How to Know When You’re Ready to Drop the “L” Word

By Samantha Iacia

Three words. Eight letters. These tips will help you decide when to say ‘I love you’ to that special someone for the first time.

Kate Edwards Weddings
KATE EDWARDS WEDDINGS

Falling in love and knowing exactly when to say I love you for the first time is a different experience for every couple. But if you feel like those three little words are lingering on the tip of your tongue, there are some general guidelines that can help you decide whether or not you’re ready to take the plunge!

Here’s how to know when to say I love you for the first time.    

When bae becomes the best part of your day.

As you transition from “just dating” to full-on monogamy, you’ll start developing a deeper connection with your S.O. that goes beyond flirty texts and casual meetups for drinks. That person who was once just the cute guy (or girl) you’ve been getting to know is suddenly the most attractive human ever — one who also happens to now be an integral part of your day-to-day life. You can’t wait to talk to them each morning, you don’t go to bed without saying goodnight, and they’re the first person you turn to when something goes wrong. You’re on cloud nine whenever you’re together, even if that means ordering takeout and watching Netflix on the couch.

When you’re able to have meaningful conversations.

Part of being in love is feeling understood, or at the very least respected, by your significant other. Maybe your S.O. can put you at ease in a way that no one else can, or maybe they can always tell when there’s something on your mind that you’re leaving unsaid. If you’re thinking about when to say I love you, having a strong line of communication with your partner is a telltale sign that you might be ready. When you feel comfortable having meaningful, honest conversations with your S.O. about things like personal values, past relationships, future goals, and even silly debates about which sushi place is better, it’s a huge step in the right direction toward lovebird bliss.    

When you feel relaxed and comfortable together.

When you’re with the right person, letting your guard down is something that will happen naturally over the course of your relationship, even if you’re the most reserved person on earth. Once you start opening up to your S.O. and revealing things that you probably would have kept secret otherwise, it’s a major sign that you’re smitten. Whether you’re sharing embarrassing yearbook pictures, letting your partner see you without makeup for the first time, or accidentally mentioning that you’re low-key obsessed with anime movies, feeling comfortable enough to allow your true colors to shine is a good indicator of when to say I love you.

When you can’t escape the butterflies.

Do you get butterflies every time your S.O. walks into the room and whenever their name pops up on your phone? Whether you’ve been together for six weeks or six months, getting the butterflies when your partner is around is an obvious sign that you might be ready to say I love you. Another telltale sign? You’re constantly thinking about bae and can’t stop smiling when you’re telling your besties about him or her.

When the future doesn’t totally freak you out.

We’re not saying that you have to start planning the wedding tomorrow, but if you can picture yourself with your S.O. for the foreseeable future, it’s a positive sign that love is on the way. Think about your next relationship milestone: Have you met the parents yet? Are you planning your first couples vacation together? If you’re considering when to say I love you, these types of relationship benchmarks should stir up feelings of excitement and optimism!

When you’re doing things that are out of the ordinary.

As the adage goes, falling in love can make you do crazy things — and all it takes is a few beloved rom-coms to remind us just how elaborate a profession of love can be (Love Actually, anyone?). An obvious sign that you’re ready to say I love you is if you’re switching up your normal routine or going out of your way to make your partner happy. Sometimes, your subconscious knows when to say I love you before you’ve even had the chance to realize that you’re ready! Maybe you’ve caught yourself daydreaming about dropping the “L” word or have even had to stop yourself from saying it in conversation. Or perhaps you’re suddenly willing to do things you’d never agree to otherwise, like driving across town at a moment’s notice or switching up your daily routine, just to spend a few hours with your significant other. If this is the case, it’s time to reveal your true feelings!

7 Signs Your Partner is Madly In Love With You

By Jenn Sinrich

Whether you’ve been in a relationship for a while or are in beginning stages, you might be wondering if your partner really does love you. Here are some ways to tell.

couple kissing at altar
ANNY PHOTOGRAPHY

It’s easy to fall for what we see in the movies when it comes to being “madly in love.” However, in real life, the meaning or understanding of “madly in love” and answering the question “does my partner really love me?” is a bit more, shall we say, real—and, in fact, it very much varies based on the individual or couple, as well as the stage of relationship the couple is in. “For many couples, being madly in love is associated with passionate love—the hot desire, desperate longing, and passion—that couples feel at the beginning of their courtship, which usually decreases in intensity over time,” explains Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., professor at Oakland University in Michigan and author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great.

Dr. Orbuch also points out that there is more than one type of love that occurs in relationships. One is full of passion, known as passionate love, and the other is a love filled with friendship that keeps two individuals truly happy over the long-term. “This second type, called ‘companionate love,’ is characterized by friendship, intimacy and commitment, and has been found to actually increase over the course of a relationship,” she says. “For other couples, being madly in love is associated with companionate love, along with reigniting romance and passion.”

But if every relationship is different, and the experience of being “madly in love” can vary based upon the individual affected, how does one know they’re madly in love—does their partner really love them? Here are some key signs, according to relationship experts.

They want to spend most, if not all, of their time with you.

If you’re trying to answer the question, “does my partner really love me?” there’s one easy way to find out. A madly-in-love partner is likely to want to be together as much as possible. “They love being with you whether you’re doing something special, traveling, or just hanging around and chilling out and this ‘urge to merge’ can lead to a wonderfully reassuring and familiar relationship—or, eventually, a feeling that you need to build in some alone time!”

They make you a priority.

“When your partner makes you and the relationship a priority over other things in his or her life such as work, friends and personal hobbies, they are showing you they value the connection,” explains Rachel Needle, Psy.D., licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist. “Making time when they are busy or re-working their schedule to be with you for something that is important to you shows love and commitment.”

They are thoughtful and pay attention.

When you’ve had a bad day at work and want to vent to your partner, does he or she listen and give thoughtful advice? If so, this is a good sign that the answer to the question “does my partner really love me?” is a resounding yes. “When your partner listens to details and goes out of his or her way to make you feel special, cared for and heard, it is a sign of love,” says Dr. Needle.

They align their interests with yours.

Especially when you and your partner first fall in love, a very strong sign that he or she is madly in love is that he or she is twilling to alter their priorities and make changes to better align with you, says Dr. Needle. “Being open and willing to make changes and try new things that you enjoy, shows that your partner is committed to the relationship.”

They introduce you to friends and family.

“When your partner is madly in love with you, they are happy if you connect (and they want you to connect) with people who are important to them,” says Dr. Orbuch. “Not only do they want to show you off to others, but they like the idea that their family and friends understand firsthand all of the amazing qualities that made them fall in love with you in the first place.”

They speak in “we” not “I” language.

Whether or not you live together, when you’re in a committed relationship with another person, your lives naturally become intertwined. “When your partner no longer considers you two completely separate people, but instead, as a couple, this is a sign that he or she is madly in love with you,” says Dr. Orbuch. This, she explains, can be noted in the language he or she uses to refer to you as a couple. “When someone asks you what you did last weekend, he or she might respond by saying, ‘We went to the movies and we had a fantastic dinner,’ rather than, ‘I went to the movies with Sandy, and took her out to dinner afterwards.’”

They share intimate and personal information with you.

“Love motivates people to share extensive personal, often confidential, information with a partner,” says Dr. Orbuch. “They feel an urge to share things about their childhood, desires, feelings, and aspirations for the future to you (and with you).” Although you might think that your partner is merely an open individual, it’s quite possible that he or she has not revealed these feelings and desires to other people they know.

How a Simple Wedding Checklist Can Save Your Life

By Kim Forrest

With so many little details to tend to, planning a wedding can make you go a little crazy! The easiest way to stay organized is to use a simple wedding checklist.

couple kissing with bride veil
BRIT PERKINS PHOTOGRAPHY

With so many little details to tend to, planning a wedding can stress out even the most organized couple. But a simple wedding checklist can be a real lifesaver when it comes to figuring out all the ins and outs of planning your big day.

Here’s why a simple wedding checklist will be a huge help when it comes to planning your special day.  

It’s accessible from anywhere.

By using a digital wedding checklist, you can access and update your task list from your computer, mobile device, tablet, wherever. So whether you just dropped your invites off at the post office or met the photographer of your dreams, you can check off each task in real time. No more toting your wedding planning binder everywhere you go—it’s all online!

It works with YOUR timeline.

Whether you’re planning your wedding in two years or three months (or somewhere in between), it’s ideal to find a simple wedding checklist that will schedule all of the important tasks in your timeline. On WeddingWire, just enter your wedding date and the checklist will be scheduled for you. That way, you can prioritize the tasks to handle right away and those that can wait.

You can customize it.

No two weddings are created equally—and the same goes for checklists. By using a simple wedding checklist online, you can add tasks that are unique to your wedding (For example, “Help Grandma make her travel arrangements.”)—and remove those that don’t apply to you (For example, you may not need to hire a caterer if your venue includes one.). By customizing and personalizing your wedding checklist, it will feel far less daunting and even more useful as you plan your big day.

You can sort it by date and category.

We’ve all had those middle-of-the-night wedding-planning-related panic attacks: “When do I have to get a marriage license?” or “Is it too late to order wedding favors?” By using an online wedding checklist, you can not only sort your tasks by date so you can easily preview your upcoming responsibilities, but also filter by category. Whether you want to review all of your tasks relating to your DJ or figure out what you need to do the week before your wedding, a simple wedding checklist will ensure you’ve got it all covered.

Tracking your progress is so satisfying.  

Checking a task off your list is such a great feeling, and online wedding checklists make it so simple. You can also easily see how many tasks you have completed and how many have yet to finish, helping you track your progress in an easily-accessible way. You can even quickly see a list of all of the tasks you’ve completed for that extra dose of wedding-planning satisfaction.

You can share it.

Whether you and your partner are handling the bulk of wedding planning yourselves, or you’ve enlisted the help of family members, friends, or a professional wedding planner, a simple wedding checklist can easily be downloaded or printed so it can be shared with your planning crew. You can easily delegate responsibilities (“Mom, you can handle all of the tasks relating to flowers.”) or simply keep your loved ones posted on your progress.   

How You Know You Found the One, Based on Zodiac Sign

By Whitney Teal

Sometimes it’s hard to know if you’ve found the person you can really build a life with. Depending on your astrological sign, here’s how you know you found the one.

Randy & Ashley Studios
RANDY & ASHLEY STUDIOS

Ask anyone in a serious relationship: love is one thing; lifelong partnership is a whole other thing. Once you know you’re in love, how do you know you’re ready to take the next step of commitment — whatever that means for you? Your zodiac sign just might have some answers. Scroll down and find your sign to see how you know you found the one, based on your astrological sign.

HERE’S HOW YOU KNOW YOU FOUND THE ONE, ACCORDING TO YOUR ZODIAC SIGN.

ARIES (MAR 21-APR 19): WHEN YOU’RE WILLING TO DO NOTHING WITH THEM.

A proverbial spark of fire and a certified ball of energy and ideas, you are not one to chill, Aries. You love to juggle lots of responsibilities and creative pursuits, so a day of relaxing is genuinely cringe-worthy for you. When you’d rather Netflix and chill with your boo instead of attending to your to-do list, you’ve found a real keeper.

TAURUS (APR 20-MAY 20): WHEN YOU’RE READY TO SHARE A BANK ACCOUNT.

For cash-hungry Taurus, how you know you found the one is easy to answer. Naturally frugal and enterprise-minded, but decadent, a Taurus cares a lot about money. (How else do you purchase luxury goods and lavish vacations?) When you’re ready share a bit of your wealth and combine finances, you’ve found your forever bae, Taurus.

GEMINI (MAY 21-JUNE 20): WHEN YOU’RE ABLE TO COMMIT TO A BIG LIFE CHANGE.

Your dualistic nature and ability to empathize with other perspectives may be a commendable personality trait, but it doesn’t make you the most dependable person, Gemini. Although your heart’s always in the right place, your brain is so full of ideas that it can be difficult for you to follow-through on long projects. When you meet someone who can help you commit to something big—like buying a home or taking care of a pet—and stick to it, don’t let them get away!

CANCER (JUNE 21-JULY 22): WHEN YOU WANT THEM TO MOVE IN.

As a sensitive and emotional sign, home means a lot to you, Cancer. It’s your symbolic crab shell, a space you’ve carefully created to make sure you have a place to recharge and protect your personal energy. To let someone in on this sacred space is a huge deal to you, as you are notoriously private. When you get the feeling it’s time to put bae on your lease, that’s how you know you found the one.

LEO (JULY 23-AUG 22): WHEN YOU LET THEM TAKE THE LEAD. (SOMETIMES.)

Fiery, headstrong and totally at home being the center of attention, leadership suits you, Leo. After all, you’re ruled by the ultimate leader, the Sun, and represented by the king of the animal kingdom, the lion. So, when you’re willing to let your love decide where to vacation this summer or even which series to binge watch first this weekend, it’s time to take a pause and wonder if they’re the real deal for you.

VIRGO (AUG 23-SEP 22): WHEN YOU WANT TO START A FAMILY WITH THEM.

Your sign represents fertility and the maternal instinct to tend to one’s symbolic gardens, so you’ve probably been ready to start a family since birth, Virgo. Although you may have been in love before, you’ve found the one when you know they’re the only person you can imagine co-parenting your future babies with.

Lisa Marie Figueroa Photography
LISA MARIE FIGUEROA PHOTOGRAPHY

LIBRA (SEP 23-OCT 22): WHEN YOU LET THEM WIN THE ARGUMENT.

Ruled by Venus, planet of love, you’re a sign that values romantic partnership as the ultimate personal balance, Libra. As a natural debater and righteous seeker of justice, one thing you can’t abide is an uninformed or unfair opinion, and you’ll tire anyone out in an argument that goes against your principles. When you’re willing to let bae win this round (even though you both know you’re right), that’s how you know you found the one.

SCORPIO (OCT 23-NOV 21): WHEN YOU WANT TO BE EXCLUSIVE.

Intense Scorpios are naturally steamy. The flirty, sultry Scorpio stereotype has deep roots in this sign’s association with the mythical underworld. The ultimate signal that a Scorpio has found the one is when you can happily picture a lifetime of monogamous hooking up.

SAGITTARIUS (NOV 22-DEC 21): WHEN YOU THEY BECOME YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL BUDDY.

Always on the move and forever searching for deeper meaning in life, you love to explore far-flung destinations, Sag. This can be hard for any partner to accept, let alone keep up with, unless they’re the travel-at-the-drop-of-a-hat type of person, too. So, when you find yourself booking trips for two because you can’t leave your love at home, you’ve definitely found your one.

CAPRICORN (DEC 22-JAN 19): WHEN YOU LET THEM SEE YOU CRY.

Feelings aren’t your forte, Capricorn. You’re a hard-working earth sign whose love language is probably best represented through acts of service. In other words, what you can’t see, touch or physically de-construct doesn’t usually have a lot of value to you. But, you’re human. Occasionally, your feelings are hurt, you face a devastating loss or suffer a rejection. When you’re willing to cry and show bae this hidden side of you, that’s how you know you found the one.

AQUARIUS (JAN 20-FEB 18): WHEN YOU MAKE IT INSTAGRAM OFFICIAL.

You’re a tech nerd and always up on the latest apps and gadgets, which is no wonder since you’re ruled by the eleventh house of technology and teamwork, Aquarius. While some people write off social media as a narcissistic way to pass the time, you truly appreciate your virtual social circle and carefully curate your feed to only represent what you love. When you’re ready to show your love off to the Internets, watch out, because you’re probably in a forever relationship.

PISCES (FEB 19-MAR 20): WHEN YOU WANT TO SHARE A LAST NAME.

Pisces is the great romantic of the zodiac, always seeking or indulging in sweet, committed relationships. So, to answer how you know you found the one for this sign, you have to go deeper than just being in love. When you find yourself scribbling your signature with your partner’s last name or planning the family monogram because you’re ready to share a last name, it’s time to make it official.

23 Songs to Boost Your Mood While Wedding Planning

By Samantha Iacia

Tedious tasks, like stuffing invitation envelopes and arranging your seating chart, instantly become more fun with this list of the best songs to boost your mood.

Michelle Ramirez Photography
MICHELLE RAMIREZ PHOTOGRAPHY

Let’s be real: There are going to be times when you’ll feel a little overwhelmed with your wedding to-dos, especially if you’ve recently had to change your plans or are struggling to balance wedding planning between work, free time, and all of your other responsibilities. So we compiled a playlist of the best songs to boost your mood and put a smile on your face, no matter what you’re going through—play them to remind yourself to feel excited (not stressed!) about the big day anytime you need a pick-me-up. 

Squash that wedding planning anxiety and lift your spirits by listening to our favorite songs to boost your mood. 

“Whenever, Wherever” by Shakira

This early 2000s bop will get you out of a funk in no time. Blast it and dance like no one’s watching for an instant mood boost. 

“Golden” by Harry Styles

Play this song when you first wake up in the morning to immediately put yourself in a feel-good mood. “Golden” reminds us of summertime and sunshine—what more could you want? 

“Honey” by Kehlani

Acoustic songs can put you in a great mood, too! Listen to “Honey” anytime you want three minutes and 28 seconds of chilled-out bliss. 

“You’ve Got the Love” by Florence + The Machine

There are a number of different covers of this ’90s song, but this version by Florence + The Machine always stands out. It’s perfect for a dance break or if you’re in the mood to belt out the lyrics at the top of your lungs. You might recognize “You’ve Got the Love” from Sex and the City or Gossip Girl—it was featured in both series finales. 

“I Believe” by Jonas Brothers

When the JoBros released their comeback album in 2019, it did not disappoint. The lyrics of this catchy song are about meeting that one person you can’t live without. Now that all three brothers are happily married, we think we can expect a lot more tracks like this sweet song, and we’re not mad about it. 

“First Love” by Jennifer Lopez

This song is about finally finding The One who loves everything about you—even if you’re just wearing jeans and a t-shirt, as JLo says. It’s so catchy that it you’ll want to play it on repeat. 

“Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd

It’s the song that has inspired a million TikTok dances while we’re all social distancing. Chances are you’ve already heard the opening beats of “Blinding Lights”, but the entire toe-tapping song is like an old-school ’80s pop hit (and we mean that in the best way possible). Just try to resist dancing along—we dare you! 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/jZhQOvvV45w

“Good Life” by OneRepublic

It’s been more than 10 years since OneRepublic released their song “Good Life,” but it’s still one of the best songs to boost your mood and make you smile. The lyrics remind us that even when our days are crazy, there’s so much to be thankful for. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/fIoxpiS01gE

“Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac

From the ’80s synthesizers to the sweet, straightforward lyrics about love (‘I want to be with you everywhere’), you can’t resist smiling when this song comes on.

“Billion” by Mat Kearney

Mat Kearney summed up the feeling of meeting your soulmate with the lyrics of this song: ‘Seven billion in the world, baby / I only wanna be with you / I don’t want another girl, baby / I only wanna be with you.’ What’s even sweeter is that he wrote it for his wife, Annie (who’s also featured on his album cover). Excuse us, we have something in our eye. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SbenaOqv4yQ

“You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder

We couldn’t make a playlist of songs to boost your mood without including this classic Stevie Wonder hit. “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” is a hugely popular first dance song, but it’s also an uplifting tune to play anytime you need to brighten your day.  

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-BjZmE2gtdo

“Lover” by Taylor Swift

Find your partner and grab them for an impromptu slow dance to this song. The lyrics for “Lover” are all about finally meeting the one you never want to leave: ‘Can I go where you go? / Can we always be this close, forever and ever? /  And ah, take me out, and take me home / You’re my, my, my, my lover.’

https://www.youtube.com/embed/6e01nNA02vw

“Good Day Sunshine” by The Beatles

We can always count on The Beatles to give us some musical cheer. “Good Day Sunshine” is one of their most underrated songs—it’s so good it will make you feel like you’re on a sunny walk at the beach, even on the rainiest of days. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3xUfCUFPL-8

“XO” by Beyonce

This iconic Queen Bey song always puts us in a good mood. The lyrics are all about living in the moment and loving to the fullest, which is a message we can all relate to. 

“Love You For a Long Time” by Maggie Rogers

With it’s folk-y acoustic vibes, “Love You For a Long Time” makes us want to jump in the car and go for a road trip. Maggie Rogers sums up the feeling of falling completely head-over-heels with the lyrics: ‘Oh, I never knew it, yeah, you took me by surprise / While I was getting lost so deep inside your diamond eyes / So many things that I still wanna say / And if devotion is a river, then I’m floating away.’ 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/gnvi8DrLJXI

“Black and White” by Niall Horan

We’re calling it now: this could be one of the next big wedding songs. “Black and White” from Niall Horan’s second album is a sweet, upbeat tune about picturing the rest of your life from someone. Cue our happy tears. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/o8EamHKpdrM

“The Way You Love Me” by Faith Hill

This throwback country song is an instant-mood booster, especially if you know the lyrics to sing along. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/XaCrQL_8eMY

“Juice” by Lizzo

Bring on the feel-good vibes. Lizzo is our self-empowerment hero, and this song will make you feel like you can tackle your wedding planning list like it’s no big deal at all. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/6YDwBktDthA

“Carry Me Away” by John Mayer

This John Mayer track is more mellow, but that’s exactly why we love it. “Carry Me Away” is one of the best songs to boost your mood if you’re feeling stressed and need to relax—it’s so soothing you’ll want to play it on repeat in the background all day long. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/WHuBW3qKm9g

“Levitating” by Dua Lipa

Not only is this catchy pop song a fun addition to your wedding planning playlist, but we think it would be great to play during your reception to get everyone on the dance floor

https://www.youtube.com/embed/BM5Xa1FvNQQ

“Butterflies” by Kasey Musgraves

Dedicate this one to your S.O. “Butterflies” is a beautiful song about being with the one who loves you for exactly who you are. 

“10,000 Hours” by Dan + Shay ft. Justin Bieber

This sentimental pop-country song was written for the the singers’ wives—and they’re all featured in the music video. What could be sweeter than that? 

“Everything” by Ella Mai ft. John Legend

Send this R&B song to bae to let them know how much they mean to you. You know a song is going to be a hit when John Legend is involved, but Ella Mai’s voice and lyrics are worth the listen alone. 

8 Boring Signs That Someone Is Your Soulmate

By Samantha Iacia

Finding The One isn’t always about red roses and fancy dates—and that’s perfectly okay! Here are the mundane, unromantic (but equally important) signs that someone is your soulmate.

Silver Bear Creative
SILVER BEAR CREATIVE

Anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship knows that while it’s important to keep the romance alive, it’s the little day-to-day things that really help solidify your bond. That’s where these unexpected signs that someone is your soulmate come into play—and we’re not talking about butterflies, expensive gifts, or grand professions of love, even though they certainly don’t hurt when it comes to showing someone how much you care. Instead, there are other clues that can indicate a one-of-a-kind connection to let you know if you’ve found your soulmate (but if you’re already thinking you have, then you probably don’t need us to tell you). 

KEEP READING FOR EIGHT BORING—BUT MAJOR—SIGNS THAT SOMEONE IS YOUR SOULMATE. 

THEY GET ON YOU ABOUT STAYING HEALTHY. 

Whether it’s motivating you to drink more water, bugging you about scheduling a follow-up appointment with your dentist, or intervening before you eat a whole box of cookies by yourself during a Netflix binge, it could be a sign that someone is your soulmate if they’re pushing you to stay healthy. This is because they want to keep you around for the long haul—and they’re not afraid to challenge your bad habits if it means helping you become your best, healthiest self. As long as you’re not feeling forced into changing who you truly are, we’d call this a win-win. 

YOU TRUST THEM TO DO YOUR LAUNDRY AND OTHER CHORES.

Doing someone else’s laundry is an oddly intimate thing, right? But if your partner doesn’t mind sorting through your dirty clothes to save you the trouble of doing it yourself (and you’re not embarrassed about your smelly workout tops that have been collecting odors in the hamper), it’s a strong sign that your relationship has reached a deeper level. Whether it’s sorting your laundry a specific way, buying avocados at the perfect ripeness level, or putting the throw pillows in the proper order after making the bed, letting your partner handle tasks that you’d otherwise be picky about means that you feel in-sync with each other and trust your partner enough to know your nuances. For any self-proclaimed control freaks out there, this is major—and if your S.O. actually takes the time to pair up your socks after they come out of the dryer, you’re headed for eternal soulmate bliss. 

same-sex female couple walks through a scenic wildflower field during golden hour
LIZZY OAKLEY PHOTOGRAPHY

THEY’VE EXPERIENCED YOUR SSB (SECRET SINGLE BEHAVIOR) AND DIDN’T RUN FOR THE HILLS. 

In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, everyone has an SSB, otherwise known as your “Secret Single Behavior.” Basically, this is anything you do at home that you’d never do in front of anyone else—especially a significant other—for fear of embarrassing yourself. But if your partner has witnessed things like your strange skincare routine (microneedling for the sake of better collagen? sure!), unconventional midnight snacking habits, or your threadbare but unbelievably comfortable sleep t-shirts and didn’t bat an eye, they’re probably a keeper.  

YOU’VE SURVIVED A ROAD TRIP TOGETHER.

Cruising down the open road with your S.O. seems idyllic at first—you’ve got your playlists, your snacks, and you’re ready for an adventure to somewhere new (preferably with plenty of Instagrammable moments along the way). But inevitably, there are probably going to be a few bumps along the way. Flash forward to about six hours into your 20-hour journey, when you’ve been sitting in the same cramped position for hours, one of you is tired of driving, and you can’t agree on windows up or down. No matter how much you and your partner love each other, being confined in such a small space can amplify even the silliest of disagreements, simply because there’s nowhere else for either of you to go. Arguing with each other doesn’t mean that you aren’t meant to be—in fact, successfully recovering from a disagreement with your partner can actually help strengthen your relationship over time. If you’ve had a less-than-romantic road trip with your partner and lived to tell the tale, it’s a good indicator that you’ll be able to handle similarly tense situations in the future.

Black couple hold hands as they walk and smile at each other. They are wearing matching denim button-down shirts
DANIELLE CHRISTINE PHOTOGRAPHY

THE TWO OF YOU ACTUALLY DON’T AGREE ON EVERYTHING.

It takes courage to speak your mind sometimes, especially in the game of love when emotions are at stake. That’s why in newer relationships, it’s not uncommon for people to hold back certain thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs until they feel more comfortable revealing themselves. While it’s important to be aligned with your partner when it comes to the bigger picture (life goals, children, etc.), you should also remember that you’re still two individuals—and that it’s okay to see things differently from time to time. Soulmates often help each other to feel complete, meaning your partner might have opposite traits that balance out your own. In the end, if you feel respected and mature enough to butt heads with your partner occasionally—and you still love each other when all is said and done—it’s a good sign that someone is your soulmate. 

YOUR BOND HAS PLAYFUL QUIRKS THAT NO ONE ELSE UNDERSTANDS.

Maybe you’ve made up code names for your weird relatives, or maybe you have your own language comprised entirely of emojis. Whatever your relationship quirks are, creating “secret” habits as a couple or doing something silly with your partner that would make zero sense to the outside world means that you’ve been able to accept and connect with each other in a way that no one else can. 

couple walks down a residential street in NYC with brownstone townhouses on both sides. She is jumping in the air while holding his hand
CELESTE HERNANDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY

THEY’RE KINDA FORGETFUL, EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR RELATIONSHIP.

Outside of your relationship, your partner could have the worst memory in the world. But if they’re constantly surprising you by recalling little things that have happened throughout your relationship, it’s one of the biggest signs that someone is your soulmate. We’re not just talking about remembering birthdays and major milestones—a soulmate will have (consciously or subconsciously) made mental notes about all of the little things, too, like the first texts you sent to each other or the moment they knew they were in love.  

YOU JUST FEEL SAFER AND AT EASE WHEN THEY’RE AROUND.

Soulmates are called soulmates for a reason. The connection you have with each other is capable of going beyond any physical presence so that even when you’re not actually together, you’re still experiencing a strong bond. Some people believe that soulmates find each other because they share the same energy, and when you’re with your partner, your energies balance each other. This explains why you probably feel calm simply by sitting next to your S.O. on the couch and why you might feel unsettled when you’ve been apart from each other for too long.

How to Be the Best Wedding Guest During COVID

By Kim Forrest

Being a wedding guest during COVID is going to be a different experience than in the past. Here’s how to take proper precautions, while still celebrating the happy couple.

social distance wedding
LA TUNA LOCATIONSJEROME PARK PHOTOGRAPHY

If you’ve been invited to a wedding during the COVID pandemic, you might be feeling torn. Of course, you want to celebrate and support the couple, but your health and safety should always come first. It’s essential to ensure that the couple is following state and local guidelines when throwing their event before deciding whether or not you’ll attend. And beyond buying a gift and choosing an outfit, there are several steps and safety measures you’ll need to take as a COVID wedding guest as well. 

Here’s everything you need to know about being a good wedding guest during the COVID pandemic. 

Ask questions before RSVPing. 

First things first—if you think attending a wedding will compromise your safety, you are in a high-risk category, or that the couple isn’t following state or local gathering regulations, you should decline the invitation. Check the couple’s wedding website to see if they’ve included a section about precautions they’ll be taking on the big day. If not, don’t be shy about reaching out to the couple directly to ask questions. How many guests will be attending? Will you be adhering to social distancing? Will the event be held indoors or outdoors? How will food be served? If you feel comfortable with the couple’s plans, you can RSVP yes. Alternatively, if you don’t wish to follow the safety guidelines, you can decline. 

Think about your travel plans. 

These days, traveling has its own inherent risks. Think about the extent to which you can travel to attend a wedding. Will you have to fly or can you drive? Would you have to stay overnight and if so, where? Can you even travel to the wedding’s location based on state regulations (some states are requiring visitors from certain hotspots to quarantine upon arrival and/or provide proof of a negative COVID test)? If these risks and restrictions make traveling to a wedding’s location difficult or impossible, it’s okay to RSVP no—and hope the couple live streams the wedding so you watch the proceedings. 

Send a gift in advance. 

While most guests send wedding gifts before or after the wedding, some still do bring gifts or cards to the actual event. During the COVID pandemic, bringing a gift to the wedding is discouraged for safety reasons. Too many people will end up touching the gift, which increases the chances of passing germs and exposure. Even if you’re giving the couple a check, mail it to them, rather than handing it over on the big day.

Weddings in Ohio: What to know about crowd size, restrictions
Cincinnati Enquirer

 

Talk to loved ones about their comfort levels. 

If other loved ones will be attending the wedding, talk to them in advance about everyone’s comfort levels for contact during the event. Some people may be comfortable giving hugs and dancing, while others would prefer to keep distance. You want to make sure you’re on the same page with your family members and friends to avoid awkward moments, like Uncle Bob trying to give you a bear hug when you are adhering to social distancing. The couple should also provide distancing rules that should be enforced and followed. 

If you’re experiencing symptoms, stay home. 

This is a big one—if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, do not (we repeat, DO NOT) attend the wedding. It’s better to be a last-minute no-show than potentially expose the couple and their guests to illness. And if you know that another guest is experiencing symptoms and still intends on attending the wedding, you should let the couple know so they can take appropriate action. 

Wear a mask. 

Masks are the most essential accessory this wedding season. While many couples are providing masks for their guests, you should still bring your own face covering. It’s an important safety measure, and bringing your own ensures you’ll have a mask that is comfortable, fits you properly—and matches your outfit. Looking to buy a face covering for the occasion? Shop our favorite wedding masks.

From 2 500 to 15 guests – how this couple scaled down their ...
News 24

Follow instructions. 

A COVID wedding will likely be quite different than any wedding you’ve attended in the past. You’ll have to wear a mask, stay distanced from other guests, practice good hand hygiene (hello, sanitizing stations!), and more—check the couple’s wedding website to learn more about how the day will go. Food may be served in a different manner and there may or may not be dancing. Do your best to roll with the punches, follow instructions from the couple, venue, and wedding professionals, and avoid any grumbling about the unique experience. Remember, the couple surely wishes their wedding could have taken place under different circumstances, and any griping from guests will just make them feel worse. So follow the rules with a smile, and focus your energy on celebrating, not complaining. 

Here’s How to Throw an Outdoor Bridal Shower During COVID

By Kim Forrest

It’s still totally possible to enjoy an outdoor bridal shower during COVID—here’s everything you need to know from the guest list to games, and much more.

bridal shower gifts
LCRP/SHUTTERSTOCK

While many weddings and pre-wedding events have been dramatically altered, postponed, or canceled due to the COVID pandemic, it’s totally possible to have a successful outdoor bridal shower during this time. With a few minor adjustments, you can take part in most of traditional bridal shower activities—opening gifts, playing games, enjoying food and drink, and more. Yes, there are a few safety measures you’ll need to include, but a fun outdoor bridal shower is well within reach.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to throwing the ultimate outdoor bridal shower during COVID.

Communication is key.

The guest of honor and hosts (usually bridesmaids and/or family members) should have an open and honest discussion before starting to plan an outdoor bridal shower. Everyone should be on the same page when it comes to safety measures and social distancing, so that the event can be planned accordingly and precautions can be communicated to guests. Keeping guests as safe as possible should be the ultimate goal here.

Find an outdoor space.

Experts agree that outdoor celebrations are safer than indoor events, so your best bet is to find an outdoor space for your bridal shower. A loved one’s backyard is a good option, provided that it’s big enough for your guests to maintain distance. Parks are another idea, though you might need to acquire a permit to host an event there. Restaurants or other venues with large outdoor spaces or covered patios can likely accommodate outdoor bridal showers, as well. You’ll also want to consider coming up with a rain date or reserving tents for your event in case of inclement weather. And bonus: Outdoor spaces are usually so pretty on their own, they require very little added decor.

Keep the guest list small.

It’s essential to review your state’s gathering restrictions before creating your guest list. Many states aren’t allowing events of more than 50 people, so it’s best to keep your guest list to your very nearest and dearest to ensure your event doesn’t get too crowded (we’re thinking 20 guests or fewer). We’ve also seen “shift showers,” where 2-5 guests visit with the guest of honor for hourlong shifts throughout the day. Another option: You can always livestream your outdoor bridal shower so that those who aren’t able to attend can enjoy the festivities from home.

Share safety guidelines before the event.

Your guests will likely have questions about the precautions you’ll be taking at your outdoor bridal shower. How many guests will be attending? Will masks be provided or should guests bring their own? Will social distancing be enforced? How will food be served? What’s the best way for guests to greet the guest of honor? What should a guest do if they’re not feeling well on the day of the event (answer: stay home!)? Include an insert with the invitation or send an email outlining these safety measures so that guests can decide if they feel comfortable attending.

outdoor bridal shower
DISTRICT EVENT RENTALS

Ask for gifts to be sent beforehand.

Guests traditionally bring gifts to a bridal shower, but for a COVID event, it’s best to have shower gifts sent to the host or bride in advance. This lessens contact between the guests and the guest of honor on the day of the event, and makes it easier and safer for the guest of honor to open her gifts on the big day, should she choose to. Information on how and where to send gifts in advance should be provided in an invitation insert or via email.

Display social distancing signage.

Even if you outlined rules in advance, guests may get excited when arriving at your outdoor bridal shower and conveniently forget about social distancing. By displaying a few well-placed signs throughout your event, you can gently remind your guests to maintain distance and wear masks. Hand sanitizing stations are also a good idea near entrances and exits. 

Provide boxed meals.

Food is an important part of a bridal shower, but potlucks and COVID do not mix well. Instead, we recommend enlisting a caterer or local restaurant to provide boxed meals or bento boxes for each guest, so that everyone can safely eat without contact.

Offer spaced seating.

At most bridal showers, the bride sits in a decorated chair or “throne” while guests gather around. This can still occur at an outdoor bridal shower during COVID, as long as spacing is maintained. Guests’ chairs should be placed six feet apart in a large semicircle, so everyone can watch the bride open gifts without getting too close. Boxed meals, favors, and games can be placed on each guest’s chair, as well.

Enjoy games and activities.

Aside from watching gifts being opened, there are other bridal shower games and activities you can partake in from a distance. While the toilet paper wedding dress competition might be out, games like “Guess the Dress,” “Bridal Emoji Pictionary,” “Bridal Bingo,” and “What’s in Your Purse?” can likely be played safely.

Share speeches.

While hugs and kisses are probably out at an outdoor bridal shower during COVID, there are other ways for guests to show their love for the bride. Toward the end of the shower, each guest can be invited to stand at their seat and say a few heartfelt words about the guest of honor.

Here’s How to Write Funny Wedding Vows That Are Actually Funny

By Kim Forrest

You don’t have to be a stand-up comic to write some truly funny wedding vows. Check out this guide to writing vows that will have your guests—and your spouse-to-be—chuckling.

wedding vows
ALEXANDRA WALLACE

If you’re planning to write your own wedding vows (44 percent of all couples do!), you probably want to craft a speech that’s romantic, meaningful and yes, entertaining. If you’re not used to public speaking, writing funny wedding vows can feel quite daunting—even if you have a good sense of humor. Being funny and writing funny are two different things (ask anyone who’s ever tried stand-up comedy!). So how do you create funny wedding vows that will actually get your guests laughing? It’s all about mixing the jokes with more sentimental words, and keeping your vows natural-sounding, rather than like something out of a sitcom script.

Ready to start writing your funny wedding vows? Here’s how to get started, with some examples to get your inner Mrs. Maisel working.

Write your vows in three parts.

If you’re struggling to get started, think about writing your vows in three parts: Tell a story, share what you love about your partner, and make promises to your soon-to-be spouse. The story should be short, perhaps an anecdote about how you met, when you fell in love with your partner, or a time when you helped each other. Then, you can list reasons you love your partner, ending by making promises about your future together. Each of these sections can include moments of humor.

Break up the sappiness with humor.

Here’s the thing about funny wedding vows—you don’t want your guests to be rolling with laughter the entire time. Instead, keep the majority of your vows on the more romantic or meaningful side, and then add a few jokes in to surprise your guests and keep them interested. Wedding vows are serious business, and your love for your partner is no joke. A few carefully-chosen one-liners will be more effective than a full-on, joke-filled stand-up routine.

Be self-deprecating, don’t roast your partner.

This is not the time to make fun of your future spouse. Even if your partner loves a good joke, embarrassing them is not the way to go. Sure, making fun of small things that are common knowledge, like your partner’s inability to load a dishwasher is okay, but there’s no need to talk about the time that he got totally wasted and threw up in a corner at the office Christmas party. You can also turn the teasing on yourself: “I promise to finally clean out my side of the closet” or “I promise to let you take a break from cooking once in a while and finally learn how to boil water.” Oh, and definitely avoid making negative references to either of your families—this is not the time or the place.

How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows: Examples, Tips, and Advice
BRIDES

Feel free to borrow from other sources, but tread lightly.

Using quotes from movies, literature, or songs can add a sweet touch to your funny wedding vows—but use them sparingly. Simply reciting a list of quotes from other sources feels like impersonal and not from the heart. Even if you’re struggling to come up with the right words to say, it’s better to keep your vows on the shorter side rather than use a bunch of borrowed words. Instead, include one or two quotes during your vows—and make sure they feel true to you and your relationship. 

Avoid inside jokes.

You and your partner probably have a lot of inside jokes that only the two of your understand. Unless you’re eloping, there’s no need to refer to your inside jokes during your vows—your loved ones will just get confused and thrown off track. While you and your partner might think they’re hilarious, remember that your vows are probably being heard by a lot of other people who want to understand what you’re saying. Save the inside jokes for a love letter you deliver the morning of your big day.

11 Traditional Wedding Vows to Inspire Your Own
BRIDES

Need some funny wedding vow inspo? Here are a few ideas:

I promise to always love you, even when the Giants lose to the Cowboys.

I’ll always be the David to your Patrick. (Hello, Schitts Creek fans!)

I vow to keep the eye rolling to a minimum while you watch The Bachelor.

I promise to keep your favorite Trader’s Joes snacks in the house at all times.

I vow to be the ultimate Instagram spouse and take as many photos in front of that random brick wall as you want.

I promise to let you have the last deviled egg—or at least split it with you.

I promise not to watch the next episode of Euphoria without you.

I promise to hire a plumber instead of trying to fix it myself.

I promise to protect you from spiders forever and ever.

I vow to hold the cilantro—every time.

How to Write a Love Letter on Your Wedding Day!

By Kim Forrest

The letter you write to your future spouse on your wedding day should be thoughtful, full of love, and totally from the heart. With that being said, we do have a few rules and tips to making sure your wedding letter is a total success.

bride reading love note on wedding day
ALISON ROSE PHOTOGRAPHY

We love the tradition of couples exchanging sweet wedding letters on the day they get married. Whether the wedding letters are funny, emotional, or a combination of the two, writing a wedding letter to your bride or groom is a great way to “communicate” if you haven’t seen each other since the day before — and the reactions are often priceless. Even if you’re not an avid writer, you can still create a wedding letter that your bride or groom will treasure. Check out our wedding letter writing tips to help rid you of that pesky writers’ block!

Here are a few how-tos for writing a heartfelt love letter to your bride or groom on the wedding day.

Have a plan in place

If you would like to exchange letters the morning of your wedding, discuss it with your partner in advance. Your future spouse may not be aware of this tradition, so while pre-planning removes the element of surprise, it will ensure that you’ll each write and receive a wedding letter on the big day.

Brainstorm in advance

Start thinking about your wedding letter a few weeks before the big day, considering details and anecdotes you might like to include. Keep a running list of ideas on your phone or in a notebook so you won’t forget anything once you sit down to write that wedding letter to your bride or groom.

Find a quiet writing spot

While you can write your wedding letter days (or weeks!) before the big day, we think it’s a nice tradition to actually write that letter to your almost wife or husband the night before or the morning of your wedding. Your emotion will be at its peak, and the feeling is sure to come through in your writing. We understand that things may be a bit crazy the morning of your wedding, but it’s important for you to have some private time to both collect yourself and to write your wedding letter. Our recommendation — write the letter shortly after you wake up the morning of your wedding, taking advantage of your last few moments of “alone time.”

Use nice stationery

You’ll be extra-excited to write that letter to your bride or groom on the wedding day if you’re using beautiful stationery and a new pen. It seems minor, but will make the experience feel that much more enjoyable. You can either buy a card with a message that sums up your feelings (though you should still include a handwritten note) or write your own wedding letter on plain stationery.

Share your feelings

Start off your wedding letter by sharing how you’re feeling at that moment, emphasizing the excitement you’re probably feeling about becoming your beloved’s husband or wife in just a few short hours. Are you feeling overjoyed? Emotional? Even if you’re not the type of person to wear your emotions on your sleeve, now is the time to spill.

A shot of the couple before the wedding, reading each other's ...

Praise your partner

Take a few moments to talk about what you love about your future spouse. Is it their kindness and sense of humor? Their loyalty to family and friends? Feel free to use personal anecdotes to make your point. Here’s a sample of what to include in that letter to your bride or groom on the wedding day, “I love how you always protect me—even if it’s from a spider while I’m in the shower!” or “You’ve been my rock during difficult times and I am so grateful to you for that.”

Tell a story

If you’re feeling stumped, think of a single story that really sums up your future spouse’s best qualities. Was it the time he drove three hours to help you dig your car out of the snow? Or the time she sat by your sick grandmother’s bedside and read to her for an afternoon? Think about the moments that really defined you as a couple—and take this opportunity to show your appreciation.

Talk about the future

Your wedding day is not only about celebrating your past, but also about looking forward to an incredible future together. In the wedding letter to your bride or groom, talk about the things you’re looking forward to in both the short term (your wedding and honeymoon!) and the long term (buying a house, starting a family, traveling together, etc.).

Bride reading letter from her love before the ceremony | The ...

Don’t be afraid to be cheesy

You’re talking about the love of your life here, so this is the time to use a bit of flowery language and lots of lovey-dovey words, even if it’s not usually your style. You can end the wedding letter with a sweet “I can’t wait to start our life together” or “See you at the end of the aisle!” — a little sappy, but certainly meaningful and sweet.

It’s a letter, not a school paper

Don’t worry too much about spelling and grammar. If you make a mistake in your wedding letter, don’t feel like you have to start the whole thing over again — just cross it out and keep writing. Your almost-spouse will love your note the same way he/she loves you — flaws and all.

Keep it short and sweet

Try to keep your wedding letter to about a page, if possible. Time will be of the essence on your wedding day, and you don’t want to spend hours writing and reading notes.

Find a trusted “letter carrier”

Seal the wedding letter to your bride or groom in an envelope and give to a trusted friend or family member to deliver to your partner. This wedding letter is super-personal, and you don’t want your nosy little cousin reading it before the intended recipient does!