Living Together Before Marriage

I come from a religious family, where moving in together before marriage was never an option in my eyes. That is what we believed marriage should be like, and that is what the statistics proved to end in a great marriage together, despite popular belief.

Jay Dixon Photography

Jay Dixon Photography

The only thing holding us back as we approached a couple months before our wedding day were finances. We both had great jobs, were financially independent from our parents and were fine covering each of our rent payments. But if you live in Los Angeles, you know that rent just isn't cheap. I was living in a 400 square foot studio, and paying $1250 per month which was fine, but how amazing would it be to save $1250 EVERY SINGLE MONTH? That would be going straight into our savings account! Sounds pretty amazing, huh?

But it all boils down to what is more important to you - marriage or finances. 

Of course, there are plenty of couples who move in together before they get married, have a wonderful, prosperous 50+ year marriage and just defy those statistics. But statistics don't lie.

We all believe that "we won't be part of those statistics" because we love each other and cannot see our lives without each other. Well guess what? 99% of the population is deeply in love on their wedding day - it's pure bliss that seems like it will last a lifetime. But statistics don't lie, and many of us end up in divorce.


Why SHOULD we move in together before marriage?

- finances...adding to that savings account, paying off the wedding

- to find out if we can really live together? A trial run?

Those are the two best reasons we were able to think of, and then we began researching...


Why SHOULDN'T we move in together before marriage?

Divorce. That's the best reason I can think of. Divorce terrifies me and although I never foresee it in my future, I do my best to make sure we stick to everything that will help prevent divorce - managing our finances, apologizing, waiting a couple of years to have kids, being intimate, and so on.

When researching divorce statistics in regards to moving in together before the wedding, I found all kinds of results...

- a 50% higher divorce rate in couples who moved in together before marriage

- a 27% higher divorce rate in couples who were under 23 AND moved in together before marriage (we were young, so this applied)

- a 2% higher divorce rate and so on...

...and no matter what the statistics showed, there was ALWAYS a stronger correlation between moving in together and divorce. You may think, "Well it's only a 2% increase and that's not much" but isn't 0% better than 2% if you could just wait it out a couple of months?

Bleudog Fotography

Bleudog Fotography

Of course we can always defy odds, and plenty of us do. But before you put yourself in that category, remember that you have 15, 20, 60+ more years in order to be part of these statistics. Because marriage is not 5 years, it is a lifetime.

So before you jump on the bandwagon and move in together before you are married, think long and hard about what is right for you as a couple. Does saving $1250 every month for 3 months or a year have more value than a 2% increase in divorce? Why is it that you want to move in together?

I would love to hear your thoughts below on whether or not you moved in together (or will be moving in together) before the wedding and how you can to that decision?

Plyo-Magic! Adding Some Upper Body to Your Plyo Routine (Part 2)

Written with love, by Nikki Lian

Although we refer to plyometrics as "jump-training," we can still get in a decent core and upper body workout using a Plyometric routine. Here are a few more examples of Plyometric exercises you can add to last week's routine to get a more thorough workout:


Chop Squats

Of course when we see the word "squat" we think of our legs. But this type of squat done correctly can really work on upper body and our midsection as well.

Start off with your feet together and your arms straight up in the air holding a weight (start off light and work your way up to a heavier weight. I usually start with a 5 pound weight). Keeping your back straight and your belly button in, slightly jump in the air spreading your feet apart and coming down into a deep squat while taking the weight and chopping it down as if it were an axe.  At this point you should be in a wide stance and low to the floor. Immediately jump back up into your starting position what your feet together and your weight up in the air.  Try doing this in repetitions of 10. Your legs and arms will be on fire!

chop squat workout routine for brides


Trunk Twists

Trunk twists are a great abdominal exercise to work your obliques.  It's also a fun exercise to do with your workout partner.

Standing back to back, twist your torso to the right and hand off the medicine ball to your partner. Then turn to your left, taking the medicine ball back from your partner. Do 20 repetitions clockwise and 20 repetitions counterclockwise.  Remember to pop your chest out slightly to keep your back straight and your belly button in. If you don't have a partner to work with you can simply step 2 inches away from a wall (or if you're at the park use a tree) and twist back-and-forth tapping the ball to the wall. You'll be working your same muscles with the same weight in hand, only by yourself.

trunk twists workout routine for brides


Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are like Burpees.  They are something we remember from gym class and aren't always thrilled to do.  However, mountain climbers are great at working your upper body as well as your abdominals, your quads and your calves. 

Starting out in a plank position, bring your knee towards your chest using a twisting motion, then bring your foot back down it's a starting position. Alternate legs at a fast pace. Start by doing 10 repetitions each leg and work your way up.   I always consider this an upper body workout as well considering you are holding your body weight with your arms and your core as well as your legs.

mountain climbers workout routine for brides

So there you have it. Now you know enough exercises to make an easy plyometric routine that can be done as often as you want. Not only do plyometrics burn calories, but remember they also are stretching your muscles, therefore toning them as well while you're performing these exercises.  This type of exercise routine I like to either do repetitions 10 to 15 each set, or I like to do three rounds of one minute per exercise.  Either way, you should always do these in a circuit--one set of each exercise and repeat. 

Today on The Bridal Boutique // Mint to Be Wedding Favors by Mint Favors and More

If you're still on the prowl for the perfect wedding favors, you can stop right here! These "Mint to Be" wedding favors from Mint Favors and More are not only perfect for wedding guests who need a little (breath) refresher throughout the evening, but come in some many adorable prints and colors. Mix and match or order them all uniform, and they'll be sure to add the perfect pop of color to your table shots! And better yet? They definitely aren't a gift that is going to be left at the end of the night. What more could you ask for?

mint to be wedding favors
mint to be wedding favors
mint to be wedding favors
mint to be wedding favors

All photos courtesy of Bleudog Fotography

mint to be wedding favors

The First to Say "I Do"

Written with love, by Felicia Zammit-McMann

In just less than 11 months, my best friend is getting married. I think I’m excited enough for the both of us. We’ve been best friends since we were in 6th grade. We’ve been there for each other through every major milestone, disappointment, failure, and celebration. My best friend is like a sister to me – of course I’m excited! But it runs deeper than just the excitement that comes with a wedding.

You see, I was the first of my core group of friends to get married. I was, and still am, kind of surprised to be the first. Growing up with friends, you always remember who was the first one to be asked out, who was the first one to get a car, who was the first one to get accepted into college, get a job, etc., etc. I, for sure, thought my friend would be the first to get married. She and her now fiancé had been together a long time, it was bound to happen any day. In fact, when my husband proposed to me, I was under the assumption that she was getting engaged because her boyfriend asked me to help find out what kind of style ring she liked just a few weeks earlier. What I didn’t know was that it was a plot and she was helping my future husband determine what kind of ring I liked. That’s another reason why my engagement came as such a surprise to me.

Rachel Soloman Photography

Rachel Soloman Photography

Being the first of my group to get married created a really interesting paradigm. Marriage was a whole new territory – another one of life’s milestones we were sharing together - so we were treading carefully. Because I was the first, I didn’t want to talk about my planning too much because I didn’t want to be “that girl” who ends up talking about her wedding constantly, making everyone roll their eyes. My friends were excited for me, and I certainly was excited, but I think we were all kind of hesitant to discuss anything because none of us had ever gone through this before. I kind of downplayed it because I didn’t want to seem like I was rubbing it in anyone’s face. We didn’t know the etiquette of anything: Who throws a shower? How to you ask your bridal party to be in your wedding? (And who should be in your bridal party?) What do you do for a bachelorette party? Who pays for hair and makeup?

Now, the tables have turned. Almost three years after my wedding, it’s her turn (yay!). Now, we’re old pros. We’ve done this before. We've got this!! What makes it even more interesting is I’ve always looked to my friend for advice – and still – about many things; but now, I can share some of my expertise with her. The best feeling is knowing that I can be a sounding board for her. If she has questions, or needs advice, I can help! I’ll admit, I’ve had to stop myself many times from becoming a “friend-zilla” – you know, the girl that thinks she has all the answers and wants to share every bit of what she learned and her experiences with the new bride-to-be. I’m just so darn excited I can’t help myself. Plus, it reminds me of the joy I had planning my wedding and puts me back into that mental state of euphoria. She gets it…she knows. She knows how to tame me...and she loves me anyway.

Sure, I’ve been to friends’ weddings before, but none of them were my best friend’s wedding. What I feel incredible blessed about is that, as the “pioneer,” I can help prepare her for the amazing journey she is going on and help prepare her for how incredible her life is going to be as a wife. How life-changing this moment is going to be! We can bond over this even though we now live hundreds of miles away from each other. Because we both had to plan almost two years before our wedding, she doesn’t really feel like it’s real yet. I didn’t either until I pulled up into the church parking lot in the limo, saw the cars and thought, “Wow, people actually showed up.” That quickly tuned into “Oh my God, people are actually here! This is really happening!” I had five minutes of nervousness, then once I got to the top of the aisle and saw my husband, the nerves quickly went away.