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How to Avoid 8 Common Pre-Wedding Stressors

Photo courtesy of www.bridalguide.com.

Photo courtesy of www.bridalguide.com

By guest blogger Natasha Burton

Ah, wedding planning. The unique time in your life during which you and your beloved—who likely have little previous event planning experience—need to pull together a grand occasion for everyone you love most. Oh, and you’re also getting married. No pressure, right?

So many issues—big and little—crop up during this special (and stressful) time. To the point that you may find yourself wondering why in the heck you didn’t just elope. But, do not fear: Wedding freak-outs happen to get the best of us (er, all of us).

As a fellow bride-to-be who has had many a moment of worry during this process, I’m here to help you handle some of the common problems that crop up. Here are eight issues that are probably more typical than you’d think.

The issue: Your parents demand to “approve” the seating chart—and both sides request conflicting changes.

The solution: If each side gives a litany of requests regarding who must sit where, ask them to distill their demands into a “top five” list. That way, you’ll know what’s most important to each side (seating the grandparents at the head table, making sure your weird uncle Al isn’t sitting near great aunt Minnie, who can’t stand him, and so on). Honor at least two or so requests from each side—then let the rest go. The wedding won’t be “ruined” because two people had to sit near each other for an hour.

The issue: One of your vendors is totally MIA.

The solution: First, check your contract. It may stipulate that your vendor can only answer X number of emails for the fee you paid or give a timeline of how long it may take him or her to respond. Next, talk to whoever referred you to this vendor to find out what’s typical as far as response times go. Nothing? Send a brief, respectful but firm email expressing your frustration. If you still don’t get anything back, and it seems like you may never hear from the person again, you may need to find another vendor—and have a lawyer draft up a breach of contract letter so you can recoup your deposit.

The issue: You’re over budget and can’t figure out what to cut.

The solution: Often, this is more of an issue of not wanting to cut something than it is not being able to. Clearly, you need to have a venue, rentals (plates for people to each off of and chairs for them to sit in), and something for people to eat. However, making small adjustments (like choosing a silverware pattern that’s 10 cents cheaper than the one you picked out) won’t make a big difference. So, it comes down to priority: Determine what’s not as important to you and find a less expensive option. For example, if having a cinematic rendition of your Big Day isn’t crucial, having some kind of video account of your wedding is, consider DIY-ing your wedding videographer (by having friends agree to wear GoPros) rather than pay a pro, which can be thousands of dollars. If having a photobooth is important but you don’t care if the photos print out, use an app and an iPad to create your own set-up (and then make the photos available online post-wedding) instead of renting a full-scale set-up. Instead of buying a new veil, borrow a friend’s. You get the idea.

The issue: You sent a save-the-date to someone you really don’t want to invite. (Awk-ward.)

The solution: If you had a falling out with this person and having him or her at your wedding would ruin your day, send an email to the effect of, “Given how our relationship has changed since we sent out our save the dates, I feel uncomfortable extending you an invitation to our wedding.” But, if this person is simply someone whom you’ve grown to dislike over the months that have passed since save-the-dates went out (and he or she is none the wiser), you’ll have to suck it up and send the invite. A good lesson: Don’t invite people you don’t know very well to your wedding if you can help it.

The issue: You’re second-guessing the favors you bought six months ago (on sale).

The solution: It’s hard to resist an opportunity to save money while wedding planning, but if you end up hating what you bought on the cheap and need to replace it, you end up losing more than you save. In this situation, option number one is, of course, get over it. Many guests will forget their favors at your venue, lose them on the way home, or toss them within a year. But if whatever you chose really bothers you and you absolutely can’t see yourself using them, put them up on Craigslist or RuffledBlog.com so another couple can buy them from you and use them for their wedding. If you recoup your costs, you can more easily justify getting something else.

The issue: You just found out that a close friend decided to go on vacation instead of attend your wedding.

The solution: Ouch. If there is one thing that planning a wedding taught me, it’s that you really learn who your friends are—and who they aren’t. The best advice I can give here is to try not to take this situation personally: Your friend’s decision more likely has little to do with you and your relationship and is more about his or her priorities (and perhaps how important he or she believes marriage and weddings are). If it will make you feel better to express your disappointment, however, you should do so. Your friend may have no clue how his or her decision makes you feel.

The issue: You’re worried that your wedding details don’t reflect you both as a couple.

The solution: Now that we have Pinterest, as well as endless wedding blogs, showing off bespoke details of all types, there’s a ton of pressure on couples to create a day that perfectly reflects them down to the last monogrammed, hand-dip-dyed napkin. And, honestly, for most of us, this kind of uber-personalization is not possible—money-wise, time-wise, and sanity-wise. Focus on what aspects do represent both of you: Perhaps your first dance song, your vows, your choice of venue, the city you’re choosing to get married in, or even the type of flowers you decided on for your bouquet. I’m sure that, for every detail that might not seem “you” enough, you’ll find two that truly represent your relationship.

shulie eric tornel

The issue: You think you have cold feet.

The solution: Call it off! Just kidding. Now, I’m not a premarital counselor, so please take this advice with a proverbial grain of salt. But remember that every person getting married has some degree of doubt. To not wonder—at least once—if you’re making the right decision about spending the next 50 years sleeping next to the same person night after night (after night!) would be, well, weird. In those moments, identify the concrete thing that’s causing you anxiety about sealing the deal: Is your fiancé making that annoying sound with his throat again? Or, is he belittling you in front of your friends? Clearly, the former is harmless and the latter is so not okay. Determine if your doubts are legit or just a case of pre-wedding jitters before stressing out about them.

Natasha Burton is an author, freelance writer and editor.
101 Quizzes for Couples
natashaburton.com

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5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Thinking of Proposing to Your Girlfriend

5 questions about proposal

By guest blogger Mark Estrada, Robbins Brothers Marketing Assistant

It may seem a little unfair to know the answer to a question before you ask it, but in the case of a marriage proposal, having confidence that the answer is yes will help with your sanity. Of course you can never be 100% sure, but here’s a way to get to 99% and make it easy on yourself and maybe everyone else you know.

First off, how long have you been dating?
Fortunately there is no established timeframe on how short or long people need to date to get engaged, but since marriage is a lifelong commitment it’s probably a good idea to take your time before diving in. Does she talk about your future together? Does she use the word “forever” when discussing your relationship? Without a definite “it’s marriage time” moment, I suggest giving yourself a full year together before you decide to take a knee. A year gives you the opportunity to understand your partner’s ups and downs, how they react to a bad day at work, how they celebrate holidays, how they solve problems and how best to communicate with them.

How’s the wallet?
Money isn’t everything, but it allows the two of you to have freedom to grow in your relationship without needing help from others. If you haven’t already, discuss your financial history and future together. Talk about your spending and saving habits, any long term goals, joint accounts, saving for a house or kids. This will help minimize uncertainty for both of you so that when she comes home with a curious smile and a $400.00 purse, you won’t be surprised.

Are you her #1 confidant?
Regardless of if she is happy, sad or indifferent, does she want to come to you first to share how she feels? If you are the first person she runs to with anything that is on her mind, you can believe she considers you as her rock. You should be the person she trusts the most and she should be the same for you.
couple talking

Have you discussed marriage?
Marriage is an eventuality for many, but is still incredibly special and at some point you may have discussed the possibility. What is her opinion of marriage and what is her view of marriage for herself? Will you adopt traditional gender roles or a more modern view? Getting to know her view of marriage will help you understand her expectations for the future.

Do you party more together than with your single friends?
The Vegas club hopping has started to get old and you are noticing a change in the preferred activities the two of you attend. Are you making the transition from lone wolf to igloo dwelling penguins? How does she feel about spending more time with you than her girls? How do you feel about spending most of your free time together? What balance do you strive for? How much freedom do you allow each other? Discussing these questions will help manage the relationship changes among each other and your friends.

Once again there is no way to be 100% sure of her answer, but asking these questions will help you assess the relationship for who you are now, who you hope to become, and what role you’re expected to play. Now that all of that is out in the open I ask you to consider one last thing, do you love her? Does she love you? If the answer is yes, I’d say it’s a good time to snap, crackle, pop the question.

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How to Choose His Wedding Gift

By guest blogger Natasha Burton

One of the most special enduring wedding day traditions is when the bride and groom exchange gifts. This is typically done pre-ceremony, separately, as a way for the couple to connect and feel loved amid the chaos of getting hair and make-up done and wrangling groomsmen.

But finding a special something for this moment—especially for a guy—is no easy task. (Grooms have it easy: They can just buy a little bling and their brides are sure to swoon!)

So, if you’re stumped trying to figure out what to gift the man of your dreams on your big day, here are some key questions to help those ideas flow.

1. Would he prefer a less pricey, heartfelt gift (like a love letter) or something a bit more fancy and tangible?

2. Are there any elements of his wedding attire that you haven’t purchased yet, which could make good gifts? (As in, cuff links, a monogrammed pocket square, or a nice watch?)

3. Have you considered doing a boudoir shoot? (Giving your man pin-up style photos of you the day of the wedding is a popular trend right now.)

Budior Shoot--photo courtesy of www.pinterest.com

Boudoir Shoot–photo courtesy of www.pinterest.com

4. Does he have a favorite sport or sports player? (You could give him a signed baseball or something small that he would consider special to mark the day.)

5. Are you two all about coziness comfort? (Consider getting coordinating robes and slippers for each other that you can wear while getting ready—and beyond!)

6. Have you settled all of your honeymoon activities yet? (Perhaps a voucher for a fun excursion could be an exciting day-of surprise for him?)

7. Does your man like to be pampered? (Consider an experiential gift, like an in-room massage at his hotel or a stylist to come give him a haircut and shave before the ceremony.)

8. Does your groom have a quirky sense of humor? (Give him funny “groom” boxers to wear or special socks for keeping his “cold feet” warm.)

9. Is your groom getting ready with his boys? (Make it a party by gifting him a nice bottle of whiskey or a beer tower for them to all enjoy…responsibly, of course.)

beer cake

10. Have you considered engraving something he already has? (Surprise him with a sweet message inside his wedding band or on the back of his favorite watch.)

Robbins Brothers Wedding Band with Inscription

Robbins Brothers Wedding Band with Inscription

Natasha Burton is an author, freelance writer and editor.
101 Quizzes for Couples
natashaburton.com

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Love Rains In Bellevue! Come Celebrate Our Grand Re-Opening

Bellevue Grand ReOpening Flyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Rains in Bellevue this Summer!
Join Us For Our Grand Re-Opening

*Featured Art by Hall Spassov Gallery
*Food Truck & Wine Tasting
*Pamper Sessions
*Raffle Giveaways including Mariners tickets & gorgeous jewelry
*Enter for a chance to Win an Echo Diamond!

RSVP today 425.635.7464 or fanclub@robbinsbrothers.com

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8 Ways to Keep the Romance Alive During Wedding Planning

8WaysKeepRomanceAlive

By guest blogger Natasha Burton

As any engaged couple will tell you, wedding planning is stressful. (Those who say otherwise, well…I’ve never met any.) Not only are you putting together the largest event you’ve likely ever thrown, but you’ve got two families and tons of friends to cater to, meaning that there’s a litany of relationships and emotions thrown into the planning mix.

So, it’s not unusual for romance to take a backseat to your wedding-related to-do lists and anxieties. However, you don’t have to wait until the honeymoon to take a deep breath and rekindle the passion that made you want to get married in the first place. The following eight tips will have you buzzing with love again in no time.

1. Don’t Replace Date Night with Wedding Planning Night
Carving out a time every week to romantically connect can be difficult for any couple, but wedding planning makes this ritual even more elusive. You may start setting aside time each week for wedding planning, eventually replacing your regular date nights with discussions on venues, flowers, what have you—but resist this at all costs. Keeping romance alive requires spending some time and energy being romantic. And while planning does have fun aspects, there is nothing romantic about balancing your wedding budget in an Excel spreadsheet, even if you’re both finance geeks.

2. Make Date Night a No-Wedding-Talk Time
When you do go out to revive the romance, fight the urge to fall into wedding planning chitchat. Yes, you may be stressed about the fact that your wedding coordinator still hasn’t answered your last email but try not to let that dominate your night. A few hours of relaxing and really enjoying each other’s company will make you realize that, whether she gets back to you or not, you’re really, really excited to get married and spend your lives together. And that’s what’s important.

3. Delegate Some Wedding To-Dos
If you’re feeling so overwhelmed that, between work and your other obligations, you just can’t find time to spend non-wedding planning time together, enlist support. Whether that looks like hiring a wedding planner or asking your bridesmaids to take over a DIY task, asking for help will keep stress from overwhelming you—and your relationship.

4. Make Wedding Tasks Passionate
Some parts of wedding planning are decidedly unsexy—i.e. choosing pima cotton or polyester table linens—but there are many to-dos that can be fun, even romantic. Some caterers offer take-home tastings, so why not turn trying food into a picnic? Or, if you’re stressed out about your first dance, why not take a few dance lessons? Even flipping through old photos to create a slideshow for the reception is a chance to reconnect: As you go through the images, allow yourselves to reminisce about all the fun times you’ve had together.

5. Don’t Hit “Pause” on Your Relationship
Engagement can sometimes feel like a purgatorial zone between “in a relationship” and “married” in which the only purpose is to plan a big party. But when you let the wedding overtake this special step in your relationship, you’re not honoring the fact that this time is incredibly unique—you’re more committed than ever but you’re still unmarried. Use these months to continue learning about each other, especially the aspects of your partner you may not know everything about yet (particularly bigger topics like kids, careers, family rituals and such). Really mapping out your future together can be a very intimate experience and bring you even closer together.

6. Try a New Activity
According to a study about what keeps couples happy in the long term, going on regular date nights alone won’t keep love alive. The key is continuing to try different types of activities and hobbies together, which will fuel your curiosity as well as strengthen your bond and your passion for each other. So, check out that spoken word event or try paddle boarding or take that tapas cooking class together now, don’t push fun new experiences back until “after the wedding.”

7. Make Honeymoon Planning a Priority
Even if you’re not taking a honeymoon right after your wedding (or even until months later), it’s important to take some time to at least conceptualize or dream about where you might want to go. While wedding planning can be punctuated with worry, honeymoon planning is all about fun—there are no parents to please, no expectations to fulfill but your own, and no dreaded seating chart (except for choosing where you’ll sit on the airplane). Honeymoon planning can balance out wedding planning and get you both excited for the big day to come—because afterward, you’ll be on your way to the paradise of your choice.

8. Verbalize Your Love
Wedding planning creates lots of to-dos—and honey-dos—so make a commitment to devoting as much of your talk time to expressing devotion as you do to giving tasks. Yes, actions may speak louder than words but talk ain’t cheap when it comes to keeping passion alive. Telling your partner you love him or her in the midst of wedding planning chaos can go a long way toward keeping you both sane.

Natasha Burton is an author, freelance writer and editor.
101 Quizzes for Couples
natashaburton.com

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