Mar 26

My husband is Jewish, and I am Catholic. That wasn’t a problem when we were dating, because he isn’t religious. He married a Catholic before, and their daughter was raised Catholic.

A reformed rabbi married us. I sacrificed being married in church by a priest, but we shared our traditions. My husband broke the glass, and we lit our candles. My family wasn’t too happy I married outside my faith, but they accept him.

When our daughter was born, I didn’t want my children growing up with no direction, so I decided to raise her Catholic. My husband wasn’t too happy, but he agreed. His family was invited to the christening, but they refused to have any part of it. I bit my tongue and let it go, but I resented them for not being there.

Four years later we have a son, and it’s his turn to be baptized. This time they come to the party, not the church, and they don’t bring a gift. So that’s another slap in the face. Two months ago our daughter had her first communion. I asked if they wanted to be part of their granddaughter’s day, and they said no. So to me that’s another slap in the face.

Through the years we celebrated my husband’s holidays with his family, and my family went to their bar mitzvahs. My husband agrees with his family that it’s okay for them not to be involved, but I know for a fact his family has gone to christenings, communions, and confirmations for their neighbors.

Well, after 10 years, I no longer want to be involved in their holidays and family functions. In three year’s time, when it’s my son’s turn, I know they’ll do the same thing. My husband is in the middle, which I know is hard for him, but I can’t bite my tongue anymore. I want to know how to stop hating my husband’s family.

Alyssa

Alyssa, what if you kept inviting vegetarians to an all-you-can-eat steak tartare dinner? (That’s seasoned raw beef.) Would you really expect them to attend? You knew when you married there was a divide. Your in-laws are of a different faith, and different faiths oppose and contradict one another.

If you don’t have a problem going to their religious events, then go. But don’t expect or invite them to yours. They find them indigestible. When you were married by a rabbi, you suggested things might work out otherwise. All your in-laws are doing by not coming or giving a gift is affirming “this is not what we want.”

When Wayne was in the navy, the rule in the wardroom was no one was allowed to discuss sex, politics, or religion. Perhaps you and your in-laws can put religion in the category of topics which are off-limits. How much healing might be possible between you in just leaving religion out of your relationship?

Tamara

Something To Hide

My name is Joy, and I’m 20 years old. In March I met a guy online. He is from Canada. He seems to be a sweet guy and I like him a lot, but some things don’t add up. I’m curious he didn’t give me his number because he said he did it before and it caused him a lot of pain.

He doesn’t have a web camera because he lives at home with his mom, and he said she doesn’t want a webcam in her house. Yesterday I e-mailed him and told him it’s over because I’m afraid of getting hurt and him turning out to be a serial killer or something.

Joy

Joy, he’s probably not a serial killer, but a web camera might catch a glimpse of something he doesn’t want you to see, like a wife and children. You did the right thing by ending it. When something feels amiss, trust your feelings.

Mar 26

It’s very easy to look, from the outside, at another woman’s unhappy relationship and ask: ‘Why on earth does she stay with him?’

It’s especially easy if the man in question exhibits the subtle charm of Attila the Hun - or the social graces of Fat Bast*rd in Austin Powers. Some abusive men parade their hostility and prejudices as proudly as if they were merits.

Others are utterly charming and engaging in the social context. And their partners’ suffering is compounded endlessly by the incomprehension they meet with, when they finally decide to leave.

“What him? No! I don’t believe it!! He’s so lovely.’

Strange how mere onlookers should assume they know more than the women who have lived up close and personal with these Jekyll and Hyde figures.

The question, where this group is concerned, is more likely to be: ‘How could she leave him?’ As if public charm was enough to guarantee their partner’s physical and emotional sanity.

Others, who lack the style of the true charmer, simply come across as oily creeps.

In fact, there are no prizes for spotting Fat Bast*rd, Attila the Hun, or the Oily Creep, if you’ve never been wooed by him.

If, on the other hand, for some reason, you have ever dropped your defences for more than a millisecond, these men will bamboozle you and bind you, in record time, with more chains than Harry Houdini ever had to cope with.

They bind you first with the chains of love and sex, and the chains may - briefly - feel as light as garlands of flowers. They bind you, next, with jealousy, power, fear, children, money, isolation, humiliation and contempt.

They bind you so tightly that the struggle to escape exhausts you fruitlessly. And each time you stop struggling, they tighten the chains; through further isolation, humiliation or exercise of power. Until the chains nearly asphyxiate you.

And yet, women stay. They stay because they sincerely believe it is in their children’s interest to have two parents. They stay because they don’t know that it’s not their fault. They believe that they are to blame for everything that has gone wrong in the relationship.

They stay because they have been brainwashed into believing that they are loathsome and their partner is, in some way, admirable. They stay because they believe if they can’t make their partner love them, nobody else ever will. They stay because they don’t believe they deserve better.

They stay because society is so ignorant about the true nature of domestic violence (be it physical or emotional) that they don’t know where to turn to understand what is happening to them.

They stay because they are desperate to be heard, even when they have lost their own voice. They stay because they have been blinded to reality and crushed emotionally by the relationship. And yet they can, and will, pick up the threads of their life.

The timescale may not sit comfortably with the onlooker. But when you stop to think about the enormous emotional hurdles they must scale, it’s no wonder it takes a while.

Mar 26

“I just let him handle things his way.”

“We’re not very good at resolving problems, so I let it
go.”

“I just hate confrontation!”

Listening, talking, communicating, resolving problems,
making joint decisions… these are requirements for all
couples. Without good communication skills and quality time
dedicated to communicating, relationships soon flounder and
fail, especially among couples with the stress of two
careers and a full family life.

Many couples don’t talk because they are avoiding conflict
and confrontation. There is a common misconception that
conflict and confrontation are bad. One of the major reasons
couples have problems is their failure to confront issues
head-on. They may fight openly or quietly seethe, but they
have a terrible time confronting the real conflict
respectfully and honestly. It’s as if confrontation and
conflict are impolite. However, conflict and confrontation
are natural and healthy components of any relationship. You
are neither bad nor wrong for causing a conflict or
identifying one. Conflict is an opportunity to open up
communication on a difficult subject.

Do not fear conflict and confrontation. Avoiding conflict is
not the goal. Rather you want to develop the tools to “lean
into” conflicts and resolve them early on, so that you can
reorganize your lives to include the new learning. Because
married couples have a lot at stake when it comes to their
relationship, they are prone to avoid conflict or to use
ineffective tools to solve the conflict too quickly.
Compromising and acquiescing are two of these ineffective
tools.

Most couples are shocked when I advise them to avoid
compromises at all costs. After all, isn’t compromise a
requirement of partnership? The reality is that decisions
that are arrived at through compromise usually lack
creativity and seldom last. Sure, a compromise now and then
may be necessary for the sake of expediency, but if a
decision is important, a compromise may cause anger and
resistance. Because compromises are usually a result of both
people giving up something in order to get an agreement, the
decision is a watered-down version of two stronger opinions.

Compromise is the easy way out when you are trying to avoid
conflict and confrontation. It appears that the compromise
will smooth ruffled feathers and that both partners can go
away happy. What really happens, however, is that each
partner leaves feeling as though they have been had. One
person may resent having to compromise and will be looking
for ammunition to prove that the decision was a bad one.
Another person may feel he or she has done the honorable
thing by not pushing his or her opinion on the other, only
to feel unappreciated later when the compromise plan is
dropped. If you stop and think about it, how long have your
compromise decisions really lasted?

Acquiescing or forcing your opinion upon your partner are
other ways of avoiding conflict. In seeking to avoid
conflict, for example, a persuasive person may push his or
her partner to acquiesce to a certain point of view, but
this does not mean that the partner agrees. It may mean only
that the partner actually does not want to fight and so
appears to agree, when he or she has only given in. Don’t
make the mistake of pushing to win at all costs or to
acquiescing to the persuader, when you don’t agree. In
either case, if you are the persuader or the acquiescent
partner, the conflict has not been resolved and, what’s
worse, may have been driven underground.

If you don’t make time to talk, if you don’t consider
nurturing your personal relationship as important, and if
you avoid healthy conflict and confrontation, your
relationship will disintegrate. So take the time now to
evaluate your communication skills. Invest in the time to
develop a meaningful, loving relationship with your spouse.

Mar 17

It’s really not difficult to ruin what could have been great sex. If that’s your goal, following these twelve suggestions will ensure that, over time, your spouse will become very creative in finding ways to avoid having sex with you.

Of course, we’re writing this article “tongue in cheek” to make a point. But we can assure you that these behaviors will detract from your sexual relationship with your partner. That’s because sexual feelings are vulnerable to being affected by so many other factors, such as self-esteem, expectations, criticism, emotional intimacy, and pressure.

Do these Things to Ruin Your Sex Life

So here are the behaviors guaranteed to be “turn offs” to your spouse. In italics is the faulty reasoning that gets marriages into trouble. In parentheses (…), we’ve added a counterweight to the faulty reasoning.

1. Develop a set routine for when you want to have sex—the same time and same place every week.

“That way, you don’t have to wonder when you’ll have sex—Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. in the bedroom—just like clock work. No use leaving it to chance, right?”

(How boring. Try adding excitement by surprising your mate with something slightly new and different.)

2. Follow exactly the same “plays” and “moves” each time.

“This way you both know what to expect each time. It’s just too much work to come up with different things to try, and after the honeymoon period, it’s not really necessary, is it?”

(Instead, remember a variation on the old saying that variety is the spice of life… and of sex).

3. Drink a lot first so that you’re loosened up.

“If your mate doesn’t like the smell or wishes you wouldn’t drink so much before sex, it’s just too bad. You can’t let your spouse tell you what to do, can you?”

(Consistent and excessive intoxication during sex is a big turn-off and could indicate deeper problems.)

4. Only touch your spouse when your goal is to have sex.

“Save your hugs, wet kisses, and holding hands until you’re ready to signal that you want sex. That way your partner will associate your touch with sex and know what to expect, get my drift? Cuts down on misunderstandings, doesn’t it?”

(Actually, the best sex can be the result of hours or even days of buildup with no obvious sign of sex on the horizon. During this time, any sign of affection - a touch, a hug, some compliments - can be powerful foreplay that builds to ignite passion.)

5. Expect your spouse to deliver the sexual goods because you’re married.

“Your mate knows that every ‘good’ marriage partner owes sex to the other partner as part of his or her ‘duties.’ After all, isn’t this supposed to be one of the benefits of being married?”

(When sex becomes an obligation, it becomes as appealing as paying taxes. Instead, if your goal is to make the experience breathtaking for your partner, you’ll never have to invoke guilt or obligation to get sex.)

6. Push for sex even if your spouse seems reluctant and uninterested as long as he or she says “okay.”

“If the verbal agreement is there, ignore the behavioral signals that indicate reluctance. If your spouse didn’t really want to have sex, he or she should have said so up front, right?”

(Pay close attention to your mate’s body language. That can be more revealing of true interest in sex than words alone. You’ll damage your relationship if you forge ahead when your partner only agrees just to get it over with.)

7. Skip foreplay and get to the major action immediately.

“It takes too much time to bother with all that extra stuff. Besides, both of you have to go to work in the morning and need your sleep. You can’t afford to waste time.”

(The truth is, there is often a direct correlation to the amount of foreplay with the quality of the sex. The better the buildup, the better the payoff.)

8. Criticize your spouse’s sexual performance.

“After all, you’re only trying to motivate your mate to be a better sexual partner. It’s not healthy to keep things in, so he or she will just have to listen to your critique.”

(You will get more satisfying performance out of your mate by praising what he or she does that you like, rather than the contrary.)

9. Criticize your spouse’s physical appearance.

“If your partner has developed a beer belly or gotten flabby, you’re doing him or her a favor to say how much that turns you off. It’ll motivate your spouse to lose weight and shape up, which will help him or her in the long run.”

(The rule is: use positive strokes to motivate your partner. Negative criticism will poison your sex life.)

10. Answer your cell phone during sex.

“You just never know; this call might be important. Anyway, what’s the big deal? It’s not like you’ll never have sex again. You’ve been having sex for years now, so why should your partner get upset with an occasional interruption?”

(Respect your partner with your undivided attention to get back the same. Minimize all distractions if possible.)

11. Get it over with as fast as possible as long as you’re satisfied.

“Don’t ask your partner if there’s anything you can do for him or her. Just assume that everything’s okay unless your mate says something.”

(If satisfaction is not mutual, your sex life will suffer. The simple question a couple can ask each other - “How can I please you?” - works wonders.)

12. Jump up immediately and make your get-away afterwards.

“The faster you get finished, the faster you’ll be able to get to sleep. There’s no time to waste just lying there talking. You can talk tomorrow over breakfast.”

Mar 17

Mens diamond rings are becoming more and more popular with the modern man. As more men celebrate their marriage by the wearing of a wedding ring, mens diamond rings are fast becoming the new mens fashion.

The wearing of a wedding ring by a man is a reasonably new phenomenon. It is only really since the second world war that the wearing of a wedding ring by a man became common. However it is taking off now, as are diamond mens rings.

And there are different considerations for a man’s wedding jewelry than for a woman.

A man doesn’t usually wear an engagement ring. A woman does. For a woman it is her engagement ring which is the feature on her finger. It is usually the engagement ring that is admired, not her wedding ring. And for this reason the woman will usually love a stunning diamond solitaire ring for her engagement ring, because a diamond solitaire is a ring to be admired!

And the setting of the diamond solitaire is there really just to hold the diamond. The setting is not the feature, the diamond is. The setting is just there to show off the diamond to best advantage.

So for a woman the choice of wedding ring needs to accommodate the fact that it should not overpower her engagement ring. Whilst there are some magnificent diamond wedding rings for women, they should always be more understated. Small diamonds, and with more of the impact of the ring coming from the ring itself rather than the diamonds.

And if she has a magnificent engagement ring then there is no need for anything but a simple understated band for a wedding ring.

But a man needs to approach his wedding ring quite differently, hence the popularity of diamond mens rings. Mens diamond wedding rings are larger and more noticeable than womens rings. And as there is no engagement ring, the diamonds go on his wedding ring.

This is the only ring on his hands, perhaps the only jewelry that he will ever wear. So it needs to tell the world exactly who he is.

Notwithstanding, it is not as common for men to wear a mens diamond ring with a single large stone as it is for women. Whilst solitaire rings are the most popular for women, men tend to select more diamonds, and smaller ones.

For women, the setting is just the method of showing off the diamond. For men the setting, and the ring material, is an integral part of the appeal of the ring. Mens diamond rings are all about the ring and the diamonds together. Womens rings are about the diamonds.

For this reason mens diamond rings often feature such modern ring materials as Titanium, Platinum, Stainless Steel or Carbon Fibre. Two tone yellow gold and white gold also looks great.

These rings are also much wider than you would expect for a woman’s wedding ring. This is to make sure that a mans wedding ring is in keeping with a mans (normally) wider hand, and also to allow room for the features of the ring and to add the diamonds. Mens diamond wedding rings are much more ornate than a womans wedding ring.

But the most important part is still the diamond or diamonds. A mens diamond ring with one or more stunning diamonds cannot be matched for style. It says volumes about the man. It makes a clear unambiguous statement that says “I’m married, and I can afford a fantastic diamond ring like this”.

Mens diamond rings are unequalled for style, class and flair. The modern married man should not be without one.

Mar 17

Why does Co-dependence arise? Well because two or more individuals make an unconscious contract with each other to try to satisfy the unmet needs of the other. Initially, especially in the case of a couple, this contract is defined as “love”. For instance, how many times have you heard yourself or others say something like “I can’t live without you”. Usually this means “without you my needs won’t get met”. In other words, “I will start to feel empty, needy, anxious and desperate without my needs being met by you”.

The reason that this type of relational contract eventually breaks down is because no one can possibly meet the needs of any other person. Trying to do so would take so much energy and effort that it would essentially deplete the person trying to. Hence at some point the person whose needs are not being satisfied will start to feel disgruntled and perhaps start using the following expression, “you don’t love me any more” when what they really mean is “you have broken your contract to meet my needs”.

The unfortunate result of such a broken contract is that either the individuals part and try to find someone else to meet their unmet needs or they try to force, or coerce, usually through guilt, the other person into trying to meet their needs. This is when things can get very ugly. So what can be done about this ongoing saga that seems to affect almost all relationships in my view?

Although this may not be met with applause by most individuals reading this article I must say that it becomes necessary to address one’s unmet needs one’s self. This is the alternative to trying to turn one’s partner or friend into becoming one’s “new parent”. The latter strategy will always fail and leaves one’s integrity in tatters. Trust me, I’ve seen happen hundreds of times.

So how does one address one’s needs one’s self? In order to begin to address this I offer an example of a common need: “I need you to validate me so I can feel good about myself”.

Let’s look closely at what this need implies. The need suggests that it is there to help motivate the individual to get the validation he/she needs, so that, it will get met, so that, it will make that individual feel complete, whole, will give them self esteem and self confidence.

In other words that “the need to be validated will make them feel good about themselves”.

So what I would like to suggest you do right now, if you wish, is summon up the need to be validated in yourself (if this is something you personally struggle with) and notice whether you feel good about yourself as you are aware of it’s effect on you.

Do you feel good about yourself knowing that you have such a need? I doubt it. In fact you may feel somewhat foolish or weakened by having such a toxic need inside you. Is this what you want living inside you?

If not, make some simple statements to the effect that a) you acknowledge that the belief that this need is helping you is false b) that the need itself is toxic to you i.e. it weakens you and leaves you “needy” and c) that you would like the need and the false belief that it helps you feel good about yourself purged from your life.

I will leave it to you to determine for yourself the impact that such a simple process can have on your life and on your relationships. For more help with such issues you can visit the web site below.

Mar 17

The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating (or choosing) wedding favors. Take a look at the list below for fifteen fabulous ideas.

For outdoor/garden weddings:

-Small, painted terra cotta pots filled with excelsior, topped off with a few of your favorite flower bulbs and finished with pretty ribbons or raffia

-Store-bought miniature bird’s nests filled with Robin’s egg candies

-Decorative sachets filled with scented lavender, rose petals, or other dried flowers

For beach/beach-themed weddings:

-Homemade cookies shaped like sand dollars (or seashells) in decorative wrappers, tied with ribbon

-Sea/bath salts in glass containers with homemade thank-you tags

For summer/backyard barbecue weddings:

-Personalized bottles of hot sauce with homemade thank-you tags

-Miniature jars of jams/preserves in small baskets filled with excelsior

For winter wonderland weddings:

-Personalized cocoa/tea/coffee packs in silver mint julep cups, wrapped in tulle and tied with ribbon

-Snowflake-shaped cookie cutters in sparkling organza bags

For any wedding:

-Jordan almonds or butter mints, wrapped in tulle, tied with ribbon and decorative bells

-Votive candles in glass holders, wrapped in tulle and tied with ribbon

-Chocolate truffles in pretty boxes, tied with ribbon and homemade thank-you tags

-Silver photo frames (with promise to provide a picture from the wedding after the big day)

-Personalized miniature champagne (or sparkling cider) bottles

-Miniature, scented hand soaps wrapped in tulle, tied with ribbon and a homemade thank-you tag

As you can see, there are tons of great favor ideas. And sometimes what makes them great is all in the details–so don’t be afraid to get a little creative or personalize ready-made favors.

Mar 17

In the dim past of the last century, good time girls like Marilyn Monroe always celebrated their moments of victory with a glass of bubbly.

‘I’m marrying a millionaire,’ she’d thrill. ‘Let’s have champagne!’

Corks would pop, and the golden liquid would swirl and fizz into those wide, saucer-shaped glasses. Well-manicured fingers would spread elegantly around the bowl, the wine sparkling invitingly through the hollow stem.

Then with a suddenness of an express train passing a station, the saucer-shaped glass disappeared. And a whole tradition of romance went with it.

For the saucer-shaped champagne glass wasn’t just another glass. It was designed as a special symbol of its own. Its inspiration was the legendary beauty of a woman’s breast. Some say that famous breast belonged to Madame de Pompadour. Not only was the lady fond of all things beautiful which only the affection of king could give her, but she wasn’t beyond commissioning a special plate or two with her very own designs.

Another name suggested for the shape of the glass is Marie Antionette. Beautiful enough, and tragic enough. But those fond of anything really ancient are pretty certain that there was never a breast deserving of fame so much as that of Helen of Troy.

However, while no one agrees on the name of the beautiful woman who inspired the shape of the glass, everyone pretty well agrees on the bodily part it resembles.

As to be expected, the manufacturing wizard who gave the glass its birth was a Frenchmen. And it was the French royalty who realised its full potential.

At a brunch, or a high tea, while drinking their champagne, the ladies would pass the tort or the angel cake. ‘Oh, my dear,’ they would cry, ‘do try the sponge cake with the champagne. Have you ever tasted anything so delicious?’ And they would dip their cake or pastry into the bubbles before popping the champagne-impregnated morsel into their mouth. Lovers, in particular, loved to feed each other on this heavenly fare.

Then along came the wine buffs. With no romance in their souls, just their long noses and cultivated palates, they went into a scientific huddle. Taking a tape measure they first measured the perimeter of the saucer-shaped glass and then the tulip-shaped glass, and shook their heads in dismay.

The surface of the saucer-bowl glass is so wide, they complained. What a waste of bubbles and aroma.

They cared little about how generous and giving the rounded curves of the saucer-shaped glass looked. And they cared even less about the charm of the saucer-shaped glass when the bride and groom toasted each other with their two hands intertwined.

Their focus was on keeping the aroma and the bubbles in the glass for as long as possible.

As if a true lover of champagne would take more than a minute or two to drink the lot!

Mar 17

Sure you want your guests to enjoy themselves at your wedding reception, but if you don’t want to break the bank or the law here’s what you will need to know, including how to calculate how much to buy.

Unquestionably, one of the hottest topics that must be dealt with when planning a wedding reception is whether to have an open bar or a cash bar. Why does this particular topic tend to be so controversial?

Well, for one thing, some people will tell you that it would be rude to invite guests to your reception, then ask them to pay for their own drinks. On the other hand, an open bar—at which your guests drink for free, perhaps into the wee hours of the morning if they last that long—could leave you with a bill that will forever remain etched in your memory.

Both points of view are well taken. It’s true that one wouldn’t ordinarily invite people to dinner or a party with the expectation that they will pay for what you serve. But it is equally true that people tend to be overly indulgent, not to mention downright wasteful, with alcohol they aren’t paying for. They will take a sip or two, set their glass down and begin talking, then walk away. Later, instead of returning for their glass, they will head for the bar to order yet another drink. So, what’s the answer?

Options, Anyone

There really isn’t a correct answer, but there are options. You could:

*Serve free champagne punch. Since it is relatively light in terms of alcohol content, your guests aren’t as likely to become obnoxious, even if they’ve had more than their fair share.

*Have an open bar for the first hour or two. This approach will prevent you from feeling, and looking, like a cheapskate but will allow you to keep your bank account in the black.

*Have each table set to include the allocated bottles of wine or champagne. For example, a table seating six to eight people might be decked with two bottles of wine or champagne. Since you can expect each bottle to hold between 4 and six glassfuls, everyone will have one to two glasses for dinner and the toast. (Obviously, you will want to have the toast as early as possible to avoid an embarrassing situation in which guests will be forced to hold up empty glasses.)

*Use the open-and-shut-case approach. This requires purchasing beer kegs or cases of good-quality beer, plus several cases of good-quality wine. Since you have purchased the supply in advance, you will determine just how much is being spent on drinks.

For guests who insist upon drinking until the cows come home or would like something stronger, make a cash bar available.

*Have waiters and waitresses serve drinks from a tray. This approach is not only stylish, it is also quite cost effective because you remain in control of how much is consumed.

Choose a few different drinks to be served, including beer and wine. Then have the staff circulate throughout the reception area at pre-scheduled intervals. Perhaps the waiters and waitresses might offer drinks when the reception starts, then just before or during dinner, then a few times later in the evening but not throughout the night. With tray service, you guest will not pay for their drinks, but this will still be a lot cheaper than having an open bar.

At-home Receptions

If you are planning to have your reception in a home or backyard and you will not be using a caterer, here is what you will need to know.

In this situation, a cash bar is simply not one of the available choices. It is against the law to sell alcohol without a liquor license. (You wouldn’t want to spend your honeymoon in the pokey.)

If the home is not equipped with one, you will need a rented bar (or a sturdy table or two, dressed to the floor or ground with linen). Plan to stock the bar or table(s) with beer, vodka, rum, whiskey, tequila, cordials (liqueur), brandy, gin, wine, sparkling juice, and possibly punch.

Offering a sparkling white wine is also nice. If you are planning to serve champagne (Although only a sparkling white wine made in the Champagne region of France can be truly called champagne, people often refer to any bubbly by that name.), expect to pay more. A decent bottle (You will only disappoint the true connoisseur, and they are a dying breed.) will cost between $10 and $12 and will serve seven to eight glasses. Even at these prices per bottle, you may want to reserve it for the toast.

Borrow or shop for a bartender’s guide (Mr. Boston Deluxe Official Bartender’s Guide, for example). For your mixologist, you might also stock such things as lemons, limes, celery, maraschino cherries, and olives. You’ll also want to have soda water, tonic water, sparkling water, coke, ginger ale, and a few other soft drinks, plus swizzle sticks and cocktail napkins. Last, but not least, remember to have an ample supply of ice (crushed and cubed) on hand.

Standard Guidelines for Consumption

Expect each guest to have four to five drinks at the reception. You’ll get twenty-five drinks from a fifth of liquor, providing you’re using a one-ounce pony to make them with one ounce of alcohol each. Using one and a half ounces of alcohol (that is, a one-and-a-half-ounce jigger), you’ll get eighteen drinks per fifth of alcohol. A single case of alcohol contains twelve bottles. Assuming that you’re using one ounce of alcohol to make every drink, then one case will yield 300 drinks.

If you would like to serve beer on tap, half a keg will yield 260 eight-ounce glasses of beer. Seven cases of beer will yield the same amount.

With regard to unopened bottles of alcohol, don’t be too concerned about over stocking. It is better to have too much, rather than not enough. Besides, unopened bottles of alcohol can usually be returned to the store.

The Law and Your Liability

Needless to say, it is against the law to serve alcohol to anyone under the legal drinking age. The sobering fact is that courts have consistently ruled that restaurants, caterers, and hosts are financially liable when minors who are served alcohol are injured, become involved in a car accident, or break the law.

You can also be held liable for an adult who suffers an injury, become involved in a car accident, or step outside of the law after drinking too much in your home. Caterers and restaurants are subject to the same liability.

Your best protection against legal liability involving alcohol is to plan ahead and react sensibly. If your reception is to be catered, discuss a plan of action with the caterer before hand. He or she undoubtedly will cooperate.

Avoid serving salty foods since they make people thirsty. Foods high in protein—such as meat, fish, eggs, and cheese—will help to keep your guests sober.

Once a person is drunk, it’s too late to reach for the pot of coffee. Giving your happy drunk coffee will only make him or her hyper and jittery. If you need to sober someone up, try to get the person to drink water, which will dilute the alcohol in their system and flush it out.

By no means, let that person drive—no matter what they say. Instead, call for a taxi or find another driver to take the person home.

Mar 17

Creating a wedding budget is one of the first things a bride should do. Although it is extremely important, brides often fear the task and in turn do not create one at all. This is a huge mistake. Brides who plan weddings without a wedding budget spend anywhere from twenty to fifty percent more than they anticipated. This can be a financial disaster for whoever is taking care of the wedding bill. So, be a responsible bride and use these helpful ideas to create your own personal wedding budget.

Tips

A good thing to remember is you can plan a beautiful wedding on any wedding budget. The most important thing to remember is to stick to your budget, no matter if you must forgo things you truly want to include. Will you really remember if you had to use cheap ribbon for your wedding favors instead of the designer ribbon you desired? Probably not, and it is certain your guests won’t know the difference anyway.

A wedding that has a guest list of over 400 may need a professional wedding planner. However, if you feel capable of taking on the task yourself, then by all means, give it a try. If you start to feel too overwhelmed you can always call in for backup later.

Breaking It Down

A bride can take the total amount she plans to spend on her wedding and divide it for each planning category. This formula is great no matter what your total wedding cost goal may be however it is based upon a $5000 wedding budget. At any time, if you must spend more on one area than the other, then you will have to deduct allotted money from another area to compensate. Try keeping a journal of every purchase you make in order to fulfill you wedding plan successfully. Opening a specific bank account for wedding expenses is a great way to stay on track as well.

Location

Brides should set aside no more than ten percent of their total wedding budget for their wedding location rental. Brides who desire church weddings may find that it is sometimes free for them to use their family church. Other ways to save money are to hold your wedding at the home or garden of a friend or family member.

Attire

The bride should not spend more than twenty-five percent of their total budget on wedding attire. This includes attire for the bride, her attendants, the groom, and his attendants. A good way to cut down attire costs is to ask your attendants to help pay for their gowns and tuxedos. If you simply cannot ask them to help contribute, then you should choose lower costs gowns for them to wear.

Reception

A total of thirty percent of the total budget can be spent of the wedding reception. Couples usually spend more on the reception than the ceremony because they are entertaining their guests and the reception lasts a lot longer.

Decorations

Decorations can account for twenty-five percent of the total wedding budget. Brides must be very careful in this area, and be sure about their purchases before hand. Many brides waste money in this category simply because they change their minds about the décor several times. A bride with a tight budget cannot afford to be unsure and should wait until they are certain before purchasing. Making your own wedding decorations is a great way to save money in this area. Using creative and easy decoration ideas, you can make your wedding look fabulous for much less.

Extra

It is a good idea to leave ten percent of your total budget for last minute details or unexpected costs along the way. This is a good way to save money in the case you might not stick strictly with your budget and need extra funds.

Now that you know how important your wedding budget is to the success of your wedding, you can be motivated to stick to your plan. Sticking to your budget will not only free you financially but also give you the satisfaction of knowing you planned your ideal wedding by staying in your budget boundaries.

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