Marriage Membership Network to Host Free Event Focusing on Wives as Holistic People
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Just as it takes a village to raise children and parents alike, spouses shouldn’t be left out of that equation. 

This notion was something Toni-Ann Craft realized as a newlywed in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. 

“I remember during that time just feeling like I just wish that I had a community of married couples, of young married couples, that I can communicate with and just be able to share some of the things that I was experiencing,” she said. “I remember Googling and just being shocked that this did not exist. 

“This was the best opportunity to create the thing that I wished existed.” 

Craft, who has a 10-year background in membership management and creation for organizations large and small, used her professional and personal experience to manufacture Friends with Rings

Friends with Rings, which is gearing up for this week’s Wifetober Fest, its first free workshop, is a multicultural and inclusive membership network designed to support young married and engaged couples. It offers monthly events curated to enrich marriages and relationships, plus access to marriage counselors and coaches at a discounted rate. 

The first-of-its-kind program that launched earlier this year is a safe haven for couples to feel acknowledged in the real work it takes to make marriages thrive. FWR’s timing couldn’t be better as the pandemic increased marital stressors, which Craft experienced first hand. 

“Marriage is a constant working on self, and if both partners work on self, then collectively it gets better. This is what this is all about. This is doing that self work…to get the results that you want to see to have a healthy marriage.” 

Toni-Ann Craft, President and CEO of Friends with Rings

There was an uptick in American divorce rates in 2020, after they’d hit a record low the previous year. There has also been some decline in the overall marriage rates in the United States, as an estimated 25 percent of Millennials are unlikely to be married. And 2016 study found that the overall divorce rate among Black Americans was 42 percent. 

How Wifetober Fest Celebrates Wives

This week, Friends with Rings is hosting Wifetober Fest, a virtual three-day event meant to celebrate wives outside of their partners. It’s free and open for registration.

“A lot of the time, we see events for wives, and they’re all about as a woman, how do you cater to your spouse? How do you cater to their needs, you know, how do you be a better mom?” said Craft, who has been married since 2018. “All of these things are great, but Wifetober Fest focuses on the holistic woman.”

The first day includes a panel of wives discussing different topics that come with marriage, from blended families, establishing boundaries, fertility, affair recovery and more. 

Day 2 is focused on how wives can thrive financially, including how to earn more income, save, debt relief and establishing and balancing a side hustle. Craft said this panel was inspired by feedback from current Friends with Rings members, especially those who are stay-at-home mothers. 

The final day of Wifetober Fest is about setting goals and putting the first two days’ learnings into practice.

“We tend to live in the shadow of our spouse, but we are whole people and we help to keep the family together,” Craft said. “As women, we do so much in our jobs, in our homes, in our lives. How can we empower us? That’s really what Wifetober Fest is all about.” 

Friends with Rings is open to new memberships twice a year, with some flash openings. It will be recruiting new members during Wifetober Fest. The rate per couple is $35 monthly, $175 semi-annually or $300 annually.