Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Friday, October 24, 2014

Get More for Your Wedding Floral Budget

Filed under: Flowers,Wedding Flowers — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Sharon Naylor, Guest Author

Use flowers that are in-season. Consult the florist’s charts of floral bloom times in order to determine which types of flowers will be in season at the time of your wedding.

Expect higher prices during times of popular flower-giving holidays such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Flower prices go up at this time of the year, and you’ll pay the price in your wedding budget.

WEDfloralBudgetUse flowers that are grown locally, rather than exotic blooms that have to be imported at greater expense.

Consiter different varieties of flowers rather than the traditional “bridal” ones such as white roses, orchids, tulips and gardenias. These styles are often more expensive, especially during the most popular wedding months. Larry’s NOTE: The most popular wedding months varies in different parts of the country. For example, in Arizona, we have two wedding seasons: March, April and May and October, November and December are the busiest months for weddings because the weather is so great, especially for outdoor weddings.

Get a little creative and use more original types of flowers in your arrangements. No doubt your search will reveal flowers you’re never seen before, and they just may become your favorites.

Use more expensive flowers, such as your favorite bird of paradise, only as accents to larger, more economical arrangements.

Use larger flowers for centerpieces and decorative arrangements. You’ll need fewer per arrangements.

Add some color to your arrangements. A grouping of all while roses will require more flowers per bunch in order to make an impression. A splash of color will make your bouquets and arrangements look better at a lower price.

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Use smaller bouquets and arrangements. Today’s trends favor smaller floral pieces, so that the bride can be seen behind her bouquet and the guests can see each other across the table.

Use simpler floral arrangements and bouquets. A great amount of the florist’s bill is related to the amount of labor required to wire together your bouquets and assemble your intricate centerpieces. Instead of choosing the most difficult-to-design styles, consider using flowers for your bouquet that are tightly bunched and tied at the stem, and tightly bound, low-sitting flowers as your centerpieces.

Rent potted flowers and plants to decorate your reception and ceremony areas. For a lower price, you can fill your location with a larger number of atmosphere-setting plants, create walkways, and even provide centerpieces for your buffet table.

Don’t use flowers in your centerpieces. Choose pillar candles or other creative, inexpensive centerpiece ideas instead.

Have your maid set their bouquets in front of them at the head table to eliminate one centerpiece, or get a two-for-one from your investment by having your maids place each of their bouquets in the centers of a guest table (if there are enough to suit your guest list).

Skip some nice but unnecessary floral expenses, such as having a small floral arrangement on the back of each guest’s chair, decorating the getaway car with floral swags, placing floral arrangements in the restrooms or on the gift table, and using fresh flowers to decorate the cake.

Shop for candles in craft stores where you can buy inexpensive brands in bulk. Freeze the candles before lighting them so they will burn longer.

BONUS Articles: How to SAVE on Your Wedding Floral Budget
Centerpieces… Plan With Your Guests in Mind

SharonNaylorCopyright © 2014 – Sharon Naylor. Sharon Naylor is the author of “How to Have a Fabulous Wedding for $10,000 or Less“, “The Complete Outdoor Wedding Planner,” and more than 30+ other wedding books. Sharon has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, Primetime, Lifetime, ABC News, Get Married, I Do with The Knot, Fox 5 News, Better TV and more. Visit Sharon’s Website and follow her on Twitter.

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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.

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 to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Monday, October 20, 2014

No Thanks! A Family Friend Will Perform Our Wedding Ceremony!

CAUTION: You are now entering… the Danger Zone!

It this really a good idea? You better think about this some more!

Yikes2014This is the most special day in your life and you want to hand this important aspect of your wedding to an amateur? I know they mean well, but if you want your wedding ceremony to be memorable you need a trained wedding professional. They have performed hundreds of wedding ceremonies and know all the ins and outs of the wedding business.

You guessed it. There are several downsides and many pitfalls to consider.

“Much can go wrong in the delivery of your wedding ceremony (when performed by a family friend). Even those who are proficient speakers under different circumstances may become rattled at the everyday glitches that can crop up in a wedding ceremony. Consider how your friend will do if the groom becomes emotional, the bride flubs her vows, the flower girl is whining, the musicians play the wrong selection, inclement weather conditions suddenly arise for your outdoor wedding, your feuding divorced parents refuse to sit next to one another, the microphone dies mid-sentence, or someone faints. Handling these situations requires a special set of skills. Professional officiants have “been there, done that” with every situation above and more!” – Maureen Thomson, Wedding Officiant

Although it’s an honor to perform a wedding ceremony, presiding over a friend or family member’s wedding has its pros and cons. There are not many benefits to being married by a family friend. Someone who becomes a wedding officiant for a one-time-only wedding ceremony can cause a bride and groom a lot of stress during the planning of the wedding. The only upside could be that they may do it for free. Free may be inviting but you usually get what you pay for. If money is an issue, cut down on some of the other wedding services, such as favors, etc., then hire a professional.

Rarely does the amateur think to provide a qualified back-up wedding officiant in the event of accident or illness. I continue to be surprised when a bride and groom call me for a “last-minute” wedding ceremony because their friend backed out at the last minute. This happens all the time as people get cold feet or egos start to clash between the couple and the officiating friend.

Most part-time officiants do not know how to construct a wedding ceremony, such as presentation protocol or the legal requirements governed by the state. Each state establishes specific criteria as to who can perform marriage ceremonies. Check the state where the marriage is taking place if it is different from where you live. In some states, your aspiring officiant must also register with the county before performing a ceremony, which sometimes requires a fee.

Several years ago I received a call from a bride who had just discovered that although they had a wedding ceremony performed by an uncle from Canada 1 year and a few months earlier, the Court House in Phoenix had no record of their license ever being filed. No official filing by the one-time wedding officiant = no legal marriage. The uncle went online and got an ordination to do one wedding. She was in a panic! I solved the problem by having them purchase another marriage license ($72) plus a certified copy of the license ($26) and performed a brief legal ceremony (with 2 witnesses) and immediately filed the license with the Maricopa County Court House. Although this is rare, the problem occurs when an inexperienced one-time wedding officiant is unaware of the legalities and all other aspect of the wedding business. Solution: Always hire an experienced, full-time Wedding Officiant! AND check their references!

The amateur officiant is rarely ever able to present a plan of the important steps of the wedding ceremony to the bride and groom. Why? Because they don’t know. Officiant planning and coordination with wedding vendors is crucial to the bride, groom, and those participating in the wedding.

“Having a Friend or Relative marry you: This has backfired for many a bride. We have seen the officiant faint, get sick, not say nice things, be silly or rude and forget to fill out the proper paper work to make it official – leaving couples unmarried. There are non-denominational officiants, religious clergy, retired clergy, judges and men and women who are trained in creating personalized wedding services for couples at a modest price… best of all you will be legally married with the documents to prove it.” ~ Judith Rivers-Moore

A number of people are dependent upon the wedding officiant. In fact, wedding photographers, ceremony musicians, disc jockeys, wedding consultants, the wedding venue, etc., tell me of their dread of working with unskilled family members or friends who show up to perform the ceremony. “Hand-holding” the wedding officiant is not part of any other wedding vendor’s job description.

There are so many little details to remember when putting together a wedding, it may be in your best interest to hire a wedding planner to do it for you, or at least help you. You can hire a consultant at any stage in your wedding plans, from beginning to end. She can save you the most money, time and stress in the early planning stages. Look at a consultant as a necessity, as you would regard a caterer, venue, minister or photographer. She is just as important!

Almost one-third of couples surveyed after their wedding who did not use a wedding consultant dearly wish they had! Some wedding consultants can be hired for the day of your wedding to help coordinate all the last-minute details.

tvwedOne of the questions you should ask and amateur is, are they legally qualified to perform weddings in your state? Two other questions should be, “Do you have a ceremony prepared?” and “Do you know what legally must be in a ceremony in your state?” It is their responsibility to check the individual state laws regarding this issue. Do they know the tone that you want for your ceremony? Some couples do not regularly attend a church or synagogue and will want to have final say over the spiritual content in their ceremony.

Do they know about music, scripture readings, poems, vows and wedding traditions. Have they ever created an order of events for the ceremony to follow so both the minister and couple knows the order that things will happen. Do they know how to lead a rehearsal if there is no wedding coordinator available? What about a back-yard wedding rehearsal?

You should also note that some religious denominations will not recognize a marriage performed by someone ordained outside the faith; so, although you may be legally married, your church may not acknowledge it.

Someone from Chicago wrote: “I went to one wedding where the groom’s brother married the couple, and it was more like a drawn-out reception speech (complete with a dirty joke thrown in) than a wedding ceremony. Whatever you do, just make sure the person you choose has a clear idea of the atmosphere you’re looking for, and consider creating an outline for him/her to follow.”

Choosing a wedding officiant based on price alone is like choosing a husband based solely on salary.

Just to clear things up. . . getting an online ordination is perfectly legal in the state of Arizona. The hard part is finding a “qualified” wedding officiant with an online ordination who has the “experience” in performing ceremonies that will keep you from experiencing all the things that go wrong with an amateur. There is no Biblical example of a minister performing a marriage ceremony. This does not mean that it is wrong, but simply that the Bible does not seem to support it as a religious practice. Therefore, it is American culture that has made the officiating of marriages a religious matter.

Be very careful to hire someone who can give you excellent references. If they cannot provide references. . . find someone else. (Local laws governing religion and clergy vary widely so check with state, country, and provincial authorities before performing ceremonies like marriages.)

There are two important areas of your wedding celebration where price should never be a factor. A mediocre Minister and a unenthusiastic DJ can wreak havoc at your wedding. A lackluster minister with a boring ceremony – like most of the others you’ve heard – can leave the guests cold and uninspired and if the DJ isn’t a true “entertainer” the party can crash and burn. Your wedding reception DJ should be considered your “Wedding Entertainment Director.” A great DJ determines whether your reception is a hit or a miss! The minister and the DJ should be the very best you can hire. I know it’s cliche, but you really do get what you pay for.

Perhaps the primary deciding factor should be who performs the most memorable and unique wedding ceremony for you and your guests and what other extras do they offer in their package that other ministers do not. You will enjoy the comfort and assurance of knowing you are contracting with a first-class minister who comes with professional experience, impeccable integrity, commendable references, a gentle and enthusiastic spirit and a subtle, but delightful sense of humor (Hmmm, sounds like a description of Larry James).

This is your very special day. It will only happen once. I would never recommend that you make your decision on price alone. There are numerous other areas that you can cut back on when the $$s are tight. The ideal Officiant is not only someone who is important to the bride and groom, but is articulate and capable of handling such an important event. Cheap is seldom ever memorable!

There are many ways to accomplish a memorable wedding ceremony that makes everyone happy. A full-time wedding minister or officiant knows all the ins and outs of the wedding business.

I had a couple call recently and forfeited their deposit so that the groom’s uncle – who had never performed a wedding ceremony and “insisted” on being the wedding officiant – could perform the ceremony. The bride confided to me that this was not what she really wanted but bowed to the pressure of the uncle rather than unset the uncle. How sad. Your wedding is YOUR wedding, not your uncles, your mothers or anyone else.

“When a friend or relative provides a poor quality product or service as a gift for your wedding, you might recover from the disappointment, but they never will. Do your family and friends a favor and decline their offer to work at your wedding by letting them know you want them to celebrate with all the other family and friends. You will save everybody potential grief and hurt feelings.” ~ John Goolsby, Videographer

Perhaps the best advice is to find a truly great officiant or minister who can help you with this process: one who be the perfect combo of thoughtful adviser, skilled writer, excellent public speaker and who will keep your stress level as low as possible. Personal touches and light humor by the minister are a great way to add even more personality to your ceremony.

OnlineMinisterBelieve me, you will sleep better and have much less stress show up as you plan your wedding if you shell out the $$$’s to hire a full-time wedding minister; someone who will perform for you and your fiance a personalized, unique and memorable ceremony you will always treasure.

Note: Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Mahmoud Sallam. Dana Vogel & Mahmoud Sallam were married at 3 p.m., Thursday, December 30, 2010 @ Val Vista Lakes, Gilbert, AZ. Their close family friend was going to do their wedding ceremony and backed out 3 days before their wedding. I met with Dana & Mahmoud the day before the wedding and performed my “romantic” wedding ceremony for them the following day.

This is not the first time that I have received a call from a frantic bride or groom that a family friend who was supposed to do the couples wedding ceremony lost their nerve and backed out leaving the bride and groom to scramble to find a last-minute replacement. Just because a family friend volunteers to do your ceremony is no reason for you to give in because you are afraid you will hurt their feelings. Be couragous! Say, “No, and thank you for asking. We are going to hire a full-time wedding officiant!” (Ask them to do a special reading for you during the ceremony and then hire a professional). This is the most important day of your life. Do you want to put it in the hands of someone who got ordained especailly for your wedding and has never before performed a ceremony? Think about it. Be sure it’s something that YOU want and “always” have a backup plan!

Note from Bishop Ronald Turcot, Oldsmar, Florida: Larry, a bride’s “friend” who is not trained / ordained has no business performing any wedding. This is supposed to be a very special moment in a bridal couple’s life and there is no doubt at all in my mind, that a non-professional amateur cannot deliver the proper meaning of what married life is all about nor the the sacrament of the marriage. I have observed so many of these amateurs destroy a wedding ceremony beyond their knowledge & control. It turns so sad! When the wedding is over, and everyone (guests & family) realized how many mistakes were done and at the important & critical times in the ceremony, they were all very upset. There are NO do-overs, when the ceremony is over…it’s over. Best wishes!

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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/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Lots of Wedding Ideas on: Larry’s Pinterest Page

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Top Winter Wedding Trends

Who says you can’t get married during the winter? As it turns out, more and more couples are opting to say “I do” among the chilliest of seasons — from November through February — and it can be done both tastefully and creatively. From cold-weather color themes to seasonal favors, here are some of the most popular trends to take advantage of when having a winter wedding.

Bold color palette ~ While there’s nothing wrong with incorporating bright pinks, oranges and yellows into a winter wedding, some of the more popular color trends include darker hues such as shades of red, violets or emerald greens. Additionally, white and silver is also go-to winter wedding colors, as they resemble shimmering snow and icicles. Think ceremonies or bouquets festooned with white-painted branches, pearls, ivory flowers, hurricane votive candles, paper lanterns, and so forth.

WinterWEDTrendsCozy touches ~ From attire to appetizers, get creative with giving your wedding that cozy feel.

“Brides can play up the seasonal look with fun, coordinating accessories for the bridesmaids, mothers and even the men,” says Amy Fuerstenberg, co-owner of wedding planning company Mi Mi Design based in Minneapolis. For example, knit scarves, cardigans or fur boleros can make unique photos accents or even bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts. As for food, you can’t go wrong with hearty dishes, like Mac-and-cheese bites, pasta and mashed potato stations or even shot glasses filled with small portions of hot soup. For dessert, ask your caterer about offering hot cocoa, eggnog, pies or other seasonal favorites with your cake.

Winter blooms ~ You don’t necessarily see sunflowers and daisies often in the cold weather, but there’s certainly no shortage of elegant winter florals to adorn your bouquets and centerpieces. Say your color theme is white: Your best bet for a bouquet would be a mix of white or ivory amaryllis, calla lilies, orchids, tulips, and anemones, which mesh beautifully together and never go out of style. For a festive red winter theme, consider blossoms among roses, poinsettias, winterberries, anemones, amaryllis, gloriosa lilies, calla lilies, and cymbidium orchids. Want to add a little more seasonal oomph? Don’t be afraid of adding acorns, sparkly brooches or even paper snowflakes to your bouquet. Talk with your florist about your options.

Wintry-themed favors ~ It’s always nice to show your guests appreciation with a gift – and a fun way to do this is to stick to the winter theme. So why not provide personalized ornaments around December or delicious chocolate truffles in February? A more recent trend also includes offering your favorite cookie ingredients nestled inside a mason jar. Provide the recipe with it and you’ve got a favor that will keep your guests — and their bellies — happy. Another sweet send-off idea is to offer the ever-popular candy bar, where guests can pick and choose what kinds of candies they’d like to take home. To give it that wintry feel, color-coordinate the candies to fit your theme. For instance, with an all-white winter wedding, think candies like Jordan almonds, white M&Ms, yogurt-covered pretzels, etc.

Frosty photos ~ There’s something magical about a wintry, neutral backdrop, especially if there’s snow in the forecast for your special day. Well, maybe not in Arizona unless you have your wedding in Flagstaff. Larry’s NOTE: I preform my “romantic” wedding ceremony at many of the terrific wedding venues in Flagstaff, AZ.

“It started snowing as we were having dinner, so we headed outside with our photographer,” says a Minnesota resident, Ashley Bohmbach, who exchanged vows in the winter. “They’re hands-down my favorite photos and some of my favorite memories of the day. I wish I could make it snow for every winter bride’s wedding!” Another idea to capture the weather without becoming freezing: Since winter weddings are rarely held outside, if possible, choose a venue with large windows that will capture the wintry essence outside as you make your walk down the aisle.

One of the best parts about wedding in the winter? ~ “Unlike the wedding-packed months of June and July, there’s a lot less competition for dates in the winter,” explains Fuerstenberg. And with such large availability can also come large savings. “Some DJs, transportation companies and photographers will give off-season discounts, and a lot of reception venues lower their food and beverage minimum,” she says.

There’s so much to love about a winter wonderland of a wedding. So if you know you’re meant to get hitched during early or late winter season, then you shouldn’t eliminate it right off the bat. After all, spring and summer aren’t the only wedding showstoppers these days. Let the cold-weather wedding planning begin.

righthondaCopyright © 2014 – Right Honda. This article is presented by Right Honda, Scottsdale, Arizona.

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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.

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 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
Lots of Wedding Ideas on: Larry’s Pinterest Page

Sunday, October 12, 2014

How to Personalize Your Wedding Style

Kristi Charter, Guest Author

Each and every wedding is unique and should reflect the personalities of the bridal couple. It can however be tricky for some couples to know exactly how to stamp their individual style onto their wedding. Here we discuss tips for ensuring your big day epitomises both you and your fiancés tastes.

WEDstyleWhere to Start ~ Starting with the basics, monograms are a fabulous way to create a unique logo for your wedding that sets it apart. The beauty of creating a personalised monogram is that it can be imprinted pretty much anywhere. In particular your wedding stationery is an ideal spot to put your wedding stamp. From your wedding invitation down to your ceremony program and table number cards, your wedding stationery can be used to create a flow on styling effect throughout the day.

Design a monogram or motif that suits you and your fiancé. Perhaps it’s just your initials entwined or maybe it’s your initials paired with a symbol that is significant to you both. Whatever the case, put this logo everywhere! Gift tags attached to your wedding favours, tags attached to straws or even serviettes the options truly are endless!

Another simple way to tailor your wedding décor is to include photos as decorative elements throughout your reception. They can be photos that retell the story of your relationship or simply pay tribute to your family heritage. Some couples have got really creative and created table runners or mats for the aisle that is adorned with photos of them. Others have kept it simpler by framing the photos and using them for table décor.

You could have a collection of photos at the guest book table that feature the wedding photos of significant family members that have tied the knot before you for example parents, grandparents or siblings. Then have a note which highlights these relationships as being inspiration for your future marriage. The pictured family members will be touched by the recognition and the rest of your guests will find it to be a sweet inclusion to your big day.

SweetToothTheming Your Day ~ Picking a theme for your wedding will help you to make all of your styling decisions. To keep things personalised some couples in the past have themed their wedding on their favourite movies, hobbies, sports even the decade they are particularly fond of. Cultures are also a clever way to style a wedding perhaps a bright and colourful Mexican theme or a traditional Scottish wedding with a kilt and all would be ideal. If you love to travel and lead a jet setting lifestyle why not incorporate that into your styling. Consider naming each table after a destination you and your fiancé have visited.

Each table could then be decorated with images of you at that particular location or if you really want to put in the effort decorate the table scape to match that location with motifs and flowers all native to that particular culture. Finding a location that suits your theme so that you can then decorate it accordingly is important. If there is a particular location or type of wedding you have always dreamed about – make it happen! Don’t sacrifice your wedding style in anyway. These days there are many methods to navigating a limited wedding budget. So keep this in mind and do your research.

Navigating Bridal Style ~ As a bride, sticking to your personal style is essential to looking and feeling your best. If a white ball gown isn’t your dream look then don’t feel you have to conform to how you think a bride should look. More brides are now opting for non-white dresses or simple, sleek gowns that they feel most comfortable in. If you don’t like the idea of a veil… ditch it! Crystal headpieces are floral crowns chic alternatives for the modern bride. However opting for no head wear at all is just as stylish.

Not a fan of flowers, skip the bouquet altogether or opt for an alternative. Some brides have walked down the aisle holding their favourite book or even a bouquet made cleverly out of broaches. Family jewellery or heirlooms can be incorporated into your personal style. Brides might wear a piece of jewellery that was their mother’s or grandmothers or choose to add jewellery to their bouquet. For example brides can wrap lockets around the handle of the bouquet or clip in a broach.

archwayDIY Ideas ~ If you’re having an outdoor wedding ceremony having a unique archway made especially for the occasion will really wow your guests. Perhaps your husband to be or father are quite handy, if so suggest they take on this fun DIY project. A handmade arch will add a truly personalised touch to your wedding ceremony style. If an archway is a bit beyond your budget or friends expertise all you simply need to create is a focal point to ensure your guests attention remains focused on where the bride and groom stand. Draping fabric, streamers, having potted plants or a table for the couple to stand at or even simply hanging lanterns from a tree might be all you need to do the trick.

DIY projects are the ultimate way to add a personalised touch to any wedding décor. Couples can make a range of unique decorative elements to add their own sparkle to the day. Creating a one of a kind seating chart is a great way to really add interest to your reception décor.
Chalkboard or wooden signs are the ultimate way to personalise your wedding ceremony and reception. Sharing unique messages with your guests, they can give an insight into your relationship and your personalities or simply depict meaningful quotes and song lyrics to set the stage for your marriage.

Personalizing Your Catering ~ The food you serve at your wedding only adds to the style you wish to create. For refined luxury stick with a classic set menu but if you want something more relaxed why not consider serving food family style or hiring food trucks. Couples can also have the best of both worlds by having a traditional sit down dinner followed by late night snacks that are offered to guests towards the end of the evening. Snacks can include mini hotdogs, burgers, fish and chips or even toasted sandwiches.

appetizersBridal couples with big sweet tooths can set up a dessert or candy bar filled with their favourite indulgences. Guests can then enjoy sampling an array of treats loved by both the bride and groom. Dessert tables also make for an impressive styling feature to any wedding reception.

Bride and grooms passionate about their hobbies or careers can cleverly incorporate them into the styling of their big day. For instance teachers could have pencils, apples and chalkboards used to set the scene. While lovers of tennis could have tennis racquet motifs and cute sayings that play up the theme scattered throughout the decor such as ‘Grant scored his ace’.

Signature cocktails will add to the flair of your wedding. Chic cocktails designed specifically for your big day are a clever way to ensure your wedding remains unique to you and your partner. Speak to your caterers or venue bar staff prior to the big day to come up with a cocktail reflective of your tastes, perhaps a ‘his’ and ‘her’ cocktail set up featuring the bride and grooms favourite flavours would be best. Don’t forget to give the cocktail a memorable name – that’s the best part!

A traditional multi-tiered white wedding cake is definitely not the only way to go. As with the other aspects of your wedding some bridal couples are instead requesting cakes that embrace their wedding theme perhaps a cake covered in pink and gold polka dots. Some couples don’t even opt for cakes at all with cupcakes, pies, crepe stacks and even waffles all fun and tasty alternatives. Cake toppers are also a great way for couples to add a touch of personality to their cake. Quote cake toppers and custom made figurines can all be used to highlight a couple’s individuality.

Copyright © 2014 Kristi Charter. Kristi Charter is an experienced freelance writer with a breadth of knowledge across an array of subjects. Captivated by the wedding industry, Kristi is currently the Content and Social Media Coordinator at http://GiantInvitations.com.au/

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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 to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sorry! You Can’t Come to My Wedding!

Let begin here. Adult people should know that invitations are addressed “only” to those who are invited. If the invitation says “Ms. Sally Jones,” only Sally is invited. If the invitation says “Ms. Sally Jones and Guest,” then Sally may bring a guest of her choosing. That’s the rule! Emily Post and many others have made this clear for years.

It really is wrong for an invitee to add an uninvited plus-one. That is beyond rude and is manner-less. If you ignore the problem, your continuing resentment may bubble to the surface when you see these outlaw relatives on your wedding day. It’s entirely up to you whether you say nothing or speak up, but speaking up is the right thing to do.

WEDnotInvitedWhat do you do when an uninvited guest RSVPs for the wedding you didn’t invite them to attend?

Of the many Wedding Planners I spoke with, most feel that you have every right to call those guests and simply tell them that you’re sorry if there was any confusion, but they were not invited with a guest. I would hope they would understand, but if you get some push back, stand your ground, be firm. Some people are just clueless. If space or expense are an issue you will need to tell them you’re sorry but there can be no exceptions. You have the right to graciously not accept the uninvited.

It’s important to make sure your rule (no invitation means you are not invited or no plus one or adult reception) is communicated clearly to your guests, so that no one is left wondering who is invited and who is not. On the invitation itself, the wording on the inner and outer envelopes spell out your intention. Some will put on the bottom of the invitation, “Adults Only Ceremony and Reception,” however most agree that this is improper etiquette and you should assign this task to someone in the bridal party to pass the news. For the plus 1 issue, only address the invitation to who you want to invite and on the RSVP card, consider putting, “One seat has been reserved for you” instead of how many will be attending.

Here are two suggestions from Jordan McBride. You could say:

1. “We’ve always imagined our wedding as a very small gathering of loved ones. As one of my oldest friends, I really hope you can respect that. We’re looking forward to getting to know your new boyfriend when we return from our honeymoon!”

2. “We just received your RSVP in the mail and we’re thrilled you’re coming to our wedding! Unfortunately, our budget/venue won’t accommodate children, so you’ll have to leave them home for the evening. May I help you find a sitter?”

Ariel Meadow Stallings from OffbeatBride.com says, “How you want to approach your response can depend on which angle you want to take. Whatever you do, don’t get into the specifics of how many people you’re inviting or how you’re choosing guests. Keep it vague and loving.”

Blame the budget ~ “Due to tight limitations on our budget, we’ve had to be pretty brutal in chopping down our guestlist. I’m so sad that you won’t be there with us on the day, but we look forward to catching up afterwards!” Read more responses at www.OffBeatBride.com.

What about non-responses to your wedding invitations? It is never safe to assume a guest is attending or not. People seem to have forgotten the importance of RSVPs, so the best thing to do is call or ask a friend to call and ask whether the invitee/s is/are attending or not. This precludes the awkwardness of having invited guests who haven’t responded show up and being unprepared. See more at: http://www.EtiquetteDaily.com/

Emily Post says, “Here is the last word is about RSVP – French for “Repondez s’il vous plait” or, in plain English, “Please reply.” These little letters are the not-so-secret code that you should call or write your host within a day or two of receiving an invitation to let them know if you can attend or not. All invitations have some sort of a reply mechanism – an enclosed card, a phone number, an e-mail address or a mailing address. A prompt reply is a basic courtesy.

If you feel you’ve done everything you can and you are still stressing out, assign this task to your maid or matron of honor. If you feel she may not be someone who can handle this gracefully, pass the crisis on to your wedding planner. That’s why you hired the wedding planner.

BONUS Articles: What to Include (Etiquette Wise) With Your Wedding Invitations
Répondez s’il vous plaît! – RSVP
How To Deal With Wedding Guests Who Don’t RSVP On Time
What to do When an Uninvited Guest RSVPs for the Wedding You Didn’t Invite Them to Attend?
Hiring a Wedding Planner: Why It’s a Good Idea
Sorry, I Don’t Need a Wedding Consultant… My Venue Has One!

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
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Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Lots of Wedding Ideas on: Larry’s Pinterest Page

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Have a Hauntingly Beautiful Hallowedding!

BOO!

Finding the right theme for your wedding can be as difficult as selecting the perfect dress, but we’re going to help you have a little fun along the way. Sure, some might find it kind of creepy to exchange vows surrounded by carved pumpkins or stylized skulls, but for a creative couple with a wicked sense of humor, a macabre wedding theme can be light, festive and — believe it or not — fun. Theme weddings are a fun way to let your hair down and do it the way you want to do it. Since it’s almost Halloween… I thought I might just focus on a few ideas that throws tradition out the window and allows you to be a little daffy!

HalloweenWEDIt’s getting to be that time of October. The time where caramel apples and pumpkin lattes and spiderweb decor are abundant. It also means it’s the perfect time to have a hauntingly beautiful halloween wedding. But instead of going the traditional black and orange route for inspiration, I decided to create what I think would be beautiful and unique halloween wedding inspiration. Read more

If you had a halloween theme wedding, this dark bouquet (courtesy of the knot) would be the one might want to carry. You could wrap up the bouquet with black velvet ribbon or black lace and instead of using all flowers, add some black feathers into the mix for a fun, luxurious look. It’s spooky how pretty this is! (Photo Credit: Glen Abog Photography)

If scary pumpkins and leering skulls don’t make you think of your sweetheart there are other themed weddings that you might find interesting. How about a pirate themed wedding? There are lots of ideas that can make it fun too. Click here for a few photos of a pirate themed wedding performed at the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, AZ.

A Valentine’s Day wedding can really get your imagination going. Hearts, hearts and more hearts. There are lots of beautiful love songs that go along with this kind of wedding. TIP: Book a Valentine’s Day wedding far in advance.

Getting married around the Christmas holidays? Add some fun Grinch touches for the kids to enjoy.

A Celtic themed wedding can feature many add-on traditional ceremonies like the Loving Cup Ceremony, the Handfasting Ceremony, and more. Special blessing readings can be added. Dress up or not.

How about a “Circus” themed wedding? Clowns, jugglers and lots of fun for everyone.

Baseball fans? Have a Baseball themed wedding at your favorite ball park. I can think of all kinds of ideas for this kind of wedding. Did you know that you can have your wedding where the Arizona Diamondback play in downtown Phoenix?

A Breakfast Wedding… Just to Be Different! ~ Weddings in the late morning can save you some bucks. You may be able to negotiate a better rate from the venue, and have a breakfast menu or brunch.

A “Rainbow” themes wedding with different colored dresses and hose for the bridesmaids, the groomsmen could wear rainbow colored ties and socks. Multi-colored chair and flower decorations.

An author friend of mine did a Literary themed weddings. The guest tables were named after famous authors. Signed copies of his books were the favors. There was a book archway.

One wedding used the bride’s favorite color (purple) as the theme. Another wedding was a Chocolate Lover’s wedding.

Theme weddings are memorable. I did a Google search and was surprised at the many different themed weddings.

I have performed about a dozen weddings with a bride, groom, two witnesses and a few close family members in a Hot Air Balloon. Oh, what fun! The guests gathered around as the ballon was being prepared for flight, watched as the wedding party lifted off and then went to a reception venue to await the arrival of the bride and groom. Click here for photos and 2 examples.

There’s nothing wrong with traditional weddings. The fact is, they’re as much a theme as anything else we’ve discribed. Be sure to read about the different wedding ceremonies you can choose from at: What Kind of Wedding Ceremony Will You Choose?

BONUS Articles: 29 Reasons You Should Absolutely Have A Halloween Wedding
Halloween Weddings: 13 Stylish Halloween Wedding Ideas
More Halloween Wedding Ideas
A Chocolate Lover’s Wedding

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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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Do You Need a Videographer?

Jason Melendez, Guest Author

Some couples just don’t like the idea of a wedding video and want nothing more that a good photography package to preserve their memories. But before skipping over video altogether, take a few moments to consider what you’ll be getting with a good videographer, and how the possibilities offered by the latest technical gear and editing equipment stack up to your friend’s camcorder or to photography along.

WEDvideoCouples often feel as though their wedding day went by in a blur. After months of planning and effort, the big day comes in a rush, and everything happens so fast and with such emotion that before they know it, the day is over.

A good wedding video is like a time machine that can take you back to your wedding day any time you like. You can experience all the sounds, action, subtle details ad endearing documentary that will be available to your children, and so on. Imagine being able to watch your grandparents’ wedding or their grandparents’.

Do the words “wedding video” invoke thoughts of a cheesy soundtrack, amateurish screen wipes and complete, unbroken coverage of the chicken dance? Today, digital video and editing technology make it easier and more affordable than ever to create wedding videos as engaging and sophisticated as quality television documentaries, complete with voice-over interviews, flashbacks, professional scene cuts, special effects and more. The style you choose is up to you, but you have more choice for capturing the sights, sounds, and action of your special day more than ever before.

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Videography vs. Photography

Ask a photographer and he’ll probably tell you that photography is more important. Ask a videographer and he’ll stress the importance of both. The real question is, how important is videography to you? Remember that while you can’t put your wedding video in a frame above the mantle or pull it out of your wallet to show a friend, a photograph can’t capture the sound of your voices exchanging vows or the sounds and activity of your reception party.

Larry’s NOTE: With smart phones and iPads, you can more easily show video to your friends now more than ever before.

When it comes to wedding videos, there’s something about the live action capture of such a special moment that can take you back like nothing else. Consider how popular movies are today as a way of telling a story. Videography is quickly becoming less of an optional side-kick to photography and more of an equal partner in preserving the memory of your day.

Larry’s Note: A very special “Thank you” to Sarah & Carl Anderson of Princess Bride Cinematic Videography for his contribution and excellent work on the video below. Visit his Website: www.PrincessBrideVideo.com. Arizona (Greater Phoenix Area & Tucson) and Minnesota (Twin Cities Area). – 5 Stars from Larry James!

To watch a video which highlights all the main events from Tasha and Brian’s destination wedding at Sassi in Scottsdale, click here!

BONUS Articles: Will You “Remember” Your Wedding?
Let There Be Light! – A Videographer’s View!
Why Do I Need a Wedding Video?

Photo Credit: (Couple watching video) – Pittman Productions, Chicago.

Copyright 2014 Jason Melendez. Jason Melendez is co-author of the book, “e-Plan Your Wedding: How to Save Time and Money with Today’s Best Online Resources.”

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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.

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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Friday, September 26, 2014

What Kind of Wedding Ceremony Will You Choose?

Filed under: Add-on Ceremonies,Wedding Ceremony — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Here is a list of the many different wedding ceremonies that are available for your wedding. You can choose one or mix several of them together to make it exactly what you want. Make sure that you choose a minister or wedding officiant who is willing to make changes, cut out parts you do not like and add things you would like to have in your ceremony. In other words, someone who will customize the ceremony to your complete satisfaction.

Religious Wedding Ceremony ~ Many religious ceremonies are performed in a church, temple, synagogue, etc., where the bride and/or groom is a member of the congregation, but these are not the only places. A religious wedding ceremony is typically faith-based and can also be performed anywhere. A religious ceremony performed by someone other that the official from the church, etc., can be anything the bride and groom chooses. A minister, priest or rabbi are often restricted from changing the ceremony. Scripture is usually a part of this ceremony and is often more like a sermon than a ceremony.

KindOfCeremoniesSpiritual Wedding Ceremony ~ This ceremony may or may not have scripture. This ceremony can be used in instances where the couple feels they would like a spiritual ceremony without it necessarily being religious. It is generally based upon what the couple have chosen to believe – not necessarily what a particular denomination teaches. The wedding officiant is usually willing to allow the bride and group to express their own spirituality in the words of the ceremony. There may be brief mentions of God (or more – your choice), possibly a prayer and whatever the bride and groom choose, but does not adhere to any particular religious protocol. It may incorporate Native American or New Age elements into it to reflect their spirituality. In my view, this ceremony is often referred to as a non-denominational wedding ceremony.

Non-Religious Ceremony ~ Kind of a cross between a Spiritual and Civil ceremony.

Interfaith Wedding Ceremony ~ This is for the blending of two or more faiths, by including aspects of religion or religious rituals or readings that are symbolic of each faith.

Civil Wedding Ceremony ~ This ceremony is typically held in a courthouse, city hall or judges’ chambers and is officiated by a Justice of the Peace, a judge or a mayor PLUS you have to go through the metal detector to get to them. ;-) It’s short and in my opinion boring and never very romantic. It has simple vows and usually just a handful of close friends as guests and in most cases just two witnesses to sign the marriage license. A wedding officiant can also perform a civil ceremony anywhere you choose. Some officiants will add things link the sand ceremony, the rose ceremony to spice it up a bit. Here is my solution to a Justice of the Peace wedding. Click here!

Non-traditional Wedding Ceremony ~ This ceremony is similar to a civil one, but may have religious overtones as a couple, or one of you, is a member of a “non-traditional” religion. This ceremony gives you the most leeway to “have it your way.” It does not follow the more formal structure and does not include elements of the Christian religion such as prayers, scripture readings and blessings. It can be a blending of cultures (to honor your heritage) or religious faiths.

Theme Wedding Ceremony ~ This ceremony can be anything you want. It may have parts of the other ceremonies described here. I’ve had pirate themed weddings, weddings on Halloween, at the Zoo, in Hot Air Balloons, Celtic, Western Style weddings, Medieval/Renaissance themed weddings and more. These are fun weddings often with costumes to match the theme.

Military Wedding Ceremony ~ This ceremony is usually formal and steeped in military tradition. It requires full dress uniform for enlisted personnel. Rituals vary between the U.S. Armed Forces branches but most incorporate the stunning salute of the Saber Arch that the newlyweds pass under. Often a honor guard is present.

Commitment Ceremony ~ No marriage license is required. The intent is to demonstrate the commitment a couple is making to one another.

Same Sex Wedding Ceremony ~ The term same-sex wedding specifically refers to ceremonies for gay or lesbian couples. As of September 26, 2014, same sex ceremonies are not legal in the state of Arizona. Some same sex couples prefer to have a Commitment Ceremony, not a legal ceremony, but a ceremony with friends and relatives that demonstrate their commitment to each other.

Renewal of Vows Ceremony ~ This ceremony is used to celebrate a special anniversary, mark the couples transition through a difficult time, or just to acknowledge their love. They are often more intimate with only close family and friends or a gathering of many of your friends (It’s party time!). You can watch a video of the “Love in the Hills” event that celebrated the love of more than 650 couples who renewed their wedding vows at the same time on Valentine’s Day in 2014. Go to the home page on my Wedding Website and click on the video in the middle of the page.

There are many “add on” ceremonies that may be added to any of the ceremonies above. See the list by clicking here. They can make your wedding ceremony very special for you and your guests. Light humor is another aspect that some couples may choose.

There are so many ways to perform a wedding ceremony. Many brides and grooms are getting away from the old-fashion, traditional wedding ceremonies. Be sure your minister or wedding officiant is willing to make changes, cut out parts you do not like and add things you would like to have in your ceremony. My belief is that it’s “your” wedding, not the wedding officiant’s wedding. I say… “Have it your way!”

In order to have a legal marriage, couples must purchase a marriage license from the Country Clerk at the Court House. I have performed some of the ceremonies above without the bride and groom purchasing a marriage license. Often there are various reasons the couple may choose to have a ceremony but not be legally married.

You can sneak a peek at my wedding ceremony template that brides and grooms can change, edit and have it however they choose. I guarantee that your ceremony will represent your values and beliefs because you always have the last word on what is said in your wedding ceremony. I promise! I also encourage couples to write some of their own vows. Click here!

BONUS Articles: Interviewing a Wedding Officiant? – Bring Lots of Questions!
No Thanks! A Family Friend Will Perform Our Wedding Ceremony
Religion vs. Spirituality

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, September 22, 2014

Being a Maid of Honor is More Than Fluffing the Train!

Filed under: Maid/Matron of Honor,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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If you have been honored by being chosen to be the Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor at your friends wedding it’s important for you to know that you were chosen because of your energetic, get-the-ball-in-motion and get-the-job-done qualities, to say nothing of your close friendship with the bride. You were also chosen because you are a good listener – especially to the wants and needs of the bride. You will be the VIP of the bridal party. She needs a leader. Someone who will be responsible for your own duties and those of the bridesmaids.

IMPORTANT: A lot is expected of you from the time you are asked to serve and until after the wedding. You and the bride will talk about the wedding almost every day. It’s a big job. You will need to be a constant part of the process. You will be her support system during the bride’s entire engagement. She will ask your opinion and when she does, give it, but never try to control things. Being a bride’s maid or matron of honor is a distinction many women cherish. But it doesn’t come cheap. Make sure that you have the finances, the time and limitless patience.

maidofhonorDUTIESMany bridesmaids are left torn between maintaining a friendship and breaking the bank. There is tremendous pressure for everything to go smoothly. Be familiar with your duties. Study them. Make notes. By knowing your duties and preparing ahead of time, making sure you have plenty of written schedules, checklists, and maps to guide you, you can remain calm and collected. If you are not up to it… politely decline the position and offer to be a bridesmaid instead. It’s okay to say no!

Besides fluffing the train, your duties extend way beyond walking down the aisle, holding the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony, bustling the dress and giving a tear-inducing toast at the reception. It can be a terrific opportunity to help the bride enjoy a enjoyable, stress-free day, creating a happy memory that will last a lifetime.

You will carry breath mints and bobby pins and anything else requested. You will have to stick by the Bride’s side – especially on the big day – like super glue and be willing to do whatever it takes for her to be comfortable and to feel taken care of. You will also be in charge of the clean-up crew including making sure the cards and gifts are delivered per the bride’s instructions.

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Be creative. Get input from the bridesmaids. Think of interesting ways you can be helpful to the bride, however, do only the things you are asked to do, and ask before you do anything she hasn’t requested.

When the bride has help from family members, the groom or lots of bridesmaids who want to pitch in, the maid of honor’s responsibilities could be lessened. If you notice that a bridesmaid is beginning to gossip or complain, talk privately to her and never let it turn into a bigger problem. Remind her that she’s being honored by being named a bridesmaid, and part of that honor is being nice to the other bridesmaids.

“The maid of honor’s role isn’t gender-specific anymore. Honor attendants can be men as well as women, and it isn’t unheard of to have more than one honor attendant sharing the privilege of serving as the bride’s trusted confidante and aide. Actually, this is a great way to split the labor and bestow the honor on more than one trusted friend or relative.” ~ HowStuffWorks.com

And finally, serve with distinction! If other commitments prevent you from giving the Bride the attention she deserves, you may be a better candidate for a Bridesmaid.

BONUS Articles: Serving Her Majesty the Bride: To Be a Maid of Honor… or Not
Maid of Honor Duties
12 Things the Maid of Honor Can’t Forget to Do the Morning of the Wedding
5 Secrets to Being an Awesome Bridesmaid
Q & A – Can I Remove a Bridesmaid from the Wedding Party?

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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Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Conscious Marriage

Filed under: Self-Care,Spirituality,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Susan Piver, Guest Author

There can be a magical quality to the time between deciding to marry and the actual wedding. If you are able to drop beneath the busy-ness of all the planning and arranging and remember why you have chosen to get married, this can be a precious time that may be filled with excitement, possibility and of course, your love for each other.

You are marking the end of one chapter of your life and the beginning of another. Whenever you are able to approach the major transitions in your lives with awareness and intention, you invest the passage with meaning and potency. You each approach marriage with the hope of a deeply satisfying shared life. But you also carry with you the fears and apprehensions of what might go wrong. You have seen too much to be ignorant of the dangers and pitfalls of married life.

ConsciousMarriageBut there is hope and there is help. A good marriage need not be left to chance. You can learn attitudes, skills and practices that can help you deepen and grow in love and satisfaction together, through a lifetime of change. This is the path and practice of conscious marriage.

What does it mean to hold your most intimate relationship – your marriage – as a central part of your spiritual path?

Imagine marriage as a cauldron, a vessel that holds the hearts and souls of you and your beloved… a vessel crafted to withstand fire. The cauldron heats up in the fire of relationship, because there is no hiding in marriage. Your partner will see and receive the best and the worst in you and reflect this back to you, like a mirror reflects back the heat of the sun.

On the spiritual path of marriage you understand this hot fire is like a refinery or alchemical process that helps you see and heal the parts of you that brings suffering to yourself and to those we love. We see how we hold back from life, from truth, from passion. In the fire of intimacy, you encounter places in yourself and in your partner where you may withdraw or lash out in fear, sadness or anger, as well as times when you give everything, stretching beyond your imagined limits to love and to be loved. It is your protective mechanisms, your barriers to love that are purified within the cauldron.

When you understand marriage in this way, as an opportunity to deepen love and wisdom, you can learn to welcome the brilliant intensity of the fire of relationship. And if you dedicate your intention and love to strengthen the vessel of your marriage, it will help to simmer the soup of your shared lives into a deeply nourishing and lasting relationship.

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When others do or say things that upset you, your instinct often is to try to make the other person wrong. In embarking on a conscious marriage, you strive to accept or bow to your partner as you might honor a spiritual teacher. You acknowledge that your partner may well bring you lessons the hard way. You acknowledge that they will see your less enlightened behavior more than others do and that therefore, they are in a better position to reflect this back to you.

Rather than running away, falling apart, or becoming aggressive when things get challenging, you make the agreement to do your best to learn from the difficulties and embrace it as an opportunity for your individual and mutual growth.

As you and your partner approach your wedding, consider discussing what it might mean to be spiritual friends. How can you honor your separateness and your differences, as well as the ways in which you naturally connect? Can you see your partner as existing not only to meet your expectations and fill your needs, but someone on their own path recognizing that you are two unique indivduals with different histories, different gifts, and different dreams?

You support and challenge each other to grow and be the best you can. You give the great gifts of your love and your companionship and the willingness to travel through life together. You can agree to do your best to be skillful and patient in this journey and to do your best to listen beneath awkward or unskillful communication for the jewel of the teaching which may be available. When you are on a spiritual path together, you are choosing to learn not only through the joys and ease of relationship but also through its challenges.

What greater gift can any human being offter to another than the commitment to stay and to keep turning towards one another with an open heart?

Larry’s NOTE: Harville Hendrix, a marriage therapist and American author, describes a conscious marriage as one in which “maximum psychological and spiritual growth is fostered.” It is a marriage created by consciously attempting to become aware of the “emotional baggage” that each partner brings to the relationship; understanding the possible problems that arise from the “clashing together” of each partner’s emotional baggage and then collaborating together to find creative ways of dealing with their own and the other’s baggage.

BONUS Articles: Religion vs. Spirituality
Think Long and Hard…
Everything We Think We Know About Marriage and Divorce is Wrong!!

SusanPiverCopyright 2014 Susan Piver. This article is from Susan’s book. Susan Piver is a Buddhist teacher and the New York Times bestselling author of seven books, including, Joyful Wedding; A Spiritual Path to the Altar. She teaches workshops and speaks all over the world on meditation, spirituality, communication styles, relationships and creativity. In 2011, Piver launched The Open Heart Project, an online meditation community which with nearly 12000 members who practice together and explore ways to bring spiritual values such as kindness, genuineness and fearlessness to everyday life. Visit her Website at SusanPiver.com.

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