wedding

Tips for Surviving Your First Year of Marriage
The first year of marriage can be a tricky one. Thankfully, surviving it with your partner is not a complicated endeavor. Consider these tips.

The first year of marriage can be a tricky one. Thankfully, surviving it with your partner is not a complicated endeavor. Consider these tips.

The time leading up to your wedding can be a chaotic period. With so much planning to do, you may not consider what life will be like after you’ve tied the knot. The first year of marriage can be a tricky one. There are a number of adjustments you are going to need to make in order to accommodate your new status as a couple. Thankfully, surviving the first year of marriage is not a complicated endeavor. Consider these tips to gain a little bit of insight on how to make this year an enriching one.

Conflicts Will Happen

It stands to reason that you and your significant other have already gotten into a few fights before deciding to get married. Conflict is a natural part of any relationship. For some reason, however, many couples become a lot more concerned about arguments after getting married. Though it may feel like fighting is going to put you on the path to divorce, this isn’t the case. How you handle the conflicts, however, can and will dictate the future of your relationship. Learn to pick and choose your battles. This is the best way to avoid unnecessary squabbles.

Communicate

A great way to reduce conflicts and enjoy your first year of marriage is by communicating. More often than not, problems in a relationship develop when two people are no longer on the same page. Unfortunately, it is easy to fall into the wrong habits with your spouse. When you both work long days, you may not feel like discussing relationship topics when you’re together after work. This might force you to push off issues that need attention. By focusing on open communication, you and your significant other will be able to understand where the other is coming from.

Be a Partner

During your first year together, you and your spouse will be learning how to properly support each other. Understanding how to be an actual partner to your significant other is a process of trial and error. Everyone has different needs and emotional requirements when it comes to relationships. The way you prefer to be comforted when you’re upset may be very different than what your spouse requires. The trick is paying attention and understanding the best way to provide support when it is needed from you.

Include Family

Marrying a person means you are marrying his or her entire family. This can often be a point of contention. If either of you has intense family members who cause a lot of drama or are very needy, you can’t take it out on each other. Keep communication open and mention when you feel like a family member is being too much. You also need to be receptive to criticism from your significant other about your own family. Be mindful of the way your relatives behave and the demands they place on your relationship.

Stay Physical

Physical contact is wildly important to keeping a relationship alive and healthy. While you don’t need to have sex every night, it can be good to try and be physical with one another when possible. Endless studies have shown a consistent sex life can keep the fire burning in a relationship. Get into a groove that makes sense for your own schedules during the first year of marriage, and learn how to keep romance alive for years to come.

Practice Patience

Finally, learn how to practice patience. People who are slow to anger are usually a lot easier to deal with. If you fly off the handle at every little thing, it will only cause unneeded stress in your relationship.

Surviving your first year of marriage is no small venture. Get into the right habits by following these tips, and you will be able to discover the best way to keep your love alive.

Financial Tips To Help You Save for Your Big Day
Planning a wedding can be a big financial endeavor. Here are a few ways to start thinking about money to help you plan for the big day.

Planning a wedding can be a big financial endeavor. Here are a few ways to start thinking about money to help you plan for the big day.

Planning a wedding can be a very expensive endeavor. Whether you’re aiming for a larger affair or an intimate gathering, you need to have enough money in your budget to cover all associated expenses. It may seem daunting, but there are simple ways to see success. Giving yourself time to sit down with your significant other and create a financial plan can do wonders for the process. There are also a handful of simple ways you can adjust your lifestyle in order to save money for your big day.

Look over these financial suggestions on how to start saving money right now for your wedding. A little research and preparation will go a long way in your attempts to improve your budget.

Assess Your Debt

Most people in the current day and age are living with debt. Whether you’ve taken out loans to cover school or you have a few credit cards you need to pay off, being in debt can inhibit your ability to get ahead with your finances. As you discuss your budget with your partner, work on creating a plan of action for paying down your debt. While making minimum payments might seem sensible for managing your financial health, there are more advantages to getting rid of as much debt as possible.

By lowering the balances on your credit cards, you are freeing up money that can be applied to your wedding. Credit is a great way to take care of expenses like florists or caterers, but you can’t use this option if your cards are all at their max. Paying down your debt can also help improve your credit score. This will help immensely later on if you and your new spouse consider buying a home together.

Get a Concrete Figure

Saving money is a lot easier when you have a concrete goal to work toward. In order to see success from your efforts, you may want to start researching how much it is going to cost you to host the wedding you envision. Call vendors and venues and get a feel for pricing. Learn about the fees associated with obtaining a marriage license and any other costs that you might be responsible for. Put everything together and see what your entire wedding is going to cost.

The number might be high at first, but don’t let this get to you. Now that you have a number, you can start crafting a real financial plan to pay for it all. To create a realistic budget, you might realize that you need to eliminate certain ideas or select less expensive vendors than you had originally planned. You won’t be able to make these adjustments until you have a concrete number to work with. Get started on this as soon as possible, and you’ll have an easier time managing your finances.

Financial Help

Finally, think about any relatives who may be willing to provide financial assistance. Parents and grandparents will often contribute to or cover the costs of specific services. If someone in your life has offered to help, contact them and get an idea of what they can pay for. While you should not expect the assistance, taking someone up on the offer can be a fantastic way for you to get more out of your budget.

Paying for a wedding might be a financial headache, but there are a number of different ways to make it work. Saving money for your big day is all about giving yourself time to assess your finances and craft a plan of action based off what you can afford. Find a plan that works for you and your partner, and get started on saving for your future.

The Right Transportation for Your Big Day
There are a number of different responsibilities when planning your wedding. But how early should you start thinking about your transportation to the venue?

There are a number of different responsibilities when planning your wedding. But how early should you start thinking about your transportation to the venue?

There are a number of different responsibilities you need to stay aware of when you’re planning for a wedding. As the date grows closer, you want to give yourself time to ensure you have covered all of your bases. While bigger decisions like selecting a venue and determining your guest list need to be taken care of early, other tasks can be completed a bit later in the process. When you are roughly six months away from your big day, you need to think about your options regarding transportation.

Getting Started

First and foremost, you need to get this process started by thinking about who will require transportation. It is not your responsibility to make sure everyone you invite can get to the venue, but you can definitely make the process easier for your guests with a few simple decisions. If your wedding reception is being held in a different place than where the majority of your guests are staying at the end of the night, then you might want to think about hiring a shuttle service to cart your friends and family where they need to go. Alternatively, if your wedding ceremony and reception are in two different places, providing a way to get to each and then back to the hotel may be a service you want to offer.

Outside of this, there are a few people you should think about providing transportation for. The main people to focus on are you and your significant other, as well as anyone who is immediately associated with your wedding party. You may also want to think about providing an option for disabled or elderly guests, such as grandparents, to help them safely arrive where they need to be without them having to worry about driving.

Things To Think About

After determining who will need transportation, there are a few other considerations. For one, you want to think about the time of year you plan on tying the knot. Many weddings tend to take place in the spring and summer. Unfortunately, this season is also when a number of other milestone events happen for people. High school proms and graduations usually occur between May and June, meaning you might have a lot of competition when it comes to booking luxury vehicles. To avoid this, be sure to book as early as possible.

How far you have to travel is also an important point to consider. If you and the wedding party will need to cross a good amount of distance to reach your destination, it can impact the type of vehicle you select. A small limo might be fine if you only have to go a few blocks, but it can be excruciatingly cramped for longer drives. When you keep these points in mind, it can help you find a transportation option that makes everyone feel comfortable the whole way through.

Financial Considerations

Remember, the financial burden of any transportation that you and your significant other provide to guests will fall on your shoulders. If you are unable to offer any additional help to guests with regard to transportation, be sure to notify your friends and family of this as early as possible. This will help give everyone enough time to plan their rides and figure out a sensible way of getting to your event.

Transportation might not be the most pressing part of planning for your big day, but it definitely is an area you want to think about. There are a number of important aspects to think over when it comes to selecting appropriate options for your guests. Take time to assess your transportation needs, and it will help you determine the best course of action for your wedding day.

Eat These Foods To Calm Your Pre-Wedding Nerves
Stress is common before a wedding. But did you know that what foods you eat can make a huge difference in how you feel when you start to get nervous?

Stress is common before a wedding. But did you know that what foods you eat can make a huge difference in how you feel when you start to get nervous?

Stress is common before a wedding. It is natural to feel nervous before you make such a big life change. Of course, this does not make it any easier to deal with. When you feel exceptionally nervous, it can have a physical impact on your health. You may start to experience stomach troubles and other minor issues. In order to minimize this and feel your best, there are a few foods to consider ingesting. What you eat can make a huge difference in how you feel when you start to get upset.

Look over these suggestions on what foods to eat to calm your nerves. The right dietary adjustments may help you feel your best before your big day.

Fish

You probably already know how healthy fish is. While all fish can be a good option for your diet, salmon tends to pack more of a nutritional punch. Salmon is said to be loaded with healthy fats and omega-3s. These are purportedly useful for improving the regulation of neurotransmitters in the body. Studies have shown that consuming more salmon might be of benefit, as the fish can help individuals combat stress and anxiety by regulating important hormones like serotonin. Salmon is also considered one of the healthiest meats you can eat, which is an added bonus.

Chocolate

Do you ever eat chocolate when you are feeling low or nervous? If so, you are not alone. You may find it interesting to learn, however, that chocolate is actually a great way to combat the effects of anxiety. Not just any chocolate will do, of course. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, which are responsible for fighting the free radicals in the environment that can do damage to the body. Some research suggests that antioxidants can improve brain health and function, which may improve the symptoms of anxiety.

Probiotics

You feel anxiety in your stomach because there is a connection between the brain and the gut, especially when it comes to specific hormones. A number of hormones related to fight-or-flight responses are produced in the digestive system. When you feel particularly nervous about something, you feel it in your gut because this is where the response is coming from. This means you can do a lot of good for your nerves by focusing on your stomach health and certain foods that enhance your health.

Probiotics are incredibly useful when it comes to improving the health of the digestive system. Found in yogurt and other fermented foods, these cultures are said to help restore the microflora of the gut. Replenishing the “good” bacteria in the digestive tract helps improve the way your digestive system functions and may also help you feel less stressed. Eating yogurt is one way to get more probiotics in your diet, but there are also supplements available to speed the process along.

Tea

A nice cup of tea can do wonders when you’re looking to find a bit of peace. While black tea can be nice, it also can add to your stress. Green tea has been studied for decades and has been shown to work wonders on those who are feeling nervous or anxious. The amino acid L-theanine is found in green tea, and this compound has been said to increase the feeling of being calm and collected. Herbal tea options like chamomile may also be useful when you need to unwind after a particularly frustrating day of planning your wedding.

The process of putting together a wedding can easily create a lot of stress in your life. By focusing on ways to minimize your anxiety, you can do wonders for your mental health. Eating the right foods can reduce the symptoms related to stress and help you feel more prepared to tackle whatever obstacles await.

Canadian Weddings in the 21st Century: Customs and Changes
When couples plan their weddings, they must decide what traditions to include. How do Canadian weddings stack up in the 21st century?

When couples plan their weddings, they must decide what traditions to include. How do Canadian weddings stack up in the 21st century?

When couples plan their weddings, they must often decide what traditions to include. These celebrations incorporate basic ceremonial elements such as exchanging vows, but many also feature customs that add layers of meaning or are passed down through families or cultures. Meanwhile, some trends become new traditions while old customs slowly fall out of favor. How do Canadian weddings stack up in the 21st century? You may be surprised once you find out.

The Role of Gender in Western Weddings

It’s no secret that many wedding customs were influenced by older social norms. As cold as this sounds, marriages were less about love and more about finances, inheritances, and sometimes political concerns. Unions were arranged in many parts of the world, with women frequently losing any legal rights they had once the ceremonies took place. The Encyclopedia Britannica explains the concept of “coverture,” in which married couples were considered single legal entities, with husbands wielding the most power and decision-making responsibilities. The idea was introduced into English law after the Norman Conquest beginning in 1066. The Canadian Encyclopedia mentions that British cultural influences on marriage and property statutes codified coverture into Canadian law in many areas.

Some wedding traditions are leftover legacies from these societal realities. For instance, you may remember that the bride’s family used to pay for the wedding. Vogue’s Priya Rao reveals that this stems from old dowry customs in which the bride’s family provided physical wealth before a marriage could take place. The Spruce’s Nina Callaway adds that the practice of fathers giving away their daughters during wedding ceremonies is also tied to dowries. This act was a sign that the father was pleased with the marriage negotiations and gave his blessing.

As Societies Change, So Do Weddings

Money Versed writer Liz Collins offers a basic breakdown on wedding traditions that are slowly being abandoned. Unsurprisingly, she listed customs that were once commonplace even in the 20th century:

  • The bride’s family paying for the wedding
  • Grooms not seeing their brides before the ceremony
  • Gendered wedding showers
  • Bouquet and garter tosses

Wedding Wire’s Alice Prendergast discusses more ways in which Canadian nuptials have changed. For instance, more couples are living together before marriage and fewer choose religious ceremonies. At the same time, a few recent trends are slowly becoming traditions. For instance, the Emily Post Institute details that high-tech weddings are the norm. That’s not a surprise to anyone getting hitched in 2019 or 2020, but what’s interesting is how this resulted from the development of some key innovations over the last few decades. Wedding websites began appearing in the late 1990s, but Pinterest and Instagram were both launched in 2010. Technological developments in photography, music playback, and even e-commerce have roots back in the 1990s or earlier.

Not All Traditions Have Disappeared

While many customs change, others remain the same. In her Wedding Wire piece, Prendergast discloses a few traditional practices that are solidly here to stay. The white wedding dress continues to be a staple, although it’s being reinvented with new details and silhouettes. The first dance is a timeless classic, along with asking for parents’ blessings and popping the question. You’ll also find alcohol at nearly every reception, with everything from signature cocktails to Canadian craft beers. Honeymoons remain popular, although some busy or cash-strapped pairs opt for mini-moons or staycations.

Customized Nuptials Are the Norm

Canadian weddings can be traditional, modern, or somewhere in between. While some old practices remain, couples craft their nuptials to fit their values, purposes, and lifestyles. No matter what customs each chooses to incorporate, these celebrations are ultimately both community events and personalized reflections of both spouses’ creativity, philosophy, and outlook.

Struggling With Your Seating Chart? Consider These Suggestions
While it might seem like an impossible task, here are a handful of simple tips that can help you create a successful seating chart for your big day.

While it might seem like an impossible task, here are a handful of simple tips that can help you create a successful seating chart for your big day.

Certain aspects of planning a wedding can prove more difficult than others. For some couples, the seating chart for the reception can be a huge pain in the neck. There are many moving pieces involved with a seating chart, so make sure you don’t cause any unwarranted drama by placing two volatile people next to each other. While it might seem like a downright impossible task, there are a handful of simple ways to see the best possible results from your efforts.

Crafting a solid seating chart is all about taking time and thinking over all the details involved. Look over these tips, and you’ll be ready to finalize your own layout in no time.

Understand the Parameters

You can only make a practical chart for where to seat your guests when you have all pertinent information available to you. For one, you need to have a blueprint or map of the layout of your venue. This will provide you with hard data about the size of the room and your options in regards to arranging the space. You’re also going to want to account for certain factors like the size and shape of each table, as well as where you plan on placing the DJ booth, cake table, and any other decor that might take up space.

As you begin to create your seating chart, you most likely already have a solid idea of who will be in attendance at your wedding. Most couples will draft preliminary sketches of where to seat guests, but you really can’t finalize anything until you have a headcount. Otherwise, you could put a lot of effort into a seating chart that doesn’t accurately reflect the guests who will be at your event. Wait until you have all of this data, and then set out to create your chart in a more informed way.

Groupings

How you arrange your guests at each table can be the trickiest aspect of this task. For one, make sure that you seat people in a way that makes sense. This means you should put all of your coworkers at one table, second cousins at another, and so on. Unfortunately, this isn’t always as easy to achieve as it sounds. When you’re working with limited space, you might need to get a bit creative in regards to who sits at which table.

While you’re not going to know how each person at your wedding feels about every other person in attendance, you definitely can use your best judgment to arrange guests in a sensible way. If you know that an uncle of yours has bad blood with an old family friend of your significant other, then don’t seat these guests near each other. Try not to bend over backward to make these arrangements, however. Your guests are all capable of handling their own petty dramas, and your plans shouldn’t be impeded by their own feuds.

Special Seating Considerations

You might also have some special considerations you need to keep in mind while creating your seating chart. If you have a number of children coming to your event, then it might make sense to have a table just for the little ones. Consider a separate table for your single attendees. Should any of your guests be in a wheelchair or require certain assistance with getting around the venue, try and seat these guests in an accessible spot. Remember special considerations, and you should make the event comfortable for all.

Planning your seating chart can be a bit of a headache, but it is far from an impossible feat. Take your time with this task, and in no time you should see success from your efforts.

Wedding Details Many Couples Neglect
How can you make planning your wedding easier? Consider these neglected details and see what you need to do to put the finishing touch on your big day.

How can you make planning your wedding easier? Consider these neglected details and see what you need to do to put the finishing touch on your big day.

A lot of work is involved with planning a wedding. No matter how meticulous you might be, it is entirely within the realm of possibility that you missed a thing or two along the way. Since the process can often be stressful, plenty of couples overlook important details. Fortunately, it is never too late to go back and think about a few things you might have overlooked. Consider these oft-neglected points and see what you need to do to put the finishing touch on your plans.

Gifts of Love

It stands to reason that a lot of people have been involved with putting together your wedding. With so much going on, it can be a huge comfort to be able to turn to friends and family members for some assistance. However, you want to remember to show your thanks in whatever way you can. Couples often forget to give appreciation to the people who help them prepare for their nuptials, but you can easily avoid this blunder by remaining mindful throughout the process.

There are several key people to consider getting gifts for. The members of your wedding party should definitely receive some token of appreciation for all of their contributions. In addition, it can be a wise idea to buy a gift for the parents of your significant other. When you marry your partner, you are also marrying your partner’s family. Buying little gifts to show thanks can put you in the good graces of the family while also making you feel proud of the fact that you went the extra mile for your loved ones.

Last-Minute Savior

No matter how much work you put into planning your wedding, there are always dangers lurking around every corner. You never can tell when something as simple as a loose fiber on a bridesmaid’s dress can turn into a total costume malfunction in front of all your guests. Though you might not be able to control every aspect of what occurs on your wedding day, you definitely can take precautionary measures that aim to reduce the odds of a disaster. One way of achieving this is by packing an emergency kit for your big day.

While similar to the idea of a first-aid kit, an emergency kit for your wedding is all about the tools and resources you might need to fix a small mishap. You’ll want to include sewing basics like a needle, thread, and some generic buttons. These tools can help in the event of a rip or tear throughout the night. You might also want to include aspirin, bottles of water, extra makeup, a pair of socks, and whatever else might prove useful as you move through the events of your wedding.

Little Details

While it might be rare, there are instances where couples have extra money in the budget after completing all their planning tasks. A great way to use some of the funds is by adding special details to your wedding that help to bring out your own unique style. Perhaps you’d like a more elaborate cake, or perhaps you’d like to extend the wedding reception by an hour or two. You can be as frivolous or as practical as you’d like with spending this money; just try and find a clever way to put this part of your budget to good use.

A wedding that goes off without a hitch can seem like an impossibility. Still, by examining your big day from a number of different angles and making sure you are prepared for as many possibilities as you can think of, you will likely have an easier time reducing the odds of a disaster.

No Maid of Honor? No Problem!
If you don’t want a maid of honor, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with this information before deciding what the best choice is for your big day.

If you don’t want a maid of honor, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with this information before deciding what the best choice is for your big day.

There are a lot of moving parts involved with planning your wedding. Often, couples want all the help possible to get the entire event up and running. Having a maid of honor can be invaluable during this time, as this individual tends to take on a lot of duties throughout the process. Still, you may not feel like you want a maid of honor. There are plenty of reasons for this decision, from not knowing who to select to wanting to keep the affair simple. There is no rule saying you absolutely must have someone fill this role.

If you don’t want a maid of honor, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself a bit with the choice you’re making. Look over this information and decide what the best choice is for your big day.

What Does the Maid of Honor Do?

The maid of honor is usually responsible for a number of different tasks associated with the wedding. Usually these responsibilities include throwing a shower and bachelorette party, taking on jobs like mailing invitations, and keeping tabs on all the members of the wedding party. When you don’t have someone acting in this role, you will need to either take these tasks on yourself or find someone who can organize things for you. Having help is always a plus, even when you aren’t asking someone to be your maid of honor.

You also will need to think about your wedding party. Are you planning on having bridesmaids and groomsmen? You can still have a wedding party without a maid of honor. In fact, some couples make the choice to forego this position in the party because there are too many qualified options. When you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, you can ditch the maid of honor and simply go with having bridesmaids. This can ultimately be a helpful decision, as you can delegate various duties to each member of the party rather than relying on one specific person.

Party On

As mentioned, the maid of honor is also the person who traditionally puts together the wedding shower. By removing this person from the equation, you’ll need to arrange the plans yourself or find someone else who can take on the job. This could be a perfect task for your mother or the mother of your partner, especially if she wanted to get involved and you didn’t know what to offer. You may also want to see if the members of your wedding party would like to plan this for you, though it is likely you’ll need to give warning.

Showers are also not a requirement. If you had an engagement party, then throwing a shower might be a bit too much. These days, couples are moving away from the traditional route of having a shower. You’re already planning your wedding; you might not want to add yet another event to your calendar that you need to help organize. When you opt not to have a maid of honor, you’ll need to make this decision for yourself and determine whether or not you find a shower necessary.

Trusting Your Significant Other

In the past, the maid of honor would take on a lot of responsibilities that otherwise could have been performed by the groom-to-be. Since more and more couples are contributing equally when it comes to planning a wedding, it is likely you can simply ask your partner to take on many of the jobs the maid would have received. When you have the support of your significant other, the entire process will be a lot easier than trying to do everything by yourself.

The decision to use a maid of honor in your wedding comes down to your own preference. As long as you have people who can assist you along the way, you should be able to take on whatever tasks await.

 

Wedding Day Sobriety: A Guide for Guests
If you’re a wedding guest attempting sobriety, it’s natural to feel a little anxiety. Some smart advice can help you remain a faithful teetotaler.

If you’re a wedding guest attempting sobriety, it’s natural to feel a little anxiety. Some smart advice can help you remain a faithful teetotaler.

Wedding receptions often offer the perfect trifecta of food, fun, and drinks. Yet, this can present significant challenges for guests recovering from alcohol dependency. Fortunately, sitting out these celebrations isn’t the only option. Since sobriety is an important goal, how can this be achieved when the booze is flowing and emotions are high? Some smart advice can help you remain a dedicated teetotaler.

Guests in Recovery: You’re Not Alone

If you’re a wedding guest aiming for sobriety, it’s natural to feel a little anxiety. After all, you’re in a social situation where alcohol is plentiful and you’re surrounded by others who drink. Ravishly contributor Britni de la Cretaz describes feelings of loneliness when attending receptions. Medium writer Tiffany Swedeen mentions her own temptations to imbibe. SobrieTea Party’s Tawny Lara admits her own struggles. Before she tried recovery, she usually found herself drinking too much at others’ nuptials.

Powerful physical and psychological cravings are frequently triggered by emotional stress, fatigue, nostalgia, or feeling left out. Unsurprisingly, all these emotions and conditions can resurface at weddings. You may encounter some saboteurs, as blogger Dana Bowman points out. However, most of your fellow attendees don’t wish to interfere with your recovery.

Stay Alcohol-Free With These Tips

Swedeen, de la Cretaz, and Lara draw on their own experiences, offering advice to wedding guests planning on sobriety. One valuable tip is to stop worrying about how others view you. Most people will not notice or concern themselves with what you’re actually drinking, so having a non-alcoholic beverage in hand can be a lifesaver. This can be anything that makes you feel comfortable: lime and seltzer water, a soft drink, a cup of coffee, or anything else you like.

Enlisting a trustworthy individual or two could help you avoid indulgence.  Be sure to give bartenders a heads up, letting them know not to serve you intoxicating drinks. You may wish to bring along a sober friend, seek out another teetotaler at the festivities, or have someone you can call or text if you need support or feel unsafe.

Distracting yourself is also a great approach when you’re at a reception. Take advantage of food, dancing, music, camaraderie, and activities. Are you a champ at horseshoes, darts, or croquet? Use the lawn games to show off your prowess. Hit the dance floor. Eat an extra cupcake. Talk someone else’s ear off. You get the idea.

Refrain From Judging Other Guests

One common pitfall that Lara mentions is the habit of silently judging others. As an individual in recovery, you could find yourself eying other guests’ behaviors. Looking down on them for their drinking and intoxication won’t contribute to your own efforts. Lara reminds readers that everyone’s relationship with alcohol is a little different. Respect is key, so remember that others’ drinking habits have nothing to do with your own sobriety.

Know When To Walk Away

While you’re planning ahead for your friends’ reception, don’t forget to construct an exit strategy. Feel free to leave early if you must, especially if you feel too tempted to drink. If you’re bringing a sober companion, let that person know that you may want to depart before the reception ends. Those attending alone should make sure they have phone numbers of reliable friends or a transport company just in case.

Don’t Worry: You’ve Got This

Recovering from alcohol dependency isn’t an easy process, but social situations can make it rougher than usual. While you want to enjoy yourself at your friends’ wedding reception, it can also be an opportunity to re-acclimate to scenarios in which alcohol is served. Staying sober requires some advance planning. Keeping a nonalcoholic drink in hand is a useful strategy, along with relying on supportive friends and having an exit plan ready.