New Years, Weddings and Wedding Priestesses!

Well, Happy New Year, my friends! I seem to have taken a short hiatus (unannounced even to myself). I had a wonderful holiday, full of singing and fmialy and friends and food. Sweetpea and I even did some recording which was so much fun!

But it’s January, and time for putting into motion all the plans and dreams from before the holiday madness intervened. So, look here for more helpful hints and thoughts about your relationship, your wedding and your marriage. You’ll want to check in occasionally on the writing I do for Examiner.com and Over at Ezine articles (check out the right-hand side of the page.) and this week, no really, I promise!, you’ll get a glimpse of my new monthly newsletter (called, what else? The Wedding Priestess!) with all sorts of reflections about gettin’ hitched from me and from some of my most beloved wedding colleagues!

It’s going to be a great year. After all, you’re getting married! Or you’re woroking on a really wonderful relationship! Let’s celebrate together!

Believing in you and in your love,

Ann

Fireworks Champagne Glass

Celebrating Holiday Memories

One trick to creating your own “new family” holiday memories is to revisit was was special and wonderful in your own holiday history. Even the most horrible childhoods had some great memories, even if sadly they they were at someone else’s house!

The fact is you’ll do better building new memories if you start from realizing what was the sweet thing at the heart of your memory. I recently heard a woman tell the story of how her parents made a big red ribbon line that she followed around the house until she discovered her present… a great big cuddly bear. She got the bear when she was 4 and has him still. Part of what made that particular bear a great gift was the build-up… (Hint: build up costs nothing and requires simply a little inventiveness and a bit of humor.) The bear represented companionship.

If you discover the heart of the memories, then the plans you make can grow out of the positive things: Rather than, let’s not spend any money on gifts because we don’t have any: Let’s not spend money on gifts because what we want are gifts from the heart. And we’ll give gift money to someone else. Or, it may be that this is the year to give one another sparkly shiny things because your love is sparkly and shiny. But whatever it is, spend some time remembering and sharing what was best for you about the holidays.

Tip: Create the holidays you want to have not the holiday everyone thinks you should have. And base your plans on what was wonderful for you when you were a child.

Money Matters

I recently heard from a bride who had money regrets. Somewhere in the midst of the wedding planning process she had slipped on the “oh, let’s make this more and more beautiful” banana.

End result, she outspent her budget. She’s not the first and she’s not the last.  Unless you decide to make it different. It’s not a great idea to combine wedding party post partum slump with how do I manage my life. It can easily become a bit overwhelming, and lead to tussles with your new spouse.

Tip: As with everything else, a little planning can help this. And that’s not just wedding planning, it’s life and marriage planning. What’s important in your wedding? You’re marrying your beloved. Your job, together with your partner, is to figure out what’s really going to make that work. And then design a celebration that suits the life you’re going to build.

What Does It Mean to Be Engaged?

Once you get engaged, it seems all the focus goes on the wedding. Brides and grooms bustle about getting this and that in order for the big party.

What they don’t do enough of is be engaged in the relationship. This is a time period best used to work out issues, establish patterns and deepen your relationship.

Planning a party is fun. Planning your wedding ceremony is important. But planning a path for your love to grow? It’s essential. And it’s the goal.

Tip: What were the most important moments of your engagement period? How did your relationship deepen over this time? (other than the financial ties you built when you took out a second mortgage to pay for your wedding?)

10 Steps to Building a Perfect Wedding Ceremony: #4 The Statement of Intent

If there is a Statement of Intent (SOI) in most wedding ceremonies, it is a pledge by the couple to the religious institution to abide by their tenents.

Many of you, however, are not being married in churches. So should there be a SOI?

Absolutely. And even in religious ceremonies, those intentions should be augmented. The only way to live into your dreams is to establish them as real.

  1. What do you intend with this marriage? (Hint: to live happily and healthily ever after with your beloved.
  2. What is it about your partner that makes this not only possible but realistic for each of you?
  3. Do you love this person? (This is something you would do well to volunteer in your wedding ceremony in your own voice.

Tip: Declaring in your own voice that you intend to live in lifelong marriage with your beloved creates a mission statement that you can live into for the rest of your lives!