Thursday, 23 April 2015

Counselling: Pro-active to avoid Reactive?

A few weeks ago, there was a celebrity couple’s therapy revelation that was generating a lot of conversation, both in the entertainment world and beyond:  Veronica Mars and the guy from Punked, aka Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard,  revealed that they’d  been going to therapy since they were in their early days of dating.   And while they explained that they needed guidance and the tools to navigate their respective trust issues, they readily admit that they wanted guidance and a better understanding of themselves to help them work through things as they arose.

"Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard have been in couples therapy since they met" - Page Six

Online cynicism ran rampant with side-eyes and cries of ‘trouble in paradise!’ and I had my own ‘where there’s smoke, there’s fire’ opinion at first but when I really thought about it, I wondered if this wasn’t a genius idea!  I mean, relationships are never completely stress-free, but maybe they’re on to something here; arming themselves with the paddles they need, to help steer them through the inevitable poops in the creek of life that come up throughout their partnership.  If you think about it, to some extent we’ve had counsellors from childhood to early adulthood; our parents and family members serve as both counsellors and referees in our interactions between us and our siblings, cousins and friends.  Teachers have the unenviable job of guiding us as we live in the smaller-scale world of the classroom, where a small army of similar and dissimilar personalities have to work together in respect, trust and perseverance.  Even in our circle of friends, we are all counsellors to each other in an unofficial capacity – why do we shy away from help when we’re adults?
When couples are planning their weddings, we can sometimes see  happy-go-lucky couples become frazzled as they get sideswiped by the stresses of managing family issues, balancing individual wants and needs, all while planning a big party with an equally big price-tag.  Money and family drama are two of the biggest stresses in anyone’s life, but the juxtaposition of just how stressful these things can be against the picture-perfect wedding that they have in mind can really throw even the strongest of brides and grooms into a bit of a funk.  For couples having a church or temple wedding, marriage counselling is a prerequisite for their wedding, and most people who do it come away with an appreciation for both the process and what they learned.  But what about once the party’s over and ’happily ever after’ (in other words, real life) comes along?  Maybe we’re looking at counselling all wrong! What if instead of seeing it what we do when things aren’t working, we should be looking at it like money in the bank of life experience that we keep depositing into, padding it up for a rainy day?  Sometimes there are things more valuable than dollars and cents, could marriage therapy be the new currency worth looking into?
Wishing you a day as limitless as you are~
Lisa and April

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Sequels, Second-Times and ‘You Can’t Wear White Again, Can You?!’

Once upon a time, there was a Princess who lived in a city not unlike the one we’re in now. Life could be happy (summer vacations) and life could be difficult (hitting puberty); it was a daily adventure filled with risk (high school fashion) and angst (her crush had his very own crush.. on her best friend) and there were nights spent  dissecting the latest hallway drama, glances or accidental/non-accidental meetings with a potential or former McDreamy/McNightmare.  But through all the trials and tribulations, she always dreamed of the day she would meet her Prince, and imagined just how perfect her wedding to said Prince would be.  Her mind’s eye saw everything in vivid detail -  the ultra-romantic engagement and the way her Princess-cut ring looked on her finger; her strapless bodice and tulle-skirted dream dress and shoes that she would dazzle everyone with when she walked down the aisle, the bridesmaids in their perfect dresses and bouquets; and of course, a fairytale reception filled with magic, romance and memories to last a lifetime.
After what felt like an eternity, her Prince did find her, true to her expectations and everything she wished for came to pass….and they lived happily ever after.
They were divorced six years later.
Sometimes happy endings  don’t happen right away. Statistics show that roughly a third of all marriages end in divorce. But partnerships aren’t  a  dying concept; some of us are just taking an alternate route to our happily ever after.  And if the right person comes along after some serious recovery and soul-searching and field-experience (hey, it’s scientific, there could be some research that brave and intrepid folks have to embark on)  that renews our faith in wedding bliss – there feels like a lot of rough waters to navigate if a wedding is on the horizon.  Can we do the same things the second time around, like the showers and Bachelorette nights?  Can we have a walk down the aisle that is fresh and new when it’s a re-do? And is a white dress off the table?
Bridal Guide has a great article that answers a lot of second wedding questions and concerns:
There’s no reason why a first wedding should be anyone’s only wedding, and everything else pales in comparison or should be downplayed; every bride deserves to have the day she wants,  whether it’s her first or ninth (I’m looking at you,  Zsa Zsa Gabor!)  And no matter what anyone tells us, sequels are a beautiful chapter in the continuing story of us and should be respected as such!
Wishing you a day as limitless as you are~
Lisa and April

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Forget Pennies – A Flower For Your Thoughts?

Photo via I Loves SwMag

When I was leaving the gym today, it was absolutely soggy and miserable; drops of rain the size of my head, the parking lot was flooded, it was windy, bone-chilling and skin-drenching.  As we made a mad dash to the car, my husband laughed and invoked an age-old, bad-weather-in-April-mantra, ‘April showers bring May flowers!’
It got me thinking though… what exactly are May flowers?  This innocent question sent me down the rabbit-hole as I wracked my brain for the usual May suspects, and off the top of my head I could name only two – Tulips and Daisies.   But this couldn’t be it, right? What flowers are in season in May? So off to my good friend Google for the answer because if you go to your local florists, you’ll find a lovely assortment of flowers, regardless of whether it’s their growing season or not. But knowing what flowers are in season at what time of year on a month-by-month basis can be invaluable from a wedding budget point of view.   You can make the best of your décor budget by picking flowers that are in season and thus, priced according to supply, if in-season versus demand, if off-season.   Here is a handy guide of flowers, by the month!
Now, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t use the flowers you always dreamed of having featured prominently on your big day, just because they’re not in season at the time of your wedding.  This is where you have a couple options and your Decorator will be a voice of experience and reason at this time – working with your budget, he or she can help you incorporate your favourite floral as effectively and economically as possible by supplementing with in-season blooms and having your flower be a statement piece, arrangement-wise.  You can also decide just where you’ll  use that off-season bloom for maximum impact; whether it’s in your bouquet and the groom’s boutonniere and in selective settings (head table, church pews, Mother-of-the-Bride-or-Groom pins, etc..)   And even if you want that off-season flower to feature heavily throughout your wedding day, that’s perfectly fine too; knowledge is power for  your budget because it saves a mild panic attack when you are quoted for your flowers if you’re aware beforehand that they might be a bit more expensive due to your dream flower not being in season.
Flowers: Soirée by Tara Guerard; Photo by Liz Banfield
But…. because I do love options, there are so many great ideas for non-floral bouquets and décor these days, and if you’re  thinking of bouquets off the beaten track, then look no further than these beauties!
I love the idea of a non-floral bouquet, particularly  the Brooch Bouquet.  Check out the story behind a gorgeous brooch bouquet:
Ever  After III Bridal Brooch Bouquet, as seen on Etsy
I imagine the possibilities of a brooch bouquet; bridal shower guests could be asked to bring a brooch to the shower that will be used in the making of your bouquet; the bridal party can do a day of vintage store shopping to find the perfect brooches for a fun pre-wedding event (to be followed by good eats and even better drinks afterwards) ; or, in a case of the ultimate Something Borrowed, the bouquet would be supplemented by borrowed brooches from female relatives of the Bride and Groom! If your Something Borrowed item is for good luck, can you imagine the cumulative power of a whole collection of beautiful ‘Somethings Borrowed’ that make up your bouquet?  And what if your one-of-a-kind bouquet became the Something Borrowed for future brides you know and love? You could be starting a lovely bit of wedding history!
Wishing you a day as limitless as you are~
Lisa and April

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Here Comes The Ex-Bride!

Thanks to a very famous couple, we were introduced to the term ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ as a softer, kinder, gentler, Goop-ier way to say,  ’We’re separating’.  But while we welcomed this phrasing with a bit of internal laughter and maybe a stifled groan, did you know that there’s been something taking the Uncoupling of other couples to new levels – the divorce party? Jack White and his model ex-wife Karen Elson threw a Divorce Party  and put the concept in our collective consciousness,  being a celebrity couple, but there have been plenty of parties before theirs – and there’ll be many more to come it seems!  Robin Thicke recently threw himself an unofficial party, and a quick Google search will find you tons of Pinterest boards dedicated to marking your divorce with the same effort as when you celebrated your marriage and articles giving you first hand accounts of these events.  They are cropping up more and more, and even though April and I love to plan couples’  big walks down the aisle, we know that sometimes, things don’t work out and we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge this particular wedding trend! We love love, but hey, if life gives some couples lemons, who’s to say they can’t juice those bad boys, call up their closest friends and make some refreshing, liberating lemonade, yes?

The Red Hot Business of Divorce Celebration

Wishing you a day as limitless as you are~

Lisa and April