Yes, there is an art to successfully binge watching a TV show together as a couple. And you want to make sure you’re doing it right because nothing stings more than realizing your partner watched the next episode of Black Mirror without you. Ouch.

Here are some tips to keep all of your Netflix marathons extra chill:

Pick your show carefully

The first step to successful binge watching is picking the perfect show. It needs to be a genre you both like and a show you’re both interested in. Ideally, it has something in it for both of you. Maybe witty dialogue that you love and your partner’s favourite actor. It’s also nice to find a show that’s new to both of you so no one accidentally spoils anything. Ensure the show has enough episodes and/or seasons for the length of time you’re hoping to watch. And make sure the show is available on your favourite streaming service.

Decide on a schedule

Set a schedule for when and where you’re going to watch the show. Maybe you watch an episode every day right before bed on the laptop. Maybe Thursday nights are your time. Or maybe you curl up on the couch one Sunday a month and do nothing but watch your show all day long. Of course, the schedule isn’t set in stone but it’s nice to have some structure and to know when you can look forward to watching your show again.

Make a pact

This step is key. You and your partner must promise that you absolutely won’t under any circumstances watch the show without one another. The whole point of having “your show” is that it’s something special you get to enjoy together. Don’t ruin that by sneaking in an episode or two when your partner works late. Resist the temptation!

No spoilers!

Don’t go ruining your special show by reading up on spoilers. Stay off the internet and don’t watch any leaked videos. Of course, it’s especially hard to avoid spoilers when you’re watching a show that isn’t currently airing. But try not to ruin it. And if you do accidentally spoil the show for yourself, at least don’t spoil it for your partner.

Be flexible

You want to give yourself and your partner an out. You think you’ve found the perfect show that scored almost 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, but what happens if you end up hating it? Or you’ve designated Sundays as your binge watching day and then your partner’s work schedule changes and they suddenly have to work Sundays. If someone isn’t feeling the show or the schedule isn’t working, take a break and regroup. It might actually take trying out a few shows and a few different watching times until you find the one that works for you. No one wants to sit through hours and hours of a show that they can’t stand.

Have an exit strategy

Nothing is worse than finishing an awesome series and realizing there’s nothing left to watch. That empty feeling when you reach the season finale is brutal. So make sure that you and your partner have an exit strategy. Maybe there’s a similar series that you can start watching and enjoy just as much. Maybe the TV show was based off of a book and now you have something to read. Maybe you live close to where the show was filmed and you can visit the set locations. Or maybe you can throw a party using the TV show as a theme and finally talk about how awesome the show was with all your friends now that you’re caught up.

Have fun!

Have fun with your binge watch (and with these “rules” for binge watching). Introduce some special snacks that you only get to eat when you’re watching your show. Send each other funny memes from the show or behind the scenes stories of filming. Make a game out of who can guess how many times the main character will say their catchphrase per episode. Name your pet after your favourite character. Surprise each other with show-themed gifts. The possibilities for adding more fun into binge watching a show with your partner are endless.


What show are you planning to binge watch next?

Valentine’s Day is a pretty big deal around here. As wedding officiants in the business of telling love stories, Valentine’s Day is kind of our holiday.

Lots of people want to get married on Valentine’s Day and even more get engaged. And would you believe that founder and owner of Young Hip & Married, Shawn Miller’s, birthday also happens to be on Valentine’s Day? It’s like he was born for this job!

But as much as we love February 14th, we don’t want it to be the one big romantic day of the year. We believe every day should be filled with love.

We want you to make every day Valentine’s Day.

Newlywed woman pose smiling in black and white, celebrating love and making every day Valentine's Day
Above & feature photo by Erica Miller Photography

Make every day Valentine’s Day…but not like that

Now, we don’t mean you have to buy a box of candy hearts that taste like chalk and give them to your partner every single day. We’re not saying you need to make fancy dinner reservations or bring home fresh flowers every night.

But we are saying if the only time of the year you think about flowers is Valentine’s Day, there might be a problem.

Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love. Yes, it may have been commercialized and created by a greeting card company. But at its core, Valentine’s is about telling the people you love just how much you love them.

So why are we waiting for an arbitrary date on a calendar to tell us when to do that?

Why aren’t we telling and showing our loved ones how much they mean to us every single day of the year?

A newlywed couple smile at each other, nose to nose, under an umbrella
Photo by Erica Miller Photography

7 ways to celebrate Valentine’s every day of the year

Celebrating Valentine’s every day doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Here are some easy ways to live the real mission of February 14th all year long.

1. Say I love you

Let’s start with an easy one. A great way to show your partner you love them is to say it out loud. Say “I love you” every day, a few times a day. Go ahead and seal it with a kiss.

2. Do your partner a favour

A loving gesture doesn’t always have to be something expensive or grandiose. Simply doing your partner a favour or taking one small task off their plate can be a great way to show your love.

You could let them sleep in while you get the kids ready for school, warm up their coffee before they get to the kitchen or even just put toothpaste on their toothbrush for them. Empty the dishwasher for them when it was their turn and they’ll know it’s true love!

3. Surprise your partner

A bouquet of flowers on Valentine’s Day? Expected. A bouquet of flowers on a random Tuesday? Such a thoughtful surprise!

Surprises are such a great way to show our love because they say, “For no reason other than I love you, I thought about you and wanted to do something to make you happy.” Plan a little surprise for your partner, such as buying their favourite chocolate bar when you stop to get gas.

4. Send them a message, just because

Remember those early days of dating when you used to send each other cute messages and you were constantly checking your phone? If you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you probably haven’t texted like that in a while. So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, why not send a cute message?

Your message can be flirty, sweet, silly or maybe a little R-rated. Even a simple “I was just thinking about you. Hope you’re having a great day!” can put a huge smile on your partner’s face.

5. Give them a gift

While we’re sure your partner wouldn’t mind if you came home every day with a designer watch, new car or tickets to a Beyonce concert, a gift doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, a gift can even be free!

Give your partner the gift of a home cooked meal – brush up on a new recipe and serve a fancy cocktail to impress them. Gift them with a foot massage or at-home spa day. Or even gift them with an afternoon to themselves while you take the kids out.

6. Let your partner choose

If you always command the remote or the take-out menus, give your partner a chance to call the shots. And even if you always agree on what you’ll watch and where you’ll order from, the V-day thing to do would be to totally give into your partner’s whims every now and then.

Burgers and Bollywood? Sushi and something suspenseful? Korean fried chicken with that K-drama they’ve been telling you about? Give it a try!

7. Tell your partner why you love and appreciate them

It’s one thing to say I love you. It’s another to say why. Tell your partner often not only that you love them, but exactly why you love them. What is it about them that you most admire? How have they changed your life? What are you excited about in your future together?

You can say these sweet sentiments to your partner out loud or write them down. There’s nothing better than a love letter or handwritten card!

There are countless ways to celebrate your partner and how much you love them every single day. Don’t wait until chocolate prices soar and dinner reservations are impossible to get just to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Bringing a pet into the mix is a big step for most couples. It’s the first time many couples are fully responsible for another living thing that’s not just that orchid your mom bought you that you haven’t watered since last year.

Many couples like to use pets as a trial run for kids. They think, “If we can keep Fido alive and happy, we’ll be one step closer to being ready for kids.” And while that might be true, pets should still be brought into your home with lots of care and consideration.

A pet will change your life. Are you ready for a pet?

YES – You both want a pet

The most basic sign that you’re ready for a pet is that both you and your partner 100% want a pet in your lives. It can’t be one person dragging the other into it. You should both be excited. And you should both be prepared. You need to understand the responsibility and commitment involved in owning a pet. Depending on the type of pet, you could be pet parents for up to 20 years!

Photo by Emily Nicole Photos

NO – You have no pet experience

If you have absolutely no pet experience, getting a pet together might not be the best idea. If you didn’t have pets growing up, you’ve never pet sit and you don’t spend time with your friends’ pets, you might not be ready for a pet of your own. Take some time to up your pet experience first. Volunteer at your local animal shelter or call up your cousin with the Great Dane and see if you can come by for a visit.

YES – You can afford it

Pets can be expensive. There are the basics like food, treats and supplies. But then there’s all the extra stuff like clothing, crates, carriers and toys. There are vet visits, grooming, vaccines and nail cutting. Depending on your schedule you may also have to pay for a dog walker or pet sitter when you go away. And then there are the emergency costs you can’t account for if your pet runs into some medical issues. Plus, if you have your heart set on an expensive pet, like a purebred French Bulldog, you’re going to be paying a lot up front to buy him or her. Can you afford it? You don’t want to be that person who has to return their dog to the shelter because you didn’t budget correctly.

Photo by Emily Nicole Photos

NO – You’re way too busy

Before you get a pet, you need to understand how much of your time your pet needs. If you and your partner both work overtime and you’re rarely home, you probably don’t want to get a Mastiff puppy who will need to be potty trained and has lots of energy. Think about your current schedule before you get a pet. Think about your social life. Will going out for drinks after work have to stop because you’ll need to rush home to walk a dog? Think about your future. Are you planning a year-long trip around the world? Do you have to travel a lot for work? Are you planning to relocate? How will a pet fit into your busy life?

YES – You have the space

Depending on the type of pet you’re wanting to get, you need to have the right amount of space. Do you have room for a cage or a crate? What about a good spot for the litter box? Where will the bed and food bowl go? Do you need to put up a scratching post or a huge aquarium? And if you’re wanting a dog or an outdoor cat, do you have access to outdoor space? Is there a park nearby? It’s important to make sure your home is pet-ready too.

Photo by Erica Miller Photography

NO – You only want a pet for the Instagram photos

We can all admit that animals on the internet are the best. Who hasn’t stopped to laugh at a cat meme? Who doesn’t follow an adorable pug on Instagram? There’s nothing wrong with trying to get your pet Insta-famous if you’re into that. Just don’t buy a pet for the sole reason of getting more followers on social media. Pets are not toys. They’re living and breathing creatures. And they’ll still be your responsibility for the other 23 hours and 58 minutes of the day when you’re not snapping their photo for Instagram.

Are you and your partner ready for a pet?
What kind of fur baby (or fin baby, or scale baby) do you have your eyes on?

written by Riana Ang-Canning
feature image by Emily Nicole Photos

Spending a lifetime with another person isn’t easy. Weddings are full of “forevers” and “promises” but not too many of them actually make it that long, despite the couple’s best intentions. So what separates the short-lived marriages from the lifelong ones?

For an answer to that tough question, we’re turning to the experts. Read on for 10 couples sharing advice on what makes a marriage last. And how do they know? Well, they’ve all been married for 46-87 years!

Gene, married 46 years

“You need to work out many different areas before you get married. I think you need to talk about money matters, I think you need to talk about child rearing, I think religion is important. I think sex takes care of itself, at least initially.”

Karl, married 54 years

“If you can’t learn to give more than you take, you’ll never make it.”

Robert & Laura Wilkinson, married 57 years

“Forget how society views marriage today. We were always in it for the long run.”

Mary & John McFeely, married 60 years

“Tell [your wife] she’s beautiful every day and no matter how old you get, how sore your ‘ol bones feel, or how many teeth you lose, slow dance with and kiss [your wife] every chance you get. You never know when you won’t be able to again.”


Robert & Bernadine Higgins, married 61 years

“Never hang wallpaper together.”

Ummugul & Fikri Tatlici, married 62 years

“Do not hold grudges. Forget, forgive and remember how you fell in love in the first place.”

Jenny & Manny DaSilva, married 65 years

“When you go to bed at night, it doesn’t matter how angry or sad you are, you don’t have to say anything but you always, always touch toes. Just a little reminder that I’m here and I still love you no matter what.”

Selma, married 72 years

“Be good to each other; make sure you have food in your Frigidaire, because you do not want to be starved; make sure you help each other in every way financially, and travel. Go to as many places as you can together, but you gotta watch your husband, because on one of the trips in Italy, Kenny was flirting with one the ladies at the pool. She didn’t have a top on and he was standing over her like she was dead.”


Sally, married 75 years

“Argue. Argue lots, but always remember to get over it. ”

Zelmyra & Herbert Fisher, married 87 years

Did you know? Zelmyra and Herbert broke the Guinness World Record for being the longest married living couple on their 84th wedding anniversary in 2008. They enjoyed three more years of wedded bliss before Herbert passed away in 2011 at 105 years old. Zelmyra passed away two years later, in 2013, also at 105 years old. Clearly, these two have a ton to teach us about a long life and long marriage!

“Respect, support, and communicate with each other. Be faithful, honest, and true. Love each other with ALL of your heart. Everyone who plants a seed and harvests the crop celebrates together. We are individuals, but accomplish more together.

Agree that it’s okay to disagree, and fight for what really matters. Learn to bend – not break! Remember marriage is not a contest; never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win.”

Quotes sourced from:,,

written by Riana Ang-Canning

What’s the best marriage advice you’ve gotten?

Who better to give marriage advice than marriage officiants who not only are in successful marriages themselves but who have witnessed the starts of so many marriages? We polled some of our amazing YH&M officiants to ask what their best advice would be for newlywed couples.

You might want to take a few notes.

Cory Dueck

Vancouver Officiant; married 24 years

“My top advice for newlyweds is communicate, communicate, communicate!  Very few people can read minds, so express expectations, needs and wants verbally.  Even when confrontation is needed, remember the goal is always heart connection!”

Jane Halton

Vancouver Officiant; married 12 years

“My advice to newlyweds would be that sometimes you have to say no to very important things. There will always be things to say yes to – parties, work meetings, invitations to special events, television premieres, even friends in need. But sometimes, for the sake of your sanity, your health, your partner or your marriage, you have to say no. Learning to say no can be a difficult task but it can have enormous benefits.”

Photo by Charles de Jesus & Alanna Milaney
Photo by Charles de Jesus & Alanna Milaney

Jason Frizzell

Red Deer Officiant; married 13 years

“Top piece of advice for newlyweds – Laugh at yourself. Awkward doesn’t kill you.”

Kristen Olynick

Vancouver Officiant; married 31.5 years

“Best piece of advice for newlyweds….or anyone: Don’t take yourself so seriously!”

Photo by Emily Nicole Photos
Photo by Emily Nicole Photos

Jon Wiebe

Vancouver Officiant; married 11 years

“Top piece of advice for newlyweds is to schedule a weekly date night (and actually keep it).”

Jodi Hartung

Calgary Officiant; married almost 2 years

“My advice for newlyweds is to continually learn how your partner feels loved. For example, you can go and buy your spouse flowers and think they should be over the moon about it… but actually, they would have felt more love if you would have done the dishes. Or you always tell your spouse you love them when they would feel it more if you always hugged them when they get home from work. Learn how your partner receives love and appreciation and then be really intentional to do those things (even if they don’t feel natural to you!).”

Shawn Miller

Vancouver Officiant; married 13 years

“Do what you say you are going to do. If you say you’ll be home at 5pm, then be home at 5pm. If you say you’ll clean the kitchen before bed, then clean the kitchen before bed. And if life gets in the way, as it does, then tell your spouse right away and let them know when it will happen. It’s about being impeccable with your word.

Don’t keep score. It can be easy to keep score in your marriage. For example:

  • I make more money than him so he should clean the house.
  • I initiated sex the last six times, it’s her turn now.
  • I took the kids to dance the last 4 weeks, he needs to catch up.
  • I cook dinner 80% of the time, the least she can do is keep up with the laundry.

Being married is a partnership and things in your relationship will never be equal. There will always be something in your marriage where you give more than you receive, and other things where you receive more than you give. Stop keeping score and focus on serving your spouse. The best marriages are where both of you focus on giving and making each other’s lives more fully alive.”

Photo and feature image by Erica Miller Photography
Photo and feature image by Erica Miller Photography

Beth Carlson-Malena

Vancouver Officiant; married 3.5 years

“My best marriage advice (via my sister, who has been married a lot longer than me) is to never let any annoyance, conflict, or petty thing linger and harden into bitterness and resentment.  Talk about it and work it out together, and even see a counselor or marriage coach if needed – don’t wait too long.  Maybe that sounds kind of negative, but I think bitterness and resentment are the seeds of the end of marriage.  Nip them in the bud!”

Debbie Fawcett

Edmonton Officiant; married 30 years

“My advice – know yourself and tell your partner what you need and listen when they tell yo what they need.”

Erika Enns

Vancouver Officiant; married 20 years

“My advice is to fight FOR each other not WITH each other. When you remember that you’re on the same team, it’s easier to remember that the fight is to keep connection not to be right or win!”

Photo by Shauna Danielle Photography
Photo by Shauna Danielle Photography

written by Riana Ang-Canning

What’s your best advice for newlyweds?

For most couples, embarking on your first trip together is a huge milestone. It’s time you’ll spend together just the two of you, away from the distractions of everyday life. And it’s an opportunity to get to know a different side of your partner.

Because the truth is, you learn a lot someone when you travel together. And it’s not always roses and sunshine!

There’s just something about travel that gives us our most amazing moments but also brings out our worst sides. When you miss a train, can’t speak the local language and lose your luggage, your true colours come out.

Want to have a successful trip with your partner where you both come home in one piece and still in love with each other? We want that for you too!

As wedding officiants, we often hear about trips when we ask couples about their favourite moments of their relationship. As tough as travel can be, it’s also an opportunity to make a lot of great memories together.

So whether this is your first trip together or your 14th, whether you’re headed away for the weekend or packing for a year on the road, check out 10 tips will help you survive traveling together.

1. Plan a trip with your partner based on your personalities

two people looking at a map to plan a trip together, one person holds a cup of coffee while the other writes in a journal. There is also a laptop, camera and plants on the table.

Are you two adventurous risk-takers who love outdoor sports and dream of going skydiving together? Or are you introverted bookworms who can’t wait to explore a new museum? Whatever your personalities, make sure you plan a trip that matches that.

Sit down with your partner and plan your trip out together. Discuss your expectations, your travel style and what you want out of a trip. Are you staying in hostels or hotels? Joining a tour group or DIY-ing your route? You should both be involved in making your trip what you want it to be.

2. Pack your patience

Traveling is tough no matter where you go, how long you go and who you go with. But it’s even tougher when you’re traveling somewhere new with your partner. So, make sure you pack your patience.

Be patient with your partner – even when they’re taking forever to find the map you told them to keep in their pocket but they insisted on putting in their backpack.

Be patient with your waiter who might be practicing their English or be patient with your slow moving bus (you’ll get there eventually!). And remember to be patient with yourself, because going a trip with your partner is tough, even if you really love them.

3. Compromise with your partner

The name of the game in any relationship is always COMPROMISE! Just because you want to spend all day long at the beach, doesn’t mean your partner will want to. Discuss your itinerary and see where there is room for compromise. 

If your partner agrees to go to the flea market with you, then you can agree to go to the natural history museum with them. If you agreed to stay at their choice of campsite last week, you get to pick the site this week. They picked the lunch spot? You make the call at dinnertime! 

4. Carve out alone time

Person with blonde hair and tattoos wearing a white shirt walks alone on a busy road lined with palm trees leading up to a monument; solo travel on a trip with your partner

Especially if you’re on a long trip with your partner, you can’t expect to spend 24/7 together and be happy about it. As much as you love your significant other, you two need some time apart in order to better enjoy your time together.

Find time to do your own thing and put it into your schedule. Maybe you’ll hit the art gallery while they go on a brewery tour. Or you’ll head down to the hostel’s happy hour while your sweetheart takes a nap.

While it might sound funny to spend time alone on a couple’s trip, it’s actually a great way to make your trip more enjoyable. You’ll both get to spend some time doing what you love and come back more excited to spend time together.

5. Figure out your travel triggers

If you don’t already know, you’ll quickly learn exactly what your and your partner’s travel triggers are once you’re on a trip together. Perhaps you get super hangry if you haven’t had a snack in a couple hours or maybe a gap in your itinerary drives you bananas. Something that wouldn’t normally bother you at home, like missing a bus, can be demoralizing on the road. 

As best you can, figure out what your travel triggers are ahead of time and have a plan for how you can remedy them. If you know you’re prone to hangriness, keep a stash of granola bars on you. 

Sometimes you have to experience a travel trigger before you even know it’s an issue. When an unexpected travel trigger pops up, take a deep breath, explain what’s going on to your partner and work together to find a solution. If you and your partner have discussed travel triggers ahead of time, it’ll be easier for them to support you in the moment. 

6. Give yourselves a buffer

Not having enough time or money is always stressful – even more so when you’re stressing about it with your partner in the middle of a trip. So if you’re able, plan to give yourselves a buffer of extra time and/or extra money.

Instead of pushing to make the 20 minute connection between your buses, extend it and give yourself an hour. Instead of cramming in 12 historic sites to see, pick your top six and see how far you get.

Having a financial buffer can also help make your trip with your partner more enjoyable. Not only will you be able to indulge in some fun experiences, but you’ll also feel secure knowing that you can afford to get out of any tough situations, such as paying for a taxi when your train unexpectedly stops running.

7. Accept that things will go wrong on your trip

Two legs sticking out of a tent

No trip is perfect. Bad things are going to happen no matter what you do. Your partner is going to get on your nerves, you’ll get lost on the way to your hotel or the restaurant you can’t wait to try will be closed.

Instead of letting these moments ruin your trip, accept that sh*t happens and prepare yourself for how you will handle it. It’s less about having backup plans, since you can’t predict what will go wrong, and more about being able to adjust your attitude in the moment.

8. Rely on each other

You are traveling with your partner for a reason, so take advantage of it and play to your strengths. If your partner speaks the local language, allow them to negotiate the cab fare. And if you’re an awesome navigator, you should hold the map.

Delegate your travel tasks based on what you and your partner are best at. That way you can divide and conquer, saving you both time and stress. This technique also allows you both to show off your strengths and appreciate one another, which is always a nice feeling. 

9. Try something new

Trips are supposed to be fun! This is your chance to get out of your shell and challenge yourself to try something new. So whether that’s scuba diving, salsa dancing or a spicy cuisine, push yourself slightly outside of your comfort zone and give it a go!

In addition to trying something new, you should also make it a priority to treat yourselves, at least once during your trip. Travelling is tough and it can be hard on a relationship. Give yourselves a little reward for making it through, such as going out to a nice restaurant or booking a room with a great view.

Not only is this treat a nice reward, but it’s also a great way to make your trip more memorable.

10. Remember how much you love this person you’re travelling with

Two women with curly hair sharing a smooch

Even when your partner is covered in sweat, wearing yesterday’s stained t-shirt and swearing at their luggage that keeps falling apart, remember that you love this person. Like we said, travel can bring out some ugly moments and emotions in people.

It’s important to remember that despite the hard situation you’re in, your partner is still an amazing person that you love. 

When you’re not feeling so lovey-dovey, give yourself a break. Try to focus not on the fact that your partner misplaced the train tickets but instead of all the awesome memories you’re making on this trip. Embrace the good moments you’ve had so far and the parts of your trip you’re still looking forward to together.

How do you survive traveling with your partner?
What’s the best trip you two have been on together?

Celebrating your wedding anniversary? Congratulations!

You’ve got another year of wedded bliss under your belt – good for you! What are you getting them to celebrate? Of course, the real gift is getting to do life with your spouse each and everyday. But in case you want to supplement that gift with something you can wrap, check out these awesome twists on traditional wedding anniversary themes.

Year 1: Paper


The traditional first wedding anniversary gift theme is paper. So are you supposed to come home with a stack of lined paper for your boo? Probably not.

Instead of refilling the printer with a new pack of paper, why not do something a little more sentimental with paper? You could frame the papers that you and your spouse wrote your vows on. We love the idea of seeing those promises you made to each other up on the wall everyday. Or you could fill out one of those “50 reasons why I love you” books. And never forget the power of a thoughtful love letter!

Year 2: Cotton


The theme for getting through your second year of marriage is…cotton. Kind of underwhelming, right? And is anyone else immediately thinking of those value packs of cotton t-shirts you can buy at Walmart or Costco? Not so romantic.

So why not make year two’s present a little more indulgent. Still lusting after that cotton towel set no one bought off your registry? Splurge on t! Or maybe it’s time to upgrade to some sexy Egyptian cotton bedsheets. Treat yo’ self!

Year 3: Leather


Your third wedding anniversary is traditionally marked with the gift of leather. Now this is a theme that we think really lends itself to some awesome modern alternatives.

An awesome way to incorporate both the theme of leather and a bit of romance would be with a watch (with a leather strap) that you can have engraved with your wedding date or favourite quote. More practically, you could spoil your spouse with a nice leather belt or coin purse. And if you’re not a fan of leather, there are some great vegan alternatives available that are just as luxurious as real leather.

Year 4: Silk, Fruit or Flowers


Now that you’ve made it to year four, you get some options. Traditionally, silk, fruit and flowers were all once used as the fourth year gift depending on when and where you were. So all that means for you is more room to get creative and personalized with your gift!

If your spouse wore a silk tie or silk dress on the wedding day, it could be really sweet to repurpose a piece of that into a hanky or framed art piece. Of course, know your audience – not everyone would be thrilled with you cutting up their wedding dress or favourite tie. If you’d like to celebrate with fruit you could send your spouse an edible arrangement fruit bouquet or set up a special chocolate fondue night. For flowers, it would be very sentimental to surprise your spouse with a bouquet of the same flowers you had on your wedding day. You could even get the flowers dried so they could be permanent decor.

Year 5: Wood


After five years of marriage, tradition says you should celebrate with the gift of wood. Here’s another chance to be really creative and customize your gift to your spoude’s taste.

If you want to splurge or go in on a joint gift to yourselves with your partner, you could invest in a gorgeous wooden dining table or other piece of wooden furniture. On the other end of the spectrum, if you don’t want to spend anything, you could have a picnic in your backyard and carves your names into a tree. And if you’re feeling romantic, you could book a weekend away in a log cabin for you an your special person.

written by Riana Ang-Canning

How are you celebrating your wedding anniversary? Any special gifts you’re giving or hoping to get?

Did you know that 38% of divorced couples cite financial problems as the reason for their divorce?

Sorry, we don’t mean to scare you. Of course, it’s not money in itself that is causing divorces. It’s power struggles over money, secret spending behind a partner’s back and monetary worries about what you can afford.

But it all boils down to communication: Are you talking about money with your partner? If you’re not, you need to be.

As a society, money isn’t something we generally feel comfortable talking about. We don’t go out to brunch with our friends and all pull out our credit score reports or start talking tax filing with our local barista.

But it is an important conversation to have with your partner, even if the idea of talking money makes you cringe. You want to be on the same page about your finances so you can use your money to plan your future together, not allowing money secrets to lead to resentment.

To make that conversation a little bit easier, we’re sharing 10 tips for discussing banking with your boo, spending with your sweetheart and dollars with your dearest!

10 tips for talking about finances with your partner

1. Talk about money early in your relationship

The best time to talk about money with your partner is as soon as possible. It’s surprising how many couples have no problem getting intimate in other areas of their lives but when it comes to money, they want to hold out until the last second.

Talk about money with your partner before a problem comes up. That way, you can have a calm and neutral discussion, instead of waiting for a big credit card bill to show up and having a screaming match with one another.

That said, you don’t have to swap credit reports on the second date. Your money conversations should be appropriate for the stage of your relationship. If you’re considering marriage (or already married), that’s a very good time to put all of your financial cards on the table.

2. Talk about money often and regularly

Talking about money with your partner isn’t a one-and-done thing. It’s a conversation you’ll need to have often as your financial situation and future plans will always be changing. Don’t worry, the conversation gets easier the more often you have it!

Schedule specific times with your partner when you will talk about money; we like to call these your money dates. That way, you both know exactly when you’re going to sit down and chat dollars and cents, instead of waiting for someone to bring it up.

You can both come to the table prepared and in a good headspace to talk. If you wait until one of you has to bring it up, someone is always going to feel like the bad guy and someone is always going to feel defensive about their spending. We recommend scheduling a money date at least every quarter, if not every month.

3. Be open about your finances with your partner

One of the keys to success in money conversations – and truly in any conversation with your partner – is openness and transparency. It does not pay to keep secrets!

Be honest with your partner about where you’re at financially. Tell them about any debt you have, on-going expenses they may not know about and your income. You’d be surprised how many married people have no idea what their spouse makes!

If you come to the table with all of your finances laid out for your partner to see, you’ll be able to start your money talk from a place of honesty. And you’ll be able to continue that trend with any future money decisions – being open and keeping your partner in the loop about any big transactions before they happen.

Calculate and open pen on top of a budget spreadsheet, how to talk about money with your partner

4. Respect your different histories with money

Everyone’s money history is different. You may have grown up in a frugal household where you were never allowed to buy something that wasn’t on sale. Your partner may have grown up without very much money and have no idea what discretionary income looks like. You may have had an allowance as a kid. Your partner may have learned to budget from their mom who was an accountant.

Everyone has a different money story and a different way that money affected their upbringing. Start to learn about your partner’s history by trading stories about your first money memories, how money was handled in your families and what financial lessons you want to remember vs the ones you want to forget.

Learning about each other’s money histories allows you to understand your partner better and develop compassion for where they’re coming from and how that still impacts them today. Plus, by talking about your histories, you’ll gain a better sense of what you want to see in your shared money future.

5. Keep in mind that there is no one right way to manage your money

Repeat after us: There is no one right way to manage your money! There is no perfect universal solution that is going to work for every couple out there. Just because your sister-in-law and her partner have one joint account that they use for everything doesn’t mean this is the right way forward for you and your partner.

Be open to alternatives and do your homework on the different money management styles available. Take the time to discuss the options with your partner so you can discover what style of money management is going to work best for you two.

6. Make talking about money fun!

Many of us have negative feelings when it comes to money. The word “budget” might make you shudder or you might cringe whenever you have to look at your credit card bill.

But the truth is, money doesn’t have to be scary or evil. The point of talking about finances with your partner is so you can get to a place where money is exciting, empowering and even, dare we say it, fun!

Put that into action by making your money dates fun. Instead of looking at your money meetings as a stressful time when you have to come clean about your spending or worry about expenses, think of them as tools that will help you achieve your shared goals. Even if they feel far away, spend time dreaming about what you’ll do once you reach them.

You can also make your money dates feel more like dates and reward yourselves for talking finance. For example, after your monthly money check-in, you and your partner could treat yourselves to ice cream cones from your favourite shop. Or, you could curl up with a movie on Netflix once you’ve gone over your holiday gift budget.

You can keep track of all of your money talk in a pretty coloured notebook or even burn nice smelling candles during your chats. The more you can associate happy things with your conversations about money, the better!

Pens and coins stacked up on a spreadsheet, talking to your partner about finances

7. Be supportive of your partner 

As much as we want to make money fun, money can be hard. Some people have very difficult relationships with money and a lot of money-related trauma that they need to work through. That baggage can make what sounds like an easy budgeting task extremely difficult.

Make sure you enter your money dates from a place of compassion. Remember, you’re sitting down with someone you love, not some stranger who has debt or doesn’t know how to file their taxes. Hold hands, hug and give smiles to let your partner know you support them, no matter what money talk they bring to the table.

If your partner is feeling anxious about your money conversations, it can help to lay some ground rules. Remind them (and yourself!) that this isn’t a place of judgment. There’s no need to feel guilt or shame. The purpose of your money dates is so you can use money to achieve your goals together and not let it be something that hurts your relationship. It may also help your partner if you open up about your finances first, so they can witness your vulnerability.

8. Take breaks from your money conversations

While talking to your partner about money is important, it might not be easy. These conversations can get very emotional, overwhelming and heated. If you and your partner have very different money histories and philosophies, you may find yourself butting heads more often than not as you figure out how to manage your money.

Like any other conflict in your relationship, know when to take a timeout. If you find yourself flushed in the face and ready to cut your partner’s credit card in half, put the scissors down and take a break.

Cool off and revisit the conversation when you can calmly talk about the root of the problem and how you’ll move forward together. Restate your ground rules (i.e. this is not a place of judgment), remember why you’re having these money dates, and rest easy knowing that it will only get better from here.

9. Know when to bring in an expert

When money problems are too big for a couple to handle on their own, sometimes the best thing to do is bring in an expert. Not only can an expert help you to work through any big problems, but they can also put you on the right path if you’re not sure where to start.

For money expertise you can meet with a financial advisor, go through a financial workbook or course together, or even ask a trusted friend or family member. If you think it’s less about the numbers and more about your relationship, you may want to reach out to a therapist or counsellor.

If you’re looking to get on the same page about money and other important aspects of your life together, consider relationship coaching.

10. End every conversation about money on a good note

At the end of every money date, ensure you and your partner leave things on a good note. You don’t want to build resentment by ending these money talks with one person storming off or breaking down in tears. It can help to end these dates on a positive note, such as dreaming about your next money goal, looking at what you’ve achieved and thanking each other for sharing. Of course, you should always end with a kiss!

Even if you don’t agree on everything or if you haven’t solved all of your financial problems, you’ve still made progress towards your shared financial future. Remember, the goal with these money talks is progress, not perfection.

Celebrate the strides you made and agree to revisit any lingering issues at your next meeting. Then, head out for that ice cream or get your Netflix movie queued up. You deserve it!

On March 30th we hosted our first Young Hip & Married date night…

THRIVE: Better Together

…and it was awesome! We invited Vancouver couples to join us at the Anza Club for a fun night out and an opportunity to intentionally focus on their relationship. We feasted on delicious appetizers, enjoyed beer and wine, and totally raided the candy bar. We posed for hilarious photobooth pictures and we mingled with new friends and old.

Then we all took a seat while Shawn Miller, our founder, shared some relationship wisdom with us. He told hilarious tales of his children at Disneyland and reminded us all that our partners aren’t mind readers. After his talk, we handed out pens and paper and invited our friends to write some good ol’ fashioned love letters to their partners which we mailed out after the event.

We gave a last call for drinks, hit up the candy bar one more time and went home happy, sugar-fueled and ready to do life with our partners because we’re better together.

Here are some awesome photos by Erica Miller Photography (yes, Shawn’s wife!) of the night along with reviews from our friends who joined us:


“I thought it was great. Venue, great! Candy bar, great!, Talk by Shawn, Great!, Photobooth, Great! Appetizers, I thought they were delicious.”



“Wonderful event! We had a great evening with our friends. We look forward to hearing about future events you do!! Thank you so much for a wonderful evening!”


“We really enjoyed all aspects – venue, food, drinks, decorations, the talk, and the general mood/vibe. Loved that there was no pressure to “share” with the group. The letter writing was a really nice touch. Well done! We would attend another event – a low key venue, good drink prices, tasty food, and just the right length of a talk to give us something to think about. Thanks!”



“We really enjoyed ourselves! Shawn is a fantastic speaker (and now we want him to officiate our wedding – success, guys! ;)) and we thought his talk was great. The letter writing was super fun (as was the candy bar).”


“We really liked the letters to each other. Thanks for a fun event!”


“Glad there was no group sharing! Love the candy, of course. Thanks!”


“Overall good event, and looking forward to attending another with another speaker!”

written by Riana Ang-Canning

Our first THRIVE Date Night was a huge success! And we can’t wait to do it all over again…

So join us on Thursday, June 8th for THRIVE: Serious Fun.
This time, we’re taking the fun level up a notch by hosting our date night at West Coast Flying Trapeze. Enjoy circus activities with your partner, drinks, candy and a short talk on how to keep the fun in your relationship.
We’ve only got room for 15 couples so be sure to get your tickets ASAP:

We love a good date night! We love getting dressed up, doing something fun and spending some one on one time with our special someone. And we believe every phase of your relationship should be a dating phase – you should always carve out special time to spend with one another whether you’re just starting your relationship, engaged or married.

But dating can be expensive! Even the average dinner and a movie date night can make a big dent in your wallet. So how do you still go on dates when you’re saving every penny for your dream wedding? You go on a free date! Here are 15 awesome date night ideas you can enjoy with your partner without spending a cent.

photo by Emily Nicole Photos
photo by Emily Nicole Photos

Games Night

A great way to spend time together, have fun and spend no money is by letting out your inner competitor in a winner takes all night of games. If you’re a traditionalist, break out the Monopoly and Scrabble. Prefer things to get physical? It’s time for Twister. And if board games aren’t your thing, you can still have a games night playing charades, video games or an intense game of poker.

Outdoor Events

You might be better off saving this one for the summer when most cities host free concerts, movie nights and other events out in the sunshine. Browse your local newspaper or a city website to find out what you can attend. If you live in Vancouver, check out free movies nights in Stanley Park or salsa dancing at Robson Square.


Does it get any cuter than packing up a picnic basket and heading to your local park or beach for a romantic meal? Even a sad looking PB+J sandwich is ten times cooler when it’s packed in a picnic basket.


Get Active!

Here’s a date idea that combines spending time together and fitting in your exercise. You can go on a bike ride, explore a local hiking trail, throw a frisbee around your backyard or even go toe to toe on a local basketball court.


There’s nothing better than giving back with your sweetie. You can volunteer to sort food at the food bank, to serve meals at a homeless shelter or even to walk dogs or play with cats at your local animal shelter – perfect if you’re thinking about getting a pet!

Take a Drive

Sometimes it’s fun to just get in your car and drive. Forget the map and just go on an adventure! Or find a scenic driving route near home where you can take in the view while enjoying your time together.


At-home Beer or Wine Tasting

Why go all the way to a brewery or vineyard when you can have your own tasting at home? Raid your beer fridge and wine rack for a selection of your home’s finest. Pour them into fancy glasses and be sure to comment about the legs of the wine, even if you don’t know what that means.

Pretend You’re on Chopped

Instead of a dinner date night as usual, pretend you’re on an episode of Chopped where you have to make something using only the ingredients you have on hand. You can work together in the kitchen or compete to see who makes the best dish. Bon apetit!

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

This classic date idea is an oldie but a goodie. It takes some work ahead of time but the result, a huge smile on your partner’s face, will be so worth it. You can make your scavenger hunt big, by sending them to special spots around the city, or small, by keeping it in the apartment.


Visit a Museum

Many local museums will offer free, discounted or by donation admission on a certain night of the week. Do your research and visit on a night that won’t cost you very much. You’ll still be able to enjoy the museum, whether it be art or history, without paying full price.

Attend Open Houses

If you’re a big fan of House Hunters, you’re going to love this date night idea. On a weekend afternoon, put on your best outfit, come up with a cover story and attend the fanciest open houses in your area. Even if you aren’t ready to buy a house, it’s always fun to pretend!

Couples’ Massage

You don’t have to be a professional to give a relaxing massage. Just grab a bottle of lotion, light some candles and treat your SO to a nice back massage or foot rub. After they return the favour, things could heat up even more, if you know what we mean…


Water Balloon Fight

Channel your inner kiddo and let loose with a classic water balloon fight. You can even pick up some water guns or big sponges to add to your arsenal. You’ll have so much fun getting each other soaked.

Learn Something New

Thanks to the internet, we can learn almost anything for free without leaving the house. Invite your partner on a date night where you can both expand your minds. You can learn sign language, make an art project together or anything else that spikes your interest.

Movie Marathon

Bring the movie date night back home with a movie marathon. Pick a theme, pop the popcorn and nestle in for a long night of movie magic. If you really want to take your movie marathon up a level, build a blanket fort that you can lie in while you’re watching.

written by Riana Ang-Canning

Love these date ideas but wondering what to do with the kids while you and your partner are spending couple’s time together? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Stay tuned for a blog post on kid-friendly date ideas coming your way soon!