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Probably the first thing a couple does when they get engaged is relish the feeling of commitment. Treasure this.
But pretty soon, there are some action items that need to be taken care of.
You need to tell your parents and his, preferably both of you together. Traditionally, the bride’s parents are told first, but this is not a requirement any more.
It’s a really good idea to purchase a journal. You’re going to have tons of memories in the next few months, and a journal is a way to keep those memories alive years after the wedding is over.
Have an engagement party. This doesn’t have to be over-the-top, but you will want to let your friends in on the celebration. Along with the engagement party, have announcements printed in local newspapers, mail announcements to friends and family, and create an engagement website.
Set a date as soon as possible. You’ll feel more “engaged” when you have what Dr. Laura likes to refer to as “a ring and a date.”
You’ve got to set a tone for the wedding. Is it going to be formal or informal? Are you going to have a religious or secular ceremony?
Also, you need to set the parameters for budget. If you and your fiancé are paying the bill, you need to look at what you can realistically afford. Think about your long term financial goals and decide what is really important to you. If someone else is sharing the bill, you need to talk to them frankly about what their limits are – and respect them.
You need to choose your attendants and get them involved in supporting you right away. There are likely some friends or relatives who you “must” choose, but where you can, select people who can actually help you carry the load.
Along those lines, talk straight with the principles about how much they can contribute in terms of time. If you are busy with work or school and can’t do extensive planning and others don’t want to split the load, you may want to think about hiring a wedding planner at this stage.
Finally, start looking at venues for the wedding ceremony and reception immediately. Popular venues are booked months in advance, so you don’t want to leave this crucial step until it’s too late.
But the most important thing to remember is that this is supposed to be a romantic and fun time in your life. Take time to delight in each step. And also remember to take time to enjoy each other. Let the wedding planning process cement your bond.
It was a Happy, busy Saturday at The Chapel. Congratulations to all our great couples!
Question from Bride: “My husband is a virgin but I am not. I feel guilty that he saved himself for marriage. How can I make our wedding sex special when I’ve already had sex before with other men?”
Wedding sex is on a whole new level. Traditionally, people were supposed to wait until marriage, but it’s more of a rarity among couples today. If you’re a religious couple, chances are higher that you’ve saved yourself for an amazing night of wedding sex.
But it’s more than just sex, regardless of whether or not you’ve been romantically entangled with someone previously. Wedding sex is the first moment the two of you will give yourselves to one another as husband and wife.
Even if you’ve already had intercourse with one another, wedding sex will be memorable and romantic and special because you’ve just joined your hearts in a celebration of commitment forever.
If you’re a virgin bride, you may have a lot of anxiety about wedding sex. That’s normal and your groom will probably understand if you’re open about your fears. The key is to make it an intimate moment. Read some guides that deal with intimacy, not just the act of sex itself.
Make sure you take your time and don’t rush your intimate moments that night. Wear something special for your wedding sex – lingerie fit for a beautiful bride. Linger in your first moments as husband and wife. And most of all – enjoy yourself!
Some couples even find wedding sex is out of the question after several days filled with high-stress, long hours and partying. That’s okay, too. No one said you MUST have sex on your wedding night. You want it to be special, so save it for when you’re full of energy if you want to!
You may even want to have a ceremony before the intimacy takes place (especially if you’re worried about not being a virgin bride). You can write vows only your husband will hear about devoting your body to him and he to you – anything romantic will do the job.
Most of all, just be you. Only Love Matters.
Congrats to The Vandayars!
Ahhh, jumping the broom. It’s not for everyone, but it’s manageable if you have the right information. ‘It is clear from the relationship issues we have in our society, that none of us have all the answers. If we did, no one would need advice. However, as you contemplate tying the knot, take a moment to contemplate the essence of your relationship. Some of the same things that brought you together are necessary to keep you together, so don’t lose track of what they are. Love translates into many things; take the time to figure out what they are. Everyone, yes I said everyone, has needs. Do you know your partner’s primary needs for the relationship? If you have not discussed the deal breakers, you are heading for potholes on your path together. Deal with it sooner rather than later.
It’s so much easier to play the field while you’re single, instead of getting married and deciding you want to see a whole lot of other people. Seems like this would be easy to figure out, right? Well, apparently it’s not. Some people don’t realize the big mess they’ve created until it’s way too late and they’re unable to come back from it. Can you say: Alimony, monthly child-support payments and a second job to support yourself? Not to mention various sexually transmitted diseases, some fatal.
*Marry someone you are also friends with.
Declare to spend the rest of your life with someone who really likes you as a person, not just as a sexual partner. Sometimes, sex will be nonexistent for short periods of time (pregnancy, illness). If you and your better half like each other, as well as love each other, the foundation that was built on friendship will be more than enough to get you through those rough patches. Besides, being best friends with your spouse makes marriage so much more fun!
*Don’t put your spouse on a pedestal
Everyone makes mistakes, so leave room for plenty of them. If you’re looking for the perfect spouse and marriage you’re probably living in a fantasy world. Simple rules apply in our vows, but we all act a little human sometimes and vows become the hardest thing in the world to stick to. This is to be expected, so try not to come down too hard on your other half for not being a saint at all times and the two of you will be just fine.
*Leave the past in the past
Geez, are you still nagging about all those awful things that happened three years ago. Get over it. No one wants to hear the remix of how much of a jackass they used to be, especially when you all agreed to work it out and things are going great. If you just can’t stop bringing it up every five minutes, maybe it’s time to seek counseling. Otherwise, concentrate on the good things and push forward.
*Put your spouse and children first
Nothing is going to send you to divorce court faster than in-law drama. I know you want everyone to get along, but understand that you are not responsible for your mother, father or siblings happiness. Your main responsibility is to keep your house in order. If your parents and siblings can’t get with the program, be prepared to take a hiatus from them until they have learned to respect you and your mate. If something in them forbids them to do so, stay true to the one who really matters and that should be you. If you truly want a successful marriage, sometimes you have to learn to love from a distance.
*Never disrespect your home
You already know your family hates your husband/wife, so stop going to them and talking behind his or her back whenever you two have an argument. One, it just makes your family loathe your spouse even more and two, your marriage is on the wrong track if you’re pouring salt on your significant other. Also, keep your house a home by not having the wrong people coming and going. This is bad for any relationship, married or not. Keep the drama queen/king out of your house, they’re only looking to start trouble.
*Keep marital advice from someone who isn’t married to a minimum
Realistically, you probably shouldn’t take marital advice from someone who has never been married, just like you probably shouldn’t take childrearing advice from someone who doesn’t have kids. I know it sounds a little harsh, but it makes sense. Would you take flight instruction from someone who has never even had flight training? I wouldn’t. In my experience, my unmarried friends have never said anything that could help my marriage. (Sorry guys, I know you tried, but…) Personally, I like to seek advice from older, experienced couples. There is no better way to prepare for marital warfare, than to get guidance from someone who has already been in combat and survived.
*Support your husband or wife’s endeavors
Why do you shoot down every idea your sweetie comes up with? Will it really kill you to be supportive for once? No one will exist on a single thought for the rest of their lives. Realize that people grow and with growth comes change. It’s understandable your spouse has aspirations outside of going to work and paying bills. Is your opposing attitude holding him back from starting that small business? Are you laughing her away from her dream of becoming an actress? Be supportive of your life companion’s dreams because if it works out for them, it will really work out for you.
*Keep passion alive!
She used to wear sexy boy shorts while the two of you were dating, but since you’ve been married and had two children, all she’s worn to bed are her gigantic granny bloomers. He used to say something flattering to you every day, but now he barely notices you. These are common complaints and it can wreak havoc in a marriage. Life is busy and we all get weary from our day-to-day affairs, but just remember to take a little time out to spoil your spouse every once in a while. Let them know that you haven’t forgotten about them and you appreciate all of their efforts. Show them that you are still the person they fell in love with even though life can get in the way. Your partner will surely return the favor.
Talk to your spouse everyday about something other than the kids, the house, and the bills. Even if you don’t spend a lot of time in the house together, a cell phone will solve that problem. Be sure to get some time to yourselves; go out on a date every once in a while or just snuggle on the couch and talk about constructive things. In my opinion, communication is the key to a successful marriage. Who wants to spend the rest of their life with someone who won’t even talk? Who wants to have a disagreement, but not be able to discuss it intelligently? I’m a huge fan of heated discussions. At least we’re communicating; not going in a room, slamming the door and stewing for hours. Let’s hash it out, get it over with and make up. And who doesn’t like making up? Wink.
Don’t forget to:
*Pray! … for and with each other. Pray every day for your marriage, your home and children. Prayer can bring reassurance and ease your mind when things go haywire. Do you know what would be even better? Pray together. You already know the saying, “the family that prays together, stays together!”
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