wedding

Considering DIY Invitations? Follow These Tips for Success
Taking on a task like DIY invitations requires a bit of forethought. Look over these suggestions and find the best possible way to do your invites yourself!

Taking on a task like DIY invitations requires a bit of forethought. Look over these suggestions and find the best possible way to do your invites yourself!

Weddings can cost an arm and a leg. For this reason, plenty of couples search for helpful ways to cut corners and save money throughout the process. Over the last decade or so, the idea of the “DIY wedding” has become somewhat popular. While you might not be able to do everything yourself, there are certain key elements that you can easily take on. Your wedding invitations, for example, might be an ideal DIY project, as creating them yourself can both help save some money and give you total control over what your invitations will look like.

Taking on a task like DIY invitations requires a bit of forethought. Look over these suggestions and find the best possible way to do your invites yourself!

Know All the Details

Invitations are important for a number of reasons. For the happy couple, they help to keep tabs on how many people have been invited to the event and how many people plan on attending. For the guests, however, they are responsible for providing a great deal of vital information related to the event. This includes the date, location, directions, and anything else the couple would like to share. Before you can make your invitations, you need to be sure you have all of these details set in stone and ready to share.

Figuring out the specifics takes a little time, but you should have them solidified somewhat early in the planning process. Beyond the information presented, you also want to have a few aesthetic ideas locked and loaded. Most couples opt to have their invitations reflect the “design theme” of their wedding. For example, if you plan on having the color blue featured in the decor at your venue, try to work this particular shade of blue into the invites to help create a more cohesive visual theme.

Space and Design of the Invitations

While being able to design your own invitations can be a huge help when it comes to your finances, there is also a good amount of work involved. After you’ve decided on a theme and have all your information ready to go, you need to think about how you would like to word the invitation. This can be tricky, especially because you only have so much space to work with. In order to avoid overcrowding the card with text, print out a sample on your home computer and see how the text reads.

You are also going to need to take RSVPs into consideration. Many couples include self-addressed envelopes for guests to mail back with their RSVP information. If this isn’t in your budget, don’t feel like you absolutely must include this envelope. To save money and time, you may want to offer guests the chance to RSVP by phone, through email, or online. The RSVP information exists so you have an easier time knowing how many guests to anticipate at your event, so find a method that makes the most sense for you and your partner.

Get an Early Start

Finally, you want to get as early a start as possible on creating your invitations. The moment you have information like the date and venue ready to go, you can begin making a template of what you’d like the invites to look like. The sooner you begin, the sooner you can get the completed product in the mail and hear back from guests about how many heads to expect. Starting early also gives you plenty of room for trial and error, which can be a huge help when you have little or no experience with design.

Creating your own invitations for your wedding can be a great way to limit your spending and save a small chunk of change. Explore your options, and see what you can accomplish with your own creative mind.

A Guide To Handling Children at Your Wedding

Deciding whether to invite children to your wedding is a personal choice. Having a plan in place to keep them engaged can make a world of difference.

Children can be wonderful to have around. There’s something invigorating about the boundless energy and genuine laughter of little ones. Of course, kids can also be a huge headache, as most parents can attest to. While it is commonplace for couples to exclude kids from their wedding guest lists, there are plenty of scenarios where children are invited. If you are planning for your wedding and are curious about how to keep kids under control during the event, now is a perfect time to start exploring some ideas for crowd control.

When the day of your wedding arrives, you don’t want to be distracted by children who are bored and restless. Consider these ideas, and find the right balance for your big day.

Simple Entertainment  

In a perfect world, children would attend a wedding and understand they are supposed to behave in a specific manner. Of course, this is far from reality. In truth, kids will become distracted quite easily by all of the rituals and slow-paced traditions that pepper most ceremonies. Without taking the proper precautions, it won’t take long for the little ones to start finding their own entertainment. Usually, this means the kids will begin running around, causing disruptions, and acting in the typical ways that most children do when left to their own devices.

Thankfully, you don’t need to do much to keep children entertained at your wedding. One great idea that tends to work wonders is providing a place for kids to sit down and color. Offer coloring books, blank pieces of paper, and plenty of crayons, and you won’t need to worry about boredom taking over the kids anytime soon. You may also want to think about providing a board game or two, as well as simple snacks that will keep all the little ones happily seated together without feeling the need to run off looking for trouble.

Snack and Snooze

Pacing the meals appropriately is also a good idea to think about when children will be in attendance at your wedding. Adults and children eat at remarkably different paces. While the average grownup won’t have a problem with waiting between courses, a child usually will want to leave the table when he or she is done with whatever has been provided already. Try and arrange with the vendors to have meals delivered to children first, so that the adults can eat at a leisurely pace without worrying about the kids the entire time.

It can also be a good idea to make arrangements for a place where some of the little ones can take a nap. Depending on the ages you’re working with, it is pretty common for a child to need to rest after indulging in a big meal or dancing for several hours with the adults. Having a separate room where children can go to sleep for a bit under the watchful eyes of the adults can be a great way to keep the peace and prevent any cranky tantrums caused by tired kids.

Professional Help

Hiring a professional sitter might also be a great move for your wedding. Having a trained expert nearby to watch the kids throughout the night allows the adults the freedom to enjoy the wedding without being constantly distracted. This is definitely a good idea when you know there will be a number of children present. Keep the peace and allow everyone the chance to have a good time on your big day by taking this precaution.

Deciding whether to invite children to your wedding is a personal choice; however, should you choose to include youngsters, have a plan in place to keep them engaged. Provide child-friendly entertainment, offer foods and beverages kids will enjoy, and consider hiring a professional sitter to give the parents a break.

A Guide To Hosting a Bridal Shower
Preparing to throw a bridal shower? Take a look at some of these common questions people have when first putting together a bridal shower.

Preparing to throw a bridal shower? Take a look at some of these common questions people have when first putting together a bridal shower.

When a close friend or relative decides to task you with the responsibility of putting together a bridal shower, it can be a big honor. You want to make sure you throw an event that will satisfy the happy couple without straying too far from their sensibilities. Of course, there are also a lot of tasks associated with this kind of event. If you’ve never had to throw a party like this before, you might not be sure how to get things going. Thankfully, a bridal shower is far from an impossible task to accomplish.

Take a look at some of these common questions people have when first putting together a bridal shower. Learning these answers early can help you throw a fantastic event to celebrate the happy couple.

Inviting the Right People

One of the most difficult things you’ll have to figure out is who to invite to the shower. The couple most likely will be spending a ridiculous amount of time ironing out the details of the wedding guest list, which means you can’t just invite anyone to this party. The biggest rule to remember for invitations is that you should not be inviting anyone to the shower who will not be receiving an invitation to the wedding itself. The best way to avoid this mistake is by coordinating with the couple and figuring out exactly who they would like invited.

Depending on how close you are to the nearlyweds, you might be able to simply use your best judgment with the invitations. When you already know their friends and family members, you most likely will have a good idea of who should be receiving an invitation. When you aren’t sure, reach out and try to get some more information. Don’t guess when you aren’t positive, as you might wind up making an awkward error. It also is a good idea to try and keep the event small, as you are probably paying for it.

All in the Timing

You also may need a bit of information on when you should be planning this event. More often than not, the couple will ask you to throw the shower by a certain time. In specific cases, you might be told by the bride or groom exactly when he or she wishes the party held. When you aren’t given any set details to follow, you’ll need to select the date yourself. Generally, you want to have the shower no earlier than five months before the date of the wedding.

On the reverse side, you want the shower to be at least three weeks before the wedding. This large gap of time makes it easy to pick a date and have enough room to plan out all the details. Unless the event is very small, you are most likely going to need a little bit of help organizing everything. Try to not involve the couple too much. Instead, reach out to other close friends and see who might be able to offer some assistance. Involving a few other people can also keep the costs down, which is a huge help.

No Surprises

Finally, if you are a maid of honor or member of the wedding party, you need to respect the wishes of the nearlyweds. When you are told that they don’t want a shower, you should not take it upon yourself to throw one. It might seem like a fun idea, but you do not want to go against a specific request. Do what is asked of you, and you’ll be the biggest asset that the couple requires.

Putting together a wedding shower takes a bit of time. As long as you don’t rush into the responsibility, you should have no trouble throwing a lovely event.

 

Maintaining a Healthy and Happy Relationship With Your Partner
Planning a wedding with your partner can be daunting. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to make sure you don’t drive each other absolutely bonkers.

Planning a wedding with your partner can be daunting. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to make sure you don’t drive each other absolutely bonkers.

The decision to get married can be a very exciting one. You and your partner are in for a lifetime of adventure together once you have gotten engaged. Of course, you also need to make sure you focus on specific aspects of your relationship. Planning a wedding can put a lot of pressure on you both, and it is very common for most couples to get into a few spats throughout the process. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to make sure you don’t drive each other absolutely bonkers.

Taking time to appreciate your significant other is vital to maintaining a happy and healthy relationship. To prepare for what’s in store and be ready for anything, look over these simple ways to keep yourselves sane and working as a unit.

Spend Time Together

This might not come as a huge surprise to anyone, but spending quality time with your significant other is a fantastic way to reinforce your relationship. Unfortunately, plenty of couples make the mistake of thinking any time together is good. While it might be nice to get together to plan for your future wedding, you also need to focus on other activities in order to keep your connection alive in more exciting ways. Only spending time together writing out invitations or communicating with vendors can easily become a bore.

The best way to be together is by making time for each other. Set a little bit of time each week aside to do fun couples activities. This can be anything from cozying up on the couch for binging a bit of Netflix, to cooking and enjoying a meal together, to taking a stroll through the neighborhood and having a leisurely conversation. No matter what you do, try and make sure you aren’t focused on wedding details. Leave that for another day and concentrate on the relationship that led to the engagement in the first place.

Spend Time Apart

It is true that spending quality time with your significant other is a great way to strengthen your connection, but there are instances when you are going to need to do the exact opposite. Spending too much time with your partner can easily have a negative impact. You don’t want to constantly be breathing down each other’s necks, so you may want to practice getting involved with people outside of the relationship.

According to experts, the happiest couples are those who have their own lives away from their partner. You and your partner both want to have your own friends, for example. These can be friends from childhood or people you have met along the way. Both you and your significant other should have trustworthy friends and confidants to turn to when you need to vent, decompress, or recharge.

Put In the Effort

It might be taxing to plan for a wedding, but you can’t let your exhaustion be an excuse for not putting in the effort in your relationship. No matter how tired you are or how many tasks you need to complete before the deadlines arrive, it is crucial for you to make time for your partner in the right ways. When you remember basic household tasks like making dinner, cleaning the bathroom, or even making the bed in the morning, it can do wonders to keep your love alive.

Though putting together your dream wedding might require a lot of effort, you still need to keep the home fires burning with your significant other. Learn how to make time for each other and put it to good use to keep your connection as strong as it has always been.

 

Holding an Interfaith Wedding
Interfaith unions are the new norm. If you’re trying to bring two faiths together in a marriage ceremony, here are some tips to help navigate the pitfalls.

Interfaith unions are the new norm. If you’re trying to bring two faiths together in a marriage ceremony, here are some tips to help navigate the pitfalls.

According to a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center (a U.S.-based nonpartisan fact tank), about 39 percent of couples who have married since 2010 have a spouse of another faith or religion. When falling in love, this may not be a big deal, but when it comes to planning a wedding, it can be a nightmare. Interfaith unions are the new normal. If you’re trying to bring two faiths together in a marriage ceremony, here are some tips to help you navigate the pitfalls.

Interfaith Bride and Groom Need to Be on the Same Page

Once you’ve set the date, before you bring in the family, the bride and groom need to talk about the ceremony. Determine what’s important to each of you. This discussion is going to set the stage for future issues. Someday, you may have children and have to decide which religion to celebrate with them.

Working together lets you present your ideas in unison to your parents, who are going to have their own ideas, and you can stand behind the decisions. Your family may have some culture shock, and you’re going to have to be assertive and firm. Decide which traditions of the ceremony and reception you want to include and which ones you can pass on. If there is one aspect of the day that your mom or spouse’s mom just can’t live without, ask for help in working it into your plans. Don’t alienate family, but don’t give in to all their demands. Think about it for a while before saying that it just isn’t you.

Explain the importance of a particular tradition to the family to help them move past the unknown. Give the family time to process information. Just because they are shocked doesn’t mean they won’t support you. It just means they need to understand and remember that you are an adult making a decision for your future.

Finding the Officiant

Finding someone to perform the interfaith ceremony may be the most difficult part of the planning. This is one area where weddings have not kept up with the norm. One of the most common things is to ask the pastor/leader from each tradition to work together to hold the ceremony. Some faiths will not acquiesce to this request. Another option is to hold two different ceremonies.

One option gaining in popularity would be to consider an ordained minister from the Universal Life Church. It could be a family member or friend who is willing to get ordained and perform an interfaith ceremony. It is extremely easy to do and would allow you to find the perfect fit for your wedding.

Just remember, this is your day. Be honest with your officiant. Don’t make promises about raising children in the faith or attending services if you don’t intend to follow through.

Holding the Ceremony

On the day of your wedding, you may want to include information about your ceremony in the program or have the officiant explain. Your guests may not be from your faith, and it helps them embrace your togetherness when they understand the reason behind doing something. Your guests may not know what to expect, but you want them to think that it was the best wedding ever. Give them a chance to appreciate your interfaith bond with your new spouse.

Remember Your Goal

What is it you want your wedding to say? Keep this in mind as you move forward. The goal is to bring two people together for life. This includes welding your religion and faith in a meaningful way. You have the right to choose your own meaningful traditions to remember your wedding. It’s going to take time to choose the elements that make your day special, but it will be worth it in the end. Working together to plan your interfaith ceremony is a way to build skills that will last you far into your marriage.

 

Is Your Engagement Ring Worth More Debt?
Engagements rings are a long-held matrimonial tradition. However, it’s worth considering a few key factors before you drop any cash on an engagement ring.

Engagements rings are a long-held matrimonial tradition. However, it’s worth considering a few key factors before you drop any cash on an engagement ring.

How much do Canadian couples spend on engagement rings? According to a March 2016 Global News article, the average cost for each one is around $4,700. After including the typical event and honeymoon costs, the total price tag for a wedding can reach almost $40,000. Cutting expenses can be challenging for couples who want to tie the knot. That’s why it’s worth considering a few key factors before you drop any cash on an engagement ring.

Behind the Engagement Ring “Rules”

You may have heard of the supposed “rules” for buying engagement rings. Depending on who you ask, the ring should cost either two or three times one’s monthly salary. Statistics Canada’s 2017 figures revealed that the average weekly salary is around $986. That means the typical Canadian earns almost $4,000 per month before deductions. With these figures, following the oft-repeated rule on rings results in a price tag between $8,000 and $12,000.

How did these modern engagement ring purchasing practices develop? Money Under 30’s David Weliver divulges that they originated with a shrewd marketing campaign launched by the London-based diamond company De Beers. He also contends that they aren’t practical for younger couples because of typical debt burdens and lower salaries. To lower costs, he suggests a few alternatives:

  • Pay for the ring with cash.
  • Select a family heirloom piece.
  • Choose gemstones that are less expensive than diamonds.

Pros and Cons of Financing Your Ring

If there’s no room in your budget to purchase an engagement ring in full, you may be tempted to finance it. Your credit history will determine the types of offers you receive along with spending limits and interest rates. Individuals with favorable credit can choose from many options:

  • Personal loans
  • Vendor’s credit cards or revolving credit lines
  • Major credit cards issued by financial institutions

At the same time, you’ll need to think about how this new debt will impact your upcoming marriage. NerdWallet’s Erin El Issa points out that each spouse is liable for individually incurred debts. This is true regardless of whether they originated before or after the wedding. Yet those debts still affect the couple’s overall financial health. A significant debt load can make it difficult to purchase a home together, contribute to a savings account, or plan for retirement.

In another Money Under 30 article, David Weliver offers suggestions for people desiring to purchase engagement rings on credit. While he still warns readers not to buy rings that they cannot afford, he discusses some favorable financing options. Some jewelry retailers may offer 0 percent financing or no interest and payments for a predetermined time period. Weliver strongly suggests reviewing each offer’s terms. With some, you’ll pay a much higher interest rate after the promotional period expires.

Depending on your credit score, you may qualify for cards that come with 0 percent interest on new purchases for up to one year. Be sure you know what your new APR will be. Also, you should assess whether you can pay off the ring before the promotion ends. Purchase your ring from a reliable online jeweler. Buying online could save you a significant amount of money, letting you spend as little as 50 percent of the brick-and-mortar retailer price. Make sure you request a shipment method with tracking and a signature requirement as well as insurance to cover the ring itself.

Choose Your Credit Options Carefully

In the past, society judged a man’s ability to provide for his future wife by the type of engagement ring he gave her. It’s true that some still take notice at an elaborate ring with a decent-sized diamond. Ultimately, you must consider the effects of purchasing one either with cash or credit. After all, part of your goal should be making smart decisions for your joint financial future.

 

Don’t Let Allergies Ruin Your Wedding Day
Whether you suffer from seasonal or food allergies, there are ways to make sure your wedding day is not ruined by sneezes and watery eyes or worse.

Whether you suffer from seasonal or food allergies, there are ways to make sure your wedding day is not ruined by sneezes and watery eyes or worse.

For those who suffer from allergies, each and every day can be concerning. Depending on the type of allergies you have, you could be extremely careful about what you eat or you might pay attention to the seasonal pollen count as if it were your bank account. This means you most likely will also have a number of concerns about your wedding day and how your allergies might negatively impact all of your carefully laid plans. Though allergies are annoying, they can be bested for a day with a bit of preparation.

Whether you suffer from seasonal or food allergies, there are ways to make sure your wedding day is not ruined by sneezes and watery eyes or worse. Take a look at these tips and plan in advance for your own needs.

The Seasonal Experience

First, it can be a good idea to examine seasonal allergies. Unlike food allergies, which can be somewhat easy to contain, seasonal sneezes and discomfort are totally based on the weather and environment. Though you will not have total control over these factors on your wedding day, you can definitely change the outcome for the best by remembering a few simple points. For one, high pollen count and an outdoor wedding can spell disaster. Encourage guests to take allergy meds in advance or try and book a venue near water, as the wind off bodies of water can lower pollen.

It is also important to realize that flowers are not as significant as you might imagine when it comes to allergies at a wedding. The main reason for this comes down to the most common types of flowers at these events. Lilies and roses are ubiquitous at weddings, and these flowers produce pollen that is more difficult for people with allergies to react to. On the other hand, any flower arrangements featuring floral options that produce smaller pollen grains could be problematic for anyone who is sensitive to such allergens.

Food and Drink Concerns

Knowing what you can and cannot serve at your wedding can be tricky when allergies are involved. Some people have very common allergies, like tree nuts or shellfish. Still, people have allergies to everything from apples to prunes to gluten. This means you should take a few simple precautions before you finalize the menu for your big day. The easiest solution? Be sure to ask guests very early about any and all allergies or dietary restrictions that they might have. The invitation is the perfect place to bring this topic up.

When your guests inform you of their allergies and intolerances early enough, you can make adjustments. If you forget to ask, you could end up in a situation where several guests at your wedding cannot eat their meals because they are severely allergic to one or more ingredients. As long as you bring up the question very early and ask all guests to provide information about allergies, you should be able to avoid a situation where someone has a bad reaction to something they ate at your wedding.

Tiny Surprises

Communicating with your guests about potential allergies is only one step of the process when it comes to food and drink. You also need to make sure your kitchen staff and caterers are informed of these restrictions. There are situations where caterers introduce appetizers that feature ingredients guests might not notice. All it takes is one loose peanut in a pastry puff to send a guest into a problematic situation. As long as you speak with your caterers about all concerns, you should be able to avoid any major issues.

Don’t let allergies ruin your big day! Take the right precautions with food, seasonal, and environmental allergies, and you should be able to enjoy a day without a chorus of sneezes ringing through the air every few minutes.

 

Changing Trends and Competition Spell Trouble for Big Bridal Stores
With shifts in wedding trends and customers seeking new options, many ask if big-box bridal stores will be able to stand these and future challenges.

With shifts in wedding trends and customers seeking new options, many ask if big-box bridal stores will be able to stand these and future challenges.

In November 2018, CNN reported that David’s Bridal filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Documents filed in a U.S. bankruptcy court show that the corporation owes between $500 million and $1 billion to creditors. Some possible factors leading to the American company’s troubles include a decline in marriages, more casual weddings, and strong competition from online and brick-and-mortar retailers. With the same developments occurring in Canada, it’s worth an examination of how they have impacted big-box bridal stores.

Marriage Rates Are Declining

The Canadian Encyclopedia mentions that the marriage rate in Canada is dropping. Statistics Canada recently revealed that married couples head around 65 percent of households. That’s a slight decline from 2001’s findings, which indicated that married pairs headed 70 percent of households. Changing attitudes about marriage and financial worries may have caused this decline.

More Couples Choose Casual Weddings

Nearly every wedding magazine or website offers suggestions for hosting casual affairs. Wedding Wire’s trends report from 2018 mentions some recent notable trends:

  • Grooms are selecting more laidback attire.
  • More couples write their own vows.
  • Wedding parties are walking down the aisle to non-classical music.

A March 2018 piece in Canadian Living supports these observations. Writer Jessica Alcock comments that modern bridal fashions tend to be simple and elegant. Another key trend focuses on gowns designed with runway-inspired details.

Competition From Brick-and-Mortar Retailers

Discount outlets and department stores have made inroads in the industry. As a result, their competition presents challenges for big-box bridal stores. A July 2018 Glamour article showed several gorgeous and inexpensive department-store gowns. Some of these businesses, such as Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, have store locations in Canada. Hudson’s Bay also partnered with New York City bridal boutique Kleinfeld, offering a wide range of gowns at its Toronto Queen Street location.

Local independent bridal shops provide personalized service and unique formalwear options. Wedding Wire Canada maintains a directory of Canadian boutiques. Several of these stock vintage, consignment, and pre-owned gowns. Brides who want a vintage look or who wish to save some cash can discover fabulous finds at these and other locally owned stores.

Better Deals and More Options Online

Online shops also offer a huge range of options. Many American premier boutiques, some major department stores, and specialty shops ship to Canada. A few examples include Macy’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Revolve, and Forward by Elyse Walker. Anomalie, an online bridal-wear startup, produces custom gowns crafted to meet each bride’s specifications. Their creation occurs during a collaborative process between the bride and a company stylist. The result is a made-to-measure dress that’s shipped directly to the bride. Often, these distinctive gowns cost much less than a comparative dress found in a big-box bridal store.

Can Big-Box Bridal Stores Change With the Times?

All these developments have affected the bottom lines of large retailers like David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo. David’s Bridal currently has 12 locations throughout Canada. As for Alfred Angelo, the corporation had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in United States federal court in July 2017. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported in July 2018 that all its retail stores have permanently closed. Moreover, the company still owed brides more than $20 million in claims for gowns that were never delivered.

David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo relied on classic industry business models. With shifts in wedding trends and customers seeking new options, both companies saw their profits plummet. Will big-box bridal stores like them be able to weather these and other future challenges? That remains to be seen, but the bottom line is that couples will turn to vendors who can provide the products, prices, and services they need.

 

Why Finances Matter Long Before Your Wedding
Finances matter long before the wedding takes place.

Finances matter long before the wedding takes place.

The idea of marriage has changed a lot over the centuries. Once upon a time, most couples wed for the sake of their families and futures. When two families would join together as a result of a marital union, it would often bring forth plenty of financial benefits to both sides. In fact, many brides and grooms were sized up by potential partners based solely on how much wealth or property their families possessed. These days, the reasons people marry are different, but there are some similarities when it comes to financial matters.

Getting married means sharing everything with your significant other. This, of course, means finances will often be included. People usually get weird when pressed to talk about money. If you and your significant other have not had a conversation about money and the future, then now is an important time to begin. Without this discussion, you could be in for some upsetting or confusing surprises that add stress to the bonds of marital bliss. Take a moment to look over these tips and see what makes the most sense for your situation.

The Practical Side

When you are marrying someone, you are taking on everything this person embodies or possesses and you are making it a part of your life. The good and the bad come along with this. If your partner has a lot of debt, then you might be taking on this debt with your union. Before you get married, you are going to want to sit down with your partner and begin to discuss financial matters and how you will both be impacted by the wedding.

It might not even matter much to you that your partner is currently in debt. Still, you could want to make a plan to help remove this situation from your lives. Having this talk about money early can help both of you to make plans for the future. Discuss how to get out of debt and what you can both do to create a chunk of savings that will last a good long while. The earlier you have this talk, the less stressful it may wind up being when you enter married life. 

Finances After the Wedding

In many cases, a talk about finances is about a lot more than money. You and your significant other might not really have a clear idea of what either of you would like to do for work after marriage. When you both work all the time, it can make it difficult to take the next step in your relationship. Namely, this means finding time to have and raise children. Now is the right time for you to start these conversations. Hopefully by this point the topic of children has come up. If not, now is your chance.

Children are quite a big responsibility to take on. Not only do you need to have the time to raise them, you also need a significant amount of money. During your talk about your future finances, you may want to breach the topic of children. Discuss the best possible paths for making your dreams into a reality. You might discover that it is possible for one of you to work and the other to take care of the family. You’ll never know until you have the talk.

Tomorrow Starts Today 

Most people feel weird discussing money. While this is a natural feeling, it also can be problematic to avoid these conversations with your significant other. To truly enjoy married life, it is a good idea to have open conversations about finances early. Beginning this chat with enough time to spare can allow both of you a bit of room to figure out any snags or issues that you might predict along the way.

For a Unique Wedding Cake Option, Try a Croquembouche
A French Croquembouche can be a delicious alternative to a traditional wedding cake.

A Croquembouche can be a unique wedding cake option.

With the number of French contributions to our culture, you probably won’t be surprised to find a croquembouche at a Canadian wedding. However, you might not be familiar with the history, details and preparation behind these fascinating pastry desserts. Whether you’ve adopted a French theme for your festivities or just want a different type of wedding cake for your reception, this delightful tower of goodness might be just right for your crowd.

Origins in 19th Century France 

While much of Canada was still under British rule, a young Parisian baker began crafting a pastry creation that would become his enduring legacy. In January 2017, the U.S. media network National Public Radio website published a piece on legendary French chef Marie-Antoine Carême, the famed inventor of the croquembouche. Born to an impoverished family around 1783 or 1784, he was presumably orphaned by social turmoil resulting from the French revolution. Carême began working in a Paris kitchen at the age of eight, and by the time he was 15 years old, he’d landed a position as an apprentice to top-rated pastry chef Sylvain Bailly.

As Carême honed his craft during his late teen years, Bailly regularly displayed Carême’s stunningly elaborate pastries in his bakery shop window. By the late 1700s, this young sensation had fashioned a tower of small, round cream puffs called “choux” festooned with spun sugar. A recipe for this dessert, which he called a croquembouche, was published in his 1815 cookbook “Le Pâtissier royal parisien.” Meanwhile, Carême continued to rise to culinary stardom, designing lavish, beautiful sweets for the likes of Napoleon, Russia’s Czar Alexander I and prince regent George IV of England.

The Croquembouche in the Modern World

While there are many modern variations on this delicious pastry, they still follow the same basic format: a tall mountain of cream puffs covered in spun sugar and other wonderful edibles. You’ll probably have no difficulty finding bakers in any province to supply one for your special day, and it’s an appropriate wedding cake for many types of wedding themes. Wedding Bells Magazine showcased a French vintage matrimonial affair in a 2012 piece on its website, adding that the couple chose a croquembouche to add a delicate grandeur to their festivities.

If you think that such a spectacular wedding cake should get its own entrance and fanfare, you’re absolutely right. In fact, contributor Kim Petyt on The Good Life France blog revealed that a croquembouche is usually not presented until dessert time. With the lights dimmed and celebratory music playing, guests typically begin chanting “Le gateau! Le gateau!” as the star of the hour is brought out to the dining hall while decorated in small, sizzling fireworks. Once the display is over, the staff serves each guest three or four of the sweet, creamy choux to enjoy.

Flavorful Possibilities Abound

In both exterior decorative touches and inner fillings, the croquembouche presents a wide variety of lovely flavors. Traditionally, each choux contains vanilla-bourbon crème in the center. Nevertheless, bakeries offer several popular filling choices which can include favorites such as caramel and chocolate, or less common tastes like rose, pistachio or orange blossom. Besides spun sugar or pastel-tinted icing, a croquembouche wedding cake can be decked out in sugared almonds, chocolate, candied ribbons or even edible flowers.

A Delicious Wedding Cake Idea for Your Nuptial Affair 

The croquembouche is a distinctive and delightful wedding cake that offers a complex combination of aesthetics, French culture and flavor. Its name appropriately translates to “crunch in the mouth,” and your guests will enjoy the taste and texture of this now-classic sweet treat. Add to that the customary celebratory fanfare with which it’s presented during your festivities, and your croquembouche will certainly be a memorable part of your wedding day.