Wedding Wednesdays: You Better Shop Around
Last Week's Wedding Wednesday Poll Results
If Big Girl Panties were a style of women's panties they would definitely be? There was a two-way tie between Thong panties and Bikini cut panties at 33.33% each. Boy Shortscame in next with 22.22% of all votes and hipsters received 11.11% of all votes. LOL, Hi-briefs received zero votes. I would agree with those of you who voted for Thong panties. They may not be the most comfortable of all the styles but hey sometimes life isn't comfortable but you just deal with it, lol.
What Do Most Girl Do for a Quick Pick-Me-Up?44.44% of voters saidListen to their favorite music. 33.33% saidGet dressed up. There was a tie for third place with 11.11% of voters saying Eat ice cream or Eat their favorite food. In my case I wish I could say I ate ice cream, I love ice cream with my lactose intolerant self, lol. But no, I got dressed up, and my mood greatly improved.
Options: The Art of
"You Better Shop Around"
I heart oldies.
I'm all about shopping around! But just for the record, I'm NOT talking about shopping around when it comes to relationships - that's dangerous territory.
No, I'm talking about knowing your item purchasing options and making a wise purchasing decision based on the facts.
Consumer Psychology is the study of how and why people buy goods and services. Studies in consumer behavior show that the decision making process for purchasing "Big ticket items" is usually longer and more involved than the decision making process for purchasing smaller, everyday items. Big ticket items are items of high-value (in theory) or just expensive in price. Examples include a house, furniture, an entertainment system or even luxury items like designer shoes and purses.
When you're planning a wedding, especially on a budget, most everything becomes a big ticket item. You want to make sure that you're allocating your funds correctly and not splurging in one frivolous area only to leave another more critical area lacking. For example you don't want to have your tablescape (that's wedding talk for table set up) decked out with all these additional fineries and then have zero money for your flowers. There's a balance to be struck.
So at this stage of our planning whether its choosing our caterer, a florist, or vendors to provide rental "stuff", we are choosing to be good stewards. That means we are making sure that we explore our options until we strike a deal most suitable for us. Our process is the same as most people who choose to engage in the big ticket item decision making processing:
Recognizing the Need
It's as simple as realizing that you do want a preferred hotel to suggest to your out of town guests, or that you do want to have a bouquet and bouquets for your bridesmaids. You do want food for your reception. Once you know what you want/need you can move on to the next stage.
At this point, there is some basic information that needs to be found. If you're working on securing hotels for guests then what hotels are in the area? Looking for party rentals, what vendors are in your area? What do they provide? In some areas you may want to think outside of the box - for example, will you only look into traditional wedding caterers or are you open to going a non-traditional route as well? SHOP AROUND!
Evaluation of Alternatives
This is the most critical of all the stages and typically the most time consuming. Once you have a list of options or "alternatives" it's time to compare them in order to find which is most suitable for you. Things to be considered in this stage is how a particular option fits into your budget, the overall quality (are you getting more for your money or is the value about as cut rate as the price?) and whether or not they fulfill your expectations. Compare and consider prices. Compare and consider quality. Compare and consider past reviews. To make it easy eliminate those options that do not match your criteria and then choose the best alternative from the ones you have left.
In wedding planning this is typically the contract agreement stage. At this point you've made a decision that this particular vendor meets your needs and you enter into a contractual agreement with them.
This cannot truly happen until the wedding takes place. But ideally when the wedding has come and gone you want to know that the decision you made and the service rendered met your expectation. In any purchasing process when there is a discrepancy between the decision made for the item or service rendered and expectations, dissatisfaction results. But that's why the evaluation stage is critical because you want to know that you're making the best decision so that there won't be any discrepancies.
I have discovered that I do have some non-negotiables with certain items or services. But there are other items or services that I am completely flexible with and could live without. If the funds are there, great, if not, no biggie. You have to be able to differentiate and to make the hard decisions if necessary.
Non-Negotibles in Marriage
Through pre-marital class I am learning that in a marriage that truly reflects the love of Christ for the church there is some flexibility, and you and your spouse will have many options but there are also some non-negotiables.
These non-negotiables are not expectations to be placed on our spouse but rather expectations that God places on us individually.
Once we get married and commit to each other through making vows to God, it is Expected that we love. It doesn't matter how we feel. It's a choice that we have committed to making regardless of the other person's actions or attitudes and in God's eyes that's a non-negotiable. You have no other option. Love encompasses acts and displays of love, everything from physical intimacy, to being patient as well as apologizing when you're wrong. It means doing your best at all times to act in a way that seeks the well being of the other person and the best interest of the marriage. This includes praying for your spouse, encouraging and reassuring them, being intentional about your communication with your spouse, avoiding at all costs potentially compromising situations and going the extra mile to preserve your spouse's peace of mind.
Under that umbrella of LOVE it is Expected that we forgive. Two flawed individuals coming together forever, it is to be expected that at one time or another we will fail each other in some area, whether in communicating effectively or simply forgetting to do something. Forgiveness as a part of our choosing to love is not an option, it's a non-negotiable. We must ALWAYS Forgive. It doesn't matter how many times a mistake is repeated. How many times have we made the same mistake before God and yet He continuously forgave us? God forgives. We commit to reflecting the love of God in marriage. We must forgive.
We also need to be willing to let go of our personal preferences and opinions in order to retrain our minds to think correctly and see and do what is right and best in every situation.
As I go through premarital class I am finding that God is exposing areas in my life and heart and mind that need to be retrained in order for my marriage to be successful. It's an uncomfortable process at times but I'm so thankful for the opportunity to practice and the ability to work on those things now in preparation to making official that life-long commitment.
This life journey is all about process, from wedding planning to personal growth, we're constantly in a process.
Recognize whatever process you may be in now, and whatever you do don't try to skip out on it, it's for your good and you'll be better for it!
Wishing you pilgrims wisdom in all your decision making and endurance as you process!