Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Saturday, January 29, 2011

After the Wedding. . . What to Do with the Dress?

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

“After a bride is whisked away in the limo at the end of the night, you can pretty much bet her dress will find its way into a closet, never again to see the light of day,” says Rachel Hardage, deputy editor for Real Simple magazine. “When you consider how much effort – not to mention money – goes into finding the perfect dress, this is a pretty cruel fate.”

Brides-to-be spend countless hours bent over magazines, searching online, and hunting down what will become “the” dress. But what to do with the dress after the wedding is often never thought about. What do you do with a dress you’re never going to wear again?

Now that the wedding is over, you might not want to part with the perfect dress you wore on your big day. Don’t be a pack rat. Pull out the wedding gown and do something with it. What do I mean by that? Get it cleaned, get it consigned or get it preserved. Brides who consider wedding gown preservation usually want to keep their dress as an heirloom to be passed down to future generations. Many times it just ends up taking space in your closet.

Preserve – sell – hand it down – or donate it seems to be the four most common things to do with wedding dresses after the wedding. Or if you are one of those daring ones. . . go trash the dress because you know no daughter of yours will wear it in the future.

Some very “brave” women have done the following:

trashthedress

Brides have “trashed their dress” everywhere from an ocean beach, rolling in a mud puddle to a paintball fight.

• Go bowling in it!
• Wear it to a picnic in the park. Take your camera. Take photos with passersby.
• Go clubbing.
• Sell it to another bride.
• Sell it on consignment.
• Go grocery shopping.
• Turn it into a beautiful heirloom wall or bed quilt.
• Go skeet shooting.
• Save it for a Halloween costume. Corpse Bride, zombie bride, bride of Frankenstein. . . or color it hot pink and go as Barbie!
• Recycle it! Have a seamstress make you a new dress.
• Square dancing.
• Hiking.
• Save it as motivation to be the same size for your 10 year anniversary.
• Make it into a baby blanket to pass down.
• Cut off the skirt and use skirt under your Christmas tree.
• Go to the library.
• Go to the movies.
• Plan a “Wedding Theme party” and invite others to wear their wedding dresses.
• Seduce your Significant Other at a bar with your wedding dress on!
• Give it to a local theatre company.
• Start a tradition. Wear your dress to a club on your 1st anniversary.
• Wear it to a “renewal of vows” ceremony on your 5th anniversary.
• Dye it your favorite color and wear it to a party.
• Hire a photographer to take photos while you “trash the dress!” Makes for amazing photos!
• Wear it to The Rocky Horror Picture Show!
• Create a shadow box, using a piece of the dress, a photo, the jewelry, your garter, and any other important things that you want to cherish and pass on to your children.

A charitable organization called Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation accepts gown, veil, and slip donations. Just pack your items in a box and send them to the address listed at www.makingmemories.org. The foundation asks that you include a $10 check to pay for the expense of preparing your wedding gown for sale. Be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope inside your package so that Making Memories can return a tax-deductible receipt for you.

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Ceremony. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. 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
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Video Marriage Proposal. . .

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

OR. . . go to: “AMAZING Genuine Marriage Proposal

Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 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
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Friday, January 21, 2011

25 Tips on How to Look Fabulous in Your Wedding Photos

Filed under: Guest Authors,Photography Tips,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:02 am
Tags:

Christina Friedrichsen, Guest Author

Your wedding day is approaching. And that means that pretty soon someone is going to be snapping a boatload of pictures of you and your beloved. Are you prepared?Having a camera aimed in your direction for hours on end isn’t something you’re used to – unless of course you’re a hotshot celebrity. Do you know how to look your best for the camera? To help you out, I asked wedding photographers across the country for some insider tips on how to look fabulous. Here’s what they had to say.

geoffwhite

Photo Credit (#1) – Amanda, Geoff White Photographers

1. Be Yourself. Don’t try to look or be anything other than yourself. If you are self-conscious about a certain thing and it manifests itself physically, it will ultimately come through in the photography … Be your best self and you can ensure that the photos will indeed portray you as your best self. Jonathan Canlas, Canlas Photography

2. Relax. We’re often our worst critics when it comes to pictures. Remember that you want to be seen the way others see you too. While you want flattering photos, you want to make sure that it still looks like you in the pictures. Shane Snider, Shane Snider Photography

3. Laugh! It’s flattering on everyone. Melissa McClure, Melissa McClure Photography

4. Think about the moment. Capturing the romance of the day, the emotion, excitement & intimacy is what it’s all about. Don’t look at your photographer, look at your new spouse and savor it all. Your photographs will be amazing & true. Kate Harrison, Kate Harrison Photography

5. Forget the camera is there and try your best to be playful and warm. Sarah Rhoads, Sarah Rhoads Photographers

6. Have an engagement session. This is so valuable for client and photographer. The clients have an opportunity to relax and be in front of the camera and the photographer can get to know his or her clients. By the time I am at the wedding we are friends and this makes everyone more relaxed! Susan Adler, Susan Adler Photography Get the Look

7. Practice in the mirror! Study your face and figure out the best smile (or maybe you like your serious face better) and angle for you. Melissa McClure, Melissa McClure Photography

8. Be comfortable. For engagement and portrait shoots, wear clothing that is flattering, but comfortable too! If your 6 inch stilettos are hurting your feet, it will show in your face! Melissa McClure, Melissa McClure Photography

9. Makeup. Keep makeup and eyelashes normal and classic. Steve Dohring, Photographer

10. Mind the lens. Try to not allow one part of your body to be closer to the lens because it will make that part appear larger than the rest of your body. Corey Balazowich, Corey Ann Photography

11. Get in position. To make your neck look more elongated, drop your shoulders and raise your chin. Imagine that you are being pulled by a string from the top of your head. Corey Balazowich, Corey Ann Photography

12. Be prepared. If you are prone to have flyaways or random frizzies in your hair, have a toothbrush with hairspray on standby! One squirt and swoop will tame most frizzies and help your hair look super smooth for pictures. Corey Balazowich, Corey Ann Photography

13. Have white chalk handy. White chalk hides stains on wedding gowns. If you are worried about grass stains, general dirt or in case there is a spill on your wedding day, make sure to have some on hand! It works in a jiffy and no one will know but you! Corey Balazowich, Corey Ann Photography

14. Dab. If you are planning on getting married in the summer and want outdoor photos, oil dabbing strips are a MUST HAVE! Make sure the groom has a hanky too. Sweaty photos are not pretty! Corey Balazowich, Corey Ann Photography Strike a Pose

15. Not head on. To look thinner, keep your shoulder to the camera and avoid facing the camera straight on. Hide behind the groom a bit or tuck into his armpit to slim yourself down. Steve Dohring, Photographer

geoffwhite

Photo Credit (#19) – Amanda and Phil, Geoff White Photographers

16. Don’t look down. To avoid a double chin, have the photographer shoot from above the eye/face level. Tilt the head a bit sideways to hide the chin and have the photographer avoid shooting from the side. (I also remove as much of the double chin as possible in editing with Photoshop.) Henry Chen, Henry Chen Photography

17. Hand on hip. Every girl feels insecure about her bare arms in a strapless dress. The remedy? Instead of the arm laying flat against the torso and making it look wider, simply toss the hand on the hip. It will make the arm much more toned looking. Sarah Rhoads, Sarah Rhoads Photographers

18. Angle yourself. Balance your weight on your back foot and cross the other foot in front of the other in a T fashion. Pop a hip towards the camera but at an angle. This is universally appealing and slimming, especially when combined with hands on the hips. Corey Balazowich, Corey Ann Photography

19. Natural light is your friend! Getting ready in a room with windows makes for great pictures. Not only is the light beautiful, it is also flattering and makes your skin look amazing. Opening the shades whenever you can will add a lot to the pictures in any situation. Will and Lauren Aves, Aves Photographic Design

20. Make sure your reception is well-lit. The best wedding receptions seen in magazines have lighting covering the dance floor and on the cakes and table arrangements. Consider hiring a lighting company to light your reception or ask the venue/band/DJ to light your reception for you. The pictures will be amazing and you won’t regret it! Will and Lauren Aves, Aves Photographic Design

21. Don’t let it get TOO dark during dancing. DJs and bands love a dark dance floor to entice people to get loose. Photographers, of course, want this too and want to get fun dance shots of the crowd, but we need a little light to focus on people. Ask the venue ahead of time not to turn off the lights entirely. Also, during your first dance, have spotlights! Will and Lauren Aves, Aves Photographic Design

22. Use spotlights. If you are planning a candlelight ceremony, be sure to have a spotlight shining on the area where you will be saying your vows. Will and Lauren Aves, Aves Photographic Design

GeoffWhite

Photo Credit (#24) – Amanda and Phil, Geoff White Photographers

23. Prevent the squinty look. If the sun is really bright, close your eyes and ask your photographer to let you know when s/he is going to take the picture. Open them when s/he tells you and that will eliminate the ‘squinty’ look. This also works if you typically wear glasses and do not want to wear them for portraits. Corey Balazowich, Corey Ann Photography

24. Love yourself. After photographing hundreds of brides I can tell you that every single bride is beautiful on this day, regardless if they consider themselves plain, overweight etc. The transformation is always astounding. Accept it, believe it and be confident the camera will see it. Steve Dohring, Photographer

25. Be happy. Happiness is beauty! Susan Adler, Susan Adler Photography

BONUS Articles:10 Tips for Your Perfect Wedding Photography
Include Creative Photos in Your ‘Thank You’ Notes!”
Confessions of a Boudoir Photographer
The Top Ten Things You Need to Know to Ensure Wedding Photo Bliss
The Bride and Groom’s ‘Reveal Moment’
Hire a Professional Photographer. . . or Friend?
Trash the Dress? You’ve Got to be Kidding!

Note: A special “Thank you” to Muriel MacRae, owner of Del Sol Travel and Del Sol Destination Weddings for calling this article to my attention.

Copyright © 2011 – Christina Friedrichsen. Reprinted with permission. Christina Friedrichsen. Visit her Website: www.intimateweddings.com and BLOG.

Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 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
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Monday, January 17, 2011

Check Wedding Vendor’s References. . . A Piece of Cake! Right?

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

Never risk the possibility of ruining your special wedding day. It is very wise to always check references of wedding vendors before you sign on the dotted line! Make sure there is a well written contract in place and signed by both parties. It is important to know the quality of person that you are hiring for your special event.

In the real working world you wouldn’t hire someone to work for you without checking their references first, so why hire a vendor without checking references? Do your research on ALL wedding vendors.

leaningcake

Would you pay $250 for a cake from an amateur that looks like the “Leaning Tower of Pisa?”

Click here to view a special video report from Channel 12, Phoenix about the woes of one couple who should have gotten references from past clients and hired a professional. (Video opens in another browser window so you won’t lose your place).

According to “Piece of Cake Deserts” (Mesa, AZ) – Aside from a loophole in Tempe, AZ, Maricopa county does not allow home bakeries, yet 40+ new ones pop up every year. . . most are usually gone by the next year often leaving a bunch of upset brides in their wake.

There are some people out there who may have problems that cause them to run their business in an unethical manner. It is your job to find reputable vendors. You must do your research. Aways ask other wedding vendors if they know of a vendor you are considering. Vendors know that offering referrals to other vendors always reflects on their own reputation.

Most vendors require a down payment (often called a deposit) to secure the wedding date. Never hand over any money without a written contract – or at the very least, a receipt.

It’s overwhelming for many couples to consider the number of wedding vendors they have to hire to make their wedding day run smoothly. There are plenty of wedding vendors out there, but not just anyone will do.

My advice: Start looking for your wedding vendors at least 6 months to a year in advance! That way you won’t have to make any snap decisions that may cause to to say, “Opps!” It’s not like you plan a wedding every day. This is all probably brand new to you, so be patient with yourself.

There are many ways that a couple can find wedding vendors. First, the couple should look to their wedding planner to make suggestions. She or he will have worked with many vendors and know which ones are reliable. If the couple is not hiring a wedding planner, they can often rely on their friends and family members who recently got married to inform them about trustworthy vendors.

Before you begin looking for a wedding vendor. . . make a budget. Next, prioritize – if you’re foodies, for example, you might spend more on dinner and cut back on flowers. If you want a memorable, “romantic” wedding ceremony, call Larry James. 😉 The best amost always costs more, so plan ahead. You can always find something to cut back on to help you afford the best. Once you decide to hire a vendor, discuss all the details of the services you desire and be sure that the vendor is flexable enough to provide them.

wedding+cake+cartoon

Larry’s Note: Bad idea! Always hire a Pro! Piece of Cake makes “yummy” wedding cakes!

Perhaps the most important questions a couple should ask a wedding vendor is:

• How long has this vendor been in business and how many weddings have they worked?
• How many weddings do they work per year?
• Are they available for the specific rehearsal date (if any) and wedding date?
• How much are the services and how much is the deposit?
• When are the deposit and remaining balance due?
• Are there any additional fees?
• Can the vendor provide three references from couples they have worked with in the past?
• What is the vendor’s cancellation policy?

One final thought. . . Get wedding insurance. If you are planning a wedding (especially out of the country), get wedding insurance before you start planning the wedding. If a vendor goes under, you still have to find a new one (sadly you still have that hurdle to go thru) but the insurance will eventually pay for the cost to get a new one.

Video Source: A special “thank you” to Piece Of Cake Desserts, Mesa, AZ for alerting us to the video in this story.

Larry’s Note: I have a list of “Preferred Wedding Vendors” that I will offer upon request. I NEVER take money for giving a referral. I only recommend those whom I consider to be the most reputable and the very best. Phone calls only: 480-998-9411.

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Ceremony. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 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
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Do It Yourself “Funny” Photo Booth

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

photoboothA photo booth is a trendy idea that many people are starting to include at wedding receptions. They’re fun and you get some funny shots of your friends, however here’s an alternative idea that happened at one of the wedding I had recently. The bride and groom created their own version of a photo booth without the booth. You’ll get great pictures that will give you a cool behind-the-scenes look at your own wedding while you are busy taking photos with your professional photographer.

Most important to its success is designating an area at your reception with enough room for your guests to utilize the photo station, providing clear signage to explain to guests that they are creating their own personalized party favor that will be sent to them by e-mail after the wedding.

All you need is a little creativity. First they put up a sign on the table that instructed the guests about what to do. It took a little while for the idea to take off but when it did everyone was trying to get into the act. Soon people were beginning to notice guests with hugh noses and oversized glasses and the paparazzi began to gather around and started snapping photos like crazy.

kissylipsThey furnished chalkboard balloons (see photos – eraseable boards) where guests could write something, they provided chalk, erasers, a basket full of funny props (large eye glasses, a few inexpensive costumes, silly hats, feather boas and mustaches, large costume jewelry pieces, a rubber chicken, wigs, oversized neckties, faux facial hair, umbrella, empty picture frames, clown noses, a large heart-shaped pillow, etc.), a Polaroid camera, and extra film. A sombrero or cowboy hats, belts with large buckles and maybe even a toy gun and holster work at an outdoor reception held in the sunny Southwest. You may want to have some large cut-out letters (A, B, C, etc.) for guests to hold up.

photobooth3
A digital camera will work too, but I would recommend that you hire a photography student for a small fee (or invite them to eat at the reception) to assist guests with the process.

photobooth4Consider a heart-shaped chalk board for guests to write on as a prop, also colored photo frames without backing for the guest to hold in front of their faces while someone else snaps the photo. Provide a chair, bench or stool for your guests to sit on.

This is a fun idea and you get instant, fun photos of your friends and family acting cute, funny, silly, and super-crazy. The bride and groom get to keeps the photos but each guest was sent a digital version of their photo by e-mail. Don’t over-complicate everything. Keep it simple and watch what happens. Make it easy to operate, so even a child can use it (wtih a little adult supervision).

photobooth5It can also be acomplished with a WebCam as long as the area is assigned to someone who can make sure that guests are instructed about what to do and to make sure that the WebCam and other gear remains secure. 😉

You can also set up the camera to record directly into a laptop computer and then simply turned it around to face the guests so they can see what they look like before the photo is snapped.



You could also set up some backdrops, travel posters, etc., to make it more interesting. You can hang a fabric backdrop, make one from wood or cardboard with framed cutouts if you’re up for a challenge or use a building or the natural surroundings at the reception as your backdrop. Customize your photo booth area with a custom photo booth backdrop with your names, wedding date or monogram. Make the photo booth area as self-serve as possible so your guests will feel uninhibited to pose as they wish.

photowallAnother idea is to create a “photo wall” that guests can pose behind as someone else takes their picture.

Here is another idea that is a little more complicated, but sounds like it might work. Read: “How to Make a Photo Booth for Your Wedding.”

Not that ambitious! Sounds like a lot of work to you? Rent a real photo booth staffed by professionals! Read: “Lights! Camera! Click, Click, Click, Click!”

Several of the photos (taken by Larry James) are from the wedding of Jennifer Lauver and Ryan Hinman (Las Vegas) – Married @ 4:00 p.m., Saturday, November 6, 2010 – Ashley Manor Hacienda, Chandler, AZ.

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Ceremony. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 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
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Candy Bar, Anyone?

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

Almost everyone had a sweet tooth. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a piece of candy now and then. Candy bars or buffets at receptions are becoming commonplace. The self-serve candy buffet is the latest trend in weddings today. They can add fun and a splash of color to your wedding reception.

A candy bar can be less expensive to offer than more elaborate appetizers or expensive wedding favors. A candy buffet isn’t free. Like any other “wow” factor at a wedding, it’s part of your overall investment. Be sure to buy enough candy and plan for it in your budget.

Candy buffets work best when you plan by the eye, not the numbers. “To make it look gorgeous, I’d start with the table, not the guest count. I’d take five to 10 types of candy, and buy 15 to 20 pounds each, whether you actually need that much or not,” says Jon Prince, president of online candy giant CandyFavorites.com. He adds, “When it comes to candy, the more the merrier. If you have a large table overflowing with candy, you have presence. The biggest disappointment I hear is that the candy buffet didn’t look substantial.”

candybarA candy buffet is a buffet consisting of various types of candy. A candy buffet is often put out after a reception dinner, and used in lieu of wedding favors. Some brides and grooms opt to have their own personalized wedding candy bars. Some have the bride and grooms names and date of the weding imprinted on the wrapper.

When choosing candies for the candy bar buffet, one should consider the wedding theme, colors, and one’s favorite candies. The most popular candy for a candy table is jelly beans, chocolate malt balls, pop-rocks, candy canes, foil-wrapped chocolates, wrapped chocolate caramels, lollipops, licorice, candy apples, peanut brittle, homemade caramels, salted nut rolls, other homemade candies, and M&M’s. Have a variety of sugar free hard candies available too. Labels are particularly important when items may be sugar-free or will contain nuts, as these can be critical considerations for guests’ diets.

Some will have cookies available on the table. 7 to 10 varieties of candies, with 15 to 20 pounds of each variety would be substantial to make the buffet look good and lavish. Make sure presentation is top notch with large glass bowls and vases. Presentation is the key to adding a decorative element to your candy bar. Clear containers are the best to show off your candy displays. Apothecary jars always look nice. Fill larger containers with the less expensive candies, smaller containers for the more expensive containers. Silver scoops will add a very elegant yet festive look to the candy bar.

While the treats themselves may be beautiful, don’t neglect table decorations. Colored linens, centerpieces, and scattered embellishments can turn an ordinary serving table into an elegant decoration.

Buying your candies from a bulk candy store will help cut down on the cost. There are plenty of online candy stores that sell at wholesale pricing. Also keep an eye out for sales during holiday seasons such as Halloween, Easter, or Christmas if your wedding is close to one of these holidays. Utilize post-holiday candy discounts to save big on the candy purchase.

Unattended children seem to run a muck at the candy buffet. Be sure to appoint someone to manage the bar, either your planner, hotel staff, or a family member can keep the bar neat and stocked with candy or at least be there to offer assistance. Another idea is to make the candy buffet available toward the end of the evening and have the disc jockey or MC invite guests to fill candy bags to take home.

Some couples like to put a sign on the candy buffet table. Often these signs draw a connection between the candy and the wedding. Here is the text to some of these signs:

• Love is Sweet!
• Sweet Dreams
• How ‘Sweet’ It Is To Be Loved By You!
• Sweet Emotion
• Sweets for my sweet. Honey for my sugar.
• It’s been a ‘treat’ having you here!

A candy buffet is an all-time crowd-pleaser. Think about how your guests will take the candy away from the buffet. Some brides have suggested using small cellophane bags, or classic white bags, or even take out containers matching the color theme of the wedding. Whatever type of container you use, make it fun and personalize with stamps, stickers or decals with thank-you messages on paper or plastic bags.

There are several other alternatives that can get the guests excited, like a cookie buffet, a flavored popcorn buffet or a variety of nuts (yummy – colorful sugar coated almonds). Both have been very well received by wedding guests.

A fancy donut bar with coffee also can work well. Gourmet or designer donuts are a hot trend in wedding desserts right now. . . so hot that some couples are opting for these heavenly deep-fried confections instead of the traditional wedding cake by having a donut cake tower; how fun is that?

Read: “M&M® Candies as Wedding Favors

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Ceremony. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 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
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

OneWed.com’s Top 10 Wedding Trends for 2011

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

Azure, Guest Author (OneWed.com)

Photo: Wedding flower centerpiece by FloralArt

1. Sophisticated Elegance Returns
It’s back to basics with elegant, sophisticated style in 2011. Wedding decor will be simple and understated, with modern design elements trumping DIY touches. Scripted calligraphy, custom monograms, and classic wedding cakes embody this trend. Brides will wear pearls, and grooms will ditch the Converse in favor of more tasteful wedding day kicks.

2. Outdoor Venues- Where It’s At
Couples tying the knot in 2011 will gravitate toward outdoor ceremony and reception venues. The raw, minimal backdrop of an outdoor setting leaves room for personalization and customization, a major perk for creative, hands-on nearlyweds. Lakeside venues, vineyard locations and spaces situated alongside sprawling mountains will dominate, and they’ll be spruced up with personalized touches that represent the bride and groom. You’ll find some serious outdoor weddings inspiration in our real weddings blog category!

3. Grey is the New Black, Crazy for Navy
Gloomy no more, grey is the neutral IT color for 2011 weddings. Organic and natural, shades of charcoal, dove, stone, oyster and shell will be incorporated liberally into wedding color palettes and paired with vibrant hues to make the colors pop! And while grey remains the talk of the town for 2011, navy blue (and other deep blues) are definitely on-trend for the coming year. Wonder if Prince Will’s royal wedding has anything to do with the crazy for navy trend… what do you think?

4. Mad for Metallics & Bold Color Palettes
Whether it’s two bright hues with a metallic accent, or several metallic shades used together, brights and metallics will be popular choices for wedding color palettes in 2011. Gilded gold, shimmery silver, and sparkling champagne will used alone or with accents of yellow, purple or teal. And since metallics make such a bold statement on their own, couples will scale back over-the-top decor in favor of a more restrained style aesthetic.

5. Big Ball Gowns are Back
Dramatic ball gown wedding dresses floated down 2011 bridal catwalks in droves. Wedding dress designers draped, ruched, and layered clouds of tulle, power netting, and chiffon to fashion wedding dresses with limitless volume. The outcome? Fairytale-inspired bridal style and whimsical wedding dresses for 2011 I Dos.

6. Grooms Take a Walk on the Stylish Side
Grooms are taking a stand in the name of fashion. Their tux choices will no longer be dictated by some “rent 5, get 1 free” deal. Instead, they’ll chose formal looks that represent their unique style. Bow ties will replace classic long neck ties, and embroidered dress shirts, engraved cufflinks, stylish lapel pins and the color of the season- grey- will grace the white aisles.

7. Wedding Invitations Go Green
The green weddings movement continues full speed ahead in 2011. From totally paperless wedding invitations and save-the-dates, to stationery printed on 100% recycled paper, invitations have truly gone green. Couples can find all they need with sites like WeddingPreParty (enabling online RSVP and party planning) and Nearlyweds.com (offering coordinating stationery and wedding websites).

8. Luxurious Textures– from the Dress to the Tablescape
Luxe textured fabrics will bring a sumptuous, opulent vibe to 2011 weddings. Wedding dresses will feature 3D applique, layered light fabrics (tulle, lace, chiffon), romantic ruffles, oversized florals, and illusion fabric with eye-catching beading. Textured linens will be layered to dress up reception tables, chair covers may be embroidered or beaded, and branchy centerpieces and floral arrangements will captivate wedding guests.

9. Ethnic Influences, Cultural Wedding Details
At long last, brides and grooms are embracing and showcasing their unique cultural traditions and ethnicity. Whether it’s a religious wedding ceremony ritual, traditional wedding day garb, cultural cuisine infused throughout the reception dinner, or wedding decor with bold, ethnic prints, you can’t help but embrace the unique cultures and ethnicities of couples in 2011.

10. Revved-Up Wedding Receptions
Who wants the best day of their lives to end? Not couples and guests in 2011, that’s for sure! Couples will plan a post-reception after party lasting into the wee hours of the night with drinks, entertainment, dancing, and snacks so that wedding guests can party all night long!

Now that you’ve read our predictions for the top 10 trends for 2011 weddings, share your thoughts! What do you love, what would you leave, and what did we miss? Post a comment below, tweet @OneWed or post on our Facebook page!

BONUS Article:11 Wedding Trends for 2011” by TheKnot.com

Copyright © 2011 – Asure, OneWed.com. Reprinted with permission. Visit OneWed.com’s Website and Wedding BLOG.

Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 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
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Time for a Humor Break!

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

Hmmm. Sometimes we don’t know what we have. . . until it’s gone!

Bridal Fashion Debut - Diamond Club Award 2011.lovepeace.jpgLarry James is non-denominational, an award winning wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 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
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: