Destination Weddings: No Longer Reserved For The Wealthy

Destination Weddings: No Longer Reserved For The Wealthy

For a long time the destination wedding, a wedding combined with a vacation for the couple, wedding party, and guests, was an exotic treat attainable only by the extremely wealthy. This is no longer the case as destination weddings have, in recent years, become an attainable and attractive alternative for more and more couples seeking to put an enjoyable romantic spin on their nuptial occasion. Destination wedding planners like to advertise that the destination wedding can cost thousands less than a traditional wedding. While this may or may not be true, depending on what a particular couple plans to spend on their traditional wedding as opposed to what they’ll have to spend for a destination wedding, it is certainly a fact that a destination wedding is no longer completely out of the question for the average couple. If you’re interested in celebrating your own marriage ceremony with a destination wedding, here are some helpful pointers that can have you enjoying your wedding in a vacation locale without completely emptying the coffers.

Your Destination Doesn’t Have to be Distant:

One of the truly beautiful things about living in the United States is that we have vacation spots nearly everywhere. By planning your destination wedding in a place that is relatively close to home, you can save considerably on airfare or other travel arrangements. Do you live on the East Coast? Make Orlando, Florida your destination and enjoy your honeymoon with Mickey Mouse. Already in Florida and been to Disneyworld far too many times? Set your sights on the Big Apple and enjoy a destination wedding in the City that Never Sleeps. Maybe you’re in the Midwest? If so a destination wedding in Chicago may have just the right romantic touch for you. You could also consider heading south to Texas to visit the Alamo. Live in the Southwest or Northwest? Then Las Vegas and Los Angeles are mere hours away by plane. The point is that your destination wedding doesn’t have to be held in London, Paris, or Munich to be an event you will remember fondly and cherish forever.

Plan Ahead and Get Group Rates:

Everyone knows that air passage costs less when booked and purchased well in advance. Be sure to make the reservations for your destination wedding far ahead of time to get the best value for you and your guests. Also, utilize the services of a talented travel agent who can negotiate your airfare and hotel accommodations all together. Doing so can save you an amazing percentage of the overall cost of your destination wedding.

If There’s an ‘Off Season,’ Take Advantage of It:

Many of the vacation spots around the country have an off season where the rates for hotels, airfare, and attractions are quite lower than they are during their busier times. By planning your destination wedding during these non-peak times you can save money and enjoy your destination when there are fewer tourists getting in the way of your enjoyment.

Easy Tips To Control Your Finances In The Future

Easy Tips To Control Your Finances In The Future

Personal finance is important to learn about, no matter how much (or how little) money you make. Wouldn’t you like to hang on to a little more of that money? This article will give you a few pointers on handling your own money better. You do not have to get a raise to get more out of your money.

Whenever possible, pay with cash. Carrying cash is a tangible reminder of how much or little money you have remaining, to meet your upcoming needs and expenses. Unlike debit and credit cards, cash is accepted practically everywhere and is perpetually free of annoying surcharges, fees and confusing fine print.

In order to maintain good personal finances, you need to learn how to borrow wisely. It is important that you do not get yourself into debt with credit cards that charge you 20% interest or even more. That is like throwing your money away. Learn to only borrow money for major purchases that you genuinely need, and understand the importance of getting the lowest interest rate possible.

Save a little money every day. Getting a burger at fast food place with your coworkers is a pretty cheap lunch, right? A hamburger is only .29. Well, that’s over 0 a year, not counting drinks and fries. Brown bag your lunch and get something much more delicious and healthy for less than a dollar.

If you are working to try and track your budget, consider using your debit card, instead of cash. Debit card purchases can easily be tracked. Many banks even offer their own software to do this, or will integrate with commercially available budgeting software. This might allow you to keep an accurate record of where your earnings are going.

Save money on your grocery bill by cutting back on the amount of expensive meat you use. Instead of using a pound of ground beef in spaghetti sauce, for example, use a half pound and add some veggies instead. Your grocery fund will look healthier, and your body just might too!

Keeping your will current is an important part of any healthy financial plan. Marriage or the birth of a child is just two examples of life changing events that call for a careful reconsideration of your will. If you do not have a will, make it a top financial priority this year to make one.

Fishing, believe it or not, can be a way for you to supplement your personal finance. You can eat the fish that you catch and save yourself from having to buy food. You can also sell the extra fish from your catch or even trade it for other things.

Taking care of your personal finances is a great way to stretch your money. Learning a little more about how to manage your money is never a waste a time. There is plenty of free information out there to teach you, too. If these tips have given you good ideas about how to handle your finances, keep reading and learn more.

Get Creative Wtih Date Ideas

Get Creative Wtih Date Ideas

Creative date ideas are searched for all over the internet. People are always looking for new and exciting ways to entertain their loved ones on dates. The run of the mill date ideas like dinner and a movie are great; however, they seem to be a bit overdone. What really goes a long way toward impressing a potential partner is a person who knows how to make a date fun and unique. Dinner and a movie is fine every now and then, but for the frequent casual dates that couples go on, something different and more exciting is a better idea. There are several ways to keep dates interesting and never boring.

One way to keep creative date ideas exciting is to search on the internet and take advice from others who have creative date ideas. There are tons of date ideas to go on available on the internet. If you are uncomfortable with taking someone’s idea outright, look up a few on the internet and combine certain aspects of them. This way you will be able to put your own twist on the dates. Also, sometimes looking at other people’s date ideas can help you spark a creative idea of your own. Use the internet as a tool that because it is available for your use.

Another way to make sure your dates are never boring is to come up with creative date ideas together with your loved one. Dates are going to be much more mutually enjoyable if you both have a hand in planning them. If one specific person is the only one who gets to decide on the date ideas and the other person constantly has to be the only one who compromises, dates will become less enjoyable, and the person who never gets to decide will become resentful of his or her partner. Equal input will definitely make the dating process. If you are in an “opposites attract” kind of situation, and you have a hard time agreeing on an idea, take turns. Keep track of the weeks and whose turn it is and swap turns every week. This way, each partner compromises equally.

One final way to make sure your creative date ideas do not get too routine is to make a list of your many date ideas and make sure you rotate them. It is ok to do things more than once in your lifetime. It is sometimes even a lot of fun to be a “regular” somewhere like a restaurant or other establishment. However, doing the same thing all the time can definitely get tedious. This is the exact thing you are trying to avoid. By rotating your date ideas, depending on how many times you go out per week and how many date ideas you come up with, you should not have any problems repeating dates in a short period of time.

Whatever creative date ideas you decide on as a couple, always remember the simple ways to keep your date ideas interesting. Use the internet as the tool that it is to help you come up with your own date ideas, create date ideas with your loved one, and make a list of your date ideas and keep them rotating. By adhering to this advice, you can keep your love life exciting and spontaneous.

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Reestablishing Trust in the Relationship


Trust can be the strongest element in a relationship. It is a barrier against the challenges presented by the outside world seeking to destroy a couple. What happens when trust is damaged? Can it be shored up or even reconstructed? The short answer is yes. The longer answer centers around the difficult process requiring honesty, open communication and diligence in forging a trusting bond. One needs to walk the hard path to get back to where they belong.

Speaking the Truth

Trust lives in an environment of honesty. Regardless of how good or bad a relationship ended, each person needs to be truthful about everything. Honesty should not be used as a club to bend the other person to the will of the other. The past, present and future depends on being careful and using important keys to build trust.

* Accurately Address Things: Couching things or overly editing clouds the message.

* Watch How the Message Is Delivered: Tone conveys a great deal when speaking. Being too soft or stern may blunt or heighten what is being said unnecessarily.

* Always Be Kind: Remember the goal is to rebuild trust. A firm message offered with polite words allows for ongoing communication.

Allow a Response

Initially, it can be easy to get too focused on one’s role in the exchange. This is a two way street. One of the hardest things anyone may face targets the reply from the other person.

* Be Quiet: Hopefully, they listened thoughtfully to what was said. They deserve the same respect. Hearing back may require swallowing bitter aspects of one’s own personality or behavior.

* Don’t Defend: Everyone, especially when receiving personal information, tends to want to leap into defense mode. Trust often needs space and acceptance. If offered with similar kindness, one must avoid the urge to choke off the exchange.

* Mirror the Behavior: During the conversation, make an effort to feel how things are going and respond accordingly. A strong sense of control, which may mask hidden defensiveness, might urge one to rush things along or pull back. One can be thoughtful without hiding behind a mask.

Make Contact

Emotional contact with one’s partner fosters an environment of trust. Treading carefully at the beginning presents a greater level of comfort. Small things like eye contact and non verbal cues will help one’s partner witness the importance and investment to growing trust. As with all things when building trust, moving too fast will likely shatter progress, so avoid being overly physical.

Consistency Proves Key

Trust cannot be built in a single conversation or afternoon. Returning to a place where the relationship returns to a healthy place requires slow, steady growth. This means making time for one another, not pushing too deep or lashing out when things get hard. The level of difficulty can feel overwhelming. One needs to acknowledge and accept what these emotions without letting the damage the conversation.

As fragile as a snowflake, one must treat trust with the respect it deserves. A relationship never survives without it, so it is up to both parties to maintain trust for the life of the relationship. Trust thrives with open communication, mutual respect and consistent contact. Pour in those and watch the trust flourish.

Marriage Counseling: Seven Tips For a Great Family Vacation

Marriage Counseling: Seven Tips For a Great Family Vacation

Too many family vacations end in disaster because of unrealistic expectations or poor planning according to Barbara Bartlein, author of Why Did I Marry You Anyway? 12.5 Strategies for a Successful Marriage (Cumberland House Press). “The family vacation is an annual tradition for many Americans and can have a significant bonding effect for couples and children. Careful planning makes all the difference.” She recommends:

*Identify activities that all family members can enjoy. There should be something for everyone. From petting zoos to shopping malls, identify the must-do activity for everyone involved. Some clans use a family meeting to pre-plan the trip. This is also a great time to obtain agreement that vacations are give and take and involve compromise. It is usually impossible to please everyone all the time.

*Make plans that are age appropriate. It is unrealistic to embark on a long car trip with very young children. They will be miserable and so will you. Small children do much better with short trips that include plenty of opportunity to play. Likewise, most teenagers will be bored with stops at museums and areas of historical interest; they prefer the shopping mall. You will save yourself a lot of misery if you understand the attention span and interests of your children.

*Be prepared to wait. Whether by plane, train or automobile, travel can involve delays and waiting. Bring games, books, and other time fillers in case there is time to kill. Make “getting there,” half the fun with all understanding that some glitches while traveling are the norm, not the exception.

*Beware of too much togetherness. You don’t have to spend every minute of every day together. Part of a great vacation is also getting some time alone to reflect and think. You can also team up with different family members based on interests. It allows an opportunity to reconnect in new ways.

*Expect the unexpected. While annoying at the time, some of the best memories and funniest stories are the things that aren’t expected. Like adjusting the motor on the boat and watching as it falls to the bottom of the lake or raccoons loose in the cabin. These events are the fodder for stories around the campfire for years.

*Keep a sense of humor. Try to enjoy the special moments of just being together taking time to laugh and play. It’s a funny thing. I have worked since I was 16 years old and can barely remember one workday from another. But I can tell you the details of every vacation from the last twenty years.

‘Date’ Your Customers; Keep Them Coming Back

‘Date’ Your Customers; Keep Them Coming Back

In business, the customer is always right – sometimes confused, misinformed, rude, stubborn and changeable, but never wrong. Ever date anyone like that?

Customers are the reason you have a business. Without them, no matter what you do, there isn’t any business.

Therefore, you should approach customer service the same way you approach a date. Nurture it with good habits and relentless care. Each date builds on the previous one. Each sale does the same in building customer retention.

So, here are the simple suggestions for “dating” your customer and enhancing your business relationships.

* Dazzle customers with your service. The key to good customer service is treating all your customers well but not necessarily the same. Respond to their needs as individuals. While one customer might need a ton of help and attention, another might prefer an opportunity to browse with privacy.

* Anticipate the needs of your customers by emphasizing service over sales. Good service sells. But pushy service people who are always trying to sell more can be a major turnoff to all customers.

* Treat your customers well by being a problem solver. If you can’t help the customer, help him or her find someone who can. Customers appreciate your help – even when you aren’t directly profiting from a sale. Just consider it an investment. They’ll appreciate the advice and remember your business the next time they need your goods or services.

* Innovate by understanding that most rules should be flexible. Don’t ever say, “No, that’s against the rules,” to a customer who’s making a reasonable request. Your main rule – one that should never be compromised – is to keep your customers happy and satisfied.

* Nurture your employees by giving them the care and respect that you want them to give your customers. If you treat them well, your employees will be great ambassadors of service. If you treat them poorly, they’ll treat your customers badly in turn.

* Guarantee that your customers keep coming back. Have a great customer service plan and post it in a central location for all to see. Once employees understand the importance of great customer service, you will have customers returning over and over.

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Advice For The Big First Date

Advice For The Big First Date

Everyone feels a mixture of excitement and nervousness when they consider going on a first date. There are perhaps few times that people desire to make an impression as much as they do on a first date. While there is no way to remove all of the fears that go with first dates, there are some simple ways to make the experience less stressful and more enjoyable.

First of all, it is wiser and important to be careful about who you choose to go on a first date with. Everyone agrees that the purpose of dating is to get to know someone, so while you do not have to not a lot about a person before taking them on a first date, it is helpful to at least know something of the person you will be sharing the date with. If you do not know them personally, be sure that one of your friends or family members knows that person at least a little. You will save yourself time, energy and perhaps disappointment by choosing wisely who you will share a first date with.

Another bit of advice about a first date is to agree to do something that you both enjoy. There is perhaps nothing worse than going on a first date only to hate the activity you are doing. If, for example, you hate bowling with a passion, then perhaps agreeing to bowl on a first date is not the best choice for you. Doing something you do not enjoy may hinder your ability to enjoy the person you are with, which is, after all, the whole point of the first date.

Remember that the first date is not all about you. Start right from the beginning by showing genuine interest in whoever you are with. Everyone loves it when someone asks great questions and seems to genuinely care about their life. If you have trouble thinking of questions off the top of your head, perhaps it would be wise for you to think of a few good questions before you head off on your date. Do whatever it takes to show the person you are with that you care enough to ask them questions.

You can never know if you will really enjoy the person you are with or if you will feel comfortable with them until you get into the first date, so make sure that you have given yourself good boundaries for your date. Put a time limit on the date right from the beginning so that you know when the end is near. This is especially helpful if the first date turns out to be less than ideal (which, unfortunately, happens more than you might think).

First dates, when done well, can be a great first step in getting to know someone great. So take your time and do first dates with care.