Irish Blessing for Marriage


Considering a Celtic wedding or just want to include a traditional Irish blessing in your wedding ceremony or use one as a toast? The following Irish blessing for marriage could be just the one for you. If you want to include more Irish traditions during your wedding ceremony, consider this popular one that signifies the couple’s bond and commitment. This Irish way of “tying the knot” during the ceremony provides the couple and and their guests with a beautiful visual representation of their new bond. During the ceremony, the couple is asked to join hands while a rope, ribbon, or cord is gently wrapped around the couple’s hands, symbolizing the couple agrees to spend the rest of their days together.

Traditional Irish Blessing

May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.

May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.

May the saddest day of your future

Be no worse than the happiest day of your past.

May your hands be forever clasped in friendship

And your hearts joined forever in love.

Your lives are very special,

God has touched you in many ways.

May his blessings rest upon you

And fill all your coming days.

Even if you’re not trying to include Irish traditions or sayings into your wedding day festivities, we hope you enjoyed the Irish blessing. May the luck of the Irish be with you and your loved one through many, many years of happiness!

Envision Love, LLC offers a popular online Florida premarital preparation course at

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10 Ways to Revitalize Your Marriage and Rediscover Your Partner

Couple In Love

Many of us spend countless hours maintaining our homes, our cars, and our bodies. Unfortunately, too many people neglect the most important asset they have…their marriages. To boost your marriage, learn some ways to rediscover your partner and revitalize your marriage.

With nearly half of all marriages ending in divorce, it is important to take a look at what is going wrong. Too often, marriages fail because the people involved have forgotten what made the relationship great in the beginning. If you want to revitalize your marriage and keep it healthy and happy, follow these simple tips every day to keep the love alive:

1. Share memories – Rough spots are normal in any marriage. How you deal with these rough times, however, can make or break your relationship. When things get rough, have a quiet dinner where you discuss nothing with your partner but happy memories you have shared. It is especially useful to talk about when you met and fell in love. Let the happy memories and feelings take the place of any negativity.  

2. Be thankful Many people make the mistake of falling into a rut. They begin taking things for granted and forget to be thankful for the little things. Every time your partner does something for you, regardless of how small, take a moment to say thank you.

3. Make your spouse happy – Try to do at least one little thing every day that is for the sole purpose of making your spouse happy. Even a kind word or sincere compliment can go a long way toward making a bad day brighter.

4. Be honest – Small lies and omissions erode trust over the years. To avoid this damage to your marriage, make sure you are honest with one another every day about everything.

5. Share leisure time – While it is vital for you and your spouse to have their own separate interests and activities, don’t get so caught up in your own lives that you neglect your life together. Make sure there is at least one leisure activity that the two of you enjoy together on a regular basis.

6. Work as a team – Independence is great, but make sure you and your spouse turn to each other for advice and guidance. Solving problems together will make you both feel more valued and will strengthen your bond.

7. Woo your spouse – Remember the things you did to show love when you were dating your spouse? Marriage is not a reason to stop those things. Instead, you should continue making romantic gestures and constantly working to win your spouse’s love.

8. Keep yourself up – It can be extremely easy to let your appearance go once you are married. This is a tragic mistake, however, since physical attraction is an important part of love. Keep yourself in shape and take pride in your appearance so your spouse will keep coming back for more.

9. Touch often – Regardless of how busy or tired you are, make time for sex and cuddling. Do not discuss your problems in the bedroom. Keep that area sacred for love and intimacy only. It is also important to make sure that you touch your partner often. Even a kiss on the cheek when you meet in the kitchen will keep that spark alive.

10. Keep perspective – No opportunity is too small to make your partner feel loved and cherished. At the same time, most problems that seem big are miniscule when compared to the value of your love. Keep your eye on what is truly important and take steps to promote the positives and to minimize the negatives.

Instead of allowing your marriage to wither and die from lack of care, make sure to feed the fire everyday by showing love, affection and by always treating your spouse like the most important person in your life. If your marriage is already suffering from neglect, it may take some time to bring it back to life. If you are just embarking on a new marriage, begin a great new habit of incorporating these elements into your marriage from day 1. You will find that when you actively pour yourself into the relationship, your partner will gravitate toward you and the love you have will grow stronger than ever.

Get help with your marriage before you need it. More helpful guidance is available for  you when you enroll in our highly-rated Envision Love Florida Premarital Course.

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Respect in Marriage Matters- 3 Ways to Show You Care

respect in marriage

If you’ve been struggling with your relationship, you aren’t alone. Many couples experience frustration and anxiety when one party doesn’t feel respected. You might know that you’re fighting without knowing the reason why you’re fighting- which can cause even more stress and anxiety. If you’re tired of losing arguments, of fighting over stupid things and of wondering whether or not your relationship is going to survive, it’s time to take action. Respect in marriage matters. Here are three meaningful ways that you can start to demonstrate respect and compassion to your partner in an effort to improve your relationship.

1. Let your partner win sometimes

Nobody wants to lose an argument, but sometimes you need to let your partner win. This demonstrates that you value and respect your partner’s point of view, but it also shows that you don’t always have to get your way. Part of being in a relationship means being willing to let the other person take the lead sometimes. If you’re ready to show your partner that you’re able to change, start by letting them have the final word.

2. Let your partner feel needed

If you’re used to handling everything on your own, your partner might not feel needed. This can be especially true with military couples after a deployment. Instead of trying to prove that you can survive without your partner, let them know how much you truly need and want them in your life. This could be anything from letting your husband take care of the baby one night, asking your wife to show you how to cook something, or asking your partner’s opinion about how to best handle a workplace problem you feel stressed about.

3. Let your partner know you value his or her opinion

Respect essentially boils down to one thing: value. When you demonstrate respect to someone, you let them know how valuable they are to you. One important way that you can show your partner your respect is to let them know how much you value their opinions. The next time that your partner offers advice on something, take it. The next time your wife suggests you wear a different tie, do it. The next time that your husband suggests you apply for a specific job, listen. Part of a successful relationship means demonstrating that the other person is important. Valuing their opinions is one of the simplest ways to show them how much you care.

Want more marriage advice before your big wedding day? Go to and enroll in our online Florida premarital preparation course. Many couples who have completed our course highly recommend it.


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Car Rides and Relationships

Fight Over Makeup In Car

“I can’t believe you’re putting on makeup in the car!”

Have you ever had an argument with your significant other while driving? Believe it or not, disagreements in the car happen pretty frequently. Some studies suggest that most couples can’t go more than 22 minutes in a car together without getting frustrated with something– whether it  be an issue with directions, speeding, or something else entirely. Minor issues like this don’t seem like much, however, they can lead to relationship tension if you don’t resolve them properly

The average driver logs about 37 miles per day, or 13,476 miles per year on their car. Regardless of whether you’re traveling to work, visiting family and friends, or running errands, it seems natural that you and your significant other will wind up in a car together. Does it have to be a bad thing?

For some, driving together can become a cherished couple’s activity. It provides an opportunity to discuss the things on your mind, especially when you wish you could spend more time together. Plus, since the focus of the driver is on the road, it can sometimes be easier to discuss sensitive topics. However, while commuting together can be a blessing, there are also negatives to consider, too. Sarah Fletcher, a relationship counselor in London explains, “Couples can say things – sometimes which might be difficult – in the car without the other one being able to walk away – it’s a captive audience.” Without being able to walk away, some couples may find it harder to resolve arguments calmly.

But what do most couples actually argue about while they drive?

According to AAPopulus who did a survey on 23,000 Brittish drivers, the top 10 causes for in-car arguments are:

  1. Knowing where to go
  2. Driving too fast
  3. Not asking for directions
  4. Noisy children
  5. Shouting at other drivers
  6. Car temperature
  7. Not agreeing where to eat
  8. Not agreeing on what to listen to
  9. Topic of conversation
  10. Driving too slowly

So how do you prevent such minor issues from escalating? Well, when you notice your discussion turning into an argument, put the proverbial brakes on! After all, your relationship shouldn’t be clouded by such silly arguments. If something is bothering you, take a deep breath and discuss it. It’s important to get these things out in the open. If you don’t know where to go, ask your partner for recommendations on what they think you should do — and be open to their ideas. If something you’re doing makes them uncomfortable, such as driving too fast, be considerate of them and make a change to your driving behavior. After all, vehicles can easily be deadly… don’t place the person you care about at risk. Instead, use the time you have in your car as a chance to reconnect with one another. Nowadays, busy schedules keep people apart. A pleasant and safe car ride is one way to give you some much-needed quality time together.

As a couple, do your best to encourage safety on the roads. In the unfortunate event that you receive a traffic ticket in Hillsborough county, we highly recommend Too Cool Traffic School’s 4hr Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDI Course) to help dismiss the points from the citation.

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Saving Money on Your Beautiful Wedding Cake

Saving money on your wedding cake with non-edible tiers

Saving Money on Your Wedding Cake is Possible! Here’s How You Work the Price Down. 

Wedding cakes can be made to look as delicate and as lacy as flowered hats, as beautiful as mysterious treasure chests and as jewel-like as something on a shelf at Tiffany’s. To many wedding guests, the last course of the meal when they get to sample that wedding cake is one of the most special parts of the wedding.

For the couple paying for the wedding, though, aiming to not disappoint with the cake can be an expensive indulgence. A grand wedding cake can cost as much as $1000 – or 5% of the price tag of the average American wedding. Whatever way you can find to save on the cost of your cake can be worth it so here are some ideas for saving money on your wedding cake.

Mostly, it isn’t the size of your cake that makes it expensive

Cake is flour, eggs, shortening, cream and sugar – it’s fairly inexpensive to make. Even a huge five-tier cake shouldn’t cost more than $200. How does it end up costing $1000 then?

It isn’t the ingredients that make wedding cakes expensive. Rather, it is the amount of the decorative detail ordered that sends the bill up. If you want your cake covered with three-dozen intricate roses, for instance, it takes skill, artistry and time. For the most part, such fancy decorative work is what tends to make wedding cakes expensive.

Cakes that are made to look like flowers or other shapes are extremely labor intensive. Choosing simple, square cakes is one way of saving money on your wedding cake. You should even consider staying away from a tiered cake. Many bakers charge as much as 25% extra to stack cake tiers. Going with a single-layered cake can save you serious money as well.

Learn how to achieve beautiful results cheaply

Icing flowers with intricate detail are very expensive. Instead, you can choose to order large, sugar paste flowers that are simple four-petal designs. These can be inexpensive and still look impressive. Studding your cake with icing pearls is another less costly way to come by elegant results.

For the material that makes your frosting, you should choose buttercream instead of fondant. Cheaper frosting materials can save you approximately $1 on each slice. The kind of icing flavor you choose is another area to pay attention to. Simple flavors like chocolate, strawberry, lemon and vanilla are cheaper than other flavors like hazelnut.

You can save a few dollars with a slightly smaller cake

Not every guest at a wedding asks for a slice of wedding cake. Guests can have different reasons for staying away – a special diet, perhaps. Since wedding cakes are priced by the slice, you can count the number of guests you have and consider ordering fewer slices.

Also, a smaller cake doesn’t actually have to look smaller. Wedding cake bakers can often build your cake up with inedible decorative layers. Then you can end up with very impressive results that are inexpensive, nonetheless.

Another good idea is to order a small, but richly decorated wedding cake for the ceremonial cake cutting. This isn’t the cake that you serve your guests, though. For them, you order a separate, simply decorated cake that tastes the same. It will remain in the kitchen and be served by your catering staff. Your wedding cake bill can often cost half as much this way.


Reception venues have a habit of tacking on something called a cake cutting charge worth $5 a slice, or more. You can negotiate ahead of time and many couples succeed in working this surcharge down as well.

Getting ready for your wedding? Don’t forget to also get your relationship ready so you can enjoy a long and successful marriage. Take our popular online premarital course at

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Add Oomph, Add Spark to Your Relationship!

Happy loving couple frolicking on the beach

Do you want to add spark to your relationship? The best-case scenario for any relationship is for both partners to feel happy, cared for, understood, appreciated, and valued. It sounds elementary, but genuinely living this way takes attentiveness to give your relationship a boost.

To have a meaningful relationship, you’ll need to do more than bring home gifts for each other, enjoy a combined income, or share a bed. Knowing your values and those of your partner will help you choose the right actions so you can add spark to your relationship. Ultimately, expressing your expectations and hearing your partner’s is essential for knowing how to get along. Sometimes you can add oomph to your relationship by knowing better what not to do, yet other times you can do so by taking purposeful actions.

Watch Out for Disparaging Comments and Actions

The most subtle problems in a relationship can often be avoided if you know what to watch for. Each partner has his or her own sensitivities. Walking away from a conversation, failing to acknowledge your partner’s opinion, focusing on your phone or a TV show while your spouse is talking, may give them the impression you don’t care about them.

Looking at your partner the wrong way, being sarcastic or critical (even if you think it’s constructive) can be mistaken for dislike. No one wants to be with someone they feel doesn’t like them.

Not only should you be careful of your behavior, but you should be careful not to misinterpret your spouse’s behavior. Ask for attention or clarification when needed.

Balance the Need for Space

Women’s hormonal cycles may not only test a woman’s own fortitude, but that of her partner. Likewise, cranky, tired men may become easily short-tempered. No one wants to be around someone who is irritable and acting unloving. At moments like this, it may be helpful to warn your partner how you’re feeling so they don’t take your actions personally.

No one is perfect and it’s perfectly fine to offer each other space rather than trying to fix each other. If your relationship is to succeed, give each other adequate breathing room.

Be Aware of the Potential to Keep Score

Resentment may brew when it seems like one partner is doing all the work. Make sure you revisit your expectations and communicate what you feel is lacking. Don’t become tempted to keep score on how much more you’re doing than your partner is. Love is action and you will reap what you sow, eventually.

Model Positivity and Caring

The best gift you can give your partner is to live with a positive attitude. Be generous with compliments. Get excited about small things. Happiness is contagious.

Instead of looking for what’s going wrong in your relationship, look for what’s going right. Celebrate the good. Laugh at the silly stuff.

Share your dreams and plans, but don’t worry if your partner’s dreams and plans vary from yours.  Find middle ground.

Make Life Interesting

It’s easy to stay home to relax, but doing the same thing repeatedly becomes boring. Keep action in your relationship. Buy tickets for special events, take walks, make vacation plans, and work on household projects together.

These are but a few simple ideas to implement to add spark to your relationship. Get the foundation right.  Protect your relationship from subtle pitfalls. Stay active and involved, and then add in all the gifts and loving gestures you can so your relationship will always be meaningful.

Want more marriage strengthening ideas? Discover them by taking our e-learning course at 

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Starting a Conversation with Your Spouse

starting a conversation with spouse over breakfast

Has starting a conversation with your spouse become a challenge lately?  

Even though you generally think you have good communication with him or her, there may be times when your communication doesn’t seem to flow as easily or the occasional silence doesn’t seem as comfortable as it once was.

So what can you do to stimulate a good conversation with your spouse?

Here are some ideas to get your communication flowing again.

  1. Ask what was the best part of their day while they were away from you (for example, if they were away at work)
  2. Ask about the worse part of their day
  3. Read up on several news items of the day or some trending topic or report on social media and share some interesting information about one or more of those stories with a follow-up question such as “What do you think about that?”
  4. Research and give a few ideas for activities to do together this coming week, weekend, or month, and see what they think about those ideas. Also, ask them if they have any other ideas and which one or two would be their top picks from among the choices.
  5. Ask something about one of their family members- For example, “Have you spoken with your mom (or your brother) recently? What is she up to?” Also share some observations, opinions, or ideas related to the topics brought up about that relative and any issues they are going through.
  6. Tell your spouse you want to plan to have a nice dinner together so you want their input on either what type of food and/or which restaurant they’d like to go to, or, what type of food they’d like to have for the menu of a make-at-home dinner. Work out specifics of where, when, who’s cooking, who’s making the list, who’s shopping for the ingredients, for whatever the case may be.
  7. Bring up a minor to moderate problem for a problem-solving brainstorming session. Think of something you’d like to try to address together and ask your partner if they’d be willing to toss around some ideas and potential solutions so you can both find a resolution for that problem.
  8. Use some conversation starter, such as: “If you were going to be stuck on a deserted island, what is the one thing you would have to take that you cannot live without (besides me!), or what is the one type of food you would want to have there that you would not want to live without,” or, “If it was our 30th anniversary next year, where do you think we should go for a fabulous anniversary trip?”
  9. Or try: “I miss hearing your voice. Can you sing to me or tell me a funny story from your week or something you read online?” If you have a wise guy in your life, he might just reply: “Yeah, my funny story was when my wife asked me, the guy who can’t carry a tune, to sing to her! Isn’t that hysterical?” But hey, at least you would have jump started some talking!
  10. Tell about your latest activity or hobby you’ve done (your workout at the gym, latest book you’ve read, encounters during your online gaming or bicycle ride) and then ask about your partner to tell you more about how their recent hobby or activity.

Remember that even if the talking fizzles out quickly, every day brings more ideas and more opportunities to begin a conversation. Be mindful of trending topics in the family, in your lives, and out in the world, so you can continue to take advantage of opportunities to engage your partner in lively conversation and keep your communication strong throughout your marriage.

Want more marriage strengthening ideas? Discover them by taking our e-learning course at 

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How to Become a Great Step-parent

Copy of bigstock-Portrait-of-happy-family-with--33002837Becoming a step-parent is one of the most challenging situations that an adult can face. Developing a good relationship with your new stepchildren doesn’t happen overnight, and it often doesn’t occur unless you put in considerable thought, preparation, and hard work. While the transition may not be easy, there are several measures that you can take in learning how to become a great step-parent and growing into your new role.

Deal with the “You’re Not My Parent” Argument Right Away

Regardless of the age of your stepchildren, it is inevitable that this conversation will be brought up. When you receive this response from your stepchild, be clear and confident about your role in the family. Let the child know that you are aware that you are not his or her parent. Let the child know you do not intend to replace their biological parent. However, if a biological parent is not available to handle a situation in which a rule has been overstepped, it is important to exert your authority as an adult that is in charge. Discuss your intentions and ideas about this with your partner who is the child’s biological parent first, to agree on parameters of your parenting involvement and to avoid conflicts with your partner. Both of you should have a united approach towards parenting the children for the best parenting results as well as marital harmony.

Be Realistic with Your Relationship Expectations

You should not go into your new step-parent role expecting instant love and attachment, as these feelings take time to develop. Instead, begin your relationship on the foundation of respect. Exemplify respectful behavior toward your stepchildren, and let them know that you expect to be treated the same way. Avoid making negative or derogatory comments regarding the absent biological parent in order to encourage trust with your stepchildren.

Spend Time with Each Child Individually

Although a group identity is essential for becoming a family, it is also important to spend one-on-one time with each of your stepchildren in order to develop a positive relationship. Make time to spend alone together, and try to get into your stepchild’s world. Consider driving your stepchild to school or volunteering with the child’s extracurricular activities in order to get this alone time.

Be a Cheerleader

As a step-parent, it is important that you support your stepchild in all of their endeavors, including school projects, sporting events, dreams, goals, and ambitions. Go to as many school functions or activities as possible that you are invited to attend, but ensure that you are respectful to the biological parent during these events. Acknowledge the struggles and efforts that your stepchild experiences, and work to be a good role model. Your stepchild will begin to learn to rely on you and will trust your feedback over time.

Focus on Having a Successful Marriage

Your marriage is the most vulnerable relationship in your home. While you may feel selfish at times, it is important to do what is necessary to ensure that your marriage remains strong, not only for you as adults, but also for your family. Guard your alone time, as a couple. Talk about issues that you may be experiencing regarding the stress of your role as step-parent and problem solve to address any issues together. Eventually, your children and stepchildren will likely model your loving and respectful marriage in their own relationships as adults.

Taking on the role of a stepparent is a challenging endeavor that will likely have its bumps along the way. By putting in effort with your new family to forge positive relationships, you will be on your way to becoming a great step-parent.

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Intimacy in Relationships: How intimate are you?

couple hugging: intimacy in relationships

Intimacy is important for any long-term relationship. But it goes beyond the meaning that we normally associate with intimacy. There are three classifications, and they are all important to understand and strengthen intimacy in relationships.

Self-intimacy has to do with each individual feeling comfortable with themselves. This is extremely important since the lack of self-intimacy can cause a person to develop low self-esteem. Reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses, and becoming more self-aware is vital to enhancing self-intimacy, which will ultimately allow you to be a more cheerful, and healthier individual. Reflect on the reasons why your partner fell in love with you. Make sure your partner can reflect on what makes them unique, too!

Conflict intimacy is another important classification, since it refers to how close or intimate couples can be during arguments. It may seem difficult, but maintaining closeness during this time can improve communication and relationship strength. Stick together through thick and thin!

The last form of intimacy to understand is affection intimacy. This is the one that most people associate with the word “intimacy.” Affection intimacy can shown verbally, through actions, sexual expressions and non-sexual physical actions (such as holding hands, a kiss, or something else entirely). Giving and receiving affection is a vital skill for long-term couples. Everyone wants to feel appreciated and loved by their soulmate.

With this in mind, we encourage you to reflect on how these three types of intimacy play a role in your relationship. Take time to discuss ways to keep intimacy strong so you can always show just how much you care about each other.

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Secrets to Cutting Your Wedding Costs

Couple figuring out wedding budget

Cutting your wedding costs can seem like the new priority once you start to get actual quotes for wedding services. Your initial wedding budget may be way off from those other actual quote numbers! Fortunately, there are often ways of cutting your wedding costs.

To do so, though, you will need to prioritize and agree to spend more of your budget on only a few of those things you both feel are most important. For the rest, you will need to become more flexible or downright cut-throat so you can substitute or eliminate other things often included as part of “traditional” weddings.

Here are several ideas for cutting your wedding costs, if you dare…

1. Avoid or reduce use of real flowers – Use potted plants or other decorative inexpensive items as centerpieces, artificial flowers, or paper crafted flowers (the latter two can also work for bouquets). Or, use extra-large type of flowers so that you can buy less stems overall.

2. Have your wedding reception at a fancy restaurant in a scenic location to avoid renting a location and separately catering

3. Have your wedding ceremony and your reception at the same location

4. Find a venue that gives you the flexibility of using your own outside vendors instead of only theirs

5. Ask for help from friends and family members and use their gifts and talents for your memorable wedding day. You can request their service instead of a traditional gift. You may have a friend of family member who is skillful enough to make your wedding cake, another who can craft flower arrangements, or another who may be willing to help you set up a play list or be skilled as a DJ or musician.

6. Choosing a wedding day that is a weekday or a Sunday (instead of the most in demand day, Saturday). Also, when possible, find out the high season in your area, and see if you can instead book a wedding date during a lower season to reduce costs.

7. For the reception, consider either: no alcohol, limiting alcohol to just beer, wine and champagne (rather than open bar with all liquor) or limiting the hours of an open bar

8. Take a premarital preparation course. In Florida, and in some other states you can get incentives from the state- For instance, if you’re marrying in Florida, you can save money on your marriage license and avoid the usual 3 day wait. Regardless of state incentives, though, taking a premarital course can help you have a more successful marriage and avoid a costly relationship breakup later on.

9. Find and compare all inclusive wedding ceremony and reception deals which can sometimes save money on separate pieces and using various individual vendors. For example, consider a golf club location/restaurant, cruise ship, local botanical gardens, or local dinner cruise boat. They will often offer wedding packages that already include scenery, decorations, music and/or food.

10. Consider use of a wedding planner, especially if they can show you they have discounted deals with various vendors that you can benefit from.


Florida residents complete a premarital preparation course online at




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