Dan + Lacey’s Dream Wedding


THE VENUE: Redemption Ranch website
THE CATERING: Sugar Fire website
THE CAKE: Mad House Cakery website
THE HAIR & MAKE-UP: Bliss Beauty Bar website
THE BRIDAL DRESS: David’s Bridal website
THE GROOM’S SUIT: Suits4Men website
THE DISC JOCKEY: Allegro Entertainment website
THE PHOTOGRAPHY: Lauren Muckler website
THE PHOTOBOOTH: Top Notch Photobooth website
THE FLOWERS: She’s Crafty Floral Design website

…But through my laughter, and tears of joy, I said YES!

Tell us about the proposal….

We got engaged on September 16th 2018 when we were half way through a two week vacation in Scotland. Little did Lacey know, during the entire trip, Dan was carrying the ring around in his hiking bag just waiting for the right time to pop the question.

It all happened when we were enjoying a hike up to Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye; a favorite hot spot for tourists due to the layers and layers of small waterfalls. At the start of our hike, the weather was cloudy and raining, but we decided to tough it out. Once the weather started to clear up, we noticed a nice vantage point over a waterfall that was the perfect spot to stop for a great picture!

Dan asked me if I wanted to take a photo, and handed his phone to my sister. I’m glad she was there to be able to capture the proposal. Funniest part about it was, since it just rained – the rocks were a little slick. When Dan went down to get on one knee, he slipped a little and almost went for a swim!!! But through my laughter, and tears of joy, I said YES!!!!

What Was your favorite wedding moment?

My favorite part was getting ready and taking those pictures. It was a special moment for me because seeing Lacey in her wedding dress had been seven years in the making. The feeling was indescribable! My other favorite moment was taking all of the photos. It was a very relaxing time with all of our closest friends and family with us before the craziness of the wedding. -Dan

My favorite part was marring my best friend! I loved how we both wrote a note to each other and stood back to back before we looked at one another for the first time. It was very special. -Lacey

where did you go on your honeymoon?

We went to Sandals Resort on the Island of Grenada, and it was great! The weather was perfect, and the staff couldn’t have been better. We LOVED the resort’s water volleyball net set up. If there was a game going on, you bet we were playing! 

One of our favorite excursions was the dune biggie trip around the island. We saw pretty much the whole island, and even drove on the streets in town! The highlight of that excursion was the last stop at a natural waterfall, on one of the highest points of the island. It was nice to get off of the resort and see what else Grenada had to offer.

Another favorite trip was an afternoon on a snorkeling/catamaran. For that, we sailed over to a special spot where there was an underwater statue exhibit, which also had some of the most colorful fish and sea life we’ve ever seen! Then after the snorkeling, the captain took us to the other side of the island where we had a grilled lobster lunch and waded around on the shore.

how was your experience with allegro?

We thought the experience was great! From the planning process with Dori, where she asked questions to get some back ground on us, helped with setting up our songs, and working with the DJ on the night of our wedding – everything went super smooth.

We appreciated how much Allegro helped us pick out wedding music, and creating a nice flow to the ceremony. DJ Eric was also phenomenal! He played a great mix of all of our favorite types of music and had a good sense about when to slow it down and when to keep the dancing going.

how’s married life going?

We are relaxing now with no extra stress of planning the wedding, and just enjoying life. We are currently looking to buy our first house together… We’ll need one that has a big back yard for our two beautiful dogs.

On behalf of myself, DJ Eric, and the entire Allegro Team, we had a wonderful time planning your wedding day, and bringing your fairytale to life, through music! From all of us at Allegro Entertainment, we wish you two all the happiness and many blessings in your married life! Thank you for choosing Allegro Entertainment, and we look forward to hearing updates as your love story continues! 

Fun & Fabulous Send-Off Ideas

When the party comes to an end, what better way to say Sayonara the going out in style! We’ve compiled the TOP 5 fun and fabulous send-off ideas for your wedding…

Actual footage from an Allegro Wedding – April 20th 2019 – Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Zakaria
-Article by Dori Abell

sensational sparkler send-off

If you’re looking for a razzle-dazzle send-off to wrap up your wedding night, it’s got to be sparklers! The excitement of cheerful pom-poms dancing you to your car is the perfect way to cap off an epic evening. Here are a few tips to pull off this fashionable farewell:

  • GET APPROVAL: Since sparklers are considered a fire hazard, you’ll need to make sure that your wedding venue allows them…..This MUST be your first step.
  • CREATE A TEAM: Time is of the essence, and to create a perfectly choreographed photo or video, you need to make sure everyone has their sparklers lit at the same time. To do this, you’ll want to delegate 5-6 friends to run the show. They will be responsible for lining up your guests into two rows, AND synchronizing the cue to light.
  • PRO FIRE: Forget about matches or lighters… those can blow out at the slightest breeze, and take too long to light. You’ll want to purchase firework spunks OR canned sternos to be used as your fire source. Your “Sparkler Team” will be in charge of lighting these, and sharing the flame with your guests, at the proper time.
  • SAFEFY FIRST! Without a doubt, you will need to have buckets of water on hand for guests to put out their sparklers, or to use in case anything goes off course. Make a trip to your local dollar store and pick up 4-5 buckets….Maybe even find some in your wedding colors!!! Your “Sparkler Team” will fill them with water and bring them outside in preparation, before sending guests outside.

vintage tin can congrats

Photo Credit: TheKnot

Let’s go back to a throw back! Nothing symbolizes a newlywed couple like a car rolling down the street with the cling-clang-congratulations of tin cans tied to the back bumper. It’s a classic! Speaking of classic, bonus points if you and your love-bug think ahead to rent a vintage vehicle as your getaway car! Check out the beauties available through BEST Transportation in St. Louis, MO.

go-go with glow sticks

Not into the whole “lighting things on fire” route, no problem! Glow sticks are a cool and colorful alternative to sparklers, PLUS they’re affordable AND double as a take home favor for your friends and family. Wait until you see these personalized options at ExtremeGlow.com.

bye bye birdie

Photographer: A Sweet Focus

Wanna be a sweety to tweety? Have your wedding guests toss bird seed in lieu of rice or confetti. For one, you’ll be offering up some yum-yums for the feathery friends who attended your wedding uninvited, AND two, your send-off will be MUCH more earth friendly than a tornado of torn-up tinsel.

lifting up love with lanterns


HELLO HOLLYWOOD MAGIC! Cue the romantic movie music♥
Lantern send-offs are by far, THE MOST fairy-tail too-da-loo of all time!
The whimsical drifting and lifting of candle light, painting a dreamy display across the night sky, is a breathtaking sight to share with loved ones. Here’s the catch…. these fire filled floaters are banned in most counties due to the nature of them being paper…. on fire…. freely flying overhead. Need I say more?

….Just be sure to check with your venue before planning any special send-off, of any kind. You’ll want to fully understand all rules and regulations so you can have a heads up, before you head out.

5 Reasons To Keep Planning Your Wedding Day!

Article by Dori Abell

Today’s world is completely upside down, and everything that we knew as “normal” seems far away….BUT FEAR NOT!

As we all start adapting to these temporary societal changes, the world is still spinning, babies are still being born, the sun is still shining, and your wedding plans should continue.
We’ve compiled the TOP 5 REASONS why you do not want to hit pause on the wedding planning train just yet… Choo CHOO!

1. availability is limited

As you know, all events between March – May 2020 had to be either cancelled or rescheduled due to COVID19. In most cases, weddings were rescheduled for Fall/Winter 2020, and Spring/Summer 2021.
What does this mean for you? It means that most of the wedding vendors on your wish list have dates that are filling up QUICKLY or may no longer be available for your wedding date! EEEK!!!
This is the time, more than ever, to be checking in with your vendors of choice, to see what availability they have so you don’t miss the opportunity to secure them for your wedding date.

2. rushing causes panic

Even though you might feel like waiting, time keeps ticking forward. There are 24 hours in every day, 7 days in a week, and the months keep passing by quickly, whether we want them to or not.
The last thing anyone needs right now is self-induced panic caused by procrastination, and last minute rushing! Putting things off never makes anything easier. It’s always smarter to work on planning a little bit at a time, so everything gets accomplished at a smooth and methodical pace.
This same concept can be applied to balancing out your budget! When you pay off small chunks at a time, it alleviates the overwhelming feeling of having to face a huge sum at the end.

3. so many special offers!

If you’re not taking advantage of all of the amazing special offers and discounts that wedding vendors are offering right now, YOU’RE MISSING OUT!
Whether it’s a FREE upgrade, or a percentage OFF of services, this is the BEST time for couples to save money while booking the vendors on their wish list!
For most companies, the time is running out, and offers will be ending at the end of May, so it’s time to shop around and get the deals! STL Weddings Stimulus Plans – Special Offers

4. the end is in sight

It’s been nuts, but we’ve all been troopers through the social restrictions enforced by local governments…. BUT THE END IS IN SIGHT!!!!! We are thrilled to hear rumors of the bans being lifted by middle of May, so we’re staying hopeful that events & weddings will be resuming in June. Like anything, COVID19 will come to an end, and life will resume. The pandemic will leave us just as quickly as it approached us. All of this is temporary. In other words, “This Too Shall Pass”.

5. why wait when love is ready?

There was a moment in life when it hit you. OMG!!! I’M IN LOVE, AND THIS IS MY PERSON!!!! When you know, you know, and nothing else matters. Just like time, there’s no turning back. So why wait? Once you’ve made that decision to spend the rest of your life with your incredible, magical, nothing-compares-to-the-feeling-I-get-when-I’m-with-you PERSON, start making plans towards your Happily Ever After! ….We’ll be here to help!

Celebrity Weddings of 2020

By Us Weekly Staff March 25, 2020

Bindi Irwin and Chandler Powell

https://www.usmagazine.com/wp content/uploads/2020/03/Bindi Irwin Marries Chandler Powell Hours Before Australia Coronavirus Lockdown

The conservationist married her fiancé at Australia Zoo on March 25, hours before the Australian government enforced a lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic. “There are no words to describe the amount of love and light in my heart right now,” she wrote via Instagram. “We’ve planned this beautiful day for nearly a year and had to change everything, as we didn’t have guests at our wedding. This was a very difficult decision but important to keep everyone safe.”

Credit: Courtesy of Russell Shakespeare

https://www.usmagazine.com/wp content/uploads/2020/03/Brittany Snow and Tyler Stanaland Married Wedding 71st Annual Primetime Emmy

Brittany Snow and Tyler Stanaland

The couple tied the knot in a romantic wedding ceremony in Southern California on March 14. The bride’s dog, Billie, walked down the aisle at the couple’s ceremony, which was attended by about 120 guests. The Pitch Perfect actress and the realtor got engaged in February 2019.

Credit: Christopher Polk/Variety/Shutterstock


Faith Jenkins and Kenny Lattimore

Us exclusively confirmed that the Divorce Court judge and the singer wed at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles on March 8. Stevie Wonder sang “You and I” as the bride walked down the aisle. 

Credit: Courtesy Faith Jenkins

https://www.usmagazine.com/wp content/uploads/2020/02/Bachelorette Alum JJ Lane Marries Kayla Hughes in

JJ Lane and Kayla Hughes

The Bachelorette alum married the former NFL cheerleader in a romantic ceremony in Denver on February 29. Guests included several Bachelor Nation favorites including Jared HaibonAshley IaconettiBen HigginsClint Arlis, and Tanner Tolbert and Jade Roper, whose toddler daughter Emmy was a flower girl at the ceremony. Lane and Hughes, who went public with their relationship in September 2017, got engaged in Hawaii in January 2019. Lane romanced Kaitlyn Bristowe on The Bachelorette and later appeared on Bachelor in Paradise.

Credit: Courtesy of Kayla Hughes/Instagram

https://www.usmagazine.com/wp content/uploads/2020/02/JJ Watt Marries Pro Soccer Player Kealia Ohai in Romantic Bahamas Ceremony

JJ Watt and Kealia Ohai

The Houston Texans defensive end married the pro soccer player in the Bahamas on February 15. “Best day of my life. Without question,” he captioned a series of wedding photos via Instagram.

Credit: Courtesy of Kim Schaffer

https://www.usmagazine.com/wp content/uploads/2020/01/Celebrity Weddings 2020 Pamela Anderson Jon

Pamela Anderson and Jon Peters

On January 20, Pamela Anderson and Hollywood producer Jon Peters — whom she had dated 30 years prior — tied the knot in a ceremony in Malibu. “He’s been there all along. Never failed me – I’m ready now and he’s ready too,” she said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter at the time. “We understand and respect each other. We love each other without conditions. I’m a lucky woman. Proof God has a plan.”

Credit: BabiradPicture/Shutterstock; Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock

https://www.usmagazine.com/wp content/uploads/2020/01/Kathy Griffin Marries Longtime Boyfriend Randy

Kathy Griffin and Randy Bick

The comedian married her longtime boyfriend shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day. Lily Tomlin officiated the 14-minute ceremony.

Credit: Courtesy of Kathy Griffin/Instagram

https://www.usmagazine.com/wp content/uploads/2020/01/Kylie Bunbury and Jon Ryan Alan

Kylie Bunbury and Jon-Ryan Alan Riggins

The Pitch alum married her boyfriend in Madeira Island, Portugal, on New Year’s Day. “Roaring Love • 1-1-2020,” Bunbury wrote alongside wedding pics via Instagram.

Credit: Courtesy of Kylie Bunbury/Instagram

https://www.usmagazine.com/wp content/uploads/2020/01/Riverdale’s Vanessa Morgan Marries Baseball Player Michael

Vanessa Morgan and Michael Kopech

The Riverdale star and the baseball pro tied the knot in front of 35 of their closest family and friends at the Historic Walton House in Florida on January 4.

Credit: Courtesy of Vanessa Morgan/Instagram

https://www.usmagazine.com/wp content/uploads/2020/01/Tim Tebow and Demi Leigh Nel Peter

Tim Tebow and Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters

The athlete and the model wed in Cape Town in her native South Africa on January 20.

The Most Common Wedding Vow Mistakes

by Elizabeth Mitchell  


It’s only the biggest day of your life and you’ve got one chance to get your wedding vows right. No pressure, huh? Whether you’re writing your own or going the traditional route, take our word for it: you’ll want to be as prepared as possible. And no, that doesn’t just mean practicing them out loud. From what you say to exactly how you say it, here are common wedding vow mistakes all couples should avoid making.

1. Going On and On (and On and On)

Keep it short and sweet, recommends Dezhda “Dee” Gaubert, owner of No Worries Event Planning. “Only talk about one thing you love the most about your partner, one personality trait you like best or one example of his commitment to you, not two, three, four or five. There is more emotional impact and power with brevity.” Plus, your guests will start to lose interest fast once you get beyond the 200-300 word range.

2. Getting Too Personal

TMI! Some couples write what is essentially a love letter to each other and not ceremony vows, explains ordained officiant Bethel L. Nathan. “They forget how emotional they might be in the moment so it can be tough to read out loud, not to mention awkward standing there reciting something so personal in front of a big audience.” Lauren Chitwood, owner and founder of Lauren Chitwood Events, agrees. “When writing your wedding vows, remember that your intent is to make the commitment of marriage in front of witnesses,” she says. For this reason, it’s wise to avoid sharing things that would make you so emotional you can’t regain your composure or cracking inside jokes guests won’t get.

3. Waiting Until the Day Before to Write Them

Time is winding down and you still haven’t written your vows…oops! This mistake is all too common, according to Nathan. His recommendation? Write them two weeks out. “It’s close enough to the wedding day for the sentiments to be what you want to express, but far enough out to actually get done and be able to be focused.”

4. A Lack of Consistency in Length

Nothing is more awkward than the bride or groom keeping things short and sweet while the other gives a lengthy speech, says wedding planner Marilisa Schachinger, event planner. “Simply discuss a general timeframe together, like 1-2 minutes, beforehand so that you both share for an equal amount of time, allowing that portion of the ceremony to flow smoothly.”

5. Not Using a Microphone

Especially if you’re having a big wedding. And even if you do have one on hand, oftentimes the couple forgets to speak into the microphone when reciting their vows so no one can actually hear what’s being said, notes wedding planner Leah Weinberg, owner of Color Pop Events. Simple solution: Practice your vows with a microphone so it’s second nature.

6. Wanting to Speak From the Heart…On the Spot

Whatever you do, please don’t try to memorize your vows or simply speak from the heart when the time comes (and if your spouse-to-be thinks this is a good idea, make sure he reads this.). It never goes well, warns Nathan. “With all of the emotions and nerves and excitement running through you the day-of and in that moment, most of the words disappear from memory and rarely is this ever smooth or well done.” His advice? Take the time to write your vows ahead of time and put pen to paper, even if it is just as a backup.

7. Misplacing Your Vows

It happens more than you think. This is why it’s always best to have at least a couple of copies on hand the day of. Houston wedding planner Chelsea Roy of Everything But The Ring suggests giving one copy to your planner or officiant the night before during rehearsal and another to the maid of honor, who can curl it up in her hand with her bouquet and hold it until the time comes, or the best man, who can stick it in his suit pocket for safekeeping. “Give them back to these people or to your officiant after you’ve read them, and be sure they get to a safe place to be saved as a keepsake.”

8. Forgetting the Tissues

Better to be safe than sorry, right? “I’ve had brides give these to their maid of honor or a family member in the front row and they’ve come incredibly handy,” says Gaubert. You can also have your partner put a hanky in their pocket for you just in case.

9. Not Making Eye Contact With Your Partner

One of the most common vow mistakes Becki Smith of Smith House Photography sees as a wedding photographer is the couple telling their vows to the officiant rather than to each other. “This is especially common when brides and grooms are reciting traditional vows where they repeat after the officiant,” she tells us. An easy fix for this, according to her, is to simply ask your officiant to remind you before vows start to join hands and look at each other.

How Marriage Affects Your Legal and Financial Status

Whether you’re thinking about getting engaged, planning a wedding, or just recently tied the knot, it’s important to understand the legal and financial effects of marriage. LawDepot on February 12, 2020

Isn’t it wonderful when you finally find the person who you want to spend the rest of your life with? Well, of course it is! Congratulations!

Still, sometimes love makes us see the world through rose-colored glasses—and a lifelong commitment isn’t a decision you should take lightly. So, whether you’re thinking about getting engaged, planning a wedding, or you’ve recently tied the knot, it’s important to understand the legal and financial effects of marriage.

From making health care decisions to claiming inheritance rights, we’ll let you know what really changes when you get married and which legal documents you need once you say, “I do.”

How does marriage impact my legal status?

Getting married has several legal impacts on your estate plans, including changes to the way you fill out government forms, resolve family issues, and make healthcare decisions. 

Applying for a marriage license and changing your marital status

Prior to walking down the aisle, you and your future spouse must apply for a marriage license (also known as a marriage permit). This document proves that you have met all the legal requirements to be married.

To obtain a marriage license, visit a local registry in the city or county that you plan to exchange vows in. If you are having a destination wedding, you can get a marriage license from your home city and get married there before or after your destination wedding. In fact, many couples have a small wedding ceremony at home before hosting a larger reception at an alternate location.

Conversely, you can apply for a marriage license in the country you’re planning to travel to. In this case, you should contact the nearest consulate or embassy of the country where you will be married to find out their legal requirements for marriage. 

Regardless of where you choose to get married, be prepared to meet various requirements and have proper documentation for getting a marriage license, such as:

  • Proof of divorce or widowhood: People who are divorced or widowed and want to remarry must provide valid proof, such as a divorce decree or a death certificate.
  • Age of majority: If you are under the legal age in your state, you must acquire and present written parental consent to have a legally binding union.
  • Blood tests: Though increasingly uncommon, some states require engaged couples to undergo blood work to test for diseases or genetic disorders prior to marriage.

After you sign the marriage certificate at your wedding ceremony and your officiant files the marriage certificate, your marital status officially changes to married.

Changing your legal surname

When you sign your marriage certificate, it does not result in an automatic name change. If you decide to change your surname to your spouse’s surname, you must bring your marriage certificate to any official institution that keeps records of your name to update your information.

Changing your name can be quite a tedious task. For example, you’ll need to notify places such as:

  • A local registry or DMV
  • Banking institutions
  • Insurance companies
  • Utility providers
  • Your employer

There are no legal consequences of retaining your given surname. However, you can encounter certain obstacles by having a different last name than your spouse and family. For example, if you have a different surname than your children, you may be asked to provide proof of your relationship in situations involving international travel or a question of guardianship.

Resolving issues or disputes in court

When you marry someone, you generally can’t be forced to testify against them in criminal court; this is a type of spousal privilege. Courts and governments in the US may recognize this privilege during legal actions to protect a couple’s relationship from undue harm. However, there are situations (such as domestic abuse) in which courts can make exceptions and ask you to provide evidence in the form of a testimony.

When providing a testimony, spouses in the US and Canada have the option to claim “communications during marriage,” another type of spousal privilege that protects confidential information shared between spouses. Though, it’s important to note that spousal privilege laws vary by jurisdiction.

If you marry someone with children from a previous relationship, you may consider adopting your new stepchildren. In many jurisdictions, there is a streamlined process of adoption for stepparents, especially if you’ve been married for more than one year. In some cases, courts may even override a biological parent’s objection to adoption in favor of the stepparent. 

Though, in general, new spouses do not have a legal obligation to support their stepchildren financially. This is the responsibility of the biological parents themselves. If you do choose to adopt, authorities will consider you a legal guardian and responsible for the care of your children.

Making health care decisions

Once you’re married, many health care professionals will often defer to your spouse for health care decisions when you can’t make them for yourself. However, this may not always be the case.

To be sure your spouse has the authority to make these kinds of decisions, you should appoint them as your health care agent (also known as a proxy) with a medical power of attorney. That being said, you should discuss your thoughts on medical procedures with your significant other and complete a Living Will to document your treatment preferences.

In addition to having the ability to make important health decisions for your spouse, marriage provides other benefits such as:

  • Being able to visit your partner in the intensive care unit of a hospital
  • Being eligible to take leave from work when your husband or wife is sick or injured
  • Being listed as a beneficiary on your spouse’s health insurance plan

How does marriage affect my financial status?

From shared assets to joint benefits, marriage typically changes the way you handle your finances.

Shared finances

If you’re in a long-term relationship, chances are you’ve already started combining finances with your significant other. Many couples share a bank account to pay for shared bills such as rent, utilities, or phone plans.

Although it’s up to you to share access to certain accounts or not, once you’re married your husband or wife becomes entitled to a portion of your estate. So, even if the two of you split, you may continue to be partially responsible for each other’s finances.

To modify this entitlement, you must specify separate assets before your wedding day. A Prenuptial Agreement specifies the assets that are shared and separate, helping to determine:

  • How to divide properties, assets, and joint debts
  • If one partner must provide alimony payments to the other
  • Restrictions on what each spouse can inherit from the other’s estate

Although some people may be reluctant to sign a prenup, it is especially beneficial if you have children from a previous relationship or have significant assets that you wish to keep separate.

Read MoreHow to Discuss Money with Your Partner

Shared property

Once married, you and your husband or wife will collect shared assets known as joint or marital property, such as real estate, vehicles, and more. And, as mentioned earlier, spouses are entitled to a portion of each other’s estate.

If one spouse dies without creating a Last Will, most jurisdictions consider the surviving spouse to be the first person with a claim to inheritance. With divorce, joint property will often be divided 50/50 unless otherwise stated in a Prenuptial Agreement or during divorce negotiations.

Often, one of the largest investments you make as a married couple is your home. Depending on your jurisdiction, courts may consider property acquired before marriage to be separate. However, if you purchase property together, each partner has equal interest in the property title.

To prevent any disputes about who is entitled to what, it’s important to review your Last Will and Testament when you get married to ensure it reflects your current wishes. If you wish to allocate a certain portion of your estate to your significant other, do so explicitly in your Will. Also, clearly specify the other assets you want to leave to other family members and friends.

Tax benefits

After marriage, you have the option to file joint or separate tax returns. To determine whether you’re eligible to file jointly, you must be married before December 31 of the tax year. If you’re wedding is not until the following January, you still qualify for single tax filing.

Filing a joint return has several benefits, including deductions and borrowing personal tax credits to lower the tax bracket of a partner. Though, in some cases, filing individually may also lower your tax bill. Be sure to consult with an accountant when determining your tax filing status.

Married couples can also avoid paying gift and estate taxes. Generally, if someone gives you money or leaves you a portion of their estate, you have to pay taxes on it (as it’s considered income). However, married couples are often exempt from these laws. If a spouse passes away and leaves money and other assets to their surviving spouse, the surviving spouse generally does not have to pay estate and gift tax on those gifts.

Beneficiary status

An excellent advantage to marriage is being able to list your spouse as a beneficiary on various health, retirement, life, and financial insurance plans.

For instance, spouses may be entitled to the benefits from:

  • Health care insurance
  • Social security
  • Disability benefits
  • Employee benefits
  • Retirement plans or pensions
  • Life insurance policies

If your spouse dies, you may still be able to claim your inheritance regardless of whether or not you were officially named as a beneficiary. This is called a spousal right, the enforcement of which varies by jurisdiction.

Understanding marital commitment

Marriage is a legal union between two people in which you make sanctioned commitments to one another. That means that the two of you are legally bound to each other, which affects your legal rights and financial responsibilities.

Now that you have a general understanding of what really changes after marriage, update some of your estate planning documents to protect and accommodate the special person in your life.

Common Mistakes Couples Make While Wedding Planning

Avoid these common blunders. by The KnotWedding reception signMICHELLE LEA PHOTOGRAPHIE

There are some things that extend beyond your control on your wedding day (like an unexpected thunderstorm or your DJ coming down with the flu). But there a few common wedding planning mistakes that you can avoid up front, in the sometimes overwhelming process of booking vendors, choosing food, and keeping track of guests. Even the most organized couple can make mistakes during the wedding planning journey.

The good news is hiring a professional wedding planner can help you avoid common blunders made by couples as they go through the checklist. But if you’re wondering what to look out for, here are common wedding planning mistakes couples.

1. Blowing Off Your Wedding Budget

Money may not be the most fun topic to discuss in light of your engagement, but it’s so important. Danielle Couick, principal and creative director at Magnolia Bluebird Design & Events, tells The Knot the first step couples should take is getting the decision makers together and establishing a firm budget. Many times, excited to-be-weds start booking vendors and making purchases without having a budget in mind—and then are shocked to discover they’ve already spent most of their money and don’t have all of the things they need. Planning a wedding is serious business, so it’s important to make a budget and keep track of your expenditures so you have all of your ducks in a row and can actually relax on your wedding day. Need help? Use our Wedding Budgeter Planner.

2. Messing Up the Marriage License

There are lots of rules surrounding marriage licenses that you might not be familiar with. For instance, if you get your license 61 days before your wedding in Pennsylvania, you won’t be able to legally marry on your wedding day because a license is valid in the state for only 60 days. (You could still have the ceremony, though—guests wouldn’t ever know you weren’t legally married on that day.) Obtain your license the day before your wedding, and it’s possible you may not get it in time (some states have a three-day waiting period). A common mishap for those marrying for a second time is forgetting your official divorce papers when you get the certificate. Find other things no one tells you about getting a marriage license here

3. Getting Attached to a Specific Flower Type

When you book your florist a year before your wedding day, they can only guess which blooms will be in your price range and available for your wedding. If your heart is set on orchids, you could be disappointed the day of. To prevent this, choose backups to your main blooms and add them to your contract. Try to think in terms of colors and shapes instead of specific flowers.

4. Letting Other People Pick Your Wedding Party

Your wedding party is yours, which means you’re the one narrowing it down to your closest friends and family members, regardless of gender, familial ties and many other factors. “Your best friends, your nearest and dearest, regardless of gender, should be standing next to you if you’re having a wedding party,” says Jove Meyer, owner and creative director of Jove Meyer Events. Picking people to please a family member can also result in a sticky situation, so it’s best to choose what feels right for you. After all, it’s your wedding day. 

5. Blowing Your Fashion Budget on Just the Dress

If you have $1,500 set aside for your bridal look, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to buy a gown with a $1,500 price tag. Tack on tax and, if you’re not buying off the rack, shipping. You’ll likely need alterations too. Don’t forget to factor in your undergarments, shoes, veil, hair accessories and jewelry when budgeting for your overall look.

6. Sending Out Save-the-Dates Too Soon

It may be tempting to tell everyone about your wedding date as soon as possible, but don’t send those save-the-date cards until you’ve finalized the guest list. Save-the-dates are typically sent out eight to ten months before your wedding date, and only  to guests you’re positive will be invited. So, there are no hurt feelings.

7. Ordering Your Wedding Dress Too Late

If you’re purchasing a wedding dress that needs to be customized or ordered, do so by the six-month mark latest. Since your dress will be custom made (and possibly shipped from overseas), buffer in ample time to receive the piece and complete fittings. In addition, most off-the-rack wedding dresses will require alterations, so make certain you have enough time for that entire process. The same goes for the bridesmaid dresses.

8. Booking Hotel Rooms Too Late

This is an easy wedding planning mistake to make for newly engaged couples. To-be-weds will leave the task of securing hotel room blocks for out-of-town wedding guests until the last minute. If you’re marrying during a busy time and you don’t look into hotel availability in advance, you can end up with no rooms for your guests so reserve as early as possible. Begin your research up to a year in advance, and make sure your block is booked at least by the eight-month mark—if not sooner. Include hotel information in your save-the-date cards, wedding website and invitations. (FYI, you’re just setting them aside—your guests will put down their own credit cards when they call to book the rooms.)

9. Skipping the Videographer

Photos are a must for most couples, but they only take you so far—videos let you hear your and your partner’s voices as you say your vows and watch your friends tear up the dance floor. By hiring a professional videographer to document your wedding, you’ll relive those special moments you may have missed on the day, like interactions with grandparents, that you’ll definitely want to treasure for a lifetime.

10. Underpaying Invitation Postage 

You’d be surprised how many to-be-weds underestimate the postage stamp process with some dropping an entire batch into a mailbox without paying the correct amount. Most wedding invitations require additional postage, and the post office will return them back to you. Weigh an invitation at the post office before purchasing your stamps and be aware of any price increases too. (Note: Square invitations require additional postage not only because of the weight but the shape too.)

11. Inviting Too Many Guests

Your guest list and the maximum capacity of people at the reception site should match up. You can’t invite 400 people assuming only 250 will accept. If you end up with 300 acceptances, you may have to turn 50 guests away at the door. As much as vendors would like to accommodate you, most wedding venues are prohibited from adding 10 more tables, especially since fire laws limit the maximum number of people allowed in any room at one time. Analyze your guest list from the get-go, assume 80 percent will respond “yes” and limit that amount accordingly.

12. Micromanaging Your Vendors

You’re booking talented pros who understand your vision, so it’s important to let them do their jobs. We know it’s tempting to control every detail, but after your initial meetings, it’s best to step back and trust the pros to get it right (and keep on good terms with them). After all, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, Couick says. “You don’t have to go over the top, but being considerate and genuinely kind will go a really long with your vendors. The nastier you are does not do you any favors.”

13. Not Asking Enough Questions

While it’s important to be polite to your vendors, it’s also important to make sure you get all the information you need. Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions so that you understand exactly what you’re signing up for. Ask your vendors to spell it out for you. “If your florist gives you a proposal that says ‘healthy white flowers in May,’ are they peonies? Are the carnations? Are they mums?” It may be uncomfortable to ask the pros so many questions, but it will help you and your partner make informed decisions throughout the process.

14. Hiring a Friend Instead of a Pro

Your friend from college may make amazing workout playlists, but that doesn’t mean he’ll make a great wedding DJ. The same goes for your friend who’s an expert Instagrammer—this doesn’t make her a photographer. Even on a tight budget, we always recommend hiring professional wedding vendors with experience. Plus it’s more fun if your friends can fully enjoy your wedding day with you anyway. 

15. Trying to Go It Alone

If you’re a to-be-wed lucky enough to have been offered help by friends or family members, by all means, take it. Too many people try to do it all, which can get overwhelming. Delegate and use all the resources that are available to you. When people offer to assist, like your mom, future mother-in-law or best friend, find something for them to do, like researching a vendor or addressing invitations. But it’s important to keep in mind that these volunteers don’t work for you, so accept their contributions graciously. If you need more help, hire a professional wedding planner so someone can take on those difficult tasks throughout the whole process.

16. Forgetting to Focus on What’s Important

Keep in mind you’re getting married and starting a life together. Be good to each other (and those helping you plan the celebration). Some tension, whether it’s between you as a couple or with loved ones, is inevitable due to the heavy decisions that accompany weddings. Remember why you decided to take this leap in the first place—and don’t be afraid to preemptively download Lasting, a first-of-its-kind marriage health app

Romantic Wedding Proposal Ideas

by Andina Kamia Sunaryo Mar 9, 2018 | 20:00 in Wedding Ideas  

Asking for your partner’s hand in marriage is one of the biggest moments of your life. Special as it is, surely you want to ensure that this proposal is impressive and unforgettable. In this article we have compiled 18 proposal ideas for an irresistible proposal. Adopt one of these ideas and add a little personality to make it different and unique. Surely she will say yes before you know it!

Photography: via How He Asked

1. Irresistible cuties

Who can resist cute things? With the help of babies or animals, you can pop the big question and expect her to squeal over their cuteness. Either a pet or family relative, asking for her hand with their help will add a sense of sincerity and innocence to the proposal.
Tip: For a next level idea, hire a trained dolphin and ask her during a scuba-diving trip!

Photography: via Team Rope Source

2. Photo booth proposal
As the shutters start to click, pull out the ring and surprise her. There’s no way she can hide that surprised expression and you can get it on camera as well. How convenient!
Tip: Have your family and friends waiting outside the photo booth for the ultimate surprise!

Photography: via The Knot

3. Scavenger hunt
Turn your proposal into a treasure hunt by scattering clues for your partner to find. It can be done in your home or neighborhood, depending on how grand you want the hunt to be. Be sure to give relevant clues and ask for a family member or friend to guide her as well!
Tip: Bring her back to places you’ve had your dates or take her to pamper herself before meeting you in the final spot!

Photography: StayBright

4. Family dinner
An intimate proposal with your closest people witnessing the happy moment is always a good idea. She simply wouldn’t forget the intimacy of the moment.
Tip: Propose a toast to get everyone’s attention and then go for the big question!

5. Destination proposal
Another way to make a proposal worth remembering, do it during a holiday trip with your loved one. It doesn’t have to be somewhere far away, a weekend getaway to a nearby city is also a good idea!
Tip: You don’t have to do it when you reach the city, do it on the plane or in the car, and then celebrate the engagement during the holiday.

6. A walk down memory lane
Create a collection of memories of you and your partner, beautifully kept inside a box. Leave a note behind each photo and let her immerse in a nostalgic bliss before she gets to the question.
Tip: Before she starts opening photos, you can ask her to play a specific song, or your song together, to set her mood for a walk down memory lane.

Photography: via Pinterest

7. Love poem
If you are one of the literary couples, this idea would suit you very well. Create a poem or short story ending in asking for her hand in marriage. Patiently wait for her surprised expression as she gets to the end part!
Tip: Not a writer? Worry not. Hollow an old book, put the ring inside, and ask her to read a specific page from the book. Imagine her surprise when she finds out!

Photography: Axioo

8. Sing me a love song
One of the best ways to express your love is through a love song. Sing them a song you write especially for this moment or perform a significant song before you propose.
Tip: If you can get a song you wrote recorded professionally before the proposal, even better!

Photography: via Green Wedding Shoes

9. Wall climbing
If both of you love extreme sports, this idea might be suitable. You can put your proposal on top of the wall or do it after she comes down.
Tip: Take this idea to the next level by going on a real tracking up the mountains and then propose to her once you reach its peak.

10. Up in the air
For the long-distance couple, you can propose while your partner is visiting you. Hold a sign in the airport doors as you pick her up and put ‘Mrs’ in front of her name and put your last name behind it. Or, propose to her up in the air while you are travelling together
Tip: Work with the flight attendant or pilot to create an entertaining proposal for all the passengers to enjoy as well.

11.Flashback movie
Woo your partner by creating a short movie from your memories from pictures and videos. Then at the end of the video walk up to her and pop the question.
Tip: Rent the entire movie theater and play your movie as a trailer before the actual movie comes up!

Photography: via Inspiring Pretty

12. Jigsaw puzzle
Put your question on a customized jigsaw for an added sense of fun. Imagine how intrigued she will be to finish up the whole puzzle!
Tip: Add some photos to the puzzle and prepare a frame to remember it for a lifetime.

Photography: via Bored Panda

13. Crossword puzzle
Pop your question through a crossword puzzle with the words forming the big question as answers.
Tip: To not make it so obvious, insert other general questions so she will not suspect a thing before she gets to the end of the puzzle.

Photography: via My Wedding Concierge

14. Skydiving
With the nature as your setting, this proposal is one she won’t forget. Prepare the question largely printed on the drop off location so she sees it the second you arrive.
Tip: Even better, print a large banner so she can see it while you two are on the air together.

15. Merry-go-round
While your partner goes on a ride, stand outside the carousel and spell the words as she turns. Afterwards, wait by the gate with a ring on your hand.
Tip: Not a fan of carousel rides? There are plenty of other rides in the amusement park you can use. Ride a Ferris wheel and propose at the very top? No problem. Just be sure you don’t drop the ring!

16. An online deal
If you’re one couple that loves technology, create an interactive website especially to propose to her. Indeed a question as important as this should be asked directly so don’t forget to be present as well to witness her reaction
Tip: You can pretend to ask her to check out this cool website you found, without knowing its intention!

Photography: via People

17. Concert proposal
If a band you two are fans of decides to hold a concert, this might be the perfect time to propose. During a favorite song, sneak up behind her and present the ring carefully.
Tip: If she’s one that likes grand gestures, you can also ask to get up on stage and propose to her with all the crowds watching.

Photography: via The Telegraph

18. Written on the stars
Pop a question during a visit to the planetarium while stargazing at the night skies.
Tip: Get a star dedicated to your spouse as a present to remember the engagement!

9 Ways You Can Help Your Friend Plan A Wedding

Image result for dress shopping

On the surface, weddings seem like pure joy: flowing drink, ample food, and awesome dance moves. Not to mention, a radiant couple who’s happiness is infectious. But anyone who has tried to plan one knows that a wedding is way more than just fun and games. The months of preparation and tons of decision-making are not exactly easy, and it can sometimes be more than two families can handle.

That’s where friends step in. We’ve partnered with State Farm to help you help others, giving you 9 ways to alleviate your bud’s wedding planning blues.

1. Offer to help with the “extra” parties

Getting engaged is fun, but terrifying. We aren’t just talking about wedding jitters, either. Planning a wedding is full of social anxiety, from figuring out who to add to your guest list, to gaining the courage to let a friend know when you need their help.

What you can do: According to Joelle Duff, a 4-year wedding planning veteran from JoelleCharming.com, the best thing you can do is offer to help before you are asked. “She hopes that the people closest to her want to help,” Duff said about the bride. “You need to come up with the idea of how to help, instead of just asking what she needs. It might be the bride’s personality to not want to expect anything from her wedding party.”

Reach out to the bride and see if she wants a bridal shower, who you can start talking to about a bachelorette party, and if she is having any external traditional affairs, such as a Henna or Jewish Sheva Brachot.

The bride will be forever grateful for not having to be put in the position of asking a friend to throw a party for her. However, Duff warns that you shouldn’t take it too far: “Offer to help, but don’t feel like you are obligated to attend every shower and bring a gift.”

2. Go dress shopping

Shopping is stressful, even if it isn’t for the biggest day of your life. So when it comes to wedding shopping, the ante is upped about a thousand percent.

What you can do: Be the bride’s cheerleader, secretary and bursar all rolled into one. “Dress shopping is one of the biggest events in a brides process,” says Duff. “It is obviously a delicate and emotional time, so be careful with how you address things.”

Before you go, ask her what her budget is, and if she WANTS you to stop her from trying on anything that might go above budget. Get a feel for what styles she does and does not like, any accoutrements that might be up her alley, and more. During the actual trying-on period, write down the characteristics of each dress on a piece of paper, along with pros and cons. Not only are these things that the bride might not be able to assess on her own, but it will take a significant portion of stress off her shoulders to know that she does not have to be the only one keeping these things in mind.

The big no-no though is bringing your own personal choices into the mix: “There is a difference between not liking a dress because its not your taste, and not liking it because it’s not right for the bride,” Duff warns. “Just be careful how you word it.”

3. Act as a buffer

Time for some math: Money + deadline + family = an impending disaster.

What you can do: Be the sea wall to your friend’s choppy waters. Whether it is a micromanaging mother, an irresponsible wedding planner, or even a groomzilla, try to gently protect your friend if, and when, need be. Can you swing by her soon-to-be mother-in-law’s home to pick up the programs? Does she give you permission to be the stand-in for photo positioning? Protecting her from added stress can sometimes be the best present of all. “It is important for the bride to know that you are her main priority,” Duff explains. “There is no other reason for you to be a part of this process besides for her.”

4. Help keep things in perspective

She calls you in a panic to say that the WORST thing POSSIBLE just happened; the caterer she absolutely loved was just booked by another couple!

What you can do: This is a little bit difficult, since you want to make sure not to offend her while still helping her see that things will be okay. First, validate her feelings. Tell her that yeah, it really sucks that this happened. Don’t justify it by saying “but” — simply commiserate with her for a moment, even over the smallest thing.

Then, put a solution into action. Help her figure out the next steps, and find actionable ways of getting there.

“Put things into perspective in a kind way, not a ‘you’re stupid’ way,” Duff explains. “There are little things that come up. Don’t belittle their concerns; just be aware of how you are speaking.”

When the bride feels like she has more control over the situation, focus on all the things that are going well. Tell her how much you love her photographer, that her dress is absolutely perfect, and that to be honest, your friend hired that catering company and the potatoes were decidedly bland.

5. Spread the news (or the word)

Newsflash: Not all brides are the same. While some may love big flashy presents and want all the guests to wear silver lamé, others prefer you just contribute to their honeymoon fund and don’t make any speeches.Subscribe to The Morning Email.Wake up to the day’s most important news.

What you can do: Be a gossip. Ask your friend if there is anything that she really hopes does/ does not happen at the wedding, and try your best to drop the hint to as many people as possible. Take her word at face value; if she says no embarrassing bachelorette party games, keep the shiny beads at home. “I think it can be awkward, trying to navigate those waters,” said Duff. “It’s great to be able to put things into perspective through your friend.”

6. Pick your battles

We are up to number 6 on this list and have yet to use the B word: Bridezilla. Now is the time.

What you can do: If your friend is being over the top about almost everything, don’t be afraid to level with her. After all, you are friends for a reason. Hopefully she will want you to be honest if things are spinning out of control.

But sometimes there are really just brides with specific tastes. Do you look horrendous in the bridesmaids color she picked out? Annoyed that the bridal shower is a two-hour drive from your house? Remember that it is, in fact, her day. A little taffeta never hurt anyone, and the look of sheer delight on her face when she sees everyone in matching shades of mustard yellow will make it all worth it. “The most important job is to make sure the bride and groom isn’t bothered,” says Duff. By making your tastes part of THEIR wedding, that can be pretty bothersome.

7. Research


If your BFF isn’t the type to have a bride bible, it’s time for you to swoop in.

What you can do: Pinterest, Etsy, The Knot, repeat. Chat with her about what she does and doesn’t like, and shoulder some of the researching burden for her. Duff suggests that you ask specific details, like if she wants you to research caterers or send along place setting ideas, dresses, party favors and more based on her tastes. Even better: Offer to do the boring stuff, like finding the cheapest chair rentals or wedding tents.

8. Know when to back off

Easy does it, eager beaver. Being helpful is great and all, but there is a fine line between being helpful and overbearing.

What you can do: “Sometimes they are going to need quiet,” Duff warns. Be communicative with your friend. Try to read when your help is, and is not, wanted. If she tells you that it would be best for you to step back for awhile with the wedding plans, don’t be offended. According to Duff, the best thing you can do is simply say, “I am here when you are ready or if you need me.”

9. Be ready to NOT talk about the wedding

Believe it or not, there are other important topics to discuss during the months, or even years, before a wedding. It is highly likely that the bride-to-be wants to chat about politics, work, and the awesomeness that is Bey, amongst other non-wedding related subjects.

What you can do: Treat her like a person and talk about other things. Feel free to check in on wedding planning, but don’t forget to share snippets of your life as well. Duff suggests planning something non-wedding related. “You also need to lead real life when you are planning your wedding,” she notes.

10. Show up

This seems pretty simple, but a rarely discussed bridal secret is the sadness that comes with a “regrets” RSVP.

What you can do: If you are invited, show up. Sure, weddings are expensive and the family is banking on some people who can’t make it, but sharing that special day with the people you love is an unparalleled happiness. You want to be a part of that, and the beautiful bride wants you there too.


By Dan Kopf

Picking a wedding date is likely the single biggest planning decision a couple will make in their lives. The chosen date impacts the expense of the ceremony, venue possibilities, and the plans of possibly hundreds of people.

The conventional decision is to pick a Saturday in the warmer months of the year. And, if possible, to grab a three day weekend like Memorial Day or Labor Day. 

But, of course, not all couples can or want to pick a traditional date. Some people have always dreamed of a winter wedding, while others are just looking for cost savings on this now exorbitantly expensive event. 

Just how unusual is it to get married on a Friday or in the depths of winter? We collected data to find out.

Over the last several years, hundreds of thousands of couples use the website The Knot to create a wedding page for their big day. On this free wedding page, couples are required to list their names and the date and location of their wedding. Most of the pages are public.

In order to figure out the popularity of different nuptial dates, we collected the location and day of over 40,000 weddings listed on The Knot. Though these data are probably not a perfectly representative sample of American marriages—people who set up websites could be different than the general population—it’s probably pretty close.

So when do people get married? Let’s start with the day of the week. The data is restricted to marriages in the United States in 2015.

Data: The Knot

According to the data we collected, over 70% of couples got married on a Saturday in 2015, and nearly 95% of weddings occurred on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

About one quarter of the nearly 11% of weddings that occur on Sunday happened on one of three holidays weekends: Labor Day, Memorial Day, and Columbus Day (in some places known as Indigenous Peoples’ Day). The Sunday of Labor Day weekend is the most common Sunday, but still ranks 28th overall—all 27 above it are Saturdays.

Though historically taboo, Friday night weddings may be becoming more popular as a way to save a ton of money. The main drawback is that you might annoy friends and family by forcing them to miss a day of work.

Beside choosing the day of the week, the other key decision couples make is picking the week of the year. The following chart shows the most popular wedding weeks across 2015.

Data: The Knot

Our data show that just about 80% of all weddings happen in the six months between May and October. About two-thirds of the weddings in these months happened on a Saturday, so put together, only a little over half of weddings occur in the warm weather months on a Saturday. If you had a cold months or non-Saturday wedding, you are not as unusual as you might think.

The week of Columbus Day weekend just beat out the week of Labor Day for the most popular week to get married. Both account for a little over 4% of all weddings. Looking at specific days, the Saturday of Columbus day weekend (October 10th in 2015) was the number one day to get married—it alone accounted for more than 3% of all weddings.

But the popularity of particular times of the year varies significantly by region of the country. The following chart shows the popularity of weddings by month across the United States’ four different regions as defined by the Census.

Data: The Knot

Couples doing their nuptials in the South differ in their choice of wedding dates more than any other region. While September and October are the most popular wedding months throughout the rest of the country, in the South, April through June dominate. This is mostly because most Southern couples avoid the sweltering months of July and August.

The most concentrated wedding season for any region is August through October in the Northeast. More than 56% of all marriages in that part of the U.S. occur in just those three months.

November through February is almost universally unpopular across the country. Even with the good weather during this period in much of the West and South, not many couples choose dates in these months. The resistance to choosing dates in this period is likely to due to some combination of not wanting to compete with the holiday season and leftover tradition from when most Americans lived in the colder parts of the country.

Finally, we examined the most popular wedding week for every state. These are the weeks that are either to be grabbed very early or to be avoided.

Data: The Knot

Though most Americans clearly prefer to get married on a Saturday in the warmer months, the most popular wedding dates are scattered throughout the year and depend on where you live. But almost everywhere, for those who have already been to their fair share of wedding this year, rest assured that the peak of nuptial season is finally coming to an end.