Love is an action word


Falling in love is easy…Staying in Love – well, that takes finesse! Who knew?

The world’s best kept secret is that there are special skills required to have a lasting loving marriage. Our society has led us to believe that exceptional marriages happen naturally, like learning how to walk or crawl. Nothing could be further than the truth.


In fact, love needs to be nurtured in order to stay alive. You actually have to do things-the right things- to make it last. My husband Dave and I had no idea about this when we married 28 years ago. That’s why I’m so passionate about promoting great relationships.

Most of us got our education about love relationships from two sources-Hollywood romance movies that focus on glamour and glitz, and our parents- who were often struggling to just to keep things together.

It turns out that every love relationship goes through predictable phases- falling in love, disillusionment, and true love.

When couples fall in love, notice that they’re not doing anything, rather, they are falling – something is being done to them. They get flooded with ‘love potion #9′ – love hormones and experience intense feelings of euphoria, and have boundless energy. They put all their focus on each other, and tune out the rest of the world. It’s such an intoxicating feeling that they think and feel as though they’ve found the answer to all their problems and that they’re going to sail away into the sunset.

Eventually, the chemicals and stardust fade and the couple starts noticing each other’s differences, and annoying habits- like they slurp their soup, they’re always late, don’t understand anything about money….. Suddenly, It seems like they have nothing in common and they figure they’ve made a big mistake. In my and Dave’s case, he suddenly noticed that I was kind of a slob and I noticed that he was bossy. It was such a turn off for both of us.

This phase causes a lot of anxiety for couples. The good news is that this phase is not only healthy, it’s essential. In order to create a deeper, much more intimate relationship, couples need to accept each other as they are, warts and all.

So, how do you get to the true love phase?

  1. Recognize that falling in love is something that happens to you, but staying in love is an action word, a decision, a choice, an attitude.
  2. Take 100% responsibility for the results you get in your relationship. Rather than focusing on your partner’s shortcomings, focus on the parsley from between your own teeth.
  3. Make your relationship a safe place to share thoughts and feelings – even ones you don’t agree with. Be curious about each other.
  4. Take the time to share your everyday lives with each other – this creates emotional connection- intimacy, otherwise known as ‘in to me you see’ which is the glue that holds relationships together
  5. Treat your partner like a lover, not a roommate.
  6. Find out from your partner what it is that they want. What is it that makes them feel loved and cherished and do those things, because we fall in love and stay in love with the people who best meet our needs. And stop doing the things that they don’t like. I really stepped up my tidiness once I realized it was a big deal to Dave, and he became a lot more easygoing.

To have what you want, you need to invest in it- one baby step at a time. Rather than thinking of it as work, think of it as a labor of love, because it truly is.

Marian Meade, Marriage Coach for couples and marriage minded singles, loves helping couples to stay in love. She’ll be at The Ottawa Wedding Show October 18th and 19th to answer your relationship questions. To find out more about Marian go to


Are Wedding Appetizers Necessary?

Courtest of I Just Said Yes

So many couples are spending money on appetizers prior to dinner service. I personally love this idea and think it brings a level of elegance to the event.

Wedding Appetizers

You can keep the cost down by having the wait staff butler pass these items. You only need to order 2-3 pieces total per person. Remember it’s just a small sample and the dinner will be following shortly. Most guests will only take one appetizer at a time. The wait staff can stagger the service so as new guests arrive they can be waiting for them with trays of appetizers. See if your reception venue has white gloves and if so ask for the wait staff to wear them during the cocktail hour. Very chic!

Some brides want to display a large array of appetizers during the cocktail hour. Once we go through the cost, I explain that this is far more expensive to do. Once you display appetizers, you need to order double the amount. As soon as you place small plates on that table, it’s a “free for all” and guests tend to take more than they should. You could run out quickly. In addition, the appetizer table may look beautiful for the first few guests but then it becomes messy and unattractive by the time half the guests have invaded it.

What to serve? There are so many ideas. You can try to match your appetizers to your theme of the wedding. You can also introduce some of your heritage by choosing one or two ethnic items. Mix both cold and hot applications to give your guests a variety. Another nice touch is to pass a “signature cocktail” along with the appetizers. For a cool added feature, hire a jazz band to play during this time.

Depending on the items you select, you may be surprised what you can do within your budget and as I said go with the Butler passed service – very elegant and your guests will remember this wonderful start to the evening!

Temple’s Win a Wedding a huge success

Last year, Temples Sugar Bush came up with a wonderful idea that gave a special couple the wedding of their dreams. Win a Wedding gathered local wedding vendors together who all put tremendous time and effort into the event, offering their services as a prize for the winning couple, Darlene and Jesse. The couple couldn’t have been more thrilled with the outcome. The total cost of the wedding was over $25,000.

Win a Wedding

Together with Kelly’s Flowers in Perth, Focal Point designs met with Darlene and her bridesmaids to help create their day. After much pouring over Pinterest boards and discussion of themes and colours, the wonderful artists were ready to plan a beautiful wedding day for a very gracious bride. All the other vendors worked away behind the scenes, in constant communication in order to meet the couple’s vision.  The bride provided a few décor pieces to include, as well as wedding favours and the cake topper.
On the big day, everything was organized, packed, loaded into the truck to Temple’s Sugar Bush to set up.  After a few hours of setting up it was all ready for the bride and groom to see. Darlene was blown away by what it was she could see.

The next day Darlene and Jesse along with their wedding party, returned to Temple’s Sugar Bush to collect some of their items. Jessica from Focal Point Event Decorating and Rentals was there tearing down the set up and packing everything back into her truck. The happy couple told Jessica that the wedding was better then what they envisioned and sent her a lovely note of thanks (excerpt below).

“Jesse and I would like to give you a HUGE thank you for all the hard work you put into our wedding. Your expertise, ideas, and inspirations were so helpful (since I- myself really couldn’t put my ideas on paper or in words) you made what we really dreamed of come to life and into reality -things that I wouldn’t have been able to think of myself. From our first appointment – I could tell that we would be in good hands …”

Congratulations to Darlene and Jesse and well done to all the local vendors who contributed.

Grounds for their ceremony, the venue for the cocktail reception and supper with family style service and reception: Temple’s Sugar Bush

Wedding Planning and Décor: Focal Point Designs Event Decorating and Rentals

Table arrangements and matel décor: Kelly’s Flowers & Gift Boutique

Keg of local beer: Perth Brewery. Temples currently offers 4 of Perth Brewery’s beer styles on tap, including the award winning Maple Ale made with Temples pure maple syrop.

Invitations: Daisy Designs, Wedding Award Industry Winner of Best Invitations – Ottawa 2013, Finalist: Best Invitations – Ranked 7th in Canada, Finalist: Rated 29th – Worldwide

Florist: Petals and Paint. Bridal bouquet: cascade design of white lilies, teal dendrobium orchids and white cymbidium orchids. Bridesmaids carried a Hand tied bouquets of real orchids and white lilies. The groom and his groomsmen wore teal orchids. Ceremony décor included two large arrangements of real blue dendrobium orchids and white dendrobium orchids.

DJ: John Greenwood, aka DJ Grimm kept everyone on the dance floor with great transitions from song to song.

10 Tips For Enjoying The Holidays

10 Tips For Enjoying The Holidays

By: Marian Meade

Congratulations to all of you who got engaged this year! I just heard that 15% of engagements occur in the month of December. What an exciting time- so much to celebrate!



Although the Christmas season is meant to be ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ it’s also a time when we can get easily frazzled. Getting caught up in the chaos of the holiday rush (shopping, wrapping gifts, cooking, hosting) parties, high expectations, alcohol, and rich foods can result in high anxiety and short tempers- everything we don’t want.

The best way to make sure you have a wonderful Christmas and truly enjoy each other and your family and friends is to deliberately manage your energy and be conscious of how you are spending your time. Along with your fiancé, discuss how you want to feel over the holidays, then schedule in activities that will promote your goals:

o Identify the events that are most important to you and schedule them in. Be willing to decline invitations.

o Create pockets of down time for just the two of you to hang out and recharge your batteries

o Re-evaluate your to do list and remove items that aren’t essential

o Get fresh air and do a physical activity that you enjoy

o Be mindful of how much you are drinking and eating- have fun without regrets

o have compassion for each other and friends and family who may be pressuring themselves

o know that the most important gift you can give is positive, uplifting energy

o Take 5 minutes and think about what you are grateful for each day

o Decide to go with the flow when things don’t turn out exactly as expected

o Get some ‘me’ time- reading, writing in your journal, whatever works for you

Marian Meade is a relationship and emotional fitness coach/educator. She helps couples to stay in love for a lifetime, and singles prepare for the love of their life. Marian welcomes the LGBT community. For more information, check Marian out at


8 Things to Know Before Popping the Question Over the Holidays

8 Things to Know Before Popping the Question Over the Holidays

For those guys who are so in love that they just can’t wait to pop the Big Question — about marriage, that is — know this: a diamond engagement ring definitely counts as her Christmas or Hannukah present.

“If a guy’s gonna pop the question eventually, he might as well use the opportunity to avoid shopping for a holiday gift and kill two birds with — ahem — one stone,” the Washington Post declared.

And you won’t be alone: While 39 percent of all marriage proposals occur between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, what man wants to be the one who waited until February to give his girlfriend a ring she was expecting in December?

To make the process easier, the following myths and facts can help you with buying the ultimate engagement ring. (For those not quite ready to propose — or, for that matter, who have other diamond jewelry lovers on their list to buy for — we’ve also got you covered.)

    MYTH: You need to be prepared to spend two months’ salary on a ring.

    FACT: That’s just a rule of thumb. Your financial circumstances — and your girlfriend or fiancee’s taste — ultimately win out.

   MYTH: There’s no way of telling whether a diamond has been produced “ethically” or not.

    FACT: This is an important issue for some couples, so know that the Diavik minein Canada’s North West Territories, for one, has done its utmost to provide buyers with proof that it’s adhering to

international standards of labor, health, safety and environmental practices in producing the nicely sized diamonds of good color and gem quality it’s famous for.

“Each certified gem is laser-etched with a unique number that indicates the date mined, and each gem’s unique optical fingerprint is recorded in an international database so that it  can be positively identified,” says an expert in the field, noting that many insurance companies offer discounted rates in such cases.

    MYTH: Most women want a pear-shaped or princess-cut diamond engagement ring.

    FACT: Round is the most popular.

    MYTH: You must pick the ring out yourself to maximize the effect.

    FACT: Thankfully, this is not always the case. But if you prefer shopping solo, at least keep your girlfriend’s hints in mind.

Finally, about those other diamond jewelry gift-giving tips we promised.

“Classic diamond stud earrings will never go out of fashion,” says jewelry and style ex-pert Michael O’Connor, “and diamond line bracelets can be worn with any outfit.”

Ottawa brides saying “Yes to the Dress” at Kleinfeld

By Molly Hanzidiakou

Ottawa brides saying “Yes to the Dress” at Kleinfeld

Brides and their small group of spectators, (sometimes large from what we’ve seen from the show), travel from all over the US to New York in hopes of saying these four famous words in the bridal world: “yes to the dress.”  Since the TLC show Say Yes to the Dress, it has been almost every bride’s dream to have a sea of dresses to choose from such as the ones at Kleinfeld.  However we Canadian brides have a few more obstacles to cross in order to make it to the Big Apple to say yes to our new dress.


As of this past year, everything has changed. Hudson’s Bay has brKleinfeldought Kleinfeld to Toronto.  Located on the seventh floor of the Hudson’s Bay on Queen Street West, it is no wonder that staff call it “heaven on seventh.”  The 50,000 sq.ft. wonderland looks crisp and clean and just like the store in New York, and we all know that the dresses seen on display are not even a quarter of what is held in the back room.  With the intimate setting of your own room with a circle riser in front of large mirrors and a spot where your guests can sit on couches, it’s very similar to what is seen on TLC.  Your appointment is only about you and your consultant becomes completely involved in your own story and vision.

A trip to Kleinfeld allows brides to see the more upscale and high-end side of everything that is bridal.  With tight wedding budgets, the idea of travelling to Toronto, however close it is, may seem a bit much for some brides.  Kleinfeld realizes this and has addressed the issue by offering a discount on a few surrounding hotels to brides travelling for a visit.  They welcome Ottawa brides and want to see more walk through their doors.  These discounts make it a bit easier on Ottawa brides when planning the trip. A weekend trip to Toronto with your friends and family doesn’t seem so bad now does it?

This go-to destination for everything bridal may allow for a few things to be crossed off your list on top of finding your perfect, “I’m saying yes to this dress” dress. So relax, watch your guests enjoy the other side of the Kleinfeld experience, and you, well you enjoy being catered to by your very own consultant fairy god-mother.

5 Tips for Tackling a Destination Wedding

5 Tips for Tackling a Destination Wedding

destination wedding tipsIt is the dream of every bride-to-be that her handsome betrothed whisk her away to an exotic location for a once-in-a-lifetime wedding extraordinaire, like Prince Rainier III did for Grace Kelly in their 1956 wedding. The reality is that none of us is Grace Kelly, and if we want a destination wedding in Monaco, we’ll likely have to plan it ourselves. But that doesn’t mean that you have to abandon the ideal details of your special day or stress yourself out over the planning process. Follow these five tips to ensure that your destination wedding is full of magic, not mayhem.

Research the marriage license and legal requirements

Tying the knot in a foreign locale may prove more complicated than you expect. A fair amount of countries enforce residency requirements, making it so you have to be in the country for anywhere between one day up to two months before you may legally marry. For instance, a wedding in France requires a full 40-day residency before the marriage ceremony. With this in mind, it may be a good idea to cheat and sign the marriage license in your home nation before leaving for your destination wedding.

Check the forecast

It’s true that tropical locations experience beautiful weather throughout the year, but some of the most gorgeous destinations are also hurricane-prone. In the Caribbean, the hurricane season lasts July through October, and you don’t want to spend your wedding day stockpiling bottled water and boarding up windows. Your special day should be full of warm sunshine, poetic nuptials and lavish style. Always check the projected forecast beforehand so that Mother Nature does not stomp down your aisle and curse your wedding day.

Check the location’s calendar of events

When you take the proverbial plunge, you shouldn’t have to compete with the inebriated Oktoberfest attendees or the loud clamor of a local parade. Large, local festivals and activities also tend to inflate prices and draw in tourists. During your ideal destination wedding, you want to be surrounded by those you love and those who can appreciate the significance of your special day, not a mob of strangers.

Exotic, out-of-country destinations may not be as active or occupied when visited during a U.S. holiday, like Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July, so consider booking accommodations during those times.

Choose a trusted name for flowers

Transporting flowers from your homeland will prove expensive and risky, but so could be starting from scratch with a local florist at your destination locale. Consider ordering your wedding-day flowers online through FTD. They’re reliable and efficient, and they can arrange for flower delivery in 75 countries.

Plan to safely transport your dress

Though petite gowns will fit in your airline’s first-class closet, a more intricate, robust dress will require special packaging and shipment. Be sure to purchase the shipping insurance. Some brides become so concerned with the security of their gowns that they have purchased an additional airline ticket just for the dress. Such actions may not seem necessary, but be wary of subjecting your immaculate wedding gown to the trauma of the airline baggage carousel.

The joyous day you’ve dreamed of since girlhood should proceed without minor tragedies involving hurricanes, dying flowers or a missing dress. With careful planning, you can have your wedding cake and eat it, too.

How to Choose the Dresses for your Bridesmaids


How to Choose the Dresses for your Bridesmaids


Finding the perfect dress for your bridesmaids can be a daunting task. Depending on how many girls you have you need to choose a gown that best compliments all of them.  Look for dresses that flatter the different shapes and sizes of your bridesmaids.  Empire waists and A-line or princess skirts will tend to suit most.

Bridesmaids Dresses

Everyone has different financial situations so when looking for gowns try to select ones that are reasonably priced.   You will get a sense from the girls if the cost is too high.   Make note of the gowns they tried on and the cost.  This way you can sit down with them and ask what is their budget.  These girls are most likely your sisters or very close friends so it should not be awkward to discuss with them.  Most will pay for their own dress but many bride’s do like to cover the cost of the jewellery, shoes or hair and make-up as their gift to the girls.

Once you have decided on your own theme and color then you can start looking for the bridesmaid dresses that would compliment and enhance your wedding dress as well.   Long, short, off shoulder, v-neck, we are seeing all different styles on the wedding scene.  The monochromatic look is still popular but the dresses are being accented with bold accessories such as coloured shoes, bulkier jewelery and unique bouquets.  Now, you are even seeing more of each bridesmaid wearing a different style and color.

Take the girls shopping or go through wedding magazine while sitting around your home one evening and see what they all like and can agree on. The last thing you want is for them to purchase a dress they dislike but most importantly, feel very uncomfortable in.  Be conscientious of everyone’s feelings so the end result will be a happy one.

Yes, it is your wedding but be considerate when choosing a bridesmaid dress.  It is very expensive for many to purchase the dress, shoes, accessories and have their hair and makeup done.  Try to be fair and set a realistic budget for them to spend and if you choose something a little more than expected it is a nice idea to pay for the difference.

Bridesmaid Dress Images by:  Dressy Girl Kouture