Your Engagement: The Mini-Marriage

February 12, 2014

mileswagman_justmarriedThe question has been popped, the ring is on your finger, and now you’re engaged. Congratulations! You just made the most important decision of your relationship. However, the initial joy and excitement about the engagement will soon fade (though not vanish) and the practicalities of a planning a wedding will take over. During the course of your engagement you’ll have to find new ways to communicate, compromise about family differences, follow a budget, and make dozens of decisions about things big and small. In other words, being engaged is just like being married. I like to think of it as a mini-marriage.

If anyone tells you that planning a wedding is easy, they’re pulling your leg. A day that is so loaded with emotions, traditions, and personalities is bound to present some drama. Just take a look at reality TV–“Bridezilla,” and “Say Yes to the Dress” document the ups and downs (and craziness) of all that’s involved weddings. Besides all the vendors–venue, caterer, band, florist, photographer, videographer, hair and make-up artists–there are all your friends and family that are involved. You might find yourself wondering how a day that is supposed to be just about you and your future spouse has turned into such a production. When you dreamed about your wedding did you ever think that so many people would have an opinion? Are there ways to avoid having family conflicts turn into relationship problems?

The saying goes that the only way to make sure your wedding truly feel like your day is to elope. That may be true in a purely technical sense, but it’s not a hard and fast rule. Being engaged can very rewarding–a time to really think about and nurture your relationship. And at the end of it is a wonderful day and then your life together. Yes, there are a million logistics and the thoughts and feelings of your spouse and both of your families. But once you accept those things as necessary, your engagement can be a very satisfying experience. Here are five suggestions to help guide you and your fiancé through the process as you develop a foundation that will help your marriage remain strong through the years.

It is no longer “me” but “we”.
Becoming engaged solidifies your commitment to your partner and that means looking out not only for the needs of you and your spouse, but also the needs of your relationship. The decisions in your life now directly impact another person and their input needs to be part of your thinking. Think of your relationship as a three-legged stool. Two of the three legs are represented by the two individuals in the relationship and the third leg is the relationship itself. The stool cannot sustain any significant weight if either of the legs is weak or shaky. Both you and your partner generate the energy and passion to keep the relationship fresh and vibrant while also providing rules and expectations for how the relationship is to function.

Discuss your expectations of the engagement and the marriage.
Unrealistic and unmet expectations often lead to resentment and conflict in a marriage. The engagement is a good time to communicate to each other your expectations of how the relationship should work. Take responsibility for the roles and responsibilities you commit to in the relationship. It’s important, though, to be willing to compromise and be flexible.

Learn how to communicate effectively and resolve conflict.
Not being able to communicate effectively is a primary factor in marriages failing. Your partner and the relationship should always be protected when you are communicating your feelings about an issue. When you disagree, look for solutions that resolve the problem while still maintaining your integrity as well as that of the relationship. Of course, it never hurts to apologize if you are wrong.

Talk about money.
Money is the number one issue that causes conflict in most relationships. Planning a wedding is the first major joint financial decision in your relationship, so it is important to discuss how you will deal with the challenges of planning what is usually a very expensive day. Develop a budget early on to ensure so that both of you have clear ideas of what is possible for the actual wedding.

Attend a premarital preparation class.
Couples who participate in premarital preparation classes experience a 30% increase in marital satisfaction than couples with no education. These couples are able to communicate more effectively, have stronger conflict management skills, enjoy a more intimate Miles Wagman, MSW, LCSW, LMFT Director, The Relationship Center in Red Bank, NJrelationship, and improve their ability to have a stable and satisfying marriage.

Is your engagement causing stress between you and your fiancé? Contact Miles Wagman, MSW, LCSW, LMFT, Director of The Relationship Center in Red Bank, NJ at (732) 345-1399 or email him at mwagman@relationshipsfirst.com to learn strategies to resolve conflicts and build a strong foundation for your marriage.


Treat Your Sweetheart To Valentine’s Day Sweets at Carlo’s Bakery Retail Locations

February 10, 2014

Red Heart Fondant Cake from Carlo's Bakery for Valentine's DayHOBOKEN, NJ / February 10, 2014 – Carlo’s Bakery, the setting of the hit TLC series Cake Boss, has released a special Valentine’s Day menu with festive sweets available in-store at NJ retail locations in Hoboken, Ridgewood, Westfield and Red Bank for seven days only (from February 10th to February 16th) with prices starting at only $3.00.

“Valentine’s Day is about celebrating with someone special, be it your wife or girlfriend or your family,” said Buddy Valastro, owner of Carlo’s Bakery, also known as the ‘Cake Boss.’ We want to help make the day even more fun and special with our Valentine’s Day desserts.”

A variety of cakes, pastries, cupcakes, mousse, chocolate covered strawberries and more at Carlo's BakeryThe holiday menu will include classics like assorted chocolate mousse cakes and heart-shaped red velvet cake to specialties including hand-made chocolate boxes filled with assorted chocolate-covered strawberries.

About Carlo’s Bakery

Opened in 1910, Carlo’s Bakery is renowned for its delicious creations, hardworking staff, and family atmosphere. Carlo’s has spearheaded the recent custom cake craze and has garnered attention from a variety of media outlets including Brides, Rachael Ray Show, Huffington Post and Good Morning America. Most recently, Carlo’s has been showcased as the setting for TLC’s hit shows Cake Boss and Next Great Baker.


New Jersey Couple Gets Married At The Grammys

February 5, 2014
Daniel Pepper and Melody Kulesza-Pepper, of Clinton, New Jersey, joined 33 other couples, both gay and straight, to exchange vows during a momentous marriage ceremony at the 56th annual Grammy Awards.

Daniel Pepper and Melody Kulesza-Pepper, of Clinton, New Jersey were married at The Grammys

LOS ANGELES, CA, February 05, 2014 — Daniel Pepper and Melody Kulesza-Pepper of Clinton, New Jersey, joined 33 other couples, both gay and straight, to exchange vows during a momentous marriage ceremony officiated by Queen Latifah, and with music performed by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Madonna at the 56th annual Grammy Awards.

“Not only was it unbelievably moving to openly commit to the love of my life before millions of people on national television,” says Mrs. Pepper, “but being able to celebrate marriage equality and help promote the legalization of same-sex marriage created the perfect magic moment. The challenging part was for two busy professionals to make it all look effortless with only 5 weeks’ notice while having to keep it secret under a confidentiality agreement. And of course we wanted to actually enjoy our wedding!”
Mrs. Pepper, a former model and fashion photographer with significant experience preparing for photo shoots and events, is the principal of Pepper Tree Entertainment, a fashion and entertainment industry advisory firm, and artistic production company consultant.
“When the great news came that we were selected to be part of the Grammy wedding, suddenly, even though I’m no stranger to red carpet events, I had to convert myself into a Hollywood bride while helping my future husband prepare on short notice – with both of us working full-time managing Pepper Tree Entertainment and Pepper Law Group. That meant getting into fighting shape with glowing skin, having to find and book a photographer, make-up artist, hair professional, a clothing and accessory stylist, celebrity jeweler, stylish shoes, shape-wear & hosiery, and a designer gown – all for an event 3,000 miles away.
Daniel Pepper and Melody Kulesza-Pepper, of Clinton, New Jersey Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1720675#ixzz2sUAg3jz5“Fortunately, I had clients and colleagues, past and present, who were able to save the day for me. The success of bringing the various fashion gurus together for my Grammy wedding sparked the idea of creating a standing beauty ‘swat team’ to help other brides and grooms, brides and brides, and/or grooms and grooms to create the wedding look of their dreams.”
Drawing upon her elite fashion industry network, Melody Kulesza-Pepper is expanding her company to include a bride/groom image consulting and preparation service which will provide couples seeking a truly special wedding experience with their own dream team, including photographers who shoot for the top fashion magazines, master make-up artists, stylists, couture gown designers, high-end jewelry providers, wedding paparazzi, and other unique services worthy of a Hollywood celebrity wedding.

Cake It Up® Couture Cake Stands launches “Virtual Cake Stand Designer”

January 20, 2014

CakeItUp_Signature_Ivory_RosetrimThere’s a wonderful new resource for brides, wedding planners and bakers who want the presentation of their wedding cake to be as unique as the bride herself, and completely customized to the Bride’s style, setting, theme of the wedding ceremony or reception, even matching her wedding gown.

Cake It Up® Couture Cake Stands is a Trademark brand and just launched their new website with shopping cart and the first ever “Virtual Cake Stand Designer,” which allows the user to create and glimpse a beautiful customized couture cake stand mock-up while choosing from more than 500 variations of fabric, personalized monograms, ribbons, trims, brooches, and “Bespoke by Birdie” for an even more made-to-order design. The possibilities are almost endless and this interactive hands-on tool will finally be premiering through the vision of owner Beth “Birdie” Carnevale and her quest to make every cake — no matter the size — stand out in a crowd while allowing brides nationally to be able to further put their own signature on the wedding day.

CakeItUp_Monogram_FancyOfferings don’t just stop at the couture end customization, but a wide range of price points, cake pop stands and tiered stands for cupcakes. Mirrored, Bling, and “Masterpiece Wood cake stands” are also available for sale and rent. For a recent formal black and white wedding, their “High Society” Couture Cake Stand was featured in a downtown Princeton store window matching a Rivini wedding gown. For the country club/garden set, choose from Monograms or Signature Blush, White & Ivory Rose trim covered stands. For the rustic setting, a Primrose Brooch with burlap trims reflects a bride’s country feel. Couture cake stand features have included Rhinestone Starfish, lobster monograms and other whimsical pizzazz. The Cake It Up® Couture Cake Stands have made their way overseas, traveled west to Minnesota & California, south to Louisiana, Virginia and everywhere in between.

Cake It Up ® “Where Your Cake Stands Out In A Crowd” is located in Princeton, NJ. For more information, visit www.cakeitupcakestands.com or call toll-free: 866-484-9515

CakeItUp_Tiered_and_Modular_CupcakeStands

CakeItUp_black_white_Wedding_Wreath_Classic


Wedding Report: Engagements During The Holiday Season

November 27, 2013

While the holiday season is known for shopping, giving and receiving gifts, and spending quality time with family and friends, it’s also a popular time for couples to become engaged. According to research by Shane McMurray, founder of The Wedding Report, December and February are the months couples get engaged most often, with Christmas (eve and day) and Valentine’s Day being the most popular days. 40% of engagements happen between November and February.

The table below provides engagements by month over the years:

Engagements by Month

How is your wedding business preparing for the number of engagements in the months ahead, and how do you plan to reach these newly engaged couples? Contact Erik Kent, Co-Publisher of NJWedding.com at (908) 874-0417 to discuss this topic and how it relates to future New Jersey weddings.

For more wedding industry research and statistics, visit The Wedding Report at www.theweddingreport.com.


First Same-Sex Wedding Giveaway In New Jersey Announced January 9th

November 14, 2013
Celebrity Appearance at the cocktail party on Jan. 9th by Danielle Staub from the “Real Housewives of New Jersey!”

Celebrity Appearance at the cocktail party on Jan. 9th by Danielle Staub from the “Real Housewives of New Jersey!”

Rothweiler Event Design celebrates New Jersey legalizing gay marriage by giving away an all inclusive wedding package to one lucky same-sex couple! The winner will be announced at The Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange, NJ in their beautiful new “Loft” space on January 9, 2014 at 7pm, and the wedding will be held in the same space on Sunday, July 27, 2014.

Multiple wedding professionals will be donating their time and services for this special event and the winning couple will receive complimentary services such as photography, music, design, make-up / hair styling, wedding stationery and more for their dream wedding day.

The contest has ended and all entries have been received and reviewed. The participating vendors will select the finalists to appear at a cocktail party on January 9th where they will each get a chance to tell their story. A musical performance from the hit Off-Broadway show “My Big Gay Italian Wedding” will be featured and the winning couple will also receive tickets to the show.

Tickets to this special event are complimentary and must be reserved here (SOLD OUT / WAIT LIST ONLY). We look forward to seeing you on January 9th!

About Rothweiler Event Design

Rothweiler Event Design is a full service wedding and event planning company based in Verona, New Jersey. Danielle Rothweiler is the founder of the company and her work has been featured both in print and on television. Rothweiler Event Design offers custom designed packages and is also available for “Day Of” Coordination Services.

For more information or press inquiries, contact Danielle Rothweiler directly at info@rothweilereventdesign.org. Also visit her web site at www.rothweilereventdesign.org, facebook page at www.facebook.com/rothweilereventdesign or the Rothweiler Event Design blog.

View blog post by Gregg Hollmann of Ambient DJ Service about the Same-Sex Wedding Giveaway, including an interview with Danielle Rothweiler!

Sponsors and Supporting Vendors

NJWedding.com is a proud media sponsor for this giveaway, and recently launched a Same-Sex Weddings section on the site to feature a variety of wedding venues and services that same-sex couples can view for their marriage ceremony and wedding celebration plans around the Garden State.

New Jersey wedding service providers for this giveaway include:

Rothweiler Event Design: wedding planning, design and decor
The Wilshire Grand: venue and catering
Mitch The Minister: wedding officiant
Elizabeth Massa: photography
Gregg Hollmann, Ambient DJ Service: disc jockey entertainment
Confectionary Designs, custom wedding cake
RSVP to me: wedding stationery
Deirdre Mahon, DeeVa Beauty: make up and hair styling
Dream Horse Carriage: horse-drawn carriage / transportation
Elizabeth Johns Bridal
Polka Dot Cupcakes
Hangers from The Hanger Store
Goodwin’s Good Time Photo Booth
Sweets Designed: candy buffet table
Robert’s Tuxedos: formalwear
Tickets to “My Big Gay Italian Wedding” in NYC!

NJWedding.com Launches Same-Sex Weddings Resource

October 21, 2013

Special category devoted to helping same-sex couples plan their marriage and wedding celebration in New Jersey

Same-Sex Weddings in New Jersey at NJWedding.comWith the ruling of State Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson on September 27th, same-sex couples in New Jersey received the news that they would be able to marry starting Monday, October 21st. NJWedding.com has been providing resources for wedding planning since 1997, and with this news, began work on putting together a Same-Sex Weddings section, which features wedding professionals serving couples in Northern, Central and Southern New Jersey who are searching for services for their marriage ceremony and wedding reception.

For couples searching for the correct NJ municipality in which to apply for a marriage license, view this list of NJ registrars (by county and city/town). Click here for more details on how to obtain a marriage license (along with a brochure on how, when and where to apply, who can perform the marriage ceremony, and license fee).

“The response from the New Jersey wedding community to the Same-Sex Weddings section has been tremendous, with wedding professionals such as clergy and officiants, photographers, wedding and event planners, entertainment companies, banquet facilities, florists and more, looking to help and connect with same-sex couples,” stated Erik & Beth Kent, Co-Publishers of NJWedding.com. “With the passing of the same-sex marriage law in New Jersey, gay and lesbian couples have reason to celebrate! We want to provide a valuable resource to help them find relevant information and services.”

For more information about the Same-Sex Weddings section on NJWedding.com, visit www.njwedding.com/samesexweddings, call Erik and Beth Kent at (908) 874-0417 or email them at info@njwedding.com.


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