April 28, 2011
Now that you have understood the importance of communication and there are several forms of communication. You have verbal and non-verbal. It is essential that as you are communicating verbally that your non-verbals line up with what you are saying. Believe me if they don’t line up the receiver or person listening to you will know. Let’s move on to life skill number two which is finances. There are so many factors to this element that I am going to break it down as follows: (a) Communicating about finances. You should be able to talk about the marital finances continuously in order for the marriage to succeed. Everyone is so used to marriages ending because of money that we are starting a new movement… marriages succeeding because of money talk throughout the marriage. Will your marriage be the picture of money and marriage success? (b) Teamwork – More than anything brides and grooms, husbands and wives need to understand they are on the same team especially when it comes to financial challenges. It is common (I don’t know why) when financial challenges happen within a marriage for the husband and wife to turn on each other and FORGET that they are on the same side instead of working against each other. Listen, as adults when you are in a marriage, whatever the financial decisions are understand it will affect both, husband and wife as well as CHILDREN if there are any. It is far reaching and doesn’t just affect the person who is making the decision. (c) Focus – It is always important to remember, do not let anything become bigger than your marriage. I am saying this to say – when it comes to money it comes and go. The focus of brides and grooms should be to develop a financial plan for their marriage and make adjustments along the way. That’s it nothing more, nothing less. If you have a plan or financial blueprint then you can adjust accordingly. Don’t be too stringent in your plan or you set yourself up for failure. Once you don’t reach the goal when it comes to money, people miss out on lots of opportunities to correct the situation. Husbands and wives should be aware of what the goal is for their marriage, especially when it comes to money. Believe me these are only the beginning of the factors within money, yet I want to move on to what I believe is the third life skill. Be sure to come back as we discuss decision making ability.
April 26, 2011
Often when I am talking with brides who are planning their weddings, they will say I want this to be my one and only marriage. This may not be the case for the fiancé who has been married before; however it could be his goal for this to be his last and only marriage. When I hear brides say I can easily relate. My husband had been married before and I hadn’t. Therefore it was my goal to ensure this was my one and only marriage. How do you ensure that your upcoming wedding that will begin your marriage is your one and only marriage? First and foremost understand that you need certain life skills that you will use daily within YOUR MARRIAGE. Believe me too many people are getting married without the necessary life skills to ensure their marriage succeed. Life skill number one is communication. Brides remember the person you are marrying should be your best friend. A best friend in my eyes is a person you can talk to about everything… good, bad or indifferent. Communication within a marriage occurs on so many levels. You talk about the day-to-day life, future plans – parenting, home ownership and even dealing with elderly parents, education and we haven’t even touched on the subject of money. YES, money is an important topic and we will get back to it in a minute. I remember my husband and me talking during our engagement and he said to me, there may be some times when you need to say something and you don’t know how to say it – just say it. Bride, have you ever been in a situation where you know you had something to say and didn’t know how to say it even though it had to be said. I understood what he was saying and assured him if I had something to say he would hear it. Let me say this to you before going on… remember that childhood saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but WORDS will never hurt me”! I am sure by now you know that is not true. Words hurt, change the course of people’s lives forever. When you are talking with your fiancé even right now, choose your words carefully. That doesn’t mean you have to sugarcoat anything because I don’t agree with that. Yet, I am opposed to beating around the bush. If there is something you are uncomfortable with, don’t understand or is rubbing you the wrong way, then say so and EXPLAIN why! Notice I said, explain why. Don’t just say I don’t like something without explanation. When you are able to coherently explain why you don’t like something, this gives the other person the opportunity to see things from your perspective and make some informed decisions. Stay tuned as we move into the second life skill that is very necessary….
April 21, 2011
Once the booth was set up, I decided to walk around the room and check out the other exhibitors. While I was standing at my booth I noticed there was a cake at the door of a Black Bride and I couldn't help but go over and grab a picture of it. That was absolutely on point. I walked the room and checked out the other exhibitor booths. The layout of the room was sooo nice. Exhibitors were not on top of each other and the flow of the room was very inviting. Around 10:30, we were told there were people already waiting to get in at 11am. Those words were music to people's ears. Finishing touches were made. Once the doors opened, it was on. I tell you seeing exhibitors being excited and spending time with many attendees was refreshing. I had the opportunity to talk with many brides and grooms for quite a while that attended about money and developing a financial plan during their engagement to continue the conversation throughout their marriage. I've attended bridal shows before and people just walk by. Not this time, they were coming up and saying "This is very needed" or "how do I handle marrying into the military" or "I know someone that needs this". Those are only some of the comments and I was pleased to see that people were not running away from the topic of money. I had a fellow exhibitor talk with me about what I was doing. After listening to me share about money conversations before marriage and developing a plan, he said now that is true financial peace. Shout out to Shawn (whose in the pic with the cake) for sending more people my way. When I wasn't talking money, I was making more connections with other exhibitors as well as listening to the music and applauding different winners of the prizes that were given away throughout the show. It is always exciting when they start calling out the ticket number and people are waiting to see who wins. The show was moving at just the right pace. To top it all off was the fashion show. The designs by Therez Fleetwood were absolutely breathtaking. The crowd loved her designs and the models worked it. I can still see the runway and models working these fashions like no other. Congrats to Mary Chatman, President of Blackbride.com and I look forward to future events.
April 19, 2011
Ladies and gentleman I must say, the Blackbride.com First Annual Bridal Showcase was a slam dunk. From the time I landed on Saturday evening until the time I left, the experience was completely phenomenal. The Atlanta Marriott Marquis was one of Blackbride.com's sponsors and let me tell you, they made everyone feel special. They are very customer-oriented and I loved it. I was sooo excited to be in Atlanta because I would be meeting my dear friend, Mary Chatman that I've been talking with online for several years. The first night I got in and made the rounds on phone calls saying I made it safely. Left a message for Mary and then proceeded to relax because the next day was going to be HUGE! Do you know how it is to travel and you leave one time zone and go into another? Well, even though I was tired and wanted to rest from the busy day I had; I couldn't seem to adjust time wise. So there I was up at 2am MST time which was 4am and at 6am EST found myself really sleepy. No biggie, your Money and Marriage Advocate worked it out. I was ready to head downstairs at 9:15am to walk into the ballroom and set up. As soon as I got off the elevator and headed towards the ballroom - there was my BFF. I walked up to the desk to find out the booth information and surprised her. Hugs, hugs! A surreal moment! I went in and got my booth set up. Played around with a couple of different formats. I always enjoy being the "difference" at bridal shows. Check out the pics. Of course when you are doing events solo, you don't end up in the pics. I was definitely missing my video team. The video team was back in Colorado having a much deserved Daddy weekend! Stay tuned for more recap!