Your mother-in-law is probably the perfect helper when it comes to planning your wedding, isn’t she? Truth be told, sometimes dealing with family members can be a challenge when planning your wedding, and mother-in-laws are typically the family member you will have a challenge with. If you follow some basic tips you will get more of what you want, have a better relationship with your mother-in-law and be less likely to turn gray while planning your wedding.
She Really Does Mean Well
Mother-in-laws can often be overbearing with their input in your wedding plans. Their son is getting married, and they have their own ideas of what a proper wedding should look like. Remember that most mother-in-laws really do mean well. Keep reminding yourself that when you think she is just trying to butt into your life. It’s better to try and be diplomatic than to start fighting with your new mom.
Make Her Feel Good
Your mother-in-law might mean well but if her plans don’t match up with yours you have a problem. Sit down with your mother-in-law and politely tell her thanks, but no thanks. Tell her nicely that you know what you want and you really appreciate her input. Think of parts of your wedding that she can help with that won’t make a difference on your wedding day. For example perhaps your mother-in-law can be in charge of the out of town guests and can help them plan for their stay. Or assign her the task of helping with the rehearsal dinner. Pick one or two things that are important that she can help with and hopefully she will be too busy working on those tasks, and won’t bother you about more important aspects of the wedding.
If you find yourself constantly arguing with your mother-in-law during the planning process, it may be better to limit your communication so that your differences don’t escalate further. If she calls, send it to voicemail. Send her an email and tell her you missed her call and see if you can communicate that way. Remember that this isn’t a lifetime arrangement. After the wedding the stress level for you and her will deflate and you can work on repairing the relationship.
Planning your wedding is stressful enough and you really don’t need the added tension of arguing with your mother-in-law about the wedding plans. Remember not to make rash decisions that you will regret later. Think before you speak, and try to compromise when possible. If your mother in law is helping pay for the wedding, have a discussion with your new in laws and set the expectations that while you really appreciate the financial help, you have some ideas of how you want your day to be. Your wedding planning is the beginning of the rest of your life with your groom, but also the beginning of the relationship with your mother-in-law. By being diplomatic and avoiding unnecessary fighting with your mother-in-law you will have a better relationship with your groom, as well as your future in-laws.
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There are many old traditions still visible in today’s modern wedding. One of the most obvious is the best man and groomsmen standing next to the groom during the ceremony. We now see this custom as an opportunity to involve our friends and close family members in our big day, but at one time the groomsmen were seen to guard the bride until she was married to her husband and new protector.
These days the groomsmen often help out with the arrangements and tasks leading up to the wedding, and most importantly keep the groom smiling no matter how stressful the wedding plans get. A modern tradition is that the groom gives each member of his wedding party a gift on the day of the wedding to say thank you for helping out. Whether your groomsmen gifts are traditional or modern is completely up to you.
Traditional groomsmen gifts offer a touch of class and remind us of an era our grandparents might recognize more easily than we would. A watch was a traditional gift for any big occasion, from graduation to retirement. The symbolism of a watch varies depending on your culture, but in North American it’s often seen as a wish for long life.
Other traditional groomsmen gifts are flasks, cufflinks and money clips. While most of use don’t wear shirts with cufflink holes, keep a flask in our hip pocket and prefer a debit card to a wad of cash, the timeless significance of these gifts is what makes them special.
A modern groomsman gift generally reflects the taste of the man receiving it. It could be sports related, like a golf set or a baseball bat engraved with the date of the wedding and the groomsman’s name. For a groomsman who travels frequently a leather carry-on featuring his initials, or a travel case for his grooming kit also makes a thoughtful gift.
No matter which route you choose, traditional or modern, adding personalization to the gift will remind your groomsmen of your big day and the important role they played in it. You can add their monogrammed initials, the wedding date and even the bride and groom’s names to many different types of gifts.
It’s important to think about each of your groomsmen and choose a gift that suits his personality and taste. Choosing the right gift is the best way to show just how well you know the men standing by your side and how much you appreciate them being there for you on your wedding day.
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Summer: the time of year where love fills the air and wedding invitations flood your mailbox. Typically the invitations portray the theme of the wedding and inform the invitee when and where the wedding will take place. Over the past couple months, I’ve been getting a ton of invites in the mail seeing how I’m at that age where everyone seems to be getting married (except me, but that’s another topic all together).
Anyway, if you haven’t heard, the average cost of a wedding these days’ is about $24,000. When you consider most people getting married are around 26 and that bill doesn’t include the rings or the honeymoon – the fact is that weddings are freakin’ expensive. In most cases, the couples getting married have just finished paying off their college debt and saving for their new home. Sure, some families help take care of a wedding. But there are definitely ways to host a $20,000 for less… much less.
Below are 8 money saving tips to help alleviate the expense of a wedding.
Tip #1. Off season weddings are much more affordable than a typical summer wedding. Also, it would also help to cut costs if it were scheduled on a Friday or Sunday. Depending on the time of the year, certain places may be decorated in advanced which can also encourage savings.
Tip #2. The average guest list is 178 family and friends long. This is possibly where you can end up saving most of your money considering everything – outside of the ceremony – is dependent on the head count. If possible, limit your guest list to 125-150. A good rule of thumb here: don’t invite more guests then you can spend at least a minute of your time with.
Tip #3. It is important to capture the memories created during your special day with photos, but getting professional photos could be cheaper than you think. Find a family member with some photography experience, a friend that you graduated with that majored in photography, or a cheap freelancer. Chances are they are willing to donate their services as a wedding gift or for much cheaper than a professional.
Tip #4. Food is probably going to end up costing the most out of all the wedding expenses. You may want to consider a buffet style meal instead of a sit down meal. It may also be feasible to have the caterers drop off the prepared food and set it all up and then leave. Or, if you’re really ambitious, do the catering yourself.
Tip #5. Wedding announcements and invitations can be found for FREE! There are a ton of services on the web that provide free personalized announcements which can be printed from your home computer. Use some theme colored ribbon to spruce up the look and feel of the card.
Tip #6. From my experience, I know how you ladies like to browse dresses in magazines and try on dresses at bridal shops like Alfred Angelo. The dress is always a pricey piece of weddings, but if you’re not afraid to wear last season’s fashions, hundreds of dollars can be saved by going with an older style dress.
Tip #7. Some marriages find it a must to have a live band at their wedding. Others may suffice with a DJ. Good live bands can cost as much as $2,000 or more. Instead, find a musically inclined friend that will do it for cheap or even free as a gift. If you really want to go cheap, find a play list online and download the songs to your iPod and use an amplifier to play it. I’ve seen this done at many weddings recently and found it to be just as effective as a DJ.
Tip #8. Certain beverages at the wedding can be extremely costly. Instead of hosting an open bar, have a beer wagon and a wine bar. If your families aren’t big drinkers only have a glass of champagne for the toast or just cut it out altogether.
Unless they are having a shotgun wedding, it can be said that most brides prefer to look their absolute best on their wedding day. Sadly though, oftentimes, in search of the perfect ‘look’, many brides have rendered themselves to be almost unrecognizable on the day of their wedding by wearing far too much makeup and sporting a hairdo that most in attendance would agree (although not to her face) that she would not dare wear in real life.
Of course, the special event will call for a little more than the usual, but it should not be so far off the mark that it seems totally out of character. If a future bride is not accustomed to wearing a lot of makeup, then her wedding day should not be the day that she would choose to pile on as much as possible. If she is uncomfortable with the idea of having her hair tightly wound, and piled up on top of her head, then alternatives should definitely be pursued. Perhaps a softer look; one that she is more comfortable with, may suit her best. There is a balance that should be met, and if necessary, she should not be afraid to enlist help from those who know her well.
If any of these are not available, she should consult a professional…while still attempting to bring along with her, either a trusted friend or family member. After all, this will be her day and there will be pictures and memories that will no doubt last a lifetime. Remember: If they are to be thought of with fondness, they will need to be true and authentic.
Photo: by ElektraCute