Date Night Jar

JarMy husband and I were given a “Date Night Jar” at my bridal shower. Each guest was to write down a great, simple but unique date night idea on a wood craft stick and put it in the jar.

I think doing the same things over and over can become mundane, and studies show that couples who do new things on a regular basis have happier, stronger and in turn more successful relationships.

Here’s a list of the fun date night ideas in our jar:

  • Go to a football game
  • Drive-in movie
  • Play Mario Kart
  • Record Bar (or live music bar/food establishment)
  • Have a picnic
  • Outside theatre
  • Listen to music together
  • Go to the library and read
  • Float on a river/lake
  • Star gaze
  • Canvas and Cabernet (an wine and paint class)
  • Dance lessons
  • Mini golf (bet something at each hole)
  • Take a country drive
  • Dinner and a movie
  • Class at the YMCA
  • Concert night
  • Taco Tuesday
  • Visit a garden
  • Apple picking
  • Play with animals at a shelter
  • Private cooking class

Comment with more unique ideas you have or have done and I’ll continue to update the list!

Update

Suggestions from readers:

  • Go four wheeling
  • Go fishing.
  • Go rollerskating and pretend you’re still teenagers holding hands
    [from Penny Pinching Peach]
  • Movie night at our house (with snacks and popcorn)
  • Cook together
  • Be a tourist in our city-just go sight seeing
  • Wander on the beach
    [from Mama by Fire]
  • If the kid(s) fall asleep in the car, drive around and explore and talk or just listen to music that’s not disney music
    [from And Three To Go]
  • Batting cages
    [from She, He and Us]
  • Find a restaurant and will travel to try it
    [from Mrs. Cool’s Little School]

 

Greek Wedding Idea

Both my husband and I were very involved in Greek life during college. It’s possible we could’ve run into each other at some point during our college years without Greek life, but I have to attribute our involvement as a primary reason we started conversing and hanging out in the first place. Both of us being president of our Fraternities (yes, my Greek organization is a female Fraternity, not sorority) gave us more than enough reason to have to interact and plenty of common ground to break the ice.

You can imagine a lot of our Fraternity members were at, if not a part of our wedding, and we wanted to have a subtle yet nice way to signify them.

So, for anyone who is a part of Greek life, this is a simple, classy idea to highlight or recognize those bonds at your wedding.

Greek Wedding

What you’ll need:
1. One 8×10 picture frame (per Greek organization)
2. The official flowers of your Greek organization, enough for the Greek members who RSVPed
3. One sheet of regular size printing paper (per frame) for your letters, emblem and wording inside the frame
4. (optional) Decorative background paper for the frame
5. Pins to set next to the frames for people to pin the flowers on

Display Options:
1. You can leave the flowers long-stemmed in a vase with water (like pictured above); you may want to leave out scissors for people to cut them before they pin them on, or we had people hand-break them, which worked fine.
2. You can also pre-cut them and put them in a small vase, bowl or tray. If you do pre-cut them and choose not to put them in water, wait as long as you can until people start arriving to do so. I’d suggest giving this task to a bridesmaid or greeter.

Wording:

[insert Fraternity/Sorority Greek Letters]

“Please take a [insert official flower] and pin it over your heart in honor of your sisterhood with the bride.”
or
“Please take a [insert official flower] and pin it over your heart in honor of your brotherhood with the groom.”

[insert Fraternity/Sorority Emblem]

You can also skip the “pin” step (#5) altogether and simply say: “Please take a [insert official flower] in honor of your sisterhood/brotherhood with the bride/groom.”

How to Change Your Name after Marriage, Easily

Getting your name changed after marriage is really not as big of an ordeal as everyone makes it out to be, I promise. I know numerous people who’ve been married for months, even a year or more, and haven’t done it yet because they’ve built it up in their mind to be way more difficult than it actually is.

I’m going to cover three steps:

  1. Changing your name on your Social Security Card and Driver’s License
  2. How to make the time to do it
  3. Other name-change items

ALRIGHT, here we go. You can probably gather everything up you need and be to the vehicle in the same amount of time or less than it will take you to read this post.

Changing your name on your Social Security Card and Driver’s License:

I’m going to cover every item you’ll need to bring with you to get your new Social Security Card and Driver’s License.

Social Security Card:

  • Current Social Security Card
  • Current Driver’s License or Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage License (make sure you bring the official one and not the one for show)
  • (optional) Application for a Social Security Card printed and filled out

Simply go to your local Social Security Card Center with these items, it’s free and it should be a breeze. My visit didn’t take more than 30 minutes not including drive time but plan for at least an hour.

Driver’s License:

  • Social Security Card
  • Current Driver’s License
  • Birth Certificate or Passport
  • Two proofs of residency—utilities mail or lease/rental agreement
  • Marriage License (once again, the official one)

If it’s been more than 30 days since you were married, you MUST HAVE your new Social Security Card with your new name (the receipt or old SS card will not work).

Literally all you have to do is go to your local DMV, show them the items listed above and pay a $5 fee. This process can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour or so, depending on your wait time.

How to make the time to do it:

There are three key ways to making time to change your name––take a couple hours out of your day, go at the right time to avoid long waits, bring as much proof of identification and residency as possible. If you’re not sure, bring it; it’s better than getting there and not having what you need.

The Social Security Card Center and DMV are only open Monday–Friday. If you don’t work every week day, it’s extremely easy to take a couple hours out of your day and go do it. That is absolutely all there is to it. So, GO, now if possible!

Social Security Card Centers are generally open from 8 a.m.–3 p.m. and DMVs from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Times do vary from place to place so look up hours of operation to be sure here and here.

For those who do work every week day, you have a few options:

  1. Take a personal day. Use a couple hours to get your new SS card and license then use the rest of the day to be productive––get that thing you’ve been meaning to do out of the way, make all your other small name changes or call a friend or relative to meet for lunch. Everyone has to take a personal day at work sometime, so just plan for it. If you know you’ll be taking a day off for something else, plan this into that day too. Think about it this way, in all honesty, it will probably take you the same amount of time as sitting down to watch a movie or a couple episodes of that show you DVRed, so spend a couple hours out of one week day doing this instead.
  2. Take an extended lunch break or leave work early. You’ll probably have to spend longer waiting in line during these times, but if your work schedule isn’t flexible and you can’t take a day off, this is your best option. If you have to talk to a boss to do so, not a problem. Chances are they’ve had to go to the DMV before and will understand.
  3. Get your SS card one day and license another. If you only have a small window of time, just do one in a day, and it will cut your time significantly. If it’s been more than 30 days after your wedding date, you’ll have to do this anyway.
  4. Go during the least busy times if possible. Monday and Friday are the busiest days, and lunch time is the busiest time. The best times to go are in the middle of the week, mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

Other name-change items:

After you’ve accomplished getting a new SS card and license, it should be effortless to get the rest of your accounts and information changed.

Here’s a list of all the other name-change items:

  • Bank accounts
  • Work––payroll, name displays, business cards (talk to HR)
  • Credit cards/checks
  • Passport
  • Insurance––auto, home, health and any others
  • Utilities and bills––gas, water, electric, phone, cable, internet
  • Loans and leases/rental contracts
  • Mortgages
  • Titles
  • Voter registration
  • Memberships––gyms, stores, clubs
  • PayPal
  • Email address
  • Online accounts––Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, eBay, Amazon, iTunes, etc.
  • Organizations––active member or alumni

Top Helpful Wedding Sites

These sites give you the best websites, apps, locations, vendors and ideas for your wedding.

1. Of course, Pinterest.

You can pin practically your entire wedding on Pinterest. If you’re not familiar with it, Pinterest is a site (free to sign up) where you can scroll through and see things that people have “repinned” pertaining to just about anything in life. There is a specific section under “Everything” called “Wedding & Events” that will provide you with ideas and links to just about anything you can imagine for your wedding, from dresses to websites to music to how to get your last name changed over after the wedding.

2. The Knot

A website with the scoop on any location or vendor for your wedding. It’s the perfect go to website to go past “pinning” ideas and actually solidify what you’re searching for. It’s very simplistic––you sign up for free and after that you can search by your location for wedding venues, vendors for cakes, flowers, music, E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. What’s even better is that all of these places have been rated and aren’t just any venue or vendor you can Google search and not know what you’re getting. If it isn’t legit, chances are you’re not going to find it on the website, and you’re not just searching for the expensive stuff either. The website allows you to narrow your search by budget or a range of $-$$$$. This site also provides you with how to’s, other couple’s weddings, what to ask when finding venues (because hidden costs are almost inescapable), and seriously anything you can think of. I could go on and on about this website, but it’d be much easier and beneficial for you to just check it out. If I was only allowed to suggest one website that would be most helpful to someone planning their wedding, this would be it.

3. Wedding Gawker

This website is pretty much the same thing as Pinterest, except it’s solely dedicated to weddings. I think it provides you with more helpful information and websites than Pinterest while also including helpful ideas. Once again, it is free to sign up, and after that, you have free range of the site, favoriting the things you like instead of pinning.

4. My Wedding

My favorite part of this website is that it allows you to make your own website for your wedding . . . yes, fo’ free! You can customize what your website will look like, add your engagement stories, include your wedding party and registries, and this site also has tips and locations for you to look at as well. This is a great website for the wedding party and guests especially. You can simply put your website on your invitations instead of adding a ton of registries and addresses, etc. It’s a great way to gather all the scattered pieces of your wedding and put it into one place for you or whoever you want to view it.

5. Appy Couple

This website allows you to make an app for your wedding. Some people might think an app and a website are too much, however, if you think about it, most well-known websites actually have an app for your phone as well. I thought it was best to do both for my wedding simply because in my personal experience once I graduated from college, I didn’t use my mactop as much and instead, used my phone and apps for everything. The good thing about this app is that it’s virtually the exact same thing as the “My Wedding” website, except in app form. This way your wedding information is accessible to everyone, regardless of their technology preference, and it’s not confusing because whichever one your guests view is going to be pretty much the same. Very helpful to have both a website and an app––doesn’t give anyone any excuses to not know what’s going on. It’s very simple; you go to the website, apply for a code (which could take a few days), and you can customize your design, pictures, dates, etc.

6. Cocodot

This website allows you to send out your personally designed invitations and thank you cards via email, Facebook, text, etc. Although you should always send out a paper save-the-date/invitation and thank yous, sending something via internet is a great accompaniment and reminder. I know when I get something in the mail I read it, set it somewhere, and forget about it. This way people receive something in their email (or media site of your choice) a few days later and it jogs their memory, gives them another way to respond faster (which helps with your planning), and chances are they won’t delete it right away making it a constant reminder for them. Another nice thing about this site is it saves a list of people you’ve sent each invite or card to, so you can see who you forgot or who you need to add, etc.

7. Bride To Do

If you’re good with organization or have your own ways (programs, notebooks, etc.) of creating lists, you may not need this site as much, but although I’m pretty handy with organization, lists, addresses, etc., this site just made it so much easier. You can create templates, guest lists, registry lists, itinerary, seating chart, contact sheet, etc. with the website, and it’s so much easier and organized to have the templates already created in the same formats and you can print it out and/or save it on your computer. It’s just a fast, pre-organized way to organize all your lists, charts, and info into pre-made templates, which saves you a lot of time and frustration.

8. Blogs

Here are a couple helpful and random blogs that will help you get through your wedding day. They cover the little things for your wedding day and after that you wouldn’t normally think about until the big day: 10 Biggest Things Brides ForgetChange Your Name After Marriage Checklist and especially How to Change Your Name after Marriage, Easily.

These are the best and most helpful websites I found while plan a wedding, and they saved so much stress, money and forgetfulness. Although there’s almost always some sort of chaos the day before or of the wedding setting things up, I had everything I needed, I was prepared and didn’t find myself looking back thinking if only I’d done this or that. It’s well worth it to use any tools you can find to help plan your wedding because (most of the time) it’s one of the few things you have to get right the first time since it won’t be happening again.