Dealing with Family at Weddings

Dealing with Family at Weddings

This past weekend I was the matron of honor in my best friend’s wedding. The wedding itself was wonderful, but all of the drama leading up to the wedding (and even a little afterwards) was a bit crazy. Yes, every wedding has drama, but this was just a little ridiculous. The behavior of the groom’s father and his family left my friend (the bride) incredibly stressed out by the time Friday’s rehearsal dinner rolled around.

If you are planning a wedding and have some opinionated family members involved, the tips below should help you out.

  • Get on the same page with your future spouse. Generally, potential problems between you and family (or soon-to-be-family) will begin show early in the planning stage. Don’t hesitate to tell your fiancé what is going on. After all, you are marrying your best friend, right? It’s important that you both get on the same page about the situation as soon as possible so you can both present a united front to your family regarding the decisions you’re making about the wedding. Why a united front? More than likely, these family members will try to speak with each of you separately because they think it will give them a better opportunity to win you over to their way of thinking.
  • Don’t tell them everything. One of the problems that contributed to my friend’s wedding was how much information the groom’s family was given. It wasn’t because the bride and groom were just offering up information willingly, they were put on the spot several times and asked specific questions that, frankly, didn’t have any business being asked. To prevent this from happening, set up a game plan from the very beginning with your fiancé and determine how you will respond to questions about the wedding that you don’t want to answer. Just because you are planning a wedding, doesn’t mean everyone needs to know how you’re doing everything or when everything is occurring.
  • Stand firm in your decisions. Finally, don’t be afraid to stand firm in the decisions that you and your fiancé make regarding your wedding. This is YOUR day. Your parents, grandparents and other family members have all had the chance to plan their own wedding – they don’t need to plan yours. And, for those of you with younger family member who are trying to interfere, they will have a chance to plan their own wedding – so don’t feel obligated to please them with your wedding. That’s the biggest issue many people face when planning weddings…trying to please everyone. The only two people who need to be happy with the wedding plans are the bride and groom. Therefore, stand firm in your decisions.

Caring for Toddler Suits

It’s crazy to think of how many people purchase nice suit for their toddler to wear for only one occasion before the child out grows it. The thing about toddler suits is that they can be worn just as often as men’s suits can be and they are just as durable as men’s suits too. Obviously, your little one won’t be little forever, but there isn’t any reason why toddler suits can’t be worn several times before it’s grown out of.

However, just like with men’s suits, toddler suits have to be properly taken care of in order for them to last a long time. If you have more than one son or have a relative with a young boy who will grow into your child’s clothes, then properly caring for your toddler suits will be a tremendous help in the future. Below are some tips for how to care for toddler suits so that they last for many years.

  • Time is of the Essence – Since most toddler suits are worn by little boys, there is a chance that the suit will encounter grass stains, dirt and other harsh environmental “hazards” if worn for long periods of time. If you are going to an event that will last a while, such as a wedding or a church service followed by a family reunion, then bring a spare pair of clothes for your little one to change into when the time is right (reception or right before the reunion). This will preserve the condition of the suit, which is critical for furthering its life span.
  • Don’t be Strict with Buttons – Yes, toddler suits look adorable when they are buttoned up, but with as much as these youngsters move around, keeping the buttons buttoned all the time is definitely going to put extra strain on the suit…and possible cause a button to pop off. Therefore, try not to be so strict on keeping the suit jacket buttoned all the time. In fact, consider letting your little one take the jacket off to be more comfortable, if the time is appropriate.
  • Always Keep on a Hanger – Whenever toddler suits aren’t being worn, they should be on a hanger. If you are traveling, try to keep them in a breathable suit bag. When you are at home, its fine for suits to hang in the closet. Just keep suits in a place where they aren’t crammed up against other clothes, or they will acquire unsightly wrinkles.
  • Follow the Cleaning Instructions – Most toddler suits will have instructions for proper cleaning. Follow these instructions. If the tag says “dry clean only” – then take it to the dry cleaners when it needs to be cleaned. Depending on the amount of wear the suit is getting, you may not have to take it to the dry cleaners very often at all.

Bridal Shower Gift Ideas

Bridal Shower Gift Ideas

As you are probably well aware of, May, June, July and August are the four most popular months for weddings. Many brides dream of having beautiful outdoor weddings where they can wear gorgeous summer wedding dresses and their bridesmaids can wear fun and simple bridesmaids’ dresses.

In theory, summer weddings are great because the majority of people can come due to school being out and lighter schedules. However, this isn’t necessarily true for everyone. For those with older kids, summer means a frenzy of activities as many kids play summer sports and then there’s also family reunions and vacations to go to.

You may know exactly what I’m talking about if you’re already looking at a jam-packed summer schedule. However, this doesn’t mean that you haven’t gotten your share of wedding invitations. Naturally, you won’t be able to attend them all. If you aren’t going to be able to attend a wedding, then you need to make it a point to attend the bridal shower.

Many people don’t like attending bridal showers because they take up a portion of a Saturday that could be spent doing something else and everyone at the shower sees the gift you bought for the couple. While bridal showers do take a little time and can put a little pressure on you to choose your gift carefully, they really are a great way to show the couple you care about them. Below are a few suggestions for appropriate bridal shower gifts.

  • Kitchenware – Engaged couples are always asking for various kitchenware whether it’s a good set of pots and pans, a toaster, dishes or something else. Therefore, you can’t go wrong with kitchenware, especially if you want to get the couple something that you know they’ll use.
  • Personalized Quilt/Blanket – If you really want to show the couple that you’re happy for them, then consider having a quilt or blanket made for them and personalized with their names and wedding date embroidered on it. I actually received one of these at my bridal shower and it’s one of my favorite keepsakes. This is one gift that will not be returned and will be treasured for many years to come.
  • Vacuums, Grills and Other “Big” Items – You may have a good sized budget for a gift or maybe you are going in together with someone else to purchase the couple something nice. If you are going to purchase a big item, then make sure you pull the couple’s wedding registry and choose something off the list of items they’ve selected. This will help ensure that the gift is appreciated and not returned and exchanged for something else.

Cons of Child Beauty Pageants

Many people enjoy watching child beauty pageants because young children are just a joy to watch, especially when they are all dressed up and enjoy what they’re doing. While many of the little contestants competing in child beauty pageants genuinely enjoy the competition, there can be some negatives associated with these events. However, keep in mind that most of the cons of child beauty pageants flare up when the child is being forced to participate, or the child’s parents take it too seriously and eliminate the fun that is supposed to be had at these events. Below are a few of the cons that can come from child beauty pageants:

  • Bad Attitude – Some children do not enjoy getting up in front of people and performing. When they are made to do this repetitively, they can develop a bad attitude towards themselves and others, which is unhealthy.
  • Low Self-Esteem – Child beauty pageants should help a child develop self-confidence, but sometimes the opposite happens. Some children have a strong desire to win and when they fail they can develop low self-esteem if their parents aren’t supportive and encourage them to work harder for the next pageant.
  • Time Commitment – Child beauty pageants take a lot of time to prepare for as contestants need to practice their talents, smile, walk and posture regularly in order to get ready for a competition. While this doesn’t have to take up hours every day, it will take up some time, when done properly.
  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct – Surprisingly, most of the unsportsmanlike conduct that is exhibited at child beauty pageants is done by other parents when their children don’t win. While it may be beneficial for your child to be exposed to this, as a parent, you have to be careful to refrain from becoming one of the above mentioned parents if you want your child to learn how to lose (and win) with grace. You also need to be around to protect your child from parents who behave like this too!

Benefits of Child Beauty Pageants

Spring Activity Ideas for Families

Spring is right around the corner as we’re already right in the middle of March. It’s hard to believe that just two months ago we were all celebrating New Year’s Day with our friends and family. Spring brings so much excitement as the grass begins to turn green, trees begin to bud and outdoor activities begin to pick up. What are some of your favorite spring activities to do with your children?

My son is only four, but we’ve already found several things to do during the spring with him that has become sort of a tradition. Of course, now that he’s a little older, there are even more things we can do with him…such as soccer. He just started soccer the other night and his first game is today! It’s really cute watching all the other 4-year olds out there, and he loves it too. While soccer is new to our family, the following spring activities are not. Hopefully, you’ll find something on the list below that you and your family will be able to do in the upcoming weeks!

  • Family Pictures – Now that I have a child of my own, I look forward to spring family pictures! Before children, I didn’t see much of a point in it as the candid pictures I took around the house seemed to be ample enough. However, with a little one, my husband and I enjoy taking pictures every spring because we get to compare them to the previous year and see how much our son has changed. Plus, it’s fun to get dressed up in a pretty dress and have my hair done. I also enjoy picking out a new little boys’ suit for my son too!
  • Visiting the Zoo – Another favorite springtime activity we enjoy doing with our son is taking him to the zoo. We’ve found that the crowds aren’t quite as bad during the spring as they are during the summer, providing we go on a weekday and avoid Spring Break, which makes the experience that much more fun for our little guy. Not to mention, the weather is cooler out and the animals are a little more active…plus, we can stay for the majority of the day without succumbing to the summer heat!
  • Evening Walks – Once the spring weather is here, my husband and I love taking our son out on evening walks. It’s a fun family activity that we’ve always enjoyed. When he was little, we would push him in the stroller, but now he has his own bicycle (w/training wheels) and can pedal himself down the street. It’s a great opportunity for us all to bond…we even take the dog along!

On the above list are just a few of my family’s favorite spring activities. What’s some of yours? If you haven’t ever taken the time to enjoy the spring weather with your family, I hope you do so this year!