How to Sneak Away to Change Into Your Reception Dress — Without Anyone Noticing!

Wearing Second Wedding Dress to Reception

Photo: Gia Canali

No matter how perfectly your wedding dress is altered, sometimes you just need a backup option so you can dance all night without a voluminous skirt holding you back. While you want to make a grand entrance when you’ve changed into look number two, you don’t want guests to notice you’ve slipped away, so here’s the best way to make a costume change without garnering any extra attention (until you’ve come back in your new dress, of course!).

When it comes to quietly changing into your reception dress, timing is key. Pick a moment when guests will be distracted so they won’t notice you’re gone. A transition between different portions of the evening would be the best, as everyone is up and wandering around — and it also lends itself to your big reveal once you’re dressed!

If you want to get some bang for your buck out of both your ceremony and your reception dress, time your change to take place between cocktail hour and dinner, when guests are being encouraged to find their seats. You’ll have spent the ceremony and cocktail hour in your wedding dress (with ample time for pictures!), and also have around 15 minutes to sneak away and change, as it can take a little while for your guests to figure out where their table is and finally sit down! Then, when you’re introduced as newlyweds, you’ll be able to show off your second ensemble with the crowd’s full attention.

See more: Anna Camp’s Second Wedding Dress Literally Just Made Her the Coolest Celebrity Bride

You could also step away to change after toasts and before the first dance. Again, this will mean all eyes are on you when your reception dress makes its debut, and you’ll have the benefit of a few minutes while guests get up from their seats and head to the dance floor to watch you take your first spin as husband and wife.

The third option is to simply wait until all that dancing has made you too warm to keep your gown on. When the band is in full swing, step out for a minute to change, then make a beeline for your new hubby and the center of the dance floor — or jump on stage so everyone can really get a good look!

6 Gorgeous Vacation Rentals Perfect for Your Honeymoon

Honeymoon Homestay Alternatives

Photo: Getty Images

No one will ever admit it, but many newlyweds secretly believe that the honeymoon is the best part of getting married. But why shouldn’t it be? Planning a wedding. The honeymoon is your and your partner’s time to finally kick back, relax, and be together as a married couple, free from interruptions. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to reserve the swankiest suite at the most luxurious resort to celebrate your union. Thanks to companies like onefinestay, there are plenty of alternatives around the world that are just as good, if not better than your typical hotel.

Private homes are a perfect choice for the couple that wants their peace and solitude, but also enjoys the amenities of a five-star hotel. Whether you’re looking to save a few bucks or want to escape a crowded hotel, consider these incredible, albeit untraditional lodging options around the world.

Venice Bungalow Honeymoon Hotel

Photo: Courtesy of onefinestay

Venice Bungalow: Dimmick Avenue, Los Angeles
If you’re looking for a romantic spot just a few blocks from the Pacific ocean, book this charming beach cottage in Venice. It’s bright and airy, but provides more than enough cozy spots that are perfect for all that post-nuptial canoodling. ($359 per night)

Oxford Street Honeymoon Hotel

Photo: Courtesy of onefinestay

Oxford Street Flat: Meard Street, London
Headed to London? Live like modern royalty in this elegant condo decked out with a marble-laden fireplace, a buttery leather sofa, and a purple, claw-foot bathtub. Should you manage to leave the premises, you’re only a short walk from Soho’s bustling restaurant and pub scene. ($546 per night)

Notting Hill Honeymoon Hotel

Photo: Courtesy of onefinestay

Notting Hill Residence: Powis Square, London
There’s no wrong way to unwind at this Notting Hill home, whether you’re rolled out onto sheepskin rugs underneath the white-painted rafters or posted up on the terrace with a bottle of red. Pick your poison. ($222 per night)

Eiffel Tower Honeymoon Hotel

Photo: Courtesy of onefinestay

Tour Eiffel Maison: Avenue de la Bourdonnais III, Paris
As if it wasn’t enough that this Parisian property is situated on an enchanting tree-lined avenue, once you step foot into the living room (adorned with Oriental rugs and antique pieces), you’ll be treated to a sweeping view of the Eiffel Tower. Eat your heart out, Carrie Bradshaw. ($652 per night)

Auteuil Abode Honeymoon Hotel

Photo: Courtesy of onefinestay

Auteuil Abode: Rue Ribera, Paris
If you want to see all the romantic sights of Paris, look no further than this sweet spot situated on Rue Ribéra. On top of the artfully decorated residence is a roomy rooftop terrace with a 360 degree view of the breathtaking cityscape. ($394 per night)

See More: Can We Set Up a Honeymoon Fund Instead of a Traditional Registry?

Roman Holiday Honeymoon Hotel

Photo: Courtesy of onefinestay

Roman Holiday: Via dei Volsci, Rome
You might not imagine a glittering industrial loft would be where you’d want to spend your Roman honeymoon, but that’ll change when you arrive at Via del Volsci. A pink elephant painting will greet you upon arrival and guide you from the colorful living room to the floating breakfast bar and finally, into the spacious master suite. ($605 per night)

This Couple Had More Than 1,000 Peonies at Their Classic Ohio Wedding

Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Bride and Groom Portrait

Photo: Ted Miller of Kortnee Kate Photography

Hilary Grosser and Eric Jaschke met at Washington & Lee University in Virginia during their freshman year, but it wasn’t until 2010, at the very end of their senior year, that they started dating. Four years later, the couple decided they’d celebrate their anniversary with a weekend in Healdsburg, California. When they drove up to Gary Farrell Winery and found that they’d arrived too late for a tasting, Eric convinced Hilary to sit with him on the winery’s patio. While Hilary had a feeling a proposal would happen that weekend, she was completely surprised when Eric pulled her to her feet and got down on one knee to pop the question then and there.

With help from a dream team of planners at Viva Bella Events, the ecstatic couple prepared for their elegant June 20, 2015, wedding in Cincinnati, Ohio. The ceremony took place at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, and was followed by a party at the Cincinnati Country Club, which was one of the easiest choices for the couple to make. The bride’s mother was the first non-legacy female member of the club, and her parents had their own reception there years before! The classic flower-filled celebration was photographed by Ted Miller of Kortnee Kate Photography. Take a close look at every gorgeous detail below.

Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Bride's Rings
Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Elegant White Invitation Suite

Photo: Ted Miller of Kortnee Kate Photography

With their planners in Ohio and the couple residing on the West Coast, Hilary admits that the planning process wasn’t always easy. Through a lot of Skype calls and Pinterest inspiration, they managed to tackle the toughest part (narrowing down the guest list) and dreamed up small details that helped create a day to remember. Invitations offered guests a glimpse of the simple and elegant aesthetic the couple had channeled for their big day.

Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Bride in Strapless Vera Wang Wedding Dress
Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Bride's Accessories

Photo: Ted Miller of Kortnee Kate Photography

The experience of shopping for a wedding dress was an important one for both Hilary and her mother. “My grandmother passed away before my parent’s wedding, so she and my mom never got to go shopping together for her dress. It was important to me that my mom got to enjoy it on the other side,” Hilary says. The third dress she tried on — a layered lace Vera Wang gown with a sweetheart neckline, buttons down the back, and a long dramatic train — turned out to be the one. Hilary paired her wedding dress with an ivory grosgrain ribbon and a stunning cathedral-length veil.

Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, All-White Wedding Bouquet with Peonies, Roses, and Magnolias

Photo: Ted Miller of Kortnee Kate Photography

For her something old, the bride wore her great grandmother’s pearl ring and her great great grandmother’s lace handkerchief tied around her bouquet of ivory roses, magnolias, and peonies. For her something new, she accessorized with a tennis bracelet that her father gave her on the day of her wedding. The bottom of her custom Prada shoes served as her something blue.

Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Bride and Groom
Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Groom with Groomsmen in Black Tuxedos
Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Boutonnieres

Photo: Ted Miller of Kortnee Kate Photography

Eric paired a bow tie and David Yurman cufflinks with his classic Ralph Lauren tuxedo. His groomsmen rented Vera Wang tuxedos from Men’s Warehouse to give the wedding party a cohesive look.

While Eric had a white boutonniere, the groomsmen wore blush pink flowers.

Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Bride with Bridesmaids in Monogrammed Robes
Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Ceremony Church Interior
Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Ceremony Exit

Photo: Ted Miller of Kortnee Kate Photography

Hilary and her bridesmaids got ready for the ceremony with champagne and monogrammed robes. Each woman chose her favorite silhouette of the pale green J.Crew gowns Hilary chose. The one rule: No one shoulder dresses. “I just asked that none of them go with the one shoulder look because I think in a few years we might look back and have one of those ‘what were we thinking’ moments!” she says.

The church had some strict rules regarding decorations, so the couple kept their ceremony décor minimal. They selected large floral arrangements to adorn the altar and floral wreaths to dress up the entry doors. Hilary’s father walked her down the aisle as a string quartet and trumpeter played Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary. The couple’s close friends offered readings, including Corinthians 13:4-13 and “Wedding Vow” by Rebecca W. “It was really special, our friends spent months picking out their readings and it couldn’t have been more perfect,” Hilary says.

As the newlyweds exited the church, Eric said to his wife, “We did it! You look incredible.” Although it was meant to be a sweet, private moment, it’s one the couple will be able to remember for years to come thanks to a happy accident. “He was still mic’d from the vows and our videographer caught it. It was such a nice surprise,” Hilary says.

Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Signature Cocktail Menu

Photo: Ted Miller of Kortnee Kate Photography

This couple wanted to make sure everyone had a blast at their party, so they hired a jazz quartet to perform at cocktail hour. There, guests chose one of three signature cocktails: The ‘His’ cocktail was a Manhattan, ‘Hers’ was an Eastern Standard, and ‘Ours’ was a Margarita with the option to add jalapeños.

Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Reception Interior
Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Long Tables with Peony Centerpieces
Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Low Peony Centerpieces
Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Low Peony Centerpieces

Photo: Ted Miller of Kortnee Kate Photography

The couple’s reception space was a flower lover’s dream, decked out in over 1,000 peonies! A mixture of round and rectangular tables were draped in white linens and topped with small candles and a range of high and low centerpieces in the couple’s color scheme of muted green, ivory, peach, and pink. In addition to tons of gorgeous peonies, the couple filled out centerpieces with roses, hydrangeas, lisianthus, and greenery.

The venue’s chandeliers were an elegant touch, warming up the property’s classic ball room.

Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Bride and Groom Chair Backs
Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, White Floral Centerpieces and Place Settings
Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Menu Cards

Photo: Ted Miller of Kortnee Kate Photography

The couple’s chairs were marked with fresh greenery garlands and wedding-appropriate bundles of white flowers that were tied with trailing ivory bows.

Place settings included gold-rimmed chargers with the couple’s dinner menu placed on top, along with a cookie in the shape of one of four states that are meaningful to the couple — Ohio, where the bride is from, Texas, where the groom is from, California, where the couple lives, and Virginia, where the couple met. Dinner began with a salad followed by a choice of filet mignon, grilled chicken breast, or eggplant napoleon.

Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Wedding Cake
Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, White Wedding Cake with Fresh Flowers and Textured Buttercream

Photo: Ted Miller of Kortnee Kate Photography

For dessert, the couple served their five-tiered almond, dark chocolate, and vanilla wedding, which was covered in white chocolate buttercream and plenty of fresh flowers.

Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Bride and Father Dancing
Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Bag Pipes
Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Guests Dancing

Photo: Ted Miller of Kortnee Kate Photography

The bride and groom brought in a 10-piece band to get the party started. After a father-daughter dance to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Fred Astaire, Hilary’s mother performed on the bagpipes. “She used to play in the Cincinnati Caledonian Pipes & Drums band and my friends absolutely love that she plays them,” the bride says. Guests finished the night with late night stadium food. “It is my favorite part about Ohio in the summer — grilling out with family and friends. So we had brats, mets, hot dogs, sliders, and french fries!” the bride says.

Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Reception Exit
Flower-Focused Wedding in Cincinnati, Getaway Car with Floral Garland

Photo: Ted Miller of Kortnee Kate Photography

The newlyweds had a system throughout the planning process that may save couples a headache or two. “I would pick two options that I loved equally for every part of the wedding and Eric would make the final call if couldn’t decide.”

Ceremony Venue: The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer || Reception Venue & Catering: The Cincinnati Country Club || Wedding Planner: Viva Bella Events || Bride’s Wedding Dress: Vera Wang || Hair: High Five Salon || Makeup: Brideface || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew || Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren || Flowers: Robin Wood Flowers || Invitations: Union Street Papery || Music: Lyrica; Sam Hill Bands || Cake: The BonBerie || Rentals: All Occasions Event Rental; Goodwin Lighting; La Tavola Linens; Wildflower Linens || Videographer: Mason Jar Films || Photographer: Ted Miller of Kortnee Kate Photography

Find Local Vendors Wedding Wire

Can’t get enough of this beautiful wedding? Then check out another couple’s classic ballroom bash in the video below.

How to Choose the Engagement Ring Setting That's Right for You

scott kay sponsored

Photo: Courtesy of Scott Kay

So your longtime love just popped the question, no, not THAT question, the one that comes before it — do you want to go ring shopping together? Before you take that adrenaline rush and head out to find the engagement ring of your dreams, there are a few things to take into consideration. First and foremost, it all starts with the setting. You need something to make sure you’re shining bright, right?

Bezel, tension, pave, cluster, bar, channel: the options are endless and sometimes a bit daunting! So where’s a future bride-to-be to start? Consider these five points before deciding what engagement ring setting is right for you.

Consider the Wedding Ring
Sure, it’s easy to get caught up in the diamond madness but don’t forget the ring that will symbolize your eternal commitment. Consider the type of wedding band you would like and how you plan to wear your engagement ring after the wedding. Do you want rings that stack on top of each other? Would you like to wear a wedding band that matches your engagement ring? Or will you be wearing the engagement ring on your right hand and letting a sparkly diamond wedding band do the talking? It’s important to think about what band you might be wearing for the rest of your life before you decide on the engagement ring that kicks off that magical time in your life.

Invest in a Set
Designers like Scott Kay have thought ahead and planned collections that offer matching wedding bands to your engagement ring, if that’s the direction you want to go in. Choose the engagement ring, your wedding band, and his wedding band with a collection like Scott Kay’s Namaste (above) that offers all three in coordinating styles.

Think About Your Lifestyle
Are you the type who will not be caught dead without your engagement ring, even in the sweatiest of dance cardio classes? Or do you spend more time at the blow dry bar than a barre class? A bezel set might be right for you if you live a more active lifestyle since it encircles the diamond. If you’re dead set on a classic prong setting with a solitaire diamond you can still get the look with a round bezel setting, that won’t potentially snag on clothes like a prong.

scott kay embrace

Photo: Courtesy of Scott Kay

Diamonds Upon Diamonds
Are you planning on having a single stone or have you always dreamt of a diamond surrounded by sapphires? How many stones you’ll wear on your finger will definitely influence the type of setting you choose. And a pave setting will add even more sparkle to your sparkler. And if want that ring to shine even more you might want to consider a stone set in a halo of even more diamonds, like this stunner from Scott Kay’s Luminaire collection.


Photo: Courtesy of Scott Kay

The Meaning Behind Your Setting
This is the biggest piece of jewelry you’ll purchase in your lifetime so you want every aspect of it to carry meaning. Look for special touches that carry a deeper connection, like Scott Kay’s Embrace collection featuring links in the rings’ band and setting which symbolize: “Linking my heart to yours I promise to share ONE SOUL, ONE LOVE, ONE LIFE together.” Who needs an engraving when your ring is already that meaningful?

sponsored content-banner.jpg

These Might Just Be the Worst Wedding Dresses We've Ever Seen

Worlds Worst Wedding Dresses

Photo: Imgur

No matter if you’ve always dreamed of walking down the aisle in a classic lace ball gown or a modern minimalist slip, all brides-to-be hope to stand-out on their wedding day in a gorgeous wedding dress. (Shouldn’t that just be a given? You are the bride, after all!) But we certainly don’t have any doubts that these brides had any trouble with that one! These ladies definitely weren’t shy with their show-stopping numbers, opting for wedding dresses that you need to see to believe.

We’re big believers that all brides are beautiful in their dream wedding dresses, but even we have to admit that some of these over-the-top frocks are more nightmare fodder than the stuff of sweet dreams. The Daily Mail rounded up “the world’s worst wedding dresses” and some of these bridal ensembles have us clutching our pearls. From cut-outs in the most interesting of places to necklines that redefine the word cleavage, these outrageous wedding dresses are bound to get grandma swooning when you walk down the aisle.

Low-Cut Worlds Worst Wedding Dresses

Photo: Imgur

Tons of brides want a va-va-voom wedding dress with sultry sex appeal. While that might mean a curve-hugging mermaid gown for most, this bride said “I do” to cleavage — and lots of it. Girlfriend is about an inch away from a major wardrobe malfunction…

Worlds Worst Wedding Dresses with Balloons

Photo: Imgur

This bride better steer clear of anything sharp and pointy with a wedding dress made entirely out of balloons. Looks like she better be really, really careful with the edges of her wedding ring if she wants to avoid flashing the entire wedding party.

Worlds Worst Wedding Dress

Photo: Imgur

Meanwhile, how about this gown that’s so hot, it’s emblazoned with red hot flames? And while some expectant brides attempt to find a wedding dress silhouette that hides their baby belly, this woman was so proud of her mom-to-be status that she let that bump take center stage thanks to a strategically-placed cut-out.

See More: 6 True Life Wedding Disasters That Actually Happened

One thing’s for sure: These brides certainly found frocks that matched their personal style. That’s all that matters, right? Right?!

If you want to see even more disastrous wedding dresses (seriously, you’ll feel SO much better about that too-short hemline alteration mishap on yours…), click through the Imgur album below.

Every The Bachelor and The Bachelorette Proposal That DEFINITELY Made You Ugly Cry

jojo fletcher proposal

Photo: Getty Images

Beachfront views, sunsets, sparkly diamond rings — a proposal and final rose ceremony on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette are always quite the to-do. But even though every season ends with a climactic situation and most likely an engagement, there are some situations that stick out in our minds more than others. Today we’re sharing our favorite tear-worthy, ugly-crying-is-totally-acceptable proposal moments from the ABC reality show series.

JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers

On her last day as a single girl, JoJo shared repeatedly on Season 12 of The Bachelorette, JoJo gave out her final rose to her aspiring sports caster and main squeeze. While the season as a whole was very tumultuous with lots of twists and turns (and some pretty lame attempts at playing football), when it came down to it, Rodgers was the one for her. And he echoed her sentiments equally, luckily not fumbling the play: “You’re my best friend, you’re my soul mate. I’m gonna keep you safe, I’m gonna protect you, I’m gonna wake up every morning and choose you, over and over and over again until you tell me I can’t.” I mean…what girl wouldn’t say yes to that sweetness? The two are still together, and are rumored to be planning a spring 2017 wedding date, according to People.


Courtesy of Giphy

ben higgins proposal

Photo: Youtube

Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell

When Ben Higgins met Lauren Bushnell on The Bachelor Season 20, he shared in the finale that he knew that she would be the one. And she pretty much felt the same. “You’re my person. I love you,” the finalist shared with her soon-to-be husband at the final rose ceremony. The Colorado State Representative candidate completely shared her sentiments at that moment, saying, “I want to go to bed at night and know that in the morning I’m going to go to bed and wake up to the most beautiful woman I’ve ever laid eyes on.” He continued as his bride-to-be stood, stunned. “I want to hold you, love you, kiss you a lot,” he said playfully. And with that, he dropped to one knee and popped the question. And the rest, is history (except for a quick reality show chronicling their road to marriage — which we are waiting with bated breath to watch).


Courtesy of Giphy

Desiree Hartsock and Chris Siegfried

desiree hartsock proposal

Photo: Youtube

The Bachelorette Season 9 didn’t disappoint with an epically teary proposal. Originally torn over her feelings for Brooks (who rejected her right before the final rose), Des was very open about how she felt towards him and the other contestants. “I feel like I was blind-sighted by my feelings for Brooks that I couldn’t see that the one thing I always needed was right in front of me. You’ve been by my side from the very beginning. You never lost sight of what we could be. And for that I am so grateful — and I thank you every day for not giving up on me. You mean the absolute world to me. I love you so much.” At that moment, Chris pulled her face into his hands and kissed her. Cue the tears — and the proposal. “I want to grow old, and gray, and wrinkly with you,” was her response to his fateful question down on one knee. All. The. Feels. And now, they’re married.


Courtesy of Giphy

Brad Womack (The Second Time) and Emily Maynard

brad womack emily maynard

Photo: Getty Images

After not proposing to both of his finalists on his first round of The Bachelor, Brad Womack was given a second chance on the show to find love. And lo and behold at the end of his second rodeo, he finally got down on one knee to ask everyone’s fave southern belle, Emily Maynard, for her hand in marriage. “Emily, please make me happier than I’ve ever been in my life,” he said while proposing. She obliged readily. “I would love to,” she said as they embraced. While we pretty much thought they’d go off into the sunset, get married and make the most beautiful babies ever, all while living happily ever after thanks to the pretty proposal, the After the Final Rose show elicited a bit of the couple’s pre-marital troubles. A short while later, they appeared on the follow-up show and Emily shared it all, saying that it wasn’t going so well. Sure enough, the pair broke up not long after. It was fun hanging out with Barbie and Ken while it lasted…


Courtesy of Giphy

Ashley Hebert and JP Rosenbaum


Photo: Youtube

Before it all went down and we were totally jealous of Ashley H (#4lyfe) since she pretty much snagged the cutest Bachelor contestant (and construction manager) of all time, there was an adorable beachfront proposal. “The hardest thing out of all this has been not knowing. I’m an open book,” he said to her seconds before his proposal, sharing how nervous he was that she wasn’t going to choose him. “I’m so in love with you. You’re the one, you’re it. You mean the world to me. Ashley, will you marry me?” The proposal was followed by a sunset makeout session. Fast forward a few years and the two are happily married with two children, living in Miami.


Courtesy of Giphy

See More: The Most Memorable Bachelor and Bachelorette Couples of All Time

Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici

sean lowe catherine giudici

Photo: Youtube

One of our favorite caught-by-surprise moments of the series was when the virgin bachelor said, “I want to spend the rest of my life telling you I love you — and making you feel like the most special, beautiful woman in the world.” What woman doesn’t want to hear that?! Clearly Giudici was totally blown away, as you could visibly see her hand shaking and her attempts to *breathe* while her future husband proposed. We feel you, girl! Three years, a TV wedding, and a baby boy (let alone a marriage consummation) later — these two are happily married and an exemplary couple to The Bachelor series, all of which we know thanks to their Instagram updates.


Courtesy of Giphy

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth

A poolside final rose ceremony was just the beginning for these two lovebirds, who are currently engaged and living together IRL. At the ceremony, Shawn put it all out there for his potential bride-to-be. “All I wanted to do was make you the happiest girl in the world. I love you so much Kaitlyn,” he shared. “You are the one, and you always will be,” she returned. Even with a sweet and heartwarming ceremony, the pair only recently decided to move in together, and they’re definitely taking things slowly (nothing wrong with that as in The Bachelor world two months is a long time). Either way, when the time comes, we know the future Mrs. Booth will make for a stunning bride!


Courtesy of Giphy

See More: These Are the Craziest Bachelor and Bachelorette Breakups of All Time, Hands Down

How These 6 Brides Handled Their Nightmare Mother-in-Laws

monster in law fight

Photo: Getty Images

Your fiancé is a dream come true but his or her mom is a nightmare. That sentiment is an unfortunate but all-too-common scenario for many brides-to-be. Dealing with your mother-in-law on an ordinary day is stressful enough, but during wedding planning a monster-in-law can derail the entire process. Thankfully, you are not alone. Many women struggle to find positive ways to interact with their future mother-in-law, and you can’t always rely on your fiancé to swoop in and break the tension. Here, six brides share how they handled their mother-in-laws (and didn’t ruin their impending marriage in the process).

“Whenever my MIL to be tried to take control — like insisting on a separate groom’s cake even though Ed and I decided one cake was enough — I would nod my head. Then when she’d realize I hadn’t taken her advice, I played dumb: ‘Oh, we wanted a bride’s layer and groom’s layer on a big cake so we’d each have a flavor we liked. Sorry to have misunderstood.’ I never snapped at her, just went my own way. I didn’t want to cause unnecessary tension.” — Jill

“She was unbearable during the entire process. We wanted adults only and she had a fit one night, yelling, ‘Children are a blessing. They should be there.’ This was after demanding we have a sit down plated dinner for her entire family while not offering to help cover the cost of the plated dinner or childcare. I had my fiancé deal with her. I stayed out of it!” — Ann

“My MIL was adamant that if we invited her ex-husband to the wedding she wasn’t going to come. Jim told his mother he understood the two of them didn’t get along but that he wanted both parents at his wedding. She had a fit. I took her aside and said I would do everything possible to make sure the two had as little contact as possible, I understood Jim’s dad had been awful to her, but we needed to do everything to make the day great for Jim. Being polite and reasonable helped and eventually she backed down. However the wedding is next month so there might yet be some drama!” — Tina

Meditation and yoga got me through. And so did weekly shrink sessions!” — Karen

“My MIL-zilla was mad that I was getting married before her daughter so she boycotted every single thing I asked her to help with! Dress shopping? Nope, too busy. Come see the dress that was actually bought? Nope. The list goes on and on… I didn’t act on my instinct to be passive-aggressive. I chose to focus my energy on the details of the wedding and the beautiful life I was going to create with her son. I never stopped inviting her and trying to include her, even though all the negative responses hurt. I couldn’t always stay positive though, and in those moments, I let myself cry — a lot. There was many a time I wished voodoo dolls were real! Now, in hindsight, I should have let myself believe she really was a monster-in-law since her ‘zilla’ like behavior is still going on, nine years later!” — Jacqui

“My name is Justin. Being a woman with a stereotypical man’s name, I faced the wrath of my MIL Julie. She constantly badgered me about having a man’s name and attempted to dissuade Paul from marrying me. This resentment carried over into wedding planning, as she shot down all my ideas saying they were ‘bad taste coming from a man.’ It was very frustrating and strained my relationship with Paul. I dealt with my mother-in-law by sitting down and having daily coffee with her, which after a while, became a ritual we both came to love. We became closer, and eventually, the problem between us was eradicated. We had a wonderful wedding six years ago, and Paul and I have been happily married ever since. Julie is now like my second mother!” — Justin

See More: 6 Conversations to Have With Your Future Mother-in-Law BEFORE You Marry Her Baby

Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.

5 Must-Follow Style Rules for Bachelorette Party Guests

What to Wear to a Bachelorette Party

Photo: Getty Images

It’s her party and you can’t wear what you want to! Kidding, because in most cases you totally can rock what you want at your BFF’s bachelorette party (within reason, of course). However, oftentimes there are some bachelorette party dress code rules, like sporting those matching tees the maid of honor bought — you’ve got to be a good sport about. So for brides, guests and hostesses with the mostess, here are a few style rules to take into consideration when planning or attending your next bachelorette party.

1. Skip the all white everything
Remember that it’s customary for the bride to wear white at her bachelorette so do everyone a solid and leave your white-on-white outfits at home, urges Jessica Janik, founder of The Invisible Bridesmaid. A little black dress, on the other hand, is the perfect party style pick.

2. Don’t try to get all matchy-matchy
Professional bridesmaid Jen Glantz of Bridesmaid For Hire tell us her number one bachelorette party style rule is that you shouldn’t try to match each other head to toe. “Instead, have one matching item between the crew, whether it’s t-shirts/headbands or even tote bags and then let each bridesmaid style the rest of her outfit to fit her personality.”

3. Be comfortable
Dressing up in coordinated outfits or getting the same shirt for everyone to wear during the bach with her hashtag on it can be a blast, but be sure to keep in mind any guest limitations, advises Janik. “Not everyone is the same size or feels comfortable in the same type of clothing. So most importantly, whoever is planning the party should talk to the bride and see what she is most comfortable in and what she thinks everyone would be most comfy with since she knows her girls best, and you might not know everyone as well as she does.”

See More: 7 Things That Secretly Annoy Bridesmaids at Bachelorette Parties

4. Go with the flow
As a guest of the bachelorette party, it’s important to go with the flow and wear that silly hat or bachelorette party-themed t-shirt without pouting about it. Now, if you have major issues with the “dress code” or are completely uncomfortable with it, feel free to say something to the host.

5. Keep it classy
News flash: You don’t have to dress in the tightest, skimpiest outfits just because it’s a a bachelorette, says Janik. If anything, because this is a wedding-related event, there’s going to be more attention paid from the bride’s family members and older wedding attendees on social media, and you really don’t want the groom’s grandmother judging you for that itsy, bitsy bandage dress. “While it may be tempting to rock that too short skirt, think twice before you go out in an outfit you might regret the next day or in pictures.”

Nicole Kidman Gets Real About Her Marriage to Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman

Photo: Getty Images

When thinking of power couples past (R.I.P. Brangelina…), Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise are one of the first that come to mind. The 1990s brought us Beanie Babies, Google, and the marriage between Kidman and Cruise, and the world was never quite the same.

A year after meeting on the set of Days of Thunder, the future Academy Award-winning actress and the infamous Scientologist wed in Colorado on Christmas Eve of 1990 and adopted two children. Eleven years later, the couple had called it quits. In the decade (and some) since, Kidman remarried after falling for country star Keith Urban, while Tom Cruise jumped on a couch and married — and later divorced — Katie Holmes. So how does Kidman feel about her previous starring role as the wife of Cruise? More than two decades after saying “I do,” the star is opening up…

“I was so young when I got married. I look back now and I’m like, ‘What?'” the Australian actress told the U.K.’s Red magazine. “You look at Taylor Swift, I mean how old is she? She’s 26. I had two kids by the time I was 27 and I’d been married for four years. But that’s what I wanted.”

Now older and wiser when it comes to relationships and making them work, all this star wants is hubby Keith Urban, with whom she just celebrated 10 (!) years of marriage. “That’s really big for us,” said Kidman. “It was really up and down for the first three months. We’ve been through a lot for 10 years. And we’re stronger than ever. I say that while touching wood, and no way in a boastful way. I just say it with wonder. Absolute wonder.” Aww! Kidman and Urban really never fail to make us swoon. To celebrate 10 years with his beautiful bride back in June, Urban took to social media to share their very first photo together — a very 2005 snapshot, sparkly, bedazzled top and all.

See More: TBT: Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise’s Whirlwind Romance and Wedding, in Photos

So how did these two get from that first meeting in 2005 to their tenth anniversary? “When you’re older, you’ve been through things, you’ve made mistakes. So you come into it [a second marriage], still giddy, but wanting it to last,” explained Kidman. “We always consider the ‘us.’ We say, ‘Is this going to be good for us?’ It’s the simplest phrase, but it works.”

9 Subtle Signs He's Probably Going To Propose Soon

Signs He's Probably Going To Propose Soon

Photo: Getty Images

You know he’s the one, but does he feel the same? You think he does, but you’ve noticed he’s been acting a little strange lately — not just “strange because he’s a man,” but strange.

Well, it could be that your main heartthrob is about ready to pop the question! Yes! But we’re not too excited, are we? Yes, we are! Here are nine signs he’s probably going to propose soon.

1. He doesn’t dismiss your hints.

He Doesn't Dismiss Your Hints

There’s nothing worse than a woman haggling a man over an engagement ring when he has no intentions of popping the question. So if you start dropping hints about ring styles you love, and he looks at you with adoration and not, “Not this nonsense again,” he might be ready to buy you a sparkling gem of a ring.

2. He plans his future with you in it.
If he’s talking about his future and not referencing it as, “One day down the line” or “When the time comes,” but instead is speaking about his life plans with you directly in line, he’s ready to commit to you for the long haul. Don’t be surprised if you find him on one knee, with a ring in one hand and yours in the other.

3. He makes a point to bring you around more.

He Makes A Point To Bring You Around More

Are you suddenly BFFs with his family? Are the family invites to events and dinners pouring in? Are you meeting obscure family members that he barely references or family members that he adores even if they live miles away? He’s grooming them — and you. Letting everyone get a chance to really know you is a sure sign he wants you around forever.

4. He’s working overtime.

Is he suddenly not available to cuddle and hang out so much because work is running him ragged? Does he seem a little stressed or tired? He may be working overtime to provide your hand and finger with the best ring this side of town.

See More: 50 Love Quotes That Express Exactly What ‘I Love You’ Really Means

5. He’s suddenly being secretive.

Hes Suddenly Being Secretive

Is he being secretive, but not in an angry way? Simply taking steps to go somewhere or hunting online, yet refusing to let you look? Someone may be ring shopping.

6. He refers to you as “the wife.”
If he calls you “The Wife,” and not in an annoying or sarcastic way, he’s putting vibes out into the world that he already sees you as his special lifelong love. A ring is the next natural step.

See More: 4 MUST-DO Tips For A Successful Monogamous Relationship

7. He asks you about your future.

He Asks You About Your Future

Suddenly, homeboy is talking to you about your future wants. We all know men can avoid deep conversation and commitment like the plague, but if he’s reaching out to you to open the conversation, he’s putting the feelers out to see if you’re ready and willing to be with him forever.

8. All his friends are getting married.

Does he surround himself with a ton of married guys or have friends who are about to walk down the aisle? This is a man whose core group values commitment, which most likely means so does he. The bachelor is most likely not schmoozing with a bunch of married guys because he needs people to go out and flirt with. If your guy is hanging with committed dudes, he wants a commitment as well.

9. He tells you straight-up.

He Tells You Straight Up

If you’re the eager beaver looking for some reassurance of his commitment to you and he’s willingly sharing that he’s in it to win it, then be patient. That ring will come.

See More: If You IGNORE These 5 Relationship Red Flags — Prepare For A Breakup

This article originally appeared on YourTango.