All Articles Tagged "marriage"

Watch And Learn: Couple’s City Hall Wedding Proves You Don’t Have To Go Broke Getting Married

August 25th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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While many of us are pinning photos of elaborate, expensive weddings to Pinterest boards or daydreaming of dancing with 500-plus guests at our wedding receptions, one couple decided to take a more intimate and financially practical approach to their big day with an unconventional destination wedding.

Instead of traveling to the Caribbean or Europe, newlyweds Alva and Bo flew to San Francisco to have their wedding at the city’s gorgeous, jaw-dropping City Hall.

Photographed by Heather Rice Photography, the couple had a navy blue and hot pink color scheme on their big day and looked completely stress free as they shared kisses and sweet looks on their big day. And by the looks of their photos, it appears both Alva and Bo may make minimalist weddings a huge trend this upcoming season.

By making their love look effortless in their photos, we won’t be surprised if couture city hall weddings become the next “it” trend this upcoming season. See more of their beautiful photos, below.

City Hall Wedding

Heather Rice Photography

h/t PopSugar

10 Ways To Enjoy Dating When You Have Kids

August 22nd, 2016 - By Tanvier Peart
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10 Ways To Enjoy Dating When You Have Kids


Parents with kids know all too well how easy it is for your privacy and “adult time” to go out the window. As much as you love your little ones, sometimes you want a night to yourself — that doesn’t include changing diapers, bottles and dealing with attitudes. Here are some ways parents can get back to dating, even when a babysitter, family member, or friend isn’t available.

Calm Down: Things That Aren’t Going To Happen If You Never Get Married

August 19th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Want to hear a serious question someone wise once told me to ask myself? “Are you afraid of not getting married?”

There are lots of great reasons to get married: because you love someone, because you’re ready to explore another phase in your life, and, of course, because you’re ready. There are also lots of bad reasons to do it. And being afraid of what will happen if you don’t is one of them.

When getting married seems to be what’s expected of you, it’s only natural to be a little worried about what might happen if you don’t follow the lead of others. But many single women find out that their fears about the future were nothing to worry about at all (just like some women who do get married find out that some of their hopes for marriage weren’t as easy to make come true either).

Would You Ditch These Wedding Traditions?

August 15th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

As wedding season draws to a close, we’ve noticed a big trend in the celebrations we’ve been to: a lot of brides have been breaking with tradition. Once upon a time, you knew exactly what to expect from every wedding, even if it all came with were the bride and groom’s unique twists.

Today’s brides have been filling weddings (and post-wedding events) with so many surprises, it pays to double-check the dress code before you show up. From super casual ceremonies to weddings without cakes and cocktails before the vows, weddings and ceremonies are getting more and more creative.

Would you try these new wedding trends? Or is a more traditional ceremony the only way to go for you?

What It’s Really Like To “Submit” In A Marriage

August 11th, 2016 - By Alyssa Rachelle
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I remember the first time I heard Ephesians 5:22-24. I was in high school and immediately thought, “Submit to a man? That will never be me!” Like any young girl, my appalled response was due to the well-known Merriam Webster definition of submission: to yield to governance or authority: to subject to a condition, treatment, or operation.

As I got older, I would hear people reference, often paraphrasing the verse “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” – Ephesians 5:22-24 NIV.

Quite often, people create their own interpretation of the text. In fact, my heart sank when I heard about the man, along with his friend, who beat his girlfriend to death because she wouldn’t submit in the way he believed that she should. That man’s way of thinking fell in line with one of the most popular analyses of the Biblical text, which is that the husband gets to boss his wife around and she has to take it, in Jesus’ name.

Fortunately, I don’t have a husband or any guy friends who agree with this logic. However, I do have friends who fall on all sides of this debate. I have single female friends who are quick to jump to conclusions whenever the word “submit” is tossed around. I also have married friends who believe that submission is not about standing behind your man, in the way some people think.

We agree that to understand the act of a wife’s submission in a marriage, you have to look at the totality of the text. While the first few verses are directed at wives, the next few passages give instructions to husbands.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” – Ephesians 5:25-28 NIV

The discussions that my married friends and I have had usually revolve around the idea that a husband and wife are a team, and a team normally has a leader or team captain. According to the text, the team captain should be the husband.

And this is where it gets tricky.

Some women have said that in order for the husband to effectively lead the household, he must submit to God (have a relationship with God, allow himself to be led, walk in Christ, etc.). Also, they have mentioned that their husbands are the key decision makers, usually making huge choices regarding the family or being the deciding factor if a conclusion can’t be reached.

Although I mostly agree with these thoughts, my husband and I actually take turns leading. Submission to us means regularly relinquishing certain decisions to one another, especially on matters in which the other doesn’t have a strong opinion or background on a matter. We consult with one another on important matters that affect our family, and together, we come to a decision. No one is telling someone else what to do, or making anyone feel that one party has to always have the last word over the other. That sounds more like a dictatorship than a partnership, and it’s not, in my opinion, what submitting in a marriage should be about.

Whatever your stance, it’s most important to make sure that you and your partner find common ground on the topic of submission long before actually getting married, as such matters are a part of the foundation of your marriage. If you’re not on the same page, you could be dealing with a shaky foundation, rather than a strong one.

Third Time’s The Charm? Vow Or Never To Showcase Chrissy & Jim Jones’s Last-Ditch Effort To Tie The Knot

August 4th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Chrissy & Jim

If at first you don’t succeed, try a third reality show and see if that will get folks down the aisle.

Chrissy Lampkin and Jim Jones are back. After dealing with drama with other people and within their relationship on “Love and Hip Hop” and trying to make things work on “Chrissy & Mr. Jones,” the couple of 11 years are giving it another go with reality TV — oh, and this whole marriage thing.

In their new WEtv show, Jim & Chrissy: Vow or Never, we see the couple finally trying to plan a wedding after their engagement went from on-again to off-again and back. In the preview, all sorts of things seem to be holding them back from “doing the damn thing” as they say. From Mama Jones (yes, she’s back too) saying she doesn’t think the pair is ready to be married, to Jones asking them to push their date back, and folks not showing up for planning meetings. One minute they’re excited and talking about tying the knot “for the whole world to see,” the next Lampkin is breaking down in tears over the stress of their situation. I’m not sure if the pressure of still talking about this issue on national TV will finally get them married, but the fact that they’re still going back and forth about all of it, knowing they both exchanged proposals already (she popped the question in 2011, he gave her a ring in 2012), has to be tiring. And Jones saying things like this on social media probably doesn’t help:

Either way, you can see where things go for this couple when Jim & Chrissy: Vow or Never premieres on September 1 at 10/9 c on WEtv.

“It Inspired Something”: Jennifer Hudson Says Ciara And Russell Wilson’s Wedding May Finally Get Her To Say “I Do”

August 2nd, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Jennifer Hudson David Otunga

Joseph Marzullo/

While most folks tie the knot soon after a proposal happens, Jennifer Hudson and her fiancé, David Otunga, have been going against the grain since 2008. The pair have been engaged for eight years, and last time Hudson talked about a wedding, it sounded like she still wasn’t interested in walking down the aisle anytime soon. As she told Wendy Williams in 2014, “You ain’t gotta understand” their decision to take baby steps.

“Well the ring is still there and we will get married one day but again, my thing is, once I get married, I don’t believe in divorce. And so when I get married, it’s for good. We want to be completely sure we’re together, we’re happy and when it’s time…”

The question now is, could that time be sooner than we think?

Hudson spoke to ESSENCE recently, and when asked about where things stood in terms of wedding planning, the star replied with “It’s been a thought obviously. It’s about timing. I am in no rush at all.”

However, she did add that after attending Ciara and Russell Wilson’s wedding in Northern England last month, and watching all of her friends tie the knot as of late, she’s feeling “inspired.”

“After being at Ciara’s wedding, I’m like, okay,” she said. “I don’t know, it inspired something. I just loved her dress. It was so beautiful. So that made me say, okay, all [of] my friends and peers are married now. You know what I mean?”

That’s still not a definitive “We have a date, ya’ll!” Still, Hudson says that when it comes to taking that next big step, “We will. It will happen.”

Thinking about the conversation that has been had over the years about Hudson and Otunga’s relationship, I wondered if one could every truly be engaged for too long. I’ve seen many people say that “that there’s no way I’m going to be engaged for that long” as outlets have continued to ask JHud about a possible wedding date, and I’ve seen her ever-changing reaction to such questions over the years. Sometimes gushing over the idea, other times, defensive in response to the inquiries. And a lot has been said about extended engagements. Experts say that when you wait quite a while to tie the knot, you’re not planting roots for the future but rather “staying in the here and now.” And the assumption is that she doesn’t really want to marry him, because, well, with her money and flexible schedule after all this time, why wouldn’t she have gone ahead and done it?

But really, when you think about the conversation, it’s interesting that there’s one being had about someone waiting to get married after being engaged, when it’s usually a chat about people getting married too soon. You simply can’t make folks happy. Taking the time to really learn one another and seeing if you’re truly a good fit not only during the good times but during the bad is actually a really good thing. Better to figure that out early rather than to have regrets (and have to split assets and give up spousal support) down the line. Plus, considering all that Hudson has gone through in her life, including losing her mother and brother at the hands of her sister’s husband, that may also play a role in her decision to take baby steps to really know what Otunga is all about.

So, after some thought, and knowing how hectic all this wedding ish really is (go to the courthouse, ladies), I don’t think one can really be engaged for too long. As long as both parties know where they stand with one another and one isn’t leading the other on a long road trip to nowhere, why not? And despite the lack of nuptials over these last eight years, when you really check out these two together, along with their son David Otunga, Jr., they still look very much in love.

All night baby!!!!!! Sing !

A photo posted by Jennifer Hudson (@iamjhud) on

Awhhhh @davidotunga Surprised us ! The whole gang is here now ! Party in my dressing room

A photo posted by Jennifer Hudson (@iamjhud) on

After David played all in the mud @tough_mudder he wanted to give me muddy kisses and hugs ………DAVID !!!!!!!

A photo posted by Jennifer Hudson (@iamjhud) on

After David played all in the mud @tough_mudder he wanted to give me muddy kisses and hugs ………DAVID !!!!!!!

A photo posted by Jennifer Hudson (@iamjhud) on

So with that being said, continue to do you, Jenn. We’re rooting for the couple either way.

Baggage Claim: Why You Shouldn’t Date A Separated Man

August 1st, 2016 - By Deja Jones
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relationship karma

Source: Shutterstock

It’s slim pickings where I live when it comes to finding quality men, so I decided to revisit my Tinder account recently. I should have known better because I tell people all the time that Tinder isn’t a place to look for love. We can’t all be Rihanna finding love in hopeless places, now. Still, I decided against my better judgment to give it a shot once more.

So I’m swiping left in the app and the more I swipe, the more I realize that geographical location is definitely a factor in finding quality men. The area that I just moved to isn’t where they’re at. Still, I continued to swipe until I finally saw someone who caught my eye. I swiped right and we matched. He messaged me the next day and we had a nice dialogue going. I realized that we have a few things in common. After days of exchanging numbers, he immediately asked me on a date for the very next evening. I remember thinking sheesh, this guy wastes no time.

So date night rolls around and we go to a nice restaurant to talk and get to know each other more. After some thought-provoking conversation, I came to the conclusion that maybe I found something worth pursuing in my hopeless city. We start talking about mutual friends we had in common on Facebook and our childhood. We talked about our careers and there was a lot of laughs. In the car on the way back I jokingly asked him if he was going to ask our mutual friends for the 411 scoop on me and he said no because everyone isn’t aware of his situation. Naturally, my smile transformed into a confused expression as I asked “What situation?”

He revealed to me that he was currently separated from his wife of almost 10 years. Before I could do the calculations in my head, he explained that he had married too young, in his early twenties, and not only did he have a wife he was separated from, but two sons. Neither of them were even 10 yet. He followed that bomb with “I hope you’re okay with all of this?” My mind immediately said “Abort, girl! Abort!” My mouth, on the other hand said, “I understand, that’s a tough situation to be in.” I’m not quite sure why I blurted that out, but afterward, the phone calls continued, the text messages kept coming in and so did the date suggestions. I tried to be a team player, but then reality set in.

Although I didn’t get dragged into the drama, I often had to hear about and see how all of it affected him. His venting and rambling about something she did or said. His bad mood after picking up his children from her place. To sum it all up, he always had a problem and his overall attitude was a vibe-killer for someone like me who was just looking to get to know him better and have a good time. Now, before you ask why I got involved with him in the first place, here’s the thing: Sometime we do illogical things even when we already know the more logical solution. It’s called being human. I liked him, he claimed he was trying to move forward from his “situation,” so I gave him a chance. Bad idea.

Needless to say that ended in less than three weeks, but I didn’t walk away empty-handed in terms of a lesson. With that being said, if a man is separated, he’s still married.

Sometimes in a marriage, couples find themselves with their backs against the wall. Sometimes they find themselves running into the same conflicts over and over again and are at a standstill on what to do. The purpose of a separation is to allow space for both parties to step back and evaluate the problems without the influence of one other. I realized this guy hadn’t yet resolved his issues and had no business pursuing dating. Granted, breaking up can be a messy and complicated state of affairs altogether, but when the grounds are still rocky, it’s not wise to drag someone else into that. So, from experience, albeit a short amount, don’t do it. Until the ink drives on those divorce papers, save yourself the baggage, the drama, the hurt feelings and the time wasted.

First Comes Baby Then…Who Cares?

July 29th, 2016 - By Allyson Leak
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If you were an unwed pregnant woman(especially a young one) in 1952 you would have more than likely been judged by your family, by society, and possibly talked into going into one of the many “unmarried mothers homes” that were run by various charities. Not only was it viewed as highly immoral to be unmarried and pregnant but the women were also sometimes coerced into giving their children up for adoption.

Now, in 2016 that stigma is long gone and a new study from the American Sociological Review shows that millennial women are choosing to make having babies a priority over marriage.

The study was led by Johns Hopkins University sociologist Andrew J. Cherlin who found that the greater the income inequality in an area and the scarcity of jobs, the less likely young men and women are to marry before having a first child. They also found that without the men having access to adequate work they don’t feel they are good marriage material and women aren’t willing to sacrifice not having kids because of that.

The study followed 9000 people from 1997 when they were in their early teens until 2011 when they were in their mid twenties. 53 percent of the women and 41 percent of the men reported having had at least one child and 59 percent of those births occurred outside of marriage.

Cherlin, the Professor of Public Policy in the Krieger School of Arts and Science talked about why income inequality played a part in the decision to get married and start a family. He said, “We think the answer is yes for those who don’t graduate from college. Places with higher income inequality have fewer good jobs for those young adults. They don’t foresee ever having the kinds of well-paying careers that could support a marriage and a family. But they are unwilling to forgo having children. So with good jobs in limited supply and successful marriage looking unlikely, young women and men without college degrees may go ahead and have a child without marrying first.”

He continued saying “For many young adults, having a child is still one of the most satisfying experiences they can imagine. And if there’s nothing else for a young person to look forward to, at least they can do that…they believe that being married is optional. But having a child is mandatory.”

While the study focused on the millennial generation, they aren’t the only ones putting kids first. In an article on 39 year old Jennifer Lum was single after multiple failed relationships but her maternal urge had set in and she said, “While I would have loved to share the experience of raising a child with a husband, I didn’t want to get married just for that reason.”

So she placed a personal ad for a “baby daddy” and ended up having over 100 takers. After narrowing down three guys she chose the math whiz with the witty charm and after a month together she was pregnant. Co-parenting ended up not working out and now she raises her son as a single mom with no regrets.

What are your thoughts? Is it first comes marriage or can it be first comes baby?

Is This Petty? Turns Out He’s Married — To A Woman Who Needs A Green Card

July 22nd, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Last week, I received a message from a woman who isn’t so sure how to feel when it comes to some information she learned about a guy she’s been seeing. They’ve been getting to know each other for the last few weeks and she likes him, but she doesn’t like his situation. The information? He’s married, but tied the knot with the woman to help her get a green card.

Depending on the circumstances, one might think that doing such a major thing for another person is a noble thing. But in this case, not so much. The guy is helping the woman out big time, but agreed to do so for a few thousand dollars. The woman who sent the message is aware that the marriage is obviously not a serious one. Still, she can’t help but wonder if they’ve exchanged more than money.

Her question was whether or not she should continue getting to know him. Even if it’s not real, he’s married to another woman and that situation could get messy very fast. In fact, it takes years for these types of things to get figured out, and as she asked in her message, what happens if down the line they were to fall in love and want to get married? And what if he gets caught in this lie and ends up having to pay the legal ramifications for it?

She appreciates that he was honest about his situation (not so upfront about it though — he waited two weeks to say something). That doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s here for it, though.

I’m not mad at her. Again, it depends on the situation (if he were helping out a friend in need or something like that, maybe it wouldn’t look so bad), but pursuing a relationship with someone who who is technically committing a crime isn’t really much different than happily dating someone when you’re aware that they’re out here doing white-collar crimes or committing other forms of fraud. Their lifestyle could put them in a pretty bad situation and down the line, get you into some trouble as well. And when I say “pretty bad situation,” I mean a hefty fine or jail time. According to Criminal Defense Lawyer:

Any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than five years, or fined not more than $250,000, or both.

Punishment can also be meted out under Title 18 of the U.S. Code, at Section 1546. This section prohibits, among other things, making false statements under oath. Sentencing under this section starts at ten years for a first or second offense.

Yikes! Not to mention the obvious fact that this woman will be a third party in whatever relationship is formed. They will need to prove that they live together and there will always be someone checking in on their behavior. That could mean that efforts to maintain the facade of a real marriage could be taken more seriously than efforts to maintain his actual relationship with her. In that way, his “wife” will always come first. It’s too much.

However, it’s ultimately up to her. If she likes him a lot and he seems to be into her, which she claims, then she’s going to do what she wants. But three’s company, and entering into a relationship with a man who is married, and committing marriage fraud mind you, sounds like a disaster waiting to happen…

But as always, that’s just my opinion. What say you? Should she run for the hills or give him a shot?