Seven Unique Wedding Gifts for Every Happy Couple

Wedding gifts usually come down to a few typical presents every couple either registers for or expects to get, and everyone is getting tired of it (yes, the couple included). If the couple getting married hasn’t registered and you have the opportunity to be creative in choosing the gift, here are some ideas that are definitely everything but boring!

From Boyfriend to Fiancé – Is it Okay to Propose to Him?

Women don’t propose – so says our society. But guess what – you can disregard that and pop the question to him, if the timing is right and all the signs point to YES. What you may need is guidance on how to actually do it, and I’ve got some answers for you!

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

But what if he is planning to propose to me?

Maybe he is working up the courage to ask you and has plans to do so but if you beat him to the punch, don’t worry it won’t mess everything up! The best thing to do is a solid gut-check. Take a quiet evening or a weekend away to collect your thoughts and gain freedom from distractions to think this through. If you’re feeling unsure or that you’re rushing it, respect these feelings and pull back. If the timing is perfect and you feel 100% ready, go for it!

You don’t want to regret a missed opportunity!

MALE EGO

What if I lose him because I decided to propose, and he takes offense? No man who truly loves his girlfriend would refuse a proposal based solely on the fact that you decided to propose first. And if this is the case, you may want to seriously re-evaluate your relationship.

WORK UP THE COURAGE

You’re scared at the idea of asking him. The thing is, he is just as scared too! This may be the reason why he hasn’t ask you yet, because he is just as fearful of rejection as you are.

Disarm the sting of rejection by throwing away your expectations of his response. You have no control over whether he says yes or no. By having expectations of one particular answer, you work yourself up over his decision, which you have no control over.

Jim Camp, a negotiation expert, says you need to start with an invitation to say no. While his work is geared towards business, the main points ring true universally. That is, be neutral in your expectations, and most importantly, it’s okay to let him know he can respond with a no.

It is however important to express you’re looking for marriage at this stage in your relationship.

IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS 

Ah yes, now that you’ve decided to propose, you have the follow up questions. Where do I propose? Should I use a ring? What exactly do I say?

Regarding location details, model your proposal how you’d want to be proposed to. Do you two have a special place? Your first date location? The place you shared the ‘L’ word for the first time?

But what about the ring! The goal is to figure out his ring size without him knowing, which can sometimes prove to be a challenge. Check out this short guide that highlights several creative ways to measure his finger without him ever knowing why. Yes, it’s geared more toward men getting a woman’s ring size, truth is, it’ll be even easier for a woman to pull off.

And what do I say!? When it comes to the actual words, you need to make them 100% your own. It doesn’t always matter what you say exactly, it’s how you say it. Having an honest, heart felt conversation is the overall goal.

Now what are you waiting for. You’ve got this!

Money Saving Tips For Every Bride & Groom

Almost every girl from the youngest age dreams about her wedding day, and let’s be honest it’s all about the dress, the decorations, the venue, the rings, the bouquet… She grows up and those dreams turn into a pinterest board (usually private, we’re not about to scare future hubby away). But then you find your significant other get engaged and in two seconds you turn the board from private to public and start turning your pins into a reality. You begin making a list starting from the most important (the dress obviously) to the smallest details like table numbers. The expenses start to add up quickly, and this is the moment when your lifelong dream could come to a halt as you never imagined how expensive your wedding could be and to make it happen you’ll need to double or triple your budget.

STOP panicking right now and take a look at my money saving tips for every bride and groom!

The Cake 

I could advise you to DIY the cake, but that’s only an option if you happen to be a great baker or have one in your family.  Instead you can save a lot of money if you order one small but gorgeously decorated cake for the cake cutting ceremony and have a sheet cake in the kitchen of the venue to serve the guests. This will save your bank account without the sacrifice of having a beautiful cake.

The Bachelor / Bachelorette Party 

Bachelorette parties can cost a lot as well and let’s not forget about thank you presents for your bridesmaids and groomsmen. But what if I say you can combine both and save some cash. All you need is some creativity!

Let’s say you and your besties love hitting a yoga class together; why not choose some amazing yoga wear for your girls and drive to the park and enjoy your bachelorette party practicing yoga and bonding with your bridesmaids. Firstly, you’ll need that yoga practice to stop panicking and stay calm and secondly, a strong bond between you and your bridesmaids will make your wedding day much less stressful.

The same can be done for groomsmen. Get them football tickets or just arrange a game watching night at your place with a great food spread and bevies so they can relax as well. Yes, the groom and his men can panic before the wedding as well.

Cut The Full Course Meal

Don’t serve sit down food! Just don’t! Food bars and buffets can save you ton of money. Also remember that good food does not mean expensive food. You can have very tasty food bars, for example a taco bar is simply delicious, colorful and will cost very little.

DIY that Decor

Let’s talk about those beautiful breathtaking wedding decorations such as centerpieces, table numbers and so on. While going through your pins find the DIY instruction of your favorite ones. You can find all the supplies you’ll need at a local craft store and you can have your bridesmaids and family help you out with accommodating everything very easily.

Budget hint: try to choose flowers that are in season, so they’ll be much cheaper.

Beautify Yourself 

Any bride aims to look her best on her wedding day. But a makeup artist and hair stylist can be pricey. Doing your own hair and makeup should not be a problem nowadays. Surf around the web and find your most desired hair and makeup looks, hop to YouTube and start watching tutorials on that look, then try it out. Practice the look several times so you’ll be able to do it effortlessly on your big day.

Budget hint: if you don’t have the proper makeup and don’t want to spend fortune on a product you will use for one day, visit your local Sephora and ask for a sample (especially for foundations and concealers) . They give you quite enough product to try on couple of times.

Just Married

There is definitely no need to splurge when it comes it renting a car. It can cost a lot and also you are going to deal with the stress of the car being there in time, and the driver to be a good one. Just use your own car or switch cars with one of your friends or relatives, if you think it’ll look better for the wedding and just decorate it.

Re-evalute Your Guestlist

Make the decision to have a small wedding with only your closest of your friends and family. Invite people who you genuinely feel will be in your life forever. Remember everyone at your wedding will be captured in all your wedding photos.

Budget hint: You can cut plus ones from attendance 

Honeymoon House

Now when you have planned your wedding for so many days, months…years , it’s time to have some fun as newlyweds, but traveling can break the bank. There are things you can do in order to have an amazing start to your marriage with spending a little less. The most money saving tip for traveling is to ditch hotels and rent a house. This is also amazing as you’ll have no one there to disturb you. Find something you like through a website like Airbnb , book it and just pack all the things you’ll need while traveling. Bon Voyage!

At the end just remember that your wedding is a day of celebrating your love towards each other, and that shouldn’t have to come with a huge check.

Do you have any wedding day money saving tips?! We want to know – comment below!

I Met My Wife Through ‘Meet Me’ on POF

Every day at PlentyOfFish we have the pleasure of reading stories from couples who found their special someone on our site.

Today we would like to introduce you to Mr. & Mrs. Robins!

Bevis Robins had been on and off PlentyOfFish for a couple of years. He logged on for certain weeks at a time and went on a few dates here and there, but nothing too serious…that was until he click yes to a pretty girl on ‘Meet Me’ from Barnstable, which happened to be 80 miles away from his current location.

Is Routine Ruining Your Relationship?

Life can get pretty busy at times, especially if you are working full time, managing children and trying to have a social life in between. Having some routine is important as it helps keep everything functioning properly, builds consistency and also gives us a little peace of mind. However when our schedules start to take priority over our love life it can be incredibly detrimental to our relationship and often we won’t even know it has happened until it has taken its toll. Here are several issues that occur when you allow repetitive habits to navigate your relationship:

You lose spontaneity

Everything becomes predictable when routine takes over, and this means we lose the element of surprise and joy. Try to organize something out of the ordinary once a week, whether it’s a date night or a new activity together.

Life has become stagnate

When your relationship becomes stagnate you hinder growth and progress. Keep it fresh by setting new goals and challenges weekly.

Complacency has set in

The danger of complacency is that we begin to have an “I-don’t-care” attitude, which allows for all sort of issues to start seeping in. Make sure you are both still conscious of your thoughts, words and actions so that you can work on building new life into your relationship.

Temptation increases

When routine takes over we tend to feel less satisfied emotionally and physically and this could eventually make us want to crave those unfulfilled desires from someone else.

Intimacy gets lost

When our relationship is too controlled and predictable we usually tend to lose intimacy not only physically but also emotionally and mentally. Keep your connection strong by making the effort to be affectionate and spend quality time together.

Communication breaks down

If you are both turning into robots (not literally!) then chances are your communication has started to become more shallow and infrequent. Take the time to have real, in depth one on one talks with another whereby you discuss your feelings, emotions, expectations and needs.

Frustration turns into conflict

Too much routine in your life and relationship will essentially lead to a lot of lack, which in turn makes us frustrated, restless and angry. Get rid of the tension by mixing things up, talking more and creating fun and different activities in your life which creates new memories and causes you to grow more intimate with one another.

 

relationship routine

Online Dating Behavior That Leads To Marriage

“How do you know when you’ve found The One?”

It may be the same old question, but in 2016, the interpretation has evolved some. Sure, The One can be the person who makes you dream of marriage and babies, but it can also be the person who makes you temporarily stop swiping left. Its 2016, and The One can be The One for right now.

Either way, when it comes to decisions concerning our love lives, we’re often looking for some sort of sign (or reassurance) that we’re on the right track.

Knowing this, PlentyOfFish surveyed more than 1100 former PlentyOfFish users who married someone they met on the site to gain insight into the specific behavior – both online and offline, that means you’re headed for a relationship of the serious variety.

The right first moves:

We decided to ask our married couples about the content of the first message their partner sent them online, and the answers were pretty surprising. In fact, 35% of married women actually contacted their current partner first, serving as inspiration for women who are still on the fence when it comes to making the first move.

The majority of respondents who received the first message from their partner reported them mentioning something specific from their profile that caught their eye.

The second most common message? An underwhelming, “Hey, what’s up?”, basically confirming that yes, your future husband may be lost in the sea of generic messages that is your inbox. At least give him until the second or third message to pique your interest before you write him off completely.

Question: What did the first online message from your partner entail?

I messaged them first! 39.63%
They highlighted something in my profile that caught my eye 16.59%
They told a funny joke or story 2.89%
A generic, “Hey, what’s up?” greeting 14.75%
They complimented my profile images 7.71%
They asked me something about myself 8.68%
They brought up mutual interests 7.62%
We met using MeetMe 2.12%

The right feeling:

Almost 1 in 5 men reported falling in love with their current partner at first sight, and were smitten faster than their female counterparts.

Since the vast majority of the married respondents also believed in soulmates, we wanted to know what it was that made someone one. It turns out, the most important indicators were sharing similar beliefs, considering your partner your best friend, and sharing a connection you can’t explain.

Question: What’s the top trait that makes someone your soulmate?

Mutual attraction 1.79%
Honesty/loyalty 10.47%
They make you laugh 4.11%
You share similar interests 1.43%
You share similar beliefs and core values 14.49%
They put your needs before their own 2.15%
They’re your best friend 23.70%
You share a connection you can’t explain 41.86%

In the end, the most important underlying point from the findings is that singles should stick with it when it comes to dating. All of our couples who met on PlentyOfFish were once going through the ups and downs of looking for love as well.

Question: What is the best piece of advice you wish someone had told you when you were dating online?

It will all be worth it in the end 23.18%
Send and reply to more messages 4.44%
Forget about having a “type” and follow your heart 43.98%
Allow yourself to have fun 22.49%
Say “Yes” to more dates 5.92%

Some people know immediately when they’ve found the right person, and for others, it takes a while. Open your mind and look past an underwhelming first message, or a preconceived “type” of person you want to date – you may surprise yourself!

It’s Never Too Late To Find Love

Every day at PlentyOfFish, we receive multiple emails from happy couples who, once upon a time, met on our site. Each month on the blog, we will highlight some of our favorite love stories.

Today I would like to share the heartwarming story of Terri and Paul, who found true love later in life!

The Power Of Intuition In Your Love Life

Would it surprise you to know science backs intuition as a source of valuable inner wisdom? A few years ago, I would’ve thought the same. Yet intuition is real—and scientifically confirmed. Seated in the right hemisphere, or half, of the brain, intuition is knowing without factual proof.

In experiments with people who’ve had surgery that keeps their right and left hemispheres from communicating (done to control the spread of electricity that can worsen epilepsy), people do curious things. For instance, if the right hemisphere is exposed to the word “sun” and the left half experiences the word “dial,” they’re only conscious of having experienced “dial.” But when asked to draw a picture with their left hand—which is connected to the right hemisphere—they draw a sun. The right half knows. It just can’t directly say so, because it’s non-conscious.

Intuition probably exists to save us; the biggest threat to most people is other people. We are each other’s heaven and hell. Have you ever had the feeling that a nearby stranger would harm you, given the chance? Don’t investigate—leave! The cost of being wrong and leaving is low; the cost of being right and ignoring your gut is potentially disastrous. Intuition is particularly accurate in areas where we have lots of expertise or experience. And I suspect it also works best in scenarios that would have been vital to our ancestors’ survival and reproduction—like mate selection. Our intuition can tell us we’re with the Wrong partner. It might not be an emergency; still, the voiceless voice is there.

I’ve had this happen twice. The first time, I was engaged. My intuition gradually escalated its alarm, from anxiety to panic attacks to a dream where the voice became conscious: “You must not marry this man!” I left—and all symptoms of anxiety left too. The second time was less dramatic, but no less important. I had gotten fairly involved with a man who seemed perfect in many ways—except he wasn’t kind. He wasn’t mean, exactly; but he didn’t have warmth or caring in him, and his smiles didn’t reach all the way up to his eyes. I could never make a life with someone like that. My intuition warned me from the first date, and I should have listened then. But it kept piping up, and I got out after a few months.

Why aren’t we better at listening to our intuition? Dr. Brené Brown points out that “most of us are not very good at not knowing.” We aren’t good at following what our intuitive right-brain tells us, because our intuitive right-brain does not offer proof—just hunches. Dr. Brown continues, “What silences our intuitive voice is our need for certainty.”
My intuitive voice wasn’t silenced; but I definitely overrode it, and I did so because I wanted proof. What do you do when you feel unclear about someone? If you’re like me, you ask your friends for their opinion. But your right brain does not care about others’ opinions. It cares about protecting you. Listen.

My intuition usually told me, fairly directly, to leave. Yours might tell you to slow down and learn more about this person. Diane was proposed to by a very wealthy man. Her intuition told her something was wrong—and she honored it. By gathering more information, she learned her would-be fiancé didn’t want to support her or her children; she found that even if she did marry this man, she was still on her own. By listening to her intuitive direction to learn more, she prevented what she later told me would have been certain divorce.

In my experience, Diane was braver than most. I know there were times I actively suppressed my own inner knowing because I was tired of looking. I wanted this to be the Right relationship, whether or not it really was. A lot of people hide from the truth to avoid immediate pain, instead of digging out the truth to prevent eventual pain. I think that’s a big part of what silences intuition in dating: We want this one to be The One, so we keep our eyes half-lidded just when we need them wide-open. Remember that you are still investigating this person until you get married.
A sense of fairness also motivates some folks to hide from their intuitive truth. This was me to a T. Is it okay to condemn someone to being cast out of your life when you have no factual evidence that they’ve done—or will do—anything wrong?

This is a good place to remind you that when we’re dating, we aren’t in a court of law. We don’t have to prove anyone guilty beyond the shadow of a doubt; we don’t have to be absolutely certain, or have any proof whatsoever. Dr. Helen Fisher said it perfectly: “Love isn’t about fairness, it’s about winning.” This is dating—you can leave just because you want to. You can leave just because you need to. You can leave just because your gut tells you to. Fairness does not enter into it, and your commitment should not be marital until you are married.
Don’t guilt-trip yourself to the altar, only to stumble in the biggest decision of your life! Embrace your right brain; find your right partner.

Duana C. Welch, Ph.D., is the author of Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do; this is a partial excerpt, copyrighted by the author. For more information and a free chapter, visit http://www.lovefactually.co