Four Financial Tips Engaged Couples Don’t Want To Hear, But Should!

April 26th, 2014

The honeymoon period, generally considered the first year of marriage, is filled with some of life’s most precious moments: Growing closer to your true love, building a home together, and understanding the deeper meaning of companionship.

Given that love/lust fog, it’s easy to avoid the tougher moments of day-to-day life. Finance tends to be a subject area that couples dodge and evade, which can lead to dysfunctional patterns that undermine a marriage. It’s far better to get it out in the open now, even before the I dos.

Here are four tips to help make your marriage a financial success:

1. Ask family and friends to contribute your financial goals. This may sound obnoxious and rude, but in reality, it’s not. Your loved ones often find cash gifts easier and more personal than a blender or toaster. And frankly, given the economy, everyone understands the value of a dollar these days and they want to contribute to your long-term financial success. With mounting debt in planning a wedding and setting up your lives beyond the big day, it’s become increasingly common for couples to ask for money.

On a more practical side, most couples already have the gifts on a traditional registry. No one needs two coffeemakers sitting on the counter.

Creating a registry, you’re making it even easier for your friends and family to make that green contribution!

2. Keep separate bank accounts and create one joint account. By starting the money conversation with, “let’s open a joint bank account,” you’re laying your financial cards on the trust table. Together, you’ll figure out how it will work as you combine your two lives. For example, along with depositing your cash wedding gifts, you may each contribute a set amount from every paycheck, and use the balance to pay joint housing bills.

It’s also a good idea to have money in separate accounts. This will allow each of you the freedom to spend without the pressure of those funds having an impact on your joint finances.

3.   Handle debt as a couple. It is important to have the conversation about debt as far in advance as possible. Even if only one of you has debt, it will very likely impact your bottom line as a couple. If you’re planning to make a major purchase, like a house or a car, your debt will play a significant factor in determining if you can get a mortgage or car loan. Figuring out a plan together will not only help pay off the actual debt, but it will work to keep a healthy relationship as a married couple.

4. Don’t keep any financial secrets. This concept may sound simple but, surprisingly, many couples keep money secrets. The sad reality is that finances can easily become a major stressor in a relationship and is often the cause for divorce. By keeping the money talks open and honest, you’re building a solid foundation from this day forward!

Choosing a Wedding Photographer

March 16th, 2014

The wedding photography industry is one of the few industries that is not regulated, and also has a very low barrier to entry. As a result, practically anyone can call themselves a “professional photographer” without any solid basis for that claim. You probably see this scenario all the time: your friend or relative purchases a fancy, new camera and suddenly they have achieved “professional” status. Yet these are people who show up your wedding day and are tasked with documenting one of (if not THE) biggest days of your life as well as working with your family and friends to create amazing photos and memories that will last long past the wedding day. And on top of that, you only get one shot at it all!

We have all heard horror stories about the tyrannical, high-and-mighty photographers who dominate the wedding day (and everyone in their path!), or the equipment that suddenly “goes haywire”and wipes out all of the wedding photos. Not to mention those that use super-low prices to get the foot in the door and then tack on substantial fees that customers are forced to pay. The real lousy part is that when you go online to search for a wedding photographer you can’t really tell the amazing photographers from the ones you would NEVER ever want to use.

How can you know which photographer is going to give you great photos with a great experience?

This guide will tell you exactly what you need to know to choose the right wedding photographer for you and your wedding. You will discover the following:

  • 8 Things to Watch Out For When Choosing A Photographer
  • The Difference Between Value & Price
  • 20 Questions To Ask Your Photographer
  • 6 Costly Misconceptions of Wedding Photography
  • How to Maximize Your Wedding Photography Coverage
  • What to Wear at Your Engagement Session
  • How Much Time For Family Portraits, Wedding Party Photos, etc.

To download your free copy, simply go to: and discover everything you need to know about choosing the right wedding photographer for you.

Anatomy Of A Whirlwind Wedding

March 10th, 2014

This week our infographic addresses the topic of planning a wedding in just ONE MONTH! Whew. Just thinking about it makes me break a sweat.

Preparing For Your Hair Trial

January 2nd, 2014

Hair trials are almost as important as your actual hairstyle on your wedding day. Not only will you get to choose how you would like your hair to look on your big day, you will also be able to gauge how much time should you allot for hairstyling purposes before the ceremony.

In order to have the best hair trial experience, you may want to keep the following in mind.

  1. Take your time.

Take your time in finding the best style that is most suitable for you. To avoid cramming for your hair trial, it would be better if you will allot enough time in finding a hair salon. Start looking a few months before your wedding, especially if you will be getting married during the peak months when the demands for wedding-related services are at their highest.

Do not rush in finding the best hairstyle for you. Allow your chosen hairstylist to perform several hair trials so you would be able to compare each one of them and decide which hairstyle looks best on you. Explore your options and take your time in deciding in order to be fully satisfied.

  1. Get your hair in its best condition.

Before you go for a hair trial, it would be best for you to wash your hair thoroughly and blow-dry it. Do not use too much hair products such as hair gel so your hair will be manageable and can be easily styled in different ways.

To maintain healthy hair for long-term, you may want to take supplements that will preserve the beauty of your hair or at least eat food that is rich in zinc and Vitamins A and C.

  1. Think of a style that you want to have for your wedding day.

Most likely, before going to your hairstylist, you already have an idea of how you would want your hair to look like at your wedding. If this is not the case, then browse the Internet or read some hairstyle magazines that will help you decide which style of hair will suit your look.

Bring a copy of your preferred hairstyle for the hairstylist to imitate. Be open to suggestions and be willing to explore variations of the hairstyle in your sample picture. After all, everyone has different facial features so one hairstyle that looks good on one person may not necessarily yield the same effect on another.

  1. Bring your veil.

How your hairstyle looks may change when you put on your veil, if your wedding dress has one. So to be on the safe side, bring your veil and try it out at your hair trial. This way, you will know if it would still feel comfortable and your hairstylist will determine where to put the pins or how to make adjustments if necessary.

Hair trials could be pricey, so the best thing that you can do is to get the most out of them. Just by following the simple tips mentioned above, you will surely be able to accomplish this task easily and gain full satisfaction.

Kristen is the owner of Studio 11 Hair Salon in Orlando. She enjoys writing about hair and beauty. Follow Kristen on twitter @studio11orlando.

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