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Jessie Mooney

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The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Binge-Watching Guide: 45 Movies and Shows to Stream Now

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Featuring well over 24 hours worth of iconic rom-coms and Valentine’s Day-themed TV episodes available to stream now.

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7 Expert Tips for Perfect Proposal Pictures

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If you want perfect proposal pictures, go ahead and share our expert tips with your soon-to-be fiancé stat!

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67 Valentine’s Day Cards For When You Realize “Oh, I Need to Buy One of Those!”

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We found 65 funny and sentimental Valentine’s Day cards for significant others, best friends, and everything in between.

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32 Bachelorette Party Sweatshirts For You and Your Cool Friends

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Paging all fall and winter bachelorettes, we love these bachelorette party sweatshirts for you and your crew.

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Wedding

Wedding Traditions: Why Is the Wedding Ring Worn on the Left Hand?

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Uncover the history behind the age-old tradition of find out why the wedding ring is worn on the left hand.

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Wedding

7 Wedding Expenses You Won’t Believe Are That Expensive

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Plus, explanations from three industry experts on why these seven wedding expenses cost what they do.

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Wedding

Five Brides Share The Best Money They Spent On Fitness and Wellness

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Five brides discuss what they spent in pursuit of healthiness, because nothing puts a premium on fitness like an upcoming wedding.

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Wedding

14 Real Brides Who Wore Glasses On Their Wedding Day

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A round-up of stunning brides who wore glasses on their wedding day — featuring glasses in various styles, shapes, and colors

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The Most Common Love Languages for Women and Men, According to Hinge

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Find out the love languages most common for women and men, plus, which self-reported love language will get you the most “likes” on the Hinge app.

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22 Matching Holiday Pajamas Perfect for Your First Married Christmas

Wedding in the Maldives islands, Its celebration of happiness in the middle of ocean with World class Accomodation and Food on your Holiday package, Photo by Asad

These matching holiday pajamas are perfect for newlywed or newly-engaged couples. Shop 22 cute matching holiday pajamas.

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24 Newlywed (and Newly-Engaged) Christmas Ornaments That Are As Precious As You Guys

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Llama Couple Christmas Ornament

If you and your one true pairing are animal lovers, this shop has a menagerie of adorable creatures to choose from for your customized white-coated aluminum ornament— including flamingos, bumble bees, lobsters, otters, goats, moose, dolphins, bunnies, and sloths!

SHOP NOW: Etsy, $20

Note: Due to a storm, HappyCatPrintsCo shop is temporarily unable to take new orders, but should be up and running again soon. Sign up to be notified upon their return.

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The Mother in Law Guide to Spending the Holidays With In-Laws

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Much like a wedding, the holidays are a time to look forward to — but that’s not to say they don’t come with their share of challenges. And if you had the happy fortune of getting hitched some time in the last 11 months, one of those might be navigating your very first Thanksgiving and/or Christmas with a shiny new set of in-laws. While we’d like to assume everyone will get along smashingly while bonding over claymation films and sweet potato soufflé, we also acknowledge that your mother-in-law could be a huge—erm—grinch, so to speak.

Or is she? Maybe she’s just been misunderstood all of this time! No worries if you’ve given up trying to figure out exactly what that woman wants from you—we took the liberty of asking for you. We polled 10 mothers-in-law (including my own future MIL!), and asked them exactly what they think newly appointed daughters-in-law everywhere should know about “winning” the holidays with their in-laws.

Study up on the below so you can get to impressing, and you may just notice your MIL’s heart grow three sizes that day.

What TO Do When At Your In-Laws for the Holidays:

“Be sweet and communicative.”
—DB, from Portland, OR, MIL for 23 years

“Make sure no one eats the turkey before they should and help with dishes every now and then.”
—Shannon, from Easley, SC, first-year MIL

“‘When in Rome…’ follow your new family’s lead! If everyone goes through the house barefoot, kick off those heels!”

Cynthia, from Los Angeles, CA, MIL for two years

“Tell your new in-laws what a great job they did in raising such a good kid.”

Mar, from Columbus, OH, MIL for 27 years

“Join me in the kitchen, for talk-time if nothing else. If I’m doing something that doesn’t require any help, just sit at the table or bar and chat for a bit!”
—Rose, from Ringgold, GA, MIL for 4 years

“Be willing to lend a hand without being over-eager about it.”
—Connie, from Corvallis, OR, MIL for 23 years

“Embrace new traditions and dishes, and then incorporate the parts of your holiday at your in-laws that you like best into what will become you and your spouse’s family traditions.”
—Leslie, from Athens, GA, MIL for 3 years

What NOT to Do When At Your In-Laws for the Holidays:

“Don’t brag about being a better cook than me.”

Mar

“Don’t feel responsible for how the holidays turn out. The mix of people, traditions, feelings, and alcohol means there will be plenty of credit — and blame — to go around.”
—Danielle, from Long Beach, CA, (who will be my mother-in-law in 10 days!)

“Unless asked, do not try to take over somebody else’s kitchen, no matter how well-meaning you are. Even if you’re a professional chef or caterer, don’t suggest your own special little additions to Granny’s traditional stuffing recipe.”
—Connie

“Please don’t arrive late from your own parents’ house, or if you’re going there next, don’t check your watch every five minutes while looking at your spouse impatiently. And don’t overshare about your own family’s holidays like it’s a competition. Make them sound pleasant but not the best thing that’s ever happened. “
—Leslie

“Don’t be overly sensitive and/or get offended easily.”
—Susie, from North Tustin, CA, MIL for three years

“Don’t expect perfection! And don’t try to recreate your childhood memories. You’re making new memories and traditions by combining, hopefully, the best of both sides.”
—Gloria, from Overland Park, KS, MIL for 28 years

“Don’t hijack the holidays and completely leave your spouse’s family out of the plan-making. Blending families at the holidays is hard, but try to come up with a strategy that works for everyone.”
—Rose

“Don’t just cling to your hubby (or wifey), and have little or nothing to say to the host family and guests.”
—Cynthia

How These MILs Feel About PDA

“Absolutely not! That’s my baby boy/girl.” = 11 percent

“A little hand-holding or light pecking is fine, but nothing more.” = 55 percent

“Go wild! (Just keep it PG-13, please.)” = 23 percent

“I don’t want to see you do anything you don’t want to see me and my spouse do.” = 11 percent

Is There a Perfect Gift You Can Bring?

“My son.”
—Mar

“Your cheerful self — a nice candle or plant is good too.”
—Susie

“Something showing your family’s traditions.”
—Danielle

“A side dish or two.”
—Leslie

“Flowers.”
—DB

“A good bottle of wine.”
—Connie

“A grandchild! LOL. Or, something for the kitchen. I love aprons!”
—Rose

Any Advice for Your First Holiday With In-Laws?

“Everyone is different, so be sure to ask for specifics on how you can help and honor their wishes.”
—Susie

“My MIL was a martyr whose currency consisted of guilt trips and audible sighs. I wish someone had told me not to get sucked into that dynamic (and then somehow helped me accomplish that!)”
—Connie

“You will never want to be at his/her family’s house like you want to be at your childhood home. However, willingly and lovingly participating in his/her family’s holiday is a gift to your spouse.”
—Leslie

Feelings About Help in the Kitchen:

“Please!” = 78 percent

“Nope! I’m all set.” = 21 percent

Write-in from Connie: “Yes, within reason. Take your cue from me. I appreciate help, but I want to be the one who assigns the jobs, or nicely says, ‘No, thanks!’ (If I say it, I mean it.)”

See more: 30 Things Your Daughter-in-Law Wants to Tell You

The Number 1 Thing Your MIL Wants You To Know:

“Have a sense of humor and understanding about things. My first holiday dinner with my German in-laws, I could not bring myself to eat the homemade liver meatballs, but I raved about the bread! My husband just said, ‘American,’ and we all laughed.”
—Cynthia

“Don’t be afraid to ask your MIL if you can call her ‘Mom,’ if you want to — and please encourage your husband/wife to call us more.”
—Susie

“I gave my own adult children permission to enjoy their holidays, with or without family, with no sense of obligation or guilt. And when we do have the opportunity to gather as a family, I am trying really hard not to take those times for granted and to let them know how grateful I am that we get to be together.”
—Connie

“If I get into trouble as an in-law, it’s because I failed to only offer advice when asked. My daughter-in-law asks my opinion very often, and sometimes I get complacent and offer it before I’m asked. I’m working on it.”
—Rose

“Remember one day you will probably be a mother-in-law as well, and what goes around comes around. Try to treat your mother-in-law the way that you would like to be treated one day.”
—Leslie

“Relax and be yourself. Let us see what brought the two of you together.”
—Danielle

[Ed. note: **Breathes massive sigh of relief**]

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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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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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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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