Tag Archives: Engagement

Camping-Themed Engagement Photos

By: 
Kristen Klein

Since Megan and Dakota love indulging in outdoor activities together, they decided to give their engagement photos a camping theme. They pitched a tent in Glacier Park and got cozy for this sweet session!

Photography by Kristin La Voie Photography.

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camping engagement photos
Camping
 

childhood favorites theme engagement photos
Childhood Favorites

circus theme engagement photos
Circus
 

water balloon fight engagement photos
Water Balloon Fight

carnival engagement photos
Carnival
 

school theme engagement photos
High School
 

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! Running-Themed Engagement Photos

By: 
Kristen Klein

After snapping some gorgeous photos around their college campus, Amber and Michael kicked off their dress shoes and re-created one of their first dates: going for a run together.

Photography by Kristen Marie Photography.

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running theme engagement photos
Running

baseball theme engagement photos
Baseball

hockey theme engagement photos
Hockey

rock climbing engagement photos
Rock Climbing

snowboarding engagement photos
Snowboarding

skeet shooting engagement photos
Skeet Shooting

Super Mario Bros. Engagement Photos

By: 
Kristen Klein

Nathan and Jessica crafted quite the elaborate scenario for their engagement photos! After dozing off in the park, Nathan wakes up alone — dressed as Mario. Jessica is missing, and he quickly realizes she must've transformed into Princess Peach. He sets off on a long journey to rescue her, but he gets a little sidetracked along the way. When he finally reaches her, she's angry that he took so long — but he knows exactly how to cheer her up! He proposes, and the two run back to reality together. 

Photography by Christina Truelove Photography.

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super mario bros engagement photos
Super Mario Bros.

zombie engagement photos
Zombie Invasion
 

bear costumes engagement photos
Bear Costumes
 

american gothic engagement photos
American Gothic
 

underwater engagement photos
Under Water
 

facebook theme engagement photos
Facebook

 

Counseling Before Marriage: Will This Become the New Law?

By: 
Sharon Naylor

While you're planning your wedding, are you also preparing for your marriage? According to a survey published in the Journal of Family Psychology, couples with premarital education reported higher levels of marital satisfaction and experienced a 30% decline in the likelihood of divorce over five years. (This topic is especially timely because Colorado has proposed a ballot that would require engaged couples to complete premarital counseling before they’re legally allowed to wed.)

If you're getting married in a house of worship, then you might already have faith-based marriage classes booked in your schedule, since some churches and synogogues mandate them. And if you're not among the engaged couples required to get counseling, then you may be curious about whether or not it's worth taking the plunge. 

Here, get a comprehensive look at how an accredited counselor can help you build a solid foundation for your future together. Also, find out what you should discuss with your future spouse before walking down the aisle.

couple holding hands
Photo by: Robyn Van Dyke Photography on Southern Weddings via Lover.ly

The Benefits of Marriage Counseling

Creating positive marriage resolutions. It's easy to get emotional when discussing heavy-duty topics like money, sex, and kids. An experienced counselor can help guide the conversation and prevent you and your partner from going off on a tangent, thereby losing focus and not accomplishing anything.

Learning (or improving) conflict resolution skills. If you've had some major tiffs or blowouts in the past (and who hasn't?) then you both know how you tend to react during arguments, whether it's wielding the silent treatment and pouting or yelling and name-calling. If you're being honest with yourself, then there's probably room for improvement. A counselor will teach you how to listen and communicate more effectively; more specifically, they'll also tell you what to say (and not say) in order to reach a happy solution. 

Getting realistic expectations about timing. For example, if you come to an agreement that the kids topic is off the table for two years, then you won't be left anxious or frustrated when you want to delve into that plan and your partner isn't ready. This also applies to major purchases like buying a house.

Avoiding toxic resentments. Clear the air about resentments you've been hanging onto throughout your relationship. A counselor will help you resolve these issues and free yourselves from them so that they don't cause massive damage later on in your marriage.

Dismantling fears about marriage. One or both of you might come from a divorced family, or from a dysfunctional background where fighting and manipulation was the norm. Premarital counseling can teach you how to make peace with your past and break the cycle.

Identifying the "seeds" of future marital stress. With an experienced outsider's perspective, you can learn which behaviors and habits you need to adjust or quit cold turkey.

Next: How to make the most of your sessions ►

 

Address any Concerns You Might Have

Money. Counseling sessions can be pricey and you might not be able to shift your budget to make room for this investment. Ask your wedding coordinator or officiant to help point you toward free or low-cost counseling resources like a community clinic or teaching hospital. In addition, you can check out the American Psychological Association or the National Association of Social Workers to find affordable counselors located within your area. 

Time. Classes will take a chunk out of your schedule so if you both put in long hours at work and your weekends are packed with activities, it can be a challenge to make and keep appointments or be fully present and engaged when you're in them. In spite of this, it still might be worth your time to do it.

Fear of unearthing additional problems. It can be unnerving to begin the process of premarital counseling because you and/or your groom might worry that examining your relationship under a microscope can lead to more stress and issues. In fact, although this can be hurtful in the short term, it can be very helpful in the long run.

Being humbled. It's neither easy nor fun to learn that you have less-than-stellar communication skills or find out that your groom isn't happy with your sex life. Even something as simple as hearing that he'd like more decompression time when he gets home from work can make you feel scolded, so you need to be prepared for some tough truths. It's important for you and your future spouse to remove your egos from the equation and allow yourselves to be open to constructive criticism, with the knowledge that in the process, you'll become a better husband and wife.

Remember this: As challenging as premarital counseling can be, it's all for the best and you're putting in the effort that's required to make your marriage work.


Photo by: Paul Von Reiter on Grey Likes Weddings via Lover.ly

How to Make the Most Out of Your Sessions

Accept that it’s going to be challenging at times. It's a mistake to think that marriage counseling is just a scheduling session for when you'll have kids, or buy a house, or move to an island when you retire.

Remember that the goal is not to "win." Both partners need to keep an open mind and be willing to change things that aren't working.

Keep your sessions completely private. Don't chat with bridesmaids, your mother, or anyone else about the things you've discussed, and don't even think about posting anything on Facebook that could embarrass your partner. Trust is essential to improving upon any relationship and 100% discretion is necessary.

Express gratitude to your partner. Tell your future spouse that you're thankful they're willing to attend counseling with you and for the great work you're doing together.

Next: What to ask your future spouse before getting married ►

 

While it’s a great advantage to have a professional counselor guiding you, you might find that it's easier if you just discuss all the hot topics and future plans in the comfort of your own home. Use the following questions to get the conversation started about your expectations, hopes and values.

Questions to Ask Your Future Spouse

Values:

  • How will we handle conflict?
  • What are our zero-tolerance hot buttons (e.g. financial dishonesty, infidelity, drinking too much, gambling)? What are the repercussions of those missteps?
  • What are the most important values that we’ll keep in our relationship?

groom kissing brides hand 
Photo by: JoPhoto on Lover.ly

Career:

  • What are our career goals (e.g. getting a second job or traveling more) and what will it take for us to reach them?
  • Do either of us plan to change careers, and if so, how will we adjust our lifestyle and budget to allow for a potentially lower household income? 
  • During busy times, will we be working late at night? On weekends? During vacations?

Finances:

  • What is our current financial situation, including our total debt, savings and retirement funds? 
  • How big of an emergency fund do we need to live well if one of us is out of work, or if we have an unexpected expense?
  • What is our monthly budget?
  • What can we establish as our individual "fun money" funds, and do we want to inform each other when we tap into them?
  • Who will pay for which of our household expenses and bills?

Intimacy:

  • Are we happy with our current lovemaking schedule, or do either of us want more?
  • If we’re not having as much sex as we would like, is it a matter of time or energy, and what can we do to remedy those barriers?
  • What’s the best way for each of us to express that we’d like more sex?
  • Do either of us want more romance? If so, what exactly are our most wished-for romantic gestures? More kissing? More hugs? Romantic dinners?

Kids:

  • When do we want to have kids?
  • How many kids do we plan to have?
  • If for some reason, we can’t have children, will we pursue adoption?
  • Will one of us stop working after we have children, and how will that affect our lifestyle and finances?
  • What do we want our children to learn from our relationship?
  • Will we raise our kids with religious beliefs and traditions?

Religion:

  • What are our independently-held or shared religious beliefs?
  • Would we like to re-connect to a religious or spiritual community?
  • What are our spiritual beliefs and practices, and how will we include them in our life?
  • If we each have different religious beliefs, how will we maintain our own traditions and combine them, if possible?

Household Duties:

  • Who will be responsible for which household chores?
  • Can we revisit our job division list in a few months, if either of us is unhappy with the balance of effort needed?
  • Do we have strong needs for our home to be spotless, or is a little bit of clutter okay?
  • Who will be responsible for meal-planning and meal preparations during the week and on the weekends?
  • Do either of us need and enjoy alone time? How will we make that happen?

Family Involvement:

  • How often will we visit our parents on a regular basis? Every weekend, or once in a while?
  • How will we divide the holidays fairly between our parents?
  • How will we deal with our respective family dramas?
  • How often will we vacation with our families, if ever? And if it’s not something one of us loves to do, how can we compromise (e.g. leaving after three days instead of staying the week)? 

Social Life:

  • How often will we spend time with our friends? Will we keep our regular Friday night happy hour plans with them or adjust to once a month or so to give us more time together as a couple?
  • How will we deal with each other’s friends we don’t like very much?
  • If a friend asks to stay at our house while they're in town, or if they're out of work, how will we handle that?
  • How often will we have date nights?
  • How often do we want to vacation together?

Hold on to this list and review these questions again in six months or so after your wedding, when you've adjusted to being married, to see if any of your responses and feelings have changed. 

home from the honeymoon book

 

Sharon Naylor is the best-selling author of over 35 wedding books, including Home from the Honeymoon: The Newlyweds' Guide to the Celebrations and Challenges of the First Year of Marriage.

Visit sharonnaylor.net for more great tips and advice.

Counseling Before Marriage: Will This Become the New Law?

By: 
Sharon Naylor

While you're planning your wedding, are you also preparing for your marriage? According to a survey published in the Journal of Family Psychology, couples with premarital education reported higher levels of marital satisfaction and experienced a 30% decline in the likelihood of divorce over five years. (This topic is especially timely because Colorado has proposed a ballot that would require engaged couples to complete premarital counseling before they’re legally allowed to wed.)

If you're getting married in a house of worship, then you might already have faith-based marriage classes booked in your schedule, since some churches and synogogues mandate them. And if you're not among the engaged couples required to get counseling, then you may be curious about whether or not it's worth taking the plunge. 

Here, get a comprehensive look at how an accredited counselor can help you build a solid foundation for your future together. Also, find out what you should discuss with your future spouse before walking down the aisle.

couple holding hands
Photo by: Robyn Van Dyke Photography on Southern Weddings via Lover.ly

The Benefits of Marriage Counseling

Creating positive marriage resolutions. It's easy to get emotional when discussing heavy-duty topics like money, sex, and kids. An experienced counselor can help guide the conversation and prevent you and your partner from going off on a tangent, thereby losing focus and not accomplishing anything.

Learning (or improving) conflict resolution skills. If you've had some major tiffs or blowouts in the past (and who hasn't?) then you both know how you tend to react during arguments, whether it's wielding the silent treatment and pouting or yelling and name-calling. If you're being honest with yourself, then there's probably room for improvement. A counselor will teach you how to listen and communicate more effectively; more specifically, they'll also tell you what to say (and not say) in order to reach a happy solution. 

Getting realistic expectations about timing. For example, if you come to an agreement that the kids topic is off the table for two years, then you won't be left anxious or frustrated when you want to delve into that plan and your partner isn't ready. This also applies to major purchases like buying a house.

Avoiding toxic resentments. Clear the air about resentments you've been hanging onto throughout your relationship. A counselor will help you resolve these issues and free yourselves from them so that they don't cause massive damage later on in your marriage.

Dismantling fears about marriage. One or both of you might come from a divorced family, or from a dysfunctional background where fighting and manipulation was the norm. Premarital counseling can teach you how to make peace with your past and break the cycle.

Identifying the "seeds" of future marital stress. With an experienced outsider's perspective, you can learn which behaviors and habits you need to adjust or quit cold turkey.

Next: How to make the most of your sessions ►

 

Address any Concerns You Might Have

Money. Counseling sessions can be pricey and you might not be able to shift your budget to make room for this investment. Ask your wedding coordinator or officiant to help point you toward free or low-cost counseling resources like a community clinic or teaching hospital. In addition, you can check out the American Psychological Association or the National Association of Social Workers to find affordable counselors located within your area. 

Time. Classes will take a chunk out of your schedule so if you both put in long hours at work and your weekends are packed with activities, it can be a challenge to make and keep appointments or be fully present and engaged when you're in them. In spite of this, it still might be worth your time to do it.

Fear of unearthing additional problems. It can be unnerving to begin the process of premarital counseling because you and/or your groom might worry that examining your relationship under a microscope can lead to more stress and issues. In fact, although this can be hurtful in the short term, it can be very helpful in the long run.

Being humbled. It's neither easy nor fun to learn that you have less-than-stellar communication skills or find out that your groom isn't happy with your sex life. Even something as simple as hearing that he'd like more decompression time when he gets home from work can make you feel scolded, so you need to be prepared for some tough truths. It's important for you and your future spouse to remove your egos from the equation and allow yourselves to be open to constructive criticism, with the knowledge that in the process, you'll become a better husband and wife.

Remember this: As challenging as premarital counseling can be, it's all for the best and you're putting in the effort that's required to make your marriage work.


Photo by: Paul Von Reiter on Grey Likes Weddings via Lover.ly

How to Make the Most Out of Your Sessions

Accept that it’s going to be challenging at times. It's a mistake to think that marriage counseling is just a scheduling session for when you'll have kids, or buy a house, or move to an island when you retire.

Remember that the goal is not to "win." Both partners need to keep an open mind and be willing to change things that aren't working.

Keep your sessions completely private. Don't chat with bridesmaids, your mother, or anyone else about the things you've discussed, and don't even think about posting anything on Facebook that could embarrass your partner. Trust is essential to improving upon any relationship and 100% discretion is necessary.

Express gratitude to your partner. Tell your future spouse that you're thankful they're willing to attend counseling with you and for the great work you're doing together.

Next: What to ask your future spouse before getting married ►

 

While it’s a great advantage to have a professional counselor guiding you, you might find that it's easier if you just discuss all the hot topics and future plans in the comfort of your own home. Use the following questions to get the conversation started about your expectations, hopes and values.

Questions to Ask Your Future Spouse

Values:

  • How will we handle conflict?
  • What are our zero-tolerance hot buttons (e.g. financial dishonesty, infidelity, drinking too much, gambling)? What are the repercussions of those missteps?
  • What are the most important values that we’ll keep in our relationship?

groom kissing brides hand 
Photo by: JoPhoto on Lover.ly

Career:

  • What are our career goals (e.g. getting a second job or traveling more) and what will it take for us to reach them?
  • Do either of us plan to change careers, and if so, how will we adjust our lifestyle and budget to allow for a potentially lower household income? 
  • During busy times, will we be working late at night? On weekends? During vacations?

Finances:

  • What is our current financial situation, including our total debt, savings and retirement funds? 
  • How big of an emergency fund do we need to live well if one of us is out of work, or if we have an unexpected expense?
  • What is our monthly budget?
  • What can we establish as our individual "fun money" funds, and do we want to inform each other when we tap into them?
  • Who will pay for which of our household expenses and bills?

Intimacy:

  • Are we happy with our current lovemaking schedule, or do either of us want more?
  • If we’re not having as much sex as we would like, is it a matter of time or energy, and what can we do to remedy those barriers?
  • What’s the best way for each of us to express that we’d like more sex?
  • Do either of us want more romance? If so, what exactly are our most wished-for romantic gestures? More kissing? More hugs? Romantic dinners?

Kids:

  • When do we want to have kids?
  • How many kids do we plan to have?
  • If for some reason, we can’t have children, will we pursue adoption?
  • Will one of us stop working after we have children, and how will that affect our lifestyle and finances?
  • What do we want our children to learn from our relationship?
  • Will we raise our kids with religious beliefs and traditions?

Religion:

  • What are our independently-held or shared religious beliefs?
  • Would we like to re-connect to a religious or spiritual community?
  • What are our spiritual beliefs and practices, and how will we include them in our life?
  • If we each have different religious beliefs, how will we maintain our own traditions and combine them, if possible?

Household Duties:

  • Who will be responsible for which household chores?
  • Can we revisit our job division list in a few months, if either of us is unhappy with the balance of effort needed?
  • Do we have strong needs for our home to be spotless, or is a little bit of clutter okay?
  • Who will be responsible for meal-planning and meal preparations during the week and on the weekends?
  • Do either of us need and enjoy alone time? How will we make that happen?

Family Involvement:

  • How often will we visit our parents on a regular basis? Every weekend, or once in a while?
  • How will we divide the holidays fairly between our parents?
  • How will we deal with our respective family dramas?
  • How often will we vacation with our families, if ever? And if it’s not something one of us loves to do, how can we compromise (e.g. leaving after three days instead of staying the week)? 

Social Life:

  • How often will we spend time with our friends? Will we keep our regular Friday night happy hour plans with them or adjust to once a month or so to give us more time together as a couple?
  • How will we deal with each other’s friends we don’t like very much?
  • If a friend asks to stay at our house while they're in town, or if they're out of work, how will we handle that?
  • How often will we have date nights?
  • How often do we want to vacation together?

Hold on to this list and review these questions again in six months or so after your wedding, when you've adjusted to being married, to see if any of your responses and feelings have changed. 

home from the honeymoon book

 

Sharon Naylor is the best-selling author of over 35 wedding books, including Home from the Honeymoon: The Newlyweds' Guide to the Celebrations and Challenges of the First Year of Marriage.

Visit sharonnaylor.net for more great tips and advice.

Real Brides Share: “How I Knew He Was The One”

By: 
Kristen Klein

romantic wedding photo
Photo Credit: Stephanie N. Baker Photography & Graphic Design

Love at First Sight
 

“I knew he was special the moment I saw him. We instantly clicked like we were very old friends. After four months, we were engaged! I always thought people in my situation were nuts — I mean, how could you meet someone and know you want to spend the rest of your life with them in such a short amount of time? Well, I just knew! I know I'm the lucky one. He surprises me everyday with his kindness, acts of selflessness, and his huge heart.” —Emily B.

“On our first date, we were talking and laughing for so long that we didn't realize the restaurant had closed and we were the only table still there.” —Sarah F.

There was an immediate connection when we first met, one that everyone could sense right away (even the boyfriend I had at the time). We just clicked. The nice thing was that we got to grow as friends for a long while before becoming a couple. Now, I couldn't ask for a better man in my life!” —Ashley W. 

He Puts My Needs First
 

When we first moved in together, money was tight for a while, so our meals were very few and far between. But he always made sure I ate first, and he ate what was left. That’s true love!” —Holly K.

He told me to take my feet off his dashboard. I looked at him like, 'What the heck?' He then said, "I would hate for anything to happen you," and started telling me a story of how this girl had her feet up and got in a car accident, and her legs got crushed. He looked at me and said, 'I love you and I don't want you to get hurt, since a lot of people don't know how to drive.' My heart melted, and I instantly knew at that moment he was 'The One'" —Ruby C.

Together in Good Times and in Bad
 

I realized I couldn't live with out him when he got sick on Christmas Eve two years back, after numerous hours in hospital and a temperature of 107 degrees. I knew I didn't want to live my life without him — and now I don't have to.“ —Lesley-Anne F.

“Four months after meeting my current husband, my mom was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and had weeks to live. The very first night at the hospital with my mom, he showed up to support me. When visiting hours were over, the nurses told us that we had to leave her room. I told him that as long as she is here breathing, I am not leaving. He said, 'Well, then neither am I.' He walked me down to the waiting room, pushed some chairs together, and made me a 'bed.' He then took off his coat and sweater and made me a pillow. Then, he told me to lay down and try to get some rest. When I woke up, it was the next morning. He slept next to me, sitting straight up in a chair that looked so uncomfortable. As I looked at him, still there with me, I knew from that second that he was my husband! It was a rush that I can't even explain. I was and still am truly blessed that he was there in the most difficult time in my life!” —Marissa V.

"If I had to pinpoint a specific moment, I would say that it was the day before he proposed! We were on our way to Los Cabos for a nice Valentine's Day weekend, and instead of our plane taking off on time, we ended up sitting on the tarmac for 11 hours. Instead of getting mad or becoming annoyed or irritated with one another, we found things that kept us laughing and smiling. We spent the time playing cards, meeting others on the plane, and calming people down who were upset. That was the moment I realized he was 'The One'. It was the fact that I could be truly happy with this man while being in what others were experiencing as a stressful and frustrating situation. I figured if I could get through this with him, then I could get through anything. Forty hours later, we were in Cabo, where he got down on one knee, serenaded me with a song and then proposed on the beach. Little did I realize that the ring was in his pocket the whole time we were on the plane!" —Lori B.

Next: More Sweet Stories ►

We Grew to Love Each Other
 

“I knew my fiancé was the one... after seven years. We were colleagues who became friends when we were both producing for Geraldo at Fox News. After sitting next to each other for two years, we became close but never in a romantic way. In fact, I used to set him up with my friends, and vice versa! Two and half years ago, we both found ourselves single at the same time. Mike approached me about dating, and we agreed to take our time with this new idea so as to not ruin our friendship. After three months of platonic dating, we finally had our first kiss — and that's when I knew. It just felt right, and it's continued to feel that way for the next two and a half years after that kiss!” —Annie S.

I didn't know Eric was 'The One' until we both said 'I do.' He was kind, considerate, patient, forgiving, and trustworthy. What more could I ask for in a life partner? I had made the decision that I wanted to be with him, but I was left waiting for him to decide that I was his 'one.' As a relationship consultant for marrieds and singles, I firmly believe that the secret to a successful marriage is commitment to that relationship and doing the right things. Choose someone by their character, not by chemistry, and then daily make the choice to have a happy marriage. When Eric popped the question, my first response was, 'Are you sure?' If he was sure he wanted to be married to me, then I would go all in and be 100% committed to making this thing work, no matter what came our way. But it wasn't until he said the words 'I do' that I really knew he chose me. During the seven years of our marriage, we have both made efforts to be students of each other and to educate ourselves on marriage. We believe that if we're not changing, then we're not growing as a couple.” —Genevieve W.

“We had been friends for over a year, and we were having a conversation about you know who is 'The One.' I told him the story of my grandparents: My grandmother was engaged to a boy she had known her whole life. She took a bus trip to visit him, and she met the bus driver, who flirted with her and took her to lunch. When she came home, she told her mother that she was not marrying the boy she had known her whole life, and that she planned to marry the bus driver — because when she was with him, she felt like her best self. After the story, he looked at me and said, 'Well then we should be married.' And nine months later, we got married on what would have been my grandparents 56th anniversary! We had never even gone on a date when we decided to get married, and our 17th wedding anniversary is coming up this year.” —Cyndi F.

The Way He Makes Me Feel
 

“Honestly, it was the way my heart felt when he looked at me. I knew he'd love me unconditionally for the rest of our lives, just as I would him.” —Bri C.

He loves me for who I am. He protects me and makes me feel safe. He knows me better than anyone. He makes me smile and very happy. I love the weird things he does. There is no one that completes me better than he does.“ —Robbie W.

“Being with him felt like how I knew I wanted to feel. Spending time with him felt a lot like being alone, but with better company. I could be totally myself without worrying about adjusting to make him happy. Other relationships left me feeling high and euphoric at the beginning, then burnt out, stressed, or insecure later. He just made me laugh and feel confident and comfortable. We were married 11 months after meeting, and we just passed our seven-year anniversary with two living kids. We also experienced the stillbirth of our twins together four years ago — If I wasn't sure by then, that shared experience confirmed he was the one. “ —Tova G.

“We've known each other since we were 12. Now here we are, 21 years later, and I still get butterflies.” —Tiphanie K.

Next: More Sweet Stories ►

He Knew First
 

“When we first met, he told me straight away that I was going to be his wife someday! Even today, I have no idea why he picked me from a group of beautiful girlfriends I was with. It's amazing, and I love him to bits! It's been eight years, but it seems like eight months. We are crazy in love with each other.” —Nnunu M.

“He left 30 roses on my table that said, 'If you had listened to me 15 years ago, you wouldn't have had to wait so long for these.'” —Michele G.

Things got hard, and I bolted. He did everything to get me back, and it worked. After getting back together because we couldn't live without each other, we decided to get married, and on Christmas, he popped the question. He is amazing in every way possible.” —Christy P.

“We were friends for 13 years before we got together, and after getting together, he told me he'd had a crush on me since day one. I also have a child from a previous relationship, and from the start, he's put my child's well being before both of ours. He's truly a keeper.” —Michelle M.

“I can honestly say I didn't at first. We met at a frat party drunk as skunks. I was not interested at all, but he was persistent! And I honestly knew he was the one because of the way I felt around him. Whenever I talk about him, I smile. Whenever he holds me, I feel safe. He's a nut, but I love him like crazy, and I can't wait to marry him.” —Lauren M.

His Actions
 

“We were friends for almost a year before we became a couple. He knew when we met, but I had a horrible past couple of relationships, so I was stubborn. The first time he met my daughter, she said, 'Hi, Daddy!' (Her 'real' father has never been a part of her life). Without skipping a beat, he replied, 'Hi, baby girl!' and they hugged. That was when I knew. He has three kids, and since then, we've had one together, so I not only get him, but his kids, too! We've been together almost two years, and we're getting hitched in November.” —Lauren G.

“It's a bit of a strange situation, but when we met, we were 3,114 miles apart from one another. After six months of communicating through the Internet on Skype, we finally met in person. But the thing that made up my mind, that made me so sure that he was the one for me, was that he flew to Canada from the UK for the first time in his life just to meet me — it was his first time going anywhere outside of the UK at all! Two years later, we closed the distance after I immigrated to the UK, and we are getting married in 10 months!” —Kristen G.

My yorkie bit him on his hand when we were trying to leave, and all Matt did was close the door and tell me what happened. When we went back inside to clean the bite, Matt reached down, picked Jack up, and hugged him. I knew right then.” —Kristin S.

We were at my son's pee wee football games, and it was freezing. He gave me the keys to his car and told my daughter and me to go there and stay warm. But he stayed on the sidelines, cheering on my son! I knew right then.” —Jennifer M.

“He is from Canada, and I am from Germany. We met in 2009 in Mexico, couldn't stop thinking of each other, and stayed in contact through Facebook. Then we visited each other a few times, started a long distance relationship for two years. Eventually, he gave up his life in Canada for me and moved to Germany. And then I thought, if somebody is willing to do that for you, he has to be 'The One,' and he is!” —Kerstin M.

"When I first saw my husband’s profile online, I thought he was too good to be true and couldn’t wait to meet him in person. It took at least a year, however, before I started thinking of marriage. The notion first crossed my mind when we attended our first wedding together, and as the couple recited their vows, he romantically grabbed my hand and squeezed it tighter with each promise the couple made to one another." —Damona H.

Next: More Sweet Stories 

He Understands Me Better Than Anyone Else
 

“I knew my husband was 'The One' because of a phone message he left me after our first (blind) date. In it, he said, 'I like you a lot,' mimicking a line from one of my favorite movies Dumb and Dumber. Not only did we have a wonderful time together, but he also got my sense of humor. In that moment, I knew we were meant to be.” —Danielle E.

“He knows exactly how to handle my hot-tempered Italian ways!” —Heather V.

“I needed a man who was strong, but not controlling. One who wouldn’t read into things too much (I’m efficient — say what I mean in as few words as possible) but still able to read between the lines. As an entrepreneur, I am somewhat of a type-A personality — fiercely independent and very direct (read: a bit intimidating sometimes). Dining out early in our relationship, the waiter forgot to bring me lime juice. John immediately jumped up to retrieve some. I was annoyed. Did I ask you to get me lime juice?! Did I insinuate in any way that I could not pull myself up out of my chair and get my own lime juice? My irritation lingered. Finally, he asked me what was wrong. Concluding my several-minutes-long diatribe, during which I proclaimed that I did not need a man to get me lime juice or give me directions or do anything for me, John stared silently at me for what seemed like an hour. Uh-oh. Was he seething with an angry retort to follow? Or was he about to apologize explaining he never intended to offend me, begging me to forgive him? Neither scenario was appealing. When he responded this way, I knew. “So let me get this straight... I care about you, want to make your life just a little bit easier, and I’m the bad guy?! Next time, get your own *&%[email protected] lime juice.” And that was that. No flying off the handle. No declaring me a crazy bi#ch he never wanted to see again. No brooding for the remainder of the evening. No kissing my bottom or letting me get away with my BS. This man totally got me and knew exactly how to handle me.” —Suzan F.

When You Know, You Know
 

“I could write a book describing all the details of wonderful things about him that I love. But ultimately, my heart just knew that he was the one. My mind didn't have a choice because my heart picked him.” —Heather F.

“I've been with my husband over a decade now. I knew he was the one and moved in with him shortly after meeting him. I trusted my intuition, and listened to the little divine voice inside. Now we have two beautiful children together and have never been happier.” —Alexandra C.

“He's the only person I never get tired of. Being near him makes everything better and yet insignificant at the same time. He's the only person I've ever had the thought: 'A lifetime with you is just not enough.'” —Abby G.

It's the Little Things
 

“His dance moves just sealed it for me the night we met! I just thought wow, he looks like so much fun.” —Nichola R.

"He's a non-smoking Seahawks fan, and a sexy man with a heart of gold." —Nicole M.

“He bought me chips.” —Louize W.

The Most Annoying Questions People Ask When You’re Engaged

By: 
Kristen Klein
engaged-couple.jpg

Once there’s a ring on your finger, you expect to share your proposal story over and over, bounce wedding ideas off your loved ones, and have fun gown shopping and working on DIY projects with your bridal party. What you don’t expect are the frustrating questions you’ll be asked by well-intentioned family members and friends. Here's how to handle the frequently-asked questions that newly-engaged brides tell us they're tired of answering.

engaged couple

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The Most Annoying Questions People Ask When You’re Engaged

By: 
Kristen Klein

Once there’s a ring on your finger, you expect to share your proposal story over and over, bounce wedding ideas off your loved ones, and have fun gown shopping and working on DIY projects with your bridal party. What you don’t expect are the frustrating questions you’ll be asked by well-intentioned family members and friends. Here's how to handle the frequently-asked questions that newly-engaged brides tell us they're tired of answering.

engaged couple
Photo Credit: Saltwater Studios via Lover.ly

1. "When's the wedding?"
Why it's annoying: Do people really expect you to have the entire wedding planned the moment he pops the question?! Plenty of couples simply enjoy their engagement before jumping into any planning, and there's nothing wrong with that — yet if you admit that you have no idea, people either act like you're not serious about getting married or try to pressure you into setting a date (cue Grandma's plea: "I'm not going to live forever, you know!").
How to respond: If you genuinely have no idea (or just don't want to share that info yet), tell the person that you’re considering a few options right now and will let them know when you do set a date. If you want, you can divulge which season you’re considering. 

2. "How big is your ring?"
Why it's annoying: First of all, most brides have no idea — it's not like you asked for the 4 Cs before saying "yes." Second, you can't help but wonder why the person is asking  does she think it's tiny? Or obnoxiously big? Is she planning on robbing you and is trying to figure out how much she can get for the rock?
How to respond: "It's the perfect size for me; I love it!"

3. "How are you paying for the wedding?" or "How much are you paying for X?"
Why it's annoying: Because really, it's no one's business. It’s always rude to ask about money, but for some reason, many people seem to think weddings are an open book when it comes to finances.
How to respond: "Why do you ask?" This will typically lead to some sputtering about how he or she was "just curious"... Or maybe you'll get lucky and the person will offer to pay for the entire wedding (hey, it could happen). The exception: If a close friend who's also engaged asks how much you're paying for your DJ, help a sister out and give her the scoop. Since you're in the same boat, you can save each other some trouble when it comes to finding vendors that fit your respective budgets.

4. "Are you inviting X and Y?"
Why it's annoying: When you're in the just-engaged phase, never give a solid answer to this question. You could fall in love with a venue that only seats 75 guests, forcing you to slash your guest list. Or, if you're planning a longer engagement, you may not be close friends with X and Y anymore when the time comes.
How to respond: "We haven't finalized our guest list yet" — even if you have, and there's no way X and Y are making the cut. The exception: X and Y are family members you definitely don't want to invite, but you have a feeling your mom is going to try and force you to put them on the list. It's best to broach this subject directly and as early as possible. 

5. "Are you sure he's the right one? Ha ha!"
Why it’s annoying: It’s a cliché "joke" that really, no one finds funny.
How to respond: Don’t feel like you have to defend your relationship here. Just brush it off; “Yep, I’m pretty sure, otherwise I wouldn’t have said yes!”

6. "You know 50% of marriages end in divorce, right?"
Why it’s annoying: Ah, the cynic. Often, this question stems from jealousy, and it can definitely put a damper on your newly-engaged bliss — if you let it.
How to respond: Again, don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you need to justify your relationship and explain why you’re getting married. Simply say, “Well, we’re counting on being in the 50% that make it work," and change the subject.

7. "So when are you having kids?"
Why it's annoying: Can we focus on the wedding first, please? Unfortunately, this question tends to start right after the engagement and continues until you actually do have a baby — and then the question changes to, “When are you going to have another baby??”
How to respond: “When we’re ready." Or, if this isn’t the first time the person has bugged you about it, try: “When people stop asking me about it.”

Tell us: What are the most frustrating questions you've been asked while being engaged?