Las Vegas brides, did you know Irish tradition encourages women to propose to their guys? According to legend, St. Patrick gave permission for an Irish woman to propose to her man, especially if he was simply too shy to pop the question himself, through an opportunity that would come around every four years: Leap Year! Today bold brides-to-be are still partaking in that tradition, and yesterday many women even took a leap of faith and popped the question to their boyfriends.
Sharon and Simon celebrated their engagement at Blackpool Tower. Look closely, and you'll see "Marry Me?" on the beach below!
In my favorite February 29, 2012, tale, BBC News reported that 31-year-old Miss Sharon Fuller organized her girlfriends to etch “Marry Me?” into sand of North West England’s Blackpool beach as the perfect sign for her boyfriend, Simon Dunkerley. Then at the top of the 500-foot-tall Blackpool Tower, Simon saw the lines in the sand and accepted. Together the couple celebrated with small glasses of champagne, and they already have plans to be wed in a quiet British ceremony this summer.
But with all the excitement and weddings on the way, what’s an engaged Las Vegas bride to learn from yesterday’s Leap Year Day proposals? Brides, I’d like to suggest we learn to propose our love in new ways beyond the big question! Take a look:
Celebrate: Do What You Both Love
First, brides, as we celebrate with these recently engaged ladies and gents, let’s take time to celebrate our own engagements too! Often we plunge headfirst into wedding planning after he pops the question. Now that’s all well and good. But remember why you’re getting married. The core of the wedding is the marriage. And the core of marriage is love, devotion, and commitment through thick and thin. Take some time to celebrate those elements.
Host an engagement party! Go out to dinner! Take a stroll through the park, or hit the Vegas Strip for some fun together. Cuddle up on the couch. Watch a movie, cook dinner, play a game, go for a run, or write each other love letters. Just because you’ve already enjoyed the proposal doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying each other. Continually discover what makes each other’s hearts sing, and go for it!
Plan Together: Pour into your Relationship
Now on this note, brides, keep in mind that you too can plan a few activities. It’s easy to let your man handle the plans. After all, you know he can do it. He planned that beautiful proposal! But take some inspiration from this Leap Year’s ladies. You don’t have to plan the proposal, but do plan something special for you and your groom.
True to tradition, this bold bride proposed to her man on Feb. 29th! Las Vegas brides, think of ways you too can show your love for your grooms!
“It’s been a nerve-wracking few weeks planning it all,” Leap Year lady, Sharon, told BBC News about planning her proposal to Simon.
I think that’s something to keep in mind, brides. Planning is tough. Instead of leaving our fiancés to read our minds, let’s lessen the stress and help our guys with date nights too. Plan an event together instead of expecting him to decide what you’ll do every weekend. Together you’ll make a great team, and you’ll enjoy the opportunity to work together on building your relationship!
Say Thanks: Let Your Groom Know You Love Him
Even with your marriage proposal in the past, take time to thank your groom for making that moment so special. You see, I have it from a good source (*cough cough* my own groom) that planning a proposal is fairly stressful. He’s supposed to make it special, make it personal, and make it memorable. Oh, and it has to be unique. That’s a lot of pressure for one question.
Encourage your man, and let him how much you loved every detail of what he planned for you. Whether it was a romantic dinner at the top of the Stratosphere or a quiet moment on your couch, he asked your permission to spend the rest of your lives together because he loves you with his whole heart and he’s willing to commit to you. That’s what counts, brides.
We’ve heard the news that Kim Kardashian is separating from husband Kris Humpries after their jaw-dropping wedding celebration in August. But have we stopped to ask why? Let’s get past personal attacks, and look a little deeper.
Kris and Kim at their wedding
As a Las Vegas bride myself, I’ve learned the wedding is worth the effort and so is marriage to the man I love. But it takes work. Marriage is hard. When feelings fade and the arguments hit home, I have to step back and remember what my marriage is all about. It’s about commitment. It’s about perseverance. It’s about faithfulness, and it’s about learning to prune the worst parts of myself while letting someone help me grow into a better human being.
While I can’t speak for Kim and Kris’ marriage, I can speak for mine. Today, Las Vegas brides, I want to level with you. I’m so excited to guide you through planning your upcoming Las Vegas weddings, but I also want to help you prepare for your lifetime commitments to your spouses-to-be.
Today, take a look at what I’ve found to be the toughest conflict areas in my marriage. Then you’ll know what to expect and how to react when these issues affect your relationships.
You and your groom will bring different spending habits, bank accounts, and budget priorities to your marriage. Don’t get into a money fight on the fly. Instead, set time aside each week to calmly talk finances together. Bring the facts, figures, and a lot of honesty to the table.
Just as you set a wedding planning budget, set a monthly spending plan. This may include bills, food, entertainment, gasoline, insurance, medical expenses, savings, and debt/loan repayments. You may also want to consider opening a joint bank account for more transparency and accountability.
Sex—Beyond the Bedroom
As one of the keys to marital intimacy, sex is a gift to be cherished and treated with the utmost care. If you’re entering marriage as a virgin, sex may be uncomfortable at first. That’s okay. With perseverance and patience, you’ll develop trust and learn to bring each other joy in body, mind, and spirit. Then let your love deepen as you understand the importance of intimacy, which you saved to specially share with your spouse.
Likewise, if you’ve lived with your groom prior to marriage, take this time to rediscover one another emotionally and physically. With marriage, you can experience a new sheet. What would you like to see changed? What would you like to continue? It’s encouraging to talk with each other about sexual intimacy, even over a glass of wine at your dinner table. Then you’ll know each other more, and you’ll be better prepared for the bedroom.
I love my husband and the marriage we're creating!
As an engaged couple, you two could hardly be separated. But with wedding planning finished and life taking its toll on honeymoon bliss, you may find it difficult to maintain that level of togetherness. It’s not that you and your spouse are growing apart. It’s that you’re growing.
As long as the activities are healthy, let each person pursue their favorite hobbies and aim for a balanced life. If possible, also determine an activity you can practice together. Keep an eye on expectations too. When your marital expectations aren’t fulfilled, don’t quit. Communicate, extend grace, and be open to compromise to resolve the issue.
Marriage—A Lifetime Commitment
Now in my second year of marriage, my husband and I have discovered we have a lot to work through. But we’ve also found this work is worth the effort. I’ve never before felt so loved, and I’m encouraged because challenges we conquer bring us even closer.
Brides, I wish the same for you and your grooms. Let your wedding planning be the beginning. Then pursue each other for an unsurpassable lifetime commitment of love, patience, and partnership with your lover and best friend.
When you’re engaged, you don’t need Valentine’s Day to tell you it’s time to have a date night. But with your Las Vegas wedding right around the corner, you’ll need to find ways to spend valuable time together that also let you save money. Starting today, freshen your relationship without breaking the bank. Take a look at this list for affordable Las Vegas date ideas, and find what best fits you and your groom!
Marathon Training: Stay healthy and sculpt your shape for your upcoming Las Vegas wedding. Lace up your most comfortable, supportive tennies and hit the pavement together. If you and your hubby-to-be like listening to music to keep you focused, then make matching playlists to listen to as you run. You’ll smile knowing you’re being inspired by the same tune.
My groom Anthony and I love our date nights together! We've tried all these date ideas, and we've certainly found our favorites.
Volunteer: Soothe your soul and help those in need by volunteering together. Find a nonprofit organization that appeals to your skills, and challenge yourselves to volunteer together at least once a month. Whether you’re building homes for local families, organizing clothes at a shelter, or pulling weeds for free, you’ll find your spirits lift when you focus your time and energy towards someone other than yourselves.
Scent Shopping: Enjoy a sensual experience as you visit local stores to shop for scents. You get to choose his cologne, and he can pick perfume for you. Just remember to spray the scents on test strips first, or you’ll have a wristful of rather powerful whiffs. If you’d like, buy a small bottle of your ideal scent for each other to wear on future dates.
Video Gaming: Stay home, and tackle a video game together. Choose a co-op video game (ask your groom for details), and play on the same team. Like a little competition? Then pop in a group-friendly game, like Rock Band or Wii Sports, and laugh all night long.
Play tourist in your own town. Take photos to commemorate your experience.
Play Tourist: People flock to our city to visit the Las Vegas Strip. So dress your best, and play tourist! Visit the casinos, tour the shops, and take in the lights, sights, and sounds. To keep the mood light and loveable, stay away from bars and dance clubs for this date. Find new ways to revel in the Las Vegas Strip, like watching the Bellagio waterworks hand-in-hand, admiring the architecture of casinos inspired by international hot spots, or sharing a sumptuous dessert on the spot.
Hike a Trail: Embrace the great outdoors. Choose a trail to hike together at Red Rock Canyon, Mount Charleston, Lake Mead, or Valley of Fire. Pack a backpack full of tasty snacks, sandwiches, and plenty of water to enjoy along the way. Don’t forget to wear your sturdy walking shoes and a light jacket.
Read Together: Curl up together on a couch, and take turns reading aloud from a good book. To find more novels you’ll both love, visit a Las Vegas-Clark County library. Then add intrigue to your library search by splitting up and perusing the shelves until you find a book you think your spouse-to-be would enjoy. Then meet back up, reveal your choices, and bring home these books for weeks’ worth of happy reading together.
Snow Sledding: Be cozy despite the cold. Drive to Mount Charleston, and prepare for a whole new Southern Nevada experience. Bring toboggans, inner tubes, trashcan lids, or even flat pieces of cardboard to sit on as you slide down the hill together. Find a safe sledding location, like Lee Canyon, and follow the U. S. Forest Service’s Spring Mountain Twitter account (find their link here) to find weekends when sledding or snowshoeing is open to the public. Don’t forget to pack mugs and a thermos of hot chocolate to sip as you snuggle at the base of the hill.
Prepare a meal together. Then enjoy the fruits of your labor. Yum!
Make a Meal: Having a restaurant meal is always a popular date night idea. But what if you created the experience at home? Go grocery shopping together for food you’ll need to concoct a meal of your choice. Later, at home, prepare a meal together and dine by candlelight.
Mix in a Movie: Enjoy dinner and a show. Consider coordinating a homemade meal with a movie you’d like to watch together that evening. Pair My Big Fat Greek Wedding with lamb and Greek salad or experiment with a recipe for moussaka. Or, for a simpler recipe, watch Juno while enjoying a bowl of macaroni and cheese.
As a Las Vegas bride myself, these date ideas helped my groom and me to invest in each other and our relationship. Even now, as newlyweds, we’ve still continued to take part in affordable activities that we started during our engagement to constantly cultivate our relationship. Brides, when you focus on pouring into one another even with a small budget, you’ll connect with your groom, thrive in experiences that renew your spirit, and set a strong foundation for your marriage.
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While we brides focus hours and energy on wedding planning (and rightly so), we also need to spend time planning for our marriages. During my bridal shower, my maid-of-honor initiated a time for the wives in the room to share their secrets. Now, four months after my Las Vegas wedding, I’ve realized just how vital these words of wisdom were for a new wife. Today, I would like to share this marriage advice with you, brides-to-be, as you prepare for life after your wedding.
The wedding is only the beginning.
Advice from 20-year-old wives
ENJOY DATE NIGHTS: Have “date night” once a week. Since money is often tight when you’re young, make anything a date. Whether you’re sharing a meal at a restaurant or walking hand-in-hand at The Home Depot, take time to spend one-on-one to take a break from your busy schedules to focus wholeheartedly on each other.
FORGIVE AFTER FIGHTS: As you learn to be a team, you’re going to fight. That’s okay. But pick your battles, and fight for your marriage. Communicate often, learn to listen, work toward a resolution, and don’t go to bed angry. Remember your wedding vows, and never threaten each other with divorce. Finally, don’t be too proud to say, “I’m sorry,” or to readily forgive. We all make mistakes. Understand that you and your spouse aren’t perfect, but dedicate yourselves to love each other despite your flaws.
Advice from 30-year-old wives
TREAT EVERY MOMENT LIKE IT’S YOUR LAST: “It’s amazing what you find really matters when you don’t know if you’re spending your last moments together that night,” a young wife of a Marine said to me. “It’s not whether or not he got that new light bulb in the lamp.” Rather than argue over little things, focus on what you have together and enjoy every moment of your marriage.
DON’T LET OTHERS BREAK YOU APART: You two are a team now. Don’t let discouraging words or disapproval from others have any weight in your relationship. Whether it’s his mother or your maid-of-honor, your marriage comes first.
Advice from 40-year-old wives
NEVER KEEP SECRETS: One of the cornerstones of marriage is trust. Whether something seems insignificant or monumental, your spouse deserves to know. This creates trust between each other, which will lead to a more fulfilling relationship and no concerns when you’re apart.
DON’T TAKE EACH OTHER FOR GRANTED: We often find ourselves being nice to strangers, but we will take out our frustrations on our loved ones. Don’t forget to be kind to your spouse. You can never take words back once you speak them, and one angry venting session isn’t worth the permanent harm it can cause your spouse.
Advice from 50-year-old wives
HUSBAND FIRST, KIDS SECOND: Regardless of your age when you have children, your spouse remains your top priority. Don’t forget to love and serve each other, even with the new dynamics that children bring to your home. Be united with your spouse, and make decisions together about your kids. Also, remember your actions set an example for your children of how they should behave, so treat each other with respect.
NEVER STOP SAYING “I LOVE YOU”: We easily become caught up in our daily routines and can forget the most important aspects along the way. Don’t expect your spouse to know he’s loved. Every day, say those words we so often whispered before the wedding—“I love you.” Everyone needs to be reminded that they’re worth the world to somebody.
"I love you."
Advice from 60-year-old wives
COMMIT TO GROW OLD TOGETHER: Bodies change, passions lessen, and experiences constantly shift the norm. But when you dedicate yourselves to love under the best and worst conditions, you’ll enjoy life side-by-side with your spouse as your lover and best friend.
DON’T COMPARE YOUR MARRIAGE TO PAST RELATIONSHIPS: If you compare your spouse to a past lover, you’ll set up your marriage for failure. Forget what you’ve learned from the past, and from the bedroom to the bank account, don’t expect your spouse to function like a previous lover did. Go slowly, don’t jump to conclusions, and work together to establish trust. Allow your spouse to be himself, and love and accept for who he is.
Advice from wives of all ages
BUY PRETTY NIGHTIES:Don’t shy away from the lingerie department. Always wear pretty nighties to bed. Capture your husband’s heart, whether you’re in the prime of your youth or getting along in years, and he’ll never look elsewhere. Also, you’ll feel like the most beautiful woman God has ever created—and to your husband, you are. Learn to love each other, and enjoy the intimate moments of marriage.
* Special thanks to all the women who participated in my bridal shower and spoke these encouraging words for newlyweds.