Archive of ‘Thriving Bride Archive’ category

I said “yes”, now what?

Dear Thriving Bride,

So, he must have planned out the exact moment to ask you, and I sure hope it was really special!  You’ve got that fantastic piece of  blindingly beautiful “bling” on your left hand,  and it’s a sign of pride for you as well as a great conversation starter.  This is supposed to be your moment of bliss and all you can think about is planning the wedding.

Let me stop you here.  The wedding will happen and it will be beautiful, but the most valuable lesson I have learned is that the process to the wedding is just as incredible of a journey.  Let me tell you why:

We’ve already agreed that the purpose of this blog is to acknowledge the circumstances that might make your wedding more non-traditional than those of the other women you know getting married everywhere you turn.  Your friends may spend every weekend shopping for wedding dresses with their sisters, aunts and mothers while you find yourself wondering who you will bring on that fun-filled shopping day.

Let me stop you again.  This is a guide for brides with challenging circumstances that want and deserve  just as wonderful of a wedding day as anyone else.  Maybe you are dealing with a chronic illness?  Maybe your parents have passed away?  Maybe you don’t have any parents for reasons that aren’t my business (or anyone else’s ) to ask?  It does not matter.  You have the set of circumstances that make this happy time difficult as well.  But, I am here to tell you that the other side of dealing with difficult circumstances looks like this:  you can “survive”, which is great (yeah you!), you can move away from surviving and always waiting for the next catastrophe and finally start to “live.” And, if you choose to, you may just be able to “thrive.”

I am here speaking from experience.  When we survive, we only know how to live using the same patterns of behavior that we relied on when we were deeply in the midst of the specific trauma.  When we live, we stop operating that way and realize that we have the power to make our own decisions.  And when we thrive, we live our best lives possible understanding that our stories and who we are in the present moment are two very related but different things.

I said yes

How I was instructed be subtle
when showing off the ring


So, give yourself a lot of credit here.  He asked you to marry him and you said yes!  Are you ready to be a thriving bride?  I hope you are because he’s ready to marry you and it helps if you can be a bad ass bitch.  Yes, I curse too!  Sometimes, these are the only words that best explain the circumstance, and this is exactly who you will become.  So keep flashing that ring, and follow me:

After you say yes, you should consider:

1. Calling up the people who you consider family (blood, experience, etc) and letting them know.

2. Making a list of all the ways in which your “difficult circumstances” affected you in the past and may still be affecting you as you plan to marry.

My list looks something like this.  I was feeling sorry for myself, so I did it in the form of questions.

1. What am I going to say when everyone asks why my parents are not there?

2. Maybe my older sister will come so I’ll have family there?

3. Who will walk me down the aisle now that my younger brother is dead?

4. How will we pay for it with my parents out of the picture.  Will PJ’s (my fiance) mother contribute?

5. Will my kids ever know their biological grandparents?

And the list goes on.  The point is to make the list when you have a minute, and to allow yourself to go through all the emotions that may happen while making this list.  Then, when you are ready (but before you actually start planning) share this list with your fiance and let him know that you’d like to talk to him about ways you can honor your feelings and still get the things that you think you won’t get based on your list.  Give it a try! And feel free to let me know how it goes.  I am a very curious person!


Different Kind of Bride Essentials

Dear Thriving Bride,

There are 72 days before I am to marry PJ, and the dish of the day is this:

The day started early with a morning walk, then a bathroom break at a friends house (they were also preparing to host a wedding at their luxurious Bed and Breakfast) which turned into breakfast with members of the wedding who had arrived from Austin.  All of this is to say that the day has just begun really and it is only about 12:30 in the afternoon, but the advice I have for you today is this:

Find something to do every day that relaxes you and reduces your stress level.

I was feeling kind of down yesterday after talking wedding/ budget/ wedding/ budget/ chairs/ flowers and flower girls with PJ.  You see, it’s almost its own bizarre language.  At the end of yesterday evening, we were both exhausted and wanted nothing more but to crawl into our beds and sleep. The thing is, getting married is like having a baby.  You don’t get time off. You are working and doing whatever else it is that you need to do while you are also getting ready for an important day.

The thing to remember is this: Think more about how you want to essentially feel on that day and less about the form of it.  If you want to feel luxurious, splurge on some beautiful pearls and ditch the gold bracelet from your great aunt if that doesn’t resonate with you (remember to kiss her on the cheek several times as you let her know that you would totally love to wear it on another occasion).  It is the day to be your best self, which you try to cultivate everyday the only difference being that on this day you get to parade it around.  Now, isn’t that a show to put on and be proud of!

How do you want to feel on your wedding day?

Dear Thriving Bride,

I believe most women have certain things in common.  We want to be loved for who we are (on the inside and out) and to feel beautiful even when we are not feeling beautiful.

I recently spoke to my “brother” Mike and asked him to walk me down the aisle.

I have known Mike since I first arrived on the University of California, Berkeley campus almost 15 years ago, and we were part of a small group of East Coasters who ended up at Berkeley.  So, we became close and Mike has seen me in almost every adult relationship I have had.

Mike is my brother by “experience”, even though we don’t share blood.  I know, that no matter what, he will show up and support me whenever I need him to.  I know he will beat  bad boyfriends and hunt down the ones in hiding.  Thankfully, I haven’t had to worry too much about bad boyfriends, but I know Mike is there when I need him.

I told you that I spoke to him the other day, but I did not tell you why.

Let me slow down and give you a little background.  In 2001, my younger brother died in a car accident, one day shy of his 18th birthday.  In 2007, my older brother died in Nigeria. I was not close to my older brother.  In fact, he sexually and physically abused me and my younger brother.  I did not have much to say to him, and when I was younger I always found myself shaking uncontrollably when he was around.  Despite this history, his death made me realize that I had no brothers.

Today is day 82.

There are 82 days until I get married. I had a pact with my younger brother: when i got married, he would walk me down the aisle.  I miss him even more now, but as I got really sad, I remembered a moment I had with Mike.  After both of my brother’s had died, I found NY Yankees cap that belonged to my younger brother and gave it to Mike while I asked him to be my brother.  He said he would, and we cried together on some street in New York city.

I miss my brother, but I needed to decide how to get the essence of my emotions and pack it into that day.  I can’t change my parents’ behavior nor can I bring my brother back, but I can feel the love and support on my wedding day from my brother Mike.

Mike said he will be there.  I get to have my brother walk me down the aisle.  Figure out how you want to feel and find ways to make it happen.  I wanted to feel loved and supported by my brother, and how lucky am I to receive this gift!

Your job is to let him give to you and get out of the way!

Dear Thriving Bride,

Is there something extra special that your soon to be husband wants to do for you? Does he want to take you on a surprise honeymoon? Maybe he wants to buy you some one of a kind (and expensive in your opinion) jewelry for you to wear on your wedding day and cherish for a lifetime?

My advice of the day is:

Just let him do it!

I know it may be hard, and a I know your eyes may already be popping out of their eye sockets just thinking about the cost of the wedding flowers. But guess what? This could be an opportunity for you to step back, give him permission to show his love to you in the way that he chooses to. As your prepare for this wonderful journey in life together, this might also be an opportunity for you take a look at what’s going on within you and maybe discover some places where you can fine tune your already fabulous self. I don’t like to give advise without getting specific and using my life as an example. After all, I’m here to tell you what I know and you can do with it what you’d like. Surprise!But most of your reading this might just want to know that I am real after all: real as in dealing with the challenges that I present to you and not holding back for the sake of privacy. This blog is not about privacy. It is about making room for all of our selves so that others can find a place to fit in. Now, onto using myself as an example. My dear man wants to bring a Nigerian band to our wedding. I love the idea, especially because this band is just amazing and we both have connections to the band leader. I have been concerned about money and I want to “stay within the budget.”

Yesterday PJ told me that he had found a way to make it happen and possibly someone to produce it, and I realized later that I did not immediately get excited when he told me this. Instead, my mind went to this place of concern and questions and PJ (to his credit) called me on it. He simply told me that he was trying to make this happen and was wondering if my responses were coming from the right place. Here’s a little information you should know:

So, my parents are most likely not coming.

Not because they can’t make the trip, but because they are not good at supporting me unconditionally. They want to come as long as we do this and that, which seems to change all the time. I know that Peter wants to bring the band to really have a very unique  element to make our wedding unforgettable, but I also because he wants me to have the “feeling” of a Nigerian wedding and not be sad about their absence. The truth is, I am not sad about their absence.

I am sad about the feeling that I will not have people there who love me unconditionally and are always there for me no matter what who feel like parents. So, I solved that dilemma by reaching out to my Fairy God Parents (yes, that is who they are and it works out quite well) and my other parents who live here and the emotional roller coaster I was going through has settled down a bit. These people have committed to supporting me, and now I feel a lot stronger going forward.

So, if PJ wants to bring me that slice of joy that he hopes will make this day everything and more for me, then I will allow him to do so. Who am I to say what he can and cannot do for me on this special day? Once I realized what was really going on within me, I could let it go. And by the way, after the worry fades away most of us feel really blessed and really touched that we chose such a caring partner. 71 more days Dear Brides. I hope you will continue the journey with me!

The Importance of Wedding Therapy

Dear Thriving Bride,

It is 69 days until my wedding day, and I have been unable to let go of this heavy feeling in my chest.  I spoke about it in an earlier post, but no matter how much meditation, running, yoga and general exercise that I do, I am still feeling this way. I woke up this morning thinking about how grateful I am that my fiance and I have a “Wedding  Therapist.”

Last night PJ and I had a session with our therapist.  So many things came up, and we addressed them.  I woke up feeling some residual things from that meeting, and there is more we will talk about next week.  So, based on my experience (2 weeks of Engagement Therapy so far) , I believe it is going well.  By well I don’t mean that it is not painful and often times challenging.  What I do mean is that this is allowing me to grow in ways that I could not have imagined.  I keep thinking to myself, “I did this therapy thing already for several years.” That is true for me, but there are times in one’s life when the old wounds come up again and again.  When you are about to start a new family and break away from your old one, how could you not think about the past and the things your parents did and did not do on your behalf.

Last night, our therapist asked us things like:

So, what do you each want to do differently in your relation to each other than what your parents did?

So, what do you want to do differently than your mother did?

These questions take me to a place of deep introspection and eventually allow me to clear away old crap that does not belong to me in order to make space for the life I want (and am having now) with PJ, but it is hard.

Let me see how I answered those questions:

I don’t want to ever allow myself to stand by and watch my husband treat me or our children badly without clearly stating the problem, letting him know what my expectations are and coming up with ways in which he can “repair” the damage done.  I know PJ would never lay his hands on me or our future children, but we are all deeply flawed and abuse is not the only way someone can break your trust.

I won’t mention what PJ said in his responses. That’s for him to share if he ever wants to.  But for now, I am telling you all of this because I felt a roller coaster of emotions inside.  I felt like saying ” I will never………” several times until I had exorcised those words out of me.

I believe that parenting (and marriage) are amazing challenges, opportunities and huge privileges that are available in this life, and we are either capable of accepting and honoring the challenge or not.  My parents were not.  They actually were really awful at it.  They were really great when it came to teaching us the importance of learning and being in the world as educated people, but parenting is not something you would find at the top of their life resumes.  This is just what it is, and I have accepted it.

So now, I have the chance to do things differently and I look forward to that opportunity.  So, all of this is just to say that this wonderful giddy time is just that: wonderful and giddy.  But it is also full of some very challenging emotions for every bride, but especially for you “thriving brides” out there.  From the time he gives you the ring until you say “I do”, there will be many issues that come up (personally and as a couple) no matter how much you love each other.

And I know that you are used to being strong. Well, we all usually are. How else would we have gotten to this point in the face of and despite our circumstances. I salute you for that!  I know that you may feel that you have already been so brave in your life.  I am asking you to be brave once again, and work with a professional therapist from the time you say “I do” until the altar.   In the end, it’s up to you.  But my guess is you want things to go well in the wedding planning process and going forward.  So Dear Bride, muster all the courage I know you have and get to talking about the difficult stuff.  He already loves you (and you him), so hopefully this will help you strengthen your relationship even more.

“It’s their loss, not yours”

Dear Thriving Bride,

Of course it is easy to tell yourself this when it comes to your unavailable or incapable family of origin.   Last night, as PJ was standing in the kitchen fixing dinner, I remembered something we had talked about and wanted to address.  We’ve both been pretty lucky to have his mom both in the same town as us and super supportive as well.  Here’s to kick-ass mother-in-laws!

I have 68 more days until I say “I do.” Anyway, a few weeks ago we were having a conversation about my parents and had pretty much accepted that they were not going to attend the wedding without several conditions.  We spoke of PJ’s mom and how great it was to have her here, and he was honest and told me about how he would miss not having that “in law” support on my side.

It has been a few weeks since that conversation, but it still sticks with  me.  It made me really sad for myself and for him.  I did not feel sorry for myself, and there is a difference.  You see, I did not want my very own parents to be there for both of us in an unhealthy way, which has been the case so far.  I was not wishing for something I knew that I did not have.  Instead, I was lamenting the array of possibilities that could come out of the joining of our families in a truly supportive way.  That made me sad for me, and for Peter.

Yesterday as he was cooking I remembered that moment and I walked up to him and hugged him.  I told him I was sorry he would not have that presence for now, and I also told him how glad I was that my older sister was super supportive and would be there for the both of us.  Peter looked down at me and said “it’s their loss.”

The truth is, I have gone through so many emotions in the last few months, but this was a moment of inner joy.  It was a moment to revel in all that is true and wonderful and to let go of the rest.  I am marrying a truly wonderful man and my parents can choose to seize the opportunity to get to know him or not.  It is their choice, and their loss as well.

So, everyone has reasons for not showing up in your life at the moments that matter most.  There is a well known saying about abuse that goes something like this: “there are always reasons, but never excuses.”  Nothing can ever excuse the behavior no matter what reason your blood relatives give.  But, they do have their reasons and usually there will always be one reason or another.  So much is happening for you right now and is about to happen as you move closer to your wedding day.  Let them be who they are, grieve for the moments lost and allow yourself to feel sad.  And then, when you are clear about what a missed opportunity their choice is, find your dear fiance, hold him close and be grateful that you did not miss the opportunity to marry him.


Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

Dear Thriving Bride,

It is 64 days before my wedding and I am thinking about what I will wear on that day to go with my lovely gown. We all know how it goes: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.  It is a true and tried tradition and a pretty good one in my opinion. I love the idea of adorning myself with special items from the women I respect and love.  It is a way to carry history forward and to remember the past. But, for you “different kind of bride”, the past might be a very difficult place to go now that you are about to embark on such a happy day. When I think about the past, I think about the things that I will miss most on my wedding day: My younger brother’s beautiful smile and how his death will always make me remember to live this life fully, my parents inability to take care of their children during childhood and into adulthood, my family traditions from our small Nigerian village that don’t include dresses, veils, rings or jewelry of any kind ever being passed down,  and how I wonder what I will do for these 4 bridal traditions. So, here are my rules for dealing with them:

Rule #1: Decide if this tradition is important to you!

Just because your parents may be absent, dead, dismissive or just do not have these items in their family history does not mean you cannot start the tradition in yours. Yes, you are having a “different kind of wedding”, but different does not have to mean non-traditional. For most modern brides, it takes mixing  traditions (letting go of some and embracing others) to decide what it is you want. If it isn’t important to you, then let it go. And if your friends are in shock that you didn’t do it, giving them a fine Mexican tequila will usually calm them down.

Rule #2: If it is important, do it!

And doing it has nothing to do with your family of origin. The tradition does not say something old from your grandma and something blue from your aunt. Actually, in my opinion, it’s pretty modern that this wedding day tradition does not say this. So, the important thing is to get creative and I’m here to help you!

Rule #3: Get Creative!

Anything essential to you should be part of your wedding. After all, you are stripping down what is unimportant and putting up (and out there) those things that make your heart sing. And especially for my brides who might be going through an additional roller coaster of emotions due to the absence of blood relatives in some way, creativity has got to be your mojo.

Rule #4: Don’t forget to look and see what’s around you!

I will tell you a lovely story about a women I know who sells produce in our local market.

I have known her since I first came to this town, and she was really my first female older friend. She also really cared about me even though she did not know me well, and we developed a friendship that is very important to me today. She is not my biological female relative, but she loves me with her actions and that is most important. I decided recently that I want to have items from the women I love on my body on the day of the wedding. These are items for me to borrow and to use for this tradition, but it is also a way for me to wrap myself in the presence of generations of women who come from varying ethnic, age and geographical backgrounds.

Yesterday I went to the local market to buy a few things,  and I sat down to tell her how the wedding planning was coming along. Then I realized that I was not being honest. I was not telling her what was really affecting me lately. So, I just started talking. I told her about the many years I endured with an abusive father and an enabling mother and abusive siblings. I told her about how the past would never really be the past until my parents stopped the cycle of abuse that continues today.  I told her all of this, and then I let her know that I wanted these 4 items to come from women I loved dearly.

What happened next is both exhilarating and breathtaking. It is hard to describe the emotions, but I will do my best.

She looked at me, lifted a gold ring with diamonds and ruby stones off of her hand and said, “take this and wear it for your wedding.” I explained that I would return it, and she said it was a gift from her children and she wanted to now gift it to me.

I need to take one deep breath here. This was a moment of grace: those times in life when despite your desire to keep going forward without taking notice, you are forced to notice and to give thanks. So, I have my something old if I want to use that ring. She is the woman at the market who I call a friend and she has no blood relation to me.

Sometimes, generosity of spirit is more enduring than blood ties. You might be feeling shy, but reach out and don’t be surprised at the generosity that abounds!

Rule #5: Be able to receive!

After my background of abuse and feeling like I could not trust the people I thought I should be able to trust the most, I spent many years being unable to receive gifts of any and every kind. I felt a little suspect, and wondered what the person wanted from me. Well, several years later I am pretty good at receiving but I still have a few bumps in the road every now and then. Once your realize how much people want to support you at this time, do your best to accept that support and to cherish and honor it. If you are finding it difficult to do, here are some tips:

  1. Whatever is being given to you is there to show you that you can trust the love that is showing up in your life.
  2. You did not have that trust with your blood family, so you get to have it now. And what better time than when you are about to get married!
  3. You don’t have to say yes to everything, but just know the difference between when you are denying your need for this show of support and when you truly would prefer not to have a specific thing from a specific person.
  4. You got to that place where you were able to receive your partner’s love, so this is the easy part–Right?

So, who says you can’t have your something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue?  You can have every and anything you want to have.  You just may have to ask for it, then sit back and see how much love and support comes pouring in.

The “Bridal Center of Perspective”

Dear Thriving Bride,

It is  60 days until my wedding, and all I can think of the fact that I am getting married to the man I love in two months.  AHHHHHHHHHHH!  I am so excited! So much has happened (and  caused some pretty stressful moments in the last few months),  but my  partner and I have chosen to handle these things in a positive way as they have come up.  First of all, many things have changed since I last posted.  We have let go of our old wedding venue, and secured a new one.  Thankfully, we’ve been able to handle the emotions associated with the  last minute changes that may usually freak many brides out, especially when it comes to a key element for your event: the wedding venue.  But, it has taken a lot of willingness and effort on our part.  For me, it’s really helped me to gain some perspective in this whole process.

So, there’s not much to say about the change except that the essence of what we wanted to experience and what we found ourselves experiencing with our other place did not match up.  Note to brides: Just like you would in any relationship, when any component of your wedding has a lot of red flags (your planner not planning as you’d like, lack of communication from your venue, etc), it may be time to kindly excuse yourself and go looking for people  who can help you make your wedding day vision happen as you’d like it to happen.  It’s simple, so don’t even bother feeling guilty, and keep walking.

The stress of a destination wedding, the venue, confirming our guests, completing all the projects we were working on for our own business, dealing with the ups and downs of client management and all the emotions I have shared with you concerning my biological family came to a head this week and one day my dear man and I just had a heated argument.  So far, we’d been doing pretty well (and still did all things considered on this day) but the effects of everything that was happening, not happening and about to happen was very clear.  Just when I thought it was going to be so difficult to bear, I ran into a woman that I see and talk with every now and then.

There is something about her that is always full of the truth: the way she carries herself, the fact that when she asks “how are you” she really means it, and the depth of experience of life that she is able to bring to every interaction we have.  Just a day or so after this difficult conversation with PJ, I ran into this woman and she asked me how I was doing.  I started to talk about the wedding, my family, the emotional challenges, the joys and how when I was younger I was so afraid of being married off to a man I did not know due to the tradition of arranged marriages in the Nigerian culture I grew up with.  At that moment, it hit me that I had figured out how to manage my stress.  I did not have the words to describe it yet, but I just kept talking.  I told her about how marrying PJ was my “dream” wedding because I had achieved what had seemed like an almost impossible thing by moving outside of cultural expectations and deciding who I wanted to spend my life with.  That was it!  I had found my “center of perspective.”

So, what is your ” Bridal Center of Perspective?”

What is that moment in your life that helps you understand the bigger picture, and allows you to let go of the things that do not matter so much in order for you to enjoy this time leading up to such an important day in your life.  Is it the death of a loved one? Is it the fact that you survived a challenging illness?  Did you “narrowly” escape an unhealthy relationship right before you met the man you are marrying.  Whatever it is, find that place, name it, hold it and keep it like a favorite jewel and say it to yourself over and over again until it becomes your mantra.

So, once I realized that I was already experiencing my dream wedding I could let everything else go.  This does not mean that the other details do not matter, it just means that the other details should not overshadow your “center of perspective.”  Try it!  I think it just might help you.

Redefining Your Wedding

for JJ

Dear Thriving Bride,

In 59 days, my fiance and I will be getting married at a former bordello. Well, that’s where the reception we be after the ceremony at the local library.  PJ and I love the idea! Although the venue is now a beautiful Bed and Breakfast, there were initially some raised eyebrows amongst my family of origin.  The most important part of this decision is that it was our decision, and for us that’s what really matters.

Let me first say that everyone involved in helping you plan your wedding will mean well.  They really will!  Your mother might suggest you pick a different venue than your gut suggests and your mother in law might just second that opinion.  In all honesty, all the time leading up to the wedding feels like one big sports tournament and every one is cheering you on, telling you which plays to make and which ones to avoid, while at the same time gritting their teeth knowing that they can only suggest and let you make your choices.

This is part of redefining your wedding.

You might ask: Why do I have to redefine it?  Well, that’s because there are many stages between the time you say “I will” to the time you say “I do.”  There really are!  When we first got engaged, we were very excited to have PJ’s mom plan the wedding and so was she.  She had done such a wonderful job with his sister’s wedding many years earlier, and her background as an interior decorator had allowed me to see and love her taste.

Then things changed.  PJ realized that he was more invested than he originally thought.  We sent out our SAVE THE DATE email and he checked to see who had responded any time he could steal a few minutes away from his work.  His mother was still willing to be generous with her time and help us plan, but then we stumbled upon a really amazing wedding venue that came with a wedding planner.

And then that venue changed because we found a place that felt more in line with our values and what we wanted to say  to our friends and family,  and the experience we wanted to share with them.  So, what’s the point of all these stories? THE WEDDING PLANNING PROCESS HAS STAGES!

My advice to you is this: Do your best to be okay with things as they change, because they surely will. You have this wonderful partner and a day to share with loved ones who will hopefully be there and continue to cheer you on throughout this life, so don’t forget to honor their willingness to support you while respecting what you want and don’t want as part of your special day.

This is not the time to be mean in the name of celebrating your special day.  It is a time to sit down with each person who has helped you along the way and thank them for all that they have done and are willing to do on your behalf.

Here are a few strategies for easing through the many stages of the wedding planning process:

1. After you have gotten engaged, sit down with those people who you consider family and let them know that this is an important moment that you want all of them to share with you and your partner.

2. Let people know that while you have ideas about what this day looks like in your mind, you acknowledge that your vision may change.  Ask for their patience!

3. If someone volunteers to do something for you (make invitations, do decorations, etc), thank them and let them know that you will respond to them as soon as you have a clearer idea of how you want them to participate.

4.  Let everyone know that while you respect and love them, you want your wedding to be “self created, but community sustained.”  Basically, you want to figure out the essence of this special day with your fiance, but you will need the love and support of all those people you  call loved ones to help you get there.

5. Honor your mother, your father and your self.  I grew up in a very Christian family and these words were constantly filling our ears as kids.  I think it is important to do this, but most of all to honor and respect your wishes.  Don’t try to please everyone if you are feeling miserable about this decision.  Remember that while you are your parents child, you are no longer a child and hopefully this reality check will allow you to use your voice and speak up when things don’t feel right in the planning process.  More to come on this one in an upcoming post!

5.  If you hurt someone’s feelings, apologize! Saying sorry will take you a long way!

So, you will be announcing, defining and redefining your plans for this wonderful day.  In the end, the process will be as important (and wonderful) as the day itself.  Don’t forget that!  Be open to what you learn about yourself, your loved ones and your partner.   Everything will work out just fine.  We both know it will!


Don’t Forget to Enjoy the Process of Planning Your Wedding!

Don’t forget to play! Me and my fiance playing footsies.

Dear Thriving Bride,

When we first got engaged, PJ’s high school buddy and best man told us to enjoy the process of getting ready for our big day.  He said the wedding day would come and go, and to pay attention to everything involved in planning for this day.  He was right!  It is a truly wonderful experience because you get to discover and rediscover your fiance every day.

I am getting married in 55 days and until today I had no idea PJ would be interested in taking formal dance lessons for our first dance.  Well, he does.  He even suggested the Tango, and we might have to reserve that very sexy dance for a very private moment.  I remember the day we sent out our SAVE THE DATE email.  We both chuckled as we counted to three and clicked the computer’s mouse in unison.  There was excitement and there was this vast adventure of the unknown that we were about to embark upon.

So, while you’re picking your flowers and trying to squeeze one last line item into your budget, remember to laugh and have fun!  This day is very important, and it truly will be amazing regardless of if you serve one type of meat or three.  But, it won’t be that incredible if you and your fiance are barely speaking to each other as you stand there ready to commit to spending the rest of your lives together.  Get the point?

Don’t forget to play.  Don’t forget to laugh.  Don’t forget to go on dates, even when you are trying to keep your head above water.  Know what to hang onto for dear life (some things must be what they must be on this day) and what to let go of.  Be true to you, but also to the both of you.

Warning to Brides: Unless you are planning on marrying yourself, you need to consider your fiances feelings and desires when planning y (our) wedding.  It really is not about you, but about both of you.

Stay tuned for my top 10 tips for making your  wedding planning process more fun and less stressful!



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