Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Blending of the Sands with a “New” Twist! – The Forever Frame!

frame3The “Blending of the Sands” ceremony (often called the Unity Sand Ceremony) can be a beautiful and meaningful alternative to the ” Unity Candle” ceremony. Like a Unity candle the pouring of two different colored sands together is used to symbolize the joining of the bride and groom or the joining of their families.

The “Blending of the Sands” concept was originally created by Geneene L. Thornton in 1993 and was used primarily for beach weddings in the San Diego area. The problem with the Unity Candle, especially on the beach, is the least puff of wind and the candles usually blow out.

Like a Unity candle, the symbolism for the Blending of the Sands is similar. The pouring of several different colored sands together is used to symbolize the joining of the wife and husband on their wedding day. This ceremony is usually added toward the end of the wedding ceremony.

foreverframelogoThe NEWEST in Blending of the Sand Ceremony vessels for your wedding is the Forever Frame! Their unique, patented design prevents the sand from mixing to ensure lasting memories. Use our frame to keep your memories flawless… forever.

• Sealed sand chamber prevents sand from escaping
• Keeper Plate® included to lock sand in place during transport
• Removable rear glass allows picture to be changed without disturbing the sand design
• Offered in Black, White & Cherry Stain

framebeachCouples who choose to include a Blending of the Sand Ceremony in their wedding can create a lasting memory that melds the symbolism of the ceremony with a physical reminder of their special day… forever.

Children from previous marriages can be blended together by including them in the “engagement” photo and having them choose their own color of sand for the ceremony. If you are including children, obtain several extra vials with different colored sand for each child. See the Blending the Sands Ceremony #2. We customize this part of the wedding ceremony to include the names of the children.

If your wedding ceremony is being performed on a beach (e.g., Rocky Point, Mexico), have the minister scoop up a little sand from the beach with a sea shell and pour it into the Forever Frame to symbolize the building of the foundation of the relationship and to give you a momento directly from the beach where your ceremony words were spoken.

foreverFrameThe “Blending of the Sands” ceremony is a popular and tangible way to capture the celebration that is the joining of two lives. By using our unique and beautiful frame for your unity sand ceremony, you’ll create a lasting reminder of the ceremony.

The last words of the ceremony usually say, “Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into their individual containers, so will your marriage (and your family) be, blended together.”

LoveNote. . . “Jerry and I are doing great. I have thought of you often, with fondness, of how you helped make our wedding so wonderful. I have placed our beautiful container of sand on a shelf at the entrance to our kitchen. Almost every person who attended our wedding comments about our ceremony when they see it. Others who come to our house ask about it and when I explain what it is, they say they wish they had something like that for their ceremony! (they should have called you!!) I cherish having such a unique memento from our wedding.” – Lisa & Jerry Fletcher (Fletcher’s Tire & Auto Service, Greater Phoenix area) – View the Fletcher Photo Gallery

To contact Bill & Elaine Kendall (Owners) @ Forever Frames, click here!

BONUS Article: The Blending of the Sands Ceremony

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 455 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Postcards! Another Guest Book Alternative

Filed under: Guest Authors,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Instead of the traditional guest book, ask guests to fill out a post card that is pre-stamped and pre-addressed to the bride and groom’s address. They can write wedding greetings, a special memory, a sweet thought, quip, sentiments, good wishes, favorite part of the wedding, hope for you or even a funny story that they remember about you. Encourage them to get a little sentimental and be creative.

postcardsMost guests will expect a guest table where they normally sign a guest book and leave their gifts. Have an attendant present at the guest table to tell the guests what to do with the postcards.

Ask them to write their messages during the cocktail hour and reception to avoid a line waiting to be seated before the wedding begins. Once they’ve penned their notes, have a large mailbox available for guests to place the cards in at the reception.

At the cocktail hour and reception, set up another special table to continue to encourage the guests to write something. Having several opportunities throughout the evening to write something to the couple can have your guests not feeling rushed to write their special notes.

Have the disc jocky or master of ceremonies make a special announcement.

You may want to have a note attached to each postcard giving them some ideas about what to write and that they will be sent to you over the course of a year after the wedding. Another idea is to place a postcard and attached note at each place setting at the reception. Remember you will also need lots of pens. Sometimes the hotel or resort are willing to provide pen (withe their names on them, of course).

Have your maid of honor, parent or trusted friend send you the postcards one at a time throughout the first year of your marriage. What a great way to make your celebration last.

This will give you something to look forward to and will be a welcome surprise when you receive them.

Using something different can bring a unique element to your wedding while still keeping with your overall wedding style. You can always put the postcards in a scrapbook, memory box or postcard album once they stop coming in the mail. What a great way to remember your special day by having a collection of postcards be your guest book!

If you decide to make the postcards yourself, use card stock cut into the size of a postcard. Check with the post office for the correct size and ask for stamps for postcards. Or you could pay 1st class postage and use the latest version of the U.S. Postal Service’s “Love” stamp to add a special “romantic” touch.

For more “Guest Book” ideas read:

The Typewriter Guest Book!
The Wish Tree – A Guest Book Alternative
Signature Plates! Another Guest Book Alternative!
To Have a Guest Book. . . or Not!

NOTE: Thank you to ArizonaWeddings.com for inspiring this postcard idea.

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 455 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Falter at the Alter. . .

Filed under: Wedding Articles,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

We’ve all heard of the run-away bride. Remember Julia Roberts in “Run Away Bride?”

Before you “falter at the alter,” make sure that you are really ready to say “I do.” It’s the “C” word: Commitment. Not everyone is ready for it. It is not uncommon for brides (and grooms) to experience anxiety, fear, stress, and even panic as the big day comes closer. There are jitters (stress related) then there are jitters (pure panic)! It’s common to have butterflies in your stomach. Hopefully not enough to cause you to “get outta Dodge.”

runaway-groomBy the way. . . guys have also been known to have reservations and chicken out at the last minute! Most everyone has had second thoughts however most work out the issues before they become the reasons for turning away from the one you say you love.

Over the past nine years as one of the busiest wedding officiants in the Greater Phoenix area, I’ve had my share of brides and grooms who have decided to call off the wedding, but always BEFORE the big event.

Never let, “the wedding has been planned, the deposits paid, the dress and tux have been fitted and the ice sculpture is starting to melt in the reception room” be the reason you move forward when you are having doubts. When in doubt, don’t. . . then get some help. If you are going to call it off. . . it’s best to do it before you run up a lot of unneeded expenses. Weddings take long extensive planning and may cost you a lot of money and a lot of stress that might cause you to just escape from the planning and become a runaway bride. If there ever was a time to place value on your instincts it’s now!

To date there is a very small percentage of those couples who were serious enough to pay a deposit, forfeit the deposit and call off the wedding. Of those I spoke with, money and incompatibility seemed to be the top reasons. An even smaller percentage have married and eventually divorced.

My 16+ years relationship coaching experience tells me that if there are significant issues to cause you to seriously consider calling your wedding off, perhaps you should at least think about a delay. After the invitations have been sent is too late!

AND. . . if you think for a moment that after you get married that this bad behavior (or whatever the issues are) will probably change, you are almost guarenteed to be 100% wrong! Resolve your issues BEFORE marriage. If you don’t they come back to bite you in the butt. Yes, people do change. But if the behavior is bad enough for you to remotely consider ending the relationship or have doubts and you ignore your feelings and get married anyway. . . you are most likely headed for a fall.

Express yourself. First to your intended and if that doesn’t work, call a coach. Coaching is not always the answer. Sometimes it too late to turn things around. Both parties must have a sincere desire to work together to make things better. Take your time. Lots of it.

runawaybrideMuster up some courage before you decide to talk with your partner. Listen to how they respond. Your doubts do not necessarily mean that you mean to call off the wedding. Make sure they understand this. If they realy love you, and if they are the right person for you, they will understand. If they don’t understand and get defensive or switch the blame to you, your instincts may probably be right. Perhaps a decision to postpone or call a halt to your impending marriage might be the best for everyone.

I will be the first to say that it is not all that simple. If you’re not sure the marriage is a good move, engage the attention and support of your partner and tell them weeks or months before the wedding the reasons you can’t go through with it. Don’t wait until the last minute. If you need more time, say so.

Relationships are complicated. They come with twists and turns, and ups and downs. Problems are natural to progress. They tell you what needs to be worked on. Problems are not to break us, they can and often will make us stronger as a couple.

If you are experiencing the pre-wedding day jitters – before you freak out – here are a few things to consider:

• Discuss your premarital misgivings with a trusted friend, doctor, priest, minister, rabbi, therapist or relationship coach.
• Talk to a friend who’s recently been married – someone who can help you differentiate between a real change of heart and mind concerning the relationship and simple jitters about the overwhelming wedding process itself.
• Recall why you said “yes” in the first place and see if your reasons are still valid.
• Think about what you like and what you love about your future partner and why these aspects of his or her personality are so special to you.
• Think about what you look forward to in marriage and focus on the positive.
• If you feel trapped or embarrassed consider all your options: forget about it and suffer later, call a temporary delay or call it off for good. There may be more reasons, so consider all the possibilities.
• Ask yourself, “Has my fiancé(e) changed since I said ‘yes,’ and if so, has it been for better or for worse?”
• To those who need it, express a deep and sincere apology and move on. This will allow the emotional healing process to begin.
• Are you really ready to get married?

Research indicated that over 40% of brides have wedding anxiety. I personally think it could be higher. To relieve some of the pressure, make sure that you plan your wedding to your own specifications and no one else’s, especially your parents. Never bow to that pressure. It’s not their wedding. It’s YOUR wedding! They aleady had their wedding. I know. It’s not easy. But it’s important for your own well being that you never bow to the pressure to please others.

For the mothers who become Momzillas. . . express your feelings in a loving way and tell them to back off. It’s okay to say “No” to something you do not want. For fathers (or mothers) who are “small” enough to threaten because they may be paying for it, tread lightly but stick to your guns.

There is no greater choice or bigger decision you will ever make than choosing the person with whom you will spend the rest of your life. Sometimes it scarey. That’s normal. I know it’s old fashion but that is another great reason for long engagements. I do not believe that you should decide to get married, because it just “feels right.” There is no good reason to be in a hurry to get to the altar.

Don’t even consider being a “runaway bride!” It’s one thing to call off an engagement or a wedding weeks before, but to actually runaway on your wedding day. . . not good! Being a runaway bride is a cowardly act. It tells a story about you. If you get “cold feet,” bow out gracefully. Be humane and respectful. 😉 Not possible, you say? Do your best to as nice as you can about it. Think about the frustration and embarrassment that your partner, family and friends might feel if you keep them waiting for hours at the altar.

Always remember, it’s a lot better in the long run to step back before the wedding than to find yourself in a marriage you wish you could run away from later on.

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 455 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

7 Top Reasons Why The Bride & Groom Should Take Pictures Before The Ceremony

Filed under: Guest Authors,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Mary Dann, Guest Author

The belief that the bride and groom should avoid seeing each other before their wedding ceremony, though amusing, should remain as it is…an ancient tradition. The popular ritual dates back to when marriages were arranged and the bride revealing her face created the possibility of the groom making a run for it!

For whatever reason, however, many couples still partake in this peculiar procedure, expecting heightened anticipation, drama and excitement as a result. But why set yourself up for more drama on your wedding day?! I am happy to share 7 compelling reasons why the bride and groom should take pictures BEFORE the ceremony.

1. The first moment will be even more intimate for the couple. Scheduling pictures before the ceremony gives the bride and groom a chance to actually enjoy their first time seeing eachother, without the nervousness of ALL eyes watching them. Their photographer is able to better capture the special moment as well, as opposed to taking shots from a distance with numerous guests in the background. First moment shots are precious and often a couples’ favorite photo from the whole day!

2. Everyone will look better. Ceremonies can be long and emotional. Tears fall, mascara runs, dresses and tuxes wrinkle, and flowers droop. If the ceremony is outdoors, weather could create problems too…hair frizzes, people sweat, and outfits get dirty. There’s only so much a gifted photographer can retouch.

3. Taking pictures beforehand ensures that no one will be left out. It gives the family and the photographer time to find people who are missing and take as many shots as desired. Moreover, if anyone misses the round of pictures before the ceremony, specific shots can quickly be made up after. It creates two opportunities to get all the pictures the couple and family want, eliminating the worry of people taking off after the ceremony and having their own agendas.

4. Taking pictures before the ceremony also ensures that the couple and wedding praty will not miss out on the cocktail party/reception! Any additional pictures taken after the ceremony won’t take long. The wedding party will appreciate getting all the pictures before the ceremony so they can enjoy their dates, family and friends at the cocktail reception, and the couple will have time after the ceremony to relax, go to their room and enjoy spending time with eachother and their guests!

5. It gives the photographer more of a chance to be creative. Whatever shots he did not perfect before the ceremony, he can re-take after. During the ceremony, he can think of more ideas for pictures afterwards. Even the most creative people don’t flourish in rushed, high-pressure environments. Taking pictures beforehand relieves the photographer of unnecessary anxiety, allowing his/her work to be even more brilliant. The pictures will be less posed, more natural, and more real.

6. Anxiety will be taken away from the couple as well and consequently, the focus of the ceremony will be on what’s important. Couples who take pictures beforehand tell me that just seeing their spouse and spending a little time with them before the ceremony calms their nerves and puts them both at ease. Further, as the ceremony begins, instead of the bride worrying about what the groom thinks of her dress, or if her hair is perfect, the couple can enjoy the beauty of the moment with decreased anticipation. They also won’t need to rush right away to PICTURES after walking down the aisle.

7. Instead of one big hoorah moment of seeing each other coming down the aisle, doing things this way divides the magic into sections by creating several special moments. Ask any couple. Even if they’ve already seen eachother, they will still feel lots of excitement and emotion at the start of the ceremony when music is playing, the bride first walks down the aisle, and all of their favorite people are witnessing their every move.

marydannbookA couple’s wedding day is on one of the most important, exciting, and happiest days of their lives. Why not make it even more enjoyable by taking away added anxiety and the feeling of being rushed? My suggestion to any bride and groom to be is that pictures begin two hours before the ceremony. The first half hour is pictures of the bride and groom only.

The second half hour includes the wedding party, and the third adds the couples’ immediate family. Following pictures, everyone can take a 30 minute pause before the ceremony to relax, have hair/makeup touched up, and attend to their own needs. After the ceremony, only 30 minutes or so will be needed for pictures of the extended family or people who were missing before.

Copyright © 2010 – Mary Dann. Reprinted with permission. Mary Dann, MA, Wedding Planner & Marriage & Family Therapist. As one of the most sought-after event coordinators in Southern California, Mary Dann and her team of wedding and party coordinators have been responsible for detailed event planning and creative party consultation to many corporations and families throughout the country since 1991. Visit her Website (http://www.MaryDann.com/) and BLOG (http://marydann.blogspot.com/)

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 455 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tips To Save On Bridesmaid Dresses

Filed under: Guest Authors,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Kelly, YesBrides.com, Guest Author

It’s the recession – this much you and your bridesmaid will agree on. Still, the show must go on and it must go on as you envisioned it in your dreams. So, what do you do? Well, you find ways to beat the recession with these tips to save costs on bridesmaid dresses, that’s what!

Go Dutch Treat

Although it is not uncommon for bridesmaids to buy their own bridesmaid dresses, there are instances when you will have to ask them to do just that! Your bridesmaid may even like the idea because then they will not be made, or rather forced, to wear designs they either will not like or will not able to use again.

bridesmaiddressesYou must, however, set simple guidelines. These can include hem length, textile type and color combinations while leaving the cut and style to their imaginations. After all, your bridesmaids do have different body sizes and shapes so it is only right that you leave them to decide on what cut suits them best.

Scour the Internet

If you are Netizen, then you must know of the gold mine that the Internet is for cheapskates, or at least, for those looking to find good bargains. In fact, with a little online haggling skill on your part, you can save up to 25% or more off the list price! Another source of cheap bridesmaid dresses are discount mail-order sites, which offer 20-40 percent the prices in stores. Plus, you get to shop without leaving the home, which means more savings!

Check Out the Department Stores

Don’t discount prom dresses at department stores. You can actually convert these into bridesmaid dresses, maybe with a little alteration to take out the prom details like ribbons and bows. Or better yet, you can always ask for the department stores’ catalogs for more choices. This way, your bridesmaids can look at the pictures first before deciding on initial selections that you can then order for them. You will have to decide whether you will split the cost with them or apply Dutch treat.

bridesmaiddresses2Do-It-Yourself

If you are nimble with your hands at the sewing machine and you still have time on your hands, then you can always sew the bridesmaid dresses yourself. Or better yet, assign one of the bridesmaids with similar talent to help you with the task. This ought to save you and your bridesmaids tons of money simply because the professional fee of designers take the most cut out of the total cost of the dress. Besides, it will be fun looking for the textile, choosing the right design and sewing the dresses with the girls!

In all your efforts to save on costs for the bridesmaid dresses, one thing remains true. Always make sure that your bridesmaids will be comfortable wearing them during your wedding day. You want them to be happy, too, and be happy for you!

Besides, do you really want to look at your wedding pictures ten years from your wedding day and say “Yikes! My bridesmaids looked like Frankenstein’s harem”? Probably not!

Copyright © 2010 – Kelly. YesBride is the brainchild of husband and wife team Kelly and Brian. Our goal is to help you plan the wedding of your dreams while reducing the cost of your special day. YesBride’s mission is to build the world’s most comprehensive, bridal boutique on the World Wide Web. Visit their BLOG and 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 455 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Top 10 “Tacky” Wacky Weddings!

Filed under: Humor Break!,Wedding Video — Larry James @ 7:00 am

I perform my “romantic” wedding ceremony at “Theme” Weddings, but I don’t marry frogs! 😉

See more “Tacky Weddings!”

NOTE: Thank you to YesBride.com for calling this to my attention!

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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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

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hire a Disc Jockey “Just for the Music?” NOT!!

Filed under: Disc Jockeys - DJs,Guest Authors,Receptions — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Mark Sanchez, Disc Jockey/Entertainer, Guest Author

NOTE: I had to write this article after a colleague of mine called me to tell me about a call he received from a bride looking for a Disc Jockey. The Disc Jockey was the last vendor she needed for her wedding. The Disc Jockey was on the bottom of her list since she believed a Disc Jockey was quote “just the music.” Wedding: @ The Westin Kierland, Scottsdale, $40,000 budget, and $750 left for the Disc Jockey (MUSIC). “Ouch!” I’m guessing her cake costs more than that, yet I doubt if the cake can make or break a reception. ~ Mark Sanchez

Before mobile disc jockeys, bands were really the only choice for entertainment at a wedding reception. Couples would choose a band based on the style of music they played. Bands were simply just the music. Some cases couples would choose a member of the family to make a few announcements or perform as the Master of Ceremonies.

Today bands are still a popular choice to perform at a wedding if you can afford to book one. The more popular bands can also make announcements or be Master of Ceremonies for your reception. But in all reality they are still considered to be just the music, and starting at $3,000 for the better bands that’s a lot of money to dish out for just music. Sure music is important, without it, a reception wouldn’t be the same. But is that all you need for a successful reception?

coupledanceIn the late 70s and 80s DJ’s became the popular choice since they were more affordable and could play a variety music for a diverse crowd. Still mobile DJ’s were considered to be just music. A wedding is a unique event with many formalities and traditions. Unlike a birthday party were you have 2 simple traditions, sing “Happy Birthday” and blow out the candles. A DJ can get by with just playing music at a birthday, but a wedding has many more details.

Music is just a tool that DJ’s and bands use to create a lively atmosphere for dancing. It can also be disruptive at a reception if it’s the wrong music being played at the wrong times, and volume levels. A wedding needs direction and guests need guidance. Every wedding is different and there are several transitions throughout the evening. Without direction or guidance people are lost just like a ship without it’s captain.

When a Mobile DJ “performs” at a wedding, he has much bigger role and many more responsibilities to handle then just playing the music.

The Responsibilities and Duties of a Disc Jockey, Day of the Wedding

1. Master of Ceremonies – A good experienced MC will keep your guests informed about the activities and formalities throughout the night, and make timely and appropriate announcements without taking the focus off the Bride and Groom.

2. Director – Weddings need direction because of all the formal events that take place. The director is primarily the MC/DJ. The director guides the guests throughout the night. The MC has the wedding entertainment training to keep the reception flowing smoothly.

3. On-Site Coordinator – Your DJ will work with you your banquet manager, and all other day of vendors to keep your reception on schedule. A professional DJ/MC will make sure all vendors are prepared and ready before any announcement of an activity is made.

4. Music Programmer – Anybody can play music. Playing the right music at the right times, at the right volume levels, and be able to generate a dance floor and keep it going for everyone to enjoy is something only an experienced trained professional can do. If you bring in an amateur to just play music, your party will end fast. The music will set the mood and the tone of a reception.

5. Music Expert – In this day and age anybody can have a vast music library. Having music is one thing, but knowing music is another. Every wedding has a diverse crowd that will enjoy a variety of all types of music. It takes years of experience to learn all styles of music and to know it well.

6. Lighting Tech – Proper lighting also sets the mood during dinner or late in the night. Your DJ should control the lighting so it’s not too bright for dinner or not to dark later for dancing. He will also brings the right kind of lighting for dancing.

7. Crowd Motivator – Unexpected things can happen at a wedding, like rain, or the cake toppling over, etc.. An experienced pro can recognize the situation, lighten the mood, and continue the fun and festivities no matter what. A good DJ can create a fun filled environment without stealing the spotlight.

8. Music Mixer – The better DJ’s can beat match music for a smooth transition from one song to the next without disrupting a dance floor.

9. Problem Solver – When guests need to know anything, more than likely they will ask the DJ. He is “the answer man.” He knows where the restrooms are, where the gift table is located, etc.

10. Roadie – A DJ has to bring more equipment, notes and supplies then any other vendor you may hire, and usually sets up without help. Forgetting one thing could be disastrous to the event.

11. Board Operator – A DJ should know how to work his audio and lighting systems. Yet some DJ’s use rental or barrowed equipment, and while at your event, learn it as they go along.

12. Audio Tech – In case of technical difficulties or audio failure, a DJ should be able to recognize the problem promptly, and know how to fix it. A professional DJ should always carry back up equipment. If an Amplifier goes out with no back up the party ends.

msanchez213. Etiquette – Maintain a high level of etiquette at all times.

All Other “Day of Your Wedding” Responsibilities

    • Sound checks, check volume of music and microphones.
    • Find out the seating arrangements of the wedding party.
    • Go over the agenda with the catering manager and banquet captain.
    • Turn off all house music before starting his music.
    • Find out where house lights are dimmed, and dim at the appropriate time.
    • Go over the agenda with photographer and videographer and cover the procedures for Grand Intro, toast, cake etc..
    • Check microphone frequencies with videographer to make sure they don’t interfere with each other.
    • Locate the person giving the blessing.
    • Verify with banquet manager when the food is ready.
    • Verify all pronunciations of bridal party, the order to walk in, and instruct where to walk in.
    • Coordinate the releasing of guests tables through the buffet line (if necessary)
    • Talk to each member of the wedding party about toasts, and instruct each speaker on proper microphone use, and at the end to raise their glass to toast.
    • Check cake table for knife, plates, and napkins.
    • Locate the throw bouquet.
    • Remind the Bride and Groom to visit with guests, and or use the restroom when finished with dinner.
    • Remind parents for the parent’s dances, and timing.
    • Verify that all parents are in the room and bridal party members and at the head table for the toast.
    • Double check the batteries in the microphones before toasts.
    • Confirm that the photographer and videographer are ready before the first dance and all other formalities.
    • Be ready to adjust lighting for the Bride and Groom’s first dance.
    • Locate the bouquet for the toss.
    • Bring out a chair for the garter removal.
    • Talk to the Best man and Maid of Honor about helping with the money dance.
    • At the end of the night personally congratulate the Bride and Groom.
    • Make sure the DJ’s area is clean before he leaves.

Services and Responsibilities “before” the Wedding

1. Event Planner – Help coordinate your event schedule in a 2 to 3 hour personal planning session, with a timely detailed itinerary and check list in the manner and style you desire, and ensuring that your every need and wish is carried out.

    a. Go over all the fine details of the wedding.

    b. Send an email of the agenda out to all other day of wedding vendors to ensure we are all working together as a team, and your reception is in sync. This prevents the Bride and Groom from being interrupted throughout the reception.

    c. Make a check list: Make sure all equipment, formal music, and tux is packed and ready to go 3 hours prior to the start time.

    d. Refer you to other quality wedding vendors that will fit your needs.

Most of all a DJ is responsible making sure your wedding is engaging, fun, and memorable for you and your guests. A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event that needs to be done right the first time because there is no doing it over tomorrow.

“There are two problems here: 1) Clients who try to “cheap out” on any aspect of their event never realize the mistake thay have made until it is too late. 2) I really believe that in many cases, especially when it comes to “the music”, some clients and guests really just don’t know the difference nor do they even care. . . until something happens. . . then I refer you back to problem #1.” 😉 ~ Jimmy Davenport

Larry’s NOTE: The following Wedding Statistics may shock you but they are true and from reliable sources. Read them and learn from other Brides and Grooms mistakes. It will make you rethink your “Wedding Reception Priorities.”

After the wedding reception 72% of all brides say they would have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment. Almost 100% say they would have spent more of their budget on the entertainment. During wedding planning, Brides say their highest priority is their wedding dress, attire, followed by the reception site and caterer, however reception entertainment was among the least of their priorities. How sad.

Within one week after their reception, 78% of Brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority. When asked 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment (Band or Disc Jockey). 65% of all couples that chose a band to entertain at their wedding reception, said, if they had it to do over again, they would have chosen a disc jockey! By the way. . . the best price is not always the best deal.

Statistics Sources: These statistics were first published in St. Louis Bride and Groom Magazine. Other sources include: Simmons; USA Today, National Bridal Service, The Knot, and Brides Magazine.

Larry’s NOTE #2: There are two important areas of your wedding celebration where price should never be a factor. A mediocre Minister and a unenthusiastic Disc Jockey can wreak havoc at your wedding. A lackluster minister with a boring ceremony – like most of the others you’ve heard – can leave the guests cold and uninspired and if the DJ isn’t a true “entertainer” the party can crash and burn. Your wedding reception DJ should be considered your “Wedding Entertainment Director.” A great DJ determines whether your reception is a hit or a miss! The minister and the DJ should be the very best you can hire. I know its cliché, but you really do get what you pay for.

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

This is your very special day. It will only happen once. I would never recommend that you make your decision on price alone. There are numerous other areas that you can cut back on when the $$s are tight. Remember: The best price is not always the best deal.

msanchez

Copyright © 2010 – Mark Sanchez. Mark Sanchez has performed more than 900 weddings in the Great Phoenix area. He started his career at local valley night spots where he received years of personalized training by some of the best entertainment directors. In 1990 he performed his first wedding working for a reputable mobile DJ service in Phoenix primarily as a DJ/Emcee for weddings. Today he is a career DJ who runs his own business as a full time owner/operator specializing in weddings. www.ProfessionalMobileENT.com – Send e-mail to Mark Sanchez!

Read “How to Hire a Disc Jockey” and “Full-Time DJ vs. Part-Time DJ” by Mark Sanchez.

Special Note from Larry James: I’ve worked with Mark Sanchez many times and he delivers a professional, quality show from beginning to end. He is the owner of Professional Mobile Entertainment. – 5 Stars from Larry James!

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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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, October 1, 2010

The Beautiful “Wall of Roses”

Filed under: Wedding Articles,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

The wedding arch is a traditional element of most wedding ceremonies, framing the location where the bride and groom stand to say “I do.” Because it is a central focus for the ceremony, couples will want something stylish and coordinated with their wedding.

wallofroses1Here is a fresh idea for an alternative to a classic arch for a wedding ceremony. How romantic would it be to walk down the aisle towards this enchanting wall filled with delicate roses? More than any other flower, roses say, “I love you.”

It provides such a wonderful fragrance too, not to mention be a stunning backdrop for your wedding photos.

wallofroses2Some brides and grooms will have their initials embedded in the wall with contrasting colors. The color of the roses could also match the color of the bridesmaid’s dresses. You can also incorporate rose wreaths – heart-shaped for love – into the wall of roses.

At the end of the reception celebration, invite the guests to take home pieces from the wall and make mini bouquets.

Have someone drill small holes in a large piece of wood or drywall through which to place the roses. Small water tubes on the back of the wall of roses will help prevent the roses from wilting.

All roses symbolize Love, but their colors have special meaning. Roses can impart either a formal or a casual atmosphere, depending on the varieties and colors you choose. Incorporate roses and rose petals into every loving step of your wedding. Use the list below to choose the shade that best matches the feeling you want to convey.

Red – Love, passion, respect and courage
Yellow – Joy, friendship and freedom
Pink – Happiness, gratitude, appreciation and admiration
Cream – Thoughtfulness, charm and graciousness
Orange – Admiration, fascination, enthusiasm and desire
White – innocence, purity, secrecy, reverence and to honor those who are deceased

Bonus Articles: “Add a ‘Rose’ Ceremony to Your Wedding Ceremony!”
Honor a Deceased Loved One

NOTE: Photo (above left) courtesy of L & N Notes BLOG.

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 455 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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
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