Evaluating Your Relationship for the Long Term – Is he really the one?

Photo Credit: Rich Hawman, Elan Images

What makes for a great date and a great time may not be all you need for a long term great marriage. Check out these factors to see if your relationship has all the right stuff:


Does your guy make you laugh and lift your spirits?  A sense of humor can help you through some tough times and difficulties. 


Does he really listen to you and consider your feelings?  Do you feel comfortable talking to him about problems that you have.  Can you trust him in difficult situations?  Does he show empathy, sincerity, and caring?   Good communication skills goes both ways.  Can you discuss your differences without becoming defensive or sarcastic?  Do you work together to find a solution?


Being together 100% of the time is not necessarily a good thing.  It’s important for each party in the relationship to participate at their own interests, sports, and hobbies.  It’s all about proper balance – a zealous personal interest might result in too much separation and less focus on your relationship. 


And now just the opposite.  Do you share interests and hobbies?  Do you both like to travel, bike, read…whatever?  While opposites attractive, you need some type of “common interests” to keep the relationship alive and interesting.


Are you both ready to take responsibility in this new relationship to make it the best it can be?  Maturity in a relationship calls for modesty, some humility, and a balance self ego.  It’s now about “we” rather than “me”.    

If you scored a 5 – say “YES” march down that aisle!!!  You found a winner!


Wedding Planning – More About Choosing Your Wedding Date

A few weeks ago, we published a blog about getting married in 2018 and reviewed the 2018 calendar illustrating great dates for weddings in 2018.  (Click here to read that post again.)

Well, today we thought we would throw out some additional fun information about planning and choosing that wedding date.

The Chinese believe that any date that ends in an 8 are 9 are particularly lucky as 8 symbolizes infinity and 9 represents fulfillment.  Feng Shui claims that the 8th, 9th, 18th, 19th, 28th, and 29th are great wedding dates.  And alternatively, any date that adds up to 8 is good, like the 17th and 26th for example.  You can also research in a lot more detail what the Chinese consider auspicious dates which is very important in Chinese culture.  By choosing a good date you will be blessed with good luck in marriage.  It’s best to refer to their chart and know your zodiac sign   Check out www.yourchineseastrology.com for more information.

Marriage is one of our major events in life and Palmistry can predict when you get married.  Palmistry uses your marriage lines (the little lines on the edge of a palm below the pinkie) to tell you when you are most likely to get married.  These marriage lines may suggest whether you will get married early or late in life.  Have some fun and learn more at the same web site just listed in the above paragraph.

I decided to get married on my husband’s birthday because it was an easy date to remember.  You can also choose something like that or other easy dates such as 8/8/18.  It’s easy to remember and might be really lucky with all those 8s.

Another date that I particularly like is New Year’s Eve because it gives you an entire year of tax savings – file your taxes as MARRIED!  It’s also believed by the Irish to be a lucky date as the wedding couple starts the New Year as husband and wife.

The reason so many brides choose June is yes, because the weather is great.  But did you know that June is considered a good month for marriages since the month is named after Juno, the Roman Goddess of marriage.

And finally, there is a poem that can be your guide:

A January bride will be a prudent housekeeper and very good tempered

A February bride will be an affectionate wife and a tender mother

A March bride will be a frivolous chatterbox somewhat given to quarrelling

An April bride will be inconsistent or forceful but well-meaning

A May bride will be handsome, agreeable and practical

A June bride will be impetuous and generous

A July bride will be handsome but a trifle quick tempered

An August bride will be agreeable and practical as well

A September bride will be discreet, affable and much liked

An October bride will be pretty, coquettish, loving but jealous

A November bride will be liberal and kind but sometimes cold

A December bride will be fond of novelty, entertaining but extravagant”.


So, whatever you choose, let your heart be your guide


The Bride’s Guide to Wedding Photography

Forget the bridal magazines and their list of questions to ask a photographer. They have no idea!  Most magazines are “publishers” and they have no idea of “REAL WORLD” concerns with regard to questions about photography that really matter.  Most likely they have never photographed a wedding.  Yes, they publish articles, but their bottom line is getting advertisers – that’s where they make their money.

As you begin looking for your photographer for your wedding, here are some questions that actually matter. These questions come from working wedding photographers who want you to cherish the most amazing images.

  • What makes you different from other wedding photographers?  This is one of the single most important questions to ask, and I’ve never seen a magazine suggest it. Photographers are not identical grains of sand. Photographers are all different. If a shooter can’t adequately define what makes his or her work or style different, they don’t really have a handle on it themselves.
  • How would you describe your style of photography? Don’t settle for a simple one or two word answer like “candid” or “traditional.” Ask them to elaborate. “I specialize unplanned moments and emotions. I’m drawn to great expressions and interactions between people.” I’m not talking about advertising tag lines, but they should be able to define their style with some degree of detail. This shows that they have a handle on their own priorities and aren’t simply shooting at everything that moves.
  • Why do you photograph weddings?  You’re going to have to read between the lines with whatever answer you get, but it’s certainly an interesting insight into the photographer’s motivations. No photographer is ever going to say, “Because I thought it would be a good way to make some weekend cash,” even though that may actually be the truth for some. Instead you want the answer to show some real passion and drive. You want someone who’s going to say something like, “I love people and telling stories of an amazing day in their lives.” Maybe even, “It’s such an important day, I want to do create photos that are meaningful and lasting.” A bit self-serving, granted, but at least there’s some real motivation beyond a paycheck. Regardless of the exact answer, you want to get the feeling that this person is genuinely passionate and motivated to do the very best job possible.
  • If a CD is included, are the photos enhanced or are they straight out of the camera? How much enhancement is done?  Nobody ever asks this, but it’s very important. Many photographers who offer digital images simply give you whatever comes out of the camera, good, bad, and ugly. All photos benefit from some degree of enhancement.

Want to know more?  Click here and download the Free “Bride’s Guide to Wedding Photography.”

More Creative Ways to Announce Your Engagement

One of the very best things about getting engaged (besides the handsome fiancé, gorgeous ring, and the prospect of love and happiness hereafter) is announcing your engagement to your friends and family!   Etiquette always expects you to tell your mothers and fathers in person first.  But after that, besides shouting it from a roof top, you can then proceed to more creative announcements (and with a lot less fear of dealing with parental pressure).

It’s a special moment that means more than just changing your facebook status.   So why not do it a little differently.  I’ll share a few ideas with you, and in turn, if any of you have something to add, we would like to hear how you made the big announcement.

Photo Announcement:   A photo of the two of you with perhaps a sign that says, “I said yes”.  It’s simple, easy and fun.  Or perhaps share a series of photos that starts with when you first met, and proceeds through the first date, first kiss and then a photo with the ring on the finger.  You can add some dates and notes along with these photos.

Say it with a Video: Most smart phones today have the ability to make a short video that you can share.

Say it with Fashion:  Get t-shirts made up that says, “The Future Mrs. ____”, “Soon to be Married”, or with a “Save the Date XX/XX/XX printed on the shirt.”  Wear a shirt over the t-shirt and at the right moment, take off the top shirt to make the big reveal (like Superman).

Flash Mob:  Got lots of friends?  Get them all in the action.

Host a Party:  Never a better time then when you’ve got everyone together.

So, how did you or will you make the big announcement?

All answers will be entered into a drawing for 5 FREE Tickets to the January 21, 2018 My Dream Wedding BRIDAL SHOW at The Christy in O’Fallon, Missouri.  Send your responses to Bride@BrideStLouis.com.  All responses need to be submitted by Nov. 13, 2017.


Brides who are “Mommies” Too!


In today’s weddings there are lots of brides who are also “Mommies.” I have seen first hand the challenge of meeting the needs of your children while trying to enjoy one of the biggest days of your life: your wedding day. Do yourself a favor, make sure to have lots of help with the little ones, and just focus on being a bride.

I’ve talked to a number of wedding planners and here are some tips that you might consider to make your day stress free and unforgettable:

First and foremost, you don’t have to have the traditional wedding with a big wedding party and a fancy reception with hundreds of guests. Many times when you have kids budgets are tight so a smaller wedding party and smaller reception will not only be cost effective but easier to coordinate.

Secondly; involve your kids, if they are old enough, in the planning. They could do a reading or even give you away. Younger kids are best as ringbearers or flower girls, and even consider having them pulled in a wagon if they are really young. Involve kids in the sand ceremony and perhaps have a special “gift” presented to them during the ceremony, as a token of their part in this new family.

Absolutely get someone to be in charge of the kids (especially those under 7 years of age) during your PREP TIME, ceremony, and reception. Just focus on being a bride, not a mommie, while you are saying your vows. Enlist the help of a friend or family member and be clear about their task ahead of time and make them TOTALLY in charge of the kids. Perhaps even in a separate area away from where you are preparing and getting ready.

Be realistic about your time, both as you are preparing for the wedding and the day of the wedding.  Don’t try to take on too much or it will all fall apart. Planning ahead to have help with the children will give you one less stress to worry about. Relaxed and happy mums make beautiful brides!

The Must Have “Barn Wedding” Checklist

Barns are the latest trend and rage these days for romantic, intimate weddings!  However, they come with their own set of challenges.  Unlike the standard banquet room, barns do have special opportunities and limitations.  Here are some things you might want to check out:

The Must Have “Barn Wedding” Checklist

  • How many guests can the barn comfortably accommodate?
  • What does the rental fee cover?  Some barn venues provide only the space.  Some provide tables, chairs, linens, and more.)  Be sure to ask.
  • Are there restrooms on site?  Are there enough to accommodate all your guests.  Where are they located.
  • Is the barn equipped with electricity or do you need to bring in a generator?
  • If there a plan for excessive heat or cold to keep your guests comfortable?
  • Is there get ready space for the wedding party.   If not, is there a hotel close by?
  • Does the venue have a liquor license?
  • What are the additional fees?
  • Does the venue have a list of preferred vendors?  Can you choose others that may not be on their list.
  • When can the vendors set up?  Can décor and rentals be picked up the next day. 
  • Is there an on-site wedding coordinator?
  • Is the barn rain-proof?  If you are planning an outdoor ceremony, is there a plan for weather contingencies.
  • Is there enough onsite parking space?  Can guests easily walk to the event area for the parking lot?
  • Is there room to play outdoor games?
  •  Are there great areas for scenic photography?
  • What other options are there such as bonfire, hay wagon, etc.?

Today weddings in a barn offer the bride and groom a chance to hold their wedding in a very personable and unique location. A barn wedding can be dressed up or dressed down to match the style and decor of your wedding and offer endless charm.

Photography compliments of J. Graeler Photography and Patrick Pope Photography.