You are getting married, congrats! 5 things you must do ASAP!

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Getting married is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful with all the planning. Here are the 5 most important things to do as soon as you say ‘I do’!

1. Once you know roughly when you would like to tie the knot, look at venues immediately. The great ones get booked up way in advance and you may want to tweak your date based on the availability of your ideal venue.

2. Order your dress. You would not think it would take that long to make a dress but most top designers are operating with a backlog and your order could take a few months to a year to get done. This is such an exciting part anyway, why wait!

3. Start your beauty regime. It takes several months to start seeing results so whether its laser hair removal, luxury facials or hair treatments, get on it!

4. Book your makeup artist. You obviously want to look your best on the most important day of your life. Make sure you ask friends for recommendations and check out the portfolios and visit the studios of your top choices. Get a trial if possible or opt for party makeup for another event to serve as a trial.

5. Research ideas online. There is so much information available to help you decide what kind of decor you want, the dress that screams you, what entertainment your guests would like, and all the wonderful things you could buy under the umbrella of wedding shopping! Check out pinterest and online stores to look through collections of top Pakistani Designers all in one place.

Whatever you do, don’t take too much stress and get your friends and family to pitch in as much as possible! Remember, it’s YOUR wedding so YOU should have the most fun!!

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Can shopping really make you happy? Scientists say yes!

They don’t call it retail therapy for no reason! Accordingly to a study in the US, treating yourself to something nice at the shops has a ‘lasting positive impact on mood’ and leaves ‘few if any negative emotional side-effects’. The study, published in the Journal of Psychology and Marketing in the U.S., concluded: ‘Retail therapy purchases were overwhelmingly beneficial, leading to mood boosts and no regrets or guilt.’

The study noted that 28% of shoppers had purchased something to celebrate an occasion or personal victory and 62% to cheer themselves up. Items bought that have been targeted for a while, wanted and anticipated tend to provide the most happiest.

This same conclusion was reached by Selin Atalay and Margaret Meloy, faculty of HEC Paris and Penn State, respectively. In three separate studies on retail therapy they discovered that subjects used indulgent purchases to elevate their mood, and that participants with a low mood at the outset tend to consume more.

It also appears that retail therapy might not be an out-of-control activity, after all! A group of 69 students were asked to complete a retrospective record of consumption over a two-week period to document purchasing behavior, mood and regrets. The researchers discovered that the items bought to repair mood were around half the value of those bought to celebrate!

Finally, in a recent study commissioned by online retailer eBates.com in March 2013, TNS Global found that roughly half of Americans surveyed shopped to improve their mood. Women tend to spend most on clothes and the main reasons cited for engaging in retail therapy were to improve their mood after a bad day at work (18.9%), after hearing bad news (14.6%), and after a fight with their significant other (12.2%)! This led eBates.com CEO Kevin H. Johnson to conclude that “shopping truly is ‘therapy’ for many people, and can help raise one’s spirits after a bad day.” Importantly, the subjects felt that their retail therapy purchases were generally beneficial and that they felt no regret.

What have you found from your own experience?Image