Five Benefits of Pre Marriage Counseling

Recently I attended a baby shower, and among the silly games and exclamations of “oh isn’t that just adorable” there was the inevitable discussion of what the couple was doing to prepare, including which preparation classes the couple had taken.  I started to wonder, why is it that we expect new parents to take classes and read countless books to prepare for the newest change in their lives and relationships, but we do not have such expectations when a couple is preparing for another huge change in their relationship: marriage? Why isn’t marriage prep more common for newly engaged couples?

The benefits of marriage preparation are substantial; a study published in 2006 by Scott Stanley, P.R. Amato, and Howard Markham out of the University of Denver showed that couples who participated in pre marriage counseling had a 30% lower divorce rate.  Whenever possible we prepare for the big changes in our lives, so it’s worth asking, what are the benefits of pre marriage counseling? Continue reading Five Benefits of Pre Marriage Counseling

Wedding proposal fail ends in 4 arrests

In the history of how to not propose to your girlfriend, this wedding proposal fail wins a gold star for complete ridiculousness:

All was well along the 10 Freeway in West Covina around lunchtime on January 7th. That was, until approximately 200 to 250 motorcyclists stopped simultaneously, blocking all lanes and surrounding a bike with a man and his girlfriend. After his girlfriend–clearly confused–got off the motorcycle, it released a giant puff of pink smoke, and the driver got down on one knee to propose. She said yes, some bikes did wheelies, and they hugged. Continue reading Wedding proposal fail ends in 4 arrests

Online dating, online marriage?

It’s not unusual for spouses to have met online these days and the internet has made keeping long-distance love alive infinitely easier. I’ve heard numerous stories of long dating periods done solely online. But what about that next step: getting married digitally, via Skype?

It’s not exactly a movement, but online marriage is happening.

Is it legal to get married online?

Proxy marriage, in which one spouse is absent, is actually a very old practice. Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI were technically married remotely in Marie’s home country of Austria. She later made the trek to France and they had another public ceremony. These days a proxy marriage is rare and mostly occurs among deployed soldiers who are concerned about leaving their significant other without benefits in case of death. In most other cases, U.S. law requires both parties to be physically present in order to legally wed. Continue reading Online dating, online marriage?

The right age for getting married: is there one?

Imagine a typical scene of parents talking to their adult child about getting married. Do you have the vision of the older generation pressuring a young couple to tie the knot? Researchers from Brigham Young University have found that the truth is actually the reverse.

“The assumption has been that the younger generation wants to delay marriage and parents are hassling them about when they would get married,” said Brian Willoughby, the lead author of the study. “We actually found the opposite, that the parental generation is showing the ‘slow down’ mindset more than the young adults.”

The university students polled for the study reported 25-years-old to be around the right age to get married, while their parents tended to advise waiting a few years until their late twenties. In reality, the average age for marriage has been slowly increasing since the 1960s and now is around 27-years-old. The study did not include students from BYU since most are Mormon and tend to have earlier marriage rates than the general population.

Parent’s advice may come from wise instincts. Continue reading The right age for getting married: is there one?

Funny wedding quotes

Funny wedding quotes are great for spicing up wedding toasts, speeches, vows or cards. In addition to making us laugh, they can point out the importance of marriage skills such as communication and balancing individual desires with your spouse’s needs. Watch out for “funny” wedding quotes that are mean spirited. Many quotes use humor to spread nasty beliefs about marriage, and when we repeat them we can reinforce the faulty logic behind them. If we keep referring to marriage as a ball-and-chain, our expectations will help make it so. Continue reading Funny wedding quotes

A brief history of marriage

The history of marriage is as old as human civilization, and just as complicated. Marriage as we know and debate it today is vastly different from marriages throughout history, involving different agreements and different purposes.

1. Tribal alliances

Early tribal communities in northern Europe and elsewhere had fewer power imbalances among their members than later societies. While there were leaders, warriors, priests, and other distinctions, the tribes were relatively egalitarian–that is, before land ownership and agriculture allowed some members to accumulate more wealth than others. In those days, marriages were either by choice within the tribe, or between tribes as a way of affirming friendly alliances, says Stephanie Coontz, author of Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage. “You established peaceful relationships, trading relationships, mutual obligations with others by marrying them,” she writes.

But this all changed with the differentiation of wealth. Continue reading A brief history of marriage

What do your marriage vows say about you

Marriage vows are an important part of the wedding ceremony. While they aren’t verbatim a contract, they set the tone for what you want to get out of and are willing to give to your marriage. Your vows should reflect who you and your spouse are as a couple, and individually. With the popularity of non-traditional ceremonies rising (it seems like everyone is trying to one-up each other with originality!) it may seem stressful planning your vows.

Take a deep breath and check out these recommendations. Continue reading What do your marriage vows say about you

The 10 best love songs of all time

Love: wanting it, getting it, loosing it. It’s the subject of songs since the beginning of music. In fact, I can’t think of a single artist who hasn’t written a song about love at some point. However, all love songs are not created equal. Here is my list of the best love songs of all time, the most well written, romantic, and/or heart achingly sung tunes from the past 60 years.

10. Christina Aguilera-Ain’t no other man

All of a sudden he or she is there–the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and you don’t want anyone else. That contentment is a big part of married life, and it doesn’t have to be boring as Christina shows in this sassy, sexy, womanly tribute to her man.

9. Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight

Being love makes the rest of the world seem that more beautiful. On a simple night out Eric Clapton communicates to his partner how much he loves and appreciates her. Definitely one of the best love songs ever. Continue reading The 10 best love songs of all time

25 crazy wedding dresses

For some weddings the crazy wedding dresses are really what the event is remembered for. From haute couture to home-sewn whimsy, wedding gowns exist in an amazing array of fantastic to terrifying. For this post I’ve picked out the 20 craziest wedding dresses I could find. I hope you find them as entertaining as I do.

As much fun as it is to laugh at ridiculous fashion choices on the internet, crazy wedding dresses can be a real problem area of wedding planning. If you are close to the bride, giving feedback about a particularly ugly choice can be helpful when done tactfully and gently. Try using “I” statements and “yes…and…” instead of “but” when sharing your opinion (brush up on PO2’s skills for how to communicate in a relationship for some tips). Once she’s made her choice, no matter how trashy, ridiculous or ugly we may find that choice to be, we must keep our comments to ourselves at the wedding. Weddings are about the bride and groom and what they think is fun, not our fashion sensibilities. I may not have chosen the bikini wedding “dress” for myself, but I think it’s wonderful that the couple went and did something so outrageous and unique. They are expressing who they are. And just as the wedding is a celebration of the two betrothed taking and loving each other for who they are, so should we–their friends and family–celebrate  and accept the couple for who they are.


1. Never mind the medallion lace chest thing–this is probably my favorite of all the crazy wedding dresses just for her headpiece. I see a crab, an action figure, a bicycle…what else can you spy with your little eye?

Crazy wedding dresses--sometimes fun, sometimes terrifying!

2. Hello kitty!

Crazy wedding dresses--Hello Kitty style!

3. I actually don’t know if this counts as a wedding dress…

Crazy wedding dresses, ready for the beach.

4. The Octo-Bride!

"The Octo-bride." Crazy wedding dresses.

5. Next up: The bride is just glowing…no, literally, she’s glowing! This is a wild art project, and I think it would be quite fun to dance in later in the night at the reception.

Glowing crazy wedding dress art.

6. Another luminescent gown design made of a fabric of thousands of flat LEDs. First featured in WIRED magazine.

Another glowing wedding gown.

7. Many couples are patriotic, but this bride takes it to the next level! Perhaps she got married on the Fourth of July?

"I pledge allegiance to my husband..."

8. Wedding gown trains became popular in the 1870s and have grown to elaborate proportions. Like much else about the wedding, the overflowing and ridiculously long train symbolizes plentitude, opulence and fertility. This one may be a little overboard…

Crazy wedding dresses: the longest train.

9. The bride is a work of art!

Nature calls...

10. Nothing can extinguish their passion.

Nothing can put out their passion.

11. Real crazy wedding dresses require at least 8 helpers to move in.

Crazy wedding dresses

12. Is the groom in there somewhere?

Crazy wedding dress Cinderella

Media Mondays-Fainting Grooms video

Every couple is bound to feel a little jittery on their wedding day. For some grooms, the stress proves too much. For today’s video, an oldie and a goodie: the fainting grooms montage. Perhaps it’s the gravity of the occasion; perhaps he just isn’t quite…ready for marriage; perhaps it’s all those hundreds of people all staring at HIM! Under stress the automatic response is to shut down and lights out…sometimes we have no control over our bodies.

Fainting grooms is one of our graphic designer Clay’s favorite funny wedding videos and “made him fall in love with youtube” back in the day. I think the best thing is the soundtrack; the background music really makes it. And it’s a good reminder: you wedding may be a disaster, but it’s the marriage that happens after that counts.

Enjoy the fainting grooms! Hopefully your wedding ceremony wasn’t as stress-inducing as these couples’ were. And hopefully no grooms were injured in the making of this video.


Stay tuned for more funny wedding videos and other treats next monday!