Saturday, April 2, 2016

What is the Vision of Your Marriage?

I have been on a hiatus since 2014 from my business My Bridal Budget. I have taken a break from serving my clients to making a choice to serve me as I prepared to become a Bride. I recently tied the knot on October 2015. I wanted to share my deepest experiences as I planned my own nuptials, but I was very consumed in working on the emotional aspects of what is about to come next as being a Wife.

I’m excited to be back to share and tell the real emotional experiences of wedding planning, rather than just how to plan a wedding on a budget, or on timeline.

Planning a wedding on a budget and planning what colors to choose for your wedding theme sounds all fabulous and every woman dreams about that special day. However, a question that hardly no one asks to a Bride, is What is your Vision of Your Marriage? Deep question, right? Not a lot of family members or dearest friends would ask that. The normal question, is OMG Congratulations, Are you excited? What is your colors? When is the date? Where is your venue? However, that intuitive question hardly comes up. Perhaps, you probably haven’t asked that question yourself, due to all the excitement and planning surrounding a wedding.

Since 2014, I started to ask that question myself, What is the Vision of My Marriage?

Marriage is very important because it is a sacrament and a vow that will be the biggest transition of your life and its not to be taken so lightly nor taken for granted, similar to life choices such as what college you are going to, what career path you choose, and now Marriage- the partner that you will select to marry the rest of your life and to begin sharing your families, traditions, and growing your own family.

Marriage consist of love, friendship, passion, family, finances and more. How does this look like as you become Mr. & Mrs.? Sometimes, some engaged couples avoid these topics, which leads to plunging thoughts as “lets wish for the best” or pleasing family members to tie the knot or another mental phrase I have heard is “we can figure this out later AFTER we get married”. However, ignoring these topics prior to marriage can be detrimental to your relationship or it can lead to doubts such as if you selected the right partner and made the right choice.

It can be creating a Vision Board of your marriage. I find that to be very helpful when I was a Bride, working on a vision board of how my marriage would look like, not the bride I would look like on the day of, but how my marriage would be such as committed, focused, emotionally healthy, loving, family oriented, God-centered, and more.

It took the time for me to look within what the true meaning of marriage is. Absolutely, it felt good and I felt confident more so than ever to stand at that alter to commit to the man I love and to share my future with. My vows were aligned to my vision board and not a google script of what a bride is supposed to say, for better or worse, sickness or death, it’s really dissecting these words find out what does this ALL mean, and what does it look like in your own life.

This may take deeper long process, and here is some helpful tips:

1) Meet with a pre-marital therapist/counselor to ask you the deepest questions as to why you want to get married? (It can be your pastor as well. We met with our pastor on a quarterly basis and a therapist to challenge us as well and it gave us some helpful preparation). It’s okay to start therapy before marriage, rather than waiting for a catastrophic problem to arise. It will save your marriage before it starts!

2) Create a Vision Board with your fiancé, find out what your fiancé wants his marriage to be. This also helps to see if you are on the SAME page. Journal what are your desires and intentions about your marriage, and simply cut out images that are aligned with what you journaled and put it on a board.

3) Have a long engagement (1 year or 2 years max). What is the rush to get to the alter? Take the time to ask the questions that will define your marriage for a lifetime. As you take this time you are giving time for wedding planning and marriage preparation. All the hardwork is worth it! Remember Marriage is not a Sprint, it’s a Marathon.

4) Read books- lots of books about marriage! Educate yourself. Not wedding planning blogs/magazines. Invest in material such as Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (this books identifies how you and your partner express love).

5) Build a Support System-Meet with your married friends, your parents- Have them share their trials and tribulations, as well as the benefits of marriage.

As you read this blog, I do hope you are enlightened and you begin the path of what truly what wedding planning is all about!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Bridal Budget Hot Sweet Picks in NYC for your Wedding

This past summer, I searched for unique cake vendors that are different to the eye and sweet in the taste buds. These are a few of my favorite cake businesses that are nestled in NYC. As you plan your wedding, or event, these selections can be helpful for you.

The first cake business is Momufuku Milk Bar.
Momufuku Milk Bar is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and has several locations in Manhattan. Momufuku Milk Bar has been featured in press such as New York Weddings and Brides. Martine who is a manager meets so many clients during the wedding season. I had the opportunity to meet with her to talk about these delicious cakes and what is unique about Momufuku Milk Bar. Martine has worked in Momufuku Milk Bar for several years and is very passionate to meet clients’ needs for weddings and events, as well as to make sure these specialty cakes get shipped out for destination wedding. They are known for the “inside out” cakes. They make 1-4 tiers in any combination of cake flavors such as apple pie, banana, birthday, carrot, chocolate chip, German chocolate, Dulce de Leche and more. The taste is divine, soulful and cozy. I had their wonderful German chocolate for our engagement cake. You can taste all these flavors in their tasting package that can be picked up from one of their locations.

The second cake business is Cupcake in Heels
I love this title so girly and fun! I found this cake boutique business in Bayside, Queens. Their store front and inside the store is so Parisian. All of their cupcakes are named after couture designers! Jenny is the owner and cake stylist of Cupcake in Heels. Her warm and friendly personality shows when she design custom cakes for her clients adds in special touches. Jenny comes with a special flavor every month, such as white chocolate with cranberry cupcakes, cappuccino and more. In addition, there is a Loyalty Program, at the back of our business cards, after 12 stamps (one stamp per visit with purchase) you will get 1 FREE cupcake and a chance to enter our monthly raffle on Jenny comes with a special flavor every month, the 15th of every month!

The third cake business is Heavenly Goods NY
I met the owner of Heavenly Baked Goods at Davids Bridal shopping for my wedding dress, her name is Tanisha Hill. She has a friendly and “anything is possible” personality. Heavenly Baked Good’s mission is to combine Beauty and Creativity with the absolute amazing taste of homemade cake. They are located in Brooklyn. Her unique cupcake flavors have liquor flavor such as a margarita and Irish Bailey Cream flavors and more. Perfect for a bachelorette party!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Planning a wedding can be the most amazing and fun event to plan, why? Because you are in love, you are getting married, you are planning for your future with your soon-to-be, and having your family and friends involved during this wonderful time. On the flip side, it can be the most stressful time of your life because there is so much detail involved in a 1 day affair that only involves 6 hours of your big day, such as your budget, theme, timeline, selecting your venue/vendors, selecting your bridal party, selecting your dress, your honeymoon and the list goes on…….

Why is it hard to remain calm and loving during this transition?

I think it’s because we have expectations of our day that we’ve always dreamt and envisioned- some expectations can be realistic or unrealistic. A few examples can be that our families will be united with no drama, which our bridal party will get along to plan a fabulous bridal shower, which the weather will be perfect, and every detail will be flawless! Which this can all happen, but we need to realistic that this may not happen.

It’s great to have expectations but we tend to be attached to these expectations, and if these expectations do not turn out into reality feelings of anger, depression, blame, guilt, loss of excitement, and the true essence of marriage is lost. Expectations can lead to sense of attachment that can lead to obsession and it can be quite difficult to surrender and live in the present moment on your big day and even after your big day as well.

How do we remain calm and focused during this transition?
The solutions to this problem is how we operate in our thoughts and actions.

Here are tips-
-Plan & Surrender: Be realistic with your timeline, planning a wedding whether small or big takes 9 to 12 months. Give yourself that time to plan. Give yourself a task once a month to complete and you will feel like you completed a lot on your checklist! Then most of all Surrender, truly surrender all your plans.

-Communication: Communicate with your fiancé about your feelings, and his/her feelings as well. When we get so consumed with planning a big day we forget why are we getting married? This will bring back your romance and will give you a stronger foundation.

-Work it out! - After you tackle your to-do list- work it out! Take a bootcamp class, join a run for a good cause with your bridal party, take a yoga class, move your body! Studies have shown that daily activity reduces stress and anxiety, and it also gives you a beautiful glow!

-Retreat- During the wedding planning process, go for a retreat! Whether if it’s for yourself or for you and your fiancé. A quick getaway weekend can sooth the hearts and light up passion in your relationship.

I interviewed an MBB bride named Carline Folkes, and she shared her experience about her day. Based on her interview, we are not alone, we all go through these feelings during transitions.

What was the hardest part of planning your wedding?
The hardest part was managing the guest list- who should be invited etc. Getting the guest list below 250 was very difficult and was a point of contention. Also managing all of tasks like buying shoes, mailing invitations, keeping a head count, shopping for favors all while working full time was a bit daunting. Also, my husband was a groomzilla at times! However looking back I know he was just trying to make sure everything was to my liking.

-How did you overcome the challenges?
I utilized any help that was offered to me from my family, and I also retained the services of MBB, which was my saving grace. I also remained calm and positive and visualized everything going perfectly on my wedding day. I also gave myself 16 months to plan!!

-Were you stress during these moments? If yes, what were those feelings like?
Yes! I had migraines at least twice a week! The last 3 months of planning were nerve racking.

-How did you cope with stressful moments? (Did you turn to exercise, yoga, friends, family etc?)
I would exercise, go out with my fiancé and do non-wedding related fun stuff. Or I would daydream about my honeymoon!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Unique Idea for Bridesmaid Gifts!

Are you stumped in what gift to give to your bridal party?
If you are someone that likes to give affirmations, why not give an affirmation bracelet to your bridal party. Say how you feel about them in your life with one word!
These wire word bracelets can be customized to any word. It is handcrafted, comfy, lightweight, unique and thoughtful bracelet. It can come in silver, gold, copper, rose gold, and it had glass beads. It is made to fit your bridemaids/maid of honor’s personality.

Visit this Etsy Link:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How to Deal with Divorced Parents on your special day?

It’s the special time of your life that will be a cherished forever with your soon-to-be. All your friends, bridal party are excited, but your parents are divorced and are not sharing their happiness and excitement with you. How do you deal with the elephant in the room? How do you not let lose focus?

Here are some tips to not lose your cool:

1- Remember that it’s YOUR DAY, YOUR LIFE that will be shared with your fiancé. Your main focus is your partner; you will create a new future with your own nuclear family. Don’t lose sight of that, if you do then you are living in the past. You only get this time once!
2- Don’t let the past become your present and future. Whatever your parents unresolved issues are, remember it’s not your responsibility.
3- Have individual conversations with your parents. Speak your feelings and let them know how much it is means to you by having both parents there on your day, and to walk you down the aisle to give you away. This will be a relief because you might have everything bottled up inside and you don’t want to lose your cool on the day of the wedding. Speak now or forever hold your peace. Speaking now is the best peace you can have in your healing and heart.
4- Speak to an experienced therapist, relationship coach, or a pastor/priest/rabbi from your house of worship so they can guide you in how to deal with your emotions in this challenging topic.
5- If one parent is missing in your life, and the communication is not always consistent, always constantly to remain in your true light. Kill them with kindness and not distance. Obviously its not YOU, its them.
6- Send a wedding invitation to them regardless, hopefully they will attend, if not, don’t let it get to you. Your main focus again is your partner and all the loved ones that are giving you love.
7- Remain focused in your wedding plans and your partner. Remember you are in transition to a beautiful life, that you can you do over again and this journey is preparing you to become the loving and supportive spouse and hopefully a parent.
8- Taking a workshop in how to become a loving and supportive spouse and parent. When you come from a broken home, at times you don’t know the tools how to become loving spouse and parent, and you may need tips in how to deal with this transition. (Remember you do have love in your heart, otherwise you wouldn't be engaged)
9- Keep your expectations very low during this time because again it’s not you, its them- they haven’t reached to the point that they are at peace with themselves, so it’s very difficult for them to come around. Keeping your expectations low can reduce disappointment. Be compassionate, patient and have faith. You are an example and you can break the cycle of this toxic behavior, just by displaying that you are in love, and love is in your heart.
10- Create a happy environment; do not let them sit in the same table. Being in the same room is an accomplishment, but having them sit in the same table during your wedding can be awkward and uncomfortable, so be mindful and seat them in separate tables.
11- Remain PRESENT on your big day. Yes it’s ALL ABOUT YOU! This is the time where you can be a little selfish in a good way. This day only is about 6 hours of party time, 1 hour ceremony, and 2 hours of picture time- its goes by fast! If you aren't present in this beautiful occasion, then you will regret it and say- Why did I focus on my divorced parents, and not the man/woman I’m marrying?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

DIY Personalized Champagne Glasses! Cheers!

Want to give something special to your bridal party? Maybe giving them a personalized champagne glass with your wedding colors and their name- you can place it on each of their plate setting for your engagement dinner or rehearsal dinner, so they can feel honored and special that you have included them on your big day and it gives them encouragement that they will share a toast.

Maid of Honor & Best Man can share a toast to you on your wedding day (3 minutes each speaker), and the rest of the bridal party can speak during your rehearsal dinner so they have a chance to say a few words of wishes.

You can DIY it perhaps or order from ETSY

Above Picture from Preston Bailey

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Black & White Affair

Are you planning a black & white themed color wedding? If you are not sure of how you want to achieve your centerpiece Black & White theme color wedding-
Here is an idea, have a cluster of White Hydrangeas (which are reasonable and voluminous) and add in touches of black baby breaths. You can spray paint baby breaths in Black, or any color. These florals can enhance the look in your table, and just simply adding a black lace overlay to the table.
We had the pleasure to work with Betty's Floral Design time at Betty's Catering in Corona - Queens, NY to achieve this grandiose classy wedding!

Wedding Planner- My Bridal Budget
Photographer-SLR Photographer
Venue-Bettys Catering
Floral-Bettys Catering
Linen- Lendable Linens