Little did I know that when I signed up for Match.com, I would become one of “those couples” you see on the commercials. I had only signed up for one month of the online service, so when James contacted me with a week left in my membership, I knew I had to make this happen. Typically, I’m extremely cautious, but something just felt right! After a very brief “online courtship” of a week, James and I met in March of 2007. Our first date was wonderful. We simply met for dinner and ended up the last couple in the restaurant. There was instant chemistry, easy conversation and I was a nervous wreck! James and I had only three dates (three wonderful dates mind you!) before he left for Europe for three weeks. We left it at “I’ll call you when I get back.” And this was after I literally RAN out of his car, fearing the dreaded awkwardness of “the first kiss.” I had a bet with my mother that I would never see him again, she bet against me! I figured he’d go off to Greece and marry some beautiful Greek girl, never to return. With about a week to go in his trip, I received an email. I was completely shocked, totally excited, and could not be happier that I could lose a bet (not something that comes easy to me!). He had snuck away from family for a few hours to use the dial-up internet in a small café in the village to email me. How romantic! He returned home to New England and we planned our next date, and our next date, and the next.
Fast forward five years. We both relocated for new careers and bought our first home. A bit backwards some thought. “You start a new career and purchase a home together, and you have not gotten a ring yet?” I heard it all. I was not worried. I knew I was meant to spend my life with this man. I had never known was it was like to truly be in love with someone. I mean, it is five years later and he STILL gives me butterflies! We were in our new home for a few months before he proposed. He had always told me I would be totally surprised, and boy did he mean it. After several weeks of planning (and several weeks of me ruining it!), James popped the question in a fashion true to himself, after watching a horror movie! Starting as a lazy pajama movie night, only James knew what was about to come. He made a picture book documenting our five years of blissful togetherness! As I read and laughed, read some more and cried, I get to the last page, and there was James, on bended knee, holding a cupcake (my obsession!) with what was way better than a cherry on top. It was a perfect engagement ring! “Krystal Johnson, will..you..marry..me?” There were many more tears, naturally a sarcastic “I’ll have to think about it!” remark, followed by an emphatic “A million times YES!” It was perfect and above all else, it was through and through us. Nothing fancy, not too over the top, just perfect!
James and I went to a very small school of about hundred students per grade level, so you knew pretty much everyone in your grade. James’ family moved to Lynchburg in 8th grade from Cincinnati. I remember him being a new kid in my American History class. As we entered high school we pretty much just knew each others name. We did not hang out with the same friends or participate in the same extra curricular. I spent most of my time in sports and organization and he spent what time he was allowed with friends. We did not have another class together until Junior year gym class. He had a girl friend, who happened to have the same birthday as me and I would always joke around about it. One day before class started I was sitting with my best friend and James came over and asked what I would do it he asked me to go to homecoming with him. I stood up and said “I’d say that I’d go with your mom” and walked away. At this time I did not realized a couple things. One, he was being serious. Two, his mother and him did not have a very good relationship. Number three that he was single. And lastly that he would be my prince charming. The next week James asked me out to our school’s basketball homecoming again. Figuring I was a little mean before and that I had nothing to lose, I said yes.
That night lead into a couple more dates, officially being “high school official” Still being pretty reserved I did not know about James’ home life and had a really hard time dealing with him not getting along with his mom since I was so close to mine. Eventually I ended things.
Some time passed and we remained friends and went to movies. One night I received and phone call from an unknown number. It was James. Things at his home had finally reached the breaking point and he was no longer living at home and the state was pressing charges on his mother.
With more openness in our relationship and better understanding we decided to try things again. Spent most of the summer together before our Senior year. James moved out of his parents and was forced to grow up a lot sooner that he needed to. We were voted “cutest couple” for yearbook. Our relationship was doubted a lot, saying we were too young. However, ever since May 5th 2007 James has been my rock.
He has been there when my alternator in my car went out at 1:30 in the morning. Crazy mass studying in college all night and even my own home issues.
On May 5th, 2012 at my college graduation party James purposed in front of all my family and friends. It was great. On May 18th, 2013 I will say “I Do” to a man I know who will be there for the rest of my life.
Heck he has even helped me plan the wedding.
Check out That’s My Topper for all your wedding cake topper needs but most of all read our wonderful wedding engagement stories that our customers like you submit daily!
Weddings are usually quite demure looking affairs – well kept families gather around well shod grooms and white angelic looking brides. Celebrations are had, cakes are eaten and photos are taken of the nuptial couple. However, the latest trend certainly doesn’t tend to follow the traditional clean living, polished image of the marital day.
Morning after shoots are exactly as you’d imagine on a tin – a bedroom snapped shot the morning after the night before. It’s a document of the nuptial excesses of the night previous taken by a photographer in the sultry surroundings of a bedroom or hotel suite.
Like a lot of photography and wedding trends, the morning after photo shoot originated in the United States of America – and where else would it. America is renowned for its excess, celeb culture and contemporary efforts.
It seems that the whole process has been taken on by both couples of the celeb persuasion and also those of a less notable standing. The photography sessions take place in varying degrees of sultriness, from full on shower scenes, to turned and tossed bed images, to breakfast fully clad with croissants and slippers and Radio 4. Though it may not all be garters and whips, it’s all a morning after wedding shoot.
The surge towards this new wedding are seen as part and parcel of the advertisements we witness regularly, with celebs images between white sheets are part and parcel of many a billboard. The recent literary hit 50 Shade of Grey may also have played a part.
Of course, it’s understandable to an extent; both groom and bride have lost weight, put work into their bodies and look great. Brides are wearing beautiful lingerie and there is a natural attraction between the couple that can be easily seen on film. So, why not document the clear intimacy between the couple?
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
The argument for taste is obviously the main reason people would oppose such a photo shoot. Many feel that the morning after shoot is part and parcel of the cult of celebrity and showcases how it is creeping into society and the need of the Facebook generation to document everything. However, others would argue it’s a positive and something to look back on when marriages go through trialling times.
Saying that, one more bizarre trend is to have the images taken weeks after the morning, in a purely staged session. Many people feel that this is disingenuous and doesn’t portray any of the positives a true morning after shoot would. Of course, conversely, if it makes people happy, why care – it’s not doing anyone else damage.
You will also need to research what you want and what options there are and what may suit your needs. You want to be comfortable, happy and be able to pose securely. Also, remember you may have only had a few hours sleep and also may have had a few the night before. However, once you’re aware of all of this you know what you’re deciding on and what to expect and can concentrate on looking great. Finally, just have fun – it’s your big day!
If deciding on a photographer for a morning after shoot, couples should definitely take time to choose. The wedding photographer may not always be the best option and you may require an alternative with expertise in the area. However, whether you are looking for wedding photography in Surrey or Sweden there are plenty of top quality people out there to fulfill your visions.
Morning after photography is a growing trend and one that will see many jumping aboard the bandwagon with little expertise. So, always ask for references, previous work and get an idea of quality.
Cormac Reynolds writes for a number of creative areas and has worked on a number of photography blogs in the past. He writes this article for Carl Glancey Photography.
Getting married means fun, excitement, planning, parties and, for a lot of women the sudden desire to lose weight fast to fit into that perfect dress. The weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar business because of our desire to lose weight, whether it is a few pounds or a lot of extra baggage. Those ads become quite alluring when women are faced with losing as much as possible so they can look their very best when they walk down the aisle on the most important day of their lives. However, the quick weight loss schemes are often ineffective and sometimes even dangerous. There is no miracle cure that will take the place of healthy eating habits and a good exercise plan.
The good news is you can look your best and enjoy your big day in a healthy way. Here are seven tips to get you on the right path to weight loss that you can use to get in shape for your wedding and carry on into your brand new life for a long and healthy life.
1. Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
Even if you just have a few pounds to lose, you need to plan to get rid of the extra weight slowly and give yourself a reasonable amount of time. Waiting until the last minute will not only put a lot of stress on your body, making it even harder to lose weight, it will also make alterations on your dress difficult. When I was getting ready for my own wedding, I was busy losing the last few pounds I had to lose right up until the day of the big event. The seamstress who was doing the alterations, a bit frustrated by my constant losses in the “eleventh hour,” told me flat out that it wasn’t going to be possible to do anymore to the dress if I lost weight again. You want your dress to look great, and you want it to fit right, so the last couple of weeks before your wedding aren’t a good time to start that big diet.
You need to be realistic about how much weight loss is going to be possible. If you have been planning your wedding for months and suddenly realize in the last couple of weeks that you should have lost those ten extra pounds, you aren’t going to be able to do it in a healthy way. That’s when a lot of brides get into trouble by attempting crash diets, crazy schemes or diet drugs. Whether it helps you meet or get close to your goals or not, it will leave you looking haggard and feeling drained. No amount of weight loss will help you look great under those circumstances.
2. Get Help and Be Accountable for Your Choices
Keeping accurate track of what you eat and when you exercise can go a long way toward helping you achieve your healthy and realistic goals. You don’t have to suffer in silence though. In fact, it’s much better for you if you share your desire to get healthy and lose weight with the people who love you. Talk to your fiancé about your plans and ask him to help you stay on track. It’s harder to sneak that extra helping or sleep in instead of getting out and exercising when you can’t make excuses to him. Who knows? You may even motivate him to look better in his tux and get an exercise partner so you can both live healthier lives together.
Talk to your bridesmaids and let them know that you want to get in better shape to fit into that dream dress. Get them to join in and have group exercise sessions. You may think you’re the only one who is concerned about looking good on your wedding day, but if you talk to them, you might find out they all have similar feelings and want to work off some excess weight. Those that are at a weight they are comfortable with may already be active in a workout plan that can benefit you and the others.
Beware of sabotage in the form of love. Friends and family want you to know they love you, and food is a common way of proving that love. When you are faced with kindness in the form of food, or loved ones telling you that you are perfect just the way you are, be appreciative but firm in letting them know that you do know it’s important to be happy with yourself, and you are. You just want to be the best you can be and healthier. If you find you need more support, one of the best ways to find it is through online message boards and support systems for people who are trying to lose weight just like you.
3. Get Plenty of Rest
Rest is always an important part of a healthy lifestyle. In fact, a lack of sleep is proven to not only make it harder to lose weight, but actually make you gain weight. Dr. Van Cauter, PhD calls bad sleep habits the “royal route to obesity.”
Coupled with the extreme stress already inherent in planning a wedding, not getting the right amount of sleep is a recipe for disaster. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults should seek to get seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
4. Keep Yourself Occupied
Luckily for you, this is the one area where the constant preparations for a wedding actually can help you lose weight. Keep yourself occupied with the plans for the wedding so you don’t have time to think about wanting that extra snack. According to research at the Flinders University in Australia distractions actually curb cravings. It is a natural way to keep from eating without thinking about what you are doing. So, plan away the pounds.
5. Eat Smart and Eat Often
As crazy as it sounds to most people who want to lose weight, the best way to shed pounds is to eat more times during the day. Eating small, frequent meals keeps your metabolism burning and working more effectively. Eating a small meal or snack every couple of hours also keeps you from craving food and giving in to high calorie junk. Crash dieting and abstinence only makes you more hungry, stressed and prone to eating the wrong things. A recent study on how hunger affects our food decisions found that hunger primes the brain for junk food. Depriving yourself of food can also cause dangerous drops in blood sugar levels. You want to look great on your wedding day, not faint when you walk down the aisle. So eat smart, sensible meals and small, healthy snacks for the best weight loss results.
6. Plan a Healthy Diet
A sensible weight loss goal of 1 to 2 pounds a week is entirely possible. And if you do it the right way, you’ll not only be thinner, but you’ll look fit and trim too. Simply cutting 500 to 1000 calories per day from your diet will result in a steady loss. However, make sure you keep yourself fueled with enough calories to maintain your health. You should never eat less than 1200 calories per day. Dropping below that level will cause damage to your body, and also defeat your goals by making your body slow down its metabolism to conserve its energy. A wrecked metabolism is the last thing you want when attempting to lose weight. Not eating enough also puts on the track to malnutrition. Losing weight quickly is unhealthy without following a nutrient-rich diet. Therefore if you want to lose more than 1-2 pounds a week, take support from a dietician to ensure your low-calorie diet provides you with all the necessary nutrients.
7. Trim Down by Toning Up
Muscle may weigh more than fat, but it takes up a lot less space and makes you look your best. Exercise is a vital part of any weight loss plan. Along with the toning aspects, it also boosts metabolism, makes you feel better and relieves stress.
Finally, don’t lose sight of the real goal—to be healthy for a long and happy live with the person you love. Your wedding day isn’t about just one day, and your weight loss and fitness plans shouldn’t be either. There’s no gimmick in these weight loss tips. It is about making sure you have the information you need to get in shape and stay that way.
It isn’t uncommon at all for women to work hard to fit into that beautiful dress only to gain all the weight back and even more in the first years of marriage. It is a pattern that can easily turn into a big problem as times goes on. So don’t obsess over an arbitrary number on one day. You are getting married to start a new life, so it is the perfect time to make it the healthiest life possible by incorporating solid diet and exercise into it for a lifetime of success.
Tami of Weight Loss Triumph is a happy mother of two who lives with her husband in Burbank, IL. As a freelance writer and blogger, she enjoys sharing her tips, advice, and own experience on issues that relate to a successful wedding preparation. Tami believes that while dieting is tough, and women often try to find the quick fix in diet pills, nothing works better than old fashioned healthy eating and regular exercise.
The venue for your wedding is of primary importance. Most people still choose to make their vows in a registry office or church but outside venues are becoming increasingly popular. The first thing you need to check when planning is that your chosen venue is actually sliced for marriages to take place. Contrary to popular belief you can’t just grab a clergyman and marry wherever you like – a venue needs to be licensed by the local authority as a wedding venue.
If you are looking for a venue for your reception then the first thing to bear in mind is that the moment most venues hear the word wedding they significantly hike their prices. Be aware that venues such as country houses who advertise themselves as wedding venues will usually be charging fees into the thousands. If you are on a budget it is worth looking for a venue off of the beaten wedding track. Some friends of mine held their reception in a working men’s club that turned out to be a beautiful art deco cinema – and it cost a fraction of the price of the other venues they had looked at. Check out community centres, village halls and ask around – a good way to discover a hidden gem is word of mouth.
Fancy a wedding in the sun – it’s a romantic idea – but there are some things you need to check out before you set off for your tropical beach rendezvous. First find a reputable company and read their feedback carefully – there are too many tales on the internet forums of people who later discovered their marriage was not genuine, or of hotels with poor communication who double booked events. If you do decide to go it alone look up reviews of your chosen venue. If you find the venue uncommunicative or difficult early on take this as a hint and don’t be afraid to pull out − this is the most important day of your life – your venue should be taking it as seriously as you are. Companies like First Choice can provide a complete service and you can download the legal requirements of an overseas wedding from their website.
Wedding photos are the way we remember our special day and share those memories with our friends and loved ones. Imagine the disappointment if your photos are a let-down or worse still there turns out to be no photos at all! Sadly wedding photography scams are on the increase with criminals and tricksters preying on couples on their special day.
Check out the credentials photographers carefully. Ask them questions about what type of photography they prefer. Ask to see the some of their extended shoots not just the few photos in their display portfolio. If they are a good photographer they will be happy to show you these and it will give you a good idea of how many good photos they take. Ask if they will have back up equipment. Ask for references from other customers. Ask if they charge extra for prints and how soon after the wedding you will get your photos. Get their land-line number as well as an email or mobile number – a genuine photographer will be happy to give you this. My best tip is to find someone recommended by a friend – word of mouth will get you the best pictures.
If you have plenty of money and want to ease the stress you could always consider hiring an events coordinator – jobs like finding venues and photographers are then taken care of for you.
- License: MBG Stock Image source: SmartPhotoStock
Sam Wright is a Freelance writer working for Events Job Search
Wedding bands are much more than just a symbol that you’re a married man or women. It shows a symbol of your love for your spouse and your commitment to each other.
However, every relationship is different and has their own secrets, nicknames, and other mutual jokes, so why not express your uniqueness through your very own wedding band?
There are many unique ways to make your wedding band more special and memorable rather than just a traditional plain band.
Having a unique band, with something special behind its traditional wedding meaning, is a great reminder to look back on the good times during those fights and arguments, and reminds you that both your spouse and wedding band are irreplaceable. Consider some of these creative ideas to specialize your wedding bands.
Engrave Something Special
Even though you wear your wedding bands every day and they are a statement and reminder themselves, have your spouse’s name, nickname, or initials engraved on each other’s wedding bands.
Something unique such your wedding date in Roman numerals is not only special and a wonderful reminder of your beautiful day, but also a sure way to never forget your anniversary. Keep it short and meaningful, and rather than putting it on the outside of your band for everyone to see and wonder, keep it on the inside for a more personal and secretive approach.
Have special wedding bands made in which you slide the tops open and it reveals a hidden diamond. This way both of you can choose your favorite diamond or even each other’s gemstone. It’s like wearing two different rings. Hide the diamond for casual and simple occasions or reveal it for more formal occasions.
Have your wedding bands be of the same style of course, but change up the color. For example if the bands are two tones, of course the man’s band will be more masculine as opposed to the woman’s. Great styles and selections to choose from can be found on many tungsten collections.
Pick your favorite styles. You wear your wedding bands every day and would want them to match almost any outfit along with being a statement itself.
If you are already married and have your wedding bands already, still keep these creative ideas in mind! It is never too late to engrave something special on the inside of your bands to be a better and more unique and meaningful reminder.
Adam became fascinated with jewelry design while traveling overseas and since then has incorporated some of his own designs. His inspiration comes from various researches as well as some of his favorite collections which include tungsten bands and stainless steel rings.
Bachelor parties are known to have been around since ancient Sparta, where soldiers would gather to wish a fellow comrade good luck as a standard marriage custom. Now, bachelor parties have evolved into not a only a rite of passage, but is an integral part of American pop culture. Somewhat in the spirit of fantasy, the majority of bachelor parties are characterized in the modern world as a night of shared debauchery, symbolizing a last hurrah before a groom abandons the freedom of a single male. For example, the infographic outlines that 35% of Las Vegas visitors at any one time are there for a bachelor or bachelorette party. This paints a picture on the type of environment bachelor parties are known to be held in. This however does not seem to be the whole picture.
In reference to the infographic, bachelor parties have expanded beyond the stripclub or vegas, to more intimate scenarios like camping, fishing, or spending a weekend at the beach. The variety of ways in which bachelors can celebrate their next step into manhood is attributed to the expansion of culture. Now, bachelor parties not only have the freedom to be celebrated in any way desired, but still remain as a ritual for strengthening bonds between friends and serve as a toast to a new era of manhood.
View full image Groomsmen Factory Infographic
Many couples have become budget conscious these days and are looking for ways to have their dream wedding without spending huge amounts of money. One of the best and easiest ways to have a beautiful and yet cost effective wedding is to use your backyard, or a friend or relative’s backyard if you do not have the space! You can plan the perfect day, surrounded by close family and friends, on your beautifully manicured lawn. With proper planning, your wedding can be the talk of the town. Following are some tips that you can follow when planning your day.
- The guest list
One of the most important considerations when planning the event is the guest list. You have to make sure that you only invite the number of guests that the yard can comfortably accommodate. Make sure that you keep to the guest list to avoid overcrowding that can ruin your event. The size of the yard will determine the number of guests that you can invite.
- Consider the weather
It is very important to consider the weather when planning an outdoor event. You should plan for the worst weather scenario, because rain during the summer is quite common. To avoid disappointment buy or hire a protective shelter to ensure that your event goes on uninterrupted. You can find good quality portable shelters in a variety of sizes and you can get one that will offer adequate shelter.
- Embrace nature
When you have an outdoor wedding, you will not have to spend much on décor. If you have a beautiful yard, you can use the natural scenery as the backdrop for your wedding. You can even plant extra flowers to enhance the décor or add more color. If you have trees and other plants, hanging simple decorations on them can add to the beauty without denting your budget.
- Recruit friends and family for help
The best thing about a backyard event is that calling in reinforcements is much easier. You can get your family and friends to help in organizing the wedding. By delegating some tasks, you can save yourself the hustle of running around before the big day. The more help you can get, the easier the planning will be. Make sure that you recruit dependable people. The last thing you need is for someone to forget to rent the tables!
- Creating the perfect mood
Music and lighting are two major ways to enhance or create the ideal mood for your backyard wedding. It is important to get a professional to deal with the lighting so that you can create an atmosphere that is conducive for all night partying. Using the right lighting can create a romantic ambience. Make sure that you make wise choices when choosing the music so that you can create the right mood.
In addition, carrying out home repairs or improvements before the big day is important. The event will expose your property to many people and it helps to try to enhance your home. Make sure that you identify and deal with any problem areas before the wedding day. Apart from adding to the aesthetics and functionality on the wedding day, you will enjoy the benefits of the improvements for a long time to come!
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2012/02/28/00/44/band-17765_150.jpg
Author of this article is David Hall, a consultant with a leading event management company. He is known for arranging parties with wild themes. One such theme was party tents which had become the talk of the town.