The Smartest Marriage Advice

from the desk of: Veronica

I know we’ve probably all read our fair share of “The Best Marriage Advice EVER!” books, articles, and blog posts, and while everyone could use at least a few tips to help improve their marriage, some (most?) of them are pretty annoying, am I right? However, I happened across one the other day on Salon.com that I really liked. It didn’t even include the phrase “Never go to bed angry!”

 

Bride; groom; kiss

Who wouldn’t be as happy as Alex and Holly?

I’ll share a little about the first tip with you and then direct you to the full article.

The first tip was to compliment each other.

According to the article, for the past thirty years, relationship expert and researcher Terri Orbuch has followed 373 married couples, and she has concluded that couples who regularly give each other “affective affirmation” (“compliments, help and support, encouragement, and subtle nonsexual rewards, such as hand holding”) are the happiest.

I can get on board with that. Makes sense, right?

If you want eight more tips for a healthy and happy marriage or long-term partnership, click HERE to read the rest.

You can find Veronica at her blog, Veronica M.D. (no, she’s not a real doctor), and on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. Feel free to stalk her. She encourages it.

Location, Location, Location: Nik + Dave

from the desk of: Veronica

We all know location is everything when it comes to real estate, but what about weddings? Some weddings are really all about the location – it’s meaningful, it dictates other details of the wedding, and immediately sets the tone for the entire affair.

In the first of a series of amazing weddings in unique locales, may I present to you a couple who chose a fun and unique locale for their wedding: Nik Sushka and Dave Kunes. I asked Nik some questions, and she was kind enough to answer them.

(all photos courtesy of Nik and Dave; their families and friends via facebook; and their photographer, Philip Savard of Artistic Difference)

Location: Camp Puh’tok, Monkton, Maryland

Image

via Nik Sushka

How did you choose your venue? Does it have a special significance?

We started out looking for a place we could enjoy for more than just a few hours with our friends and family, who we knew would be traveling from all over the country to come. As a result, one-day rentals like big grand halls were at the bottom of our list right away. Camping and adventuring is something we try to do at least one a year, so I initially looked into a lot of state and local parks. But even those were pricey and came with a ton of limitations! After a couple weeks, I stumbled onto this post on the Knot and found Camp Puh’tok in the comments. After researching, I was really, really hopeful it was available and affordable (sort of, after you factor in savings from lodging, self-catering, and cutting a lot of costs for things like chair rentals, and I would encourage anyone thrown by the quote to do the math first and consider that the money is going to a summer camp where 25% of the kids are on scholarships).

via Emily Penprase

via Emily Penprase

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via Emily Penprase

The Camp also has a ton of amazing history. In the 1930s, it was relocated from Thurmont, MD to just north of Baltimore to make room for Camp David. In the 1940s, it was one of the only camps in the country that was racially integrated, and in the 1950s and 1960s, they worked with a great-grandson of Sitting Bull, Robin Jacobs aka Chief Sunrise, to create programs honoring Native American history. In 2002, they placed the camp land in permanent conservation easement through the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy.

How did you incorporate the camp theme into the wedding?

Friday night, we played a vicious game of capture the flag in Fort Mackinac. Saturday, we went hiking in the morning and played Ultimate Frisbee on the game field before the ceremony in the Council Ring and reception in the Thunderbird Lodge.

via Philip Savard, Artistic Difference

via Philip Savard, Artistic Difference

We kept decorations very low-key because the camp is already very decorative. There are amazing structures all over the grounds, from the Fort to an Indian Village with several model Native American dwellings. The wedding party wore very natural colors–gray, tan, navy, and white lace—with colorful spring bouquets and camp badge boutonnieres from Color Patch. For favors, we gave people keychain flashlights and take home cookie bags.

via Philip Savard, Artistic Difference

via Philip Savard, Artistic Difference

via Philip Savard, Artistic Difference

via Philip Savard, Artistic Difference

via Kevin Gillogly

via Kevin Gillogly

via Nik Sushka

via Nik Sushka

via Yisrael Welcher

via Yisrael Welcher

via Philip Savard, Artistic Difference

via Philip Savard, Artistic Difference

via Nik Sushka

via Nik Sushka

via Nik Sushka

via Nik Sushka

via Emily Penprase

via Emily Penprase

via Zach Beaudoin

via Zach Beaudoin

via Philip Savard, Artistic Difference

via Philip Savard, Artistic Difference

Food wise, BBQ was a natural choice for a summer camp, and we found a new favorite in Black Hog BBQ in Frederick. We served fruit cobblers and ice cream from a local deli instead of cake, and post-reception, a good friend built us a bonfire with s’mores that was a wonderful way to transition from the reception to late night fun.

via Nik Sushka

via Nik Sushka

One of my favorite details was totally unplanned though: Friday morning, we got a slightly terrifying call from our amazing wedding coordinators that began with “Lindsay just called. A giant tree fell last night and is blocking the entrance to the camp.” We were told they were waiting for the flash flooding (yes, flash flooding) to subside so they could assess and hopefully clear it. When my family pulled up at 1pm, we met Joe the groundskeeper with chainsaw in hand, who told us it’d be several more hours before he could finish moving all of the cuttings out of the way. We all rolled up our sleeves and had it clear in 20 minutes. At the end, we asked Joe to cut us a slice of the tree, then set it up for people to sign as a guest book.

via Philip Savard, Artistic Difference

via Philip Savard, Artistic Difference

Quick! What was one last awesome thing about your wedding?

My dad has a notoriously goofy dance he does to classic rock songs, so my family planned a surprise toast for Dave to initiate him into the family by teaching him to do the “Sushka Dance.” The DJ played the Stones “Start Me Up” and everyone did their best impression of my dad’s bicep flexing, knee bending boogie. It was hilarious and ridiculously special to me to see my husband and dad do that dance I’ve been laughing at my whole life.

via Philip Savard, Artistic Difference

via Philip Savard, Artistic Difference

Vendors:

Photographer: Philip Savard, Artistic Difference

Coordinators: Bee Happy Wedding & Event Planning

DJ: Jenny Z Mobile DJ Service

Catering: Black Hog BBQ and Santoni’s Marketplace and Catering

Cake: Wegman’s

Flowers: Flowers by Dene

Thank you so much to Nik and Dave for sharing their wedding with us! I think I can speak for everyone reading when I say we wish we had all been there too!

If you would like to see your wedding featured in our Location, Location, Location series, please contact Veronica at veronicamdblog (at) gmail (dot) com

You can find Veronica at her blog, Veronica M.D. (no, she’s not a real doctor), and on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. Feel free to stalk her. She encourages it.

Book Review: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

from the desk of: Veronica

I have another summer reading recommendation for you! Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris is perfect for laying out in the backyard or toting to the beach, or even reading in bed with the windows open while the summer rain beats down on the roof … okay, I agree, I’m getting a little carried away, but I truly love this book.

owls

I finally picked up this book, a year after it was published, despite the fact that David Sedaris is my favorite contemporary author. My mother was over that day, and while the girls were napping she stepped out of the room to take a phone call, so I dove on the book and began reading. From the first page, I was laughing so hard I was choking. When she came back into the room, she demanded I read some of the book aloud to her if it was that funny. I ended up devouring half the book during naptime, then picked it up as soon as they went to bed for the night and finished it off. I immediately regretted it being over, and pulled all his previous book off my bookshelf so I could start over again.

I truly wish I could properly describe Sedaris’s writing style, but I know I will fall short. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, like most of his books, is about 90% memoirs and 10% completely outrageous essays in which he delivers a monologue as a character that is utterly unlike himself. I do love the little essays from what I would consider to be crazy people, but my favorite is the other 90% of the book — Sedaris tells stories from his childhood, from last week, from ten years ago, and somehow they are just normal stories that could happen to anyone (visiting the dentist, waiting at the airport), and yet, the things that happen to him would probably never happen to you (driving around North Carolina with your dad — who’s holding a baseball bat and a drink — looking for the man who tried to attack your sister, getting obsessed with picking up roadside trash and letting it take over your life). He tells these stories with a dry wit and hyperbolic tendencies that are simply the recipe for humor, in my opinion. He is not called a pre-eminent humor writer for nothing. The man is hilarious, insightful, endearing, and so much more.

Like everything David Sedaris has written, you will laugh out loud the whole time you are reading Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, and then you will wish it hadn’t ended and start writing him letters, begging for him to publish a book a week … just me? Yeah, maybe that last part is just something I do.

If you haven’t read it yet, toss this in your beach bag this summer, then come back here and thank me.

You can find Veronica at her blog, Veronica M.D. (no, she’s not a real doctor), and on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. Feel free to stalk her. She encourages it.

Wedding day surprises

When it comes to planning the shoot sequence for a wedding, the only certainty is to plan the best I can and expect the unexpected…and I freakin’ love it.  But this wedding, this wedding day surprise is just epic!

If you’re planning something like this at your wedding, call me.  Seriously call me right now.  I have a killer deal for you just to be able to see this in person and get this on camera.

Don’t take my word on it.  Check this out and tell me this isn’t the coolest surprise ever.  Okay, that officiant may just be the coolest officiant ever too.

Here are some other awesome wedding dances.  Warning…what happens at 2:55 can not be unseen.  That being said, wouldn’t you like to be a guest at one of these?

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Getting married and would like us to be there for you?  Click here to contact us now to see if your big day is available and let’s get to know each other.

Hey, don’t just stop here , let’s get social 🙂  Clink on the buttons and below and join in on the fun.

 

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Surely a New Wedding Trend in the Making

Y’all … I don’t even know what to say.

A woman in Tennessee recently made a big splash on her wedding day by ATTACHING HER NEWBORN BABY TO THE TRAIN OF HER WEDDING DRESS AND DRAGGED HER DOWN THE AISLE.

This is not a joke. For once in my life, I have no words.

What is the strangest thing you’ve seen at a wedding? I would just love it if one of you could top this in the comments section, so speak up!

You can find Veronica at her blog, Veronica M.D. (no, she’s not a real doctor), and on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. Feel free to stalk her. She encourages it.