Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Secrets To A Successful Marriage

:: Secrets To A Successful Marriage ::

We are all imperfect human beings, and as such we squabble, disagree and occasionally fight with our life partner… That’s only natural. If it weren’t so, we’d get really bored because we would all be alike – no surprises. So what makes a marriage endure? LOVE of course, and commitment, patience and understanding all contribute to a good marriage. Here are a few specific things you can do to help make your marriage a long and successful one:

:: Have a date night at least once a month, preferably once each week. Pick a night to do this and stick with it. Each partner should contribute ideas as to where to go, so make sure no one says, “We always go where YOU want to go.” Wherever your destination is, allocate some time for talking and be prepared with questions to ask your spouse. You can discuss news items, your respective jobs, deep feelings – whatever. Just talk!

Date Night

Photography :: KCD Photography

:: Be a champion for your spouse. Be their encourager, defender, and number one fan. Don’t ever put him or her down in public or in private. Be respectful. If you have a disagreement, address it in a non-combative tone. You married this person for love. Never forget your admiration for your spouse, even in times of anger.

:: A little goes a long way. Do little things to serve each other… Make a special meal. Bring your spouse a nice cold drink when he or she is hard at work. Write little love notes. Speak your language of love. Bring your spouse flowers. Give a back massage. Run a candlelit bath. There are countless ways to make your spouse feel special. Employ them.

Love Note

Love Notes” by Jinx! is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

:: If you screw up in some way, don’t hesitate to admit it. Apologize, and move on. If you are being apologized to, be gracious about accepting the sincere apology. I’m not talking about repeated apologies for the same issue that happens over and over again. If that is the case, seek professional counseling. But, always own up to your mistakes sincerely, learn a lesson, and then move on.

:: Laugh together. Shared laughter is cathartic; it brings you closer, it lifts your spirits, it reduces stress, it personifies your oneness, warms your relationship and tunes you in to each other. But don’t laugh at the expense of your partner. That has the opposite effect. Find things that make you both laugh, but the best laughter usually comes spontaneously.

Happy Marriage

Photography :: Bethany Meister

:: Never, ever keep secrets from one another. True intimacy has no room for secrets. You two became one when you got married. You should trust your partner to the extent that it is not necessary to keep secrets. How would you feel if you found out your partner was keeping something from you? You would feel betrayed, I suspect, unless your partner was planning a surprise birthday bash! So, make every effort to be open, honest, forthright and truthful with your partner.

Do you have any relationship tips to share with us? We would love to hear your best advice for a good marriage!

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Last Name After Marriage // To Change Or Not To Change - That Is The Question

:: Last Name After Marriage // To Change Or Not To Change – That Is The Question ::

Much has changed. I remember attempting to buy a car back in the 70s. (Yes, I’m an old broad.) The salesman advised me to come back with my “husband.” I was totally insulted! The nerve of that guy!!! As if I wasn’t equipped to make such a big decision on my own. Grrr. It still irks me when I think about it. Needless to say I bought my car elsewhere.

The tradition of the “wife” taking the last name of the “husband” stems from the days when wives were considered property. The woman moved from her father’s home to her husband’s home and thus took his name because she now belonged to him. Historically, most cultures were founded on a patriarchal system. Consider the fact that even in America, woman have had the right to vote for less than 100 years so although we have evolved, we still have a long way to go.  

Yes, much has changed, and now that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, the question again arises of what to do about a last name for the newly created family unit. There are several schools of thought on the issue of adopting the name of your partner.  

Love Is Love

On the pro side, sharing the same last name creates a feeling of family unity and makes the two easily identifiable as a couple. If there are or will be children in the mix, sharing a common last name identifies the family as a whole. Also, there is something that speaks of commitment and honor to be willing to take on the name of your partner.

On the con side, there is still that element of possession, loss of personality identity, and somehow being a less important person than the one whose name you take. Then there is the element of traditional male roles versus traditional female roles which society at large still finds confusing in relation to the LGBTQ community.

As always, you have the right to do what you want to do in this country, as long as you are not a danger to yourself or others. So our position here at MRSter is to do what is right for you as a couple. We would like to add that we think the idea of combining both last names into one brand new last name is an exciting and compelling alternative, and speaks volumes of the commitment to the new family unit. This idea affords a lovely way to merge your identities in a creative, committed way.  

What are your thoughts? To change or not to change your last name after marriage?

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: How To Tell Your Friends & Family That You Eloped

:: How To Tell Your Friends & Family That You Eloped ::

The marriage ceremony is an important and obviously significant ritual of life. If you and your spouse decided to skip the big fanfare and elope, that is entirely your decision, albeit a sensitive one. Be prepared for some mixed reactions when you let friends and family know…

Start by telling your parents, or whoever the parent figures are in your lives (MRSter understands that sometimes LGBT couples don’t have accepting parents – sad to say). If at all possible, see them in person to share your exciting news and maybe even tell them they are the first to know. Then, tell the rest of your family and your friends. Don’t apologize. You are sharing happy news – don’t forget that! You could offer an explanation as to why you made the decision to elope if you choose. Perhaps the thought of having all that attention at a traditional wedding made you want to run for the hills. Or, maybe your reasoning was financially based. Or maybe you two just didn’t want to wait. Or maybe you feel that no explanation is necessary, other than that you love each other and decided to elope.

You will probably find that some people will be very happy for you, while others will be upset or annoyed that you did not include them in your big day. People may be miffed at you because they may have their own expectations of your wedding or their role in it, but remember their “miffeness” usually comes from a place of love. Hooray for the happy ones and boo to the miffed ones… They’ll get over it, or not, but that’s their problem which hopefully will resolve on its own.

You might consider sending out a marriage announcement built around a cute photo of the two of you. While you’re here on our webpage, please consult our FABuLIST for our FABULOUS MRSter approved photographers that would love to do a couples session with you!  It’s a good idea to wait before posting your news on a social media site. Allow ample time to share your news with the people you are close to before making a general public announcement.

Finally and only if you really, really, want to, have a reception afterward. You can make this a small and intimate affair or a big shindig. Maybe you can tie it in with a holiday that’s already happening, or make it as simple as a family picnic. Maybe some of your friends or family would even like to throw a nice reception for you.

The marriage of two people is a beautiful thing. MRSter wishes you much joy and lasting love.

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Budget-Friendly Honeymoon Destinations

:: Budget-Friendly Honeymoon Destinations ::

Traveling with your love can be SO exciting, and a Honeymoon destination should be given careful consideration. Whether here or abroad, careful planning will give you the most bang for your buck.

Booking ahead is one of the best ways to find deals. Make sure you have a reasonable Honeymoon budget in mind, and resolve to stay within that budget. Here are MRSter’s top five budget-friendly honeymoon destinations to book now for a Summer celebration:

1 :: Puerto Rico :: With oodles of indoor and outdoor activities, a fabulous nightlife and historic sites to visit, you won’t have a moment of boredom in beautiful Puerto Rico.

Photographed by :: Frances of Rincon Images

Photography :: Frances of Rincon Images

2 :: Florida Keys :: If you enjoy the ocean, this is a great option for you. There are many water sports to do including snorkeling, fishing, and kayaking. Enjoy the beautiful beaches and travel over 100 miles of scenic highways.

3 :: Ireland :: Lovely and luscious, Ireland has become one of western’s Europe’s best travel value. Visit charming villages, incredible castles, and see scenery that will take your breath away.

4 :: Lake Tahoe :: Featuring options from beaches to mountains, Lake Tahoe has it all. Take a ride in a hot-air balloon, view the beautiful mountains from a gondola, and enjoy scenic lake cruises.

5 :: Rocky Mountains, Colorado :: Featuring some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in the USA, the Rocky Mountains offers many romantic Bed and Breakfast establishments as well as secluded cabins. Enjoy hiking and picnicking on beautiful trails and in gorgeous meadows.

Did you go on a budget-friendly honeymoon? We would love for you to share your suggestions on where to go in the comments below!

:: How Two Gay Men Announce They Are Having a Baby ::

:: How Two Gay Men Announce They Are Having a Baby :: 

MRSter Approved wedding planners Life Design Event Planning {MRSter Approved} had the opportunity to help pull the details together for Matt and Rich’s wedding at the Desert Botanical Gardens {MRSter Approved} in Phoenix, Arizona. It was a day that was like most weddings…full of love LOTS of love and the wedding planners had tears streaming down their faces at the end because how amazing these families were/are.

Feel free to watch their wedding video (produced by Victor Vongspoth) so you can get a little taste of how sweet it was. If you don’t end up watching the charming wedding film take a look at a few of these pictures taken by Bumble and Bloom.

Gay Wedding Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden Matt and Rich with Wedding Party and BridesmaidsGay Wedding Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden Matt and Rich Gay Wedding Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden Matt and RichGay Wedding Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden Matt and Rich First Dance

So when we Matt reached out to us to let us know that they had an announcement the first thing we asked (after screaming at the top of our lungs) was can we share it with other couples unsure of how to announce that they are having a baby on MRSter because we thought it was done so well and with so much personality.

Matt and Rich Gay Pregnancy Announcement MRSterI mean….seriously…how cute is that?!

Then Matt also shared on he and Rich’s blog about the news was announced at a dance studio to a bunch of tween girls. You have to check out the girl in the yellow top…she needed to process things a bit. (Matt is a professional dancer)

We encourage you to follow their blog and their journey to parenthood here.

Are you a involved in a relationship where you might have some challenges conceiving and/having a baby? We have heard lots of stories from you all about the struggles of parenthood and taking the steps to be a parent. Whether it is adoption, foster care, carrying or surrogacy we all have a story to tell and we are listening. Share with us how you have announced to the world that you are expecting / adopting / becoming parents!