Part II: Sarah on the Importance of Premarital Relationship Coaching

Part II: Sarah on the Importance of Premarital Relationship Coaching

Our newest Muse, Sarah Oswald, is not only an officiant she’s a compassionate couples coach. Through her Premarital Coaching, she supports couples in building a solid foundation for the life that they’re beginning to create on their wedding day. 

Setting Your Bridal Party Up for Success

Setting Your Bridal Party Up for Success

Let's get real about the trials and tribulations of selecting your Maid of Honor.

Customarily, a bridal party consists of one bride, one maid or matron of honor and a handful of bridesmaids. These days…

Spring Has Sprung, and Love Is A-Bloomin'

Spring Has Sprung, and Love Is A-Bloomin'

Spring has finally sprung! But it isn't just flowers… Love is a-bloomin', too. Spring is the season of new life, which makes it one of the most beautiful times of year to host a wedding or renew your vows.

Here are just a few ways to incorporate this season of love into your nuptials…

What Every Groom-to-be Should Know About Weddings

What Every Groom-to-be Should Know About Weddings

While traditionally the bride’s family pays for the wedding, that doesn’t mean the groom and his family are completely off the hook. In addition to paying for the rehearsal dinner, did you know it’s custom for the groom to pay for transportation and flowers?

Peek Inside: Quotes on Love from our Favorite Disney Movies

Peek Inside: Quotes on Love from our Favorite Disney Movies

“A dream is a wish your heart makes”… whether you’re dreaming of a classic line from Cinderella or something a little more modern from the likes of Tangled or Up, we’ve got you covered with our favorite quotes on love from some of our most beloved Disney movies.

Why a Winter Wedding is Wonderful

Why a Winter Wedding is Wonderful

Amidst the bleak and cold, in a season where lesser things shrivel and die, love thrives. It's a romantic idea in a peaceful season… with the added benefit of stunning photography backgrounds and inexpensive accommodations.

Read on for a few things that make winter weddings so perfect…

Peek Inside: 10 Wedding Readings for Couples Who Love the English Language

Peek Inside: 10 Wedding Readings for Couples Who Love the English Language

Do you love the sound of the English language? Whether you’re a certified logophile or can simply appreciate a well-crafted sentence, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite lyrical readings into one download.

A Halloween Wedding to Die For

A Halloween Wedding to Die For

There's something idyllic about gothic castles and fog rolling across an overgrown cemetery. This time of year there are so many classic Halloween touches you can add to your nuptials to capture all of the spooky and all of the gothic chic with none of the boring cliché!

Take back the night with a bewitching Halloween wedding!

Real Brides Speak: Out-of-State Weddings Made Easy

Real Brides Speak: Out-of-State Weddings Made Easy

In the second installment of our "Real Brides Speak" series, we talk to four women from across the country about their experiences planning out-of-state (and out of the country!) weddings. 

To Have and to Register

To Have and to Register

Sometimes, one's enthusiasm for price guns leads to a towering display case of chinaware crashing down in the middle of a Macy's champagne wedding registry event.

And sometimes, that means traditional registries aren't for you. But you have options…

Bound by Love, Law, and a Lengthy Name Change Process

Bound by Love, Law, and a Lengthy Name Change Process

For most of history, the decision to change your name—or not—after marriage wasn't a decision at all. It was assumed that a woman would adopt her husband's name…But now, in many circles, the answer comes only after a lot of soul searching.


Real Brides Speak: The Biggest Challenges to Planning a 21st Century Wedding

Real Brides Speak:  The Biggest Challenges to Planning a 21st Century Wedding

Weddings are hard…er, fun! Well, fun and hard. As you likely know, no wedding comes without its own set of challenges. So we asked five brides nationwide what hurdles they came up against…

Make Magic During Your Wedding Toast With the Vow Muse Disney-Themed Wedding Speech Kit

Make Magic During Your Wedding Toast With the Vow Muse Disney-Themed Wedding Speech Kit

Wedding season is in full swing — you have the bridesmaids dress and heels in the closest to prove it. But you don’t have the wedding-toast your BFF deserves. Enter Vow Muse and our Disney-Themed Wedding Speech kit.

The Wedding Basics, Step Two: The Budget

The Wedding Basics, Step Two: The Budget

So, your guest list is finished! Now you have to start thinking about the money.We know, that almost made you close your browser, right? This is no one’s favorite topic. But we promise you’ll feel so much better once you’ve got all the numbers nailed down! Here’s how to land on your final budget without running away screaming.

Wedding Planning Basics, Step One: The Guest List

Wedding Planning Basics, Step One: The Guest List

So you got engaged, you and your fiancé have spent a couple weeks basking in the glow of happiness, and now you’re coming out of the haze and realizing you need to plan a wedding (did anyone else just think, Oh, sugar?) While I’m sure there are five dozen different ways to take a concrete first step, I’m going to definitively declare a clear winner here:

How to elope: four steps to making it happen without hurting everyone’s feelings

How to elope: four steps to making it happen without hurting everyone’s feelings

My older brother and his wife considered eloping. They talked to their families and friends about it, and everyone had pretty much the same reaction: we’d all understand and support them, and we’d all have our feelings hurt. They weighed the pros and cons, and wound up

The great compromise: wedding planning

Every once in a great while, I hear about engaged couples who have the exact same vision for their wedding. For them, planning just means getting all the vendors booked (no small task in itself). And then there’s the rest of us.Wedding planning, in my experience, is a giant series of compromises.

I now pronounce thee overwhelmed

My husband and I think about almost everything in exact opposite terms. We’re on the same page for all the really important stuff — what we want out of life, what joy we find in new adventures, whether we want kids, and how much Netflix is too much Netflix (answer: no amount). Generally, it’s something we both enjoy about our relationship, but the wedding brought into focus how much we could differ on really simple questions. Here’s a partial list:

Big or small wedding?

Long or short ceremony?

Religious or non-denominational?

Get married inside or outside?

Should we have a first dance?

Should we see each other before the ceremony?

Do we want flowers as centerpieces?

Are we fine with the black folding chairs the venue provides or should we rent different ones?

Write our own vows or not?

How many people in the wedding party?

And here’s the complete list of things we agreed on right off the bat:

Do we want cake? (Yep.)

How many flavors of cake? (Three.)

Cake tasting was definitely our strong point in the whole process.

But outside of dessert, we knew right away we’d need to have a lot of long, emotional conversations about everything in the wedding. Around the point that we got to “wow, we both have really strong feelings about chairs,” I was so. Done.

chairs

chairs

How to compromise when you both have strong opinions

Our saving grace as we moved through the wedding was this question: Who cares most about this?

He cared most about chairs. I cared most about centerpieces. Sometimes the small details meant the most to our families; my mom definitely cared most about whether or not I walked down a traditional aisle, and his cared the most about having a brunch the day after the wedding.

It didn’t mean we were suddenly able to relinquish the things with grace and let someone else handle it since it clearly held more meaning for them, but it got easier with time, and eventually, it even felt great to let go of some stuff, and to give myself permission to let someone else care about certain details instead.

But sometimes, the simple truth was that we both cared exactly the same amount.

“And” instead of “or”

I’m not religious. My husband is.

I tried really, really hard to get comfortable having a religious ceremony because it was important to him.

But about six months before the wedding, I realized I was never going to be okay with it. I felt like I wasn’t being represented, because even though I don’t have religious beliefs, I still have beliefs about our life together and our relationship, and I wanted those to be discussed, too.

So when it became clear that I’d be unhappy having a religious ceremony and he’d be unhappy not having a religious ceremony, we just…decided to have both.

A lot of couples in our situation wind up having two ceremonies, usually accompanied by a break between them and an outfit change. But we had this vision of one ceremony with two officiants, combining everything that was important to us. That’s actually how I first met Vow Muse, and we sat down with them for a couple hours outlining everything we needed to have happen. They worked with our religious officiant to blend things together seamlessly. When I first read the ceremony draft they’d created, a weight lifted off me. I felt so much better, and so much more represented, and overall our ceremony just really felt like us.

It went so well, we wondered why we hadn’t just been doing what we both wanted all along. Though, admittedly, I’m not sure this strategy would have worked as well with the chairs situation. Overall for us, it meant a less traditional wedding, but also a way more personal one, and in the end, that’s what really mattered to us: that we felt like ourselves.

What are the big compromises you’re making or have made? Was anyone else really surprised that their partner cared so much about chairs? (I just really didn’t see that coming, guys.) Give us your best tips!