Read Time: 2 minutes

Weddings are such wonderful times, especially for the bride and groom, who are celebrating their decision to become one. But, planning a wedding is not always fun, and there is quite a bit of bureaucracy behind preparing for such a major event. Whether your venue is not large or your budget isn’t either, you probably have to have a guest list that is smaller than the number of people you could potentially invite. Not inviting someone to your wedding always has the potential to illicit hurt feelings and there’s no worse way to start off a marriage than to have someone upset with you. Here’s how to limit your wedding guest list without hurting people’s feelings.

Only invite those closest to you

When you think about your wedding day, who do you picture being there? While social media gives us the illusion that we are connected to people we haven’t seen in 10 years, those people may not be ones that you feel you want to attend your special day. Take an inventory of your closest friends and family and only invite those you’ve been in direct contact with recently. If you haven’t spoken to them in the past five years, their feelings won’t be hurt when they aren’t included in your wedding celebrations.

Segment your guest list

Make a list of everyone that you can possibly invite and then segment the list into categories A and B. The A list are people who absolutely must attend your wedding and the B list are those who you will invite if there is extra room.

Don’t allow people to bring dates

Let your single friends know that the invitation only extends to them. For your friends and family members who are dating or in a serious relationship, if you want to include the significant other, put their name directly on the invitation. That way, there is no confusion as to if a plus one is allowed – if your name is on the invitation you’re invited – if it isn’t, you aren’t. You can also make a small disclaimer on the invitation that the wedding is limited to invited guests only, which prevents you from getting that dreaded call where they’ll ask or plead for you to allow them to bring their “friend” of the moment. Your response card can also clearly suggest that only the people on the invitation are invited with “their name” and “declines” or “accepts”.

Limit children

While some people enjoy bringing their little ones along to a celebration, others may be happy to have a night out on their own. By limiting the children who come to your wedding, you’ll be able to easily cut your guest list and not hurt the feelings of those who aren’t invited.

Don’t invite people from work

Sure, you spend countless hours with them day after day, but unless you plan to invite your entire office, don’t include anyone from work who isn’t also a friend in the off-hours. Even then, ask that friend to keep the fact that they attended your wedding low-key, so their bragging about how fun it is doesn’t spoil everyone else’s day.

In short…

It’s okay to limit your wedding guest list. It’s your special day and it will be over faster than you think. The less headaches you have, you will be able to look back with admiration, not animosity.

Read Time: 3 minutes

The newlywed period is an exciting time. Not only are you still coming down from the buzz of your wedding and all its associated events, you and your partner are also getting to know each other as husband and wife. While this time can be blissful, it can also be a time of adjustment, as you realize that living with someone else and sharing your life with them consists of some give and take. Here are six ways to help with adjusting expectations and working toward a fulfilling marriage.

Adjusting Expectations — Simply Put


1. Accommodate your spouse’s habits and living style

You’ve had multiple conversations with your spouse about what’s important to each of you. Now that you are living together, it is up to you to make accommodations based on how your spouse lives. Maybe they are a neat freak and like everything in its place – this means you need to figure out how to become more organized and do your part to tidy up. Maybe they need quiet in the morning until they’ve had their coffee – this means that you need to leave important conversations for after dinner.

2. Put your finances together

Money is the #1 topic that couples fight about and for good reason. There is never a relationship where couples make exactly the same money or spend in the same ways. With your expectations already set, now is the time to pool your finances together, open up joint accounts and actively each take part in paying the bills.

3. Decide on who does what

If money is the first topic couples argue about, housework and care of the children comes a close second. Rather than hope and wait for your partner to pick up their socks or do the dishes, have a conversation early in the marriage to decide on who will do what jobs around your home and within your marriage. Studies show that rather than making it a 50/50 split, partners should do the jobs they are best at.

4. Find ways to communicate openly and easily

After having all of these important conversations, it is best if you can figure out a way to keep the conversations open. Like anything, things will change and new things will pop up and as a couple, you need to have a way that you can communicate without fear of judgement or anger. Decide how this will happen in the first months of your marriage.

5. Learn to be selfless

One of the biggest adjustments a person who is newly married will have to make is to be less selfish and more selfless. As a single person, it was easy to think about what you want and only that, but as a partner in a life-long relationship, you need to consider the needs and wants of your partner daily. Rather than make decisions based on your own desires, always think about what they would want first.

6. Realize you are on the same team

Many arguments in a marriage happen because couples have a me vs. you mentality. As a married couple, you are on the same team and have the same goal: to have a fulfilling marriage. Once you realize you are on the same team, only then will you find it easier to get along with your partner.

In short…

Adjusting expectations is not necessarily hard work, but it is work. You and your significant other need to help each other. You both desire to have a healthy marriage — if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be getting married! Work together for a long and beautiful life together.

Read Time: 3 minutes

Planning your wedding is such a joyous time, but it can be a stressful one. Especially when you truly just want everything to be perfect. Not only will you be thinking about all of your guests (what they will do, what they will eat and how they will be entertained), you need to think about yourself and your spouse-to-be and how to make the day extra-special. The great thing about getting married in the 2000s is the great amount of technology out there that can make doing your wedding planning so much easier.

Here are 5 of the best wedding planning apps to help you plan your day and make it special.

5 Best Wedding Planning Apps

1. WeddingHappy

This app is for those brides who want to keep tasks, payments and vendors in one spot using their iPhone or iPad. What’s really great about this app is that you can stay connected with your partner, so he knows what’s going on at all times. The app will let you know how many tasks you have to do and how many were completed and even count down the days until your wedding. It truly helps you get down the aisle.

wedding planning tasks

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2. Newlywish

A cool part about having a wedding and getting married is that you do get gifts! While you aren’t in it for the gifts, you do want to take part in tailoring these gifts to what you’ll need as a newlywed couple. Enter in Newlywish, the online wedding registry that lets you access many brands, so you don’t have to choose from just one store. Guests can easily buy and get the gifts shipped online and it is very simple for guests to purchase something as a group.


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3. Wedding Wire

If you don’t know where to start, you’ll start here. Wedding Wire lets you get inspiration from other brides, read reviews on vendors and takes the stress out of planning. You can build your seating chart, devise your guest list, manage your budget and so much more. There is a large community on Wedding Wire who can help you with the difficult questions in wedding planning.

Wedding Wire

See More: Wedding Wire

4. Wedding LookBook by the Knot

When you are planning a wedding, you want expert advice and The Knot knows weddings. This app can help you find the right dress, the right ring, and basically lets you plan your dream wedding easily and its completely free.

Wedding LookBook by the Knot

Open in App Store: Wedding LookBook by the Knot

5. Appy Couple

Everything in one place is how to look at this app, which has a cool design and allows you to share your plans, photos and other thoughts with your guests, before and after the wedding. You can send save the dates, emails and manage your guest list from the app. You can even send a virtual toast! Up to the minute alerts help you stay in touch with everything you need to for your wedding.

Appy Couple

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Read Time: 2 minutes

Meeting Catholic Church Requirements

Marriage prep should always be up-to-date with the changing of times.

Young couples today desire accessible, convenient, uplifting, and modern ways of doing things. When planning to marry in the Catholic Church, demands are no different.

That’s why The Marriage Group (in collaboration with the Family Ministries Office at the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit) pioneered this groundbreaking Catholic Marriage Prep Course.

This unique program meets the needs of modern lifestyles.

It fulfills the requirements the Catholic Church places on an approved Pre-Cana program.

It also facilitates the discussions that need to take place — before entering into the next phase of the relationship between the couple and God.

Marriage Prep — Certified And Accepted

We realize couples want an authentic and recognized course.

That’s why Living Our Faith in Love covers the required discussions, as mandated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Following successful completion of the discussions, couples are issued an official certificate. It is personalized with names and date of completion of the program.

This certificate is downloadable and printable, and serves as an official document. This is to be recognized by the officiating priest or deacon of the ceremony to keep with other related marriage documents.

Creating A Special Course

Times have changed.

Traditional meetings or weekend gatherings aren’t always a convenient way for couples to take the course.

Young couples who are faced with demands on their time – be it personal or professional – are less inclined to participate.

That’s why this online program is ideal.

So how does this special marriage prep course work?

  • Not bound by our timelines or demands.
    • Running late at work? Have classes or errands to run? Not to worry. We’re not waiting (and neither are other couples) for folks to arrive at a prescribed time, or a specific location.
    • Whether it’s finished in one day, a weekend, or over the period of few months, it doesn’t matter.What matters is that couples complete each element of the course successfully at a comfortable pace, and as time allows.
  • It’s online. How convenient is that?
    • No need for couples to displace themselves so bad winter weather, torrential downpours, or transportation issues are never a concern.
    • Participants get to sit in the comfort of their own home – or wherever there is access to an Internet connection.
  • Our program is on-demand.
    • Participants log in at their discretion. The course is always accessible.
    • Couples are not committed to face-to-face meetings, or one-on-one mentoring Although viable options, they are not always possible for everyone.
  • Location is not an issue.
    • Couples who are separated by distance can still connect (via Skype, for instance) to complete the course.
    • This course is accessible from anywhere. Whether in Michigan, somewhere else in the US, or even abroad, it’s available.

You can find similar course providers, but as the originator and developer of this most unique and modernized program, The Marriage Group’s materials and presenter insights are always novel and fresh – not rehashed.

So when couples are ready start a Catholic marriage conversation, they can come out ahead with Living Our Faith in Love’s comprehensive course.

Read Time: 2 minutes

Congratulations! You just got engaged and you are excited to begin planning your wedding! You’ve talked with your priest or deacon and they told you that you need to take a marriage prep, or Pre-Cana class, to be married in the parish. But what exactly is Pre-Cana?

Simply put, Pre-Cana is a marriage preparation course, class, or consultation for couples who will be married in a Catholic church.

Cana is the name of the town where Jesus performed his first miracle — the miracle of turning water into wine; see John 2:1-11.

While most dioceses and parishes still call it Pre-Cana, there are a growing number that are beginning to refer to it as the more modern term, “marriage prep.”
Living Our Faith in Love - Online Pre-Cana

So what are these classes actually like?

There are a few different ways a parish may have you take your Pre-Cana including one or more of:

  • A course taken during a single day, usually on the weekend
  • Meetings with your priest or deacon over the span of a few weeks
  • Meetings with a sponsor couple, who is a married couple that acts as mentors to engaged couples
  • An Engaged Encounter weekend retreat with other engaged couples
  • A Pre-Marital Inventory such as FOCCUS, Prepare/Enrich, or Catholic Couple Checkup
  • An online version of the in person classes, usually on-demand and self led

While the exact format for these courses varies from parish to parish, the concept and content is consistent, with the most common topics discussed being: Spiritually and Faith, Conflict Resolution, Careers, Finances, Intimacy and Cohabitation, Children and Parenting, Commitment, and Family of Origin.

What’s the point?

Most couples will already have had these conversations before even getting engaged, so what’s the point of the Pre-Cana then? The purpose of marriage preparation is not to be another hoop to jump through, but it is meant to facilitate discussions about important topics that you will be facing as a married couple.

Look at your marriage prep process as an opportunity to look forward toward your new life together, make sure you are on the same page as a couple, and ready to face this exciting journey as one.

Interested in Online Pre-Cana?

Living Our Faith in Love - Online Pre-Cana