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Jessie Mooney

Maldives-Holiday

The Golden Rules of Not Losing Your Engagement Ring

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Snuggle Up

An engagement ring that truly fits won’t fall off: “You should struggle a bit to remove it, especially over the knuckle,” says De Beers’s Balzano-Hull. Get fitted in the afternoon, when your finger is at its thinnest.

Remove It Wisely

“Certain activities can cause rings to fall off,” Legg says. Avoid wearing it around anything slippery— sweat, water, soap, and beauty products (especially lotion).

Know Its Place

Keep a special dish in your bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom— the rooms where you’re most likely to remove your ring, Legg says. “If you consistently put it in the same few places, there’s never a question of where it is.”

See more: How to Get Engagement Ring Insurance: 9 Things You Need to Know

When you’re away from home, she recommends sliding it onto a locking cable keyring that’s attached to your key chain. After all, you can’t get very far without your keys.

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Nearly 1 in 5 Americans Haven't Told Their Live-In Partner or Spouse How Much Money They Make

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Talking about money makes most people kinda cringey. (Or, if it doesn’t and you make a lot of money, you might be kind of a butthead.) But one would think: If you’re willing to share a home and presumedly get naked with someone, you’re close enough to tell that person how much you make at work, right? Well, for 19 percent of Americans (nearly 1 in 5 people), that’s not the case. According to a survey from Bankrate.com, folks are still uncomfortable openly discussing their financial situations — and for many, that’s true in the case of their work colleagues and even their live-in partners/spouses.

We found it interesting to note that despite campaigns to increase financial transparency in the workplace, Bankrate still reports that fewer than 1 in 4 (24 percent) of their respondents said they’ve shared their salary with a co-worker.

As Dow Scott, a human resources professor at Loyola University Chicago, told the brand, “What you’re being paid, I mean, it really reveals a lot about you. […] It exposes people.”

Understandably then, many of us are more likely to be vulnerable around our loved ones. Survey says 54 percent have opened up about their salary with an immediate relative, and we can’t dismiss the majority of people who have divulged their pay to their live-in partner or spouse.

Two other important, though not necessarily surprising, findings include the revelations that 1) men are slightly more chatty than women when it comes to revealing how much they’re bringing home (at 29 percent telling their salary to a co-worker compared with 20 percent of women saying they’ve done the same) and 2) the younger you are, the more likely you are to talk about pay (58 percent of millennials have talked with a friend about take-home paycheck, versus 47 percent of Gen Xers and 33 percent of baby boomers).

Scott explains the former by telling Bankrate that, “Men assess communications about pay more positively than women. Men also have more positive perceptions of pay fairness and pay satisfaction.”

And if you’re a member of the Millennial generation constantly accused of oversharing — on social media and IRL — the latter probably didn’t startle you.

Ricardo Perez-Truglia, an assistant professor of economics at University of California Los Angeles, put it like this for Bankrate: “They’re posting pictures of what type of car they drive, where they go on vacation […] Given that you’re already revealing all of that, I think that revealing what your salary is may not seem like a big deal. Whereas maybe for older generations where people were private about everything, being private about salary was even more important.”

But what does all this mean when it comes to how we should be talking about money, both in a professional setting with our coworkers and in a private setting with the person we’ve chosen as a business partner in life?

At work, Perez-Truglia recommended discussing salaries, but first confirming that the person with whom you’re wanting to talk money also wants to talk money and is willing to reciprocate.

But remember that you’ll need more than just information on what your professional peer makes to make a case to your boss when asking for your own raise. Resources like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and setting up a meeting with your company’s HR, will give you a fuller picture of what you can feel justified in asking for given the market and your experience.

At home, you should be as absolutely-100-percent-no-excuses-thank-you-so-much transparent as possible with your live-in partner or spouse when it comes to money. And, GREAT NEWS! We here at Brides.com have an entire section of our website dedicated to helping you do it together.

See more: What To Do If Your Partner Is Bad With Money

Whether you need to know what fiscal issues you’re most likely to fight about, an explainer of complicated money terms, or want to figure out how to finally stop living paycheck to paycheck, we’ve got you. Now you can stop cringing, and start chatting!

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Wedding

7 Crazy U.S. Marriage Laws You Won't Believe Are Real

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Wanna hear a crazy marriage law in America? You are legally allowed to marry your cousin in 20 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, according to usmarriagelaws.com, six more states apparently allow it under “certain circumstances.” TBD if those are, like, “true love” or that “he’s a really good kisser.” (Note: In the state of Arizona, for example, it’s actually that both are sixty-five years old or older, or can prove to a judge they’re unable to reproduce.)

Very intrigued (and a little disturbed) by this information, we decided to do some digging to uncover other whacko U.S marriage laws currently in existence.

See below for your viewing/cringing pleasure!

1. Marriage is No Joke

Remember that Friends episode where a very drunk Rachel and Ross decide it would be hilarious to get married in a Las Vegas wedding chapel? Good news is that you’re welcome to pull that stunt in Delaware, and you can legally annul your marriage no problem if “one or both parties entered the marriage as a jest or dare.”

2. A Mother-in Law Between You

We all know the tired assumption that you and your mother-in-law may never end up bffs, but if multiple reports on the internet are to be believed, in Wichita, Kansas, mistreating your mother-in-law is grounds for divorce.

3. RSVP “No” To Your Own Wedding

Don’t feel like showing up to your ceremony? If you live in California, Colorado, Texas, or Montana, you don’t have to in order to be legally wed. These states allow for “marriage by proxy,” so either the groom or the bride can have someone attend the ceremony in his or her place.

4. Fourth Time Isn’t the Charm

If you couldn’t make it work the first three go-arounds, Kentucky is assuming the fourth time isn’t going to play out in your favor either, so the state has made it illegal to marry the same man four times. (Seriously, girl, t’s time to delete his number.)

5. Drunk in Love

“We be all night”-ing may be great for you guys as a couple on a personal level, but not so great if you’re looking to get a marriage license in the state of Mississippi or Tennessee. “In no event shall a license be issued by the Circuit Clerk when it appears to the Circuit Clerk that either of the applicants is drunk,” says usmarriagelaws.com

6. No Ulterior Motives Allowed

Have you ever been hoodwinked by a sleazy dude who promised to love you forever just so he could literally get up under your hood (if you know what we’re saying…)? Well, those womanizers are criminals in South Carolina. Under South Carolina’s Offenses Against Morality and Decency Act, proposing to a woman in order to seduce her is considered a misdemeanor for any man over the age of 16.

See more: These Two States Just (Thankfully!) Changed Their Child Marriage Laws

7. Pajamas Required

And for our very last crazy marriage law, we’re talking about the super fun topic of nudity. In the infamous town of Salem, Massachusetts, “married couples are forbidden from sleeping in the nude in rented rooms.”

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Wedding

This New Company Is A Lifesaver for Couples ISO Decorating Ideas

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Moving in together is a big step, and what trips many couples up is coming up with decorating ideas that 1) take full advantage of your space (lookin’ at you, NYC shoebox studio apartments) and 2) don’t feel particularly biased towards one party. (That means no hockey posters and no outrageously expensive throw pillows in my case.)

Enter, Modsy — the interior home design service that takes user-submitted photos and creates an uncanny 3-D rendering of your actual space, and then helps you figure out what to put in it based on personal style and price point. With its high-quality graphics, 360-degree viewing feature, and the ability to click, drag, and swap out pieces, it feels like a video game. And if you’re interested in turning the virtual into reality, you can click through to purchase anything you see from Modsy’s catalogue featuring brands like Crate & Barrel, AllModern, Anthropologie, CB2, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, and Wayfair.

Courtesy of Modsy

Ok, I realize I threw a lot at you really fast, so let’s walk through how it works step-by-step.

First, head to Modsy.com and take the style quiz.

More games! From a collage of room photos, you’ll select the three that most speak to your soul. Then, you’ll be shown a breakdown of items that could be in those types of rooms, and for each one you’re instructed to “heart,” “x,” or leave unmarked. After my first round with the style quiz, my results were “Comfortably Chic” with the disclaimer:

“You want your house to feel like a comfortable and inviting home, but can’t ignore that little voice inside screaming, ‘More gold, more silver, more pattern, more drama!’ Your style draws on these bold aspects to elevate your space. Comfortably Chic combines Transitional and Hollywood Glam with a touch of Rustic.”

I felt SO seen — admittedly a little #basic, but clean, modern, minimalist and a tad fab. But then I remembered all the Brides.com articles I’ve read about the importance of compromise, so it was time to play again with my fiancé. (BTW, you can take the addictive quiz multiple times, and if you still don’t feel like Modsy is picking up what you’re clicking down, there’s a form you can fill out to describe your aesthetic in as much detail as you want.) We landed on “Mod Visionary,” which told us:

“You dig a retro look almost as much as you crave a clean space. Sleek forms and modern styling are your weakness. You thrive in monochromatic spaces and can easily imagine yourself seated on an iconic piece such as an Eames lounge or Barcelona chair.”

Now it’s time to measure and send pics of the room you’d like for Modsy to design. Great news! Crappy, slightly blurry iPhone shots are totally fine. Here’s an example of one I submitted of our dining space/living room:

Courtesy of my iPhone 6

Modsy asks for eight photos from different vantage points so their 3-D model can be as accurate as possible and provides explainers on exactly how to take the pictures — i.e. make sure the ceiling and floor both make it in. (I did not read the instructions at first and had to retake. Oops.)

Next up, finalizing “Your Vision” by specifying budget, brand preferences, your plans for how the space will be used, and whether or not you’d like them to incorporate any existing furniture. We chose the lowest budget tier (under $2500)—because um, we’re planning a wedding, ha—shouted out CB2 and AllModern, and asked the Modsy team to accommodate both a Burrow couch and an Ikea dresser.

Here’s the not-so-fun part where we talk about money. With the Modsy Essential package, you’re looking at $59 per room for two design plans that will arrive within three weeks of your request and unlimited revisions. Modsy Plus ($79/room) gets your designs back in under two weeks and grants access to the Insider Rewards membership that allows you to save money if you spend a certain amount (starting at a savings of $50 on a spend of $500), and Modsy Premium ($149/room) returns designs to you in six days or less and pairs you up with a Modsy Designer for private 1:1 sessions.

Here’s the fun part where Matt (my fiancé) and I received our designs!

Design 2 (While we preferred Design 1, I took a extreme liking to those chairs and asked our designer to find similar (read: cheaper) ones for our updated design.)

Courtesy of Modsy

There were a few minutes of silence as we “toured” them both in 3-D, until Matt broke it with, “Wow. I actually really like these,” and I cheered because I was obviously obsessed. (Look at those mudcloth pillows!) During our half hour one-on-one sesh (there are no limits in terms of length or frequency of sessions, Modsy says!), we had our Modsy Designer, the extremely talented and lovely Karina Lameraner, switch up the layout a little bit, and substitute in some less-expensive objects that still fit in with our design aesthetic. (Matt to Jessie: “You are the love of my life and I would do anything for you, but we are not buying $450 chairs.”)

Aaaand, drumroll, please — here’s our updated (slightly more affordable!) design:

Overall, I was extremely impressed with the service. I can’t overhype how cool it was to see such a realistic rendering of our living room transformed into a place we’d actually be proud to hang out in and host others. Not only did Modsy help us to optimally utilize a very small amount of space, but it curated tons of decorating ideas that legitimately pleased both of our aesthetics. I also found the website very interactive and pretty intuitive; it was lots of fun to spend time on there “playing” with our designs. And the Modsy team couldn’t have been friendlier or more responsive. Our updated design was in our account within 48 hours.

See more: 10 Pieces of Wall Art You Can Buy On Etsy

But my favorite part was how much of a role Matt and I played in the process. In identifying our practical needs for the room and our stylistic preferences, we were able to work with our designer to create a living space that was perfectly tailored to us — equal parts functional and an artistic representative of who we are as a couple. (It sounds corny, but that’s something really special.)

“All of our clients come in with a vision, and it’s so cool to see that vision then evolve,” Lameraner told me at one point. “Our whole goal is about empowering our customers to really believe in their style choices. We’re here to give guidance, but you’re in the driver’s seat. Be confident.”

So go forth, y’all! If you need me, I’ll be ordering some pillows

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Wedding

Can Bridal Stress Affect Your Period?

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As soon as you get engaged, a whole mess of dates start swirling in your head—bachelorette, shower, wedding—always with the desperate prayer: Please do not let me get my period that day. But can bridal stress affect your period beyond that? The good news is you can, to a certain extent, tamper with Mother Nature. “I’ve altered many brides’ cycles in my life,” says Mary Jane Minkin, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University, with a laugh. “We can certainly manipulate things.” Of course, in order to control your menstruation situation, you need to know it first. (No shame in being a grown-ass woman who still gets a surprise attack of shark week!) Try an app like Period Tracker Lite or Life Period Tracker Calendar, which will notify you when you’re ovulating or when you shouldn’t leave home without tossing a few tampons in your purse.

Even if you’ve been Regina Regular ever since that fateful are-you-there-God-it’s-me moment in middle school, don’t be surprised if your cycle suddenly feels a bit unpredictable—and blame it on being a bride. Lots of exercise from trying to fit into that dress, weight fluctuations, and especially straight-up stress can affect your flow and regularity. “My standard line when it comes to [brides] is, ‘Can I give you your prescription for Xanax now?’” Minkin says. “Seriously, a little anti-anxiety medication can help if that’s what’s messing with your period.”

One way to not worry about your period and its inopportune arrival is to not get it at all. For that, says Sherry Ross, M.D., author of She-ology, there’s the Pill (including extended options like Seasonale), Depo Provera shots, hormonal IUDs (as opposed to the copper versions), and Nexplanon implants. “Just give yourself enough time for the expected side effects,” she says. “All of these methods may cause irregular bleeding or spotting during the first three months.” After that, your period could potentially go away completely. “A development that is expected and welcome for many women, especially if your periods are traumatic,” Ross says. If you’re on the Pill, you can delay your period by skipping those end-of-month placebos and simply starting a new round early. (Always, always talk to your gyno or NP before tinkering with any part of your regimen.) Minkin recommends enacting this shift two to three months before your wedding so you don’t agonize about the possibility of breakthrough bleeding any time around the actual day.

Granted, not every schedule can be so freely negotiated—like the Depo shot that must be administered by a medical professional every 12 to 13 weeks to be effective. One bride, who wishes to remain anonymous, recalls getting her shot in the bathroom right before she walked down the aisle. During the tizzed-out week before her wedding, she’d missed her appointment, but luckily(?), her soon-to-be mother-in-law happened to be a registered nurse. “I’ll be forever embarrassed that she had to give me a shot in the butt under my wedding dress,” she says.

A longer-term period-busting option is a hormonal IUD. Future bride Mara, 27, says that since getting hers implanted almost two years ago, her periods have disappeared entirely: “I worry about so many things for my wedding, but getting my period in my white dress, or on my honeymoon when I’m always in a bathing suit, won’t be one of them.” And—after an excruciating 30 seconds during the five-minute insertion—she says, “I don’t remember it’s even up there.” She chose it because it’s set-it-and-forget-it for five years, at which point a medical pro will need to remove it. (Similarly, implants like Nexplanon are small, flexible rods inserted under the skin that last for three years and may also lighten or eliminate periods.) “I’m not ready to be pregnant,” Mara says of her Mirena IUD, “so it’s the perfect solution.”

If you are thinking you might want to go from no periods to #preggo at the drop of a hat (specifically, the sun hat you wear during your honeymoon), be aware you might need to give your body a minute (a.k.a. a few months) to adjust. Minkin says most women get back to regular fairly quickly after going off the Pill or an IUD: “Sometimes ladies get funky cycles for up to three months,” she says. “But it’s usually no more than that.” The notable exception is Depo Provera shots. Those hormones, Minkin says, “can hang out” in your system for up to eight months.

See more: Period Myths That Need to Be Busted—and Some Facts You Should Know

Remember, too, that when you don’t get your period, you don’t get PMS—so that’s always nice. But if you are still getting both, you can take a few steps to keep them from cramping your good vibes. Ross says that if you know you’re going to be exhausted, irritable, and crave all kinds of crappy snacks, be proactive with your diet (avoid processed foods) and exercise (endorphins combat period pain), and—this is key—maybe let your future spouse know to tread lightly. The final trick is distracting yourself, Minkin says. “Focus on something else—like the good time you’re going to have on your wedding day,” she says. “Dark chocolate might also help.” Just don’t stain your dress.

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Wedding

A New Wedding Tourism Start-up in India Is Selling Invitations to Indian Weddings

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If you know anything about Indian weddings, you’ll know that the grand multi-day celebrations—with their opulent decor, meaningful traditions, and lively receptions—are seriously FOMO-inducing. And it seems this is not lost on the country’s soon-to-be newlyweds, who have figured out a way to capitalize on this FOMO (and maybe offset a little of their next-level nuptials’s cost). A recent story from CNBC reports that some couples in India are selling admission to their weddings to eager tourists willing to pay to play.

Two Australian travel bloggers, Carly Stevens and Tim Gower, apparently paid about $200 for two-day tickets to attend the wedding of Surabhi Chauhan, a Delhi-based fund manager who married last November.

How the heck does this even work? A start-up called Join My Wedding (pretty on the nose, right?) allows Indian couples to add their ceremony details to the JMW website, and then interested parties who are visiting the area can purchase admission. The company takes a cut, but most of the money goes in the couple’s pockets.

Admittedly, the concept is a little odd, but, “if you think about it, there’s nothing more cultural than a wedding because you have every cultural element present: the local people, local food, customs, the outfits, the music…,” says Orsi Parkanyi, one of Join My Wedding’s cofounders. “Experiencing all the cultural elements at once, meaningfully connecting with the locals in India—that’s a huge motivating factor for the travelers,” she said. (If you’re still feeling on the fence about the whole thing, check out JoinMyWedding.com’s FAQ page for answers to your questions.)

Parkanyi actually got the idea for her business from her own FOMO experience when she had to miss a few of her friends’ weddings. She zeroed in on Indian weddings because of their “world-famous” appeal and the fact that invitations are hard to come by for non-Indians who don’t have any close South Asian connections.

So, are people into this idea of wedding tourism? As of the CNBC article’s publication, Parkanyi reported that tourists have attended more than 100 weddings through Join My Wedding, and the number is anticipated to continue rising as travel agencies and tour operators include this “attraction” as part of their custom tour packages.

The last question to ask: why are Indian couples more than okay with complete strangers crashing their weddings for nothing more than a couple hundred bucks? Ashish Boobna, a director of weddings and events at wedding planning company Ferns N Petals who works with many affluent South Asians, told CNBC the idea of inviting international travelers ups the ceremony’s extravagance and “show biz” factor.

Sahajanand Sharma, a tour guide for India, added to CNBC that, “Things in Western weddings are pretty—the Church rituals you do…you probably do an after party. But everything is very structured, whereas here, there’s always … someone would start dancing, there’s endless colors, there’s endless food, there are endless rituals.”

See more: How to Plan Your Wedding Day and Reception Timeline

Breathtakingly beautiful ambiance in a foreign country? Non-stop partying in a safe space? Limitless free food? If you’re looking to fall in love with a new place and culture, a wedding—where love abounds!—seems like a very good starting point. But let’s be clear: we are not handing you a free pass to show up at anyone’s wedding just because you want an authentic local experience. Weddings are as up close and personal as they come, so you have no right to repurpose one for your own tourism agenda without the couple’s consent. Even if it was was paid for, make sure you have a sincere invitation before inserting yourself into one of the most important days in someone else’s life.

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Wedding

8 Prenatal Workouts For Pregnant Women

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Exercise is hard work, and so is growing a human being inside your body. The good news is that if you can commit to the former with prenatal workouts, it should help you with the latter.

“Not only is it absolutely safe to exercise during pregnancy, physical activity has been shown to benefit most women,” says Dr. Jaclyn Bonder, Medical Director of Women’s Health Rehabilitation at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine. “Just be sure to have your prenatal exercise routine medically cleared by your obstetrician.”

You know the general talking points on the benefits (maintaining a healthy weight, increasing endurance, experiencing endorphins, yada, yada), but maybe you weren’t aware of the diaper-load of research suggesting it’s particularly good for expectant mamas. Whether you’re already an avid fitness junkie or a couch potato just starting out, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends pregnant women get at least 20 – 30 minutes of exercise each day in the absence of medical or obstetric complications. Notable perks include keeping the baby’s weight in check as well, and reduced risks of pregnancy-related diabetes and preeclampsia (super high blood pressure), reports new findings from the Medical Journal of Australia. Additionally, science says exercise during pregnancy can soothe aches and pains, boost your mood and energy levels, improve sleep quality, and even debloat your swollen ankles.

So what are you waiting for? Slip those puffy puppies into a pair of sneakers (or grippy socks or water shoes!). Here are seven prenatal workouts for pregnant ladies ready to sweat like a mother.

Prenatal Pilates

Courtesy of East River Pilates

Regular pilates is a solid low-impact exercise option, but there are still some moves “that simply aren’t prenatal safe,” says Kimmy Kellum, founder of East River Pilates in NYC and developer of its Prenatal Pilates class. (Kellum specifically calls out the “hundreds” move.) “The beauty of prenatal-specific Pilates classes is that they are intimate, taught by prenatal-trained Pilates instructors, have a strong educational emphasis, and help prepare women for pregnancy, labor, and postpartum recovery by strengthening and stabilizing their changing bodies,” she says. Kellum herself remembers teaching and taking ERP’s prenatal class while pregnant, and recalls one client who delivered her baby after only 25 minutes of pushing. “She attributed her success to Pilates!” (On the other hand, Kellum’s delivery took four hours…)

What to Expect:

Be prepared to focus on posture, pelvic floor, abdominals, breathing, and especially the booty, Kellum says. “Mamas-to-be will likely walk out with a very sore butt after a Prenatal class,” she warns. “We always joke in class that our mamas have the strongest butts of any population type!”

Swimming/Water Aerobics

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You’ll never be more grateful for that feeling of weightlessness in the water than when you’re toting around another person on your frontside. The liquid all around you provides a natural form of resistance so your muscles are challenged, but you’re simultaneously supported. And, check this: “woman who participate in aquatic exercise during pregnancy reported significantly less physical discomfort, improved mobility, and improved body image compared to those that did not work out in the water,” according to one study.

What to Expect:

The buoyancy sensation should improve your mobility, the same above-mentioned report found, so you’ll be able to work more muscle groups than you would on land. And the best part? You can’t fall over in water!

Barre

Shay Carreon; Courtesy of Pure Barre

While we’re not recommending any mid-air pirouettes, a normal barre class with its ballet-based movements is another safe, but effective exercise choice. Pure Barre, with over 500 locations across the country, trains its instructors to deliver modifications for pregnant and postpartum clients, says Pure Barre’s Barre Kinesiologist, Rachelle Reed. “Some general benefits may include lower feelings of fatigue, stress, anxiety, and lower back pain.”

What to Expect:

You’ll be working on strength, flexibility, joint range of motion, and endurance, says Reed. And don’t underestimate the power of those endorphins on your positive mental attitude. “Taking Pure Barre three to four times each week can help to keep your mood elevated throughout pregnancy,” she says.

Prenatal Yoga

Stocksy

A baby-focused yoga practice basically doubles as a Lamaze class, as its “multifaceted approach to exercise encourages stretching, mental centering and focused breathing,” according to an article from Mayo Clinic. In fact, Kula Yoga Project of NYC even includes a promise you’ll “learn practical tools for labor and delivery” in its prenatal class description and studies show “prenatal yoga breathing techniques might help you reduce or manage shortness of breath during pregnancy, and work through contractions during labor,” says the above-mentioned report from Mayo Clinic.

What to Expect:

Many of these modified yoga poses will target strengthening your abdomen and pelvic floor. Lots of prenatal classes also incorporate props such as blankets, cushions, or belts to keep you supported and as comfy as possible.

Flexibility/Stretching Classes

Courtesy of Stretch*d

If the above listings all feel a little too cardio-based for you, you might want to try a stretching or flexibility class (or schedule an appointment with a PT if you can’t find one in your area). At NYC’s Stretch*d, movements are never held for longer than three seconds at a time and performed in a way “that allows the targeted muscle of each stretch to be relaxed,” says Program Director Jeff Brannigan, “which won’t happen if you stretch incorrectly.”

What to Expect:

A one-on-one assisted stretch session with full range of motion that “helps to promote circulation and lubricate the joints,” says Brannigan. “Furthermore, isolating muscle groups individually is especially helpful for pregnant women, as their joints are constantly shifting throughout pregnancy and they may need to address one joint in a more comprehensive manner.”

See more: How to Incorporate a Newborn Baby Into Your Wedding

Jogging (or Your Usual)

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Are you a marathon runner who can’t imagine her life without two-hour jogs every weekend? Don’t sweat it, or rather, keep sweating it. You are totally fine to continue your normal exercise routine at least until the third trimester, as long as you are taking in adequate calories and staying hydrated, says Dr. Bonder. “Though, pregnancy is not the time to start training for a marathon if you’ve never done one before,” she notes. As mentioned, keep your medical practitioner aware of your activity, and be sure to check in during the third trimester, as your body becomes the most limited during that time and you may have to change up your current program.

If you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, use common sense when it comes to choosing your mode of physical activity. You’ll want to avoid falling down or being hit, says Dr. Bolden, so contact sports are probably a no-go — as is skiing, snowboarding, surfing, scuba diving, or horseback riding. You’ve probably also heard that pregnant women are supposed to avoid hot tubs as developing babies can’t stand the heat, so swap out your hot yoga for a cooler vinyasa alternative.

What to Expect:

Your regular workout is likely to be tougher than it was before you starting carrying the weight of a baby inside of you. Pregnancy takes a toll on the body, and you shouldn’t be alarmed if you have to scale back on weight, reps, or peaking heart rate. “You should be able to hold a conversation or say a few sentences while exercising,” Dr. Bonder says. “Then talk to your doctor, who can advise you about the other warning signs of when an exercise should be stopped — including dizziness, swelling, vaginal bleeding, chest pain, and painful contractions.”

At-Home Streaming

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We’re guessing you’ve read a mommy blog or two in your day, and many of them could also be called mommy-to-be blogs, full of pregnancy-specific health hacks and workouts available for streaming. Not to mention, you can buff up by buffering YouTube videos or place an order for a specialty prenatal program like Knocked Up Fitness.

What to Expect:

You control your own destiny here. Yoga? Strength-training? Total body? The offerings are endless, but we can’t stress enough to be sure to thoroughly vet any regimen with your doctor before subscribing.

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Wedding

How to Stop Guests From Posting Photos from Your Wedding on Social Media

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As a bride on her wedding day, for at least 24 hours you are a celebrity. And while fame has its perks (think bridesmaids bringing you signature cocktails all night), it also has its drawbacks—like the paparazzi (in this case, guests who have graciously taken it upon themselves to capture as many candid photos of you walking down the carpet aisle as possible).

This brings up a thought: Do you care if those photos end up on social media without your consent? And if so, how do you stop people from snapping and/or posting pics in our age of constant uploading?

We’ll give you the bad news first: you can’t. Despite all the measures we’re going to suggest below, it’s inevitable that your Aunt Mildred won’t be able to help herself; that snapshot of you squirting champagne through your nose as wedding cake fell out of your mouth into your boob crevice was “too precious” for her not to share with Gladys and Phyllis on Facebook.

Here’s the better news: You can still practice another celebrity-related behavior known as damage control. Scroll down to read 10 solid attempts for keeping that blurry pic of Drunk You™ doing the “C” backwards during “YMCA” off the Internet.

1. Have an Unplugged Ceremony

Your first line of defense against unflattering uploads is forbidding photos, of course. The popular trend of unplugged ceremonies dictates a device-free service so everyone can be fully ~present in the moment~ and you as the bride can look out into your audience and see smiles not screens. If you want to really drive the point home, you could even require guests to check their phones upon entry. BRILLIANT.

Let people know WAY early on that this is a matter of importance to you, and use the bandwidth to elucidate exactly what you want from guests. Should they pocket their phones at the ceremony, but go snap-happy at the reception? Are you fine with the taking of photos, just not the posting? Is online sharing cool as long as you and the groom are first to publish? Will you ask that they use a wedding hashtag so you can conveniently find all your pics…and are easily able to request any you’ve deemed unworthy be removed?

3. Consider Not Having a Wedding Hashtag

Now that we mention it, asking folks not to social photos, but still having an official hashtag feels a little like mixed messaging, no? We know as The Future Ms. Buck you’re super proud of #GetBuckAisled, but if you display it, you’re asking for peeps to use it.

4. Include a Note in the Invitations and/or Programs

With an invite inclusion, you’ve yet another way to give guests an advanced heads-up that you don’t want them encroaching on your professional photographer’s turf. Then, a reminder in the program will have the info fresh in their minds.

5. Set Up A Sign at the Venue

We acknowledge the irony here, but if you search #unpluggedwedding on any social media, you’ll find thousands of cute inspo pics.

6. Make an Announcement

Call upon all the authority vested in your officiant, photographer, or wedding DJ and have him or her say a few words about the ban. Again, make sure you’re clear about is acceptable and unacceptable photographing and social media-ing.

7. Use Humor in Your Approach

If you’re worried about coming across as high-maintenance, vain, or a control freak, having a sense of humor about your ask can help with how it’s received. No one likes being bossed around, but everyone wants in on a good joke. Creative wording on a sign or funny delivery of an announcement may endear your guests into respecting your wishes.

8. Change Your Privacy Settings (So You Can’t Be Tagged Without Approval!)

Here’s how to do it on Instagram. Here’s how to do it on Facebook. Here’s how to do it on Twitter. You can’t remove a tag on Snapchat apparently, but you can always report that punk.

9. Call Out Any Violators You See

You personally don’t have to do it (today you are a FAMOUS PERSON, remember?), but ask a few members of your wedding party, family, or photography team to play publicists and keep an eye out for any potential social media leaking. They can politely approach the perps and drop in a casual, “I bet that shot is going to turn out gorgeous. Just be sure to…wait until the bride posts/ask the bride if you can share/keep that photograph secret and safe until your deathbed.”

See More: What Can I Do If Our Guests Ignore the “Unplugged Wedding” Request and Post on Social Media Anyway?

10. Ask Your Photographer For “Sneak Peek” Photos to Post ASAP

There are many reasons for wanting to keep guests’ photos off of social media. Maybe you’re just a very private lady. Perhaps you’d prefer to never see untoward tagged photos that would (wrongly) suggest you were anything other than the flawless on your special day. But if your only real issue is with shared photos that appear before you’ve been able to post your great, big, grand, official, “wow, this happened” social media moment, you can decrease the likelihood of that happening by uploading that ish as quickly as possible. To aid you in that pursuit, tell your photographer you’d like to request a few “preview” snapshots from the day that would be turned around in the next 24 – 48 hours. Once you’ve chosen “the one” from those, share it immediately. Remember: the fans are waiting.

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Wedding

Why I Chose to Have a Man of Honor

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Here at BRIDES we believe that love is love, and that goes for friendships, too. In most cases, “maid of honor” is a designation reserved for your best of besties—the person who is literally family or might as well be—as a way of letting her know you can’t imagine getting through a day this important without her. But for Mary Birchard, that her was a him. Read about Birchard’s experience asking guy pal Joseph Rogers to be her right-hand man in a role so stereotypically female, it’s embedded in the title. Then, read Rogers’s take on being a bro MoH.

From the Bride

Before I was even engaged, I told Joe, “Just so you know—when this happens, you’re going in that top spot.”

We’d been in school together since kindergarten but really became friends junior year of high school at a homecoming dinner. We laughed so hard at one point, the whole of the Italian restaurant turned to stare. The summer after high school, we spent every day together before both going to Ohio State, where I met my now-husband Sam. Joe was our number-one advocate from day one.

I feel like it’s become more popular to have a man of honor these days, but when I got married back in October 2014, I didn’t know anyone who had done it. Still, there was never a question that Joe would be mine. It meant so much to me—having him play that role—and part of it was who he is as a person, but another part was probably the fact that he was a man.

Joe didn’t have all of those female ideas and expectations of what’s supposed to happen at a bridal shower or bachelorette party or getting ready on the wedding day. He added a level of grounding. Being a bride—and the center of attention all the time—can be really stressful. People, especially women, want everything to be “perfect.” There’s that expectation, and it can almost become like a competition for us girls to see who can be the most attentive bridesmaid or whatever. That becomes obnoxious and, honestly, adds to the stress. Joe cut through all of that nonsense. He was always ready with a joke or a funny observation. He kept me sane.

When we went dress shopping, I brought Joe. My mom and future mother-in-law didn’t want to say the wrong thing, so they didn’t say anything. I appreciated them not wanting to be overbearing, but was also like, “I brought you guys here to help.” Joe offered an honest and critical eye. When everyone else was like, “Well, that one could be nice on you if blah, blah, blah…” He’d just be like, “Nope. She hates it.” He wasn’t worried about offending me like most of my girl friends would’ve been.

My biggest piece of advice for brides wrestling with whether to include a male in their party is to not overthink this decision. Don’t worry about what is standard, or tradition, or expected. Your choices should be about you—what you care about and who you care about. If the friend you need as your main person standing up there with you that day happens to be a different gender, it doesn’t matter. The more personal a wedding is, the better the experience is for everyone. Guests enjoy knowing that your party around you are those you love most in the world. I think people like when things break from tradition.

At the reception, Joe walked out by himself in a perfect grand entrance. (Sam’s best man was his dad who escorted his mom.) Sam’s uncle told Joe afterward, “You were grinning ear to ear. Everyone in the room could see on your face that you are so genuinely happy for Sam and Mary.”

Mary Birchard, as told to Jessie Mooney

From the Man of Honor

I’ve always been a bit of a third wheel to Mary and Sam, and I mean that in a positive sense. Sam is one of my best friends—I even went on his bachelor party—but Mary is like family.

When Mary asked me to be her man of honor, she was living in Manhattan but planning to move back to Ohio where we’re both from and living now. She’d come home to visit and gave me this beautiful white mug with all of the subway rails on it in their rainbow colors. She knew how much I loved visiting them in New York, and wanted me to have a token of the time we shared there. Plus, as I member of the LGBTQ community, I’m partial to rainbows. Of course I said yes, and we came up with the term ‘Mo of Honor. (Cute, right?)

I’m not going to lie: I freaked a little at first. Mary means so much to me, so my expectations were high for myself. I knew the role entailed spearheading a bridal shower and a bachelorette party. The seven other bridesmaids assisted in planning a trip to Atlantic City, but I was particularly nervous about the bridal shower, having never been to one before. I’m lucky that I have some great sisters and a mom who helped me throw the most beautiful shower—with signature cupcakes and Moscow Mules, since that was right as the copper mug trend was popping off.

It definitely wasn’t the traditional two-hour event with party games, though. Mary and I had said to hell with the rulebook from the beginning, so this shower went on for nine hours. I remember around 1 p.m. being like, “OK, thanks for coming!”…and nobody left. We kept drinking and dancing until we ended up at a chicken wing place.

On the day of the wedding, I got ready with the girls. (My tux matched the groomsmen’s, but while they wore black bow ties, mine was a lilac from the bridesmaids’ color palette.) They were all running around Mary like, “Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? Let me get you a snack! You need water!” Mary and I know each other so well that I could read in her eyes she was overwhelmed. I turned to the girls at one point and said, “If Mary wants something, she’ll say so or get it herself!”

Right before the ceremony, we sent everyone out of the room so Mary and I could have a one-on-one. We took a deep breath, and just relished everything leading up to that point. I’ll never forget that moment—that one time where Mary and I struck peace together in a sea of wedding day chaos.

Two weeks before that, my brother got married, so I was a best man and a maid of honor at the same time. The experiences felt the same. I was selected because I’m important to those people; gendered norms were tossed out the window. Mary and I have never been people to follow scripts. Maid of honor. Man of Honor. ‘Mo of honor. Whatever you call it, it should be less about fulfilling preconceived expectations, and more about “What does my best friend need from me right now?”

See more: 7 Tweets That Sum Up the Drama of Being a Bridesmaid

The closest we came to drama? All the bridesmaids were gifted matching floral robes, and Mary didn’t want me to feel left out so she bought me my own special robe in the most beautiful dark green with my monogram on it. We have one picture on Instagram (see below) where I’m wearing it and Mary and I are hugging. It’s a fabulous photo, but the robe was very much a one-and-done deal. I hung it up in the hotel closet and the maid stole it.

Joseph Rogers, as told to Jessie Mooney

Courtesy of Joseph Rogers

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Millennials Are Reducing the Divorce Rate in America, Study Says

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The generation that invented #RelationshipGoals seems to be practicing what it tweets.

The divorce rate in the U.S. is down a whopping 18 percent from 2008 to 2016, reports new data from University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen, and it’s looking like millennials may be to credit. (Yay for the recognition we so desperately seek, right?)

Cohen’s analysis suggests that younger couples — Generation X and especially millennials — are waiting longer to walk down the aisle, and consequently, making more informed choices in their life partners.

“One of the reasons for the decline is that the married population is getting older and more highly educated,” Cohen told Bloomberg. Not to mention, that extra time as a singleton allows them to focus on positioning their education status, careers, and financial situation in a better place than that of their 22-year-old selves surviving on Cup O’Noodles and granola bars. This ideally results in them unloading less stress on their partners when two become one and any pre-existing personal problems in those categories become shared.

Interesting to note, however, is that the number of people getting married in general is also decreasing. More couples have found contentment just living together — maybe even raising a few kids — but not making anything official on paper.

“Marriage is more and more an achievement of status,” Cohen explains, “rather than something that people do regardless of how they’re doing.”

And while baby boomers have continued to divorce at unusually high rates, all the way into their 60s and 70s, according to Bowling Green’s National Center for Family and Marriage Research, the overall plummet is still expected to continue.

“The change among young people is particularly striking,” Susan Brown, a sociology professor at Bowling Green State University also told Bloomberg. “The characteristics of young married couples today signal a sustained decline [in divorce rates] in the coming years.”

See more: The Best Marriage Advice EVER

Great job, team! You’ve earned the right to hashtag away. 😉

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Wedding

New Survey Suggests It's Time for Millennial Women to Start Talking About Money

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How would you respond to the following ultimatum: You’re hanging out with a group of casual girl friends, and you’re required to either a) reveal every salacious detail of your most embarrassing hook-up story or b) tell them how much you make. If you chose the former, you’re apparently in the company of many millennial women who still get tripped up talking about money. According to a recent study conducted by Visa and Lieberman Research Worldwide (LRW), millennial ladies are nearly three times more likely to talk to their friends about their sex lives than their salaries.

For this noteworthy Money Is Changing campaign, 1,411 millennials and 831 Gen Xers ages 22 to 53 were asked all about their thoughts and feelings concerning finances. Subjects included spending habits, asking for a raise, budgeting, stay-at-home dads, and the aforementioned willingness to discuss personal $ituations.

The disparity between the two generations’ answers revealed that the cultural discussion around money is definitely straying away from the more traditional housewife days of the past (62 percent of millennial women say they’d never quit their job, no matter how much their partner rakes in), but there are still long strides to be made before women feel fully comfortable embracing the financial power they’ve been steadily working to achieve. As the survey summary reports, “a gender gap exists in Millennials’ relationship with money,” with women saying they are “more likely to feel financially stressed, less confident, and more uncomfortable about money in the workplace, at home, with friends, and in relationships.”

How do we change that? Speak up! Speak out! We’re not asking you to be rude or showy here; we just want you to call out gender pay gaps in the workplace, or encourage a friend struggling to support herself financially that she’s not alone and tell her about an affordable meal service. Women have earned the right to have and handle their fiscal responsibilities, and only through open and honest conversation will they be empowered to do so with self-assurance — and help their fellow money-makin’ sistas do the same.

See below for more interesting millennial highlights from the study, and if you’re so inclined and emboldened, bring up a few of these topics over brunch with the gal pals this weekend. The more you know, right? We’ll raise our figurative mimosas in a cheers to you.

1. The Glossy Gender

Survey says 89 percent of millennial ladies think it’s more expensive to be a woman, and 63 percent of millennial men agree—just one more reason tampons should be free, amirite?

2. Whoa, Baby!

Nearly half of millennials who expressed interest in having children had no idea how much it costs. Newsflash: it’s a lot. Here’s a handy (and slightly depressing) breakdown of The Best and Worst States to Have a Baby in 2018.

3. Making Ends Meet (Barely)

No matter how much they actually make, female respondents were more likely to feel like they’re living paycheck to paycheck than their male counterparts.

4. She Works Hard for the Money, So You Better Treat Her Right

Two in three millennial women believed there’s a gender pay gap, and about a third of women believed it affects them personally. (Hey! Want to make sure the money’s working hard for you too? Check out our 4 Smart Moves to Make With Your Wedding Gift Money.)

See more: What To Do If Your Partner Is Bad With Money

5. Got Your PayBack

Let’s end on an uplifting note: When you’re counting pennies, you can also count on your besties. Seventy-four percent of millennial women said they were cool with treating their friends without expecting anything in return. While you don’t want to become that girl who abuses that sort of thing, there’s nothing wrong with letting yourself be covered every now and again — especially if you’ve done something worth celebrating like finally asked for that raise (hint! hint!). Just repay the favor in the future.

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'Fortnite' Apparently Caused 200 Divorces This Year

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Let’s be real: no one likes “games” when it comes to relationships. (See Demi Lovato’s brutally honest banger about it here.) But now there is an actual game — a video game called Fortnite, to be precise— ostensibly ruining happy homes of couples all over the UK, according to divorce-online.co.uk (an online community and resources site for folks across the pond who are about to call it quits in their marriages.

No joke — the shooter-survival game was shouted out in 200 of the 4,665 divorce petitions Divorce Online received in 2018 as “part of the reason.” (OH EM GEE! Did Justin Theroux play Fortnite!?)

For the unfamiliar, here’s a trailer for the game — featuring bazooka-wielding women clad in attire that we’ll call Laura Croft-chic, and simulacrums of all the men your parents warned you about. Then, there’s running, jumping, flying and bridge-building! And how fun is that font, though? The point is, there’s everything here to suggest a good time to be had. It’s assumedly just when a person begins prioritizing CGI over his or her SO that the problems will inevitably arise. And if you’re using a virtual world to escape the reality that challenges have already come up in real-life, those issues aren’t going away and, unfortunately, cannot be blasted to smithereens with a laser gun. Talk about them, yo! Don’t be scared. Here’s a quick explainer on why confrontation is actually good for your relationship.

(All kidding aside, if gaming—or any other addiction—is affecting your marriage in an unhealthy way, we’d be remiss in not suggesting you seek professional counseling. )

See more: 15 Bad Habits That Will Ruin Even the Strongest Marriage

However, we’ll also take a moment to play Devil’s advocate here and mention that if you’ve never sat down and grabbed a controller alongside your significant other, you might wanna give it a try. Who knows? You could find a new hobby you both enjoy—or at least better understand your partner’s most demanding distraction—and take your relationship to a whole next level. (See what we did there?) Love is a battlefield, after all.

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Wedding

15 Cozy Fall Date Ideas (That Are Basic AF)

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Last September, we poked a little fun at all the BCB (basic couple behavior that seems to run rampant this time of year. But as the fall season approaches, we’ve decided that if you can’t beat ’em, throw on a flannel shirt and join ’em. Thus, we proudly present 15 fall date ideas that are basic AF. Go ahead and pick your apples, bake them into a pie, and Instagram the heck out of it! Play carnival games at your local county fair! Go camping and only bring one (decent-sized) sleeping bag! Hey, just because the weather is cooling off doesn’t mean your date nights have to be any less hot, right? Here are 15 fall date night ideas to heat up your relationship.

1. Pick and Cook Fall Harvest Fruit

We’ve already mentioned apples (which come into season in the earliest months of fall, but pears and pumpkins also make for seriously yummy pies. A quick Google search should reveal all the farms in your area that will let you take a basket into their fields. Then, head home to bake up your bounty. As discussed, we encourage Instagramming it — and eating leftovers for breakfast the next day.

2. Take a Hay Ride

It doesn’t need to be haunted, though that certainly ups the fun factor and gives you an excuse for a little bit of tasteful PDA. Still, any ol’ hayride is the perfect excuse for a #SnuggleFestWithMySweetie. Don’t forget the checkered fleece blanket or you’re dead to us. (Kidding.)

3. Explore Local Fairs and Festivals

‘Tis the season for festivals of every kind. Chili cook-offs, cool-weather craft fairs, Oktoberfests and state and county fairs abound. Show off your softball skills from middle school and win your partner that teddy bear, or make out when the ferris wheel stops at the top.

4. Watch a Scary Movie — Outdoors

Bring your laptop to your deck, back lawn, or apartment’s rooftop, and see if you can stand the scares when you’re in the dark outside and exposed to the elements. You might find out one of you is a scaredy cat, which will make for years and years of playful teasing.

5. Enjoy a Picnic (and Jump in Some Leaves!)

We know when you think of picnics, you usually envision summer, but fall picnics are where it’s at, y’all. Park yourselves near some gorgeous fallen leaves, and unpack your thermos-contained drinks — think: hot apple cider or cocoa with marshmallows — belly-warming soup, and crusty bread. Afterwards, work off your meal playing in the foliage. You’ll feel silly for five seconds, but then the fun will start.

6. Carve and Decorate Pumpkins

The phrase “pumpkin patch” is very basic, but also so darn adorable. Trek to one of these and pick out the prettiest pumpkin in all the land for you and your other half to take home and whittle away at until it resembles a Disney character. Kinda. Just squint a little, and you’ll see Moana in there, we swear.

7**. Plan A Puzzle Night**

We say this with 100 percent sincerity: puzzles are freaking awesome. They require patience and teamwork and creative problem-solving and the ability to come back from making mistakes and…wait, did we just describe a marriage?

8**. Map Out a Hiking Adventure**

Time to bust out the L.L. Bean boots we know you have for some scenic strolling. You’ll get your steps in for the day, and hopefully discover some jaw-dropping views for a very impressive Instagram story.

9. Venture Out Thrifting Together

The best place for oversized, well-worn, and the coziest of those signature fall flannels? Thrift stores and consignment shops, baby! Plus, spring cleaning and back-to-school shopping means lots of folks just cleaned out their closets so now is peak season for tons of selection.

10. Go Camping and Light a Bonfire

Stargazing and s’mores are an obvious must, as well as storytelling around the campfire. Share funny (read: embarrassing) stories from childhood, or tell the spooky ghost stories we shouted out earlier — and don’t forget that two-person sleeping bag for optimal cuddling.

11. Hang Out at a Cidery or Brewery

Hot apple cider is a seasonal staple, and an indoor cidery or brewery is a chill place to spend an afternoon if the weather gets a little too nippy for your liking. If there are no such local options, make your own signature cocktails at home. (Check it! These fall cocktail ideas are perfect for pumpkin spice latte lovers.)

12. Check Out a Corn Maze

This date idea can be totally cute or totally creepy depending on whether your vibe is more Field of Dreams or Children of the Corn. Let’s assume it’s the former, and an afternoon or evening in a strategically manicured corn field sounds like an opportunity for showing off your navigation skills and sneaking hidden kisses among the rows.

13. Organize a Flag Football Group Date

It’ll be just like that Friends thanksgiving episode! (Maybe involve a little less cheating and inappropriate flashing in your recreation, though.) Bonus basic points if you rock the braided pigtails and backwards hat a la Rachel Green.

14. Visit A Haunted House

These type of attractions range from “kid-friendly” to “I’m actually going to wet myself.” Figure out where you and your partner fall on the spectrum, then find an appropriate venue. We also recommend doubling up on deodorant that day — in case things get truly terrifying and one of you ends up with your face buried in the other’s chest.

See More: 29 Fall Wedding Decor Ideas We’re Loving

15. Get Lost on a Long Drive

Walking is nice, but have you tried driving? Some winding country roads aren’t safe to traverse by foot, but the trees lining them are too pretty to miss when the leaves turn. And, of course there are modern-day vehicular luxuries to consider too — on-demand radio, butt warmers, and a GPS once it’s time to reorient and head back home.

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Wedding

India Legalizes Gay Sex in a Historic Ruling

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Toss a fresh heap of rainbow confetti into the air to celebrate the latest triumph for international gay rights, as India rescinds a law banning gay sex that was written all the way back during the colonial era! Today, The New York Times reports that the country’s Supreme Court unanimously ruled to overturn “one of the world’s oldest bans on consensual gay sex.”

The language of Section 377, which was written in the 1860s, addressed what were then considered “unnatural sexual acts.” While the ban on bestiality will remain intact, India’s chief justice, Dipak Misra, called the overall law itself “irrational, indefensible, and manifestly arbitrary.”

He told a courtroom full of onlookers, “We have to bid adieu to prejudices and empower all citizens.”

Furthermore, the judges reiterated that gay folks were entitled to the same constitutional rights and protection from discrimination that any citizen would enjoy under Indian law.

And another judge, Justice Indu Malhotra, even remarked that, “History owes an apology to members of the community for the delay in ensuring their rights.”

In response, the Times reported “explosions of happiness” all across the country. In Mumbai, human rights activists really did throw confetti. Meanwhile, the high court steps in Bangalore were lined with gay people embracing one another—watering the ground with tears of joy.

This decision comes on the heels of other worldwide wins for same-sex rights. Earlier this summer, Bermuda declared an anti-gay marriage law unconstitutional, and late last year Australia legalized gay marriage. However, we still have a ways to travel down the road to universal acceptance. According to a USA Today article from last summer, “there are at least 71 countries (37 percent of United Nation-member states) where same-sex sexual activity is a crime.” While we’ve thankfully crossed some off the list, many others remain—including Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, Syria, and Iraq.

See more: What Marriage Equality Looks Like Worldwide

Of course, that’s not to say we don’t have issues to contend with here at home. Many states in the U.S. have passed laws just his year making it more difficult for LGBT couples to adopt.

However, many in the population are hoping this monumental shakedown in South Asia will generate aftershocks around the globe.

“This ruling is hugely significant,” Meenakshi Ganguly, the South Asia director for Human Rights Watch, told the Times. Ganguly is optimistic India’s lead will inspire other nations with comparable ancient laws “to end their discriminatory, regressive treatment” of the LGBTQ community.

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Wedding

Shop the Wedding from NBC’s “Making It” Finale on Etsy

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Gather round, Parks and Recreation fans! Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson teamed up for another perfectly sentimental televised wedding—this time as their real-life counterparts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman.

In last night’s season finale of their NBC crafting competition show Making It, the duo—who serve as both hosts and producers—tasked the three remaining Makers with creating a wedding backdrop and an heirloom-quality gift for a bride and groom. The network then teamed up with Etsy to furnish a full-out ceremony and reception so the happy couple could really get married during this final episode, aptly titled, “Happily Ever Crafter.” (Psst! You can watch it here in its entirety.) Offerman even got to officiate!

“While I am known as a woodworker, much of the magic we experienced on Making It was beyond my expertise,” Offerman tells Brides. “Every day, I was inspired by the creativity of the makers and would often think to myself, ‘Wow, I think I can do that,’ although I have no experience with knitting or glass blowing, and I hope viewers at home feel that same inspiration.”

If you saw David and Talisa’s stunningly special wedding on the show last night, we’re betting you felt that inspiration in your bones. Making It judge and Etsy’s resident trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson doesn’t remember exactly how the idea to do a wedding as the series finale came up. “It was just like, ‘What should we do? We should do something big. What if we did a live wedding?’ ” she says. “For me, I am obsessed with weddings. It’s by far my favorite category to work on, so I started doing cartwheels saying, “Yes! Yes! Yes! Let’s do this!” Then NBC brought in an event management team to help with the production, and it was my role—with my Etsy family—to source the products and find things to really match the couples.”

As huge fans of love, crafts, and—of course—Poehler and Offerman over here at Brides, we called up Johnson and bride Talisa to chat all about the experience — including what it was like to work with said cherished celebs.

“I remember walking down the aisle, hysterically crying what I’m sure was an ugly cry because I was so nervous, and seeing Nick at the altar,” Talisa says. “He comes up and hugs David and me and just tells us, ‘Everything is going to be okay.’ Right after that, all of my nerves went out the window.”

Ron Swanson to the rescue yet again! Below, read through Talisa and Johnson’s wedding planning insights, peep breathtaking photos from the actual day, and shop Etsy for some of the gorgeous items you saw featured in last night’s episode.

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Emily Post's Great-Great-Granddaughter Gives Advice for Finding the Perfect Wedding Gift

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Most of us probably remember acting up as a child and being admonished with, “What would your mother think?” Well, in Lizzie Post’s case, we’re guessing it was, “What would your great-great-grandmother think?”

As a direct descendent of famed etiquette expert Emily Post, Lizzie has continued in the family business, making a career for herself as an author and go-to spokesperson for propriety. Admittedly, though, the rules have changed a bit since the days of dear Great-Great-Granny Post — particularly when it comes to weddings. In everything from ceremony details to registries, couples are less concerned with the prim and proper, and more concerned with the personalized and practical, Post says.

In fact, she’s partnered with Marshalls, and a recent survey put out by the department store found that “one in three couples are planning non-traditional weddings and 83 percent are tossing traditional elements aside if they are not meaningful to them.” Furthermore, 42 percent are forgoing the long-held tradition of registries altogether, and 39 percent of couples who did opt for a registry, are still hoping to be surprised.

So, what does this mean for anyone trying to do right by a couple whose wedding they were invited to attend? What sort of gifts are appropriate to give and/or ask for in 2018?

To find out, BRIDES invited Post to spend an afternoon with us chatting all things #wediquette. Read her thoughts below — including whether or not you actually have to keep those wedding gifts that you hate.

BRIDES: Are there any etiquette practices have gone out of style that you wish we still honored?

Post: I still believe in thank you cards. How nice is it to actually receive a note in the mail from someone as opposed to just a text message?

Any aspects that you’re glad are over?

The thing I get most excited about in terms of where wedding etiquette has gone is that it’s much more personal to the couple. It’s much less about this stuffy presentation of one family to another. The merging of families is important, but not because it’s some kind of symbol of success. Wedding registries nowadays aren’t anything like they used to be. Couples are getting married later, so many already have the traditional gifts for the home. And, few people entertain on a formal level anymore, so we’re using much more everyday wear—things that are going to be used a lot.

What’s the perfect wedding gift in 2018?

Something surprising, and something that isn’t as traditional. Guests are bored of giving the same things all the time, and then we learned from the survey that couples are really excited about getting those surprises. Back in the day, you’d register for your Tiffany’s silverware; people were supposed to buy you one fork, not the whole setting. It was a way to be within a person’s budget and give something really special. But the new approach is to find quality-brand products at prices that can work with a budget. You don’t have to go in and get just the punch bowl. You can get the server and the glasses that come with it. It becomes a whole set of something rather than just the one item.

What’s your number one gifting tip for wedding guests?

If people have a honeymoon fund, or anything suggesting they’re interested in travel or trips, get them luggage. That’s my go-to, and nobody ever thinks of it. You need something that’ll hold up when it’s getting tossed through TSA lines. Very few people have a really good set of luggage they didn’t pay a fortune for, you know? And it’s not like someone’s going to be like, “I can’t use that.”

Your thoughts on contributing to cash funds or one-time excursions?

Experiential gifts are huge right now, and it’s true that giving someone an experience is always going to feel better than giving them a gift card. But tying a little tangible gift to the experience is, I think, the best way to go. You know the couple that you’re shopping for. I have friends who love wine—I can purchase them some beautiful wine glasses that I’m going to feel good about giving and they’re going to feel good about receiving, and then do something like a wine tasting voucher. The paring of the two allows them to open a gift in the moment, and also have something to look forward to.

Any items guests should not buy?

You want the gift to be appropriate for the type of party. If you’re going to a bridal shower with a theme, respect that. But for example, if you’re doing an “around the clock” shower, and you drew the late-night hours, it’s tempting to buy lingerie. Just make sure the other person is comfortable opening something like that in front of other people and that sizing isn’t going to be a sensitive issue. When in doubt, this is the time you go with a gift card because it just makes it so much easier on the other person.

Any advice for choosing gifts for the bridal party?

Brides and grooms always struggle here, and panic because they think only the most incredible gift could ever suffice for the love and support they’re getting. That’s not true. Work within your budget and pick something personal or special to the people in your party. Expensive jewelry is a common go-to, but I don’t think that’s one of the best ones. People have really different styles and jewelry is a really personal thing. I’d rather see people lean towards home items or travel items. Stationery is an easy gift with lots of potential to personalize that people don’t think of as much.

What’s the general rule for sending thank you cards? How long can you wait to send them, especially if some gifts come in before the wedding?

There are two different ways you can go: You can always send that thank you note right away so they know you received the gift and you’ve checked it off your list of things to do. Or, you can send a text or email as soon as you get the gift saying, “We just received your gift! Thank you so much. Expect a handwritten note to follow.” Etiquette says to send a “thank you for coming to the wedding” note anyway. If it’s a hectic, busy work week and you know you’re not going to get around to sending out the notes as early as you want, it’s a courtesy to let people know that you did receive what they mailed. I like the idea of writing thank you notes for your gifts as you receive them, and sending out thank you notes for attending the wedding itself after the fact. Then, you can include an event photo and address any presents that were brought to the reception.

See more: 50 Unique Wedding Gift Ideas for Every Budget

What’s the etiquette on re-gifting or returning a gift you don’t want?

It is okay! You can absolutely get rid of things and put them back out into the world to be exchanged and cycled through by someone else. It’s funny how many people say, “Oh, I have to keep this. It was a wedding present,” but never do anything with it. Take a photo to remember it, and your time with it can be done.

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Wedding

The Best Bachelorette Party Shirts (That Won't Embarrass You)

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Matching shirts usually make an appearance on three special occasions—family reunions, grade-school field trips, and bachelorettes. Alas, the unfortunate truth is that in most of these cases, the bridesmaid shirts that force themselves into the public eye over and over and over again suck. They’re poor quality, unbelievably tacky, and a color heretofore reserved for signs signaling impending danger. (For the record, I did offer to screen print my sister’s face on her bachelorette shirts “ironically,” but that suggestion was met with a cold stare and zero appreciation of my humor.)

No more! Did you think we at Brides would leave you uncovered? Bach, please! (Ed note: That should be a bachelorette party shirt slogan.) We scoured the Internet in search of only the best bridesmaid bachelorette tees—the cute, the clever, the classy, and the crassy. Find your bride identity below, and suit up your squad/tribe/entourage/posse/crew/team in a shirt that won’t embarrass you. After all, that should be left up to the party itself, amirite? (Insert smirk emoji here.)

For the Basic B*tch

As a self-proclaimed member of The Basics, I’ve co-opted this term. These shirts’ designs, colors, and simple statements are minimalist-vibe, maximum vogue.

Brides x Mod Thread

“Bride Tribe” Tee, $38, Brides x Mod Thread

Brides x Mod Thread

“Bride” Cropped Sweatshirt, $54, Brides x Mod Thread

Brides x Mod Thread

“Bride Gang” Cropped Sweatshirt, $54, Brides x Mod Thread

Brides x Mod Thread

“I Said Yes” Racerback Tank, $34, Brides x Mod Thread

Brides x Mod Thread

“Wife Material” Ringer Tee, $40, Brides x Mod Thread

Brides x Mod Thread

“The Mrs.” Tee, $38, Brides x Mod Thread

“Bride / Squad” Shirt, $25, DesignWithinYou on Etsy

“His Pick” Shirt, $21.97 – $23.97, Amazon“Her Clique” Shirt, $21.97 – $23.97, Amazon

“Wife of the Party” Shirt – $15.99, RoseGoldRebel on Etsy “The Party” Shirt – $15.99, RoseGoldRebel on Etsy

“Future Mrs. / Basic Bitches” Shirt, $22, TrexAndUnicorn on Etsy

“Sunshine & Champagne & the Bride On the Beach / Sunshine & Champagne & Babes On the Beach” Shirt, $13.99+, KTeesDesigns on Etsy

“Bride To Be / Bride’s Squad” Shirt , $15, OllieandPenny on Etsy

“Feminist Babes Unite” Shirt, $14.95, SuperPrintShop on Etsy

Bride Shirt, $21, DetailsDarlingShop on Etsy Bridesmaids Shirt, $21, DetailsDarlingShop on Etsy

“Girls Support Girls” Shirt, $29.99, ModCloth

“Bride / Team Bride” Shirt, $16, ShopLuvOlive on Etsy

For the Queen B

Does the “B” stand for Bride? Beyoncé? Both? Either way, the leader of this bach pack run the world, and she slay, she slay, all day, she slay, she slay, all day…you get it.

Brides x Mod Thread

“Ring On It” Ringer Tee, $40, Brides x Mod Thread

“Sorry Not Sorry / Sorry Not Single” Shirt, $26.95, Bachette on Etsy

“Feyoncé / Beyoncé” Shirt, $15+, KaysPrincessDesigns on Etsy

“Bridechilla / Girl Gang” Shirt, $24.95, Bachette on Etsy

“I Said Yas / Yas Queen” Shirt, $22.95, Bachette on Etsy

For the Mythical Muse

Here, some enchanting options for the bachelorette who loves all things fantasy—mermaids, unicorns, and Barbie’s body dimensions.

“Trading My Tail for a Veil / Time to Party Our Tails Off” Shirt, $22.95, Bachette on Etsy

Courtesy of A Sparkly Chic Boutique

Unicorn Bachelorette Party Tank Tops, $21.95, A Sparkly Chic Boutique on Etsy

“Mermaid Bride / Mermaid Squad” Shirt, $18.95, HelloHandpressed on Etsy

“Bride / Come On, Barbie, Let’s Go Party” Shirt, $25, Design Like Whoa

“Bride” Shirt / “I Washed Up Like This” Shirt, $24.95, Bachette on Etsy

For the Fervent Foodie

For those always about to nosh—we salute you.

“He Stole a Pizza My Heart” Tank / “Pizza Has My Heart” Tank, $25, Design Like Whoa

“Bachelorette Getting Married/Tacos After This” Shirt, $17.97+, Bridal Party Tees on Etsy

“Nacho Average Bride” Flowy Tank Top / “Nacho Average Fiesta” Flowy Tank Top, $17, ShopAtBash on Etsy

For the Khaleesi

When you play the game of thrones, you win if you buy these shirts.

“He Bent the Knee / Hand of the Bride” Shirt, $12.99, MadisonFoundry on Etsy

For the Islander-at-Heart

She’s happiest with the sun on her back and her toes in the sand. Who’s ready to “tropic like it’s hot?”

“Flamingle With Me, I’m the Bride to Be / Let’s Flamingle” Shirt, $22.95, Bachette on Etsy

“Bride” Shirt, $17.50, WolvesnWillows on Etsy “Bride’s Flock” Shirt, $17.50, WolvesnWillows on Etsy

“Aloha Bride / Aloha Beaches” Shirt, $100 for 5-pack, AurlexBrides on Etsy

“Bride / Let’s Get Flocked Up” Shirt, $21.68, WildAndGorgeous on Etsy

“Bride / Birds of a Feather Drink Together” Shirt, $26.95, Bachette on Etsy

For the Disney Princess

Planning a Disney bachelorette bash? Pack these all-grown-up versions of the princess gown you used to wear—unless that thing still fits. Then, twirl it out and remember it’s your day.

“Look Like a Beauty / Party Like a Beast” Shirt, $22.95, Bachette on Etsy

“Disney Happily Ever After” Tank, $13.99, MadisonFoundry on Etsy

“Snow Bride and the Seven Bridesmaids” Shirt, $22.95, Bachette on Etsy

For the Entertainment Junkie

To please the walking pop-culture encyclopedia, get “screen” printing at its best.

Mean Girls “I’m A Cool Bride” Basic Women’s Tank, $34, BetchesMean Girls “She’s Not A Regular Bride” Basic Women’s Tank, $34, Betches

Mean Girls “I Can’t Help That I’m Popular / You Can’t Sit With Us” Shirt, $24, CowsxCacti on Etsy

The Hangover “Wolf Pack” Bachelorette Party Tank, $17.95, TheSassyBride on Etsy

Courtesy of Ciara Brown

Friends “Bride / Friends Friends” Shirt, $18, FreshwoodFinds on Etsy

The Bachelorette “I Got the Rose” Shirt / “The Bachelorette Party” Shirt, $28, BlushAndCoDesigns on Etsy

For the Potter Head

Accio, house points! These tees are works of magic if you decide full-on wizardry robes are too heavy for the party’s festivities.

Courtesy of Quteez

“She Found A Keeper” and “I Found A Catch” Shirts, $14.99, Quteez on Etsy

“Wizard Themed” Shirt, $12.99+, Quteez on Etsy

For the Troublemaker

Hands up, wild thangs! (Where we can see ’em, please.)

“Bridin’ Dirty™ / They See us Rollin’ We’re Celebratin'” Shirt, $22.95, Bachette on Etsy

“Bride Gone Bad” Shirt, $16.97, Bridal Party Tees“Bridesmaid Gone Bad” Shirt, $16.97, Bridal Party Tees

“Raising Hell Before the Wedding Bells” Party Shirt, $16.25, MyCustomPartyStore on Etsy

“Whiskey Bent and Veil/Hell Bound” Shirt, $22.95, Bachette on Etsy

For the First Mate

Forget the nautical-themed Pashmina Afghan. You need a shipshape tank to truly feel “king queen of the world on a boat like Leo.”

“Let’s Get Nauti” Tank Tops, $11.99+, BTSapparel on Etsy

For the Funny Gal

Oh, you got jokes! And they come on t-shirts!

“Bach Behavior Bride / Bride Tribe” Shirt, $11.99, MJsBridalSupport on Etsy

“I Said Yes / That’s What She Said” Shirt, $22.95, Bachette on Etsy

“Bride and Boujee / Bad and Boozie” Shirt, $16.94, LineLiam on Etsy

“Definition of a Bride” Shirt, $12.97, Bridal Party Tees“Definition of a Bridesmaid” Shirt, $12.97, Bridal Party Tees

“Bach Shit Crazy” Racerback Tank Top, $17, ShopAtBash on Etsy

“Bride to BAE / Bae Watch” Shirt, $25, Design Like Whoa

For the Jet Setter

Destination decided? These will match your boarding pass perfectly.

“I Said Yes / We Said Vegas” Shirt, $16, WolvesnWillows on Etsy

“Lookin’ Sharp” Shirt, Starting at $54 for 1 Bride + 1 Bridesmaid, SparkledwithGraceCo on Etsy

“Scottsdale Before the Veil” Shirt, $16, WolvesnWillows on Etsy

See More: Beyond Vegas: 16 Alternative Bachelorette Destinations

For the Drinking Team Captain

This cohort has one agenda and one agenda only: alcohol consumption.

“Engaged AF / Drunk AF” Shirt, $21.00, HappyHeartApparel on Etsy

“Last Margarita as a Senorita / Margaritas with My Senoritas” Shirt, $22.95, Bachette on Etsy

“Changing My Name / But First Champagne” Pocket Tee, $25, CowsxCacti on Etsy

“Legit Getting Married/Drunk” Shirt, $20.70, ShopHappyLifeTees on Etsy

“Wine Lover Phrases” Tunic T-Shirt, $19.95, LuxeTeesShop on Etsy

“Brews Before I Dos / Brews with my Bitches” Shirt, $22.95, Bachette on Etsy

“Te Amo / Tequilla” Shirt, $21.99, keeplifesimpledesign on Etsy

“On Cloud Nine/Wine” Flowy Tank Top, $17, ShopAtBash on Etsy

“Can’t Touch This / MC Hammered” Shirt, $24.95, Bachette on Etsy

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Wedding

Why I Hated My Wedding Hair and Makeup

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I genuinely didn’t care about my bridal look…until I hated it. As someone who virtually never wears makeup, getting dolled up was the smallest priority for my wedding day. It was the last thing I thought about — both because it’d be literally one of the final to-dos on the actual day, and because it didn’t feel integral to what I wanted my wedding to be about: marrying the love of my life and people enjoying themselves.

I didn’t schedule hair or makeup trials, and I printed out inspiration photos the day before my ceremony. I hadn’t tried anything out, and spent almost zero time researching. Afraid of a bridal upcharge at the beauty salon the morning of, I told the stylists I was attending a wedding, but failed to mention that it was my own. (“How close are you to the bride?” they’d asked. “Close.”)

I ended up with a face I didn’t recognize and a boring updo that fell out before the reception.

If I could do it again, I’d spend time finding a look I really connected to: something like natural makeup and a simple chignon with succulents woven through it.

What’s my advice now to the other ladies out there like me — who feel a little uneasy, or even guilty, about putting so much effort into their physical appearance?

First off, know that giving a sh*t doesn’t make you shallow. I’ve always prided myself on being chill and low-maintenance—and I mistakenly assumed that doing anything more than the bare (faced) minimum would somehow make me superficial. I regret that now: I realize that there are ways to glam up and still be who you are, and it’s absolutely worth it to put in the time—and ask for help—finding them.

Pinpoint what makes you uncomfortable—the cost, self-consciousness, the cakey feeling that comes with too much makeup—and address the issue well in advance.

If booking trials and/or hiring a professional are too expensive, ask a glam-savvy friend for free run-through and day-of services in lieu of a gift. (Just be sure he or she is going to respect your opinions!) Test out that bold lipstick during a date night so you can get used to seeing your made-up self in the mirror — and snap some photos so you get used to seeing it on camera too.

Speaking of cameras, I’d also recommend watching YouTube video tutorials of your desired results so you’re familiar with what the process will entail once you’re sitting in the salon chair. I had no idea all of the stuff needed for the look in my inspiration photo. I remember my makeup artist going, “Oh, so we’re obviously doing fake eyelashes, right?” I was like, “What!?” I didn’t realize how much makeup it actually was because, you know, I don’t wear makeup.

See more: 2018 Beauty Awards: The Best Beauty Products for Brides

On a happier note, I will say that despite my regrets, the sole person disappointed in my beauty look was me. When I asked my husband a year later if he even recalled what I looked like, he responded, “I remember you looked nice. The mascara was hot.” If you’re the one getting married, it’s almost guaranteed that everyone else is going to think you look flawless — pretty much no matter what. That means you should go with a look that makes you feel beautiful, and rest assured you can’t lose. The only thing you have to have on your face is a smile.

—Becky Wierschen as told to Jessie Mooney

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Wedding

How to Sleep Better While Wedding Planning

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You’ve never been so tired—and you’ve never been so wired. When you crawl into bed at night, your mind scrolls like an IG feed of favors and flowers. But it’s super important to commit to your beauty sleep—which we promise will have benefits far beyond puffless eyelids and dewy cheeks.

“You’ll be much more effective taking care of wedding details if you’re taking care of yourself,” says Arianna Huffington, media mogul turned sleep evangelist and author of The Sleep Revolution. In fact, studies have found that—beyond generally looking cuter—sleeping six to nine hours a night leads to a clearer mind and more creative problem-solving. (When your planner wants your opinion on tissue paper color, it won’t feel like she’s asked you to explain the finer points of net neutrality.)

The first step to sleeping better is—brace yourself—putting your phone in another room. (Huffington even has a doll-size bed to charge hers in overnight.) Spring 10 bucks for an actual alarm clock because late-night thumb swiping on your phone “is essentially giving you jet lag,” explains Catherine Price, author of How to Break Up With Your Phone. “The light tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime.” What’s more, the emotional stimulation of wedding planning means you’re staying up later and are less likely to sleep well, she says. “Your phone is like that bad enabling friend who preys on your excitement,” she continues. “It’s like, ‘Look at one more cake feed and you’ll find your perfect one! Let’s cross-reference honeymoon hotels for three hours!’”

Replace your phone with a different stimulus. “You can’t break a habit, only change it,” Price says. “When you go to reach for your phone, you need something else for that hand to do—how about touching your fiancé?”

Granted, you may not want to touch if that foghorn’s snoring is partly to blame for your slumber bummers. “In a weird way, it’s borderline abusive to subject your partner to bad sleep,” says Chris Winter, a Virginia-based neurologist and author of The Sleep Solution. Around 60 million people a year report suffering from sleep disturbances, and romance-spiking research suggests that sharing a bed can make matters worse. If that’s you, Winter recommends “sleep-cations”—two set nights a week when you snooze apart. (Predetermine the days so no one reads too much into “I’m sleeping in the other room tonight!”) “If you love your partner,” Winter says, “give that person a break from the sounds of small animals dying.” For the other five nights, soft foam earplugs—the kind rated to block the sounds of jets taking off—certainly couldn’t hurt.

Ironically, the worst sleep offender may be the thing you’re dreaming about: your wedding. If you’re taking longer to catch zzz’s due to bridal anxieties, Winter suggests thinking of bedtime as “the earliest I’ll go to bed” instead of “when I should be asleep” to give yourself a cushion. When a million to-do’s jack your mind into overdrive, put ye olde pen and paper on your nightstand, and “write those thoughts down to get them out,” instructs Price. Do this analog style, so you “avoid being distracted by Instagram.”

Actually, you’ll want to cut back on all kinds of stimulants before you hit the hay. Avoid caffeine eight hours before, finish your alcohol at least three hours prior, and try to get your exercise in first thing in the morning as opposed to late evening, because Winter says “frantic movement cues your brain it’s supposed to be turning on, as opposed to winding down.”

Don’t be surprised, either, if you simply can’t conk out the night before the big day (flashback feeling: waiting for Santa Claus…but to the millionth power). You shouldn’t stress about being a zombie bride, though, or get up and get all tasky with your DIY list. “Brides may be like, ‘I might as well work on centerpieces,’” Winter says.“Don’t do that. Resting or meditating does a lot of what sleep does, so it’s not wasted time.”

See more: 9 Tips to Improve Your Sleep and Get Super Rested The Day Before Your Wedding

And if you’ve committed to quality shut-eye for months beforehand, Huffington says that come your wedding day, “you’ll be much more joyful and able to meaningfully connect with your loved ones.”

Go With the Nap

Sleep, it seems, is the latest equivalent of a perfect butt. Sign up for “classes” so you can get yours.

Recharj, Washington, D.C.

Snuggle up with a blanket, head pillow, and eye shade for 25 minutes.

Peace Power Napping, Chicago

Want to sleep on the job? PPN is now commonly reserved by HR departments.

Nap York, NYC

In the city that never sleeps, you can nap in a pod (for 30 minutes or up to nine hours).

AntiGravity Cocooning, across the U.S.

Get cozy in a fabric cradle during this 45-minute hybrid yoga and rockaby sesh.

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Wedding

The Zero-Drama Guide to Finding Your Signature Bridal Beauty Look

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Your wedding is one of those rare—possibly even once-in-a-lifetime—days when all eyes are on you. And yes, that kind of puts some pressure on your look, both for the event itself and the photos forever after. That may feel overwhelming, but you totally got this — just read our zero-drama guide to finding your signature bridal beauty look! (Shameless plug, we know.)

First, you want to take a requisite moment of chill…then you should start googling your favorite celebrity red-carpet moments, says Kelli Bartlett, artistic director of makeup at Glamsquad, the network of in-home, on-demand beauty pros. Such real-life looks, she says, “are executed beautifully—they’re natural but intensified with a little bit of drama.” Just scrolling through Pinterest studio-shot pics, meanwhile, can be misleading when they’re heavily photoshopped, Bartlett says.

Bring all your bridal beauty inspo images when you book your hair and makeup trials (ideally a few months before your wedding). Also be sure to include pictures of your dress and venue: “You want to represent the whole shebang,” says hairstylist Teddi Cranford, founder and creative director for White Rose Collective, a New York–based agency of hair and makeup stylists. Then you and your artists can play around with hairdos and makeup looks that feel special-occasion-worthy but are still in your comfort zone.

Perhaps most important, you want to make sure you actually like spending time with your glam pros. As Bartlett says, “The getting-ready vibe with your stylists should empower you to enjoy the day.”

If you’re indecisive about committing to a particular getup, remember you just want to look like Yourself 2.0. Bartlett suggests thinking back to a time you felt beautiful and self-assured—and leaning into that. “If you have a signature move like a red lip, work it,” she says. “Trying something new on your wedding day might feel inauthentic.”

More to the point, you don’t want to confuse your fiancé at the altar with too much, um, experimenting. Stick to the classics—amplified eyes, natural contouring, and neutral tones—to highlight your features without obscuring your identity.

And if you want to wear your hair in an easy, no-fuss way, go for it: “You don’t have to do something formal just because you’re a bride,” Cranford says. “These days, there are no rules except staying true to yourself.”

Focus on Your Best Feature

Play up your lips, brows, or eyes— and go minimal with the rest of your makeup. Here, Tiffany Patton with NYC’s White Rose Collective gives her best recos.

Bold Lips

Key product: A long-wear lipstick like Covergirl’s.

Unexpected product: M.A.C. Prep + Prime. “It helps the lipstick stay put and acts as a matte lip balm so that lips won’t dry out,” Patton says.

Strong Brows

Key product: Pencil with a brush on the end (like the one Nars makes). “I use strokes for a fuller look,” she says.

Unexpected product: Laura Mercier translucent powder. “I put it through the brows before and sometimes even after filling them in.”

Smoky Eyes

Key product: Bobbi Brown eye shadow sticks. “They blend beautifully and pack a lot of pigment,” she says.

Unexpected product: A neutral, light-brown shadow. “Less is more! Layering too much can look dusty.” Plus, Lumify drops whiten your eyes’ sclera for added contrast.

See more: The Most Iconic Wedding-Day Beauty Looks, From Audrey Hepburn To Kate Middleton

Should You Drop Some Dough or DIY?

Find the approach that suits your budget, style, and skills.

Hire a pro

You’re paying for experience and expertise here, and that’s totally worth it for many brides. To find the right person, ask your go-to stylist, planner, and friends for suggestions. Be sure to take photos during trials to ensure that the look translates on camera.

Recruit a friend

This is a budget-friendly option…as long as it doesn’t tax your friendship. Pick a friend whose style you admire—and who won’t take criticism personally. Be sure to communicate your likes and dislikes during trials (which, btw, you should definitely have!).

Watch a video

If you know your way around a vanity, YouTube videos can help you perfect your braids, brow shape, contouring, and more. Test your look for an engagement party or another event that’s being photographed, then gauge how to tweak it.

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