How It All Started!

Hello girls!

I am not saying ‘hello boys’ because I think this is much of a girls story and you won’t be able to think in our shoes until you wear them, but still if you want to continue reading, then, welcome guests…

Hello Girls and Boys!

I am a 27 year old girl working in an IT Industry at a quite good position, ummm, one should not blabber about herself so much, so, I am in an okay position. I own a bike, live in one BHK rented flat which I have decorated very much with all girls stuffs mostly in pink and green (both my favorite colors).

I have lots of friends and four best friends, every weekend we have a blast, sometimes this blast includes disc, boozing, dance, sometimes it includes cooking the best dishes that one can experiment at my place or some of my friend’s place, sometimes putting a open air grill in my balcony and simultaneously having cold drinks with a feeling of beer (I don’t allow alcohol in my apartment as it leaves a stinky smell behind… that’s yuckk) sometimes driving in our bikes without knowing what is our destination, in short there are many sometimes and only one many a times and that is shoooppppinggg! But the sad part of this many a times is that, it lasts for only two weeks after our salaries are credited.

Summarizing my life, it was awesomely awesome when one fine day my friend Silvia said:

“I am getting married”

“WHattttt… you must be joking”

“Nooo, I am not, does my face look like I am joking, is there any smile you can spot on it” she sounded like a wild cat.

“How, why, when, where… ” I was damn confused.

“There is a guy, he is an NRI, my family knows his family well, he will be going to US next month so, his parents want him to be married before he leaves, and now I am the one they have chosen… bingo, I am the luckiest girl of the millennium”

I was so confused that I could not figure out her bingo and luckiest girl of the millennium meant “Shoot, I am screwed” or was she really feeling lucky. Then it took seconds for me to understand and you will too don’t worry!

“But he is going next month, how will you marry him in a month”

“Oh yeah, this is something you thought and I haven’t been thinking” she roared on me like a tigress.

“Okay, calm down darling, what are your parent’s thoughts”

“They have gone crazy, if they could, they will marry me tomorrow”

Now tell me, what can you tell to a girl when she says something like this, please keep in mind she was holding a disposal glass filled with tea, which we call here in Bangalore full cup tea and she haven’t taken even a sip yet.

“Hmm..” I couldn’t hmm for long, I had to say something, she was waiting for my inputs, but I had to think and speak after all she had a full cup tea in her hand. Where the hell are my other friends…

Say something, say anything, c’mon think of something, you have such a big head can’t you think of a sensible word other than hmm.

“Hmmmm..” I said again, this time it was bit longer.

Dear do not laugh, it is a natural phenomenon, in a crisis situation one’s brain stops working.

“What hmmm… are you doing? This is my life’s decision I cannot take it in few minutes or few hours, I got to know that guy”

“Yeah… why don’t you talk to that guy once, you will get to know him”

“Ohh Please, even a sex addict will also be nice to you when you talk to him for the first time”

“I am damn sure, he won’t be a sex addict, your parents know him na”

“I am not saying he is a sex addict, OMG, what if he is?” she panicked.

“Do you want me to bring you a soda or something, as it is too hot in here, I dun think tea is a good idea at this hour of day” I said gulping my own saliva.

“Yes please, thank you so much” she said throwing the cup full of tea directly into the dustbin without even getting up.

“Relax, baby… I am sure, he would be a very nice guy. After all he is gonna be your husband” I said with a very big and flattering smile on my face.

“You think so?” said she with pity eyes.

“Ohh baby, definitely… talk to him once”

“Hey one sec, if he is traveling next month to US then what about you” I said again, but I do not know why I had to say this, for the first time in the evening she calmed down and boom… I lit the fire again…

“Yeah… exactly… and you know his parents have the solution for this too. You want to know what it is, the solution is that I will take a transfer from here to Chandigarh and stay with his parents while he is in US. I will be filing in for a dependent visa and once it gets approved I will have to quit my job and happily go live with him, cook for him, sweep for him and surely sleep with him too. You know what is a dependent visa right… I will not have a work permit, which means I will be jobless, totally jobless… ” she was going crazy.

“Take a breath… calm down, everything is gonna be okay… calm down”

“Your parents must have thought over all of these, why don’t you talk to them first” I said again.

“They want me to get married… am I such a burden on them… ” and now she was crying. I felt bad.

“Come honey, lets go to my room”

We were about to leave when two of my friends came, their timing was just perfect like the Bollywood movie cops, after the show was over.

“Hey… what happened, why are you crying” said Joe.

“It’s a long story, let us go to my flat and discuss” I said.

We drove to my flat which is in fourth floor and the lift was under maintenance so, Silvia had stopped crying in the journey from ground floor to fourth floor by stairs.

As I opened my flat, my other two friends the most vicious characters, rushed into to occupy the most puffed bean bags leaving behind two, among which one was okay to sit and the other was a mini bean bag that I got for free when I bought the other three big ones.

I, being the most generous and also self invited host of the evening offered Silvia to sit on the bigger one and sat on the lil one somehow adjusting my but.

“So, what’s the big story?” said Addi, another friend of mine.

“Has someone again stolen her jeans from the terrace while she kept it to dry after wash” teased Joe.

“Guys, this is serious, Sil is getting married” I said

“Whatt… ” both of them said together.

I narrated the whole story and firstly they were like ‘Hawww’ then ‘hmmm’ then, actually nothing after giving their two reactions they just kept nodding their heads.

“I have an idea, why doesn’t Sil call that guy right now from here” Joe bursted.

“Whoa whoa… doesn’t her parents should know this before she calls him” Addi said with concern.

“Okay, Sil, go ahead, tell your parents that you are going to call him now just because you need to know the guy you are marring” Joe said as if she would call Sil’s parents if she doesn’t.

“Don’t you think she should wait for the guy to call first, won’t she appear too desperate if she calls him first” Addi said again

“Baby, she has only thirty days and if you will exclude today, she has only twenty-nine days left, so, do you really think she has the time to waste on thinking who is desperate and who is not” I was so pissed.

“I am gonna call him now, where is my phone, give me my phone” Silvia panicked.

“Easy cat, easy… call your parents first and then call him. Talk nicely and please do not panic” I said, I was actually concerned, as she was behaving damn crazy.

She took her cell phone and went to the terrace.

In the mean time we decided that we will prepare pepper chicken for dinner but for the time being we settled for tea and some snacks.

We three started chit chatting, firstly with arrange marriages, then complained about our managers, gradually moved to scope of different technologies, current openings, hikes and usual daily stuffs, when our drama queen came back from the terrace after approximately two hours, yes two hours!

She came back with a very very big smile on her face and yeah unlikely to her behavior she was blushing too.

“Oye hoye, what happened, you seem too happy” I said.

“Girls, he is kinda cute and understanding too. I liked him. He listened to my aspirations; he even said he will get me a work permit so, that I can get a job there as well”

“Hon, isn’t he a sex addict?” I said with a cunning smile on my face.

“Ohh, shut up, he is too cute to be that”

And that, ladies and gentleman was the fine moment when we lost our friend!

She used to be with us with her cell phone beeping constantly, need less to explain who beeped her.

In another twenty five days we were attending one of the our best friends marriage ceremony. Trust me those past twenty-five days were not easy. We have been shopping for the sarees, embroidered suits(very heavy embroidered yeah very, some of them had even golden work, some you can not even look directly to, you had to have sun glasses to look at, well, I won’t deny some were nice which even made me think to marry, but only for few seconds not more than that!)

Oh! I forgot about shopping for shoes, bags, make up kit (these stuffs are so costly, that tiny velvety vanity box cost her ten grands, shit, what can we apply on hardly seven inches of face for ten thousand bucks!) and how can I forget about lingerie (buying them was fun).

On 8th March, 2014 our friend got married. We became three from four. Though there is no culture of Bride’s maid in Punjabi families nor in ours but still we were self appointed three bride’s maid dressed similarly in different colors.

That was the first time I went to a wedding where I didn’t go only to eat or comment on the bride and the groom, it was the wedding of my friend. She looked like a princess yeah a princess loaded with gold!

“Do you believe our Sil is married” I said.

“I still don’t believe she will no longer roam around with us all over the city again, she won’t be there to have road side tea, go shopping with us, prepare her rajma chawal any more” Joe got upset and do did we.

We hugged each other and pledged, no matter whom we marry and where we go we will always be in contact.

“You know what, Silvia is too brave to fall into a marriage so soon. I am never gonna marry so fast, I need time” I said.

But girls, there is very common saying ‘Never say Never’ and the moment I said it, somehow somewhere in the universe there were meteors clashing, with huge lightening, some of the planets stopped for seconds, they changed their routes and finally my so did my FATE. Yeah my fate got Twisted, twisted as hell!

 

Millennials Co-Engagement Ring Shopping

It is no secret that Millennials are “beginning” life later than every generation preceding them. From starting their careers, to moving out of the house, to engagements and marriages; most of life’s important milestones are occurring well into their late 30s. How does this impact the process of shopping for an engagement ring?

Traditionally, man meets woman, falls in love with woman, asks for permission from her parents to propose, buys engagement ring, and asks her to marry him. With this forward thinking generation, a step has been taken away from the traditional and towards a more involved approach. Since Millennials are of a more “mature” age, compared to the average age of engaged couples in the past, it can be said that they know more of what they want and don’t want. Women are voicing the need to be involved in the process so that their future fiancé can’t get it wrong!

I have seen everything from a couple equally and joyously involved in the selection process together hand in hand excited about their future, to a very opinionated woman on Facetime conferencing from work demanding what she wants as her passive boyfriend sits in our showroom ready with credit card in hand. Now I am not here to pass judgment, but I will say this: this must be a mutual decision that you are both happy with. This new wave of couples choosing an engagement ring together warrants much discussion because it can either be very right or very wrong.

There is room for compromise. You are the traditional type of man. You want to court her and surprise her with that magical moment big reveal. She, however, is a modern girl who would like to have a say in what her ring will look like. If you have your heart set on having her see the ring for the first time when you open that box there is a way to make you both happy. You and your beloved can make a list of all the things she would love to see in her ring. Before you set out on your own, you can also go window-shopping. Have her point out a few ideal rings. This way she feels that she has been active in the process and had her voice heard. You are happy because you aren’t flying blind and still get to stick to some tradition.

Create another memory of togetherness. If the previous suggestion wasn’t hitting the mark, perhaps sharing in this moment together is the way to go. This could in fact bring you closer together. Venturing out to different jewelers to find the perfect ring as a couple can end up being another beautiful memory in your love story. You can watch her eyes light up with building excitement and anticipation as she picks from the many choices before her. She can watch the desire in your eyes, wanting this to be the beginning of your happily ever after together.

You define what “perfect” is. There is no right or wrong in this momentous occasion. Only the two of you can decide what is perfect for you and stick to it. Forgive those with their own opinions. After all, in the end, it will be you and her writing the story of your lives together. Make sure it is one that you will want to read again and again!

 

When Celebrities Choose an Engagement Ring

Diamonds are definitely going to last forever, whether the couples last or don’t. The world has seen innumerable high-profile engagements and marriages. Some of them last, some don’t. But that doesn’t take away the beauty of the diamond etched in our mind. So today, we are going to talk about some of the most famous diamond engagement rings we have ever seen. Let’s start the journey.

1. The Blue Sapphire Diamond Halo- Princess Diana and Kate Middleton

When the Prince of Wales proposed to Lady Diana 1981, he made sure he presented something as royal as the family, and as beautiful as the lady herself. So went for a beautiful ring bedazzled with a halo of solitaire diamonds around a stunning oval-shaped blue sapphire. The band was made of shiny white gold. It turned out the ring was chosen by Princess Diana herself! The ring wasn’t custom made, so it did raise a few eyebrows then. But then again, you can’t question her choice; the ring is as beautiful as the woman who chose it.

29 years down the line, Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with the same ring in 2010. When we think of timeless beauty, this is the ring that comes to our mind.

2. Emerald and Diamond Ring: Jacqueline Kennedy

The 35th President of The United States proposed to Jacqueline Bouvier for marriage on June 24th, 1953. Known for his style statement, he made sure the First Lady-To-Be got something that takes the spotlight. So John decided to go for an open halo setting engagement ring boasting of 2.84 carat emerald and a 2.88 carat diamond. The ring was designed by Van Cleef & Arpels.

3. The Big Emerald Cut Diamond: Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor got married eight times. And of-course, she received a total of eight rings! Among all of them, it has to be the one she received from her third marriage. The ring is truly worthy of being the talk of the town. Famous producer Mike Todd proposed to Elizabeth Taylor with a massive 29.4 carat emerald cut diamond. The size of the rock being so massive, it was correctly nicknamed “ice skating rink” by the wearer.

4. Baguette Eternity Band: Marilyn Monroe

The platinum eternity band Monroe got from the Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio was adorned with 35 baguette cut diamonds. It wasn’t an engagement ring though; it was a wedding band, as she received it on January 14, 1954, the day she got married to DiMaggio.

The simplistic design and elegant diamond setting makes the ring an eternal beauty. Their wedding, and Monroe’s tragic life are a different story altogether.

5. Emerald Cut Diamonds: Angelina Jolie

When Mr. and Mrs. Smith, affectionately called Brangelina tied the nuptial knots, Brad Pitt made sure the love of his life adorns a ring as beautiful as she is. So he asked the famous designer Robert Procop to design a ring that suits the personality of this strong lady. He waited for a year and the result was worth the wait.

 

The Keys to Having Successful Financial Conversations When You’re Engaged

While money is a leading cause of marital strife, a recent Ameriprise study found that nearly seven in ten couples say they have good financial communication. Before wedding planning kicks into high gear, make conversations about your finances a priority. Taking the time today to talk through money matters can create a solid foundation for your collective future. Use the following six principles to guide your money conversations:

1. Open-minded. Take turns sharing your vision for money management as a married couple. Listen carefully to what your future spouse says is important to him or her. Acknowledge your differences and build on your strengths. If your expectations don’t match up, try to find a compromise. Some couples sidestep conversations about money to avoid feelings of hurt, fear, anger or remorse. Creating a habit of regular communication may help you avoid heated arguments, and can help ensure you’re on the same page financially before you walk down the aisle.

2. Honesty. Financial secrets can destroy trust. Share the specifics of your financial history and current situation if you haven’t already done so. Your future spouse deserves to know if you’re paying off college debt, or if you’ve made any financial mistakes in the past (and how you’ve rectified them). Disclose the good news, too. Divulge details about savings you’ve tucked away or a family trust that helps supplement your income so you both know the sum of where you stand.

3. Forward-thinking. Once you’ve shared your current situation and history, discuss your goals for the future. Be open about what your dreams are, but be ready to compromise. While you don’t have to agree on everything, having shared goals (purchasing a home, saving for college if you choose to have children, retirement, etc.) allows you to combine forces on savings and gives you a road map for spending.

4. Cooperation. To avoid any miscommunications as newlyweds, discuss and assign responsibility for financial roles. Is one of you better at monitoring online accounts and paying bills? Are you both enrolled in a retirement account and taking maximum advantage of employer contributions? Who will be the primary contact for your financial advisor, tax professional or estate planner? Two is better than one when you’re able to divide and conquer financial tasks, but make sure you’re both in the loop on key decisions and money matters.

5. Diligence. Once you’re married, make it a priority to update your financial documents. It takes discipline, but taking care of these housekeeping tasks right away protects you in case something unexpected happens. Several steps to consider:

• Update financial accounts, insurance policies and credit cards with any name changes, and if needed, add your spouse as an owner and beneficiary to those accounts.

• Consider combining your bank accounts if it makes sense for your situation.

• Update or write your will and estate plan to reflect your collective wishes.

• Amend your tax withholdings, to make sure the right amount is withheld from your paycheck now that you’re married. Consult your tax professional before making changes.

• Choose your health insurance. If both of your employers offer health insurance, carefully evaluate your coverage options and premiums for the best fit.

Like most things worth achieving, preparing for a lifetime of financial compatibility takes work. If you and your future spouse can commit to the same money values, it may help you create a solid financial foundation.

Scott D. Serfass, CFP®, CRPC®, CDFA™, CLU®, ChFC® is a financial advisor and senior partner of Serfass, Phillips & Associates, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. His team specializes in helping people retire confidently and develop a plan to effectively share wealth across multiple generations. Throughout his career, he has witnessed many families continue to grow despite global and economic turmoil. This experience and research paved the way for his book, Family Success.

 

Things to Consider When Selecting a Location for Your Engagement Photos

After the big question has been popped, then it is time for great celebrations and the creation of memories. There are many things that you start to worry about once you are engaged. They include the venues, guest lists, themes, dates, and even wedding decorations for your wedding. It can be a time that is very overwhelming and you may still have to organize your engagement party as well as take the engagement photos.

For your photos to be unforgettable, it is necessary to choose the ideal location. There are many things that you can do so as to end up with some of the nicest photos at the end of the day.

Things to consider

The aesthetics

You definitely have to consider aesthetics. It is a very important part of the location choice. When it is a natural beauty, then it works beautifully. When a couple is against an amazingly gorgeous background, then it looks even more beautiful. Think of the kind of background you want and then pick a location.

Theme

Following a theme always makes certain that you get the most desired results. You can choose to do it in a gallery space that is well designed. You can even do it outdoors if you want that rustic feel. If these are photos that could be used on the invitations, it can be cohesive if a theme is followed. They can be the preview of what people should expect at the wedding.

Personality

Adding personality makes them meaningful an even more intimate as they reflect the character of the couple. If there is a unique personality that you have in the relationship, then it should be helpful in determining the venue. Make sure you use something that brings out that unique you to the world.

Significant location

You should settle for a place that is very important to the two of you. You could consider places like where you were on the first date, the park where the first kiss happened, your home and so on. In addition, settle for places where you may have creates some of the most beautiful memories and places that are of some importance to you.

Creativity

It is very important to be creative. This is something that makes the photos even more amazing. Try getting that unique angle, a creative pose, a creative outfit, and so on. Thinking broadly definitely helps in the area you can even include tour pets and children if you have any so as to make the session as creative and as unique as your real relationship really is.

The other very important thing that should never be left out during such sessions is the ring! You need to have some of those shots to show off the stone! There is no engagement without it after all. Finding the ideal location can be hard, but then, it can still be one of the best ways that you can relax and have great fun together. It is an amazing way to bond and create some new memories.