Finances Ready to Walk Down the Aisle?

financesFor Richer or Poorer

If you are planning on getting married, one of the best things you can do is take the time to get your finances in order before you walk down the aisle. You may not think of marriage as a financial commitment, but that’s exactly what it is. Soon you’ll be signing up for joint bank accounts, putting another name on your credit card and even filing a new type of tax return.

It’s a big adjustment, especially for those of us who are used to having complete control over our finances. You can ease into it by making some changes now instead of later. By doing a few simple things to make the transition a bit smoother for you and your spouse, you can work together to create the financial future you both envision.

Start saving early

It is never too early to start thinking about retirement. If you are working for a company that has a 401k or other retirement option, then you need to take advantage of this as soon as possible. Starting your portfolio even one year sooner can have a huge impact in the long term. If these options don’t exist at your job, then find a financial planner you can work with to help you to set up a long-term plan and invest your money wisely.

Why is this important? One of the best things that you can do for your marriage is to ensure your financial future – to make sure you and your spouse not only have the chance to retire, but that you have the chance to enjoy it as well.

Cut down on spending

Even if you are in good financial shape, it is a good idea to cut back on your spending before you get married, which usually means looking at big ticket items such as a house, a car, furniture or even a honeymoon.  It’s never a bad idea to have some extra cash on hand.

You also need to start preparing for the fact that you now have another person to consider. No longer is all of your paycheque used for whatever you please. You now have to think about your spouse’s wants and needs as well. If you expect your spouse to be respectful of you, then the least you can do is return the favour.

Pay off debts

Marriage is hard enough without the two of you fighting about money every time you turn around. Do your best to come into your marriage with a clean slate. It may not be possible for you to pay off all of your debts, but do the best you can. The better your credit, the better your interest rate.

Also, think about it this way. How would you feel about spending the next five to 10 years paying off debt that your spouse incurred while single? You’d probably not be very happy and chances are your spouse wouldn’t like it much either – especially if coming into the marriage debt-free.

Entering into a new marriage should be a fun and exciting time for any couple, so don’t let financial woes burden you. One of the biggest adjustments most couples have to make is to let another person into their finances. Being proactive and learning to think about your spouse in this way before you get married can save you a lot of headaches in the future. It may be a bit of an adjustment, but trust me when I say that it will be worth it in the long run! W

Compiled by R. Legault with source files from www.marriagefinances.com, and Ottawa Wedding Magazine files.

finances

Kathleen and Nadim

Happily Ever After

Runaway Bride

April 20, 2013

Compiled by Nicolina Leone
photos by Tripp Photography

In June 2012, Kathleen Harper made her dream day a reality when she won her entire wedding with Hot 89.9’s contest, Runaway Bride.

Using her journalism flourish to write an entrance essay into the contest, Kathleen was chosen as one of the top 50 finalists – all of whom were invited to brunch at Strathmere.

Other than the date, time, and location, Kathleen was told only to bring a pair of running shoes.

As she dined with her fellow prospective competitors, she overheard some saying they wouldn’t eat much in case they were running. Kathleen’s thoughts? “If I might be running, I might as well be fed.”

The ladies quickly discovered that of the 50, two names would be chosen. The first name pulled was not Kathleen’s, dropping her odds from one in 25 to one in 49. So when she heard “Kathleen Harper,” she was in disbelief.

Full from breakfast and still not quite clear of what she would be doing, she made her way to another room to be prepped.

She and the other bride-to-be would be dropped off at a secret location and have six hours to get as geographically far from the start as possible. The catch?

Both would be wearing oversized wedding dresses (Kathleen’s petite frame in a size 12 gown); would have limited access to transport and no cell phones; the girls would have to earn any money needed; and collect something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Kathleen was escorted by radio personality Rush, from The Morning Hot Tub, and the other bride with Mauler.

The girls were dropped off at the starting location – the Eternal Flame on Parliament Hill, at 10 a.m., and then it was go-time. Kathleen used her logic and realized that going east would be her straightest, most direct way out of downtown.

On her journey that day, Kathleen literally begged and borrowed, was the recipient of the kindness of strangers, her fiancé, a friendly cop who offered her a ride, and had the support of Rush all the way to Hawkesbury, where she won by 32 kilometres.

The physically and emotionally demanding competition won her a wedding equivalent to $50,000 and Kathleen was able to have the vintage-chic-themed day of her dreams.

Happily Ever After

Kathleen had a very specific vision in mind for her special day. “Not rustic-vintage,” she explains. “I wanted it to be grandma. Tea cups, really delicate flowers everywhere, pinks and creams.”

Happily Ever After

On the day, both bride and groom got ready in their designated rooms; Kathleen with her bridesmaids and man-of-honour, and Nadim with his groomsmen.

Happily Ever After

In the absence of her father who passed away, Kathleen’s brother walked her down the aisle following a cast of family members. Kathleen’s niece nervously sped down the aisle first, dumping her flowers as she went. The ring bearer, Kathleen’s nephew and not yet old enough to walk himself, was carried by the man-of-honour holding a teddy bear with the rings attached.

When the two met at the end of the aisle, there were no nerves and no tears.

“It felt like I belonged there. This was just meant to happen.”

Happily Ever After

After the ceremony, Kathleen and Nadim braved the cold pre-spring weather (so cold that it snowed) to lock down their beautiful photos.

Happily Ever After

 

They enjoyed amazing food with their guests and more gourmet goodies at midnight when a cookie bar and pizzas appeared to replenish the partiers.

Thank you for sharing your story – OWM.W

Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After: Lucie and Jeff

Lucie and Jeff

An Enchanting Elopement
May 15, 2015

Compiled by Lyndsay Ruck
Photos by Elenora Luberto of Jemman Photography

An impulsive comment on an online dating site was the start of Lucie and Jeff’s happily ever after.

With their rst date lasting over nine hours, Jeff knew he had met the one. A little over nine months later, he asked Lucie to be his wife. But not before receiving the blessing of those nearest and dearest to the couple – Lucie’s mother, her two children and Jeff’s four children. As Jeff held a three-prong bauble representing the couple’s past, present and future, Lucie said “yes” to the love of her life in the presence of loved ones.

Three weeks later, a ceremony built for two was planned at a small country setting in Oxford Mills, Ontario. The rustic venue with a country vibe was the perfect setting for these nature lovers.

Despite the short timeline, Lucie and Jeff created a picture- perfect outdoor setting featuring several sentimental and symbolic touches. Handmade stationery, nods to Jeff ’s Navy background, cowboy hats and boots and fresh-cut owers were all integral parts of this couple’s private ceremony.

The bride donned a simple yet elegant Mori Lee halter-strap design by Madeline Gardner, found at Alliance Bridal in Moose Creek, Ontario. The groom’s light purple shirt and tie (the same hue Jeff wore on that rst date nine months ago) complemented the bride’s purple, pink and white oral bouquet.

The couple exchanged vows in the entrance of a rustic wooden barn with only the of ciant and photographers as witnesses. Upon saying “I do,” the intimate party enjoyed a bottle of bubbly and the couple took a stroll around the luscious green grounds of the farm.

For their rst dinner as husband and wife, Lucie and Jeff made their way to the Brigadoon Restaurant – a quaint and rustic nearby dining establishment in Oxford Mills. At a cozy table for two, the newlyweds were deservedly spoiled by the generosity of strangers, who offered up glasses of celebratory port and impromptu gifts – all the makings of that quintessential small-town charm.

When planning the most special day of your lives, sometimes the meaning of the moment can get lost along the way. We think this couple got it just right. W

Trista and Mason

Photographer: Andrew Van Beek

real wedding

Real Ottawa Wedding | Trista and Mason


Bride Name
Trista
Groom Name
Mason
Date of Wedding
10/03/2015
Photographer
Andrew Van Beek
Reception Held at
Stonefields Heritage Farm
Ceremony Held at
Stonefields Heritage Farm
Wedding Dress
Oleg Cassini
Groom’s Fashions From
Derks
Bridesmaids Fashions From
David’s Bridal
Groomsmen’s Fashions From
Moores
Bride’s Hair By
Sarah Trotman
Bride’s Make-Up By
Beauty by Tracey
Cake By
Thyme and Again
Catering By
Thyme and Again
Flowers By
Curious Floral
Invitations By
Trista 
Favours By
Sycamore Studios Inc.
Description 
Trista and Mason’s story started back in college in November of 2008. It wasn’t long until they embarked on their first of many adventures together, relocating from Kingston, Ontario to Thunder Bay, Ontario and then to Fort McMurray, Alberta. A two hour hike up to Lake Annette in the rockies in August of 2014, Mason asked Trista to marry him. In October of 2015 they said ‘i do’ at the venue of their dreams. Their style was country, rustic and yet very simple.

Tie The Knot Urban Wedding Show

tietheknot2

For hip, trendy, modern couples

Who says your big day has to be all ho-hum fluff and frills? There’s plenty of cutting-edge style, expertise and know-how right in Ottawa, not to mention edgy, intriguing choices, to ensure you can have exactly the wedding-day vibe you want.

If you’re dreaming about a modern, non-traditional wedding with a unique venue and personalized theme, you don’t want to miss the Tie the Knot Urban Wedding Show. It’s  February 20 at the Ottawa Conference & Event Centre, 200 Coventry Road.

Tie The Knot Ottawa 2016 will feature up to 75 local area exhibitors, roaming fashion shows, an interactive inspiration gallery, food & drink tastings and a multitude of ideas to help the coolest brides and grooms plan their special day.

A WellsGarbe Production, Tie the Knot is the premier urban wedding show featuring the best and brightest of locally based talent and options. Think cool. Think trendy. Think urban glam. From wedding gowns and jewelry, to florists and DJ’s, to bakers and wedding invitations, everything you need to plan your special day will be readily available for you at Tie The Knot.

Hours are 9 am to 11 am for those with VIP access and 11 am to 5 pm for regular show tickets.

Website: http://www.tietheknotweddingshow.com 

Tickets: http://www.tietheknotweddingshow.com/buy-tickets/

tietheknot

 

Dog In Your Wedding Day?

bride and groom with dog Husky

Why Not?!

A howl of a special celebration is guaranteed!

Intending to include your beloved Fido or Kooper or Moxie in your wedding day? You certainly can. After all, there are tons of beautiful online images showing pugs in bowties, golden retrievers walking down the aisle and schnauzers posing with aplomb alongside a smitten bride and groom.

But, as dog lovers and been-there-done-that brides and grooms know, pictures seldom tell the whole story. If you want your special day to run smoothly—as opposed to you running after the dog who’d chasing a squirrel, mid-ceremony—planning and preparation are key.

bride and groom with dog Husky

These tips should help you get your doggie treats together for the big day:

  • Cover all the fire hydrants … err .. bases and make sure you’ve got approval from the venue, the reception site, the officiant and an other officials or people involved. You don’t want to have everything all set and then, on the day-of, discover the minister is allergic to dogs or the site is a no-dogs-allowed zone.
  • Designate a mature, go-to dog whisperer who will transport Pixie, take care of all of her needs on site, walk her, feed her and whisk her home when it’s time.
  • Give your dog whisperer the tools – leash, treats, a list of commands that are obeyed, water and food bowls—to be successful and be explicit about what to watch for. Dogs can be sneaky and the sweets table or half-eaten meals can be very tempting.
  • Determine what role your dog will play based on his needs and temperament. If he’s not good in crowds or with strangers, consider limiting his involvement to the picture-taking part of the festivities. If he’s not comfortable with loud noises and lots of activity (such as dancing), perhaps he can be a ring bearer and then head home after the pictures. If he’s laid back, very friendly, good with crowds and beloved by your wedding guests, well, it might be possible to include him for much of the day. That very much depends on the venue, the number of guests and the style of wedding.
  • While an outdoor venue may seem to be an ideal, dog-friendly option, be aware of potential distractions, such as squirrels, chipmunks, birds and scents. You don’t want a barkfest as you’re about to say, “I do.”
  • Take your dog to the venues a couple of times in the days before your wedding, so that he will know what to expect and be comfortable with the setting.
  • Enjoy a pawfectly fun day.

bride and groom with dog Husky

 

 

 

 

Kelly and Joshua

Real Ottawa Wedding

Photographer: Kathi Robertson

 Real Ottawa Wedding | Kelly and Joshua

Real Ottawa Wedding | Kelly and Joshua

Description (Up to 500 Characters)

Bride Name
Kelly Haldane
Groom Name
Joshua Splaine
Date of Wedding
07/10/2015
Photographer
Kathi Robertson
Reception Held at
Strathmere Lodge
Ceremony Held at
Strathmere Inn
Wedding Dress
Pronovias
Groom’s Fashions From
Harry Rosen
Bridesmaids Fashions From
Individual Choice
Groomsmen’s Fashions From
Individual Choice
Bride’s Hair By
Pina Cava
Bride’s Make-Up By
Pina Cava
Cake By
Mother of the Bride
Catering By
Strathmere Lodge
Flowers By
Mood Moss Flowers
Invitations By
Wedding Paper Divas
Decorator
Jackie Scott from Bluebird Weddings
DJ
Soundsations Entertainment
Officiant
Dr Alan Viau of All Seasons Wedding
Bridal Party Preparations
Ottawa Westin

 

Joshua proposed to me after ten years together on a hike by Maligne Lake in the beautiful Rockies! When we started to plan our wedding one of our priorities was we wanted our families to be able to celebrate with us so we knew we would be going back to Ontario. We chose Strathmere for its effortless beauty and we were not disappointed! From our simple but personal ceremony in the tree covered garden to the reception at the Lodge our wedding was filled with love.

Are Wedding Appetizers Necessary?

wedding appetizers feature

wedding appetizers

Are Wedding Appetizers Necessary?

Courtesy 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.

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.

 

Outdoor Weddings and the Heat

outdoor weddings feature

outdoor weddings

Outdoor Weddings and the Heat

Courtesy of I Just Said Yes

Imagine it is a hot and humid day and the temperature reaches over 30 degrees.  What if you were having your wedding outside?  An outdoor wedding is just breathtaking but you must always be prepared for what mother nature may bring your way.

I think the best thing you can do is let the guests know on the invitation that it will be held outdoors.  If they know they will  dress appropriately and pack some of their own things.

Extreme heat and humidity can be very dangerous so have a plan in place if you are doing a Summer wedding.  If you want to have the ceremony and reception at the same location, perhaps consider doing it later on in the afternoon closer to 5:00PM and see where the sun will be at that time.  Set your seats away from the sun beaming in the guests eye and yours too!

Most likely you have rented a tent as protection from possible rain.  You can rent some large electrics fans that can be placed in a few corners inside the tent.  This will certainly help cool things down a bit.   As the guests start to arrive it is a nice gesture to have sun screen available to anyone who may want to use it.
Instead of purchasing a  favour for  each guest  why not have your name and wedding date put on chilled bottles of water?  A full bar will be available but alcohol is dehydrating so ensure to have a lot of fun drinks like mojitos or lemonade.   A soft serve ice cream machine would also be a cool idea.

For the ceremony you can make up programs out of fans or supply some umbrellas for the guest to shield themselves from the sun.   Work closely with your caterer to ensure you have a menu that will hold up well in heat.    For your wedding cake and pastries they will need to be placed in a coolor or require refrigeration.

If your dream is too hold a wedding outside then you must always have a back up plan and make sure your guests are comfortable.

Lifestyle Improvements to Focus on After the Wedding

lifestyle improvements wedding feature

The connection between a happy marriage and good health is true. As The Economist explains, it’s hard to pinpoint if a solid marriage leads to better health or vice versa, but the two are definitely linked. With this in mind, once you have said “I do” and are starting your lives together, consider making lifestyle improvements for your health and the health of your marriage. Here are just a few suggestions:

lifestyle improvements wedding

Lifestyle Improvements to Focus on After the Wedding

Be Careful With Your Money

Now that you are married, the concept of “his and her” money usually disappears and is replaced by joint checking and savings accounts. If one or both of you has some bad monetary habits, you should nip them in the bud. For example, if you loved visiting casinos until 3 a.m. prior to getting married, your spouse might not like it that you are spending your hard-earned money in smoke-filled venues away from home.

You don’t have to give up your hobby completely, though. To get your gambling kicks now and then, look into the benefits of responsible online gambling. OnlineCasinoBluebook offers a variety of guides, gaming tutorials and reviews of online casinos that can provide you with a small gambling splurge from time to time.

Quit Smoking

If one of you smokes, getting married may give you the inspiration you need to quit. In addition to saving a ton of money, your health will improve and your marriage will be much more solid. The first thing you should do is figure out why you want to quit. Try to come up with a more compelling and personal reason than it being bad for your health. Maybe you want to kiss your spouse without smelling like smoke, or you are planning on having kids soon and you don’t want to smoke while you’re pregnant.

Don’t go cold turkey, but speak with your physician about nicotine replacement therapy. To make your anti-smoking resolve stick, clean your house once you’ve quit and toss all lighters and ashtrays. Have your drapes and carpets professionally cleaned as well as the inside of your car to remove all traces of smoke.

Cut Back on Drinking

While it’s fine to enjoy a beer or glass of wine or two while unwinding with your spouse, too much alcohol is bad for your health and expensive. To cut back on the amount of alcohol you and your spouse consume, HelpGuide suggests creating a table that looks at the pros and cons. One benefit is that it helps you relax and a con is that you’d feel better and have more energy without it. List the costs associated with drinking to see how much it is taking out of your weekly budget.

To motivate you to cut back, set up a “beer jar” in the kitchen and put the money you would have spent on booze in the container. Then after six months or so, use the money to treat the two of you to something special like a night away or a fancy dinner.