Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

PLEASE Be on Time! (for your own wedding!)

Filed under: Wedding Disasters,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 6:00 am
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This is a TRUE Story!

On occasion something will happen that causes a wedding to start a few minutes late. Sometimes it’s unavoidable. That’s understandable and can be forgiven.

lateBut NOT 1 hour and 50 minutes late!! This was not fashionably late. This was just plain RUDE and inconsiderate to the guests and especially the groom!

Recently I booked a last-minute wedding with a bride and groom. Every day that she asked for was already booked, so she finally asked me when it was convenient for me. I gave her the only time I had available on the weekend she wanted and we booked the wedding.

The wedding was scheduled for noon on a Sunday. I told her that I had another appointment at 2:30 p.m. that same day so we would need to begin the ceremony on time. She was agreeable.

Since I always arrive at the ceremony site at least 30 minutes before the ceremony start time, I arrived at 11:30 a.m., in spite of several detours and backtracking I had to do because of unexpected road construction. I was on time.

Others in the wedding party including the groom arrived to help set things up at 10:00 a.m. They were on time.

Guests began arriving at about 11:15 to 11:45 a.m. They were on time.

At 11:55 a.m., I spoke briefly with the groom and he said he just found out that the bride would be arriving about 15 minutes late. 15 minutes. . . no problem.

At 12:10 p.m. No bride.

At 12:25 p.m. No bride.

This was a problem! I reminded the groom that I had another engagement at 2:30 p.m. about 35 minutes away from the wedding site. He called the bride and was told that she was getting her hair done and it would be about another 20 minutes.

At 1:05 p.m. No bride. In the meantime, the groom told the catering company to open the bar. Great idea.

Several guests left, choosing to miss the ceremony, rather than be late for things they had on their schedule for the afternoon.

At 1:35 p.m. No bride. The guests were getting restless. The groom asked the catering company to begin serving hor d’ourves. Another great idea.

I asked the groom to call again and tell her that I had to leave in 30 minutes and the ceremony was about 25 minutes so we really needed to get started. The groom and I agreed to cut about 5 minutes from the ceremony.

Your tolerance of a situation is the same as your endorsement of that situation. If you aren’t willing to speak up or step up, then you must be okay with it. Think about this when people are rude or give bad service or mistreat you or others. – Larry Winget

At 1:50 p.m. the bride and her 2 bridesmaids showed up as if nothing had happened. I felt embarrassed for the groom.

I smiled as I performed my “romantic” ceremony as if the wedding was right on schedule.

Okay. . . so here’s the deal. Even if you plan a last-minute wedding with only about 2 1/2 weeks to book the vendors and get everything ready for your big day. . . at least be on time for your own wedding!

The bride seemed completely clueless as to her punctuality issue, or did she just not care? These types of people tend to constantly be flustered or stressed out with their lives. There is virtue in being prompt.

Suggestion: Hire a wedding consultant to do what must be done to make it go smoothly. Money well spent! (Note: Dream about what you would like, but let a trained professional from Association of Bridal Consultants help your wedding dreams come true – and also on time and under budget!)

Give the Disc Jockey the music list ahead of time. . . not the evening before the wedding. Their DJ was frustrated too. He had to keep the music going while everyone waited for the bride to show up.

Rude. Inconsiderate. Selfish. Thoughtless. Disrespectful. Arrogant. Those are just a few words that come to mind in situations like this. Being late tells others that you do not value their time, and that other things are more important to you than them. Being late can be a symptom of mild or even more serious psychological problems. I realize that this is “her” day but being late for your own wedding is flat out rude and disrespectful to everyone, especially to those who arrived on time. It’s simply that some people no longer even pretend that they think your time is as important as theirs. And technology makes it worse. It seems texting or e-mailing that you are going to be late somehow means you are no longer late. Rubbish. You are rude. And inconsiderate. (I know. Why don’t you tell us how you really feel”).

Blaming the hairdresser and poor lighting in the brides room is no excuse. Think ahead. Begin getting ready earlier than you normally would for a dinner date with your sweetie. Blaming others is a serious emotional disorder everyone can live without. The bride was the only one who showed up late. If this “chronic” issue is not addressed it could – and most likely will – eventually cause problems in the relationship.

“In the realm of social psychology and psychodynamics, when we discuss chronic lateness, we typically do so in reference to passive-aggression and control. An individual who is passive-aggressive is, by definition, arrogant… and arrogance is bred, not by a sense of personal power, but, rather, through fear and insecurity.

The chronically tardy, in large measure, have a perception that others do not feel them to be important, so they operate in a way so as to impose themselves on a situation – exerting control to feel in control – while in reality they are silently validating their own sense of unworthiness, whether consciously or unconsciously.” – Michael J. Formica

It is very important for a person dealing with chronic tardiness to work with a psychiatrist, therapist or coach to determine if the person is unknowingly provoking the problem. If the person is unknowingly tempting tardiness, a psychological dysfunction most likely exists behind that behavior and requires some form of treatment.

The rumor during the pre-wedding chatter among the guests was that she was having medical issues and was on medication. Okay. I can understand that, AND this is your wedding day! Do what you need to do – knowing what you know about your own medical condition – and plan far in advance. Ask a friend to keep you on schedule. Do whatever it takes to be on time!

Perhaps someone was thoughtful enough to have wrapped an alarm clock and left it on the gift table. They had enough time to go get one while waiting on the bride! 😉

smileyclockIf you’re bearing the brunt of someone’s chronic lateness, visit www.NeverBeLateAgain.com, which lets you send a free, anonymous citation from the “National Department of Punctuality and Attendance,” by e-mail, urging offenders to get their act together.

Note: Okay. . . I feel better now! 😉

BONUS Article: No, You Are Not ‘Running Late’, You Are Rude and Selfish!

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 (95 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
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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Put on Your Dancing Shoes!

Filed under: First Dance,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 6:00 am
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firstdanceThis tip comes from a bride who’s also a dancer – Melissa Reid – and a wedding professional! Her tip? If you’re worried about painful feet preventing you from dancing the night away at your reception, consider buying dance shoes instead of traditional wedding shoes from a bridal salon.

Dance shoes are made to be comfortable for hours of dancing (remember, they’re designed for professional dancers!) — and, there are styles and designs very similar to what you’d be shopping for anyway.

Best of all, dance shoes are often less expensive than “bridal” shoes!

. . . Or, get real casual. Wear your tennis shoes! 😉

Better yet! Want to be comfortable for the “first dance?” Relieve the pain of heels by getting some reliable and foldable flats. Click here!

Copyright © 2010 – Melissa Reid. Melissa is the Director of Marketing for Luxury Limousines of Sacramento.

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
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bridal Bouquet – What Style is Right for You?

Filed under: Wedding Articles,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 6:00 am
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Sherri Lucero, Guest Author –

Wedding bouquets just like the bride’s gown come in a variety of designs, shapes and sizes, each having it’s own personality. As a bride you need to think of your bouquet as an accessory to your wedding day attire. When visiting with your floral designer be sure to keep your wedding gown’s style, color and embellishments in mind when speaking about the design of your bouquet.

If you have a favorite flower, mention that to your florist, consider bringing along photos clipped from a magazine for design inspiration. If possible, be sure to bring along a photo and fabric swatch of your gown to your first consultation, this will give the florist a clearer picture of your personal style.

bouguet1Classic Hand-Tied Bouquet – This style bouquet is by far one of the most popular types of bridal bouquets. Consisting of either a single flower variety for impact or a grouping of flowers arranged for a more “just picked from the garden” feel, the stems are stripped of all foliage and tied with a ribbon, leaving the stems exposed.

The advantage to this type of bouquet for brides here in Arizona is the extreme heat can quickly ruin the most beautiful bouquet. With the stems exposed your bouquet can be left in a vase of water, keeping your flowers hydrated for as long as possible.

With hand-tieds being the most popular bouquet, if you would like to add a little flair, speak with your florist about adding some interest to your bouquet by adding feathers, crystals, a unique stem wrap, brooch or buckle to your stems as showcased in this head turner created by Tamara at Petal Pushers. Isn’t it gorgeous!

bouguet2Cascade Bouquet – This style bouquet may also be referred to as a waterfall, teardrop or trail bouquet. The flowers are arranged in a hand held base, rounder at the
top and gracefully “spilling” out over the bride’s hands and downward to a point.

Made popular in the 1920’s these bouquets could be quite large! Fortunately, today’s cascade bouquets have taken on a more sophisticated and stylized version.

This cascade bouquet was designed by Jacque Dearing, owner of Endearing Floral Design. Consisting of a variety of colors, the flowers along with that touch of ivy, gave our bride the traditional bouquet she dreamed of.

bouguet3Arm Sheaf or Presentation Bouquet – Typically seen in a more modern styled wedding, this type of bouquet is comprised of long stemmed flowers and is cradled in the arm.

The most popular flower for a presentation bouquet, would be the very elegant Calla Lily as seen here in this beautiful bouquet designed by Shawna & Kevin Reed of Your Event Florist. This bouquet paired with a sheath gown, chandelier earrings and you have an absolutely stunning ensemble!

bouguet4Posy Bouquet – A small, rounded bouquet, that can easily be held in one hand. The posy typically consists of smaller flowers that can be wired or tied tightly together by their stems and then wrapped with a ribbon.

This simple, yet elegant bouquet of Lily of the Valley was created by Artistic Surroundings. If Lily of the Valley is one of your favorites, this is the perfect bouquet style for you. This flower is very fragrant and somewhat on the pricey side. But you know what they say about good things come in small packages!

Although, this style of bouquet is not quite as popular for the bride, it is gaining in popularity for the Mothers of the Bride and Groom, who do not want to wear a corsage.

We’ve only talked about a few of the different styles of wedding bouquets, if you are wanting something different from the norm, ask your floral designer about a beidermeier or a crescent bouquet, if you are having a winter wedding, check into a muff bouquet or for the princess bride ask about a sceptor bouquet.

Whatever your choice, be sure your bridal bouquet not only complements your gown but be sure it reflects your personality.

What style bouquet are you incorporating into your wedding day ensemble?

sherriabclogoCopyright © 2010 – Sherri Lucero. Sherri Lucero is the owner of Planned to Perfection Wedding & Event Planning, serving the greater Phoenix area.

ljspacer

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

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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: Cell: 480-205-3694. 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

Friday, March 19, 2010

Personalize Your Personal Promises (Vows)

Filed under: Add-on Ceremonies,Personal Promises,Wedding Vows — Larry James @ 6:00 am
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Consider writing something very special to read to each other during your wedding ceremony. In my “romantic” ceremony there is a place for you to say something that you would like to express to your partner; they are called, “personal promises.” Some couples I marry say they want to write some of their own vows. What they write to each other are called, “personal promises.” I have written the wedding vows – which couples seldom change – and which are quite different than any others.

This can be a very special part of your wedding ceremony and can have a magical effect on your guests. Your wedding is one of the few times in your life when you can be completely and unashamedly emotional and candid in public. And your guests will love it.

PersonalPromisesThis idea may seem overwhelming. It’s not that tough. It doesn’t take creative brilliance. Start writing early. The only way it may seem that way is if you wait until the last minute to put together the words you would like to say. The minute you lighten up about the process, it will begin to transform from a difficult task on your to-do list to an exciting journey in love and romance.

Sit in silence by yourself and write down all the keywords of your feelings towards your partner. No distractions. Seek a nice, quiet place to reflect and write. Write some romantic phrases that come to mind and perhaps add bits of poetry to highlight love, care, and understanding in your relationship. What special things does your partner need from you? Use your imagination!

Go through and pick out the 4 or 5 points that are most important for you to say. Usually 4 or 5 sentences will work. Short and sweet is good. Don’t overdo it and for the sake of your relationship, don’t make promises you know you cannot keep.

Consider using a line or two from the lyrics of your favorite love song.

Take some time to read through a variety of wedding readings, as well as passages of poetry and famous writings about love. There you may find some special lines that speak to you that you can use when you write your own. Humorous and touching? Poetic and mushy? It’s your call. If you have a world of emotions and feelings that you want to portray in your personal promises but just can’t seem to make it all come together on paper, then share what you are feeling with a friend and ask for their assistance. Your minister has heard hundreds of ways that love has been expressed at weddings so he or she would be a good place to begin.

Another idea is to visit a Hallmark card store. You know the cards I’m talking about; the tall, slim, romantic cards. Find one that says what you would like to say to your partner, buy the card and mix up some of your own words with those in the card and you’re on your way.

Take your time. Don’t rush. This doesn’t need to be done in one setting. Dedicate quality time to preparing what you will say. In the months and weeks before the wedding, jot down your thoughts about the relationship, hopes for the future and the promises you would like to make.

Here is a great tip from the Wedding Channel: “You might be surprised how effectively you can write. It’s the “getting it down on paper” that jams some people up. So don’t sit down to write. Instead, get a tape recorder. Find a private place. Maybe put on some music, but softly, so you don’t obscure your voice on the tape. Then, just speak. Say what you really want to say. Be honest. Don’t worry about the words.

Take your time, talk more than you need to, if that will help. Then replay the tape. Find the phrases or sentences that really work, that communicate your true intent. If something on the tape makes you laugh, cry, smile, it’s a winner. Copy it all down, without worrying about grammar, completeness, or the order of the ideas. You might want to write each phrase on a separate index card. Then begin to determine an order for the cards. You can arrange and rearrange them until you get it just right. Fill in any gaps if needed. Then transcribe it all onto complete pages. Guess what? That’s writing.”

Leave your outline be for awhile. Continue about your day-to-day life, thinking about what you’ve written and elaborating within your own head any new ideas you might like to add. Come back to them when you feel ready. Look at your vows with a fresh pair of eyes and decide where to make edits.

Practice several times by reading what you’ve written “out loud” in front of a mirror. When you feel comfortable with what you have written, re-write the words on an index card and read them to your partner during the ceremony. You’re way less likely to be nervous about remembering them if you know you have an index card backup. Be comfortable enough with the words that you can say them in the most loving way possible.

Your nerves may kick in when the big moment arrives. That’s a good reason to NEVER try to memorize your personal promises. That would be a big mistake. If you are a little nervous, you might forget something or get stuck. Not good. Always read them to your partner.

I repeat. . . always write what you are going to say on an index card. It is a good idea not to tell your partner what you will be saying. Let it be a nice surprise during the ceremony. This is a good place to add a little humor to the ceremony. Your words can be humorous or humorous mixed with some serious promises. Suggestion: Begin with something romantic, then something humorous, and always close with something romantic. It works best if the guests are in on the humor.

You may want to consider writing something together and have the minister either read them for you or read a few words at a time as you repeat a few words at a time to each other.

Make sure your officiant will allow you to write some of your own personal promises. There are certain religions which do not allow tampering with vows and rituals. Catholic and Episcopal congregations, for instance, may require you to recite all or part of the traditional vows.

Here is an example to get your juices flowing: “On this day our two lives become one. The love we have dreamed of and prayed for is ours forever at last. Your sweet love blesses me beyond measure. You are my best friend, you understand me, and you know me like no other knows me. I entrust to you my heart, so filled with love for you. I promise to forever love and care for your heart, never to intentionally break it, never seeking to hurt it, always seeking to love it, for it is precious to me. Today as I give you my life, I want nothing more than to journey down this road together, following whatever path it might lead us on, to be there always for you and with you.”

Some couples I talk with become quite self-conscious when even thinking about writing their own personal promises. Remember, you don’t have to be a creative writer to write what you feel in your heart. Think about your feelings for your partner and your love for each other. Compile your notes, memories and reflections into short and romantic sentences. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to express your love for your partner. Just remember to sneak the words, “I love you” in there someplace. Avoid over-analyzing or second-guessing yourself excessively.

Say what’s in your heart!

BONUS Article: Personal Promises Tutorial
12 Tips to Writing Your Own Wedding Vows

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

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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: Cell: 480-205-3694. 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

Monday, March 15, 2010

Traditional Wedding or NOT!?

Is traditional so not you? Non-traditional is the perfect way to showcase your uniqueness as a couple. Here are a few ways to be creative, have “fun” at your wedding and some ways that happy couples are doing things differently nowadays. Your imagination is the key.

No where is tradition more honored in our culture than the wedding ceremony. The thing about tradition is that it gives you something to go by. It has its own agenda and there is certainly safety in that but that’s not what I am seeing in weddings today. Traditional weddings also come with the traditional stress.

Tradition says that the Best Man and the Maid (or Matron) of Honor usually walk up just before Ring Bearer, Flower girl and the Bride and her escort. If you have 5 or 6 Bridesmaids and Groomsmen on each side, it is often a better idea to have the Best Man and the Maid of Honor walk in after the Minister and the Groom. Why? So that everyone else knows exactly where they are suppose to stand.

The traditional way often has the first two people who walk in off the mark, e.g., too close in or too far out. The spacing between everyone looks staggered or not in line and may show up as loosely organized or bad spacing in the wedding photos.

Wedding vendors say the buzz word in weddings isn’t, “I do” it’s “Hey, why not?” Brides are gobbling up the idea of grazing stations, that offer a kind of exotic honeymoon for the taste buds instead of the traditional $100 a plate sit-down meals.

There are many ways to put your “spin” on your special day. Traditional wedding ideas are everywhere. “Honor and obey, till death do us part” is out! How about “Honor and R-E-S-P-E-C-T?”

Another example might be a non-traditional wedding cakes, e.g., cupcakes for everyone instead of an expensive cake. Do pies instead of a wedding cake. Who doesn’t love pie? One couple served Krispy Kreme donuts. Hey, hey, hey!

If you even choose to have bridesmaids, let them pick out their own dresses. This will not only save them some money, but will also ensure that they pick out a dress that flatters their own body type, style, and possibly be something they could wear again.

weddingticketHere’s a novel idea! For a more casual or romantic wedding, instead of the traditional wedding invitations, how about announcing your special event with a unique, look-a-like concert ticket? They look like the real thing. Customize the tickets to create cool save-the-date announcements too.

Modern brides today often opt for the non-traditional or unconventional way of doing things in their wedding to make it different and interesting for the guests.

Remember that (in Arizona) nothing is truly necessary in a wedding ceremony except the vows for the two of you and the legal pronouncement of marriage by the Officiant.

I think you should gave fun planning your wedding. It would be fun for you and end up begin fun for your guests. Don’t let anyone – including your mother – tell you what you have to do. Stand your ground and be honest and tactful with those around you. Stay true to yourself. Be nice, but if you don’t like their ideas, just say, “No.”

Wear flip flops – or go barefoot – to be comfortable if your wedding dress will cover your feet. Or, if you’re real brave, ask everyone to go barefoot including your Officiant. The photographer will get lots of cute feet photos.

Here’s some “food for thought.” If you’re have a small, intimate back-yard wedding, rent a jukebox and filled it with our own CDs. Order pizza for everyone or have a small potluck wedding.

Instead of expensive table centerpieces, opt for daisies or wildflowers in mason jars or fishbowls with exotic fish and colorful marbles offer live entertainment.

One bride reportedly walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of “God Only Knows What I’d Do Without You” by the Beach Boys. She said the funny thing was that all the guests in the audience sort of hummed or sang along. It created this weird, movie like atmosphere. “Love Me Tender” by Elvis as a processional song and “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen or “Wouldn’t it Be Nice” by the Beach Boys as a recessional song is quite popular at non-traditional weddings.

Hire a High School Band to do the processional.

How about some non-traditional portrait photography? After the wedding, do a “trash the dress” session.

Non-traditional wedding rings are gaining in popularity. Platinum, Palladium, Tungsten, Ceramic, and Titanium wedding rings are some of the choices.

A non-traditional wedding is not about cutting corners or saving money. . . it is about getting creative and having some fun at your wedding.

Non-traditional weddings afford you an opportunity to put your brand on the day, so relax and let your creativity shine through. If you want non-traditional, you have to start thinking outside of the box. It’s a lot more acceptable these days. Get crafty! Create some new wedding rules. Once you step outside of the box, the sky’s the limit!

Don’t do what is expected of you; do what you want! Create some new, unique and long-lasting memories.

Larry’s Note: Being a non-denominational Wedding OFficiant has allowed me to be a part of many non-traditional weddings and receptions. One Pirate themed wedding I was dressed like a pirate. Another renewal of vows ceremony was performed in a hot air balloon. Some will have a slight touch of tradition, however the weddings that are memorable are the ones where the bride and groom are not afraid to do what they want. 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.

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

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Getting Married? Start at the Beginning!

How do you make a marriage that will last? You must start at the beginning. From the jitters to cold feet, to the burning questions you should ask each other and come to terms with before you walk down the aisle, we have listed some of the most obvious questions for you to consider before you say, “I do!”

“Will you marry me,” is not the only question couples should ask!

Are you really ready to take the plunge? Before getting married, it’s important for a person to determine if they’re really ready for the commitment. Opps! There’s that “C” word again! Are you looking forward to your wedding day? Of course you are, but that is a one day celebration. Marriage is for the rest of your life.

Make sure that all issues and queries are resolved before marriage, so that life after marriage does not get complicated arguing and fighting over trivial issues. A lot of arguments and fights can be averted by sitting down and discussing these issues. Let’s face it. Staying together is challenging.

Every couple marrying today is at risk. First the bad news. More than 200,000 new marriages each year end prior to the couple’s second anniversary. Are you well prepared for marriage? You better be. The truth is that less than a fifth of all marriages in America are preceded by some kind of formal marriage preparation. Far too long, the trend has been to fall in love, marry, and hope for the best.

Discuss these things and never fall into the trap of making assumptions about your partner’s preferences.

Remember: dating shows you the ‘best’ behavior. Don’t count on making changes in him/her down the road.” – Lori & Bob Hollander

First things first. Register for a couples seminar or relationship education classes or for relationship coaching. This will be your most important task when preparing for marriage. The choices you make now – before you wed – will determine the success of your marriage and relationship. Couples should begin by being more responsible when they begin a relationship. Unless you have been well trained and educated in relationships or marriage, you must be realistic in that you may need some guidance before the big day arrives.

It only makes sense to be prepared with skills and education, so that when you experience rough spots in your relationship you are prepared as a couple to weather the storm.

Don’t let the upcoming event and responsibilities stress you and your future mate. Wedding planning alone can play a major part in creating stressful situations, disagreements and grudges. Don’t get caught up in all of this. The most important thing to remember is the two of you need to stick together, compromise when necessary and stay focused on the reasons for it all. Love!

Some family members are sure to be involved in the planning and decisions. Before you get their input make a promise to each other to consider each others family and traditions and to compromise so that no feelings are hurt in the process. However, you must remember the it is “your” wedding, not your family’s wedding. They already had their wedding. This one is yours. You get to say what happens.

First, ignore the myths. Dr. Leslie Parrott of RealRelationships.com says that the number one marriage myth is that a spouse should make us whole. This myth gives engaged couples unrealistic expectations.

In other words, forget the whole Jerry Maguire “you complete me” thing! Both partners in a relationship should work on personal wholeness first, not perfection, to achieve a self-awareness that brings individual satisfaction.

Communication, along with a willingness to grow closer together, is one of the keys to a successful marriage. Unhappy, contentious marriages can lead to health problems in the spouses and life problems in the children.

These questions – ranging from playful to provocative – are designed to get you and your partner talking frankly and communicating effectively “before” you walk down the aisle.

• Why are we getting married? Pregnancy, financial security, loneliness or wanting to get out of the family home are not valid reasons to get married.

• What do we as a couple want out of life?

• What do you think we’ll be doing in thirty or forty years?

• How often do you drink?

• Have you ever hit someone?

• Do you think it is important to be faithful to one another?

• Do you have a criminal record?

• Are you willing to replace the toilet tissue roll?

• Do we like and respect each other’s friends?” I would add this question as well, “Do we like and respect each other AS friends?”

• Do we need a pre-nuptual agreement??

• Should we have a joint checking account or separate accounts or both? Money is the issue that is hardest to talk about, and it’s the one that seems to create the most conflict as a relationship progresses. How much money is there between you? It’s not an appropriate first-date conversation, but if you’re in it for the long haul, finding out each others net worth is only fair.

• Do we want to have children? What religion will we raise our children? Do we share a religion? Do we belong to a church, synagogue, mosque or temple? More than one? If not, would our relationship benefit from such an affiliation?

• Does religion play an important part in your life?

• Do you think faith and spirituality are important in a marriage?

• Are you comfortable discussing your sexual likes and dislikes? Be specific with each other and discuss what you can and cannot tolerate, and be clear on what your bottom-line expectations are around sex.

• Do you think we have problems in our relationship that we need to deal with before our wedding?

• Are we both willing to work on our communication skills and to share intimately with each other?

• How are we going to divide up the household chores?

“Always date for one year before you make a proposal before marriage,” says Louanne Cole Weston, PhD, a marriage and family therapist. “You need to see how the other person behaves 365 days of the year – birthdays, deaths, Thanksgiving, etc. You learn how they treat these events and treat you before, during, and after they occur. Give relationship a full four seasons before you think about marriage.”

I know. It’s old fashion, however a long engagement can help you adjust to the good, bad and the ugly before you take the plunge.

Taking the time to understand marriage issues is like investing in an insurance policy against divorce. Although married life will always have its difficulties, you will steadily and dramatically improve your relationship by mastering some relationship skills.

Many couples wrongly blame in-laws, money and sex for break-ups and marital dissatisfaction. However, the hot points in marriage usually result from poor communication, gender issues, sex, in-laws, and lack of spiritual health, just to name a few.

The human expectation is that love remains the same. It doesn’t. It won’t. It can’t. Things change. Time together changes things. You may want to have an agreement to occasionally review some of these questions to be sure you are both still on track.

When you ask sensitive relationship questions, give your partner time to process what they are feeling. Listen without finishing their sentences, judging, or attempting to interpret what you think they’re trying to say. Express your love and appreciation with sincerity and passion – say “I love you” every day. Magnify the intense sensation of pleasure by looking deeply into your partner’s eyes, and say it again! – Steven Connor

Need more questions? Read, “276 Questions to Ask Before You Marry.”

Relationship coaching and some serious one-on-one time with your spouse-to-be are both smart choices; sifting through your thoughts and concerns is the only way to make it to the altar in one piece. But if still doesn’t feel right, calling it off can be the right decision, even if it’s last-minute.

Dr. Gail Saltz and Dr. Drew Pinsky talk with TODAY host Matt Lauer about questions couples should or shouldn’t consider before getting married. To view the video, click here.

I believe it is better to ask too many questions as opposed to not enough.

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
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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tips for Wedding Guests: How to Avoid Embarrassing Faux Pas

While advice and how-tos for Brides and Grooms are plentiful, many guests are still left with lingering questions about wedding day etiquette (often called wediquette).

It is an honor to be included in a couple’s special day – and it’s usually a ton of fun – there are a few guidelines wedding guests should be aware of. Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts plus a few additional tips to help guests avoid embarrassing faux pas and ensure a day of celebration for all.

First the Dos!

rsvpDO RSVP promptly. Notify the couple as soon as possible. A speedy reply is always welcome and will assist the couple in making definite plans. Follow the instructions on the RSVP card to indicate your intentions.

If you cannot attend, a quick, “with regrets” response may allow the happy couple enough time to fire off an invitation to a guest they might not otherwise be able to include. If you must cancel after you’ve accepted, do so as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute.

It’s okay to decline an invitation. Write a brief note, including a brief explanation of the conflict. However, when explaining yourself, use good judgment.

We all know stuff happens. However, if you cannot attend because the wedding conflicts with your previously scheduled golf game or trip to the new shopping mall, it might be better to decline without the details.

Never change your mind at the last minute. This kind of inconsistency may seem harmless to you, but it wreaks havoc when you are planning a wedding. Make a decision, however difficult, and stick to it.

If you were unable to attend, call and schedule a dinner date with the Bride and Groom when they return from their honeymoon. Create a very special evening to show your Love and affection. Catch up on the wedding festivities. You’ll definitely see more of the Bride and Groom than you would have at the wedding or the reception.

DO be there in spirit. If you cannot attend, write a toast and fax or e-mail it to a delegated wedding attendant. At the reception, the best man, maid of honor, or sometimes even the Bride and Groom will read your sentiments aloud. Your best wishes are toasted by all and you are forever part of a very special moment.

DO make your hotel and plane reservations early, especially if you receive a “save the date” notice. Often the couple will reserve a block of rooms (especially for the wedding party) at the wedding venue. Be sure to inquire.

DO arrive on time! Get there at least 15 minutes before the ceremony begins. Never arrive late. Take into account extra time for traffic snarls, bad directions and last minute runs to the convenience store. Do a MapQuest for specific directions. Unfamiliar with the location of the venue? Do a trial run.

If you do arrive late, approach with caution! Wait quietly at the back of the room until an appropriate moment.

If the ceremony is underway, the processional may also be in progress and you really don’t want to be strolling down the aisle beside the wedding party. If an usher is available, make your presence known and ask for assistance finding a seat. Never walk down the center aisle after the bridal party!

If the processional is underway, please wait quietly and patiently in an area outside and/or out of the way until the processional has been concluded.

Ideally, there should be someone to direct you as to when you may enter and take a seat. Use a side aisle rather than the center aisle. Always exercise discretion.

Although you may prefer to be seated up front, arriving late greatly diminishes that opportunity so locate a seat quickly and quietly in the back and avoid drawing any attention away from the ceremony that is underway.

If you have arrived after the ceremony is underway at an indoor wedding and cannot find an open entrance, avoid the temptation to knock! You may feel badly that you are missing the ceremony, however, you will only make matters worse by interrupting the ceremony.

guestbookDO sign the guest book, engagement photo, etc. When you enter, some couples will hand rice or bird seed bags, bags with rose petals, etc., for you to toss during the processional. Arrive early enough to be a part of this celebration.

DO have fun! Surrounded by family, friends and well-wishers, the Bride and Groom may not be able to spend more than a few moments with each guest. But having spent so much time on planning their perfect day, knowing that the guests had fun is the icing on the cake. Celebrate Love! The Bride and Groom are your hosts and want you to celebrate with them. Leave your problems at the door and enjoy their hospitality.

DO give a gift. It is customary for wedding guests to give gifts to the Bride and Groom. Even if you can’t attend it is customary to send a gift anyway. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have up to a year to send a gift.

Purchase gifts early, and use the registry. This process is designed to make your life and the lives of the Bride and Groom much easier. Usually these are sent as soon as the invitation is received, rather than brought to the wedding. Gifts should be sent before the wedding. If you do bring the gift, take it to the reception and place it on the gift table. If you have given a shower present or engagement gift, you should still give a wedding gift.

Sending a gift indicates your support and best wishes for the happy couple who are starting their lives together. The benefit of sending a gift ahead of time is that the couple will not have to worry about keeping it safe at the reception or transporting it after.

Some guests may feel that for a second wedding, a gift is not necessary and bring a card instead, particularly if they gave a gift for the first wedding. This choice is left to your discretion, although most etiquette experts disagree with this idea.

It is also appropriate to give a gift of money, or to make a donation to charity in the couple’s names.

Send flowers, a registry gift, a bottle of wine, a journal to take on the honeymoon, a gift certificate to a spa or restaurant or tickets to a great show. Let your imagination be your guide.

Personalize your gift. While registries offer a great way for couples to select the perfect gifts, going the extra mile by adding a personal touch is a wonderful way to show you care. If the couple has registered for china, include a special family recipe with the place setting.

nocellzoneDO remember to turn off your cell phone or pager. It’s the height of rudeness to allow a personal call to interrupt someone’s once-in-a-lifetime, special moment.

DO commemorate the special day. After the wedding, send the Bride and Groom your snapshots. Even though most couples have professional photos, there is something extra special about pictures taken lovingly by friends and family. Personalize the gift by framing the best shot in a beautiful china frame to embellish the couple’s living-room.

DO wait in the receiving line, if there is one. Congratulate the newlywed couple and their parents after the ceremony. Keep your greeting upbeat and brief.

DO remain quiet and attentive during toasts at the reception, and while the couple cuts the wedding cake. If you do not drink alcohol, join in the toast with a glass of water or a soft drink.

DO wait for the Bride and Groom to have their first dance before you hit the dance floor. Then. . . it’s party time! Don’t be shy. Get up, dance and enjoy the evening. The couple will be pleased to see all the guests having a great time.

DO avoid keeping the Bride or Groom engaged in conversation for too long. They have many guests to greet, and a honeymoon suite awaits them. Remember, the Bride and Groom want to see and talk to everybody, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t get to talk with them for long.

DOs & DON’Ts about invitations. Just because you’ve been invited to a wedding does not mean you are obligated to attend. Also keep in mind that just because a friend has talked to you about their wedding, that doesn’t mean that they are inviting you. They may be having a very intimate ceremony, or may only be having close friends.

If you feel that you should have been invited, and are worried about the invitation being lost in the mail, first be patient – it may still be on its way. If you still haven’t received one just before the wedding, you can call and say something like “I just wanted to wish the two of you every happiness on your big day this weekend.” If they’ve invited you, this will be their clue to say “You’re not coming?” or “Didn’t you get your invitation?” Most of all, don’t take it personal if you weren’t invited.

If the invitation is addressed to you, the couple are expecting you to attend the wedding unaccompanied. Don’t bring a date unless your invitation specifically says “+ Guest.” Clearly indicating your guest’s name is important if the couple are to personalize your guest’s place card.

Every effort is usually made to seat you with other unaccompanied individuals and/or acquaintances. As the wedding date approaches, it is not improper to ask the couple if other mutual friends have been invited unaccompanied so that you may arrange to arrive at the wedding with them. This might be an attractive situation for you if you are single, unaccompanied and attending an evening wedding with concerns about not having a “date” for the event.

Couples know that not everyone they invite will be able to attend, and frequently their budget reflects this. If you cannot go to the wedding of a close relative, or a close friend, it would be nice to send them a note saying, “I’m so sorry that I can’t attend your wedding. I would love to be there, but unfortunately I will be out of town. Best wishes for all your happiness.” Most invited guests will also send a gift.

A few DON’Ts. . .

wedchildDON’T bring the children. . . unless the invitation specifically lists your children’s names, or says “The (your last name) family,” then your children are invited. It is never appropriate to ask the couple to let you bring extra people, even your children.

Many couples specifically do not want children at their wedding, or have not budgeted for the cost of having your entire family there. Bring children only if the invitation expressly mentions them.

If the exclusion of your children is such a problem that you can not attend without them, simply send your regrets, stating that family matters prevents you from being able to attend, and leave it at that.

Weddings are formal events and typically not appropriate for small children. No one thinks your child acting up is adorable. If you are allowed to bring children to the wedding or reception, make sure that they are not the center of attention.

This is the Bride’s and Groom’s day and they certainly don’t want their recordings or videos to be filled with children crying or misbehaving. A wedding ceremony and a two-year-old are not compatible.

Don’t take situations such as this personal, instead find a sitter and enjoy yourselves. Perhaps other couples that you know attending the wedding are in the same predicament. Pooling resources together and hiring one sitter for all the children is an option.

Look for a company that specializes in providing interactive entertainment for children during the wedding and the reception. This will allow you and your adult guests to focus on celebrating every precious moment of your special day.

It is inappropriate to bring anyone who was not specifically invited; each additional person is a significant expense, and table seating and catering has been planned for a specific number of guests. Look closely at how the invitation is worded.

DON’T upstage the couple. Dress appropriately for the time of day, the setting and the season. A Saturday afternoon wedding generally means a coat and tie (perhaps with light-colored slacks) and flowing dresses. An evening wedding calls for a suit, or coat and tie with dark slacks.

If the invitation says black tie, men should wear tuxedos and women should wear formal dresses. If you are unsure of the dress code, you’re safer erring on the side of dressing up too much.

Never wear white. White is reserved for the Bride. Don’t be tempted to go more formal than you think the couple will be, and don’t dress to call excessive attention to yourself (e.g. a super short miniskirt or a sequined tie.)

Unless the invitation specifically calls for it, never wear blue jeans, even if the invite says casual. Casual in this case means your best casual, not your weekend down home casual.

DON’T take “flash” pictures during the ceremony. As much as you would love to capture that perfect Kodak moment with a shot of the couple during the ceremony, remember that they may find your camera’s flash to be a distracting or a nuisance. Even if the couple has a professional photographer, snapping away, proper etiquette would indicate that you refrain from photographing the couple during the ceremony.

Do not get in the way! They’re paying a lot for a professional photographer’s expertise and time, so let the Bride and Groom get their money’s worth!

There’s a reason celebrities dislike the paparazzi – they can be very intrusive. It is easy to get carried away on the big day, but try to respect the dignity of the ceremony by refraining from taking distracting flash pictures at solemn moments.

weddingguestsDON’T drink and drive. If you will be drinking, make sure you have a designated driver. While a wedding is a time to enjoy yourself, no one appreciates a drunk guest embarrassing themselves. Drink alcohol in moderation.

Misc. Tips. . .

Tradition dictates that friends and family of the Bride sit on the left and friends and family of the Groom sit on the right as you enter. It’s polite to ask, however with some couples it doesn’t matter. Typically, an usher will lead you to your seat.

If you’ve been invited to a ceremony, you can safely assume that you don’t have to be a member of the faith to attend. You never have to participate in any part that you don’t believe in. Simply sit quietly as others observe their religion. Your primary purpose of being at the wedding is to support the couple’s love and relationship.

If this doesn’t matter to you, do as the others do. This includes standing and sitting along with the crowd. Not only does this take minimal effort, it is also a sign of respect. Exceptions include participation in events that make you uncomfortable, or spiritual practices reserved only for those of a certain religion.

If you have questions about attire, or other logistics of the wedding or protocol, for a quicker response your best bet is to call the best man or maid of honor. They will be more accessible than the Bride or Groom.

Put the happiness of the Bride and Groom above everything and follow these simple DOs and DON’Ts of courtesy and common sense and they will take you a long way on the road to proper etiquette and being a very special wedding guest.

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.

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