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10 Tips to Plan Your Wedding in Style

10 Tips to Plan Your Wedding in Style

So, you’re engaged — congratulations! Now the only thing between you and happily ever after is planning the big day. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different pieces of the wedding puzzle, but these tips will be sure to save you some stress!

1. Budget

In addition to setting an overall amount that you’re willing to spend on the wedding, you need to break the budget down so you know how much you can afford to spend on individual pieces like the reception or the venue. A good rule of thumb is to allot half of your budget to the reception and another 10 percent each for flowers, attire, music and entertainment, photographs, and invitations and gifts. Also, be sure to leave some leeway for extra expenses that could pop up unexpectedly along the way.

2. Organization

Whether you decide to use a wedding planning application, track everything through Google spreadsheets, or go old school and store your notes and plans together in one big binder, you need to keep track of everything you plan and store the information in one central location. This is good for your sake when you want to double check how many invitations you ordered or exactly when you told the caterers to show up, and it also means that you have proof of any agreements just in case.

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3. Schedule

Once you’ve figured out a budget and a method for tracking your expenses and plans, you’re ready to start laying out a timeline of events. Save yourself the headache of having too much to decide too close to the wedding by setting smaller deadlines along the way for things like hiring your caterer or booking the band.

4. Guests

When determining who to include on your guest list, prioritization is key. Create a list with most important family members and closest friends at the top and neighbors, coworkers, and other less crucial people at the bottom. Then cross names off starting at the bottom of the list until you’ve reached a comfortable number. And remember, often a quarter to a third of the guests you invite won’t be able to come anyway.

But don’t worry too much if the final number ends up a little higher than you were hoping — at least you can be happy knowing how many of your friends and family cared enough to make your big day a priority!

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5. Vendors

When it comes time to choose vendors, be sure you’re paying attention to the people you’re hiring, not just the product. If you find a caterer who cooks amazing food but who is totally unwilling to budge on small details, don’t hire them! You want people who you can trust to have your back and help make your wedding go smoothly.

6. Dress

If you’re like many brides, you’ve been imagining your wedding dress for ages. Don’t let that perfect image in your mind keep you from shopping around in reality, though. Try on a lot of dresses and visit a lot of stores. You never know what you’ll find — the perfect dress may end up being something totally different from what you were picturing initially.

7. Gifts

The gift registry is an important way to make sure your guests know what to get you so that you get things you actually want and need, but not everybody wants new kitchen appliances or household items. If that’s you — don’t worry! There are plenty of less traditional gift registries out there, from honeymoon funds to charitable donation plans. Search around a bit to make sure you find a way to get gifts that you’ll appreciate and that your guests will feel good about giving.

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8. Honeymoon

You want your honeymoon to be exciting, relaxing, and special, but with all of the wedding planning to take care of beforehand, you might feel overwhelmed trying to plan the honeymoon, too. One increasingly popular way to get around this problem is to postpone your honeymoon by a few months to give yourself time to recuperate and focus on the honeymoon itself. Definitely consider this option if your nerves or your finances are feeling the strain of wedding planning.

9. The Day-of

Even after all of the details you’ve taken care of in advance, from arranging vendors to booking hotel rooms to putting together gift bags, there are still a number of things you simply can’t take care of until the big day arrives. From doing your hair and makeup to greeting your guests, you’ll have your hands full from dawn ‘til dusk on your big day. To ensure that you have time for everything, schedule the whole day in advance and make sure to hand off any responsibilities you can to a trusted member of the wedding team.

10. Relax

Even if you’ve only just gotten engaged and haven’t really started the planning process, the mere thought of all the pieces you somehow have to put together to make this wedding happen could be getting to you. Don’t worry! Really, this is supposed to be a special day celebrating your happy union. Whenever the stress starts getting to you, focus on that and let the little details zoom back into perspective. No matter what, at the end of the big day you’ll be happily married and surrounded by friends and family.

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There are a million different ways to plan a wedding, from a tiny ceremony to a giant, fancy party to an exotic destination. When you’re planning yours, don’t feel like you have to conform to anyone else’s expectations. Stay true to what you want and that will make all of the effort way more fun and worthwhile.

Featured photo credit: fotomelia via fotomelia.com

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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