Cailey and Brendan first met at a jewelry store in 2016. Brendan was the store’s manager in training, and Cailey was on the hunt for a rose gold chain for her new necklace. Despite Cailey’s bad mood that day and being very ill with Lyme disease, she still talked to Brendan, engaging in a discussion about relationships as she tried on different chains. Although Cailey returned the chain she bought, both she and Brendan kept each other in the back of their minds. Months later, Cailey recovered from her long battle with Lyme disease and got a job at the same jewelry store where she’d met Brendan, who happily asked her out. One thing led to another, and suddenly, Cailey was living across the country with her newfound love. A year later, Brendan proposed.
Arizona was Cailey’s dream wedding destination. She enjoyed the desert’s mountainous backdrop and plentiful cacti, and even chose to get married when her favorite white cactus was in bloom. Tucson’s beautiful desert background was the perfect match to the pair’s wedding colors – white, black, and gold – as well as their unique vintage and art deco style. There wasn’t one thing about Cailey and Brendan’s wedding that wasn’t one-of-a-kind, from the motorcycle Cailey rode down the aisle on to their taco and pizza catering choices, and even their wedding parties! Brendan’s party had Cailey’s sisters as “groomswomen” in all-black suits, and Cailey had Brendan’s brother as one of her bridesmaids.
The wedding was everything the pair had dreamed of, and similarly, so was their wardrobe. Cailey wore a gorgeous long-sleeved beaded dress with a low-cut front and back. Her shoes were inspired by her favorite movie, Cinderella, and her veil was 23 inches long and designed and created by her mother, Carla.
“The wedding dress was highly secret,” Cailey said. “I was so excited for Brendan to see me for the first time in my wedding dress. As a little girl growing up, I never really imagined my wedding, but I always imagined what my wedding dress would look like. My dress beat my wildest dream.”
The accessories were just as touching, as Cailey wore a diamond necklace given to her by her parents when she was sick, a diamond bracelet from her soon-to-be husband, and a set of pear-shaped crystal earrings. Brendan wore a custom suit with black pants, a white blazer, silk black lapels, and a custom white shirt. Inside Brendan’s jacket was inscribed the message “in sickness and in health,” referencing Cailey’s 11-year battle with Lyme disease.
Cailey and Brendan’s big day was intimate, touching, beautiful, and loads of fun. From the motorcycle rides to their personalized thank-you cards at every table, you don’t want to miss out on this exquisite event. See all the photos from the pair’s touching day ahead.
I’ve been with my husband for close to 12 years, and in that time we’ve dated, gotten married, moved, and had a kid. He’s also put up with me never remembering to hang my wet towel back up and leaving my shoes in the middle of the floor, and I love him for it. Between all the memories we’ve made as a couple, the early stage of our relationship now feels like a blur. Love came quickly for us, but it wasn’t until Valentine’s Day that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we were in this for the long haul. And yes, I find this fact slightly embarrassing.
I knew right then and there, soaked and shivering, that he was the one for me.
I used to be one of the cool kids who bemoan Valentine’s Day as a stupid Hallmark holiday. And truthfully, it’s an easy holiday to hate. Garish displays of neon pink and heart-shaped candy everywhere, it seems like the whole world is overly eager to profess their love, which isn’t something I do very easily. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that after our first Valentine’s Day as a couple, I truly fell in love.
The holiday fell during a trip to Southern California to visit my family, at which point we had only been dating for three months. We had lunch with my dad, said our goodbyes, and decided to walk back to my grandmother’s house, which was about a mile and a half away. We didn’t even notice the storm clouds rolling in. We got less than a few blocks from the restaurant before we found ourselves caught in a downpour that soaked us immediately. Trying at first to run and hide from the rain, we quickly accepted our fate and continued our walk – talking, laughing, and getting completely drenched. When we reached my grandmother’s house, flowers were waiting for me on the doorstep, having been delivered while we were out because he didn’t want our first Valentine’s Day to go unrecognized. I knew right then and there, soaked and shivering, that he was the one for me.
It wasn’t the flowers, which really were beautiful, or the fact that he thought ahead to get them for me (I certainly didn’t think to get him anything like the “I hate Valentine’s Day cool girl” I thought I was). It was our walk. It would have been easy for us both to be frustrated and angry at the situation, unprepared to get drenched without an easy way to get home (ah, the days of pre-Uber living). Instead, we laughed and chatted, enjoying the moment for what it was, imperfect and perfectly wonderful all at the same time.
I never wanted a relationship with someone who can only appreciate the good times, because that’s not how life is. We didn’t need sunny skies and ideal conditions to be able to enjoy each other and the moment. He was someone, and still is to this day, who’s not afraid to laugh at situations that are less than perfect and still find the joy. That’s the kind of person I wanted to be with, even if it meant abandoning my hatred for Valentine’s Day and admitting that I, too, found love on a greeting-card holiday.
There’s nothing more intimate than a private elopement shared between you and your soulmate, especially in a place as breathtaking as Iceland. Brides Cassidy and Hannah decided to do just that, saying their “I dos” in the beautiful Icelandic countryside. Not a soul was in attendance, just themselves, the waterfalls, and their parents, who watched virtually through Facetime. These brides knew what they wanted, and despite the rain, they hiked to their chosen backdrop with filled backpacks, rugged boots, and large coats, all while keeping a tight grip on their bouquets. After their elopement, the newlyweds headed back to Reykjavik to celebrate, sharing a cake to honor their big day. If you’re interested in seeing more of this romantic Iceland wedding, have a look through the pictures ahead!
Related: These Brides Renewed Their Vows in the Most Intimate Setting, and the Photos Are Breathtaking
Pinners are planners, so when it comes to finding the top wedding trends of 2020, we know Pinterest is the place to look. Whether you’re scouring the site’s thousands of boards for inspiration, or you’re stuck in a rabbit hole of wedding ideas from a simple search, we’re here to narrow your results. Pinterest recently released all the deets on its top wedding trends from the past year, and they’re a diverse mix of ideas and inspiration. From micro-sized weddings to LGBTQ+ outfits, fresh color schemes, and more, find all the cool ideas couples have in store in 2020 ahead!
Stop! Don’t you dare reach for that generic grocery store Valentine’s Day card – how boring. Show your significant other, or even a friend, how much you love them with something cheeky and clever. Even the little things – like receiving a unique card – don’t go unnoticed. From cards that praise your ability to shave for the love holiday to straight-up puns that will make them chuckle, there’s no room for cheesy romance here! Not to mention, there’s a batch of downright dirty ones for your picking, too. Trust us, these cards won’t go into the trash: they’ll hang on the fridge all month long. Get a card that will make them laugh out loud with the wide variety of options, ahead!
– Additional reporting by Macy Cate Williams
Guys are tough enough to shop for as it is, but throw in the added pressure of Valentine’s Day, and it’s enough to want to give up. Don’t you worry, though. Our golden rule when gifting? Get something you think they’ll actually like. Think about who they are, what they do every day, and the little things that make them smile. But, if you’re still stumped, we found 63 gifts for men that are practically guaranteed to cement your status as a top gift-giver. We’re thinking great duffle bags, cool sneakers, and games they’ll love. Just keep reading to shop our picks.
– Additional reporting by Lauren Harano
If you’re getting married or know someone who is, you know just how much planning goes into the big day and all the festivities leading up to it. But no matter how many spreadsheets you make or details you decide on, there are certain things that are just out of your control. No one dreams of loose threads on a dress, beads falling off, or chipped nails, but being prepared to solve a big problem on the big day is a must. Having a bridal emergency kit handy is never a bad idea, and we’ve compiled a list of helpful (and adorable!) ones on Amazon that might just bring a wedding back from the brink of disaster. These kits offer different tools, so don’t be afraid to get more than one – it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Let’s be honest – dating is hard. Even with countless dating apps to choose from, meeting someone you actually like is still pretty rare. And trying to navigate through the already complicated dating world gets even more complicated when you’re living with depression.
Depression affects more than 17 million adults in the United States each year. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and to risk disappointment is already scary, so imagine doing that while living with a condition that makes you question your self worth. People who don’t suffer from depression might have a hard time understanding those of us that do, and talking about it more openly helps shed light on some of these realities that come with dating while depressed.
When my mother came to visit me over Christmas, I excitedly told her about a man I had recently started seeing. She listened intently to my gushing, then matter of factly said, “Try not to bother him with your problems too much, OK?” Through the years, I had gotten used to her attitude towards “my problems,” aka my depression, but it stung to hear her imply that my illness deemed me unloveable. While my mother’s beliefs about mental health are not universal, over the years, I’ve encountered many who thought depression equaled solitude. Yes, there’s an increased awareness for mental illnesses – but that certainly does not mean the stigma against depression isn’t a thing anymore. If you’re living with depression, this stigma can make it extra hard to put yourself out there.
“Depression affects people’s ability to function, which brings about a lot of shame,” Gary Brown, licensed marriage and family therapist, told POPSUGAR. “Feeling shame can be a really painful experience.” Negative stigma can also be a paralyzing factor for people dealing with depression, Clarisse Silva, behavioral scientist, researcher, and relationship coach, told POPSUGAR. And for Bee Poshek, a nonbinary 22-year-old, the stigma against mental illness as well as other factors in their life ended up keeping them away from dating for a while. “Being so consumed with all of the stress that came with trying to function daily with depression and anxiety and not having positive representations of healthy romantic and sexual relationships made for a pretty intense fear of intimacy,” Poshek told POPSUGAR.
Depression is an illness that affects your ability to function. Therefore, actually showing up for plans you made with not just a significant other but anyone can become a problem. “Depressed people require more mental preparation than non-depressed people,” continued Silva. “You must keep in mind that sometimes they will alter plans unexpectedly, simply because they just don’t feel like they can do it that day. They have intentions of meeting with you but want to present their best selves, as we all do.”
I have very high-functioning depression, so luckily it hasn’t happened that often where I’ve had to cancel plans. And yet, in the couple incidents when I did cancel because of my depression, I couldn’t help but feel like that was yet another thing depression was cheating me out of.
Conflicts in a relationship are never fun. While there’s no such thing as a perfect, conflict-free union, depression can make problems in a relationship seem bigger than they are and, thus, harder to handle. “Symptoms of depression can be exacerbated by the experience of emotional confrontation and arguing,” Silva explained. “They have difficulty moderating between the argument and the negative view of themselves and their circumstances. An argument can be a reminder of either situation that creates depressive symptoms or reinforces their negative evaluation of the circumstances in their lives.”
She adds that because depression makes people seek thoughts that affirm the negative and distorts the positive, relationship dissatisfaction and arguing may not be approached as constructive when one of the partners is living with depression. “A person experiencing depression will read into what is said, take it deeply personally, and analyze it for hours until it confirms negative things they think about themselves,” Silva explained.
And she’s right. Last Spring, I was having a minor conflict with a boyfriend. We had just started seeing each other, and I wasn’t yet secure in the relationship. We argued briefly over text, he stopped responding, and until he eventually did (with an apology) the next day, I was unable to leave my bed. Not every conflict produces such a dire response, but knowing that it might, I began to dread arguments over the years.
When you’re living with an illness like depression, self-awareness and communication are key to keeping your relationship alive and healthy. According to Dr. Brown, dating while living with depression requires a certain self-awareness, and the more you educate your partner and yourself about your illness, the better.
Natalie Torturro, a 25-year-old bisexual woman who has been with her current boyfriend for almost five years, says that communication was key to the survival of her relationship. “My depression was a hurdle for our relationship, for sure,” she told POPSUGAR. “It was tough to discuss at first, and whenever I had my first really depressive episode, he didn’t know how to approach my constant crying and wallowing. In the past, I have had some unhealthy relationships partly due to how my depression was addressed in them. In this one, I decided I needed to consistently be open with my feelings and state my needs. When I was feeling this way, I tried my best to tell him how he could help me through my anxiety attacks and depressed mood. So, he always took care to comfort me. And throughout the years, we learned how to work together to best address my anxiety attacks, and we can balance each other’s needs.”
If you are depressed and need help finding help or resources, call the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (1-240-485-1001) or the National Alliance on Mental Illness (1-800-950-6264).
Valentine’s Day is on a Friday this year, which makes it even more perfect for a date night. There are so many romantic, adventurous, and chill activities to choose from to show a little love, whether it’s to your partner or yourself, but narrowing it down can be hard. So, why not rely on your zodiac sign to tell you the perfect date idea for Feb. 14, regardless of your relationship status?
POPSUGAR spoke with Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer at Keen.com, about what we can expect this Valentine’s Day, and it sounds like we’re in for a good one. “The Moon is in Scorpio on Feb. 14,” she said. “Scorpio, ruler of the Eighth House, is associated with very deep kinds of feelings, and also with sex.” The Moon also connects with Mercury, which, according to Hale, means a lot of talk and conversation: “We’ve got a Moon Trine Neptune on that night. Neptune rules intuitiveness, psychics, creativity, and compassion. So it looks like Valentine’s is going to be really romantic and very deep.”
A few specific signs should also be aware of an extra good day. According to Hale, “Mars rules men and Venus rules women. We’ve got Mars in Sagittarius and Venus in Aries, which is pretty compatible and suggests that fire signs will have an especially good night.”
Keep reading for fun date ideas for couples and singles (or as Emma Watson refers to it, self-partnered!) according to your zodiac sign.
If you’ve ever found yourself arguing with a friend over who loves Target more, just know, this couple have you beat. Dyann and Doug took their love for Target to a whole new level by capturing their engagement shoot inside the Dallas store, and honestly, it’s so relatable. From pillow fights in Target’s aisles to riding bikes in its outdoor department, splitting a bag of pizza rolls in its frozen-food section, and even sharing a few smooches in its home aisle, we’re absolutely smitten by their playful photographs. Dyann and Doug’s photographer, Sami Bruemmer, even adored the shoot, saying, “It was such a blast capturing their love!”
If you’re now considering having a photo op in Target (as am I) or simply intrigued to see the rest of this lighthearted shoot, have a look through the photos ahead!
Related: This Office-Themed Wedding Deserves ALL of Michael Scott’s Dundies