Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How to Get the Most From a Bridal Show

Attending a bridal show can be most helpful in planning your wedding. They are exciting, festive and full of terrific ideas. You will be able to meet and ask questions from many wedding professionals all under one roof. You will want to gather information, compare prices and services, register for prizes, see the latest fashions, get great new ideas and just have fun.

Where else but at a bridal show can you preview ceremony and reception locations, peruse photographers’ portfolios, see and hear entertainers and see if your personalities click with a Minister and their ceremony? You will most likely benefit the most from visiting a bridal show that is in your city because the vendors you require will be more accessible.

Here are some tips that will help you get the most from your bridal show experience.

Pre-register before the show. When you register before the show, some shows offer a discount toward the purchase of your ticket. It saves you time at check-in, and often a few bucks.

Research the show ahead of time to see what vendors will be there. Look specifically for the one’s you need. Many vendors offer discounts on their services if you book them at the show. Making a checklist of required services, accessories, the most important elements needed to complete your wedding plans and design questions that will streamline your efforts and help speed things along.

Decide to concentrate on one vendor (Minister/Officiant, floral designer, photographer, deejay, etc.) and do your research ahead of time. At the show, gather info from other vendors too, but spend most of your time talking with the ones whose services you need.

If the bridal show has a wedding fashion show, check the times of the shows when you arrive, so you don’t miss out. Arrive early. Seating is often first come, first serve.

Bring a list of questions to ask. Don’t just rush by booths that have services you still require. Don’t just listen to sales pitches. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. That’s what the vendors are there for. They want to help you and you are under no obligation to buy from them, so find out everything you need to know.

If their product or service is one you need and they are busy talking with someone else, stand close and just listen or wait until you can ask any questions you may have.

It may seem a little overwhelming at the show, but most vendors love to spend time with you and answer your questions. They will talk to you about their products and services in as much detail as you want. However, the shows are very hectic and noisy, so if you find a vendor that you like, it’s best to set up an appointment and meet with them later.

Start a conversation with the people at the booths. Don’t be shy. You will know right away if they are someone you would want to work with in planning for your special day. It is very important that you “click” with the vendors you choose.

Bridal shows are big. Some have more than 400 exhibitors. Come early. Don’t be in a rush. Plan to spend a minimum of 4 or 5 hours in order to see all the exhibits. Take your time. Make a day of it. Don’t hurry!

Walk up one aisle on one side and check out the vendors, then walk down the other side of the same aisle to make sure you do not miss anyone. You may miss the very wedding service you were looking for if you try to wander from side-to-side down the same aisle.

Visit every booth, or at least check them out, even if the exhibitor offers something you’re not interested in right now. You might decide in the future to include their services and you’ll have the information readily available.

Keep your eyes open for ideas to incorporate into your own wedding, such as a type of flower arrangements, color combinations (in photographers’ sample albums, for example), and favors. Also, try to chat with other brides if you can – you may meet someone you could develop a support network with for this sometimes-difficult process of wedding planning!bridalshowbooth

A great idea is to bring a camera. Snap a photo of the Minister you spoke to, a cake that looked especially delicious or take a picture of an exhibit that you want to remember. Use these photos to jog your memory about something that grabbed your attention.

Bring your fiancè with you for at least one trip to the event, and then go again with your Mother, your maid of honor, future mother-in-law or girlfriends. Going twice allows you to really take in everything you need to see.

Do your best to stay together or at least, have cell phones handy so you can arrange to meet at a booth where the vendor is especially of interest. If you are the bride and the groom is somewhere else, if may be difficult to make a choice later about a specific service unless both of you are present to hear the information.

If you are the mother of the bride and are gathering information for the bride and groom, make notes on the business card, brochure or flyer that you think might interest them the most. Bringing a small notebook and pen to make special notes is helpful.

If a vendor gives you information that you especially like and want to follow up with at a later date, put that information in a special bag, not with all the other stuff you may collect. Don’t weigh yourself down with unnecessary items. Bring what you need for the day to keep your shoulder free from bag weight. Leave your purse at home in favor of your own lightweight carrying bag. Some vendors will give you one, however, use your “own” bag to separate vendor information that is of special interest to you and use the vendor bag for everything else.

Another idea is to bring a red pen and mark the vendors information in a special way that will indicate your level of interest, e.g., “Call this one!” Make notes on business cards, the brochure or flyer for easy reference later.

Bring a small notebook and pen. You never know what tips or ideas you’ll discover and want to write down. You will never remember which vendor told you what. It is possible to see 16 photographers, 8 videographers, 10 bakers, 12 Disc Jockey services and several ministers. There’s so much to see that by the time you get home, you may forget.

Bring your PDA or personal planner so you will have your bridal shower, rehearsal, wedding and other important dates handy. It can also be helpful if you choose to make an appointment with one of the vendors. Ask about the exhibitors’ availability if you are interested.

Be sure not to make speedy judgments on whether the information offered might be of interest to you. Take one minute to listen to their offer and if a vendor offers you literature you do not want, don’t take it. Be polite. Just say “No, thank you” and walk on. Vendors appreciate your candor because they spend a lot of money on their wedding flyers, promotional pieces, etc.

Some vendors offer drawings for prizes. Prevent writer’s cramp! Bring address labels to save time in filling out registration blanks. Computer savvy? Make your own labels (or business card) on your computer.

It is helpful to include your name, the grooms name, complete address, your wedding date and location, phone numbers and e-mail address. This is very helpful to the vendor when you request additional information. If you don’t bring labels, print very clearly when registering for anything.

Don’t register for everything! If you know you will not need the service, don’t register otherwise you may be receiving unneeded information from their mailing list for many months to come. You don’t have to give your contact information out to everyone – provide it only to those vendors that make your short list.

Most shows offer a Bride and Groom sticker when you register. Please wear it! It can become confusing for vendors to identify everyone that attends, and if they know you are the bride they are more likely to give you that little bit of extra attention.

Material swatches and ribbons that suggest the colors of your wedding are helpful when speaking with florists, bakers, balloonists, gown shops and other professionals. Know the size of your wedding party, your color scheme, and the location of your reception facility.

Bring your credit card – not your checkbook – in case you want to book any services or give a deposit to hold a date. You will often find discounts that are available only at the show. If you are comfortable with the vendor, by all means, go for it. A word of caution. . . although most vendors are reputable, if a wedding vendor goes out of business before your wedding you can usually get your money back if you use a credit card but you will be out of luck if you pay by check. Proceed with caution and choose wisely. Read the fine print.

If you see one of the vendors you have already hired at a show, ask them for referrals to other reputable vendors you may need. They may have worked with them at previous weddings and can make a valuable referral. Wedding venues often have “preferred vendor” lists available upon request.

Don’t be afraid to tell someone that you already have booked his or her service with another vendor. Take a minute and visit with them anyway. Who knows? You make pick up a tip or suggestion you or your vendor hadn’t considered.

You should always feel comfortable with a vendor’s attitude toward your event. Personality and communication play an important role as well. Chat with the vendor to see if you feel comfortable with their personality, and if they will be easy to work with. Notice which vendors “listen” to your needs and ask what “you” want.

Most vendors respect your decisions and would never push their services on you if you already have another provider. Vendors respect each other. Don’t worry; it takes a lot to hurt our feelings.

Leave the children at home! Hire a baby sitter. You will be glad you did. You will not be able to focus on the wedding vendors if you are struggling with your baby stroller trying to push your way through the crowd and maze of wedding vendor booths.

People often walk fast past booths because they fear the vendor will pounce or be overly aggressive. Some are. If a vendor tries to “pressure” you into booking their services or placing a deposit with them “right now,” keep walking! Do not accept any pushy sales pitch to sign now.

Bring bottled water and a few snacks so you don’t spend most of your time in line at the concession stand (that will also save you a few bucks). This will give your tummy room to enjoy the cake tasting and other catered food samples.

Plan a “rest break” about every hour. Pick up free samples, magazines, sample menus, business cards, brochures, and catalogs to take with you and review them later in the privacy of your own home.

Bring some cash for parking. Sometimes you do have to pay for parking. Don’t be caught unprepared. If you didn’t pre-register for the show, bring cash. Some shows only accept cash at the door.

Wedding shows are not supposed to be stressful or overwhelming. There is so much to see and so many vendors. Taking your time to view each exhibit will help reduce the stress. Remember wedding planning is preferably done over time, not in one day. It’s one decision at a time.

Many of the exhibitors book up rather quickly on choice wedding dates; so don’t wait too long after the show before you decide to call to utilize their services. Generally speaking, there is a rush of appointments and often their calendars fill quickly immediately after a bridal show. The top vendors often find a year’s worth of business booked at the show or within six to eight weeks of the show. Act quickly. Don’t procrastinate or you may end up with your second or third choices.

Remember, you cannot have a wedding without a ceremony! Lots of couples wait until the last minute to book the minister. To be certain that you can book the minister you want on the date and time you want; first, choose your wedding date, second, book the wedding venue, and third, book the minister. Those of us who are busy performing ceremonies often book wedding dates as much as 6 months or more in advance.

When you go in with a plan of action, you most likely will get most of your planning done in one afternoon or at least gather enough information to make an informed decision when reviewing the info at your leisure.

Be sure to dress casual and wear comfortable shoes. Leave your heels at home. You will be doing a lot of walking. Be prepared for sore feet.

Grooms take note! You may want to make arrangements for a foot massage for your future bride or arrange a visit to the hot tub when the day is through.

Have a great time!

BONUS Article: Why You Need To Attend A Bridal Show or Wedding Expo

whitedove2NOTE: The photo of Larry James in his booth is courtesy of Nancy Parks, Photographer – Visit Nancy’s Website at: www.WhiteDoveStudio.com.

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. 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 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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.

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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Friday, September 25, 2009

$$ Saving Wedding Tip

Filed under: $$$ Tips,Budget — Larry James @ 11:00 am
Tags: , ,

Holding your wedding on a day other than a Friday or Saturday can often save you money.

Some halls, caterers, and other wedding service providers will often give you a discount if you hold your wedding on an “off-day”. Ask them about discounts for “off-day” weddings.

If they don’t currently have such a policy, try to negotiate one with them.

Also having your wedding during the less popular months of June through September – the so called Arizona “off season” – can often save you money too.

If your wedding will be in Arizona, March through May and October through December are the busiest wedding months. So call to book your wedding and rehearsal early – six months to a year.

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. 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 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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.

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

Monday, September 21, 2009

Get it in Writing!

Filed under: Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 11:00 am
Tags: , ,

When ordering services for your wedding and reception, make sure you get all the details “in writing!”

No matter how small the detail, make sure it is in your contract or aagreement. There is nothing worse then expecting something to be a certain way and finding out at the last minute that you have to pay extra for it or that it is unavailable on your special day.

It’s just good business.

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. 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 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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.

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

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reception Seating. . .

If the idea of assigning numbered tables at the reception seems impersonal, give the tables names relating to love.

Arrange in alphabetical order to assure that there is still a navigable organization so the guests can find their seats.

Here are a few words of love to consider: Happiness, Serenity, Bliss, Joyful, Amour, Adoration, Tranquility, Harmony, Delight, Heavenly, Enchantment, Cherish, Lovely, Memories, Inspiration, Romance, Forever, Eternity, Unity, Pleasure, Charm, Believe, Dreams, Fortune, Passion, Genuine, Priceless, and Desire.

A thesaurus comes in handy when trying to elaborate on your list!

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. 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 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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.

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

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Get Married in a Tropical Paradise!

Who said your wedding couldn’t be a day at the beach?

If the lure of a tropical paradise with an exotic “resort” feeling sounds good to you; if you desire a romantic, intimate ceremony on the beach with the sounds of the ocean, consider having your wedding ceremony in Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point). Rocky Point is located on the Sea of Cortez in the State of Sonora, Mexico.

beachscene1A wedding ceremony on the beach especially at sunset can be extremely romantic. The blue sky and the sea is the backdrop of your wedding and the sounds of the waves becomes the song to celebrate your special day.

Rocky Point is famous for its clean beaches. Playa Bonita sweeps in a great golden arc from downtown to Oholla Bay and is the main beachfront for the town’s resorts and condos. Its far end, Sandy Beach, has the best stretch of sand and sea.

Los Conchas has many beachfront condos that can be rented (with all the comforts of home) for your wedding and reception. This gated beach community of beautiful, pristine beaches is a peaceful and relaxing seaside destination. Away from the downtown noise and traffic, but a short 5 minute drive to fine restaurants and shopping.

Arizona’s beachfront is just a 4 1/2 to 5 hour drive (about 260 miles) from Phoenix. Beginning January 1, 2008, a valid passport will be required to cross the border into and to return from Mexico by land. Puerto Penasco Airport, about 3 miles from town, is a small local airport catering to light aircraft. A new commercial airport will be opening the first trimester of 2008.

steinmann101Rocky Point experiences only 2 inches of rain a year so a dry wedding ceremony with plenty of sunshine is pretty much guaranteed. During the winter months the days are warm although the nights can get a bit chilly. The sun shines almost year round. For most of the year the days are warm and sunny. The water temperature is often above 80 degrees and there is almost always an ocean breeze to produce pleasant romantic evenings.

It is strongly recommended that you obtain temporary Mexico auto insurance. It is not a requirement, however normal U.S. auto insurance is not valid in Mexico.

There is no need for honeymooners to worry about exchanging their money into pesos; American money is widely accepted throughout Rocky Point. Some businesses accept credit cards and checks, be sure to ask first!

There are many legalities, such as paperwork, blood tests no more than 14 days before wedding date, etc., plus birth certificates apostilized by the Mexican consulate in your home country must be sent preferably 3 months before the wedding. In Mexico, church weddings do not change your marital status. You will need to get married by a Justice of the Peace before your church wedding.y

That all seems so complex – and it is . . . and expensive. So, I will let you in on the secret to my success in performing Rocky Point beach weddings.

A wedding ceremony performed by a United States Minister/Officiant in Mexico is not a legal ceremony. Because of the legalities of Mexico law, to simplify the process of getting married there, a brief legal ceremony with witnesses can be arranged anywhere in the Greater Phoenix area (or Arizona) prior to a ceremony in Mexico. That way your wedding will cost you less, be legal in the U.S., less time consuming and stress-free!

LoveNote. . . “We’ve always dreamed of a beach wedding (in Rocky Point) and, because of you, the day couldn’t have been more perfect. You are a wonderful combination of professionalism mixed with warmth and familiarity. Once we met with you, we had no doubt that you were the person we wanted to marry us. Thank you for being a special part of the beginning of our lifetime together.” – Suzy & Scott Steinmann (pictured above right – photo by Larry James)

More details about Rocky Point. Rocky Point beach weddings need to be books 6 to 8 months in advance. Call Larry James for fees.

Make your beach wedding as formal or as casual as you wish. Shorts and sandals anyone?

Larry James Recommends: The Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort on the Sea of Cortez is a wonderful seaside paradise perfect for world-class beach weddings and is my very favorite Rocky Point resort where I perform my popular “romantic” beach wedding ceremony.

Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort is the only resort in Puerto Peasco with a full gamut of luxury resort services and incredible facilities. You will walk down the aisle (on the pristine beach) and say “I do” as the gorgeous golden sunset and gentle ocean breezes fill your soul with romance and passion. Check out the Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort Website!

beachheart

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. 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 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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.

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

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beverage Selections for a Toast

Imbibe in moderation. Sober receptions are becoming more common, reception staffs and caterers are great resources for ideas on hosting a refreshing, non-alcoholic reception.

cocktailIt’s tradition to raise your glass and toast the newlyweds at the reception. Don’t leave your non-drinkers high and dry. There are a variety of sparkling beverages that make splendid champagne alternatives such as sparkling ciders and juices. Offer a selection of fruit nectars and juices, sparkling cider, punch, sodas or cappuccinos. Toasting with a class of water, tea or coffee doesn’t work and is not proper etiquette.

Try one of these tantalizing cocktails: Ginger Cider Fuzz (a mix of cider, apricot nectar, club soda and ginger) or Sparkling Apple-Grape Punch (a mix of sparkling apple-grape, nectar and chunks of fresh fruit).

Here are some other suggestions: Water (bottled, sparkling, flavored, mineral, etc.), Tea (feel free to experiment with iced teas as well – add berries or garnish with mint leaves. Mint ice tea is soothing for nervous stomachs, while a sip of lavender tea promotes calmness.), Coffee (mochas, lattes, cappuccino, espresso.royrogers2

Finding exotic varieties of coffee is easy these days), Non-alcoholic beers and wines, Juices and/or smoothies (including blended protein drinks or other exotic beverages available at your local health food store), Punch, Soda (including caffeinated and decaffeinated colas, root beers and “un-colas”), Floats (malts, shakes or any other ice-cream drink), Exotic, non-alcoholic drinks (“virgin” cocktails such as pina coladas and bloody marys – don’t forget Shirley Temples and Roy Rogers for the kids).

IMPORTANT: Proper etiquette says that during a toast “to” the Bride and Groom, the couple should NEVER stand, raise their glasses, and drink to themselves. They should thank the toasters or at least smile and graciously nod. They are not obliged to propose a toast in return.

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. 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 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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.

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

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Tips on Giving a Wedding Toast

Filed under: Toasts,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 11:30 am
Tags: , , ,

Giving a wedding toast is a special moment during the rehearsal dinner or wedding reception. Here are a few tips on toasting etiquette.

First things first. When a toast is given to the Bride and Groom they will be seen raising their glasses and drinking to themselves.

WeddingToasts2Wrong!!

Proper etiquette says that during a toast “to” the Bride and Groom, the couple should NEVER stand, raise their glasses, or drink to themselves.

They should thank the toasters or at least smile and graciously nod. They are not obliged to propose a toast in return.

Toasts can be offered with a sip of champagne, wine, a mixed drink or non-alcoholic punch, but never with tea, coffee or water. Don’t leave your non-drinkers high and dry. Read Wedding Tip #13 and Wedding Tip #45 for more non-alcoholic suggestions.

Whatever the beverage chosen, it should be served to the Bride first, then the Groom, then the maid of honor, then parents and lastly the best man.

Sober “toasters” make better toasts! At a wedding several years ago the best man was asked to give a toast but he was so drunk that he couldn’t read what he had written and went on and on. People were clapping to try to get him to be seated but he was oblivious. The father of the bride and I had to physically remove him from the stage and took him outside the reception area. It was not a pretty memory for the bride and groom.

An essential ingredient of any wedding, toasts have several functions. They give some of the principals at the wedding an opportunity to put their feelings into words and to express the collective feelings of everyone there. The toasts are also the first chance to introduce another essential ingredient: humor. And, most importantly, the speeches are a signal for the wedding to progress from the formal to the informal.

Traditionally, the first toast is given by the Best Man. It’s proper for him to thank the parents of the Bride and the parents of the Groom. He should also thank the Groom for choosing him as the Best Man.

A toast should be brief (two to no more than 5 minutes). Never read a lengthy quote or poem, or recount a long-winded story about you and the groom as young chaps. Get a laugh, get sentimental, be gracious, thank some people, but keep it very short and sit down. Speak slowly and loudly enough for all guests to hear. If given a microphone, hold it close to your mouth.

Never do a toast impromptu. Think about it. Preparation is essential. Jot down a few notes and remember you can’t get it wrong, because no one knows what you are going to say. Write your toast and rehearse it. Practice giving the toast several times in front of a mirror. Reciting your toast over and over will help calm your nerves and get you comfortable with the words you’ve chosen.

Don’t ramble on and on and on. If you’re nervous, that’s normal. Please don’t go on and on about how nervous you are, it only calls more attention to what you don’t want! You may feel the need to have a drink or two before your toast to relax you, but don’t let it backfire by consuming too much alcohol before your toast. You may not leave the impression you had hoped for! Because you may be nervous and to avoid a colossal faux pas, like calling the Bride one of the grooms old girlfriends names, it may be wise to write down her name.

Make sure your toast sounds like you. It’s okay to have some fun with the toast, but remember that you should generally wind it up in a sincere manner. The most beautiful sentiment you can express is to discuss what change you’ve seen in the couple since they met. Use your good judgment about which topics “not” to joke about. Joking about college escapades or a former girlfriend just isn’t funny in front of Grandma and Grandpa. Never tell jokes.

glassesWhen you think about adding humor, remember that everyone has a different idea about what is funny and what isn’t. If YOU are not known for your humor… a toast is not the time to start. Keep in mind that you are speaking to a wide demographic and some people will take what you say very seriously. Never share any embarrassing stories. If only a handful of people will understand an inside story, skip it.

Wedding expert, Sharon Naylor, author of the book, Your Special Wedding Toast, says to start by remembering the four basic components of a good toast. It should be:

1. Sentimental
2. Humorous
3. Engaging
4. Brief

Never be afraid to go with your feelings. If you get choked up when you are speaking, don’t worry about it; it’s a real moment. Never apologize for it.

Make sure everyone has their glasses filled, then make a few tink-tink-tinks against a water glass to get everyone’s attention. Raise your glass with your right hand. Be sure that the glass is held straight from the shoulder (that’s traditional).

Speak toward the guests, not to the people being toasted. Turn toward the bride and groom only when you deliver the final line of your toast. Your toast should end with wording which makes it clear to the guests that the end has come. It’s easy to do this with a bit of flair, just bring your voice up a notch in volume, and say, for example, “It is with great pleasure that I say congratulations to (Bride) and (Groom). . . may you share many warm days and many warm nights . . . “everybody raise your glass . . . here’s to (Bride) and (Groom) . . .”

IMPORTANT: (This bears repeating) Proper etiquette says that during a toast “to” the Bride and Groom, the couple should NEVER stand, raise their glasses, or drink to themselves

They should thank the toasters or at least smile and graciously nod. They are not obliged to propose a toast in return.

Here are a few examples you make like to use:

toasts
It is written: When children find true love, parents find true joy. Here’s to your joy and ours, from this day forward.

toasts
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship and your hearts joined forever in love.

toasts
May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies, and quick to make friends.

toasts
May the love you express to each other today, always be the first thoughts during any trying times in the future.

toasts
Here’s to love, laughter and happily ever after. As (Groom) and (Bride) start their new life, let’s toast the new wife and husband!

toasts
To the two secrets to a long-lasting happy marriage: Here’s to good sense of humor and a short memory!

toasts
Never above you. Never below you. Always beside you.

toasts
Happy, healthy marriages begin when we marry the one we love, and they blossom when we love the one we married.

toasts
(A classic toast given by the 19 year old daughter of the bride at one of my weddings. She wrapped things up by ending with this). And may all your ups and downs be between the sheets! 😉

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. 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 445 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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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Throwing Rice is Out. . .

Filed under: Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 11:30 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

That’s true, but not for the reason you might think. Just for the record, some people prefer to use birdseed instead of rice. Contrary to popular belief, it is a myth that if birds eat the rice they will explode or it will hurt them. Not true. Here’s proof!

Some churches and reception centers have rules prohibiting the throwing of confetti or rice. These rules work to keep the property clean. Confetti is notoriously hard to clean up; not even vacuuming a lawn will return the grass to its pristine condition.

Rice can pose a unique danger. Not to birds, though; to people. Scattered on a hard surface (such as the steps of a church, stepping stones, or a dance floor) it puts anyone who walks across that surface at risk of taking a nasty spill. Far better to prohibit rice throwing at a wedding than to end up with an injured guest.

heartConfettiNowadays, brides and grooms have an amazing amount of options that can fit their personality and wedding theme.

Eco-fetti, a product that is water-soluble and completely biodegradable and requires no clean-up is a great option. Ecofetti is also lighter than traditional confetti, giving your friends, family, and photographer ample time to snap some beautiful pictures of the grand finale at your wedding.

On TheKnot.com recently someone suggested giving out paper airplanes to your guests before the ceremony. Have the guests sail paper airplanes “into the air” as the happy couple exits the ceremony area. It’s a great idea as long as guests don’t aim the paper airplanes “at” the Bride and Groom.

What a terrific idea! I like different. How about having the guests write something for the Bride and Groom on the wing of the paper airplane to be collected later and give to the happy couple?

I’ve had several weddings where the guests were given birdseed, sparklers, bubbles (may stain clothing), sunflower seeds, for fall: red and orange leaves, or assorted flower petals (they filled the air with the most wonderful scent) to throw instead of rice. Popcorn is okay but makes a mess and has to be cleaned up because children will often eat it from the ground. At a backyard wedding, the guests were asked to throw wildflower seeds. Noisemakers provide a fun alternative.

Instead of throwing something, streamers that attach to your finger look nice. As the bride and Groom come running out everyone waves the streamers and shouts their congratulations. There is no clean up because people as asked to throw them away in the trash as they proceed to the reception.

Don’t release balloons. It looks awesome, however balloons can travel a long way and wind up in rivers and lakes. Fish and water birds think they are getting a marvelous treat and then may choke on them.

Throwing things at a newly married couple is a very old tradition that may date back to ancient Rome or Egypt or even further back. The custom is intended to give newlyweds good luck, and most of the items thrown at the couple represent fertility and abundance.

Whatever you choose to throw. . . ask your guests to throw it into the air, not “at” the Bride and Groom. Clear all choices with the wedding venue.

In Chillicothe, Ohio it is illegal to throw rice at weddings.

Be green and use bird seed! It’s safer for the environment, cheaper and cleans up on it’s own!

BONUS Article: 10 Alternatives to the Rice Toss – A 10 photo slide show.
Wedding Ceremony Aisle Toss Ideas

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. 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 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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.

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

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