You’re Engaged… Now What?


A Mini Timeline To Help You Start Planning

So your significant other popped the question… or maybe you did. Once the shock has worn off it’s time to start thinking of a game plan for the wedding. It may be hard to figure out the best course of action, but luckily we created this mini timeline including essential steps to take to get you started!

Step 1: Make your announcement

Of course, you want to let your close family and friends know the news before anyone else. The last thing you would want is the unnecessary drama of your brother-in-law seeing the announcement on Facebook before you had a chance to tell him yourself. Once you let them know, it’s time to let your extended loved ones know. There are a variety of ways to make your announcement from a simple post on social media to sending formal cards the old fashion way. Once this step is complete, you’ll probably be fielding a bunch of questions about wedding details so, it might be a good idea to have answers to the typical questions someone might ask such as, when and where.

Step 2: Determine a budget

You can’t plan a wedding until you and your significant other determine the budget. The old tradition of the bride’s parents paying for the wedding’s cost is pretty outdated. Sit down with both sets of parents to see if they’d like to contribute, and if so, how much. Or if you’d prefer to cover the costs on your own, look at your finances and where you have the extra money.

Step 3: Start thinking of a date and a location

You probably won’t know the exact date of your wedding until after you get engaged unless you’re a couple that has had a date in mind since you first met. Either way, it’s good to start planning and doing research on the best time and location that will work for both of you. If you’re trying to plan a large, extravagant wedding, giving yourself a year or two is a good idea as trying to plan in a shorter period of time could cause a lot of stress which no one ever wants. If you’re a quick planner and work well under pressure, a smaller more intimate wedding could be planned within a year.

Step 4: Who will be in your wedding party?

Some of us have known who our maid of honour will be since we were little kids, but others may not. The maximum number of people in your wedding party realistically should be no more than five, however, if you can physically and mentally handle more than that then more power to you. A large wedding party can sometimes be overwhelming and expensive. If you’re having trouble choosing who should be your maid of honour, it’s become more common to actually have two maids of honour or a maid of honour and matron of honour. Choose a wedding party based off of what works for you personally.

Step 5: Who do you want at your wedding?

Figuring out your guest list might be the hardest part of the wedding planning process. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but you also want to make sure that your wedding is personal to you and your significant other. Think about what’s best for the two of you. Does the friend of your work friend who you just met a month ago need to be invited? Probably not. Start by each of you making a list of who you need to be there. Come together and compare lists, then go from there.

Step 6: Register

Once you’ve sent out your guest invites, it’s time to register for wedding gifts! This will make it easier for your guests to find what you need as a couple and to ensure you don’t receive any duplicates. Wedding registries have changed over the years with more couples living together before marriage, and luckily there are plenty of nontraditional registry options and custom wedding gifts to choose from.

Step 7: Order your dress

It can take months for your wedding dress alterations to be complete. It’s important to go dress shopping early to find the right one and assure that it’s ready in time. If you don’t have enough time to wait for a dress to be made, try buying a sample from a retailer or off the rack. Regardless of where you get it from, make sure you give yourself enough time to find the dress that fits your style and have fun doing it!

Step 8: Book the caterer, photographer and music

These three details are a few of the most important wedding essentials. Finding the right caterer, photographer and music choice will take some time and attention. Designate specific time during the early months of your engagement to do the research and find the right choices for you. Once these are booked, you’ll have a weight lifted off your shoulders and be able to focus on the finer wedding details (like the decor).

Step 9: Order wedding bands

A fun step in the wedding planning process is shopping for wedding bands. Many couples shop together to pick out what kind of band they would like. Many brides now actually send their engagement ring out before the wedding to be fused with their wedding band.

Step 10: Nail down a beauty regimen

It’s important to solidify a beauty routine that works for you to ensure that you feel and look your best by your wedding day. Many brides-to-be get monthly facials leading up to their wedding to give themselves beautiful, clear skin. If you’re looking to introduce new products into your skincare routine, be sure to try them well before your wedding in case of a negative reaction. As for hair, it’s important to begin taking care of it early on. Doing hair masks, taking biotin supplements, and getting regular haircuts will give you the healthiest hair result.

Step 11: Book your honeymoon

A great part of weddings is the honeymoon to follow! Make sure you arrange with work early enough to get the time off and book a place in advance. Going through a travel agent might be helpful for this part, as they can help determine the best places to go to and things to do!

5 Changes for a Happier, Healthier You


Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday! With every New Year comes the expectation of renewed excitement and reignited passion for the things we gradually forgot we cared about over the course of the year before.

The most common resolutions seen every January focus on healthy eating, losing weight and being a more productive person in general as soon as the 1st comes along. The fads are everywhere: Dry January, No-spend January, New Year New Me, and the list goes on.

Fact is, it doesn’t matter the time of year, switching your habits cold turkey is simply not the most efficient way to create an effective and lasting lifestyle change. Instead, try these simple alterations to your daily routine that will put you on the right track this year.

Here are 5 small changes you can make today to become a happier, healthier you:

  1. Drink more water
    Next time you’re feeling the need to refresh, take a pass on the pop or juice and reach for water instead. I recommend purchasing a reusable water bottle that can fit in your bag and be with you at all times.
  2. Keep a food journal
    If one of your goals this year is to start eating healthier, don’t just throw out all your junk food and rush to the grocery store to stock up on fruits and veg. A better way to eat healthily is to be aware of what and how much you consume on a daily basis. Once you have an understanding of your typical eating habits, it’s much easier to see where adjustments and improvements should be made.
  3. Save spare change
    Spending zero money for an entire month sounds pretty fantastic but is it actually reasonable? What happens when you’re faced with an unexpected charge? Do you start over or give up? Disappoint yourself or lie to yourself? Instead, I suggest you switch tactics. Anytime you get change back from a purchase, save it! At the end of the month or year, crack open your money box and see how much you have!
    Tip: you can do this electronically as well by transferring spare dollars and cents to a savings account.
  4. Take short walking breaks
    Getting exercise in the winter is hard. The urge to hibernate under a pile of warm blankets and not move until spring is almost too much to resist. Still, physical activity is vital to our overall health. If you sit at a desk most days, be sure to stretch your legs for at least 5 minutes every hour.
  5. Meditate
    Your mental state is just as important as your physical health so make sure you’re focused on both! If you’ve never tried meditating before, there’s no better time to get started than right now. There are even a few handy apps that will make the process seamless for beginners.

Make 2019 the Year of Self-Gifting


It’s far too easy to forget our most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves. After the craziness of the holiday season, it’s necessary to take a step back from making everyone around you happy and focus a little bit more on yourself. Whether you want to call it self-love, self-care or as I like to say – self-gifting – the fact is we all need to contemplate whether we are giving ourselves just as much as we give others, so what better time to do this than the start of a new year?

And no, I don’t mean self-gifting in the sense of reckless spending when you blow your savings, feel good today but worse tomorrow cause now you have to choose between eating and putting gas in your car for the next month. There are certainly times I will advocate for the treat-yo-self movement, but what I actually mean by self-gifting can be narrowed down to the Four Rs of the New Year: Relaxation, Reflection, Reassessment and Rejuvenation.

So put down the phone (unless that’s how you’re reading this, of course), turn up some music, pour a glass of wine and let’s get down to the business of you.

Congrats, you survived the holidays! Take a second to breathe a sigh of relief and pat yourself on the back because you made it through (somewhat) unscathed. Rest is probably at the top of your to-do list and I definitely don’t blame you. You deserve a break after making sure your halls were decked, gifts were bought/wrapped under the tree and Christmas dinner was perfectly prepared to put the entire family into a peaceful food coma. But more than that, what you need is the chance to actually sit back and relax. Like, really relax. I’m talking pampering, trashy television shows, a little (moderation is key) alcohol or anything that will help you to stop stressing for one precious moment before the walls of reality start to close in.

Once you’ve had a chance to relax, you can start to reflect on the year gone by and the year ahead. Did you accomplish everything you wanted to? If yes, that’s amazing! If not, that’s amazing too! You know why? Cause personal growth doesn’t have a deadline. It’s an ongoing process that should never feel like work or a chore because investing in yourself is the greatest decision you can make. And anytime you have a chance to better yourself, you should also celebrate yourself because how great are you for realizing you could be even greater, and taking steps to get there. Your accomplishments are yours, and you should feel proud. Announce them to the world with an engraved necklace or bracelet that says just how awesome you are. Not only is engraved jewellery a way to remember, but also a cute way to keep yourself motivated.

You know the feeling of euphoria that comes with finding the perfect gift for someone in your life? When you’re so excited to see their reaction that it becomes all you can think about? Now, imagine making yourself feel that way every single day. Sounds pretty damn incredible, right? So my advice to you is at least once a month makes sure you surprise yourself with a well-deserved treat or token of appreciation just for being the awesome person that you are. Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers, send yourself a love letter or prepare a candlelight dinner for one. Love requires dedication so, this year, be more dedicated to loving yourself.

Whatever your mantra is this year, consider how to reinforce that statement in your daily life. One idea I absolutely love is embroidering your goals on a personal item like a pillow or throw. It’s a constant reminder that doubles as home décor, adding a touch of positivity to your routine and your personal space! I don’t know about you, but when I see an inspirational quote, I can’t help but feel ready to take on the world. So surround yourself with good vibes and life will naturally fall into place.

Self-care isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Likewise, self-gifting is more than buying yourself the occasional present. It takes time and consideration to train your brain into treating yourself with the same care you show others. So in 2019, make yourself your main priority. Do what makes you happy, whether it’s going on that spontaneous trip, buying the expensive bag or simply taking a day for yourself. And remember, always be kind, to others and yourself.


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