How to have a happy 50 year marriage: Den and Gloria’s story

When I told my mother I was off to attend the 50th wedding anniversary celebrations for Den and Gloria her response was “…one of the rare marriages that have survived the 1960s.” That got me thinking, what makes a marriage last so long?


Den and Gloria

I asked Den and Gloria how they’ve kept their marriage happy, rather than just surviving it, for fifty years. Den told me “Both Gloria and I took our wedding vows seriously on our wedding day and every day since.” For Den and Gloria their Christian vows include the words “for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death do us part.” Gloria agrees “our marriage is more than a certificate. We entered this marriage with an agreement that divorce would not be in our vocabulary. We made a commitment to deal with life together whatever the ‘for worse’ might be. Whether fun times or challenges we agreed to work together. We were young and naive, but we genuinely wanted a good marriage and still do.

I value my marriage above all else” says Den “it adds a quality to my life ahead of money, friends and work.” Gloria agrees “In each other we have friendship, encouragement and a sense of being understood and appreciated”. “And think of all the love” interjects Den, smiling “of course that includes erotic love, but also passionate love, sympathetic love, tenderness and nurturing love.

Do you show your loved one how much she means for you? Do you celebrate your wedding anniversaries? These ideas for 50th anniversary gifts may come in handy for you!

Den is a retired engineer and Gloria is the home-maker, though since retirement Den does more chores around the house. “We’ve grown up together in our marriage. I can’t imagine life without Den in it, he knows me better than anyone else and I trust him completely. We can talk about anything.” says Gloria. Den nods “I agree. We also have the same sense of fun, laugh at the same things and enjoy each others company. I would say we’ve not got a good marriage, we’ve got a great marriage.

I ask Gloria and Den for their top tips for newly weds who want a long-lasting happy marriage like theirs. I’ve summarised their top 5 below:

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5 Tips On How A Bride Can SHINE On Her Wedding Day!

Every bride wants to look stunning on her wedding day… if you didn’t you wouldn’t spend hundreds of dollars on the gown, designer shoes and your beauty regime. You want your guests to tell you how stunning you look and how much fun they are having at your wedding. However your guests take their cue from the hosts… which is ultimately the bride + groom and their families. If you’re running around not enjoying yourselves then your guests won’t either. I guarantee you that all eyes will be on you and your families the entire time, so it’s important to have a good time while you’re there.
Here are a few of my tips to ensure that you can be the stunning beautiful bride but also ensure your guests know your wedding is amazing!
Steph’s Bridal Advice:

#1. Accept Compliments- When someone says that you look beautiful… it’s simple… say thank you! When they tell you that they are having a wonderful time, don’t start complaining that the venue didn’t serve the right food. Unless you point it out… your guests have no clue what was supposed to be right or wrong.
#2. Smile, Laugh, Dance + Have A Good Time- Your wedding will be over before you know it. At the end of the night you won’t believe how fast it goes by. So make sure that you enjoy every single moment. Smile, laugh, eat the yummy food, smell the roses, hug your guests, dance like mad, kiss your new husband and just soak it all up!

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8 Unique Venue Ideas for Your Wedding Day

Winery – Ideal for small, intimate weddings a winery can be an excellent location for an outdoor ceremony or even an indoor reception overlooking the vineyard. If you love wine, this is a gorgeous place to have your special day.callawayvineyardwinerythm1

Museum – Why not add a little culture to your wedding by having it in a museum? With lots of space and beautiful exhibits, a museum makes an excellent place to say ‘I do’.

School House – An intimate wedding in an old school house can add historic charm to your wedding whether it is indoor or outdoor.

Art Gallery – An art gallery is a unique venue for artsy couples that want something different. There are many different sized art galleries, and many offer wedding packages as well.02-the-bride-and-groom-at-an-old-school-house-in-mississauga-300x247

Bed & Breakfast – With the option of having a small, indoor wedding or an outdoor garden wedding an bed & breakfast is an ideal location for smaller weddings. If you want the homey charm of having a wedding at home without all the work, this may be for you.

Mill – A wedding at an old mill can add a natural, elegant feel to your wedding. And plenty of photographic locations for wedding pictures.

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5 Tips to Deal with Post Bridal Show Overwhelm

It’s the end of January and Bridal Show season is starting to wrap up. You’ve got dozens to hundreds of brochures and wedding business marketing materials. You have found a few vendorsfile-folders_300-252x300 you’ve met that you like; you got ideas from some of the booths and lots of e-mails in your inbox from vendors. But now what? How do you know what’s the next step with your wedding? Many brides and grooms I’ve spoken with are now even more confused and overwhelmed after the show then they thought they’d be. So what’s the next step?

  1. Purge – Go through all the brochures, flyers, information, etc and get rid of the one’s you don’t need. You can dispose of any promotions that are over, anything that’s beyond your price range, anything you just don’t like, or anything that is not in near or in your designated area.
  2. Organize – Get some file folders, or binder, or accordion folder, etc. Label each section with categories (Photography, Catering, Venues, etc) and separate the vendor information into these sections.
  3. Research – Look up online the vendors that you have received information on in each category. If you decide you’re no longer interested in a vendor, dispose of their pamphlets and information materials. If you are still interested, contact them and request a quote.
  4. Organize Quotes & Other Information – Put all information regarding quotes into your organization folder, binder, etc to help keep it organized. Any vendor that you find is out of your budget, dispose of their information. Set up meetings with the vendors that are left to see their work and get further information.
  5. Get Help – Getting help from a Wedding Planner, such as myself, can be a big timesaver. We have connections in the industry and can help decide which vendor will be the best fit for you and even attend vendor meetings.

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Take the Stress out of Picking the Dress

Picking out your dream wedding dress is a fun and exciting experience. But there are many options and many different price points that often make buying your wedding gown overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider when looking to buy your dream wedding

  1. Budget – Set a budget for your dress and stick to it. Going over your dress budget can quickly push you over your total budget amount, or take away finances from other important aspects of your wedding. Generally the rule of thumb is that attire should be limited to about 5-12% of your total wedding budget. Keep in mind this percentage includes the gown, a veil, shoes, accessories, undergarments and hosiery, jewellery, as well as a tux for your groom and his shoes, cuff links, tie, etc.
  2. Research – Research gowns and gain some overall knowledge of gowns before even going out to a bridal shop. Look online, read bridal magazines, and look at a few catalogues.
  3. Decide a Few Dress Preferences – What type of silhouette do you want? Ball gown, A-line, Sheath, or Empire Waist? What colour do you want? Do you want pure white or an off-white shade or something even more non-traditional? Think about length. Do you want a long dress or do you want something shorter and less traditional? Do you want something really formal or less formal?
  4. Bring a Few People with You to the Bridal Shop – Bring your mother, friends, sisters, or anyone’s who will give you an honest opinion on the dress and tell you if they think it looks good on your or not. Be careful not to bring too many people. Having a lot of people can end up being more stressful than helpful.
  5. Don’t Buy Right Away (unless you have to) – Try not to purchase your dress on your first visit to the bridal shop, at least sleep on it before you buy. You don’t want to be stuck with a dress you aren’t fully sure of.
  6. Enjoy the Experience – Buying your wedding gown should be a fun experience, don’t stress, enjoy the time with the girls.

The Maid of Honour – How to Choose Her & What Her Duties Are

Your Maid of Honour should be that special friend or family member who maid+of+honouryou feel you are closest with. The Maid of Honour should be responsible, organized, and someone you can count on to talk you through any stress you may come across. The Maid of Honour has many duties. Although, these duties vary from wedding to wedding, here are a few tasks she may be required to do:

  • Help you pick your wedding dress
  • Help with invitations, seating cards, and wedding favours
  • Help plan the Stag & Doe
  • Plan your wedding shower and bachelorette party
  • Deliver a toast at the wedding
  • Help you make sure that you are looking your best at the wedding for photographs
    Carry the grooms ring for the ceremony
  • Sign the marriage certificate

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Do’s & Dont’s of Selecting Your Venue


  • Set a budget and stick to it.72405_450763383743_151679248743_5329780_7677521_n-300x200
  • Know how many guests you plan on attending each the ceremony and reception.
  • Decide if you want to have the ceremony and reception at the same location.
  • Keep a couple of dates in mind in case a venue you really like is already booked.
  • Create a list of the things you need your venue to have (ie. Wheelchair accessibility, catering, on-site ceremony area, on-site accommodations, adequate parking).
  • Decide whether or not you need accommodation and/or transportation for your guests.
  • Think about whether or not the decor of the venue matches the decor you have in mind for the wedding. If it doesn’t, it may cost more to cover it up with decorations and flowers.
  • Read your contract carefully! Watch for hidden costs.
    catholic church wedding

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