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Newly engaged!!! Tips and advice welcome! :)

Posted by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM
  • 5 Replies
I'm newly engaged!!! Like its been just over a week new :)

Tips and advice welcome! :)

We're looking at a church wedding and hotel reception next fall. We're each single parents. My son is 9. His is 5. I've been a single mom for 9 years. My fiancé is divorced. Ex chooses to be an uninvolved mom. Both kids see their other parent regularly, but live with us--mine w me, his w him. We won't all be living together until after the wedding.

What advice and tips do you have to share with me? On
-wedding planning
-trimming my guest list. His is around 30 to my 90. Yikes.
-marriage & marriage prep (we are doing marriage prep/pre counseling stuff)
-blending families
-being a step mom
-working together on finances
And anything else!

by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM
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by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 1:13 AM
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Hello!!! Congratulations!!!! Here's my tips & advice.
Wedding planning-stick to your budget!!!
Silk flowers are NOT trashy, real flowers are VERY expensive and they die anyway.

Shop carefully for that wedding dress, do not take an entourage wuth you, you'll lose your own voice & vision (if you don't mind a used wedding dress,I've got a gorgeous Alfred Angelo princess ball gown w veil)

If you serve alcohol or have an open bar at the reception, you could be held liable for people driving away drunk, its good to hire security.

Don't sweat the small details, the day can go by in a blur.

Don't forget to get your marriage license.

Keeping all communication open is vital in blending your family, and on being a step parent.

Always keep a united front, otherwise the kids can manipulate the situations to their advantage

Finances are tricky, there must be complete trust and open communication. I'd have a household account that is joint and then you each have your own, but don't hide money from each other.

I hope this was helpful.
by New Member on Sep. 18, 2013 at 2:57 PM
1 mom liked this

Cograts on getting married! I just got married 4 months ago so I remember well all the stress associated with weddig planning.

I am an employee of Focus on the Family and you may find the following information helpful:

Remarriage and Blended Families -

Parenting in Blended Famlies-

Money and Finances -

Approaching the Wedding Day -

One thing that my husband and I did was go through the book Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts by Dr. Les and Leslie Parrott. It was great!

I hope that helps!!! Good luck!

by Member on Sep. 18, 2013 at 3:42 PM
1 mom liked this

I have been married for two years but I had a four year engagement as well as knowing my husband in high school so it was a bit easier. I do have lots of tips to help though because planning a wedding is stressful and I learned a lot when planning my wedding.

Wedding Planning

1. When it comes to the actual planning, plan within your means.  A friend of mine and her husband took out a $25,000 loan for their wedding.  If you have to borrow for it, you can find much cheaper options.

2. Do it yourself stuff is not tacky.  If people have a problem with it, they could easily buy you the things themselves for you to keep.  My husband and I had planned to get small fish bowls with goldfish and put a floating candle up top.  It would have cost us $300 to get them made and more as it was only about $10 to do them ourselves and people could take a centerpiece home if they wanted.

Actually... to stay within a budget do most of it yourself if you can. 

3.  Hotels do charge flat fees (my would've been 6,000 but we went with a cheaper more intimate option) just remember that you will be responsible if you have a bar and someone breaks something or a kid breaks something in the hotel.

Trimming the Guest List

Invite the people who are closest to you.  You don't want his family or him to feel a bit uncomfortable because you have so many people at your wedding.  Shrink yours down to the top 30 people you absolutely want to see you get married and visit.  You could have a small party for everyone else at a later date.  I had this issue with my husband.  He doesn't have a lot of family in the state or that could come... and I have well over 90 family members who would love to be there.  So choose who you want to be there.

Marriage & Marriage Prep

I love that you are going to premarital counseling.  I recommend it for anyone that doesn't live together before marriage.  I had a co-worker get divorced because she found out her husband always left the toilet seat up and drank straight from the carton.  It sounds silly I know but she did get divorced because of it.  Make sure you guys talk everything out.  My husband and I were friends in high school and so we knew a lot about each other and lived together first.  Since you are not doing that, discuss everything even the littlest detail on parenting, personal hygiene and much more.  It is very beneficial.

Blending Families

This goes with marriage prep. Literally talk out everything you do as a parent down to the tiniest detail.  I had one child from a past relationship and one with my husband.  We actually had to sit down and talk because we have different parenting styles.

Being a Stepmom

This goes with blending families, lol. My husband and I talked to a therapist about this as my oldest son isn't his.  In your house, the children need to listen to both of you.  Which means you two decide how best to parent them both.  You might be a step parent and the first time the child points it out to either of you it will hurt and you will hate it, but you need to stay firm and remind the child that step parent or no... you are still the parent.  Other than that, don't treat them any differently than your own kid and you both will be fine as long as you do that.


I am an accountant and so when it comes to my family I do them all. However, you two should talk about it. When you marry, any debts you have and any debts he has will remain your separate debts.  If you get a joint utility or joint anything, that is when you will have blended finances.  But if you have student loans, that is still all your debt as if he had a bad credit card issue that is still all his.  Talk about your debts together and make plans to work through any debt that isn't expiring in the next year or two.

I suggest coming up with a budget and then making sure you stick with it.  If you have an electric bill and you budget $100, then make sure you use less electricity than that.  I have found that works well for people just starting out with mixing finances.  Talk about any and all financial decisions so there are no surprises.  I am not going to suggest keeping a spredsheet of every last expense you make ( I do and it is a lot of work for someone not used to it) but I am going to say just keep track of your spending together.

I will add:  Make an emergency plan and look into life insurance.

It is scary but you never know what will happen.  My husband and I are healthy enough 20 somethings but we still made sure to look and are working on different plans just in case.

I hope any of that is helpful. :)

by Member on Sep. 18, 2013 at 3:42 PM
1 mom liked this

Also, Congrats on the wedding. :)

by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 5:02 PM
Thank you!!
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