangover but without the fun times before hand. So my darling husband had to take care of me, and by take care of me I mean clean out ‘the bucket’ and it got me to thinking ‘if this ain’t love then I don’t know what is”.
Now I’m a Disney/rom-com kinda girl, and love a good happily ever after story with the best of them, but I think love is so much more than the extravagant flowers and choccies and love hearts that are portrayed in those movies, so I came up with a list of things that I think love is.
A cup of tea in bed
Saying ‘thank you, I appreciate the job you do”
Knowing your coffee order
Eating the tomatoes off your plate at the cafe, because they know you don’t like them, before you have to ask
Facing the world together
Knowing they have your back
Agreeing to disagree
Pushing you forward, when they can see your potential, even when you can’t
Standing back sometimes to let you shine
Kissing you first thing in the morning, even when you have morning breath
Cold feet on warm legs in bed
Putting the heat pump on before you get up in the morning
Preparing a meal for you
Knowing when you need to be big spoon, and when you need to be little spoon
Making sure you have clean clothes for work the next day
Getting up each morning in the freezing cold to go to a job to support their family
Rolling eyes with you over the heads of your mini army you have both created, when you really want to laugh but can’t
Having secret code words
Saying ‘Yip, I agree there is a problem, let’s sort it out’
Taking the screaming baby from your outstretched arms the minute they walk in the door from work, and you not needing to say a word
Showing up, always
Choosing love, over and over again
Giving up the right to be right, sometimes
Knowing that a family is not always blood, but loving everyone as though they are anyway
Wanting you to be happy
Questioning you and holding you to account when the need arises
Those 4am conversations
“What can I do to help?”
Letting you be yourself
Hard work, but so worth it
Holding your hair, rubbing your back and telling you ‘it will all be ok’
Loving you when you aren’t being very lovable
Being open-minded and able to change your mind/opinion
Being your ‘soft place’ in the hard world
Seeing you at your worst and still choosing you
Being your constant cheerleader
Knowing when you need space and quiet
Knowing the difference between laughing with you and laughing at you
Eating salad and pretending to enjoy it, when you really want a steak
Picking you up when you don’t think you can
Admitting when you don’t know
Wanting to share a future with you
Knowing that everyone has a past, accepting it and moving on
Sitting together in silence and being quite content
Loving all of you, the quiet, the loud, the crazy
Standing together, looking at the beautiful sleeping little person you’ve made, and smiling
Of course there is a miles and mile of others to add to the list, and we should not forget there are also all the big things, like love hearts, and fireworks and that feeling you get in your tummy when they’re around, but I believe that love is found in all the little things too.
How do you choose your wedding date and time? The majority of weddings I attend take place in Summer, on a Saturday at 3pm. And there’s a good reason for that, it’s warmer in Summer (well sometimes, although not always in Dunedin) a Saturday means no-one has to go to work early the next day, so they can party late into the night, and 3pm works well, for the ceremony, photos, dinner time line.
Is it really the best time?
Ask any photographer, and 3pm in Summer is not always the best time for those magical wedding photos. There are times of the day (morning and late afternoon/dusk) that they call the ‘golden hour’ because it provides stunning light, and thus equally stunning photos. It can be harder for a photographer to work with the light in the middle of the day in summer to make sure the bride and groom aren’t squinting during the ceremony, or that half the bridal party is in direct sunlight and the other half are in shadow, a bit of a nightmare to make everyone look great.
Summer, while it should be warmer, and less chance of rain, is peak wedding season, so all the good venues, celebrants, photographers will be booked up really fast. You snooze unfortunately you lose in some cases. And I know not everyone’s that organised to plan 18 months ahead. Where as Autumn, you get great colours, leaves falling, it’s still not that chilly yet, and the light is better for photos. Google search ‘weddings in Queenstown’ and you will see the most stunning winter wonderland images. There are also some absolutely stunning venues around that lend themselves to the perfect winter wedding, and if you plan a winter wedding inside, you don’t have to stress about whether it’s going to rain or not. I know many a bride to be who has been constantly checking the weather app on their phone the week leading up to their wedding. One less stress in my opinion.
3pm, or as I call it “wedding o’clock” is the most popular time for a wedding. Why? Well most people figure it gives the girls long enough to get hair, make-up, maybe a glass of champers under their belt, and then it leads nicely into canapes after the wedding, while the couple go off to have their photos taken, leaving the guests to their own devices, and the open bar, then back after photos straight into speeches or dinner and dancing the night away. But what about exchanging your vows at sunrise, then having a wedding breakfast with your guests? Or having an 11am wedding, then heading into a beautiful lunch somewhere fancy, or having your ceremony at 5pm (having your first look and photos before hand) and then not having to leave your guests, who you invited because they are your favourite people, and starting the party straight away?
Why Saturday? Fridays are awesome for a wedding, you get to spend a long weekend with your loved ones, especially those who have travelled a long way to hang out with you. And if you give everyone enough notice, then most people will be able to get the time off work, and still not have to go to work the next day. And you’ll have a better pick of venues, celebrants, photographers etc. Having a wedding out of season could also let you take advantage of specials that many photographers, venues etc may have to build business in the less busy season.
If you’re looking for a way to stretch the budget, then consider thinking outside of the 3pm on a Saturday in Summer square. There’s plenty of other options around if you just be open minded.
Just remember it’s your day, and of course you should do it your way, whether it’s 3pm on a Saturday in Summer or not.
Ok, so you’ve locked in your dream celebrant. They’re organised, down to earth, a wealth of ideas, and get your vibe. Yay for you, now how are you going to get the best out of your celebrant. Getting the best out of your celebrant, doesn’t mean they’ll be doing your dishes for the next 6 months. But it does mean that doing and remembering a few key ideas will ensure you get the best possible ceremony, and the best execution on the day.
Be open-minded – I’m not talking keys in the bowl type of open minded (but if that’s your thing, more power to you) I’m talking, ask your celebrant for ideas, what are the different ways we could do this? Does it have to be done this way? Could we do it like this? Your celebrant has done more weddings than you have, probably (hopefully) so they will know what will work, and what may be awkward. Listen.
Be engaged – Not just with the ring type of engaged, but the listening, and asking questions, and putting your phone down for 10 minutes type of engagement. I know weddings can be a subject that completely makes the groom zone out, but if you want it to be your day too then listen. A good celebrant will make sure they talk to both of you, not just the bride, and you should both have a good feeling about the celebrant. I know meeting new people, especially a celebrant, can be daunting to some people, but most of us are warm, personable and down to earth.
Short and sweet isn’t always best – I know some people just want to get the ceremony bit over so they can move onto the more fun bit of drinking, dancing, and cake eating. But, and again I may be biased because I’m a celebrant, the focus should be on the ceremony. You are going to be standing in front of your nearest and dearest, and maybe Dave from work, telling your soul mate how important they are to you, and sharing your love story, surely that deserves longer than a 5 min ‘wham bam thank you ma’am?’
Don’t leave booking a celebrant till the last minute – In my opinion it’s never too early to book your celebrant. The good ones, like venues and photographers will get booked out pretty early on. You may get lucky with a last minute phone call, but that is the exception rather than the rule.
Feel free to interview, or chat with more than one celebrant – It’s not like dating, we won’t mind. What we do mind, is if you don’t tell us that you have booked someone else, and we keep the date open for you. A simple “we have decided to go with another celebrant” is great. No hurt feelings, honest! We want you to have the best wedding possible, whether it’s with us or not so if someone else floats your boat and gets your vibe, go for it!
Don’t change anything about the ceremony, and not tell the celebrant – Especially if you want the celebrant to be there on time! I usually double check at the rehearsal what time the groom will be at the venue, to make sure we’re all on the same page regarding start times. But I have heard of angry calls to the celebrant when everyone’s at the ceremony inquiring about their whereabouts, when the couple have changed the time and not told the celebrant.
Give us the dirt, all the dirt – Most celebrants will send you a questionnaire to fill out (I call them my homework questions) to get to know you better, they will either come and visit with you again to discuss the answers to your questions or just write your ceremony from those answers. Give us as much info as you can on your questionnaire, the more info you give the better ceremony you are going to get. It’s really hard to personalise a ceremony (which is what most good celebrants will want to do) when you give nothing personal to work with. I for one, want to know what you love, what you don’t love, what you enjoy doing together, all great fodder for a ceremony.
Try to be organised – I know there are a million and one things that need to be organised for a wedding, but if you can get back to us sooner rather than later when we request information that would be grand. It’s no fun for a celebrant to be waiting the day before the wedding for the groom to get his vows to them. It creates stress not just for the couple but for the celebrant. If you can’t make a designated time for a catch up, let them know as soon as you can.
Send us an invite – We love weddings, all the weddings. So if you want us to get an idea of your style, colours and personality then give us an invite. Also helps so we know where we’re going and at what time (see point Don’t change anything about the ceremony and not tell the celebrant)
Good manners – Like your mumma always said, good manners go a long way! If you like the vibe and style of a celebrant, then they will probably either have a Facebook page, Instagram account, or website, do a bit of stalking, and you can probably find out their price. We don’t love texts/emails/Facebook messages that just say “how much?” We do love texts/emails/Facebook messages that say “Hi Angela, We are getting married 9/12/2017 and are after a celebrant, are you available and what is your price?”
Thank you’s – If you are the type of bride/couple who are going to do a thank you post/wedding post on Facebook, please please please thank or acknowledge your celebrant, if they did an awesome job, if they didn’t then maybe contact them and tell them why, don’t splash it on Facebook. For us reviews are like gold, so go ahead and give your celebrant a review, tell them what a great job they did. They will love you for it, and it only takes 5 minutes, and you are helping other couples out by leaving honest feedback.
Try not to turn bridezilla on us – I know planning a wedding is stressful, and expensive, and not everyone wants to do what you want them to do as fast as you want them to, but your celebrant is a professional. We will act like the professional we are, and should be treated as such.
Remember, we may only be a part of your wedding day for a short time, but we are emotionally invested in your day. We have taken the time to get to know you, spent time with you and your family, helped bring your plans/dreams to life, written and performed an amazing ceremony for you about you, met your friends and family, calmed you down, made sure everything is perfect for you and your guests. A little acknowledgement goes a long long way, kilometres in fact, like from here to the moon!
“Let the adventure of planning your wedding begin!”
If you’re planning on getting married anywhere that isn’t a operational church (a church that only allows priests etc from that church to marry people) then you are going to need a registered wedding celebrant.
Like everything else wedding related there are a million different choices, which is a good thing, generally speaking. But where do you start?
Other vendors – If you’ve already booked a venue, or photographer, or florist, or make up artist then ask them. They would have seen/done enough weddings to have a general idea on who they like. They have often seen way more than one celebrant, and a venue and/or photographer would have been present while a celebrant has lead a wedding previously.
Facebook – The internet is a great place and can bring the whole world to your computer. There are numerous private wedding groups on Facebook, and they are a great place to ask for recommendations, and you will get honest feedback. Facebook is also a great place to stalk some of the celebrants you have heard about, most celebrants these days will have a professional Facebook page, and looking at this will give you an idea of the style of a celebrant, and if they have photos of previous weddings, you’ll get to see them in action. A good Facebook page will probably also have reviews, so take a look at these too, find out about what couples have said about them.
Friends/Relatives etc – Ask around your friends, rellies, work mates and get recommendations from who they may have used, or celebrants they may have seen at weddings they have attended.
Wedding shows – Check out your local wedding show, they always have a few of each vendor, and that way you get to have a chat, ask any questions, and maybe organise a time to meet up and talk in more depth.
Uncle Google – Just type in “Celebrants in Dunedin” and you’ll get pages of info, from there you can check out their website (if they have one) and any social media they may have.
Celebrants Association– The Celebrants Assocation is a voluntary association for Celebrants in New Zealand. Belonging to the Celebrants Association means that a celebrant is governed by a code of conduct, and has access to on-going education. The website is pretty easy to use, just type in your area, and it will come back with all the celebrants in your area that are members of the Celebrants Association.
So, once you’ve have a look and seen one or more that you like the look of, then contact them to see if they are available for your wedding date. Good celebrants can be booked a year or more in advance, so it’s best to get in early. If they are available on your date, then it’s a great idea to organise a meeting (either at a cafe/pub/your home or theirs, or if you are out of the area or country then Skype) I always offer a non-obligational first meeting, it gives you a chance to have a look at some of my work, chat about my style and what you have planned and your ideas for your day.
It’s a good idea to meet with more than one celebrant, you’ll learn a bit more about what you’re looking for, don’t worry we won’t be offended if you do, we want you to get the right fit for your ceremony too. Feel free to ask a lot of questions, it will make you feel more comfortable with your choice. Make sure that once you have made a decision on which celebrant you would like to book, that you contact the other one to let them know you are going with someone else.
I know weddings can be mega expensive, and I know it can be all about making that dollar stretch as far as it can go. But there are certain elements to a wedding day that you really don’t want to skimp on and I believe a celebrant is one of those things. I know there are also a lot of different price points for celebrants, but don’t just go with the cheapest. Make sure you do your research and find out what you are getting for your money. There is a common mis-conception that a celebrant just turns up on the day, says a few words and then leaves, and then pocket a bucket full of cash to do so. A good celebrant will want to build a relationship with you, to ensure that you have a ceremony that is heartfelt, but is also a reflection of your personality and your love story. A good celebrant will meet with you at least on two different occasions, write you a ceremony from scratch, that is personalised to you and your love (there is no cut and paste), they will be there to answer all your questions/texts/emails/phone calls, provide you with inspiration to write your own vows (if that is what you choose) they will offer suggestions for different elements you may like to include in your ceremony (readings, ring warming etc) they will facilitate a wedding rehearsal, to ensure everyone knows what is going on, when and how, they will be there early to liaise with your other vendors (photographer/video/venue) to ensure everyone is on the same page, and that the ceremony runs smoothly. They may run your music for the ceremony (creating a personalised playlist for you) and have their own PA system, and microphone.
Your celebrant should make you feel excited about the wedding, they should inspire you with suggestions, they should empower you to make the ceremony and day about what you want, they should be organised, and calm and relaxed on the day. They should be the person who sets the scene for the entire day.
I believe a celebrant should have a passion for the job they do, it should show in their eyes, that they love being a celebrant, otherwise it will reflect in a lacklustre wedding ceremony, lacking in personalisation, warmth and professionalism.
All you need is love and … how to include your fur baby in your wedding.
Many couples have pets together before they get married, and a lot of couples consider their pets as their fur babies and so want to include them in their wedding, naturally. So here’s a round up of ways to include you pets in your special day.
Use your pet to propose – How super cute is it to include your pet in your proposal? You could tie the ring on their collar, and then tell your partner that you have a new collar for the pet. Instant brownie points. You could also have a sign made to go around the pets neck with “will you marry my dad” on it.
Save the dates – Use your pet to announce to your guests your wedding date.
Engagement photos – Include your pet in your engagement photo shoot.
Wedding photos – If you’re not sure about your pet coming to the ceremony or reception then ask someone to bring them along for the wedding photos. Brides all dressed up with their pets make magic photos.
Flower Girl Escort – Let your flower girl escort your pet down the aisle.
Pet instead of bouquet – Carry your pet down the aisle instead of a bouquet. Obviously dependant on the type and size of pet. But a rabbit or kitten would look super cute in a flower adorned basket.
Have them by your side during your ceremony – If your pet is the sit still and not move type of animal, and would no be phased by all the attention and people around, it would make for an adorable photo.
Include them in your vows – I have included many a mention of a pet in a wedding ceremony. You could include them in your vows “I promise to love you as much as Oscar (the dog)”
Dress them up – there are a few ways you can dress up your pet for the big day, without hindering it’s movement, or dignity. Try a cute bandana around it’s neck for something understated.
Cake topper – Order a customised cake topper which includes a nod to your fur baby as well.
Table numbers – Incorporate photos of your pet as your table numbers, that way everyone gets to see your pet.
Cardboard cut out – Have a life size cardboard cut out of your pet made, that could be displayed at your reception, or used as a prop in a photo booth. It would be just like they were there.
There are a few things you may need to consider when deciding if your pet is going to be a part of your big day. How are their socialisation skills? If you have time to get them training, then that would be wise, if they are the type of pet who will wander in and then fall asleep at someones feet, then they are the perfect candidate. If they have not yet been trained and bark at everything that moves then it’s probably not a good idea.
Take your pet to the venue well before the big day, so they get comfortable and familiar with the place. And make sure that your pet is allowed at the venue.
Make sure there is adequate food and water available for the pet during the day.
Let your guests know before the day that your pet will be attending, that way if they are allergic to animals they can take precautions before hand.
Ensure you have a pet wrangler available on the day, who isn’t yourself or your partner. I recommend someone who the pet knows and is quite happy to look after your pet during the day.
Pets are very special members of the family, so of course they should be included in your wedding day.
All you need is love and … to look after yourself.
Wedding planning is hard, and stressful, so very stressful. And we all know that stress has a huge impact on your body and your mental health. And we all want to go into our wedding day, and our married life, looking and feeling our absolute best. So I’ve put together some tips on how to look after yourself while wedding planning.
Leading up to the wedding day
Get yourself organised – Now is the time to organise yourself, especially if you are organisationally-challenged. Get yourself a wedding planner, any kind will do, whatever suits your personality and lifestyle, and use it. She said yes have a beautiful one, you’ll feel better knowing that there’s not a chance of you forgetting anything.
Start a exercise plan – If you are wanting to lose a few kilos for the big day, or just want to be in the best possible shape for your wedding day, then formulate an exercise plan. Enlist the help of a nutritionist and/or personal trainer if you like, or just rope in the bridesmaids for added incentive. Exercise as well as making you look great, will also make you feel great,and it’s also a great stress buster.
Skin care/Hair care- Now is the time to think about how you’re going to get your skin and hair into tip top condition. Talk to your make up artist and your hair dresser about the best way to do this. They may suggest regular treatments and/or products to use leading up to the wedding day, to ensure you have the perfect canvas for the day.
Multi-vitamins/supplements – Now is a good time to talk to a professional about what type of vitamins or supplements it may be a good idea to start using to make sure you both look and feel your best. You may need to think about a supplement to help with stress, or energy to help you get through the wedding planning intact. Make sure you are getting enough fruits and vegetables too.
Water – Up your water intake, nearly everyone doesn’t drink enough water, so increasing your water is a great way of helping with hydrating your body. It will give you glowing skin, and help you flush out toxins. If you’re not a water fan, try using sliced fruit in your bottle to add a tasty flavour.
Delegate – Don’t try to wear too many hats. Make sure you do your research with vendors, so you know they are professionals, and can do the job, and trust that they will on the day. Sometimes you need to choose what you can let go of and delegate. There are always lots of people who are just waiting for you to ask for help.
Wedding week –
Exercise – Keep up with the exercise. It will help relieve stress, and zone out in this busy week.
Wedding day contact – Choose someone to be the wedding day contact. Someone who you can trust to make decisions on the day so you can relax. This is where a wedding co-ordinator or day of wedding co-ordinator would step in.
Pamper yourself – It’s time to book in for a massage, or some other type of treat for yourself. It’s your wedding week, it’s time to indulge yourself.
Good People – Surround yourself with good people. The type of people who will bring you good vibes, not stress. If you have to deal with a family member who you know will stress you out, then be very selective with how much time you spend with them.
Set aside more time – Give yourself way more time than you think you’re going to need to complete errands, everything will seem to take much longer than you think, which will leave you running late, and thus stressed, something we are trying to eliminate remember.
Wedding Eve – Don’t go too hard the night before the wedding. It’s ok to have a celebratory drink with the girls, but you want to be waking up fresh faced and bushy tailed, not like a zombie, with dark circles and a monster headache.
Sleep – Make sure you are not burning the candle at both ends leading up to the wedding. There’s a reason it’s called ‘beauty sleep’
Eat – Make sure you have something in your belly during the day, to stop you feeling faint, and the wine going straight to your head.
Exercise/Fresh Air – Go for a quick walk with the girls in the morning before breakfast. Getting some fresh air will make you feel amazing.
Water – Make sure you are hydrated, especially if you’ve planned a outside summer wedding.
Mediation – If you’re a mediation fan, then this is the perfect time to practice a little quiet time to re-focus your mind and energy as you head into a full-on day.
Focus on what’s important – Make sure you take a little time on the morning, especially if you’re feeling stressed out, to focus on what’s important about the day. That you are getting married to your soul mate, nothing else matters!