10 Steps to Host a Bridal Show at Your Hotel (Playlist Included)

Let me share a quick story with you about my experience with annual bridal shows. A few years ago, I caught wind of a struggling show on an island that was a popular destination spot. Although vendors loved it, attendance was dwindling, and the local tourism organization didn’t want to continue to run it. However, one of the resorts on the island, dependent on bridal business, was determined to save the show and host it themselves.

They enlisted my planning expertise, and, even though I had never planned a trade show, I went all in. I invited plenty of vendors and brides, and actually grew the show from 11 attendees to 40. For a resort on an island, 40 is an impressive number!

That was in 2012, and the resort continues to successfully host the show today. Not surprisingly, weddings are a huge business and a staple for many hotels. BRIDES Magazine New American Wedding Survey reveals that 76% of brides plan on having large traditional weddings, which means they’ll be interested in attending wedding expos. And for your hotel, wedding expos are incredible exposure. They book up rooms, put you in front of brides who are in the midst of their venue search, and also help raise your profile among attendees and planners who are likely to keep you in mind for other future events and trips.

There is no magic recipe for hosting a phenomenal bridal show, but there are some general guidelines. Here is my top 10 list of simples steps on how to be successful, increase your bridal business, and snag additional SMERF business on the side. If I can do it, you can too. As a bonus, enjoy this list of popular wedding songs that you can play at your bridal show!

“A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” Cinderella

1. Design Your Dream Bridal Show

I suggest that you bring together a focus group that includes upper management, the bridal sales team, the conference services manager, and banquets department. It’s also especially valuable to hold a focus group at some point with a few vendors and brides. Hotel staff provides valuable input about what they can do and how they plan to impress. Vendors and brides provide information on what their expectations and dreams are for a successful bridal show. A SWOT analysis is imperative at this stage. What are your weaknesses and threats? One of our threats was the additional effort of leaving your car to attend the show and taking the ferry. We managed that by arranging a special deal with the ferry vendor. Our weakness was that we had never planned a bridal show, but we used our collective experience in other areas to overcome it. As far as opportunities went, our sales team found additional SMERF leads by going through the contacts of the attending parents and other family members.

“Nothing Left to Lose” Mat Kearney

2. Set the Budget

What will it cost to host your dream bridal show? What is budgeted in the marketing plan and how will a show fit into your marketing strategy? What net amount do you need to raise to make it the best show ever? Build a spreadsheet that includes items, estimated cost, final cost, and who is paying for what. Create a second spread sheet of the “in kind” sponsorships and cash sponsorships you need to be successful. An adequate budget is imperative. What you present at the bridal show to brides and their families and friends is the impression you give of your resort over all. Make your presentation opulent–this is a bridal show! The show should look and feel indulgent, even if you don’t spend a great deal!

“More Than a Love Song” Augustana

3. Due Diligence

My theory is that all events have the same basic planning requirements. Documenting details is necessary, so that any time you need to know where you stand on something or what comes next, you have it in a simple report. You may choose to design your own and include other worksheets like marketing and sponsorships. I used Microsoft Outlook and set deadline reminders. Use the calendar reminder system that is most effective and convenient for you.

“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” Aerosmith

4. Select Space

Where in your hotel are you hosting the show? Your largest banquet room that’s centrally located is optimal. Maybe you want to use more than one area of your hotel. Draw the plan and scale the booth sizes (typically 10 x 10) and fit them in your room. Perhaps your show promises each vendor an 8-foot table. Remember to include space on each side of the table between vendors. Build a diagram showing all doors, bathrooms, etc. You probably already have software that allows you to build space set up. I used Microsoft PowerPoint and it worked very well for me. Estimate a goal number of booths to sell to ensure you have enough room and select an area for oversell. We used the hallway outside of the main room to put the overflow. Number the booths. You may even decide to sell prime booths at a higher rate.

“Come Away With Me” Norah Jones

5. Vendors

Create a vendor registration package that includes a sponsorship form. Your show needs to be all things bridal, but be open to what that may be for your particular area. Our show’s vendor list included the usual bakeries, photographers, and musicians but also included the ferry companies (the hotel is on an island). Include any special forms or information a vendor may need. In our case, the vendors needed to know about drayage services, from the local ferry company, and where to store equipment until time for show set-up. Because the island is small and a tight knit community, vendors we had relationships with were provided first opportunity to register. We sent the invitation out to the general population a week later. Our list of vendor invitations included our competition, as the show was for the entire island. Encourage your vendors to be creative and experiential at your bridal show. Christine Dyer, creator of the site BridalTweet™, offers great tips for participating in a bridal show in “Ten Tips for Attending Bridal Shows.” Dyer suggests to ‘go above and beyond’ with vendor event space.  She advises that everything about your vendor’s space should communicate the vendor’s brand message and product.

“Make You Feel My Love” Adele

6. Brides

Create a bridal invitation worthy of a second look that entices the bridal party to say, “Let’s go!” Start with your contact list of interested brides and reach out to vendors for their lists. The success of the bridal show is dependent upon the numbers. The more invitations that go out, the more people will register and attend, and the happier the vendors will be.

“Because of You” Ne-Yo

7. Sponsorships

Even though you are hosting, invite vendors to sponsor and be part of the action. Draw up a complete list of cash and “in kind” sponsor opportunities that include the costs and benefits. Both types of sponsors can expect advertising in the program, on signage, on social media and on your website. We invited every vendor to donate a prize to be used for drawings at the bridal show and to contribute something to the bride goodie bag received at the registration table. Provide ample opportunity for vendors to market their participation!

“Your Song” Ellie Goulding

8. Marketing

Get the word out about the season’s most exciting bridal show! Use verbiage that appeals to brides, mothers of brides, mothers of grooms, the bridal party and even the fathers! Use vendor names to spice up advertising. Marketing a venue hosting a bridal show includes a Bridal Show Weekend package option that adds to your group room revenue. Use your website, social media, vendor websites, newspapers, bridal magazines, and eblasts to get the word out. Make it easy to register online and inform all guest services agents of the special event and event packages. Booking the packages is the opportunity for brides to experience your services. Tell everyone you are having a bridal show that is not to be missed. Inviting brides with a formal, snail mail invitation is exciting and will produce exciting results.

“Here Comes the Bride!” Richard Wagner

9. Show Time!

Beginning with the brides who booked the overnight packages, the experiences at your bridal show should demonstrate a fairy tale experience. The main purpose of the show is to expose brides to the fantastic options available to them. Allow vendors to announce their own prizes during the prize drawing that happens every 15 minutes (keeps the brides around longer too)! Give every bride a bag of information and goodies to take home and to use for collecting treasures as they walk the floor. The booths will be amazing because you sponsored a booth contest! Make it easy for vendors to show off so brides will experience wine tasting, cake tasting, floral arrangements, fun pictures from the photo booth, music from the DJ, live music from the musicians, and treats from your banquet department. You have your banquet rooms set up for bridal tours and your conference services manager and sales managers ready to talk business. Your vendors, including your competition, are experiencing a great time too! You treated them well, marketed their participation and brought them interested brides. Watch the magic as the details come together.

“Unforgettable” Natalie Cole

10. Afterglow

Ah, what a fantastic show. You hear it from everyone–brides, parents, vendors and your own staff. During registration, you collected a number of names and addresses. With those brides “who said yes!” follow your usual protocol. With those who “said maybe” reach out and personally to thank them for attending. Keeping all things bridal, send a formal thank you note followed by a telephone call. Thank the bride for coming, and do not be afraid to ask if they know of others who may be interested in your next bridal show! Many brides brought their families. Take advantage of the opportunity to reach out to them for future family reunion business!

I found the bridal show to be an event I was most proud of! I had many success metrics: attendance numbers, vendor comments, strengthened competitor relationships, increased revenue, and new SMERF business leads. With simple tools, a well-designed plan, perfect space, engaged vendors, interested brides, a marvelous marketing plan, an experiential show and a commitment to following up, you can build a fairy-tale inspired bridal show that books group rooms and becomes the dream bridal “go to” event for years to come.

The 9 smartest marriage tips ever

The 9 smartest marriage tips everNext to my desk there is a fallen pile of relationship-advice books. It looks like a miniature city of ruins, a very pink Parthenon. I can’t even begin to fathom picking up all the rubble — mostly because I’m not sure if there’s anything worth saving in there. It’s a shame. The sheer volume tells you just how much demand there is for advice on sustaining relationships.

Ahead of my approaching nuptials I’ve been wondering about our collective wisdom on marriage and how to find advice that escapes the usual traps of cliche, triviality and overgeneralization. (Not to mention Pepto-Bismol book covers.) Something smarter than, “Never go to bed angry.” Something that doesn’t read like the latest diet fad. Maybe even something that has, I don’t know, any evidence or research behind it? I decided to go to the people I trust most on the topic — from respected sex researchers to … my grandma. The result? A messy collection of marriage tips that you will only find here.

Compliments complement

For nearly three decades, relationship expert Terri Orbuch has conducted a research project following 373 married couples. She’s found that couples who regularly give each other “affective affirmation” — meaning “compliments, help and support, encouragement and subtle nonsexual rewards, such as hand holding” — are the happiest. Orbuch, host of the upcoming public television special, “Secrets From The Love Doctor,” says a key finding is that “men crave affective affirmation more than women, because women typically get it from people other than their husbands.”

Forget about the dirty dishes

Orbuch has found that the happy couples in her study “talked to each other frequently — not about their relationship, but about other things.” Orbuch recommends setting aside ten minutes every day to talk about “anything other than work, family, the household or the relationship.” Pretend the cable bill has already been paid, the inlaws already called — just for ten minutes. “Ask her what her favorite movie is, and why,” she suggests. “Ask him to recall a happy memory from childhood. Ask her what she’d like to be remembered for.” This small change “infuses relationships with new life,” she says.

Stay on your toes

“In my study, when couples said they were in a relationship rut or felt bored, they were less happy over time,” says Orbuch. So escape the rut by mixing things up. “The changes can be small, but they have to upset the routine enough to make him or her sit up and take notice.”

Similarly, anthropologist Helen Fisher suggests that couples “keep doing novel things together,” she says. “Novelty drives up the dopamine system in the brain and can help to sustain feelings of romantic love.”

Marriage is like a credit card

Helen Fisher, author of “Why Him? Why Her?: How to Find and Keep Lasting Love,” recommends sustaining “your ‘positive illusions’” about your significant other. “When you begin to feel irritated at your partner, instead of reviewing everything you don’t like, turn your thoughts to all the good things about him or her.”

Psychologist Harriet Lerner agrees. “Newlyweds automatically know how to speak to the positive and make each other feel special and valued,” says Lerner, author of “Marriage Rules, A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up.” “But the more enduring the marriage, the more you’ll find yourself noticing and speaking to what you don’t like.” Lerner offers this maxim: “No one can survive in a marriage, at least not happily, if they feel more judged than admired.”

Relatedly, Stephanie Coontz, author of “Marriage, a History,” says that “relationships, like the economy, run on credit.” By that she means both “giving credit, or expressing gratitude, for the things your partner does that make your life easier, things we often take for granted” and “advancing credit by assuming that your partner has good intentions and would like to step up to the plate, rather than assuming that you need to ride herd on him or her in order to get what you need.”

Marriage Advice & Marriage Tips

1. A car is designed by someone else. Marriage was designed by God in the beginning of creation, and was handed down to Adam and Eve according to Moses’ account of creation in Genesis 2. Marriage is not human-made.

2. A car comes with an operational manual. Unfortunately, marriage does not come with a user manual. The escalation of divorce, separation, all forms of abuse, and unhappiness in marriage occur because there is no operator or user’s manual. I would like to suggest that the Bible is well positioned to serve as the operator’s or user’s manual for marriage. The Bible deals and promotes positive and good human relations, such as, love, peace, joy, longsuffering, kindness, forgiving spirit, temperance, and etc. In general, and those are necessary and critical qualities to keep marriage healthy.

3. A U-turn is prohibited in the highway. Marriage was intended to be a one way, and a way of no return. One cannot enter marriage when they have not dealt with the question of permanency. The Bible teaches that God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16), and divorce was allowed because of hardness of people’s hearts (Matt. 19:7-8).

4. You cannot stop or park in the highway. Marriage should be growing from better to best. Like a plant, when marriage stops growing, it weathers and dies. If you stop, you disturb and distract those who are moving.

5. Keep the speed limit. Don’t drive too slowly to disturb the flow, or too fast to cause accidents. Grow your marriage in a normal way. Don’t take time to adjust or bond, and at the same time don’t swallow an elephant, but bite a piece at a time.

6.Cars in the highway must be licensed. There are times when people drive unlicensed cars in the highway. Marriage should be legitimate and regarded or treated as holy. Children should be born in a Bible-approved legitimate marriage.

7. Cars must be roadworthy. Marriage that is not “roadworthy” should be properly repaired and regularly serviced. When marriage is not attended to, it becomes a stressor to spouses, children, and others.

8. Different cars in the highway. Some cars a better and nicer than yours. You need to be satisfied with your car, and not envy your neighbour’s car. Some cars look nicer from a distance, but not quite the as you own and drive it. When you chose your spouse, you made the best decision ever (or did you?). You need to be satisfied with your spouse or marriage. Other marriages might appear nicer and desirable from a distance, when they are actually a hell on earth.

9.Follow and observe the freeway/highway rules and signs. Pay attention to areas that might create a disharmony in your marriage journey. Slow down to take curves smoothly. When there is misunderstanding, slow down to address it. Curves are for learning and growth. Don’t be harsh and unkind when taking a marriage curve – you can lose control and roll your marriage.

10. Keep to your lane. Don’t change lanes without indicating. Give indications if you are going to make changes in your marriages, particularly changes that also affect others. Inform your spouse, children, and others if your are planning to bring about changes so that they are cautious and alert to your moves.

11. Passengers must feel comfortable in your car. They need to feel free to take their naps without feeling that their lives are in danger because you are behind the wheel. Create a safe and peaceful environment for those who are in marriage with you. Use your power to support rather than to sabotage.

12. Carry necessary tools and supplies for the road. It is illegal in some countries to drive a car without a spare wheel or to run out of gas. Plan ahead and anticipate challenges on the road. Every marriage should have a toolkit for repairs. There are times when a tyre suffers a puncture. Be ready to stop, turn on your warning lights, and replace the tyre. Challenges and conflicts are normal in marriage. One needs to be armed with necessary tools to address conflicts and challenges so that we can resume our marriage journey.

13. Use all car mirrors in order to be alert at all times. You need to be able to see cars from all angles – rear and sides. Don’t drive with your eyes on the rear or side mirrors because you might drive into a car in front of you if it suddenly stops. Concentrate on your car, but vigilant that other marriages do not affect or disturb yours.

Plan Your Wedding And Your Marriage

Planning for “the day” or for a lifetime?

This question was written with big cursive lettering on a booth display that Erin and I used at bridal fairs to advertise our premarital seminars. It was always so much fun to watch not only the prospective brides but also their mothers walk by as the mothers responded to our banner with a sassy “Mm-hmm!”

You see, rarely did we get any brides to stop at our booth. Each bride was so busy planning for her special day — the dress, the cake, the venue, the photographer, the honeymoon — she hardly gave much thought to planning for her future marriage. Sadly, only about 35 percent to 40 percent of engaged couples will receive quality premarital education. And by quality, we mean at least eight to 10 hours of instruction from someone who has been equipped to do so. This is unfortunate because the premarital research is strong.

The moms who were walking around with their daughters at the bridal fair understood this, and that’s why the majority of the tickets we sold were to the mothers — as gifts to their daughters and future sons-in-law.

As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” We believe that the first step in your journey toward the marital relationship you’ve always dreamed of is to understand God’s true design for marriage. So …
Marriage in the Bible

God is the creator of marriage — it was His idea from the very beginning. Listen to how Eugene Peterson, author of The Message, paraphrases this truth: “God, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does he want from marriage? Children of God, that’s what. So guard the spirit of marriage within you. Don’t cheat on your spouse. ‘I hate divorce,’ says the God of Israel. God-of-the-Angel-Armies says, ‘I hate the violent dismembering of the “one flesh” of marriage.’ So watch yourselves. Don’t let your guard down” (Malachi 2:15–16).

God is so passionate about marriage that He gave it an important place throughout the Bible. The Scriptures begin with a marriage: “It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18). Then right in the middle of the Bible is a remarkable and very provocative book: the Song of Songs. It’s a love story — passionate, provocatively physical, something that makes good Christians blush — between two lovers, a husband and wife. Finally God’s Word ends with a different but even more important wedding: the marriage of Christ to His imperfect but redeemed bride, the church, “the wife of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:9).
Intended to make us Christlike

God created marriage with something far more wonderful in mind than simply a place where we can get our needs met and find happiness. God uses marriage to accomplish a very important goal: to help us become like Christ. The apostle Paul clearly understood this: “Those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). If you miss out on this understanding, your marriage is destined for pain and frustration. But if you “get it” — especially now as you prepare to walk down the aisle — then you’ll be far ahead of the rest of the pack.

As you prepare to get married, rather than asking yourself, “How will my needs be met?” ask, “How will my life show evidence of Christ’s character?” Marriage was never designed to meet our needs. In God’s infinite wisdom, He knows that our greatest relational needs will be met as we become more like His Son. As with everything else He created, God wants to use marriage to direct us toward himself. God uses the challenges and the joys of marriage to help shape and mold us into the image of Jesus — and that’s been His goal from the very beginning: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26–27).
Evidence of Christlike-ness

This seems so simple: A great marriage is the outcome of becoming Christlike. So the real question is, “How do we know if we are becoming like Jesus?” The good news is that Christ himself gives us the answer in John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love on another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” As you both become Christlike, the evidence is your ability to love each other as Christ loves you.

God’s paramount goal for your upcoming marriage is not your mutual happiness. It really isn’t! That will surely come, if you cooperate with God’s real purpose for your marriage. But He wants so much more than mere happiness for you. He wants joy, significance, spiritual power and a compelling attractiveness that turns people’s heads. In other words, He wants to use your marriage to help you and others become more like His Son.

How to Improve My Marriage by Helping Others

The fire blazed as I belted out silly songs and danced like a fool in front of the young campers. That was more than 14 years ago. My husband, Adam, and I were serving together as counselors for our church’s youth camp, and he still says it was in that moment that he knew he loved me.

Although Adam and I are wired differently, we have continued to find common ground in areas of service. We enjoy working with youth and are passionate about helping couples grow closer to the Lord and one another.

Zephaniah 3:9 says, “For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder” (NASB).

This idea of serving God shoulder to shoulder can be a powerful example of how to maximize impact in your community and in your marriage. The book of Nehemiah tells how the Israelites rebuilt the broken-down wall of Jerusalem in an effort to fortify their city. They worked side by side as families to repair what had been damaged (Nehemiah 3). They faced obstacles and opposition as they served together, but they stayed focused on their goal and committed their hands to the work that was set before them.

Serving together may be work, but it can also be fun. It can create intimacy and improve communication if we invest in our marriage at the same time we invest in the lives of those around us. Adam and I have found that if we make time to serve together, we experience many benefits: Our marriage relationship is strengthened, our personal weaknesses are refined and our team impact is maximized.
Strengthen your marriage

In our busy culture, we can quickly feel disconnected from our spouse. Serving together can be a meaningful way to reconnect and focus on what we have in common. A simple way that Adam and I serve together is by mentoring young couples. Over coffee or dinner, we ask intentional questions about their budding relationship. We talk about their struggles and how we’ve coped in similar situations in our marriage. We encourage them in their relationship as we share openly about our own trials and triumphs. Our marriage is strengthened as we invest in others, and we are drawn closer together through these shared experiences.

Serving with your spouse can be a fulfilling way to connect, but it can also be challenging to find the time. Instead of adding more commitments to your calendar, consider looking for ways to serve within your present schedule. For example, if your spouse coaches soccer for one of your kids, maybe you could assist with coaching and spend that time together serving your community at the same time you invest in our child. If you and your spouse look at your current activities, you just might see how you could join one another in serving.
Refine your weaknesses

Serving together can also help refine weaknesses. For example, I am a planner and like to have all the details worked out prior to a youth event. I sometimes err on the side of caring more about the details than caring about the people at the event. But Adam is a people person. He is more interested in the people than the details. Serving alongside each other, I have learned how to be more sensitive, and he has learned how to be more detail-oriented as we work toward a mutual goal.

After you serve together, consider discussing how things went. What went well? What needs improvement? Were you on the same page or did you frustrate each other? These conversations are not always easy, but they can provide opportunities to refine areas of weakness and help you grow closer as a couple.
Maximize your impact

Marriage involves two individuals who can offer diverse talents in various serving opportunities. Adam and I have learned that as we join forces we can have a greater impact in an area that is important to both of us.

We know a couple who met on a mission trip to Guatemala. Throughout their marriage, they have traveled to various countries and hosted missionaries in their home. One of them is a generous giver and great conversationalist, while the other is committed to prayer and is a thoughtful host. Both are drawn to missions and enjoy encouraging those who serve the needy. They serve together by combining their time and talents and have found they are more effective working as a couple than they would have been as individuals.

Keep in mind that serving together can also take place outside of a structured ministry. It can be as simple as raking a neighbor’s yard, visiting an elderly friend, or compiling a care package for a soldier serving overseas. There are endless possibilities for serving shoulder to shoulder.

Why Your Friends Matter to Your Marriage

women chatting at a table illustrationAs a newlywed, it was easy for me to engage in conversation with other women when I had questions about men and marriage. Unfortunately, I had not yet learned that girlfriends could either help or hinder my relationship with my husband. When I commented to a co-worker about having to juggle my job and home responsibilities, I ended by asking why my husband didn’t have to help. She began elaborating from her own list of marital frustrations — and the conversation went downhill from there. It was only a matter of time before each small annoyance I felt toward my husband was filtered through the larger lens of my colleague’s grievances, and I learned that frustration and disappointment were contagious.

Fast-forward a few years to when I was a young mother with three daughters under age 5. The chaos of preschool years only compounded the questions I had about married life, so once again I found myself looking for support among women. This time, though, I shared my concerns with ladies who were committed to loving their husbands well. When I’d vent about my husband’s lack of help around the house, my friends would remind me of his commitment to work hard so I could be at home with the girls. When I’d comment about his fervor for football season, they’d remind me of his passion for his family. We shared life together — and that included cheering for our men.

Whatever the stage of life, women find themselves drawn to the company of other women. They celebrate our victories and grieve our losses; they share our joy and feel our pain. It seems that women are wired to engage with other women on a deep and personal level, gleaning from one another along the way. Maybe that’s why Paul wrote about friendships in Titus 2:3-4 when he said, “Older women … are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children.”

Train the young women to love their husbands? Apparently, God knew that married life would require some coaching. Do you have a friend who reminds you of what’s good and honorable about your man; a friend who calls you out when you’re being selfish or unkind; a friend who encourages you to show respect toward your husband and reflect God’s love in your marriage?

Think about your girlfriends. Which ones help to make you a better wife? You’ll recognize the healthy influence among women who:

  • speak respectfully about men and marriage
  • are good and trustworthy listeners
  • express empathy and show compassion
  • pray for you, and their words are reflective of God’s truth
  • confront when necessary
  • believe the best about you and your husband

Time spent with critical friends can make me a demanding wife. Time spent with controlling women can make me a nagging wife. Thankfully, the opposite is also true. When I engage with authentic friends who are committed to godliness in married life, I’m inspired to be a better wife.

I’ve chosen wisely and I’ve chosen foolishly, and both experiences have taught me that my marriage is affected by the friends I choose to spend time with.

Ten Secrets to a Successful Marriage

Bride and groom holding handsSuccessful couples are savvy. They read books, attend seminars, browse Web articles and observe other successful couples. However, successful couples will tell you that they also learn by experience — trial and error.

Here are 10 principles of success I have learned from working with and observing hundreds of couples:

Happiness is not the most important thing. Everyone wants to be happy, but happiness will come and go. Successful couples learn to intentionally do things that will bring happiness back when life pulls it away.
Couples discover the value in just showing up. When things get tough and couples don’t know what to do, they need to hang in there and be there for their spouse. Time has a way of helping couples work things out by providing opportunities to reduce stress and overcome challenges.
If you do what you always do, you will get same result. Wise couples have learned that you have to approach problems differently to get different results. Often, minor changes in approach, attitude and actions make the biggest difference in marriage.
Your attitude does matter. Changing behavior is important, but so is changing attitudes. Bad attitudes often drive bad feelings and actions.
Change your mind, change your marriage. How couples think and what they believe about their spouse affects how they perceive the other. What they expect and how they treat their spouse matters greatly.
The grass is greenest where you water it. Successful couples have learned to resist the grass is greener myth — i.e., someone else will make me happy. They have learned to put their energy into making themselves and their marriage better.
You can change your marriage by changing yourself. Veteran couples have learned that trying to change their spouse is like trying to push a rope — almost impossible. Often, the only person we can change in our marriage is ourselves.
Love is a verb, not just a feeling. Everyday life wears away the “feel good side of marriage.” Feelings, like happiness, will fluctuate. But, real love is based on a couple’s vows of commitment: “For better or for worse” — when it feels good and when it doesn’t.
Marriage is often about fighting the battle between your ears. Successful couples have learned to resist holding grudges and bringing up the past. They remember that they married an imperfect person — and so did their spouse.
A crisis doesn’t mean the marriage is over. Crises are like storms: loud, scary and dangerous. But to get through a storm you have to keep driving. A crisis can be a new beginning. It’s out of pain that great people and marriages are produced.

10 Marriage Tips Every WIFE Needs to Hear

There’s a blog post that’s recently gone viral, written by a divorced man featuring some really sound advice about marriage (click here to read it).  I really have to applaud this guy.  It takes guts to stand up and be transparent about your failures.  It’s equally as commendable to stand up and say how you’d do things differently.

One thing that his post is lacking, however, is the female perspective.  After reading his post, I wanted to take some time and write down some things that I’ve learned in the last ten years.  You see – I’m now in my third marriage.  When people learn this fact about me, their reaction is usually pretty awkward.  It’s almost as if they’re waiting for me to be embarrassed by my admission. While going through two divorces was some of the most painful times of my life, I’d only feel ashamed if I’d gone through it without being able to say I’ve learned a thing or two.  My husband and I had both been through divorce before we married each other, and with that brings a unique perspective into many do’s and don’ts of how to treat your spouse. Don’t get me wrong – our marriage isn’t perfect, but our failures in past relationships have shaped decisions we make about the way we treat each other, and to be honest, I’m glad I went through it.  We’ve learned better, so now we do better.

And with that, I’d like to offer up my version of his wise marriage tips – from a woman who has triumphed the murky waters of divorce (and if you’re interested, my husband also wrote one from his perspective).

  1. Respect your husband.  – Notice how it doesn’t say “Respect your husband if he has earned it”. A man’s greatest need in this world is to be respected, and the person he desires that respect from the most is his wife.  The trap that we’ve all been ensnared by is that they only deserve our respect when they earn it. Yes, we want our husbands to make decisions that will ultimately garner our respect, but the truth is that your husband is a human being. A human being who makes mistakes. This is the man that YOU have chosen to walk alongside you for the rest of your life, and to lead your family and he needs to be respected for that quality alone. Take it from me – when respect is given even when he doesn’t deserve it, it will motivate him to earn it. That doesn’t mean you pretend that his choices are good ones when they aren’t. Things like that still need to be communicated, but you can flesh out your differences WITH RESPECT. It makes all the difference in the world to him.
  2. Guard your heart.  – The grass is not greener on the other side. Do not believe the lie that with a slimmer figure, a higher salary, a faster car, or a bigger house, you will be a happier woman. The world is full of things and people that will serve as reminders that you don’t have the best of the best, but it’s simply not true. Live the life you’ve been blessed with, and BE THANKFUL. I get that we all have struggles, and there are even times when I would love 1,000 more square feet of house to live in, but square feet is not fulfilling – relationships are. Guard your heart from things and people that will try to convince you that your life or your husband is not good enough.  There will always be bigger, faster, stronger, or shinier – but you’ll never be satisfied with more until you’re fulfilled with what you have now.
  3. God, husband, kids…in that order.  – I know this isn’t a popular philosophy, especially among mothers, but hear me out. It’s no secret that my faith is of utmost importance, so God comes first in my life no matter what. But regardless of your belief system, your husband should come before your kids. Now unless you’re married to someone who is abusive  (in which case, I urge you to seek help beyond what my blog can give you), no man in his right mind would ask you to put your kids aside to serve his every need while neglecting them. That’s not what this means. When you board an airplane, the flight attendants are required to go over emergency preparedness prior to takeoff. When explaining the part about how to operate the oxygen mask, passengers are instructed to first put the mask on themselves before putting it on their small child. Is that because they think you are more important than your kids? Absolutely not. But you cannot effectively help your child if you can’t breathe yourself. The same holds true with marriage and parenting. You cannot effectively parent your children if your marriage is falling apart. Take it from me – I tried. There will also come a time when your kids will leave the house to pursue their dreams as adults. If you have not cultivated a lasting relationship with your spouse, you will have both empty nests and empty hearts.
  4. Forgive.  – No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. If you make forgiveness a habit – for everything from major mistakes to little annoyances (every day, I have to forgive my husband for leaving the wet towel on the bathroom counter ;)) – you will keep resentment from growing.
  5. Over-communicate.  – I used to have a bad habit of not speaking my feelings. I played the standard “You should know why I’m mad” game, and that’s just downright unfair. Men are not wired like women, and they DON’T always know that they’ve been insensitive. I’m still growing in this area, and there are often times when my husband has to pry something out of me, but I’m trying to remember that I need to just communicate how I feel.
  6. Schedule a regular date night.  – This one isn’t new, but it’s very important. Never stop dating your spouse.  Even if you can’t afford dinner and a movie (which we seldom can), spending some regular one-on-one time with your spouse is essential. Don’t talk about bills, or schedules, or the kids. Frankie and I often daydream about our future, or plan our dream vacation. We connect emotionally and often learn something new about each other – even after four years.
  7. Never say the “D Word”.  – If you’re gonna say it, you better mean it. Plain and simple, threatening divorce is not fighting fair. I did this a lot in my previous marriages. I’m not proud of it, but I learned better. I was hurting deeply, and I wanted to hurt back, but it never helped me feel better.
  8. Learn his love language.  – Everyone has a love language. The way you perceive love is often different from the way your spouse perceives love. Does he like words of affirmation, or does he respond better when you give him gifts? Whatever his love language is – learn it and USE IT.  Edited to add: If you are unfamiliar with the principles behind love languages, you can learn more about it here.
  9. Never talk negatively about him.  – I learned this lesson the hard way too. If you’re going through a difficult time in your marriage and you need advice, see a counselor. Family counseling is a great tool, but try to remember that your family members and friends are not the most objective people to give advice. The argument they are hearing is one-sided and they often build up negative feelings toward your spouse, which usually doesn’t subside once you and your husband have gotten past it. Protect his image with those that you’re close with and seek help from those that can actually be objective.  News flash, ladies – your mother cannot be objective!
  10. Choose to love.  – There are times in a marriage that you may wake up and not feel in love anymore. Choose to love anyway. There are times when you may not be attracted to your husband anymore. Choose to love anyway. Marriage is a commitment. In sickness and health, in good times and in bad. Those vows are sacred. They don’t say “if you have bad times”. They say “in good times AND in bad”, implying that there WILL be bad times. It’s inevitable. So choose to love anyway. He’s worth it.

Marriage Problem

Having a marriage problem can be agonizing especially if you’re trying to do all you can to make your marriage work. Depending on how your marriage was prior to thinking that you had a marriage problem, you could be in for a hurtful time if you don’t take a step back and look at your marriage problem from a “helicopter” viewpoint. To do that, you’re going to need to try to limit your emotional stake in the situation which admittedly is a difficult thing to do.

The first step in getting over a marriage problem is to remember that you aren’t alone, lots of couples have marriage problems that stem from all kinds of different types of behavior.

Here’s a partial list of marriage problems that you may or may not be experiencing:

Marriage problem #1: Lack of sexual intimacy – a serious issue that you must work through in my opinion if your going to work it out.

Marriage problem #2: Exploding during an argument, getting too emotional and letting your temper get the best of you – you need to learn to work together and you can’t do that if one of you is getting too heated.

Marriage problem #3: Being selfish – eventually this will catch up to you. You should always think of your partner when you think of yourself.

Marriage problem #4: Being dishonest – another serious issue. If you cannot be 100% honest and open with your mate, you’re marriage is most likely doomed or at the very least unhappy.

Marriage problem #5: Teasing too much – generally the husband does this but it could go either way. If there’s a little bit of truth to the teasing or there’s a greater marriage problem that incites the teasing, you could be in for a long road to recovery together. Chances are that you’ll have a lot more work to do to correct this marriage problem.

Marriage problem #6: Not respecting your spouse – this marriage problem can result in all types of other problems. If you are experiencing this you must get to the root of this and figure out why the disrespect is present. If you aren’t getting the every day respect that you deserve, make it a priority to not let this go on another day.

Marriage problem #7: Not being attentive to your spouse or not listening to your spouse – men are usually guilty of this marriage problem but is isn’t exclusive to the weaker gender by any means. Really listening doesn’t mean obeying, it means understanding what’s important to your spouse and acting accordingly.

Obviously there are many other things that could be labeled a “marriage problem”, you have to decide what those are as they pertain to your situation.

So, how do you figure out if a marriage problem or problems are severe enough to warrant a divorce?

You should first examine what your marriage problem actually is and decide if it is exclusively a problem for you or if it is something that you both consider to be a marriage problem. If you are the only one who sees the said action as a marriage problem, you have to decide whether or not that specific marriage problem is being caused by you or whether it is truly a problem brought on by your spouse. If the marriage problem is unique to you, seek some help from a counselor and do yourself the courtesy of trying to correct the problem before you believe that you need to run right out and get a divorce. You’ll be a better person for it because you will have fixed something within yourself.

However, if you truly believe that the marriage problem is caused and prolonged by your spouse, sit down with yourself first and examine what you believe to be the root cause of the behavior that creates the marriage problem. Make sure that you are being logical when you identify the behavior that you feel is causing the marriage problem and try to recall if the traits or behavior that you’ve identified in your spouse are ‘fixable’ in your mind…assuming of course, that your spouse will agree that you are right.

Next, approach your spouse with the information that you’ve reflected on and try to talk through the cause of the marriage problem. Hopefully your spouse will be open to constructive discussion regarding the marriage problem so you can work through it together. If you cannot do work on the marriage problem together, seek the help of a mediator or marriage counselor so you can actually talk out the marriage problem logically. If you cannot work it out after counseling, deep self-reflection and discussions, you should be able to decide whether or not the marriage problem warrants a divorce or not.

Of course, no one can decide this but you.

Dominican Republic Women for Marriage

Our busy and active life styles have taken too much of our free time, so much so that we no longer have time for the small yet very important aspects of our lives, such as socializing or meeting new people. Fortunately, the Internet comes to our aid in this respect, as well as in many others. The online dating community is getting larger by the day and many people worldwide are thankful for having found their true love online. The Internet is an excellent means of finding people for all types of relationships, from friendship all the way to marriage. The World Wide Web is abundant in all sorts of dating agencies, some of which cater to all kinds of demands, while others are specialized on a particular type of services. For instance, if you are interested in meeting Dominican Republic women, you should be able to find some web sites where you can be introduced to ladies from this country, ladies who are single and looking for a relationship.

There are many reasons why men would look for women from a certain country or continent. Apart from proximity to their location, the specific culture of the country and the beauty of its women are among the most important reasons why men seek a relationship with a woman from a certain country. In our case, the Dominican Republic women are particularly sought after from their beauty and their Latin culture, which, as most of you probably already know, has something very special. There are many Dominican Republic women who are looking for a relationship with a foreign man, and they have a lot to offer. As has been said before, there are a lot of online agencies that offer a variety of services with women from all over the world. However, if you are interested in finding Dominican Republic women for marriage, it is advisable that you look for an agency that focuses on providing this kind of services. What are the advantages of using the services of a specialized and reliable agency to find Dominican Republic women for marriage? The most obvious one is the fact that you can be certain you will benefit from high quality services. The choice of ladies is your own, but it is very important that you have only the very best to choose from. An agency that strives to meet too many demands will eventually fail to provide its clients with the very best, because they usually tend to lower their standards just to be able to offer a greater variety. On the other hand, an introduction agency that specializes on Dominican Republic women and other Latin women focuses on nothing but these women, and is usually quite selective. Furthermore, men who are interested in meeting Dominican Republic women for marriage can use the services of an introduction agency to their benefit. It takes no more than viewing a catalogue of these Dominican Republic women and Latin women to find a single woman that you really like and that might turn out to be the ideal partner for you.

All in all, going online to find the ideal woman for love, a relationship or marriage is already common practice. Whatever your reasons may be for wanting to start a relationship with a Dominican Republic woman, the Internet is the best place to look for agencies that specialize in this type of service.

Marriage is packed with compromise. Personal stories, info and recommendation on a way to create your wedding robust, ways that to save lots of your wedding and recommendations on keeping …