Small Changes That Make a Big Difference


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Millions of people make bucket lists and New Years resolutions. It is normal to want to grow and improve as a person. While weight loss and financial goals may be important to you, there are other habits that can bring positive internal results that lead to a more content life.


One of the easiest ways to make a positive change is through kindness. Being kind to others can be as simple as giving people the benefit of the doubt or complimenting their shoes. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it can alter the course of the other person’s day. Best of all, being kind is free! It doesn’t cost you anything, and it can cheer the recipient up immediately.


It’s also important to remember to be kind to yourself. Online connections can help you keep in touch with friends, but they also often carry the burden of social comparison. Social media can leave you with the false impression that everyone else is having more fun or doing more important things than you are. Taking time each day to reflect on the positive things in your own life and the steps you are making to achieve your dreams can counterract this effect.


Many people value generosity. Often, though, they undervalue how much they have to give. You don’t have to make large donations on a monthly basis to make a difference. Every time you donate to a cause that is important to you or choose to shop at a local business rather than a chain, you are voting with your dollar. You are using your resources to shape the world into the kind of place you want it to be.

When you set goals, it’s natural to focus on tangible outcomes. Making an effort to embrace practices that feed your soul, however, can improve happiness and well being.

Three Tips to Make Wedding Planning a Breeze

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Hooray! You’re engaged! So… now what?

Prioritize and Organize

It’s tempting to jump right in, especially when you’re excited. But once you’re swimming in thoughts of who’s invited, what color your bridesmaids will wear, what your vows will say, and if your dog will make a good best man, you’re going to overwhelm yourself. Planning a wedding is no small task, but you don’t need to do everything on your own. There are wonderful wedding planning tools available to keep you on track, organize your thoughts and ideas, and see your plans through.

Lock Down a Venue

After nailing down things like budget, guest count, and some dates, it’s time to choose a venue. Prepare yourself, because it’s a big decision! There are so many options to choose from. A venue should ultimately be an extension of your personal style. This is the fun part, making it your own. Wondering where to begin? Barn weddings have become very popular, and if you’re wondering what the draw is, checking out barn events in farmhouse inn New London NH will shed some light as to why. Imagine airy, open spaces, blank slates for decorating, and an overall fun vibe that you won’t find just anywhere.

Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself

With wedding planning going full steam ahead, you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed or anxious. When you feel the momentum building from wedding stress or anxiety, take a step back, change your focus, and give yourself some time away from it all. Ask for help, and don’t feel guilty if your to-do list goes unchecked for a day or two. It will all still be there when you’re recharged.

The takeaway? With proper planning, an amazing venue to say “I Do”, and some mindfulness, your wedding day will be amazing.

How to Maintain a Long-Distance Relationship

Long-distance relationships can be the result of meeting your partner online or getting a transfer from work. There are many other situations that can lead to long-distance relationships. So, how can both partners cope with the distance? Should both partners make an effort equally? Well, there are many ways of handling this kind of relationship to make it work. The highlights are helpful for people of all ages, and applying them carefully will yield positive results.

Communication Matters

How to maintain a long-distance relationship is a concern that impacts many couples after they fall in love. However, the quality of communication is one of the things that will kill the relationship or make it a success. It is crucial to get in touch on a daily basis using different channels like telephone calls, video chats and text messages among others. However, here is the catch. Overdoing it can kill the relationship after some time. So, both of you have to agree on the best time to contact each other. The other challenge is if only one person makes an effort to contact the other.

Visit Each Other

There is no distance that is too far if you love someone. Therefore, couples who are involved in a long-distance relationship should visit each other. People come from the farthest corners of the world to see someone they love. Visiting increases the bond even if it only occurs a few times in a year. It is also a sign of commitment to the relationship and the love that both of you are sharing.

Encourage and Promote Each Other’s Goals

It does not matter where you met. It may be on the website or any other. What matters is that both of you can promote and encourage one another to pursue the goals you have in life. If you remember well, each of you saw what life goals the other indicated on a profile. When your partner feels encouraged, she or he will become attached to you even if there is a distance between the two of you. Such little things matter to the other person, and your partner will love you more.

Practice Honesty and Faithfulness

Winning the trust of your partner through honesty and faithfulness makes your partner feel secure. Even if both of you go for a long time without seeing each other, it is good to remain faithful if this is the promise you make to each other. Anything else will bring challenges to the relationship, and it can die soon. Openness brings honesty to the relationship, which means that no one should keep secrets that are negatively affecting the relationship.

Let Love Grow

Even though it is a long-distance relationship, it is easy to let the love grow. Do not be in a hurry to give up if there are good signs. Finding a perfect match is not so easy, and many people are desperate to find love. Therefore, make sure that you care for what you already have. There might be small challenges, but finding quick solutions to them is very important.

Long-distance relationships are usually delicate, and it is important that people care for them. With the above highlights, you will be good to go.


Cherishing Every Moment Spent Together: 4 Ways to Show Your Grandparents How Much They Mean to You

Your grandparents are, in many ways, the backbone of your family. Without them, your parents would not exist, and you would not exist. They’ve watched your parents grow and are now watching you grow. Over their many years, they’ve learned valuable things and have lots of knowledge to share with you. Your relationship with your grandparents is something you will cherish for many years, long after they’ve gone. It’s important to show your grandparents that you care and to involve them in your life. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that they won’t always be there to help you advice or whip up a delicious Sunday lunch.

To show your grandparents they mean the world to you, here are four ways you can show them you care:

1. Be polite

This rule should apply to every member of your family: be polite. Your grandparents may come from a different time, but this is not why you should be respectful and courteous to them. Being polite to your grandparents shows them that you care about hurting their feelings and respect their opinions. Remember to say ‘thank you’ to your grandparents when they welcome you into their home or take time to listen to worries in your life, and never forget to remind them that you love them.

2. Spend quality time with them

Take time out of your schedule to spend quality time with your grandparents–no cell phone and no TV. Chat with them about what’s happening in their lives and about their health, and involve them in your own life. Ask for their opinion on things happening in your life or at work and listen to their responses. Having your grandparents in your life is a blessing that won’t always be there, so remember to spend real time with them learning about their experiences.

3. Give them meaningful gifts

Buying sentimental gifts for grandparents can be tricky. Many of the gifts we may find interesting or useful, such as technological gadgets, may seem alien to them, or just unnecessary. Instead, learn about your grandparents past, their hobbies, or things they enjoy and incorporate that into a gift. Help them digitize their photo collection for safekeeping and chat about all the people and places in the photos. Have a family photo taken with them and not just for them, or have a customized calendar made that features different pictures of the grandkids, the family, or of places they’ve lived and loved in the past.

4. Spend holidays with them

As families grow, grandparents can be forgotten during the holidays. As their children age and get their own families, and then their grand kids grow up and get families, sometimes we forget that our grandparents still want to be involved and don’t necessarily have many people to spend the holidays with. Make a point to either go to your grandparents’ house over the holidays or bring them into your home (if they would like that) so that they can spend quality time with their families and get to spend the holidays with friends and family.

Make Your Wedding Less Stressful Now

You can’t let the stress of your wedding get the better of you when you’re planning things out for the big day. Sure, there are so many things to get done and decisions to make, but getting stressed out over such things is never the way to go. If anything, doing so will only make your task more difficult to complete. So making your wedding less stressful should be a top priority right now. Read on to find out how to do that.

Pamper Yourself

Pampering yourself is a good way to relieve the stress once things start to get on top of you. Heading to the spa and taking all the treatments that make you feel most relaxed will definitely help you to stay calm. So whenever you feel the pressure and the stress start to burn, you should get a massage or have your hair done; whatever you need to do to feel relaxed once more.

Delegate Tasks

Delegating tasks to people is a good way of taking some of the pressure off your own shoulders. When you have other people taking care of some of the more time-consuming and stressful tasks that are involved in wedding planning, you won’t have to expose yourself to as much stress. So if you have friends and family members willing to help, make the most of their support.

Get the Invitations Sorted Quickly

One of the biggest sources of stress you can experience is the invitations. When you leave this too late, you will find that you don’t give people enough time to RSVP, and everything will simply be more stressful than it should ever have to be. Those wedding invites should be written and sent out as quickly as possible. You’ll make your life much easier and less stressful by getting this sorted fast.

Don’t Suppress Your Feelings

If you’re feeling certain ways right now, you should feel able to express those feelings to those closest to you. By bottling feelings up and pretending emotions aren’t there, you will only stress yourself out even more and stop yourself from being able to relax. So whatever you do, don’t push those feelings down. There’ll always be someone there willing to listen to you.

Take Care of Yourself

Finally, you really need to remember the importance of taking care of yourself in the run up to your wedding. If you allow yourself to get overwhelmed with everything that’s going on, you might start forgetting the basics of self-care, and that’s obviously not what you want. Get the basic things right and don’t lose touch of what really matters in all this. This advice will help you make the wedding prep much less stressful.

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Dealing with wedding stress is never fun, so why don’t you embrace the fact that you don’t have to deal with that stress? There are so many ways in which you can retain the balance you need in life. Just because you’re getting married, that doesn’t mean you have to completely lose control.

An Essential Checklist to Help Ease Wedding Planning


Planning a wedding can be such a challenge considering that, for most of us, this event only happens once in a lifetime. Hence, the need to ensure that everything is planned for and that everything flawlessly goes as intended. And yet no matter how incredibly we plan for the big day, some things can be overlooked.

So, to minimize the possibilities of missing any of the important stuff, we’ve come up with the following checklist of essentials for your wedding:

1. Schedules

Creating a schedule has always proven helpful in keeping people organized. When you plot schedules, you are able to see not just what happens at that time or who is present but also what needs to be prepared. When the bridal party plots the schedules, having these schedules written down will make it easier to spot which ones are missing details or need improvements. For example, if you plan to have pictures with the sun setting in the background, you need to let your photographers know and this should be included on your wedding day photography timeline.

Plus, having these schedules printed out and distributed to all who are involved in helping keep the wedding as smooth-sailing and as impeccable as possible will definitely be a good idea.

2. Contingency Plans

Do you know what will happen in case the weather condition doesn’t turn out well on the day of your wedding? If you have an outdoor venue, then it is a must to have a wedding contingency plan for possible inclement weather, or when it rains, or gets too hot and sunny. To set realistic expectations for your big day and in order to make appropriate arrangements for the venue and the program activities, brides and grooms have to find out the weather and temperature for the scheduled event.

3. Insurance

Not everyone gets wedding insurance but every engaged couple should get one if they want to make sure that their ideal wedding goes through according to plan. The wedding insurance covers problems with the venue, the photographer, the caterer, or whatever aspect of the big day that may encounter some glitches. This means that in case something unwanted happens, you at least get financial coverage for these occasions.

In addition to the wedding insurance, make sure that you also get ring insurance. Your engagement ring and wedding rings will be among the priciest items you will most likely buy in this lifetime, so it’s logical to have these jewellery pieces insured. Even though you do your best to keep the stunning wedding rings from Sydney CBD or from your favourite jeweller safe, noting how easy it is to lose these rings, either by accident or unfortunately through theft, purchasing ring insurance as soon as they are procured is highly recommended.

4. Suppliers

One of the most important things to do that brides and grooms forget is to re-confirm with their suppliers at least a week before their wedding. If you booked them six months or a year ago, then you definitely need to remind them about their commitments. It would also be a good idea to confirm every detail of your supplier contract, from deliverables to balances.

You also need to update these suppliers of additional wedding information that may not have been available when you first contracted them, including time and venue of the wedding ceremony as well as the reception. In case you need them to render overtime or add additional chairs to accommodate more guests, you have to let your suppliers know. Your suppliers should also be included in the count that you give your caterer for people that need to be served.

Carefully plan the things discussed above so that you will have a worry-free wedding.

6 Fun First Date Activities Worth Considering

Planning an exciting first date is never easy. You will want to ensure your date has an unforgettable time, which means you might want to offer something a little different to dinner and a movie. Check out the following six first date activities worth considering.

A Bike Ride

Connect with your date by heading off on a fun bike ride together. If your date doesn’t own a bike, you can always rent one or two before cycling in the park or across your neighborhood. It will provide you both with a chance to chat, so you learn more about each other. Also, you can choose to spend as much or as little time as you want in the great outdoors, so you can leave the date early if it doesn’t go well.

An Escape Room

Do you want to find out if you and your date are compatible? Book a Charlotte Escape Room, as you will both need to work together to make your way out of the room within sixty minutes. You will also learn more about your date, such as their likes, dislikes, and temperament. So, if you spend your time working together and having fun it could be the perfect opportunity to show this could be a relationship worth pursuing.


Similar to an escape room, you can learn a lot about a person by the way they approach a sporting activity, such as bowling. For example, a date that rants and raves or doesn’t particularly engage well on the date probably isn’t your soul mate. It is better to learn this on your first date before you invest any more time into the relationship. Yet, you will hopefully spend the evening laughing and chatting together, which could lead to a happy relationship.

A City Tour

One unique first date activity you might not have tried is a city tour. You’ll be able to hop on and off at different points in the tour to explore various landmarks, museums, and attractions, which can provide many hours of fun. It’s ideal for people who have yet to explore their hometown’s best attractions, and you’ll have plenty of things to talk about throughout the date.

Sunday Brunch

If you are looking for a casual, quick yet fun first date idea, you could arrange to go to Sunday brunch together. There will be no pressure on the relationship, as you can simply arrive separately to enjoy a delicious meal together and you can choose to carry on the date afterward or to go your separate ways.

A Hot Air Balloon Ride

If you want to sweep your date off his or her feet, a hot air balloon ride will be incredibly romantic. You can trust your date will be impressed as you gently soar across the sky and breathe in a beautiful backdrop. You could even pay for a bottle of champagne to toast a successful date a hundred feet in the air.

Justin Baldoni & Wife Welcome Baby No. 2

Justin Baldoni and his wife Emily both welcomed their second child, named Maxwell Roland-Samuel. The baby is 54.61cm in length and weighed in at 8lbs 7oz, is also brother to Maiya, their two-year-old daughter.

The 32-year-old star of “Jane the Virgin” posted a sweet black and white picture on Instagram showing his wife, holding their newborn son. He captioned it with, “HE. IS. HERE!  Our little Maxwell Roland-Samuel Baldoni came into this world on Wednesday and showed us that it was possible for our hearts to double in size again. We want to thank everyone for all the love and prayers. We are so grateful, so much more to come. Love Justin, Emily, Maiya, and Maxwell #dearmaxwell.”

Emily also posted a sweet black and white picture on her Instagram page, using the same caption, and showing her husband, holding their newborn son.

Earlier this year, Emily admitted that she and her husband have some fears about changing the dynamic of their family. She said, “How am I ever going to be able to love this adorable baby as much as I love Maiya?” She explained that this fear is real and very common among parents.

“As most parents say, your heart just expands, and your love is there, and you fall in love all over again,” she continues, “but before you experience that, there’s a fear of, ‘Oh my gosh, how am I going to fall in love with this little creature like I have with Maiya?’ ”

Justin and Emily told People magazine that their newborn baby was born on Wednesday, and his 2-year-old big sister Maiya was happy to have a little brother.

Justin and his wife, Emily, were nervous about how their daughter Maiya would react to the new baby, and it’s still way too early to tell.

He also admitted that there’s also fear in him that Maiya is going to feel neglected because she has been the only child for the past two years now and all of a sudden, here’s this baby.

Also, Justin says that he and his wife have learned some tips and techniques about how to make their daughter feel like the baby is hers. They also noted that Maiya has started giving her brother ton of kisses and is already helping out on diaper duty.

Earlier this year in an interview, Justin told People that he hoped Maiya would be a big sister that will nurture her brother and care for him. Emily told People, “We have to be okay with her going through that transformation, and I feel in my gut that she’s going to handle this role beautifully. Maiya is a little nurturer, very generous, and very loving. I think she’s going to be a great big sister, but we have to allow her take the time she needs to get used to her little brother.”  

To prepare Maiya for ger brothers arrival, the couple said that they talked a lot to her about what was going on in her mom’s belly and that the baby was going to be a little brother. Also, they ensured her that they are together most times in the lead up to the birth as a little family of three. But it was chaotic for them, too. Baldoni pointed out that when celebs talk about babies, it always sounds a lot easier than it is for other families. He said in the same interview:

“I think it’s important to talk about because, generally, you read articles like this and it’s really cute — ‘Oh, we love our nursery’ and, ‘Oh, we’re really happy’ and, ‘Oh, life is beautiful’ — but in reality, all of us are scared out of our minds, we’re stressed, things are crazy. We’re figuring this out like everybody else.”

When the couple discovered that they were going to be having a baby boy, Justin, who was visibly moved to tears, went on Instagram to post a heartfelt letter to his future son.

He wrote, “Dear son, this was such a massively profound moment for us… and it hit me hard,” he wrote. “But that’s ok; it’s nothing to be embarrassed about… in fact, emotions are to be celebrated! Tears are good! It’s hard to explain, but I feel like my entire life has been about getting ready for this experience, and yet at the same time, I feel completely inept and not ready to be a dad again. I’ve learned so much and made so many mistakes, and I continue to make them…EVERY DAY!”

The Jane the Virgin star said that he wished to teach his son that part of being a man is embracing the parts of yourself that you might be ashamed or embarrassed of. And that eventually, the side of us that we want to hide from the world will be the side that our future life partner will love more than anything.

He continued, “I want you to know that while confidence might be important for success, humility is necessary for happiness,” and  “I hope to show you over the course of your life, to not only respect women, but to stand up, and empower them in both large and small ways. When no one is watching, and there’s no reward. To be a true friend to train your eyes like a superpower to see women as humans with souls before you see them as objects.”

Justin continued saying, “I can’t wait for you to see this one day and see all the reasons why your daddy was so excited you were going to be born into this crazy, dark, complicated world to a family that is going to love the s**t out of you,” Justin ended the statement in his letter with. “I might not know you yet little guy, but I am already madly in love with you. I can’t wait to meet you and just know that I am only a few inches away and I’m praying for you every day.”

11 Ways To Stand Up For Yourself

Standing up for yourself isn’t always an easy task or one that’s preferably desirable. Maybe you’ve been taken advantage of in the past or bullied at some point. These instances can leave scars and keep you from becoming the person you know you can be.

Stop letting others walk all over you. Start finding your voice and letting it be heard. Take risks and chances to help you overcome what’s holding you back from being your best self. Learn the skills you need to speak up for yourself and move forward with confidence. See 11 ways to stand up for yourself.

Speak Up

At some point, you simply have to talk and speak up for yourself. It’s going to be uncomfortable and possibly awkward, but you’ll thank yourself later. Living in silence is only hurting you. Practice making statements in the mirror and talking to friends and family about your goals. Make it a point to slowly verbalize your feelings one conversation at a time. Hiding from your problems won’t solve them. Silently fuming at home won’t bring you any closer to a resolution. Let your voice be heard, even if you must face conflict. At least bringing up your concerns may get you one step closer to a solution.

Hire A Lawyer

Depending on your situation, it may require you hiring a lawyer. Don’t be afraid to seek legal help for circumstances you don’t have the answers to on your own. For example, if you’re in a car accident and need protection you may need to call Stephen Babcock Lawyer. He works on personal injury cases involving car accidents. He’ll help you get even, instead of avoiding a face off with the other party. Sometimes you need someone who’s able to protect you and get you the help you require in a serious situation. Don’t let an accident turn your life upside down. Make it right now so you can focus on a bright future. When it’s all done, give yourself a pat on the back for having the courage to stand up for yourself.

Walk Away

Not all arguments or conflicts can be settled. There comes a time when it’s better to simply walk away. Gauge the situation and decide how important it is that you come to a solution. If you’re okay with leaving it how it stands, then confidently walk away. Not all conversations are worth having or continuing for a later date. Know that your time’s valuable and realize when it’s being wasted. You may be better off cooling down first or never approaching the situation again. If you’re not getting anywhere, let it go and leave it for another day. Don’t let the other person talk you into a compromise that only benefits them. Remember that walking away is a deliberate decision you’re making to protect yourself and look out for your best interest.

Clarify before Attacking

During heated conversations, it’s smart to take a deep breath. Stay in the moment and listen to what the other person’s saying. Repeat what you heard back to them so they can confirm the exchange is how you interpreted it. Check your own emotions and bring them down a notch, so you’re fully attentive to hear what the other person has to say. Clarify exactly what they’re stating, so you’re clear on their objectives and requests. Avoid attacking someone before you fully understand what point they’re trying to make. Comprehend their viewpoint before judging it and making assumptions. Get on the same page so you can have an intelligent conversation and still stand up for yourself.

Stay away from Negative People

If you find yourself always having to stand up for yourself, it’s possible you’re hanging out with the wrong crowd. Over time this will start to wear on you, and you’ll find your own self-suffering. Take inventory of who you’re consistently around and why you feel upset most of the time. Start removing yourself from negative people and situations. It’ll be a refreshing change and one you’ll probably cling to very fast. Keeping a positive outlook and surrounding yourself with positive people helps every aspect of your life. You’ll find that there’s less of a need to always be defending yourself and proving your point. Enjoy the positivity that starts to encompass your life and the freedom from no longer having to battle it out with others constantly.

Be Polite but Assertive

There’s nothing wrong with being polite and kind. It doesn’t make you weak or a fake person. In fact, it’ll probably get you further than if you’re combative and rude. Learn to be polite and assertive at the same time. It’s tricky, but it works. Stand up for yourself without feeling the need to cut other people down. Assert your position and speak in a strong tone that shows you mean business. Be considerate and firm at the same time. Practice using language that’s confident and caring. Show the other person you have a desire to work it all out, but that you’re not going down without a fight. This way you make your position clear without sacrificing your character.

Avoid Saying Sorry

You don’t always have to say sorry when in conversation with others. Sorry is overused, and typically when it’s not necessary. Say sorry when you hurt a friend or know you acted inconsiderately. Avoid saying sorry when you’re in a conversation with another person and you did nothing wrong. There’s no reason to apologize for your beliefs or decisions you make. You give the other person the upper hand when you do this and appear less in control. Listen to how often you use the word sorry when you’re talking to people. Understand when it’s unnecessary and when to leave it out of your conversations.

Build Self-Respect & Confidence

Be protective of your self-worth. Build your self-respect and confidence behind the scenes, so you’re ready for whatever comes at you. Know who you are and what you stand for before you’re faced with a tough situation. This way you’ll stand your ground with no problem at all, even if your buttons are pushed. Learn about yourself and how you function. Believe in who you are and what you have to offer. Be your own advocate and support your decisions and actions. Respect for yourself and others goes a long way.

Use Appropriate Body Language

You communicate a great deal through your body language. Remember that it’s not just what you say but how you say it and what movements you make. Others are watching how you carry yourself and your facial expressions. Be aware of how you’re being perceived in any given conversation by your body language and verbal cues. If your arms are flying all over and you’re frowning, you’re going to come off as very upset, and possibly even out of control. Use appropriate actions for the situation and person you’re interacting with, so you look like you know how to keep your cool.

Be Honest

Stand up for yourself by being honest. It doesn’t matter if no one else agrees or likes what you say. Let your opinions be heard and don’t be afraid to be completely honest with how you feel. That way there’s no internal conflict between what you’re saying and how you’re really feeling inside. Don’t try to be someone you’re not to impress others. Say what’s on your mind and hope others are receptive to it, but don’t get down if they’re not. You’ll feel better about yourself later on if you know that you’re an honest person in your interactions. Feel empowered to call it like you see it and communicate when you know you’re being disrespected or ignored. It’ll prove you have a backbone and maybe you’ll even get the other person to explain their reasoning for acting the way they are.

Focus on your Response

Listen to the other person, but stay focused on what your response will be. Rehearse ways you feel confident standing up for yourself and be ready to fire with it when the time comes. The main point is that you can’t control another person’s actions or attitudes. You do have the power to control your reactions. Don’t let your ego get the best of you and make a move you’ll regret later. Carefully craft your responses to unfair situations that irritate you. You’re going to come across circumstances that will make you mad, but you have to be the bigger person and come back with a tailored response that reflects your confidence and maturity.


Life is going to throw your curveballs and bad attitudes, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit and take it. Learn how to handle tough situations by forming responses to difficult conversations. No one can make you feel small unless you let them. Build your self-confidence, so you’re prepared to formulate appropriate responses when faced with people who rub you the wrong way. These are 11 ways to stand up for yourself.

Fool-Proof Plan to Throwing the Perfect Engagement

Becoming engaged is tremendously exciting. It’s a time for two families to come together, and most importantly, for you and your loved one to celebrate and plan your future with one another. Yet, before you can plan the wedding, you must plan a faultless engagement. This means determining, when, where, how and with what ring. Something that seems so simple, can somehow become stressful. Here’s a fool-proof plan to throwing the perfect engagement.

The Proposal

There is no right or wrong way to proposing, and it depends entirely on what your other half prefers. If they prefer something quiet and low-key where it’s just the two of you, then avoid proposing in public. Alternatively, if they enjoy big events, you could propose in front of friends and family. You know them best, so make sure you decide how to propose.

You’ll want to present them with the most flawless ring, but deciding the cut, style, color and size can be daunting. The months leading up to your engagement, take note of what they say – do they stop at the window of a jewelers and point out emerald cut more than anything else? Do they focus on gold banded rings more so than silver? Are they more likely to enjoy captivating champagne diamonds more than usual diamonds? If you want to be subtle, but are adamant to find out their ring size, you can either look at other jewelry that fits on the same finger and take it to a jeweler, or enlist the help of friends.

The Engagement Party

Typically, the engagement party should fall within the first few months of the proposal. It’s a happy medium, caught between carefree ‘we’re engaged,’ and the start of serious (and stressful) wedding planning. Arranging a time where everyone is free to celebrate your engagement can be difficult, so it’s best to send out your engagement invites soon after the proposal, for a couple of months in advance. You may want to contact friends and family before sending out formal invitations, so you can determine the best date for everyone.

Traditionally, the bride’s parents host the engagement party, with the groom’s parents hosting a separate party if they wished. However, nowadays both sets of parents either come together, or the couple themselves throw the party. Etiquette also stated that you were to only invite people who were invited to the wedding. This has changed over the recent years, and now, people are inviting new friends and co-workers to their engagement parties. If you’re worried about people assuming they’re invited to the wedding, you can either stick to traditions, specify, or make sure to invite them to the after-wedding party.

You do not have to plan a sit down, five-course meal for your engagement party. Usually, there’s a mixture of friends, and so having people up on their feet, talking, drinking and eating canapes can be great for socializing. You can still serve gourmet food, and your guests will be able to mingle.

Your engagement party can be whatever theme you please. It can be completely different to how you envision the actual wedding, and as lowkey or fancy as you please. Simple but tasty food, small bouquets of flowers, quirky details and alcohol can easily set the scene of your engagement party. Make sure it doesn’t upstage the wedding, though!

You’ll want to wear something that makes you stand out, but not too obviously. If it’s in the summer, the bride-to-be can wear a simple, white summer dress with beautiful jewelry and hair accessories, while the groom can wear a casual suit. If you have a dress code, make sure to include it in the invitations. Make sure it coincides with your overall theme – if it’s simple, ask for simple attire; if it’s a formal occasion, ask for suits, ties and ballgowns.