Guest Book

Guest Book Table Decoration Ideas

There is one thing that can be found at nearly every wedding and that is a guest book. It is here that guests to the wedding can write their names and well wishes to the newlyweds, but many couples struggle with designing a guest book table that draws guests attention to the book so that they can sign it. We’ve compiled some helpful decorating tips to make sure that your table stands out for your guests.

Customize It

Whether you customize the table to match the overall theme of your wedding or just to make sure it stands out, your guests will love customized touches. For a rustic wedding, find some old picture frames and weather them, then fill the frames with a collage of photos of you and your partner. Many couples choose to show off photos of them as children as well and parents will always be more than happy to supply those.

Consider Lighting

Buy a set of string lights to brighten up the table for your guests. If you have the book in the reception hall, sometimes the lighting is too low for everyone to see. You can wrap the lights in tulle and the light fabric comes in a variety of colors to match the ones you’ve chosen for your wedding.

Save a Spot for the Favors

If you have a large table acting as the guest book table, there will be room to leave a basket full of favors. This would be instead of putting them out at every place setting and would encourage people to sign the book while they are picking up their favor, or vice versa. The basket of favors can also make the table look much more full and will attract guests to it.

Keep It Clutter-Free

While lots of decorations on the table are nice, some couples prefer to leave more room for people to sign the book. Keep it simple by adding a vase of flowers that match the ones the bridesmaids are carrying and perhaps a small picture frame. Consider that things like confetti or glitter may get all over the floor and are a pain to clean up afterwards.

Wedding Gift Bags

Ideas for your Wedding Gift Bags

It has long been a tradition to gift small trinkets or gifts to your wedding guests, and typically this occurs at the wedding reception. Most couples give each guest a small item known as a wedding favor that is meant to commemorate the special day, and usually it is either a decorative piece or an item that the guests will use fairly often. However, many couples choose to do something a little more grandiose than just a single wedding favor for their guests, and that’s when a wedding gift bag is the ideal option.

A wedding gift bag is essentially a small kit of items that combine both something fun for the guests and something to mark the occasion. Wedding gift bags are particularly popular when you’re hosting a destination wedding because you can include a few items that your guests may need as well as a few items that will make their stay better. The more thought you put into your wedding gift bags, the more your guests will appreciate the gesture. Here are a few ideas for your wedding gift bags to get you started with their design.

Towels

One of the nicest gifts you can give your guests is some nice towels for their trip. Towels are perfect for wedding gift bags because they can be used during their trip as well as when they get home. You can even have your wedding date and your names embroidered into the towels to make them more commemorative, or you could optionally have your guest’s names or initials embroidered in instead. Either way, personalized towels will be the centerpiece of your glorious wedding gift bags.

Sunscreen or Lotion

If you’re headed to a tropical destination where your guests will be spending a lot of time on the beach, it’s probably a good idea to include some sunscreen in your wedding gift bags. Most of your guests will plan ahead, but it’s better to make sure they have everything they need just in case. If you’re going to a cooler climate, you should include some body lotion. Cooler places usually dry out the skin more, so giving your guests something to moisturize with can be very thoughtful and helpful.

Indulgent Soap

Lastly, you want to make sure you give your guests something that is indulgent and relaxing in their gift bags, and soap is the perfect item on all counts. Consider either making soap from scratch or buying some cold process soap from any one of the hundreds of online retailers serving this market. Your guests will have a pampered experience the night before your wedding, and they will show up feeling relaxed and happy to help you celebrate your wedding in style.

There’s no wrong way to put together your wedding gift bags, but being thoughtful can really go a long way towards making your guests feel welcomed and appreciated. Just make sure you include a good mix of thoughtful items and things just for them and your guests will remember their wedding gift bags for many years to come.

Awkward Moments to Avoid at Your Wedding

Garter TossYour wedding day is going to be one of the most memorable days of your life. You’ll be looking your absolute best, you’ll proclaim your love for your partner, and then you’ll dance the night away. It’s going to be awesome. Provided, of course, you avoid a few traps that can turn that awesome day into a cringe-worthy event. Here are four awkward moments that can happen during a wedding and how to avoid them.

The Garter

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Fifteen, isn’t it mystifying that we still do the whole garter thing? It’s a tradition that started back when people would rush the bride and rip off her dress, leaving her in tears and barely dressed. I guess we’ve made some progress since then, but here we are: every wedding, the groom goes up the bride’s dress, pulls off a garter, and tosses it to the crowd.

Avoid it by: Just don’t do the garter toss. If you absolutely must do it, have the groom remove the garter in a little private couple time before the toss. If you absolutely must have the groom remove the garter in company, at least don’t make him use his teeth.

The Kiss

Your first kiss as a married couple is a super-romantic moment that should make the whole audience swoon. But if the kiss goes on too long or is, shall we say, a little too enthusiastic, suddenly you’re playing tonsil hockey in front of your parents and grandparents. Then it goes from “awe” to “awkward.”

Avoid it by: Of course we’re not going to suggest that you skip the kiss. Just keep it sincere but brief. No tongues and no butt-grabbing.

Drunken Speeches

There’s nothing wrong with a heartfelt wedding toast, or speeches from the happy couple’s parents. But when someone’s had a little too much to drink, that hilarious roast speech can turn nasty, and the heartfelt speeches get weepy and unintelligible. Most people are unaccustomed to public speaking anyway; add too much alcohol and it just gets worse.

Avoid it by: Having a dry wedding with no alcohol served. Just kidding! You can’t stop people from getting a little tipsy, but you can have the speeches before dinner, before people have had a chance to really hit the bar.

Rhythm-Challenged Guests Attempting to Dance

Let’s face it–folks over 35 or so probably aren’t hitting the club on a regular basis. You’re going to see a lot of people dancing who don’t frequently dance, and they’re not going to be very good at it. Expect a lot of awkward feet-shuffling, and then the one wacky uncle who is ironically attempting to break dance.

Avoid it by: well, you can’t really avoid it. So you might as well embrace it. As long as your guests are happy and having fun, and no one’s in immediate danger of injuring themselves, you’re doing fine. Just try not to judge the bad dancers.

Do your best to avoid these awkward moments, but definitely keep in mind that awkward moments are bound to happen during even a very well-planned wedding ceremony. A few little glitches will make the whole thing more memorable for everyone involved. So plan to avoid the awkward, but don’t be too upset if a few awkward moments sneak in anyway.

Brides: 5 Dont’s for the Wedding Day

Bride Fighting with GroomOkay, ladies, it’s go-time. You’ve spent months planning, and it’s finally time to go say those vows and party the night away. Before you put on the dress and say the “I do,” though, we’ve got a few more words of advice for you to help your wedding be the best that it can be. Specifically, we want you to avoid some common pitfalls that can really bring down the mood. Here are five things you shouldn’t do on your wedding day.

Don’t Obsess about Details

You made the plans. You hired the wedding planner or you chose a solid maid of honor. Now it’s time to let go and let your delegates take care of all the last little issues. Not only should you not have to call a late photographer or arrange for a new wedding cake, you shouldn’t even know that those problems happened until they’re solved. It may be hard to relinquish control after you’ve done all the planning, but you’ve got to try if you’re going to be in the proper headspace to enjoy the day.

Don’t Fight with Your New Groom

Yikes. We wish we didn’t have to say it, but we’ve seen it happen too many times. Somehow, all the stress of the planning finally finds a way out and leads to an argument, right there at the ceremony. Of course, your groom can avoid a fight by not checking out the bridesmaids or being late to the ceremony. But you can keep things on the level by not neglecting him during the reception. Make sure you check in and have some one-on-one time just to enjoy each other’s company, even if you have to sneak off to a broom closet.

Don’t Get Hammered at the Reception

Look, we know your reception is a party. And you’ve definitely earned it. And with an open bar, you’re definitely capable of getting as many drinks in you as you can hold. But it’s worth it to practice moderation; you don’t want one of the few memories of the night to be throwing up in the ladies’ bathroom. Nurse your drinks and keep a good buzz going, but alternate with cups of water so you don’t get several cocktails circling waiting to land.

Don’t Get Dirty on the Dance Floor

A wedding reception is that weird party where all your best club-hopping friends and your parents, in-laws, and long-lost relatives are in attendance. Keep that in mind when it’s time to drop it like it’s hot. Definitely get the dance floor moving and rock the party, but try not to do anything that will make Aunt Ethel have to dig into her purse for her heart pills. Even if it’s your new hubby you’re twerking on, save it for the hotel room later.

Don’t Forget to Hug Your Parents

As big as this day is for you, we promise it’s bigger for your parents. You’re their little girl; in some ways, when they look at you, they still see that five-year-old who skinned her knee riding her bike. As you’re sitting at the wedding party’s table in your awesome dress, they’re realizing that you’re going to go start a family of your own. So take some time to show them love and respect, and let them know you’ll always need them around.

And above all else, don’t think of the wedding as the end. The credits aren’t going to roll; now you get to have a marriage, and that’s both the challenging and the really awesome part. Here’s hoping your marriage lasts a lifetime.

Help With Writing Wedding Vows

Wedding VowsWhen you stand next to your significant other on your wedding day, the time will come to look into their eyes and speak from the heart. These days, writing your own vows is pretty much a standard part of the ceremony. If you’re unaccustomed to public speaking and not into sharing your emotions, the very idea might fill you with dread. But these tips can help you write something that will capture how you feel without being too awkward.

Start With a Memory

Whether it’s the first day you met, or the day you know you were in love, grab a favorite memory of your partner to start off with. It can be unabashedly romantic, or even a little bit funny–was it when she was holding your hair back while you threw up at the end of a party? Did he pick up Nyquil for you when you had a bad flu? Whatever small thing made you know this was the one, share it briefly.

Don’t Be Afraid of Cliché

Sure, it may seem sappy to say “I have always loved you,” or “I will love you until the day I die,” but if you can’t be sappy on your wedding day, when can you? If you’re feeling something that can only be expressed in those clichés, don’t shy away from them. As long as you mean what you’re saying, it doesn’t matter if it’s been said before.

Add Poetry or a Song Lyric

If you find yourself at a loss for words, throw in a few lines from your favorite poem or song. If it’s a piece that has specific meaning from your relationship history, so much the better.

Don’t Forget the Actual Vows

Think of some of the things you can do to make sure your marriage stays strong. Very specific vows are heartwarming and funny; things like, “I vow to keep making you bacon every Saturday morning.” You can also vow to follow some of the best advice you’ve been given prior to the ceremony, like “I vow that we will never go to bed angry,” or “I vow to tell you I love you every day.” Keep them sincere and specific and there won’t be any doubt you’re ready to get married.

End With a Call to Action

The call to action is a staple in public speaking and it’ll put a good cap on your vows. It can be as simple as, “let’s go have fun!” or “let’s spend the next 50 years as much in love as we’ve been for the last two years.” Then cap it off with a simple, “I love you” and get on to the kissing part.

Your wedding vows are intensely personal, but don’t let that be a source of stress. Feel free to write them down and bring them with you, but you’ll want to rehearse a few times so you don’t sound like you’re reading. With that in mind, as long as you’re sincere and speak from the heart, you’re sure to have the desired effect.

Five Bars for an Unforgettable Reception

Waffle BarWhen most people think of the word ‘bar’ in association with a wedding reception, it’s in terms of an open bar or cash bar. But what we’re talking about here isn’t (necessarily) booze; it’s more about loading up buffet tables with food fixings and letting the guests create their own masterpieces. Some are dessert, some are a main course, but they’re all a fun and delicious way to get more out of your wedding reception.

Waffle Bar

For a brunch wedding, you can’t go wrong with a waffle bar. Rent a few of the waffle irons and batter dispensers–the kind you’ll find at continental breakfasts in hotels–and you’re set for the main course. Then add plenty of topping possibilities: fresh fruit, jam and jelly, different flavors of syrup, whipped cream, peanut butter, even chocolate sauce. The kids will be delighted, and the adults will have fun eating like kids again.

Baked Potato Bar

I recently attended a wedding that was mid-day; it was a little too late for lunch at the reception, and a little too early for dinner. The bride and groom instead had a baked potato bar set up for the guests to stuff themselves, and nobody went away hungry. You can really go crazy with potato toppings: butter, sour cream, and chives are must-haves, of course. But then add bacon bits, cheese, chili, red bell peppers, even avocado. Since they’re gluten-free and can be vegetarian they make a great dish for kids and adults alike. Add a few side dishes, and it can stand in for your entire reception dinner!

Beer Bar

Most receptions have a bar that serves beer, but in this case we mean a wide selection of beer for sampling, rather than one or two kegs for general consumption. Odds are your city has a homebrewers’ club or two that might be up to the challenge of providing several craft beer selections for your reception guests. All you need in addition are plenty of 4 oz tasting glasses, and your guests can make their own beer flights.

Candy Bar

A great punny way to give your guests a memorable wedding favor is to stock a buffet table with dozens of different types of candy and let each guest create a custom mix. All the brightly-colored candy makes for a fun display, and the bags themselves will be a sweet reminder of your special day.

Ice Cream Bar

Nothing will take your guests back to childhood like a fully-stocked sundae bar. Whether you go for banana splits, cones, or simple scoops, make sure to have several flavors they can choose from and all the toppings you can think of: hot fudge, whipped cream, cherries, graham crackers, marshmallow fluff, sprinkles, and more. Let your guests indulge in a decadent dessert and they’re more likely to get up and dance when the music starts.

It’s all well and good to do a fancy table-service meal at your reception. But with any of these bars providing an option for fully personalized face-stuffing, your guests are sure to leave stuffed and satisfied.

Picking the Perfect Wedding Officiant

Wedding OfficiantEven more so than beautiful flowers and an amazing cake, the choice of wedding officiant can make or break your ceremony. The officiant isn’t just the person with the legal power to sign your marriage certificate; he or she is the host of your wedding ceremony, the glue that binds the whole show together. Here are a few options to consider for your wedding officiant.

Clergy Member

The old standby of having a pastor, priest, or rabbi perform the ceremony is still an easy way to make sure things go smoothly. Most clergy members are trained in performing wedding ceremonies, and will have many options for scripts to set just the tone you’re looking for. If you or your spouse has a favorite clergy member from childhood, or a church you regularly attend, you might not need to search further. Also, if you’re getting married in a particular church, the venue might require that you use their officiant.

If you do go with a clergy member with whom you don’t have a history, be prepared to pay an officiant’s fee. The fee can range from $50 to $400 depending on experience and denomination, so make sure you find out upfront how much a particular officiant charges.

Justice of the Peace/retired Judge

If religious faith isn’t a big part of your life as a couple, a Justice of the Peace or a retired judge might be the way to go. While a civil ceremony like this is usually a stripped-down, private affair in the courthouse, some justices are available for a ceremony at another locale, like a local park. Don’t expect romantic poetry readings or jokes, though; this option is strictly no-frills, just-making-it-legal. You can expect to pay between $50 and $100 for the services of a current or former civil servant.

Friend/Family Member

The most popular trend for secular weddings is to simply have a friend or family member perform the ceremony. It’s a good way to ensure that your officiant knows you and knows exactly what you want out of the day. It’s also a special honor to convey on that charismatic, outgoing friend who isn’t in the bridal party, but still should be a part of the day.

The important thing about having a friend or family member perform the ceremony is to make sure that your officiant has the legal standing to pronounce you man and wife. Most states require that an officiant be a justice of the peace or an ordained minister, but most states accept an online ordination like those offered by the Universal Life Church. The ULC’s website also contains a list of marriage laws by state, so your officiant can make sure of his or her legal status before the day.

Whether it’s a judge, a priest, or your best friend from high school, the choice of officiant can change the tone and timbre of a wedding ceremony. Make sure to explore all the options available to pick the one that’s just right for your special day.

Wedding Seasons: Pros and Cons

4 SeasonsSo you (or your significant other) has popped the question, you’ve done the ring and the tears and the gushing to your friends. This begs the most basic question: when’s the big day? Will it be a traditional June wedding, or a January winter wonderland? Will you be wearing a hat and scarf or sandals? Here are the pros and cons of having a wedding in each season of the calendar year. Note: this list assumes you live in a locale that has all four seasons. If you’re one of the fortunate few who live in a state of perpetual spring and summer, you don’t need my help on this one.

Winter

Snow on the ground, Christmas in the air, the crackle of a fire–there is definitely romance and beauty to be found in a winter wedding. Your bridal party could dress in icy blues and silvers to complement the season, and the bridesmaids can accessorize with muffs and scarves. Since the groom and groomsmen are dressed for cold weather regardless of the season, what with an undershirt, dress shirt, vest, and jacket, they’ll certainly be more comfortable. You could even arrange a romantic sleigh ride as part of the ceremony, and cocoa and cookies make for a great snack in the latter hours of the reception.

The downside of the cold weather is, of course, that it’s cold outside. Those beautiful snow-covered pictures will take some braving the elements to procure, and a runny nose might wreck the most carefully-applied makeup. There’s also the chance that a winter storm might put the kibosh on guests’ travel plans.

  • Pros: Romantic setting, fun holiday themes, less crowded venues.
  • Cons: Cold, dangerous driving.

Spring

What better metaphor for love could there be than the season in which all things grow and bloom? You’ll have no shortage of fresh flowers for a spring wedding, and the vibrant nature all around is a great inspiration for a brightly-colored bridal party. You’ll avoid sweltering in the dog days of summer and freezing in the wintertime. Provided your locale has a temperate spring, it’s a great choice for the day.

With all those growing things, however, comes pollen, and with pollen comes allergies. Expect some degree of sniffling and sneezing during the ceremony. There’s also the risk of a late-season chill that might make your spring fantasia a little wintrier than you had planned.

  • Pros: Bright colors, everything in bloom, moderate temperatures.
  • Cons: Unpredictable weather, seasonal allergies.

Summer

There’s a reason that June is the traditional month for weddings. The days are getting longer; the temperature is warm but not July-hot; it’s the ideal season to go on a tropical honeymoon. Something about the warming temperatures tends to warm the blood, too; the beginning of summer is a naturally romantic time.

This also explains why it’s hard to book a wedding venue in those prime summer months. Expect to plan your ceremony over a year in advance to get a popular venue in June; otherwise, you might be stuck with the hotter, stickier days in July and August, which are murder for overdressed groomsmen and bridesmaids alike.

  • Pros: Warm, temperate, romantic.
  • Cons: Competing for venue space, sweaty wedding photos.

Autumn

The slight chill in the air, apple cider and pumpkin spice, the crunch of falling leaves: autumn is a delight to the senses. Sure, plants are turning brown and the world is preparing for its winter nap, but the vivid oranges and reds of autumn can make for striking centerpieces and a well-dressed bridal party. Autumn is an unconventional choice for a wedding, so it might be easier to book that hard-to-get-into wedding venue for a late September or October date.

Autumn might be a trickier travel time for your guests, though, sandwiched between summer vacation and holiday travel. And autumn’s rustic aesthetic is definitely unconventional; it’s definitely not for every couple.

  • Pros: beautiful foliage, comfortable temperatures, getting away with putting acorns in boutonnieres.
  • Cons: Unconventional, may be tricky for traveling guests, rustic.

A wedding ceremony can be so many different things: a frozen fantasy, a spring fling, a sultry summer ceremony, or an autumnal affair. When planning your wedding, keep in mind the color palette you’d like to work with, how you want your bridal party to be dressed, and how you want those all-important pictures to look. If your season matches your wishes, you’ll end up with a magical day, no matter what time of year it is.

Finding Your Perfect Wedding Ceremony Location

Wedding Ceremony VenueFinally walking down the aisle with the person you love may seem like a dream come true, but as you start planning the details of your wedding you’ll quickly realize that there’s a lot more work involved than fun and games. One of the first things you’ll need to choose, and it’s one of the most important things, is the location of your wedding ceremony. Your wedding ceremony is going to be the heart and soul of your entire wedding day, so it all starts with the proper location that will set the perfect tone for how the rest of your wedding will unfold.

There are a lot of different places that couples choose to have their wedding ceremony. Some couples choose a traditional venue such as a church, while others simple head down to the Justice of the Peace to sign their paperwork with very little fuss. If you’re starting from square one in your ceremony venue search, you have a long path ahead of you; but even it you know where you want to get married because of a religious affiliation or you just have your heart set on a particular venue, there are some important details that you need to figure out before you can start planning the other details of your wedding.

Availability

The very first thing you need to find out is if the venue is available for your preferred wedding date. If it’s not available, you’ll need to find another venue for your ceremony or consider switching dates.

Size

It’s always good to know the approximate size of your guest list before shopping for wedding venues because each one will have a maximum capacity. If you choose a ceremony location that isn’t big enough, you’ll need to cancel or make tough choice on who you invite.

Officiant

Does your wedding officiant require couple’s counseling ahead of time or special classes? If so, are you willing to accommodate those requests? Are you comfortable with this person joining you in marriage? Can you bring your own officiant if you choose to do so?

Music

You’ll want to find out if the venue you have chosen provides ceremony music or if you need to make your own arrangements. Some churches require that you use their organist while other venues require you supply your own musicians.

Photography

Though it is rare, there are some venues that either don’t allow photographers or require that you choose from a pre-approved list. Make sure you’re comfortable with the wedding photographer options that a ceremony venue offers.

Ceremony Services

Does the venue that you’re renting offer any services such as pew or chair decorations and aisle runners? Do you need to clean up the venue afterwards or is that included in the fee? You’ll need to know what services are covered so you can make other arrangements if needed.

Total Cost

You will need to find out how much the ceremony venue will cost to rent, but you also need to factor in the other small expenses that come along with the booking. Does the officiant get paid? Is there a permitting fee for the venue? What about parking and clean up fees? Knowing these answers in advance can make budgeting your wedding a whole lot easier.

Timeframes

Knowing when you can start accessing your ceremony location can be very important, especially if you need to decorate it yourself. Knowing things like when the florist can get in to setup flowers and when is appropriate for your rehearsals to take place are important things to consider.

Weather

Considering every aspect of your wedding day will be important, and taking into account the weather is very important. If you’re having an outdoor ceremony, make sure you have a safe location in case there’s a storm. If you’re having a summer wedding, you’ll need air conditioning and heat if it’s in the winter.

Securing the Location

If everything goes well and you’re happy with a location for your ceremony, you’ll need to put down a deposit to secure it for your date. It’s always good to know what their cancellation policy is in case the date needs to switch for whatever reason. If their cancelation policy is somewhat lax, you can even continue looking at other venues knowing you have a good one already lined up. After you’ve locked down your ceremony location, the next step is finding the perfect wedding reception location.

Things to do Before Having Kids

Kids After Your WeddingAs soon as you get engaged, the first question that you’ll start hearing from your friends and family is “when are you going to get married?” As soon as you get married, you’ll almost immediately begin hearing the question “when are you going to have kids?” Though many couples have a very strong desire to start a family not too long after their wedding, there are some things you may want to consider before you make that leap. Some people may argue that the whole point of getting married is to eventually have children, and I think that the vast majority of people would agree. However, marriage is also about the two of you sharing your lives together, so you need to make sure you get some “you time” in before you are responsible for another human being. Here are some things you should do before you have children so you don’t feel like your love life slipped you by when you’re attending a parent/teacher conference in 10 years.

Travel

One of the hardest things to do after you have children is travel, so exploring the world a little after your wedding can really be a nice treat. Sure, you will probably take plenty of family vacations after you have some little ones running around; but that is much different than a romantic getaway for just you and your spouse. After your honeymoon, it’s a good idea to take a few trips over the next two or three years before starting your family so you can build your romantic bond that will endure for the next twenty-five years as you raise your children together.

Get to Know Children

Chances are that if you’re old enough to be getting married that you’ll have some friends that have started their families already. This can be a great opportunity to get your feet wet in the parenting department by offering to babysit their kids so they can go out for a romantic night on the town. The benefit here is two-fold; first you get the opportunity to experience spending time with children and second you are earning yourself the chance for a night out later on when you have children of your own. Babysitting a few times for your friends won’t give you all the experience of having your own children, but it will certainly give you a heads up on what to expect so you can judge for yourself when you’re ready to start your family.

Create a Network

One of the most important things you can do when you start your family is to have friends that have children as well, so the earlier you start building this network the better. There are a ton of advantage to knowing other families such as organizing play dates, swapping babysitting duties periodically, and gaining tips and advice. Knowing someone with children just slightly older than your own can be a huge benefit because they can give you advice from real life experience when your own children hit that age and experience the same things.

Start Your Career

One of the toughest things in life after you get married and have children is trying to balance your schedule and prioritize the things that need to get done. Between cooking, cleaning, and getting your kids to school or daycare on time, there can be very little time left to spend with your spouse or fitting in that precious alone time. Your best chance for success is to attempt to find a career that fits into a somewhat regular schedule with the rest of your family’s activities. Try to get a job that starts at a regular time so you can see your kids off to school or daycare, be home to see them in the evening, and spend time with your spouse for a few hours before its time to go to bed.

Though no two families are exactly the same, there are basic human needs that all of us share. The best advice that I can give you is to spend some time with each other before you need to focus almost exclusively on your children and your family life is sure to start out on the right foot. Instead of rushing to have kids right after your wedding, try to take your time and build your new life together one brick at a time.