Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Honeymoon. . . A Bit of Romantic History!

Filed under: Honeymoons — Larry James @ 7:00 am

honeymoonbedHoney wine, more commonly called Mead was the original wine in history. Mead was being enjoyed before grapes were cultivated. Since honey wine has so much history there are many stories attached to it.

The Norsemen and Vikings are well known for their drinking of Mead but when the English were introduced to honey wine, they called it a “Love Potion.”

It was an English tradition that a bride and groom drink honey wine from “moon to moon” (one month) in order to guarantee fertility in their marriage. That is how the word “Honeymoon” originated.

Today, the honeymoon is pretty much just an excuse for a vacation and a time for the newlyweds to be alone, which in some cases could have the same “fertile” result. 😉

However, unless you are lucky, the honeymoon usually doesn’t last a month.

BONUS Articles: Honeymoon Tips
Honeymoons – Almost Everything You Wanted to Know!

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.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wedding Etiquette

Filed under: Guest Authors,Wedding Etiquette — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Emily Edwards, Guest Author

I was raised with a heavy emphasis on Etiquette and Manners: Don’t chew with your mouth open; Send thank you notes when you receive a gift; Wait until everyone at the table has gotten their food before you begin eating; etc. etc.

etiquetteWell, as a kid this translated into rules, rules, rules… and I was not exactly a rule-oriented little girl. In fact, I liked to break the rules any chance I got, just for the sake of going against the grain. In fact, my favorite phrase was, “You’re not the boss of me!”

But one of my moms taught me that Etiquette was not just in place to “tell us what to do.” Rather, it was just an agreed upon way of doing things so that everyone (i.e. society) knows what to expect and there is not chaos and confusion.

A good example of this is traffic laws. Could you imagine if everyone was just doing their own thing on the roads and not following the agreed upon driving etiquette? I know some of you are saying, “As a matter of fact, yes I can! There are a ton of rude drivers out there.” And that is exactly the point.

If people are going through an intersection on a red light, changing lanes without signaling, or double parking… what does that cause? Chaos. Confusion. And sometimes disaster.

Well, the same is true with Etiquette. I know that Etiquette has been shifting and changing to accommodate our modern world and times, but the problem is that with everyone putting their own modern twist on Etiquette, it is losing the consistency of knowing what to expect… the very essence of why we need Etiquette in the first place.

For example, many people have started treating the acronym, R.S.V.P. as what you do if you are coming to an event. Some even make the mistake that it means, “Regrets Only.” They have forgotten or disregarded that R.S.V.P. is French for “Repondez, S’il Vous Plait” which means, “Respond, Please.” Respond if you are attending. Respond if you are NOT attending. RESPOND. This can have a huge impact on the host/hostess when planning an event. Especially one as large and typically formal as a wedding.

Since, as a Wedding Consultant, not following Etiquette has become one of my biggest pet peeves, I will spare you of me getting on my soapbox about the topic. But let me just say this: Following Etiquette is important. It may not be as dire as a traffic accident, I know. But please, Brides, Grooms and Guests alike, take the time to do your research and make sure you are following the proper Etiquette. It does not exist to boss you around, it is just common courtesy.

BONUS Article: Répondez s’il vous plaît! – RSVP

EmilyEdwards

Copyright © 2011 – Emily Edwards. Reprinted with permission. Emily Edwards is the owner and lead consultant of Your Heart’s Desire. She has over 10 years of experience as a Wedding Consultant and currently plans and coordinates over 15 weddings a year here in this beautiful state of Arizona. Call Emily at: 623-628-6280. Visit her Wedding Blog.

Your Heart’s Desire:
Winner of 2010 Best of Weddings – Presented by The Knot
Winner of 2011, 2010 and 2009 Bride’s Choice Award – Presented by WeddingWire
(We are proud to say that the Awards above are based on Votes and Reviews from our happy couples!)

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
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Let There Be Light! – A Videographer’s View!

Filed under: Videography — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Roger Resler, Guest Author

After starting a business as a wedding videographer – and despite the fact that I’m often a slow learner – it didn’t take long to figure out that while there are a number of things that are important to me (because they play a role in getting good footage), oddly enough, those same things are often not that big of a deal to everyone else. Go figure!

Once that reality sunk in, the question of how I was going to get good footage despite not having ideal conditions in which to do so presented itself.

Most of us like to watch Hollywood movies. And because of that, as well as television, we’ve become conditioned to a certain standard. Couples will forgive an amateur video production up to certain point because they are the subject matter and they obviously have an interest that goes beyond production quality. Still, as a professional, I want to do the best job I can possibly do. I want to hand the couple a set of Blurays and DVDs that will be “watchable” and in which production quality is the best it can be without having to charge Hollywood production rates.

videofilmstripAnd yet, what I’ve found over the years shooting weddings is that there are several converging factors, some of which are beyond my control, that work against that goal. I’ve also come to understand that Mr. Murphy and his law (which says that if anything bad can happen it will) are both still alive and well.

For example, mother nature is typically not very concerned about a videographer’s agenda. Not too long ago she decided to blow one of my tri-pods over – with camera attached of course. Every now and then she drops rain on us (I know that’s hard to believe in Phoenix, but it’s true!) and for some odd reason my cameras, just like my cat, are not too fond of getting wet. And of course who doesn’t love shooting an outdoor wedding in Phoenix’s balmy August weather? (My camera batteries, that’s who!)

But at least there’s usually sufficient light when shooting outdoors – at least while the sun is up. Moving inside for the reception, however, is nearly always another story. Low lighting at the reception is probably my number one complaint. We do, of course, bring along video lights, but seriously, who wants to stare into a blinding video light when the rest of the room is basically bathed in darkness? And who wants to watch virtually everyone grimace on the DVD when the camera light hits their eyes? Not exactly a recipe for a wedding video masterpiece!

While it’s true that our cameras operate fairly well in low light conditions, everything has it’s limit. The simple rule is that cameras need at least some light to function, and what constantly works against us is that the human eye requires quite a bit less. Many times we’ve dealt with hotels that want to “set the mood” and consequently lower the lights to a ridiculously dark level.

When that happens I will try to find out who’s in charge of the lights and ask them to please raise the level just a bit and only during important events as it will really make a big difference on the DVDs and Blurays. But this yields mixed results. On more than one occasion a staff member will raise the lights only to have another lower them again a couple minutes later. It must be an established rule that reception halls must be poorly lit in order to set a mood. Keep in mind, I’m not asking for the room to be lit up like Christmas. Just a reasonable level above pitch black would be nice!

Another problem is that there is never any warning. There’s no foghorns announcing the impending darkness. It just happens like a surprise solar eclipse. And, again proving Murphy’s vitality, it always happens while we’re filming so I can’t just leave the camera unattended while I search for whoever turned the lights down in order to beg them to reconsider.

Instead, we often simply have to deal with it. Sometimes, that leaves us little alternative but to turn on a mood-killing camera light. At other times we can compensate reasonably well. In all cases the footage won’t look as good as it would have with just little more room light.

As a couple in love and planning your wedding, I realize you probably have a thousand things on your to-do list and videography concerns are likely somewhere around 962, but if you’re planning a wedding and hiring a videographer (which you should, by the way, but that’s another article!) maybe you could remember this videographer’s whining when you talk to the wedding planner or site coordinator and politely request that they not dim the lights to their lowest level during the key moments at the reception that you want captured. If you remember to ask and the eclipse comes anyway, just remember to smile pretty at the big, bright, blinding light! You’ll be glad you did when you get your DVDs!

RogerReslerCopyright © 2011 – Roger Resler. Reprinted with permission. Roger Resler owns and operates Arizona Wedding Video, serving the Phoenix metro area and all of Arizona. Roger has been involved in audio and video production since the 1980’s. He has maintained a private production studio since 1988. Arizona Wedding Video was started in Phoenix in 2004 by Roger Resler. Ask Roger about “Video Invitations,” a creative and fun way to enhance your written invitations. Visit Roger’s Website or call 602-618-2033.

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.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Q & A – Can I Remove a Bridesmaid from the Wedding Party?

Filed under: Maid/Matron of Honor,The Maid of Honor,Wedding Attendants — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Linda Kevick, Guest Author

Q. I asked a friend to be in my wedding and now I regret it. I asked my bridesmaids too soon and I am left with one that I am not comfortable with anymore. We aren’t very good friends, in fact we are closer to acquaintances. I had asked her as just an off-handed comment, but when she later asked me to be in hers, which I know was to return the favor, I then felt I had to keep her in – even though my offer was completely non-committal. So am I in essence “stuck” with her or can I ask a closer friend to be in her place? This woman lives three hours away and we very rarely have contact. – Rachel N.

bridebridesmaidfightA. There is no question that you are in a very tough, un-enviable spot – and you are certainly not alone. This is a common problem encountered by brides-to-be. It is the very reason that I always urge couples to think very carefully before asking anyone to be a member of the wedding party, rather than spontaneously rushing into decisions. I generally suggest that people wait until the point that they have begun the actual wedding planning process before asking attendants, as so much can change with the passage of a little bit of time.

There’s no question that it’s best to avoid getting into these situations in the first place – because once they arise there is no easy way out, and it does become a sticky mess. Unfortunately, however, as in this case, sometimes that advice comes too late and suddenly you find yourself in the very position you are in now.

Without a doubt, your wedding will probably be the single most important day in your life, and it is so important to surround yourself on that day of all days with people who really matter; the type you know will likely be around for a long time to come. When you look back at your wedding pictures ten years from now, will the people you see in your photos still be a meaningful part of your life?

Will you even know where to find them? If you can’t answer yes to these questions, you may be choosing the wrong people.

However, the problem is that you did ask this girl, and unfortunately you may now have to live with that decision. To remove her or ask her to step down could be a very hurtful thing to do and therefore is absolutely not advisable. It is so important to project good manners, graciousness, and kindness of heart at all times surrounding an event like one’s wedding. To behave any other way is unbecoming of a bride.

crying_brideThe only time it is justifiable to remove someone from a wedding party is when there has been a serious falling out with that individual, when the individual has shown a blatant disregard for their role in the wedding, or has behaved extremely offensively or hurtful to you or other members of the wedding party. Since you’ve mentioned nothing of the sort, I’m assuming this is not the case in your situation. From what you’ve said, it sounds much more like a spontaneous, spur of the moment thing, where unfortunately you spoke before you had the chance to clearly think the matter through. It was an innocent mistake, but one which you may have no choice now but to live with – if you are going to do the right thing. And, it appears obvious to me that you do have great concern for doing the right thing, as evidenced by the fact that you took the time to submit this question.

However, it is not game over yet. As I said earlier, it is very important to have people in the wedding party who have great meaning to you, and so, with regards to the other young lady you now feel you would have preferred to ask, there is no reason why she cannot still be added. If you are worried about having an unequal number of bridesmaids to groomsmen, this need not be a concern. Today, this is being done frequently in wedding parties. All it may mean, in this case, is that one lucky groomsmen will have the privilege of escorting two ladies – a lady on each arm – instead of just one! (The guy will love this!). It can, in fact, be quite charming and delightfully refreshing in the eyes of your guests! Perhaps the very thing to make your wedding stand out in their minds as being a little more memorable! At the same time it can provide a very workable solution to your dilemma whereby everyone is happy, everyone gets what they want, and no one gets hurt.

So, you can still work with the situation, you see? The main thing is to ensure that you do nothing to make the young lady feel uncomfortable, unwanted, or unwelcome – even if it means applying extra special effort and going out of your way to ensure this. It is not her fault that you may have spoken too soon, and therefore she cannot, and should not, be punished.

Linda KevickCopyright © 2011 – Linda Kevick. Reprinted with permission. Linda Kevich is the creator and editor of SuperWeddings.com. She has been a professional wedding consultant for the past ten years, and now teaches the business of wedding consulting through a home study program she has developed. Have a wedding question? Click here to ask the expert!

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.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Time for Your Honeymoon – Time to Get Packing!

Filed under: Honeymoons,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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I know. . . I’ve said this before but it needs to be repeated: Don’t plan to leave on your honeymoon immediately. The honeymoon is very special so give yourself a couple of days (or more) to rest. Open gifts, write “thank you” notes, sleep late, rest and just be together. The wedding and reception may cause extreme exhaustion. It’s a big day. When you are fully rested, go for it!

There may be times when you will not need a travel agent. One of those times is NOT when you’re on your honeymoon. Call my award winning, travel consultant friend, Sam Becchetti-Dockter (Mesa, AZ) at 480-838-9447 or click here for more info.

What to pack for the honeymoon?

First things first: Create a packing list. If you prepare this ahead of time you’ll have the confidence of knowing you are unlikely to leave anything important behind. If you have a copy of your vacation packing list with you – or leave a packing list with a trusted friend or family member while on your honeymoon, you’ll have a complete record of any loss. . . heaven forbid. The honeymoon is your time to relax after the wedding – not go shopping for items you forgot to pack.

Find the appropriate size suitcase for your length of stay and make sure it is sturdy and in good condition. Remember luggage locks approved by TSA and ID tags for luggage (inside and out). Try rolling clothes to make more room. Finish with the smaller items that can fill in the holes. If you have a luggage set, pack everything inside your second-largest bag, then put that bag inside the largest bag. This gives you the extra space for all sorts of goodies (souvenirs) you buy while you are on your honeymoon.

beachcoupleSpending time at a honeymoon beach location? Remember your swimsuit, cover-ups, sunglasses and sunscreen. Suntan lotion and mosquito repellent might also be a great idea.

Pack some dressy or semi-formal attire for that very special 5-Star restaurant. Romantic honeymoons often include luxurious dinners at formal restaurants, which may require a dress and a suit and tie. Even if your plans don’t include eating some place fancy, you may still want at least one dressy outfit for other occasions, including dancing, attending a musical or other honeymoon ideas.

A few extras might include candles, flower petals, perfume and, of course, intimates for a honeymoon you’ll never forget. Most hotels have CD players so consider packing a couple of your favorite “romantic” CDs.

passportIf your are traveling outside the United States, remember your passport. Be sure it’s up-to-date. Many honeymoon hotels require it at check-in. If you do not yet have a passport, find a passport facility near you, as the process of obtaining one can be lengthy. Click here for Passport information.

When you purchased your marriage license, hopefully you also purchased a “certified” copy to be sent to you after the minister or wedding officiant files your license with the County Clerk’s office. If not, you can usually request a certified copy when you return. The passport people and the Social Security Administration requires a certified copy of your marriage license to change your name. Depending upon the time of the year, you may not receive the certified copy for 4 to 6 weeks after your wedding. In that case, if you will be changing your name and if you will be leaving soon after the wedding, you should use your old passport with your maiden name for the honeymoon and change your name when you return.

Several days before you leave, check out the latest weather and climate reports. Be prepared. A lightweight but warm jacket, poncho, sturdy walking shoes (I love Teva® Sandals) and a small umbrella will probably be good investments for honeymoon getaways in any climate, especially if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors. Don’t bother taking shoes or clothes you’ve never worn before. Pack a good hat that protects your face and neck. For the extra sun-sensitive, there is specially-designed clothing that can block out the sun and keep you cool. Wear comfortable clothes for honeymoon travel and be sure to carry necessities in a carry-on bag.

Here is a partial list that might be helpful:

• Have a neighbor check on the house (and collect the mail) when you’re away. Better yet, go online and stop mail delivery until you return.
• Cellphone and charger
• Adapters and converters. Electrical items in foreign countries need both, make sure you have the right one for your destination. Check with AAA. Leave home with everything fully charged
• Digital camera (compare prices), batteries, memory cards, manual
• iPod (compare prices) /MP3 player and headphones, batteries, mini-speakers
• Camera case
• Mini binoculars for sight seeing excursions
• Plastic Zip-Loc bags for wet swimsuits & misc. They’re great for storing things that might leak and take up no space.
• Buy travel insurance, especially if you’re going somewhere exotic with diseases you may not have been exposed to
• Foreign-language dictionary or phrase book
• Journal/notebook and pen
• Maps and directions
• Hotel reservation and FAX confirmations
• Two sets of photocopies of all of credit cards, related medical and/or trip insurance coverage and prescriptions (carry one set with you, leave one in the hotel room)
• Phone numbers for your doctor, house/cat sitter, and credit card companies (in case your cards are lost or stolen)
• Prescription medicine (in the original bottle)
• Contraception
• Massage oil 😉
• Mini-DVD player or DVD-capable laptop and DVDs
• Reading material
• Travel guide(s)
honeymoonhammock• Address labels for sending postcards or e-mail addresses of friends
• Auto insurance card (you’ll need it if you rent a car)
• Business cards
• Cash
• Credit Cards ((take only those you’ll need)
• Copy of marriage license
• Copy of medical history, if necessary
• Copy of vacation packing list
• Driver’s license/international driver’s license
• Emergency numbers and embassy address
• Frequent flyer/frequent guest cards
• Paper airline tickets or e-ticket confirmation
• Photo ID
• Pre-paid phone card
• Travelers checks and receipt (keep separate)
• Get foreign currency at your bank before you leave. Check the exchange rates.
• Money belt
• Vaccination certificates, if required
• Consider having your luggage sent ahead so that you’ll only have to deal with a light carry-on bag when you head out for your romantic honeymoon getaway
• Call to see if your hotel provides hair dryers or other such beauty appliances in order to save you some room
• If you forget something, you can buy it there. (And then UPS it home!!)

For an expanded check list, click here.

What to Leave Behind With Family or Close Friends:

• Your itinerary and hotel phone numbers
• A sealed copy of your wills, life insurance-policy numbers
HoneymoonCouple• Photocopies of all credit cards, travel and traveler’s check documents, vaccination document, prescriptions, health-insurance card(s), pertinent financial info, and medical or trip insurance documents detailing coverage and contacts. Also photograph your luggage contents in case of loss. At the hotel, store all this in the main or in-room safe. Leave copies – and your itinerary, contact numbers, and a sealed envelope with copies of your wills and life insurance information – with someone back home.

Carry on at least one bag that contains a full change of clothes, prescription medications, sunglasses and anything else that would completely ruin the trip if it got lost or delayed in flight. Think about the must haves and pack them in the carry-on luggage.

Don’t pack anything valuable – don’t even take it if you don’t really need it – since almost all checked bags are searched these days in the interest of security, and locks will be cut off of bags if they are locked. If you must take something of value, be sure it’s in your carry-on bag or in your pocket. On a trip to Italy, I was told by a Police Officer in Naples to remove my gold necklace – or at least put it inside my shirt out of sight – as theives outside the train station have been known to rip jewelry from tourist’s necks.

If you are flying to your destination, it’s common to get dehydrated while flying, so take a bottle of water with you. Pay attention to the first side-effects of dehydration – headache followed by nausea – and be sure to drink plenty of water, both on your flight and at your destination.

Oh, and one more thing. Anything that is on your person that will set off a metal detector will slow you down, and anything on you or in your carry-on bag that is on the airlines’ list of banned items will really slow you down. Make sure your shoes are not only comfortable but that you can get in and out of them easily and quickly when you go through security. Shoes that are easy to slip on and off are best for flying anyway, since feet tend to swell up in-flight. Check the latest flight rules from the Transportation and Security Administration. Remember TSA’s “3-1-1 Rule.” Most hotels provide shampoo and soap. Just pack one-time-use products like antibacterial wipes and pouches of sun block.

BONUS Articles:

Honeymoons – Almost Everything You Wanted to Know!
Honeymoon Tips
A Great Honeymoon Idea
Honeymoon Planning Checklist

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.

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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://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Are Wedding Readings Passé?

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

Not at all. Although only about 30% of the of the couples I marry choose to have readings, readings can be one of the best ways to personalize your wedding. Readings are often given by close friends, family members, or parents.

Not everyone can be in the wedding party, but loved ones can still be included in the wedding ceremony by asking them to do a reading. It’s a great option if you have a friend that isn’t a part of the wedding party but you would like to honor them by having them do the reading.

I encourage couples to add some personal touches to the ceremony by selecting readings that sincerely reflect to everyone how much they love each other. If you want your reading to be interesting for the guess, choose readings that most people haven’t heard before.

Make certain that you choose what you want to have read during your wedding ceremony. During one of my recent wedding interviews the bride and groom told me that they would like a reading however they did not want any scripture that talked about the wife being subservient to the husband. Here is what the reader read:

“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. . . Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.” ~ Ephesians 5:17

The bride was visibly shaken. The mistake they made was asking a close friend to “choose” her own reading. The friend – not being aware of my conversation with the bride and groom – chose the very scripture that they had told me they didn’t want.

So. . . the lesson learned: “YOU choose the reading and ask the reader to send you what they will read for final approval.”

readingsHere are a few tips about choosing your wedding ceremony readings.

• One of the most significant ways to personalize your wedding – and particularly, your ceremony – is to choose wedding ceremony readings that are meaningful to you. If not you would be better off not having a reading. Does the reading express how you feel about each other? Do they make a statement about your commitment to each other? WIll they inspire your guests?

• Choose the lyrics from a favorite song as a reading. No music. Just the words read as a poem. A recent couple chose to have the word from “God Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts read at their wedding. The guests reaction was noticable. It was as if they were hearing the song, but there was no music. I saw several people immediately recognize the lyrics as a song. Very effective. Choose a song that helps you relive the time when you first met, or expresses the way you feel about each other now. To search for song lyrics by artist name, click here.

“God Bless The Broken Road”

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn’t see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I’d like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You’ve been there you understand
It’s all part of a grander plan that is coming true

Now I’m just rolling home
Into my lover’s arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.

• A novel or poem that captures your relationship also works well. For a few examples, click here.

• Search for quotes online, or in a book of quotes. Use quotes that express what you want to say. Then continue to write a few words about its meaning to you. You do not have to be the best writer, or the most eloquent person. It doesn’t have to be long (or perfect), only a few sentences will do.

beachreader• Are you on a spiritual path? If your relationship is grounded in a particular religion, then choosing a quote from a sacred text may be the perfect option for a wedding ceremony reading. A few of the verses from 1 Corinthians 13 (known as the Love chapter) is often heard at weddings.

• Bilingual? Consider having someone read a text in your native language. The nuances of language are endless, and a text in one language can have a different feel when translated to another. If you choose to do this (and there are people at your wedding who do not speak the language), it is a good idea to either read the passage in English afterward, or to print it in your program as a reference. Your guests will want to know what was said!

I performed a beach wedding in Rocky Point, Mexico several years ago. The bride had been baptized by a Priest a few weeks after she was born. We had the former Priest come forward during the ceremony to offer a blessing for the bride and groom in Spanish. I then read the English translation for the guests. This created numerous favorable comments at the reception.

Another idea is to print your wedding reading in the Wedding program that is given to the guests.

Make sure you think carefully about who you ask, as they will need to be able to speak up and speak clearly. Although being asked to give a wedding reading is an honor, it can also be quite a daunting task. Choose someone who will be honored to do the reading and who is excited about doing it. Tell them to look over the selected text in advance and practice reciting it to become comfortable with “reading” the content. Nerves can make them read faster and sometimes without expression. Ask them to clearly enunciate words and look at the bride and groom while reading.

bookheart

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.

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

The World’s Oldest Wedding Cake – A Slice Of History

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

Steph Oliver, Guest Author

The cake is 113 years old

It may not make your mouth water but this is thought to be the world’s oldest complete wedding cake dating back to 1898.

The cake which was baked 113 years ago has now got brown icing because the sugars have seeped through to the surface.

It also has a crack in its side due to vibrations from a bomb blast during the second world war.

The cake is now stored in an air conditioned gallery

But tests with a syringe have shown the rich fruit cake inside the ornate icing is still moist – although not edible!

The four-tier cake was orginally displayed in a family bakery until it closed in 1964, then kept in an attic before being donated to the Willis Museum in Basingstoke, where it has just gone on show.

It was given to the museum by the baker’s daughter.

Curator Sue Tapliss told Sky News: “The baker’s daughter, who was unmarried, donated the cake towards the end of her life because she feared someone might discover it in her attic and think she had been jilted at the alter. Pieces of Queen Victoria’s wedding cake were auctioned off, but this is the world’s oldest complete one. We hope it can be enjoyed for a further 113 years.”

In 1898 Queen Victoria was on the throne and HG Wells’ sci-fi classic War Of The Worlds was published.

It was also the year in which the 21st Lancers made the last ever British cavalry charge at the Battle of Omdurman in Sudan.

Copyright © 2011 – Steph Oliver. Steph Oliver reports for Sky News online. Visit the Sky News Website: http://news.sky.com/skynews/.

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.

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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/
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Post-Wedding Credit Card Blues? Here’s the Solution!

Filed under: $$$ Tips,Budget,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Here’s a SHOCKER! – Nearly 90% of all divorces in the first 7 years are caused by money problems!

According to the Federal Reserve Board, consumers’ outstanding debt on credit cards and other revolving loans has grown continuously over the last decade hitting $1.5 trillion.

Not every couple has the luxury of having their parents share in the expenses of their wedding. However, I strongly recommend that instead of putting all the expenses that you are responsible for on a credit card, once you know that wedding bells are in your future begin to work on a budget together and save every penny you can into a special wedding fund.

A budget is telling your money what to do. A written plan, if actually agreed on, will remove many of the “money fights” from your arriage and add a new level of unity to your marriage. It would be wise to start NOW to save at least 10% of your take-home pay for your future! Read: “The Richest Man in Babylon.”

A wedding is an expensive undertaking. (Opps! Please excuse the use of the word, “undertaking”). 😉 Or put another way. . . weddings are extremely expensive these days.

creditcardcutOnce you have a plan. . . stick with it! Unless you have won the lottery or have been really good about saving money, the price tag for your wedding is likely going to take a big bite out of your budget. It’s smart to routinely doublecheck all expenses and track the budget.

Hashing out monetary matters may not make for romantic pillow talk, but a little planning can do a lot for your love life down the line. It is wise to talk money before your relationship becomes serious. A person’s financial habits are an incredible insight into their values and ethics. Marriage is a time that often tests the bride and groom’s financial compatibility. Consider personal spending habits when determining how to establish and manage your finances. As you plan be sure to take into consideration any current debt you already have.

Long before the wedding, determine with the families who will pay for what and how much they are willing to spend. Never ask anyone to spend more than they can afford. Once it is decided who will pay for what and how much, you can get on with determining your wedding budget. By setting priorities and planning a budget for your wedding you automatically eliminate a certain amount of stress that can become a distraction as the big day approaches.

fistofbucksResist putting your expenses on plastic! Bad move. It is not wise to finance your future together. I strongly suggest not using loans or credit cards for wedding expenses because you will more than likely have other expenses pop up once you say, “I do.”

A better idea is to save for the wedding expenses for which you would be using a credit card. If you want or need to get married before you are able to save the money, cut back on the expenses for the wedding so you don’t need to charge anything. It is possible to save money and have a great wedding at the same time.

Be smart! Plan ahead! If you get started early, you’ll have the time and flexibility to shop sales, cut coupons, do-it-yourself and comparison shop. However, I do not recommend that the fee of a wedding vendor be the only criteria. Service excellence is the key. I know it’s cliché but the best often does cost more. When you find someone that is a little more than you have budgeted for, cut back in another area.

Don’t be tempted to sign up for a store credit card to get your hands on discounts. Most retail store credit cards are not very different than regular credit cards, but they do have some big downsides. One of these is the astronomical interest rates that you’ll be charged if you don’t pay off your balance on time. If you’re continuously rolling a balance over to the next month, the discount that initially grabbed your attention is as good as worthless once you account for the interest charges. In other words, “money down the drain.”

dollardownthedrainThink about getting married on a Sunday in someone’s backyard. Often there is a lower demand for Sunday weddings can help you cut costs across the board.

If there are no other options and you must charge wedding expenses to your credit cards, do so sparingly. Here are few things you can do to prepare. (Note: A bankcard connected to your joint banking account that you can use as a “debit” card would be preferable.)

First, you might want to open a credit card that has a 0% introductory rate for 6-12 months. Since you know you’ll be carrying a balance for a few months, this 0% rate can reduce your interest costs. Just be sure that you pay your bill on time each month (or your rate will skyrocket) and have a solid plan for paying the debt off before the end of the introductory term. Next, check to see that your credit limits are high enough for the charges you have planned. If your credit card balance goes over 35% of your limit, your credit scores could drop dramatically. You can call your creditors to request a credit limit increase if you think you may need one.

Once the budget is set, the hard choices must follow. How many guests? How expensive a cake? How elegant an invitation? An afternoon brunch or a full-course dinner during the evening? One photographer or more? A limo or a friend’s convertible? A wedding in June or July in the Greater Phoenix areas “off-season” months? (Unless it’s indoors, outside weddings in “off-season months are uncomfortable for the guests because of the desert heat). A wedding gown from the priciest shop in town or one from an outlet store or a mail order catalog or the Internet? Whatever the choices, the future bride and groom should probably pay any deposits with a credit card to ensure that they receive what they’re paying for. (This paragraph contributed by FamilySecure.com)

Remember, one of the only reasons that you should consider paying with a credit card is that paying with a credit card offers some protection should you postpone or cancel the wedding (wedding insurance is a better idea), or should you desire to withhold payment if there is a problem with the service or product.

Do your best to keep your spending under control, and only indulge in things that really matter. Remember. . . a wedding is about love, romance and commitment, not about expensive favors for your guests or going on an expensive honeymoon immediately after the wedding. With proper planning, budgeting and looking for alternative ways to cut corner, it is still possible to reduce the costs significantly and celebrate that special day joyfully and peacefully and credit card free.

Want a brighter future together? Avoid the peril of credit cards for your wedding expenses.

daveramseyBONUS Articles:100 Ways to Cut Wedding Costs
Splitting the Wedding Costs
Get Out of Debt with the Debt Snowball Plan” by Dave Ramsey, author of “The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

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.

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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://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

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