Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Four Advantages of a Cupcake Wedding Cake

Filed under: Cupcakes,Wedding Cakes — Larry James @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

Janine Sinclair, Guest Author

Reasons for choosing cupcakes rather than traditional wedding cakes.

cupcakehowsweetcalgaryIf you’re reading this then you are most likely planning your wedding, or perhaps helping a friend plan hers. This is a day that you may have pictured your entire life. However, when you were planning your wedding chances are you never pictured having cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake!

While this may be a newer idea to some, many are finding that it is a very simple and fun option. But why would someone do this, you may ask. Let’s look at four advantages to having a cupcake wedding cake.

First of all, cupcakes are much easier to transport. Consider how most wedding cakes today have many different layers that are boxed separately and then put together at the wedding reception. Or, some bakeries layer the cake all at once and try to transport the entire thing to your wedding. In some cases, cake layers end up melted, dropped, and so on, which would ruin this fun part of the wedding.

Cupcakes however are generally boxed side by side and the boxes are full, leaving little room for the cupcakes to slide and get ruined. Because traditional wedding cakes take a great deal of time to assemble at the reception site, your baker will be charging top dollar for this additional work. Cupcakes, however, do not need to be “assembled.” This is much easier on your pocketbook.

cupcakewiltoncakesThe second advantage is that cupcakes are much, much easier to serve. Some reception halls actually charge money for cutting and serving cake but with a cupcake wedding cake this fee can be avoided. Without worrying about having to make perfect cuts, you can have a friend serve the cupcakes, or even have the guests serve themselves. This not only costs less, but takes the worry out of serving.

The third advantage of a cupcake wedding cake is the option of getting different flavors. With an actual wedding cake you can be very limited in this regard. However, with a cupcake wedding you have so many different options of flavors that it will be sure to match each of your guests own and unique tastes, leaving everyone with a happy and memorable experience.

Do you have to sacrifice beauty for convenience? No. Wedding cupcakes can have all the decorations of traditional wedding cakes. Figurines of the happy couple, bells, doves or hearts; decorations of flowers, fruits, candy, ribbons, jewelry and so on can all be used to decorate cupcakes as beautifully as traditional cakes.

BarnetPhotographyeugenekamcupcakesThe fourth advantage to having a cupcake wedding cake is the final result – the individual serving. Were you ever served a piece of wedding cake with a part of a decoration which you couldn’t identify? With a cupcake wedding cake, each serving is individually decorated. The result? Each guest is served a beautifully decorated piece of cake.

Consider these advantages to having a cupcake wedding cake for your special day. They’re beautiful, elegant, delicious, and appreciated by brides and guests alike!

For lots more photos of cupcakes and wedding cakes, click here!

BONUS Article: Serve Up Cupcakes With a Kick

Cake Credits & Photography Credits: The top cake is by How Sweet, Calgary, Canada. The second cake is by Wilton Cakes, Woodridge, IL. The 3rd cake photo is by Eugene Kam Photography, Honolulu, Hawaii. The 4th photo to the right is by Barnet Photography.

Want cupcakes for your wedding? Let Them Eat Cake Inc. in Phoenix is a great place to start! Call my friend, Barb Gardner at 602 952 5272.

Copyright © 2010 – Janine Sinclair. Janine Sinclair is an experienced writer who writes on the subject of Sydney Wedding Cakes for the Sydney Wedding Cake site. She also writes extensively about wedding invitations.

letsbefriends2

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

Advertisements

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Trash the Dress? You’ve Got to be Kidding!

“Trash the Dress,” also known as “Rock the Frock,” or “Drown the Gown,” is a style of wedding photography that contrasts elegant clothing with an environment in which it is out of place. This unexpected trend has emerged in recent years and it happens after your wedding day. It is generally shot in the style of fashion and glamor photography. It’s a new trend in wedding photo sessions done after the wedding day. It’s not about preservation. It’s about doing something remarkable and having a photo of it to show to your friends.

dresscreekUsually brides decide to have pictures taken on a beach, but other locations include city streets, rooftops, garbage dumps, fields, and abandoned buildings. This has to be one of the most misunderstood trends to come out of America within wedding photography in recent times.

The idea of destroying a wedding dress has been used in Hollywood symbolically since at least October 1998 when Meg Cummings of the show “Sunset Beach” ran into the ocean in her wedding dress after her wedding was badly interrupted.

Some say “Trash the Dress” is your way of showing your commitment to your husband by confirming you are not going to be wearing the dress again.

firedressTrash the Dress or TTD as it’s more often referred to was actually started by John Michael Cooper, a photographer from Las Vegas, whose Website shows some prime examples or really radical “Trash the Dress” shoots – including one shoot where the dress was actually set on fire – don’t show this one to your mothers gals!

You’ve spent a small fortune on your wedding dress. You’ve painstakingly kept it crease and dirt free until the big day, and you may even have had it professionally dry cleaned afterward. But now what are you going to do with it? Some brides say “Trash it”! The alternative is to suffocate it in plastic and throw it in a closet.

So why trash the dress?

trashbeachTo get remarkable images that forever remain ingrained in your mind… and sometimes, your dress may get dirty. It’s a risk that a bride has to be willing to take. But the results are breath-taking!

You can ride on a ferris wheel, run across the desert or even pose lying in the sand on the beach without worrying about scrapes, sand, water damage, hot tub, or even a little dirt, a photo wearing the dress and apron baking cupcakes or something yummy, because the wedding day has already passed.

Perhaps even a photo of paint – a story of sticking together through life’s ups & downs, sometimes called messes. The best part is that it gives brides the freedom to choose new places to take photographs without worrying what will happen to the dress.

If you are a bride who loves drama or who wants to add a little more quirkiness to your memories, you may want to consider booking a “Trash the Dress” photo session with your photographer.

Brides want the unscripted moments captured, but they also want a photographer that can get very creative during a Trash The Dress portrait session. That’s why couples everywhere are donning their wedding finery and not only descending into caves, but plunging into breakers, walking through abandoned amusement parks, wandering through cornfields, wading into forest streams and chasing other wild pursuits in an increasingly popular ritual and edgy extension of wedding photojournalism called “Trash the Dress.”

painttrashSome brides say it changes the dynamic of the day from stuffy and traditional to fun and lighthearted. Plus, it provides a reason for another new tradition.

Trash the Dress Video: Click here and here!

NOTE: The photo of the girl in the creek is by Varia Lebiadzenka, Toronto. The photo on the beach was by award-winning photographers Mike Peyzner and Natasha Valik, Choco Studio, San Francisco Bay Area. The dress on fire is from http://www.bridalwave.tv The dress with paint was by Blue Nalu Photography, Hawaii. The couple with the blow torch was taken by Edwin Tan, Malaysia.

Larry’s Note: Old traditions are hard to break, but bridal couples must be mindful that just because something has been around for a long time, doesn’t mean that fashioning new rituals isn’t perfectly acceptable and perhaps even preferable.

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.

torchthedressSubscribe 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 written by Larry James listed in this Wedding BLOG are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

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

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cash Bars at Weddings: Tacky or Thrifty?

Filed under: Cocktail Hour,Receptions,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

Cori Russell, Guest Author

Savvy couples are looking for any way to cut wedding costs – and rightfully so. Shelling out nearly $30,000 to host a party in these tough economic times just feels frivolous and wasteful. Sorry brides and grooms, a cash bar is never an acceptable money-saving solution.

Think about it this way: would you ever charge your pals three dollars every time they grabbed another beer at your Superbowl party? People at your wedding reception are still your guests, even if the event is not held in your house (like said Superbowl party), so they shouldn’t be asked to pay for anything while there. Also keep in mind that, unlike the Superbowl party, many guests will have likely traveled and paid for a hotel room – not to mention a wedding gift – in order to attend your wedding.

signature cocktailWhile the wedding ceremony is all about you, the wedding reception is about thanking your guests for celebrating in your nuptials.

Some couples think providing non-alcoholic beverages gratis while charging guests who wish to upgrade to an alcoholic beverage is perfectly acceptable, but here’s another analogy: Imagine serving all of your wedding guests free soup for dinner at your reception. Now imagine offering optional lobster tail, but forcing those who wish to eat lobster instead of soup to shell out $30 for their meal. Surely you can see why this shouldn’t be done.

You should never offer anything that you can’t afford at a party you’re hosting – and then expect your guest to purchase it.

If a four or five-hour open bar is not within your budget, there are plenty of less-costly alternatives that won’t offend your guests:

• Offer beer, wine, and soft drinks only.

• Offer a full bar for cocktail hour, then switch to beer and wine.

• Decide on one type of drink to serve – either a specialty cocktail, champagne, or one type of beer or wine. Most venues will charge significantly less to serve only one type of alcoholic beverage.

• Choose a wedding venue that allows you to bring in your own alcohol. Believe it or not – there are plenty of venues that do not have liquor licenses and will allow couples to bring in their own. Anything unopened can be returned for a full refund after the wedding. You may need to get a little more creative with your venue with this option and choose a mansion, museum, or a facility who’s main business is not generated from weddings and special events.

• Cut back on other wedding expenses. Lose the expensive designer wedding dress and shoes, do your own hair and makeup, consider less costly alternatives to floral arrangements, drive your own car rather than renting a limo.

Cutting some of these expenses will free up enough of your budget to serve your guests properly. We’ve seen too many brides waltzing down the aisle in a Vera Wang gown carrying a bouquet of imported orchids with newly manicured nails – all while her guests are hitting up the ATM in the back so they can enjoy a glass of wine with dinner.

• Invite less people to your wedding. This is the most effective way to cut wedding costs across the board. The significant savings you’ll experience with a smaller guest list will allow you to treat those who you do invite with courtesy and respect.


Copyright © 2010 – Cori Russell. Cori Russell is editor for Elegala.com and Gala Weddings Magazine. Elegala.com is a complete weddings and wedding planning resource with a national directory of wedding venues and services, how-to guides, expert advice, checklists and photo galleries to walk brides and grooms through every step of the planning process. Visit the Elegala.com site map for easy access to everything you need for your wedding.

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, January 18, 2010

Have a Few S-M-I-L-E-S on Me!

Filed under: Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 6:00 am
Tags: ,

upset

vowsoncomputerWeddingSuit

oppsforpoorer

gameoversoapopera

doyoupromiseboygirlfriendweddingdressjoggerbusinesssign

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 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, January 14, 2010

Rambling Ron, Rita and the “Toasted” Toaster

Filed under: Toasts,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

There is no specific rule on how long you must speak while delivering a wedding toast, however, there should be.

WED-ToastedTosterWedding receptions are long enough without you giving a twenty-five minute speech on why the bride and groom make a great couple. Toasting at a wedding is both an honor and a responsibility. A toast is supposed to be a mini-speech and should have an opening, body and hasty conclusion. Remember, it’s a toast, not a roast. Be gentle.

While attending a reception at a recent wedding, after everyone was seated the father of the Bride was asked to give a toast. He went on and on and spoke for nearly fifteen minutes. The father of the Groom was next. His toast was about the same. Then the mother of the Groom took over with another 10 minutes. Next, the maid of honor, then the best man. To top it off a guy came forward with a ukulele and sang and played and hummed and played and sung some more for another 8 or 9 minutes.

The guests were getting restless. Many were disappearing to run the newly married’s bar tab up (some already finished their champagne) and others began talking among themselves totally ignoring what was going on behind the microphone. Yes, I know that was rude, and so was the lack of “toast coaching” and disregard for the feelings of the guests who were getting very hungry. A few of the guests were getting toasted on alcohol.

One guy at my table leaned over and whispered, “I’m thinking the food is getting cold!”

toastingKirsten Lasinski said, “Wedding receptions need to have a comfortable flow from one activity to the next. People want to keep things moving, and there may be more than one toast that needs to be made. Photographers, disc jockeys, and caterers are often paid on an hourly basis, so the bride and groom may have a vested interest in your ability to be brief. Besides, the shorter your toast, the easier it will be for you to remember.”

I would add that the shorter your toast, the more “you” will be remembered for it. After droning on for nearly an hour of toasts (I would call them ego boosters), the DJ finally began releasing tables for the buffet.

HOT TIP: Short and sweet is best! Let your toasters know ahead of time that there is a 2 minute time limit. Most guests will be very forgiving as long as your toast is heartfelt, decent, and relatively short. A TV commercial is only 30 seconds long. Only confident and competent speakers should go longer than two minutes. 1 to 2 minutes maximum is recommended. Smile, introduce yourself and your relationship to the bride and groom, toast quickly and sit down. In other words, Stand Up. Speak Up. Then, very quickly, Shut Up. Save the long, emotional toast for the rehearsal dinner.

Never drink before you toast. Your speech should be spoken, not slurred. When booze talks you are headed for disaster. Liquid courage is not the answer. Alcohol has ruined more wedding toasts than any other factor.

I was attending another reception where the best man was so obviously drunk that he could not read what he had written. The first clue was that he weaved his way to the podium, stumbled, and then proceeded to deliver an incoherent toast. He went on and on, laughing, swaying back and forth and halfway apologizing for not being able to read his toast. It was getting worse by the minute. He was focusing on how difficult marriage is and he made it look like the marriage was doomed to fail. Most of the guests were squirming uncomfortably in their seats. Some began to applaud to encourage him to take a seat. Nothing worked.

drunktoasterAfter about 5 or 6 minutes of watching and hearing him make a total fool of himself, l leaned over and said to the father of the bride who was sitting beside me, “This is embarrassing for the bride and groom. Why don’t you and I go up and escort him off the stage?” We did with very little protest from the best man. We took him outside to get some air – the guests applauded – and when what he had done finally hit him, be began to cry and wanted to go back inside and apologize to everyone. Not a chance!

HOT TIP: Schedule the toasting early so there isn’t enough time for anyone to get truly intoxicated. You should instruct your emcee (typically the DJ or band leader) that soon as they hear any crude remarks, sex talk or drunken rhetoric, that should be a signal to interrupt the speaker or cut the microphone entirely, depending on the extremity of the comment and introduce someone else or get the music going.

If you have a relative or close friend who is not as excited about the two of you being together, don’t ask him or her to give a toast at the reception. If they ask to give one anyway, graciously decline.

Have the DJ make an announcement that requests and gets the guests’ attention before the first toast begins. Instruct the toaster that they shouldn’t begin talking until the crowd has simmered down.

If you’re the toaster, remember to speak loudly and clearly, even if you’re nervous. And for goodness sake hold the microphone at least several inches in front of your mouth not at your waist.

For the string of toasts at the reception dinner, either appoint an emcee or have your DJ provide banter and ensure that no one goes on forever. Make sure he knows that it’s okay to shut someone down – politely, of course – if someone decides to make it a 15 minute speech. It might also be nice to have him announce a 2 minute time limit for each toast.

HOT TIP: Here is one rule to be sure you know. After the toast, the bride and groom, should “never” take a drink to toast themselves. This is construed by etiquette mavens as patting yourself on the back. Instead, they should stand and respond with thanks or by offering another toast.

Read, “Tips on Giving a Wedding Toast.”

NOTE: By the way, the names in the title of this article have been changed to protect the guilty! 😉

CiWblue1

Click for Larry’s Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. 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: 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.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and 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.

letsbefriends2

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, January 10, 2010

Perception of a Wedding Disc Jockey: The Myths & The Truth

Tony Laub, Guest Author –

The public’s perception of a Disc Jockey is much different than that of a wedding photographer, caterer or any other wedding vendor.

Dispelling the myth of a Disc Jockey takes some effort.

Common beliefs:

• Disc Jockey only plays music
• Disc Jockey is an entry-level job, so no experience is necessary.
• Disc Jockey job is fun. If it’s fun, it shouldn’t be paid for.
• Disc Jockey job is easy. If it’s easy it should be paid for.
• Disc Jockey doesn’t really deserve any respect, he/she is not really that important.
• Disc Jockey should never cost more than $500 to $600.
• Disc Jockey only works on the weekend as a hobby.
• Disc Jockey is not a profession.
• It is not that important where the Disc Jockey sets up.

All Disc Jockeys are not the same. The differences lie in the services and experience.

Party Disc Jockey vs. Wedding Disc Jockey

Party Disc Jockey

• Limited music knowledge
• Rarely speaks on the microphone
• Talks more about their equipment
• Might do a friend’s wedding and instantly “Knight” themselves a “Wedding Disc Jockey”

Wedding Disc Jockey

• Entertainer
• Vast Music knowledge
• Commanding presence on the microphone
• Crowd/Guest Motivator
• Master Of Ceremonies
• Reception/Event Planner
• On-Site Coordinator
• Referral Services
• Music programmer
• Director of Ceremony music and procession
• Director of Grand Entrance, Wedding Toast/Speeches, Specialty Dances and Reception/Events

There is a reason why a budget price Disc Jockey is a low price Disc Jockey. If they “could” demand a higher price for the quality of their show, they would!

An Entertainment/Disc Jockey is a “Talent-Based” service… not a commodity.

You will pay more for a Disc Jockey that is “Owner/Operator” because you are getting a premium performer.

If our services were the same as every other Disc Jockey, then you would be looking for the lowest price. “Sound-Pro Entertainment” bases our price on the value we provide to you, not on anyone’s preconceived idea of what a wedding Disc Jockey should be. “A fair price is always equal to the services rendered.”

Professional Wedding Disc Jockeys Don’t Disclose Price Over The Phone!

When I get a an inquiry on the phone or email, the first thing out of a bride’s mouth is, “How much do you charge?”

That’s understandable. A bride may not know the difference between a Disc Jockey, photgrapher or a wedding cake baker, especially when it comes to planning a wedding.

A Wedding Disc Jockey is different than most wedding vendors because what we sell is talent. And you can’t show a package of talent to a bride.

If a “Wedding Disc Jockey” (and I use the term loosely) advertises prices on their website or freely gives out prices over the phone, that can only mean one thing.

They are “cookie cutting” their weddings, which means, they aren’t customizing each wedding. Each wedding will be the same as the one before, which means your wedding will be just like last weeks and the week before. I suppose if you don’t care much about personalized service then the standard run-of-the-mill wedding reception is perfect for you.

Most brides I meet don’t subscribe to that thinking.

Most brides take pride in their wedding day and DO want a personalized, custom wedding that represents their personality.

What makes a great wedding Disc Jockey/Entertainer? The services they provide and the time they take to meet with you.

tonylaubCopyright 2010 – Tony Laub. Tony Laub is a native of Arizona and has been in the entertainment business since 1981. He is an experienced Disc Jockey & Emcee in the arena of wedding ceremonies & receptions, fashion shows, corporate events, & private parties. – www.SoundProEntertainment.com

Special Note: If you want a PRO, hire Tony Laub. I’ve worked with Tony Laub many times and he delivers a professional, quality show from beginning to end. Tony is a DJ & Wedding Entertainment Director. He is the owner of Sound Pro Entertainment. – 5 Stars from Larry James!

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, January 6, 2010

Serving Her Majesty the Bride: To Be a Maid of Honor. . . or Not

While it is an honor for a bride to ask you to be the Maid (or Matron) of Honor, you would be wise to consider the many awesome responsibilities that go with this honor. Some brides will automatically think of their very best friend for this privilege. Perhaps a better reason would be to choose the person who is willing to do all the things that are necessary to cater to the Bride’s every whim, serving with distinction.

As Maid of Honor the Bride’s chief attendant and personal confidante – you have to keep things organized and under control as well as being her “crisis counselor.” Maids of Honor are chosen for their emotional stability and composure. You will offer moral support and assist with virtually every aspect of the pre-wedding planning all the way to the end of the wedding. Part of your job is to make the entire process as stress-free as possible.

You will be expected to give her your full attention on the day of the wedding and be ready to handle anything that comes up.

servingthebrideOnce you have been asked to serve, have a meeting with the Bride and ask her to define what she expects from you. The key is to “ask.” Be clear about what she expects and be honest with her if you do not think you can live up to her expectations. When necessary, step in and take control of any stressful situations. Anticipate any needs the Bride may have and take care of them in a positive manner.

Once you accept the honor, try not to ask too many questions unless it is about something very important. This only adds to her frustration level. The Bride is counting you to take care of pretty much everything. Be a shoulder she can lean on when things become to overwhelming to bear. This can take a lot of time, energy and requires lots of preparation. Be cool, but never outshine the Bride.

You will act as a liaison between the Bride and the Bridesmaids from the beginning through the reception. You need to set the tone among the women in the bridal party. Prep the Bridesmaids and make sure they know their duties and show up “on time” for the rehearsal. Think of yourself as a coach. You are in charge of the Bridesmaids and with their cooperation the wedding will run more smoothly.

Bring tissues, extra makeup, pantyhose, nail polish, breath mints and anything else that she might need the day of the wedding. Put together an “Emergency Checklist” to make sure to avoid any crisis that might come up. Prepare a “beauty bag” (emergency pouch) to bring with you on the big day. Hold her flowers, straighten her veil and train before, during and after the wedding and especially during the wedding pictures.

One of the most important traditions of a Maid or Matron of Honor is to give the Bride a Toast at the reception. The best toasts include funny stories growing up with sentimental friendship and love. Don’t get too wordy. Keep it short and interesting. Offer a few words of advice to both the bride and groom and best wishes you have for the newlyweds (e.g., success, happiness, many babies). If you are a person who does not like to speak in front of others, make sure to rehearse and bring a hard copy of your wedding toast.

Tips for the Toast

• Have note cards handy! Write down what you will say.
• Take a deep breath before you start. You can’t go wrong with full lungs. It will even make your figure look better.
• Stand up.
• Use a microphone if given one. <IMPORTANT: Hold the microphone around the middle and keep it a few inches from your lips and an inch or so lower than your mouth. Try not to let it fall because no one will be able to hear you. Try not to hold it too close to your lips or you will get a popping sound when you say your P's.
• Don't drink to much before your speech. Tranquilizers aren't a good idea either. They will leave you with an inability to react to the situation.
• Click here for more toast tips!

Here are a few Wedding Toast ideas that may be helpful to you when writing your speech

• Stories of what the bride used to share with you about the groom when she first met him.
• Funny story while growing up
• How you and the bride met and how long you both have known each other
• Most "appropriately" embarrassing moment you shared with the bride
• How beautiful the bride and groom look together
• Talk about a funny habit of the bride that the groom will have to live with
• A spiritual statement (if the bride and groom are spiritual people)
• Words of advice to both the bride and groom
• Wishes you have for the newlyweds (e.g., success, happiness, many babies)

The Maid of Honor's duties may be as many or as varied as the bride may wish to impose upon her, but typically, the Maid of Honor is responsible for:

Pre-Wedding

• Traveling with the bride to help choose a wedding venue
• Helping to choose and address wedding invitations
• Going with the bride to help with the shopping for her wedding dress as well as the bridesmaid dresses
• Going with the bride to register for her wedding gifts
• Helping the bride with the seating arrangements
• She will be hosting and planning the bridal shower as well as the bachelorette party
• Maintaining communication and organization with the other bridesmaids
• She will be attending and assisting during the rehearsal dinner

Wedding day

• Assisting the bride with her dress and makeup
• Being the messenger if the bride wants to communicate sight unseen with the family or groom
• Visiting the reception room to check on the details
• Helping to make sure the bride has privacy before the ceremony if desired
• Signing of the marriage license after the ceremony (if requested)
• Helping the bride with her veil and train before, during and after the ceremony
• Holding the bride's bouquet during the ceremony as required
• Holding the groom's wedding ring to hand to the bride during the ceremony
• Making a toast and/or speech during the reception
• Securing any money as might be given to the wedding couple during the reception
• Providing emotional support as needed

What are the duties of a Maid of Honor? We went to the ultimate source to find a comprehensive answer for you. Emily's Post's Wedding Etiquette lists the following responsibilities for the Maid of Honor:

• Help the bride choose the bridesmaids' attire
• Help address invitations and place cards
• Attend as many prenuptial events as possible
• Organizes bridesmaids' gift to the bride; usually gives an individual gift to the couple as well
• Makes sure that all the bridesmaids, the flower girl and ring bearer are at fittings, the rehearsal, and the ceremony on time
• Is expected to attend the rehearsal and is included at the rehearsal dinner
• Takes part in the processional and recessional
• Hold the ring, which the bride will present to the groom
• Helps maintain the brides gown before, during, and after the ceremony. This includes helping her change out of it if she plans to change into going-away clothing
• Ensures that the bridal gown and accessories are well cared for after the wedding and until the bride is able to have them attended to
• Arranges the bride's veil and train for the processional, recessional and photography
• During the ceremony the maid of honor holds the bride's bouquet
• She is a witness to the signing of the marriage certificate
• If a receiving line is used, the Maid of Honor usually stands in it
• Is responsible for making sure the bride adheres to the schedule
• The maid of the honor is expected to pay for her own wedding attire and transportation to the wedding

While the maid of honor isn't required to host the bridal shower, Emily Post notes that the family of the bride is not to do it. This generally leaves the attendants (of which the maid of honor is the head attendant) to throw the shower. It is suggested that the maid of honor co-host the bridal shower. The maid of honor hosts most bachelorette parties.

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.

Larry’s Note: Photo by Jen Huang Photography

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2010 – 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.

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, January 2, 2010

Size Does NOT Matter. . . or Does it?

Choosing your engagement and wedding rings can be a very exciting time in your life. It is not just a piece of jewelry but it is a symbol of commitment, love and promise that you will wear for a very long time. You’ll want to show off your rings to their friends like a trophy.

Remember – It’s all about the bling! Get the rock right, and you’ve got a family heirloom.

Some couples choose to have a personal message engraved on the inner part of their rings as a perpetual reminder of their love.

Tradition holds that the man buys the ring for his bride and the bride for her groom.

A diamond engagement ring is an everlasting symbol of commitment. It is a token of love; a pledge and a promise to be together forever.

weddingringsThe wedding ring ideally should compliment the engagement ring; a ring that looks like it was always meant to be with your engagement ring. Purchasing your engagement ring and your wedding ring at the same time may solve this problem. You’ll save almost half if you buy a coordinating set or trio (engagement ring, your wedding band and his wedding band.)

It is never wise to choose a diamond ring based on size alone. Diamonds are typically classified by their carat weight such as ½ carat, ¾ carat, 1 carat, 1 ½ carat and so on. Typically people go with the biggest that they can afford and anything over ¾ carat tends to be quite expensive. Often a larger diamond possesses lesser value than a smaller one of higher clarity.

It is important to do lot of homework on diamonds. Focus on the 4 Cs. Here are some things to consider:

Clarity: Diamond clarity is important. Ideally you want zero inclusions in your diamond. The more it costs, the more inclusions you’ll be willing to live with. Diamond color clarity has a big effect on price. This has to do with being flawless. The closer to flawless it is the more brilliant it is and the more expensive.

Color: Until a stone crosses over to lots of color such as yellow, the more colorless it is the better and more expensive.

Cut: The cut is how the diamond is faceted. Look at all the different cuts and find the one you love.

Carat: Diamonds are measured in carat weight. The bigger ones of course are more expensive.

Shape: Oval, Round, Square, Emerald, Princess, Marquis and Pear are some shapes to consider.

Determine Your Budget – When a guy’s shopping for an engagement ring, salespeople often are pretty sneaky – they make him think that the amount of his love is tied to how much he spends on a ring. Figure out how much you can afford to spend before you step foot in a store or go online. The standard rule is two months salary, however this is also a rule that the diamond industry created. However it’s still a decent place to start, but then figure out your personal budget.

Many couples make the mistake of adjusting their budgets to accommodate the price of the rings. It should be the other way around. Shop for the most attractive and suitable rings that fit comfortably within your budget.

Ask for a stone with more surface area. It won’t sparkle quite as much but it will look bigger. Ask for stones that are slightly less than the next carat (0.8 instead of 1 or 1.9 instead of 2) – the almost indiscernible difference can add up to big savings.

What size diamond ring should I buy? What is an good diamond ring carat size? Platinum or gold? The choices are endless. This is the weight of the loose diamond, one carat = 200 mg. Ask for the exact carat weight. You don’t want to hear “It’s about a carat”. It’s either 1.0 carat, or it’s not.
The American Gem Society (AGS) says diamond cut is so important to the value of diamonds that it can affect it by 25% to 50%. Most grooms buy a round brilliant diamond cut. There is also the emerald cut diamond, the asscher cut diamond, the marquise diamond looks like football or egg, then there’s the ideal cut diamond, a form of round diamond, and the brilliant cut diamond. The princess cut diamond ring is another popular cut. Which one should you get? That’s up to you.

Beware of jewelers pushing larger rings at higher prices. Make sure you personally inspect the diamond under a gemscope to ensure there are only slight inclusions.

Is it real or is it Synthetic Moissanite? Synthetic Moissanite diamonds (silicon carbide) gained widespread use in 1999. These fake diamonds are so good that standard diamond jeweler thermal conduction testers cannot detect them. Moissanite rings sell for nearly as much as real loose diamonds, further confusing diamond engagement ring buyers, so be sure to ask the question.

Of course, simple gold bands are the least expensive. They can run from $125 to $400 (or more) each. They are also classic and elegant. If you want white metal, opt for white gold. Platinum is almost double the price.

If you really want something more make a plan. Start saving now and decide to upgrade your wedding rings on your fifth anniversary or tenth anniversary. Maybe you could plan to have Larry James renew your vows then too!

Do not buy a diamond without an independent diamond-grading report from the GIA or the American Gem Society. It should include the 4 c’s of color, cut, clarity and carat, as well as the shape and size. Remember to get the ring insured.

Shopping online may save you money, but make sure you pick a secure site with great customer service. Check with the Better Business Bureau before you buy.

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 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

Blog at WordPress.com.