Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Must-Do List for Every Sandals Destination Honeymoon Bride!

Planning your honeymoon at a Sandals Resort? Here’s the latest scoop!

1. Hair and Makeup Trial

SandalsYou’d never buy your wedding dress without trying it on – the same goes for hair and makeup. Although you may know what works for your hair regularly, tropical climates can be a bit trickier. Fluctuations in humidity, temperature and breeze can be challenging for a bride to handle without some serious experience. Trust your stylist and do a trial before the big day. You’re stylist won’t let you leave unhappy. You’ll feel confident on the big day without worrying about whether or not your hair and makeup can stand up to the tropical climate.

2. Digital Photo Album and Videographer

This is especially important if you have family members that are unable attend the ceremony. Your pictures and video will stay with your forever without worry of damage and you can share your memories with generations to come.

3. Private Candlelight Dinner

Experience a private paradise with your brand new spouse under the stars. Weddings are wonderful, but the private moments that you and your love can spend alone are the topper to your wedding cake. Take advantage of your destination location’s private dinner services or have a rose petal drawn bath with ambient candles to set the mood in the privacy of your own room.

4. Sand Ceremony

Similar to the tradition of the unity candle, the sand ceremony is a popular tradition in the Caribbean. Here’s how it goes: Each person choses a color and during your ceremony, you will each pour your colored sand into a decorative jar to signify that you have become one – no one will ever be able to separate each sand color again. It’s a significant way to show your oneness that you can take home with you.

5. Couple’s Massage

Need I say more? Book a couple’s massage to experience a blissful state of mind with your spouse. Many couple’s rooms come equipped with a shower and hot tub so you’re pampering doesn’t need to end with a massage. Not only is it a great pre-wedding practice, but it’s also a fab way to start your first day together!

6. Explore!

Sandals-Honeymoon-160x600You want to ensure your Weddingmoon® is truly memorable so book that once in a lifetime tour and explore the destination of your dreams.

7. Private Transfer

Your Weddingmoon® starts the moment you step off the plane so to avoid any delay in getting started and arrive in style by booking a private transfer for that true VIP service.

Is there anything you should/shouldn’t be doing before the big day?

While you definitely want to avoid the big “No-No’s” like cutting your hair, over doing the sun or drastic skin procedures there are some things you should avoid the “morning of” as well!

Don’t Have that Large Coffee. While a hot double latte sounds like a great idea first thing in the morning … don’t! Wedding day jitters plus a double dose of caffeine equals a really shaky bride.

Don’t drink too much. I know I know… it’s time to celebrate; however you still have a wedding to get through. A drunken bride is not a pretty bride and slurred vows won’t be something you want to see on your wedding video later. Save the champagne toasts for the reception (and the honeymoon).

Don’t Tan in the Can. Fake tan is especially a “no-no” for beach brides who will be taking vows underneath a Caribbean sun and may risk a little perspiration (and a brand new tan streak down the front of their white dress). If you’re bent on having a bit of a tan, try and get some sun in small safe doses in the months leading up to your nuptials or hit up a tanning salon. A light dust of make-up bronzer may be all it takes to give you a hint of color.

Don’t make drastic last minute changes. Pass on making any extreme last minute decisions period. Don’t wake up the morning of and decide to try that new tight curled hairstyle J-Lo had on American Idol two nights ago. Sometimes the desire to change your mind is just pre-wedding jitters or “performance anxiety”. Will everyone love my hair? What if my make-up looks too plain? Stop! Remember your wedding is not a show!

Don’t stress about it! This one may be easier said than done but avoiding pre-ceremonial stress may be as simple as turning your cell phone off. If the thought of no cellphone gives you separation anxiety jitters, then hand it over to your maid of honor to screen your calls and answer on your behalf. The morning of is not the time to stress over tiny little details. We’re sure all the bows on your favor box ribbons will be tied with a double knot instead of one and all your chocolates will be the same flavor. Your guests will not pack up and leave if you’re running a few minutes late and no one will notice their steak came with Idaho potatoes instead of Irish potatoes! Do you want to know a secret? You’re the only one who knows how everything is “supposed to go!” No one will know that your shoes were supposed to be eggshell instead of ivory if you don’t tell them.

The best advice that I can offer to any bride the morning of her wedding is to stay relaxed and think of your fiancé’s face the moment he sees you walking down the aisle. Everything else pales in comparison!

Larry’s NOTE: I have personally visited Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas. It’s secluded within 500 tropical acres along a pristine, mile-long beach, civilized pleasure coexists with exotic adventures, from three impressive pools – including a half-acre, zero-entry pool with a dramatic fire pit in the middle – to seven exceptional restaurants. I never ate better in my life. The service by the staff was exceptional. Click the banner above right for more information or call me an allow me to share my experience!

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Copyright © 2014 – Sandals Resorts.

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Brides & Grooms: A Way to Tame the Butterflies!

Filed under: Emotional?,Nervous?,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 6:30 am
Tags: , , ,

Rarely have I ever met a bride and groom who has not been a little nervous when they are getting married. It matters not if it’s the first or second marriage, usually there is a little shortness of breath, a tightening in the chest, a sense of awkwardness or anxiousness going on. All symptoms of being nervous.

TamingButterflies2Anxiety is part of our natural defensive system – a close cousin to fear. With fear, however, the threat is more readily identifiable. For instance, someone is waving a gun. Like fear, anxiety is the body’s red warning light that something is amiss. The brain releases adrenaline. The pupils dilate. The heart pumps out blood like an engine on steroids, gearing the body to stand up and fight. Or perhaps to run faster than we ever imagined.

Studies demonstrate that glossophobia or fear of public speaking is the number one source of anxiety in the United States. In other words, being nervous is normal.

In my “romantic” wedding ceremony, there are only five words that the bride and groom need to remember; “we do,” “I do” and “rings,” unless they add something to say to each other. In that case, I recommend that they “never” try to memorize, but rather become familiar with what they will be saying and read to each other from a card. If they do need to say something, the balance is usually “repeat after me,” in short, bits and pieces (something easy to remember). Pretty simple, yes? Knowing this might help a little but it does not do the trick for most who tend to hate being in front of and speaking in front of people.

When you are nervous a shot of whiskey, or a chocolate bar (or self medication) are not your friend. They are unhealthy ways to cope with anxiety and stress. You may think that feeling the need to “get a buzz on” in order relax would help, but it usually doesn’t. It’s been said that, “It’s not about getting rid of the butterflies. It’s about getting them to fly in formation,” or “getting your ducks in a row.” Really? I doubt that.

I’ve been a profession speaker since 1987 and I am about to share with you the best advice I ever received about getting around nervousness. I always remind brides and grooms that if they are nervous or become emotional during the ceremony to remember to breathe. Breathe? You already are breathing, you say? There is a right way to breathe when you are nervous! This simple act will prevent tunnel-vision and blackouts. Turns out, when we get anxious we tend to breathe very shallow and fast, resulting in insufficient oxygen to that all important body part your brain.

Here’s what to do: If you feel nervous or get emotional during the ceremony… pause… and intentionally breathe “in” through your nose and “out” through your mouth. Breathing in this way short-circuits your brain because you have to think about breathing this way. It temporarily distracts you from what you are nervous or emotional about. Feeling nervous or emotional during the ceremony? Breathe “in” through your nose and “out” through your mouth. This may sound a little crazy, but believe me, it really works! It worked for me and it will work for you. However, most likely, you may still feel the butterflies, but much less than usual.

Feeling nervous or emotional during your wedding ceremony? Remember to “breathe!”

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Monday, April 7, 2014

Something Olde, Something Blue…

Many brides are unfamiliar with the origin and meaning behind the old-new-borrowed-blue custom. The “Something Olde, Something Blue” tradition comes from an Old English rhyme (“Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe”). These five objects that the bride adds to her wedding outfit or carries with her on her wedding day are simply good luck charms.

SomethingBlueEach verse of the rhyme refers to a good luck item:

Something old – continuity with the bride’s family and the past
Something new – optimism and hope for the bride’s new life ahead
Something borrowed – an item from a happily married friend or family member, whose good fortune in marriage is supposed to carry over to the new bride
Something blue – Before the late 19th century, blue was a popular color for wedding gowns, as evidenced in proverbs like, “Marry in blue, lover be true.” In ancient Rome, brides wore blue to symbolize love, modesty, and fidelity.
A Sixpence in your Shoe – The coin represents financial security

sixPenceA sixpence is a British coin worth six pennies that was minted from 1551 to 1967. Sixpences were also minted and used in Maryland, USA from the same date. The coin represents financial security. The belief was that if the bride carries each of these objects on her walk down the aisle she will enjoy a happy marriage. There’s printed evidence in the 1894 edition of the Pennsylvania newspaper, The Warren Ledger, which listed it as a Puritan Marriage Custom.

Something old symbolizes her connection with her family and the past. Something new represents her commitment to the future and her new family with the groom. Something borrowed plays double-duty – it usually comes from a happily married friend or family member and is supposed to transfer that positive mojo to the bride, and it shows the bride that she can rely on her support network to help her out. As for something blue, blue was a common color for bridal gowns before the late 19th century. Most brides interpret this tradition in a similar way, with a blue garter, some borrowed and old jewelry, and a new wedding dress.

Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices going:

something-old• A relative’s monogrammed handkerchief
• Find heirloom jewelry to wear like an engagement ring or wedding band, a brooch, earrings, a bracelet, a necklace, or some sparkly hair pins
• A vintage compact mirror for her purse
• Give the bride new lingerie to wear under her gown or on her honeymoon
• Let the groom borrow grandfather’s pocket watch or have the bride carry it in her purse
• Select a blue guest book or place cards for your guests
• Use a relative’s silver knife to cut the cake with at the reception
• Use blue confetti
• Dress in a blue underskirt
• Wear a locket containing old family photos around your neck on the big day
• …Use your imagination

Wearing these items is supposed to symbolise good luck for the bride, they are also just a fun tradition that gives the bride an opportunity to express her admiration for a few special people in her life on her special day.

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Newlywed Romance Tips…

Filed under: Marriage Tips!,Money Matters — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , , ,

Newlyweds who watch five relationship movies together are half as likely to divorce or separate within three yeas as ones who do not, reports Ronald D. Rogge, PhD. His research focuses on understanding relationships and the early years of marriage.

RomantiicTips4NewlywedsWatching five movies from the more than 100 listed at Couples-Research.com and then discussing them using the site’s interactive tools will help couples actively set aside time to prioritize and focus on their relationship, thus strengthening bonds.

Researchers at the University of Rochester are looking for couples to participate in a research study of how reflecting on your relationship using popular movies can impact relationships over time. Interested? Click here!

• Here’s another way too help your relationship: From Martha beck’s latest book, “Martha Beck Collection; Essays for Creating You Right Life” she says, “Always tell yourself the truth! The most intimate connection in your life is the one you have with yourself. Dishonest in your relationship is at best counterproductive, at worst catastrophic. If you want your relationship to work, tell yourself the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This can be difficult. We all tell ourself lies, whether occasionally or habitually, often without realizing we are lying to ourselves.

Fortunately, we can always locate our own untruths: Just follow the fumes of suffering. Believing lies makes us miserable. That’s why all effective counseling, from therapy to chatting with your nana, focuses on trusting your gut and owning your thoughts and feelings.”

• Practice non-judgment with your mate. Judgment kills empathy. Guess what? Empathy is necessary because empathy is what fuels trust and intimacy!

• Take time to schedule a relationship tune-up several times a year. The truth is, we could all use one occasionally. Attend a relationship seminar. Read a great relationship book… together. Talk about it. What did you learn that you can plug into your own relationship? Call a relationship coach. It’s always best to get coaching before you need it. Unfortunately, some couples wait until there is no opportunity to keep the relationship together.

• One of the primary causes of relationship issues is the sensitive subject of money. You are perhaps both used to spending your earnings as and when you like and it may be difficult to have another person impose on your financial decisions – particularly if one of you earns more than the other. Couples you have strong relationship live longer and have a much better change of staying together. The classic line in many wedding ceremonies includes the words, “for richer or for poorer.”

Couples who once smoothed over spats with a little shopping therapy can no longer afford to fill that prescription. Marital roles are shifting as onetime breadwinners adjust to long bouts of unemployment. Husbands and wives are blaming each other for bad investments and onerous debt.

Money is the biggest stress on married couples in many years. It seems to be the top reason that most couples find themselves in major disagreements. Although the longer they are together, the less they argue about money. It is imperative that couples discuss financial statuses beforehand and as you make plans for the future. Make some agreements and keep them.

• The dreaded housework hangup. Nowhere is it written that the wife must do all the housework! Another idea for minimising the risk of conflict is to divide up the housework early on in your marriage. Agreements work well with this issue too. However you do it, make sure that you settle the matter fairly so that neither of you feels taken advantage of; after all, you want to feel as though you have entered a loving marriage, not signed on as a housekeeper.

• Keep the romance alive. With today’s busy schedules it’s important to make time to spend with each other. Never stop doing the thing that brought you together in the first place. Schedule a weekly date-night.

• And finally… Never deprive your partner of S-E-X, otherwise they may hop into someone else’s bed and worsen the situation. Have fun with intimacy. Sex is fun and pleasure is good for you! Read: “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers!

What are some of the ideas you and your partner use to spice up your relationship? Please add them to the comments for others to share.

BONUS Article: Till Death Do Us Part???

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Save $$$s With an Off-Season Wedding in the Arizona Desert

Filed under: Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , , , ,

In Sunny Arizona we have two wedding seasons. While brides and grooms in the mid-west and the east tend to plan their weddings in June, wedding vendors in the Greater Phoenix area are busiest in March, April and May and again in October, November and December. Why? Because the temperatures in June through September – our off-season – in the desert can melt the Unity Candles and be quite uncomfortable.

There is a big however… Some of the finest Arizona resorts and reception facilities have greater availability during our off-season. Wedding professionals estimate brides and grooms on tight budgets can often save several thousand dollars, depending on the size of your wedding and the day they choose.

CasualDressCodeOn off days, like weekdays and Sundays can save you even more. The exception is Fridays, out second busiest day for weddings. Most brides and groom still choose Saturday as the busiest day for weddings.

For brides who aren’t put off by a little bit of extra heat and humidity, summertime is the perfect season for a beautiful wedding. Besides it’s a dry heat! ;-) And to be honest… it’s still hot. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Remember to provide multiple ice cold water stations spiked with citrus slices to keep your guest hydrated. By the way, beer and wine don’t count toward keeping you hydrated. Nonalcoholic drinks are a wise choice.

Ask your wedding consultant to keep a special eye on itty-bitty people and elderly people; these groups are more apt to become quickly dehydrated. Rent a gelato cart, snow cone machine or set up an ice cream bar at the reception.

Consider printing your program on hand fans that ushers give to everyone as they are seated. The ladies will appreciate having the extra breeze during the ceremony to keep their makeup in place. Provide small spray bottles filled with cool water that the guests can use to spritz themselves. Out-of-town guests appreciate summer weddings because their kids are out of school and bosses are sometimes more lenient with vacation time.

Using a little strategy can often save you money. Food and labor cost are pretty much remain the same, but in June through September there are often some incredible savings on room rates for your out-of-town guests.

Push the ceremony back so it’s as late in the evening as possible. The hottest part of the day is around 3 and 4 o’clock, so how about planning an evening wedding. Near sunset or after dark works best. That’s when the sun will be well past its peak damage potential. Contact a lighting company to provide special lighting for a romantic glow.

Consider a “dress casual” wedding by lightening up the dress code even if you choose an indoor venue. Address wardrobe options via an invitation insert, e.g., “Stiflingly hot jackets and ties forbidden!” or “Lightweight clothing advised.” Any time earlier than sunset and you can count on higher temperatures. Consider relaxing the wardrobe requirements especially for your groomsmen. Light-colored dresses and slacks for the guys will help them stay cool. Light, breathable fabrics can save the day. If you must have tuxedoes have the guys dress moments before the wedding.

What about photos after dark? The bride and groom could do a “First Look” and do most of your wedding photos before the wedding instead of after. Photos in direct sunlight are never quite as good. Follow your photographer’s advice.

Ask your florist to suggest flowers that will not wilt as quickly. Avoid white flowers with white blossoms as the tend to lose their appeal as they lose their moisture.

Guests tend to eat less when it’s hot, so ask your caterer to make suggestions. Beat the heat with a themed reception. South-of-the-border food is very popular in the Arizona desert. OR brighten up your menu with tropical fruit, which can be served fresh, in sorbets or even as a glaze for the main dish. Cold salads are another great idea.

The shade is your friend. Canopies or tents can be rented and installed cheaply and easily. Check prices on outdoor fans. It’s money well spent. And as an after-thought… you could have your wedding indoors although most of my weddings love the outdoors because the Arizona scenery provides such great photo opts.

Summer weddings in Arizona can save you money and a lot of fun.

BONUS Articles: How To Make Your Summer Wedding Cool
Arizona Sunsets
Getting Married in Arizona? Here’s the Latest Scoop!
Destination Wedding: Arizona…

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Recently Married Man Realized Marriage Is Not For Him!

Filed under: Communication — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , ,

This Is What He Wrote To His New Wife…
honesty

Copyright 2014 – SeriouslyForReal.com.

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CiWblue1

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Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Brides! Should You Fire Your Bridesmaid?

Kirsten Hansen, Guest Author

When it comes to dealing with drama, Little Red Lupine (aka Kirsten, the Community Manager of the Offbeat Bride Tribe) has held thousands of brides’ hands as they work through it. Here’s her advice on one particularly thorny issue…

FireBridesmaidYes, firing a bridesmaid sounds shitty. Honestly, it usually feels pretty shitty. There are lots of different reasons that a bridesmaid just might not work out — some that are high drama (like a fight or a friendship ending) and some that aren’t quite as emotional (life situation changes, unexpected illness or injury). Regardless, it still sucks. And it isn’t just bridesmaids. Maybe it’s a bridesdude, a groomswoman, a groomsman, or anyone who you asked to stand up with you at your wedding.

If you’re in this situation, there are probably a lot of feels. And we all know that when there are strong feelings, it can be way easy to say or do something you might regret. If you’re having issues with a wedding party member to the degree where you want to ask them to step down, you really need to keep your cool and just make it through with minimal damage. You also need to carefully consider your own responsibilities in the situation, and take ownership for your own issues.

Think about why you asked them in the first place

Were you expecting your bridesmaid to be a henchwoman? Were you asking because of what they mean to you? Do you feel like you owe them because you were in their wedding party? Is there history you want to respect? You asked them, so you must have had some reason… but maybe you aren’t really clear on what it was, or maybe it wasn’t the best reason. When you take the time to examine your own motivations, you may be able to better understand the role that you’ve played in things falling apart.

Consider exactly why you think it might be time to fire them

Make sure you really understand your reasoning. Are they not living up to your expectations? (Do they even know what their expectations are?) Are you no longer friends? Do you want to do this for their sake due to finances, time availability, or health considerations? Then think about how this compares with why you asked them in the first place.

As much as possible, try to focus on the actions you have taken — it’s easy to blame other people, but it’s much more difficult to look at how your choices contributed to a rough situation. If someone’s not meeting your expectations, is there a chance you were unclear or they misunderstood? Be honest with yourself.

Talk to them

Note that I said talk. I know it can feel way easier to send an email or text but trust me, on the Offbeat Bride Tribe, I’ve seen how even the best-intended emails can play out — and it’s infrequently well. You may be angry or hurt (and here are some tips for communicating when hurt or angry), and you may say something you will regret. Or they may misunderstand something you typed.
You need to have a conversation if at all possible — preferably in person, and definitely in private. Here are some things to talk about:

• If you’re undecided about them remaining in the wedding party, ask them about their feelings. Find out what’s going on for them. If they haven’t been responding to messages about the wedding, it may be because something has come up in their life that you don’t know about. Listen carefully.
• Talk openly about your concerns. Again, take full ownership for the role you have played in miscommunications and mis-aligned expectations. Apologize if you weren’t clear about expectations, or had unreasonable expectations that don’t line up with their availability or resources.
• Be sure to emphasize that you asked them to be a bridesmaid because they are important to you.
• Don’t be a dick. Stay open-hearted and patient. Think of this as information-gathering. There are no wrong answers. Don’t cast judgment on any feelings that come up. Just listen, and learn. Most importantly, take responsibility for your own role in things going awry. Yes, she might have fucked up royally… but even if your take-away is just “I should have been more thoughtful in making my original decision,” there’s almost always a lot for YOU to learn in conversations like this.

In talking, you may learn that your bridesmaid is actually looking for a way out. You won’t know until you talk to her.
Sometimes, you just have to end it.

Ok. You examined your own original motivations and potential mis-steps. You talked to them open-heartedly. You listened. You learned. And it’s clear: this is not going to work.

If you know it’s not going to work, then it’s in everyone’s best interests to ask your bridesmaid to step down. Now obviously, if you want to remain friends with them, you need to be as respectful and loving as possible — even as you’re asking them to step down from being a bridesmaid. Even if you’ve realized that a friendship is over, you still need to act with integrity.

Here are ways to word a difficult message:

“I asked you to be my bridesmaid because you are super important to me. You will always be important to me… but at this point, I’d rather you be a guest at my wedding than a bridesmaid. I feel like we’re not lining up on our ideas about you being a bridesmaid, and want us to be able to both enjoy my wedding together — and it feels like having you attend as a guest is the best way to do that.”

“I love you and I know your life is really busy right now with _____. I really want to support you in being able to focus on that, and so let’s just have you come to my wedding as a guest instead of as a bridesmaid.”

“This is emotional and hard, but I guess I’m just going to rip off the band-aid: I want you to come to my wedding as a guest, and not as a bridesmaid. This was a really rough decision, and I totally understand if you’re upset with me. I hope you can understand why I made this choice, but I understand if you’re mad or frustrated.”

Unless you’re ending the friendship, it can be helpful to talk to your former bridesmaid about other future plans. Even if it’s just “Let’s get drinks next week,” it can be hugely reassuring to know that just because being a bridesmaid isn’t working out, doesn’t mean the relationship needs to be over.

The goal with any difficult conversation is to take responsibility for yourself, and communicate with integrity and maturity. It can be easy to try to externalize it when bridesmaids don’t work out, but ultimately this is your choice, and your responsibility. Do what you need to do, but do it with respect.

BONUS Articles: Q & A – Can I Remove a Bridesmaid from the Wedding Party?
Serving Her Majesty the Bride: To Be a Maid of Honor… or Not
6 Tips on How to Avoid Embarrassment as the Bridesmaid!

Copyright 2014 – Kirsten Hansen. Kirsten Hansen, aka Little Red Lupine, is an academically-minded geek who works in instructional technology by day and crafts by night… when she isn’t playing video games or watching TV with her husband, playing with their ferrets, or cuddling their kitties. She can usually be found with her nose in a book but might just be baking something yummy instead.

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Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Father/Daughter Dance Songs

Brides! Your father walked you down the aisle, gave you away, and now it’s time to hit the dance floor. Is there a more emotional moment in a father’s or a daughter’s life than when you dance together at your wedding reception?

fatherdaughterdanceWhat song do you remember your dad singing when you were a little girl? The father/daughter dance is one of the most special and poignant parts of the day for the bride and her dad. Think carefully about whether you want a sentimental ballad or simply a song that makes everyone laugh (see video below).

You could choose to do have the DJ play a remix and do a special dance routine. To avoid being the cheesy/creepy/awkward dad-and-daughter couple, consider one of the fantastic father-daughter dance songs from our list compiled from several DJs in the Greater Phoenix area. So what song will you choose for that special moment?

Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight”
Led Zepplin’s “Thank You”
Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man”
John Mayer’s “Daughters”
Heartland’s “I Loved Her First”
Edwin McCain’s “Walk With You”
Rolling Stones’ “She’s a Rainbow”
Taylor Swift’s “The Best Day”
Amos Lee’s “Sweet Pea”
The Cars’ “Just What I Needed”
Natalie Grant’s “I’ll Always Be Your Baby”
Ray Allaire’s “A Song For My Daughter”
Warrant’s “Heaven”
Beyonce’s “Daddy”
Neil Young’s “Here for You”
Tony Ransom & The Heavenly Light Orchestra’s “When Angels Fly”
Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Cinderella”
Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable”
Kenny Rogers’ “Through the Years”
Bruce Springsteen’s “When You Need Me”
The Beatles’ “In My Life”
Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows”
Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me”
Frankie Avalon’s “Bobby Sox to Stockings”
Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish”
Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend”
Taken by Trees’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
Guns and Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
Nancy Sinatra’s “It’s For My Dad”
Mark Harris’s “Find Your Wings”
Paul Simon’s “Father and Daughter”
Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely”
James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend”
Loudon Wainwright’s “Daughter”
Tim McGraw’s “My Little Girl”
Bad English’s “When I See You Smile”
Staind’s “Zoe Jane”
10,000 Maniacs’ “How You’ve Grown”
The Temptation’s “My Girl”
Tom Petty’s “American Girl”
Holly Dunn’s “Daddy’s Hands”
Barry Manilow’s “I Am Your Child”
Otis Redding’s “The Glory of Love”
Suzy Bogguss’ “Letting Go”
Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father”
Al Martino’s “Daddy’s Little Girl”
Michael Buble’s “Daddy’s Little Girl”
Bob Carlisle’s “Butterfly Kisses”

Larry’s NOTE: If you are at the office, remember to turn down the volume. I especially like this video because it is short and still gives the guests a special look at the daughter and dad.

Father/daughter dances do not have to be about the father. Many people have chosen a step-father, uncle, or close friend of the family. Part of the reason that fathers like the father/daughter dance is that it’s a special moment to have with his little girl. At one time this dance truly symbolized one of the last times a Father would be able to share such an intimate moment with his daughter. It was his chance to “say goodbye” after giving away his daughter in marriage. A father/daughter dance for some men can be a later in life “rite of passage” that they look forward to.

I understand what Brides are going through with having a father and a step-father, especially if you’re close to both of them. There are times when you may be closer to step-parents than our biological ones. You could pick 2 songs and just dance to a few minutes of each song and have the DJ can fade out of one song and introduce the next Dad to the dance floor for the 2nd dance. No one feels uncomfortable when something is done tastefully. I recommend that if you’re close enough with both of them, you dance with both of them.

If your father is deceased, there are other ways to honor him on your wedding day. You can light a candle for him during the ceremony or display a flower in remembrance of him. If dad had a favorite upbeat song, play it at some point in the reception, like during the cake cutting or wedding party dance.

I had a bride recently who had lost her father and chose to dance with another male family member who had been a positive influence on her life. One bride chose a brother to have a special dance with.

The Father/Daughter dance is three special minutes where you can thank your dad for everything, you can share advice, you can both share memories, laugh together or simply move together in sync. It’s an important time-honored tradition. It’s about making a memory to share with others and to remember yourself. Bride’s, don’t miss this special time with your dad.

Would love for you to add your favorite Father/Daughter dance songs in the comments below.

BONUS Article: Top 100 Popular Father/Daughter Dance Songs

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Friday, March 14, 2014

Centerpieces… Plan With Your Guests in Mind

Filed under: Centerpieces,Flowers,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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When it comes to wedding reception décor, all eyes will be on the table centerpieces. Beautiful flowers for a beautiful wedding are a must-have. It’s important to set the scene for a gorgeous wedding reception with fresh, flower-filled wedding centerpieces.

I’ve attended hundreds of receptions and one of the things that annoys guests are the centerpieces on the tables.

centerpiecestallcenterpiecesNever let your flowers get in the way of your guests’ good time! Some guests have traveled many miles and this is one of the few times that they get to see and visit with their friends. Always have your centerpieces low enough to see over or tall enough to see under.

Low center pieces should be no more than 15 inches tall and tall vases should have about 22 inches of space below the bottom.

When planning your centerpieces, visualize the entire tablescape. You don’t want your tables to seem empty, but you also want your guests to have room to eat. A thin pedestal vase might need some large votive candles to fill space at the base, while a low vase should be accessorized sparingly.

In general, a 12 to 15 inch space in the center of any tabletop should be filled with decor. When it comes to centerpieces, think in extremes; Either go for height with manzanita branches and curly willow or opt for low and full with black calla lilies and red roses.

Don’t feel pressure to use glass vessels. Express your true style by incorporating unique handwoven containers into the mix.

Showcase your arrangements and enhance their beauty with profession lighting. Use pinspotting to focus attention on your centerpieces, colored uplighting to complement the hue of your flowers, e.g., soft-pink lighting for megenta blooms, or amber lights for white flowers, or even LED lights inside the vases to give them a subtle glow.

Surround centerpieces (of calla lilies and ostrich feathers) with tapered candles in antique glass bottles and pearl necklaces cascading from the silver bowls. For a more masculine touch, add in cathedral radios and cigar boxes and top it off with cut-crystal stemware.

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Monday, March 10, 2014

Honeymoon Q & A

Sam Becchetti, Guest Author

Your honeymoon is one of the most important aspects of the wedding planning process. Think of it as you reward for making it to the finish line of the marathon of planning your wedding. Let’s face it, it’s been your part-time job! This is the first chance for you and your groom to reconnect as a couple and recover in bliss. It’s also one of the most memorable aspects, so make sure to give it some thought.

Q ~ How do I get a passport?

HoneymoonQ&AA ~ First of all, be sure to start the process at least eight weeks before travel, or you may have to pay for expedited service. Step 1: Obtain your official birth certificate from your birth state by visiting www.cdc.gov/nchs/wes.htm. Step 2: Complete the application form. Step 3: Obtain a valid passport photo. Step 4: Make an appointment for an IN PERSON application – you cannot go for your intended spouse! For information on fees and other details, visit www.travel.state.gov/passport.

Q ~ Will I also need a Visa?

A ~ In most cases, no, but a few countries will require one even for a shorter term stay. Be sure to check with http://www.travel.state.gov/visa or your travel agent for requirements for the country(s) you plan to visit. If they do require one, and you do not have it upon arrival at the destination, they can refuse to allow you to exit the airport.

Q ~ Customs and Immigration – What’s the difference?

A ~ At the airport, you must pass through both. Immigration is the process of inspecting your documents to be sure you are who you say you are and have permission to enter the country. This is where they validate your passport (and possible visa). For most travelers, this takes just a few minutes with the officer. In some countries, they will also distribute a “tourist card” which you must present upon departure from that country.

Once you collect your luggage, you then go through Customs where they inspect your belongings and your declarations paperwork. Customs monitors the import/export of goods from other countries, so this will take place both at your foreign destination as well as when you return to the U.S. If you have goods that require duties to be paid they will be collected at this point. Customs also checks for items that are not allowed into the country for example, Cuban cigars bought in Mexico are not allowed to cross into the U.S. and would be confiscated. These rules very from country to country. It’s also important to note that just because you buy an item in a duty-free show does not necessarily mean you can bring it into the U.S.

Q ~ What does duty-free mean?

A ~ Duty-free shops, typically found at airports or in cruise ports, offer goods for sale at supposed discounted rates. Customs duties and local taxes are not charged on these items. It’s a good idea to know what the going prices are so you can decide if the duty-free prices represent any savings to you. Each country has different allowances for what you can bing back duty-free. The U.S. has a limit of up to $800. Anything over that is subject to taxing at customs. There are also limits on certain items like alcohol and cigarettes.

JustMarriedQ ~ What if I have an emergency?

A ~ There are two steps you should consider taking before departure to assist you in the event of an emergency. One is to purchase a comprehensive travel protection plan which provides coverage for various situations, as well as medical coverage, as most health insurance policies do not cover you when you travel out of the country. The second is to register with the STEP program at www.step.state.gov so the state department, consulate or embassy can assist you in event of an emergency.

Q ~ What if I still have questions?

A ~ Well in advance of your trip it’s a good idea to check out the www.travel.state.gov website. There you will find answers to questions you may have about the place(s) you are visiting. Do they have any required immunizations or breakout of illness? Political unrest? While this is good information, don’t panic. Remember that it is being provided by the government and they want to make sure they have covered any issues that my potentially be a problem at the time of your travels.

Larry’s NOTE: If you plan to travel out of the United States on your honeymoon or destination wedding, call my friend, Sam @ 480-838-9447. I consider her to be one of the best experts on honeymoon and destination wedding travel.

HoneymoonSAM&ljCopyright © 2014 – Sam Becchetti. Reprinted with permission. Sam Sam Becchetti has been a travel coordinator since 2007 specializing in honeymoons and destination weddings. She is graduate from ASU in Tourism and Special Events and has served the wedding community for 20+ years in Phoenix. Not surprising, her favorite hobby is to travel – whether on the road for work or play she is always scouting new resorts for her clientele. Visit “All About Honeymoons, Weddings & Travel Services” at: www.HoneymoonSam.com

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Click for Larry’s Wedding Website!

Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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