Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wedding Dress Shopping and Your Entourage

Filed under: Wedding Dress,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Mrs. Hancock, President and Founder & Amy Bacon, Wedding Division Head, Guest Authors

Shopping for that special dress is such an exciting time! Of course, if your friends were Drama and Turtle (from HBO’s show Entourage), you’d be in and out of there in a jiffy; however we know the truth of the matter. Here are a few tips that will assist you and your Bridal Shop owner have a fantastic shopping experience:

1. For the very best service, please make an appointment! Call your Dress Shop owner, make an appointment and ask if it’s alright if you bring 7 people with you. Space may be at a premium; with perhaps a lack of seating. We’d prefer to see you bring only 1 to 3 others and have that small entourage be comfortable. Comfort is key when shopping. If you can go in the middle of the week or during the day or evening, the chances are you may have the place mostly to yourselves. Worst day of the week: Saturday.

wedding-dress-shopping2. Dress Shop owners prefer that very small children remain at home. Crying children disrupts others and as dresses and other items in the store are fragile and sometimes expensive, children running about worry Shop owners; this many times add a level of frustration and pulls focus. It’s all about you, not your Maid of Honor’s 4-year old. Please remember to be respectful of the other Brides and their friends in the shop.

3. Do your research. Think on your venue. The flowers you like, formal or cocktail; your body type, color palette, etc. These are all important things to consider before shopping. If you can pull magazine photos to share with the dress shop specialist, it will help them assist you! You may not want a formal dress if you’re having a Sunday Brunch wedding, for example.

4. Consider bringing only your most trusted advisors. Your dress is your dress and it’s your opinion that truly matters. However, should you feel bringing 7 people is what you need, then please ask that your young ladies be positive and supportive. We want you to find the perfect gown and other people’s opinions are just that.

5. Fuel up! Be sure to eat the day of, so that you have the energy to get through the event. Driving all over the Valley will be tough when you’re hungry; keep the “crankies” at bay. Drink plenty of water. Consider having a dutch-lunch, breakfast or hosted brunch prior to your outing and make it a lovely and memorable event. Consider bringing bottled water and snacks; granola bars, a bag of veggies, or unsalted almonds are perfect! Don’t drink alcohol for 48-hours before shopping and lower your salt intake to avoid swelling.

6. Dress for the occasion! Multiple layers cause changing issues. Consider a sun dress and bring a couple of different styles of brassieres and shoes; maybe a pair or two of earrings.

7. Most Brides want to lose some weight prior to their wedding day; that’s fine. Please don’t spend time judging yourself and your weight. Need to lose 10 pounds, not a problem! It’s about the dress. Don’t go to that ‘poor me’ place. Have FUN!

8. If you’re an older bride or are on your 3rd or 4th marriage. . . consider something other than white (at least for a minute). Mix it up! Try Silver or Gold, tea length and stand out as a woman of a certain age.

9. You’re always welcome to return if need be. You don’t have to pick a gown that day. Mull; consider and make the best possible choice for the time of day, time of year, inside or outside ceremony and, your figure.

Copyright © 2011 – Mrs. Hancock & Amy Bacon. Reprinted with permission. Amy Bacon is the Wedding Division Head for Mrs. Hancock’s Inc., and has over 8 years of experience planning and coordinating weddings. Amy is consistently recognized for her excellent work ethic and dedication. Her strong communication and interpersonal skills easily wins her client’s confidence. Amy is diplomatic in difficult and stressful situations and is a resourceful problem solver; analyzing situations rapidly, making decisions and meeting demanding objectives. Visit their Website and Blog or call 602-762-1174.

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 460 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 “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Scoop on Wedding Contests and Giveaways!

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

Adam Anderson, Guest Author

happyBrideWedding contests and giveaways are a great way to save money and get fun stuff for your big day! You can win anything from the postage stamps that go on your invites, to a free honeymoon in Hawaii! There are lots of places where you can go online and register for free giveaways, but it can be very time consuming filling out all those forms.

TheWV.com has made it easy to register for lots of free wedding giveaways all in one place! We bring the contests and giveaways right to you! If you are a member of TheWV.com you have access to our new “Wedding Giveaways” page. Registering for LOTS of giveaways is as easy as 1-2-3.

Log in to your account with TheWV.com (or register with us)

• Go to the giveaways page
• Click enter on any or ALL of the free giveaways you would like to enter!

No forms asking you a million questions, just a simple click and you are entered!

We add new giveaways weekly courtesy of the vendors listed on TheWV.com!

Right now TheWeddingVendor.com has some great wedding giveaways going:

hawaii• Win a free honeymoon at Wailea Beach in Maui, Hawaii
• Win a custom cake card box
• Win a custom made-for-you gift basket
• Win perfect postage stamps with beautiful wedding designs
• Win a free name change service for after you are married
• There are more contests being added each week!

If you are not already, Register with TheWV.com and go to the giveaways page so you can enter all of our wedding contests!

Copyright © 2011 – Adam Anderson. Reprinted with permission. TheWeddingVendor.com has thousands of wedding vendors from across the US and Canada that are standing by to help you with your wedding plans. There is no registration required so start searching for wedding vendors today! Visit Adam’s Website and Blog.

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 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

Saturday, May 21, 2011

So. . . You’re the Best Man, Eh??

Filed under: Guest Authors,The Best Man,Toasts — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Wendy Hartigan, Guest Author

Kye Harman is a very clever and amusing gentleman from the U.K. that has a blog called Simply The Bestman. He wanted to send me this article because he happened on my blog recently and thought I needed more for the men in the wedding. So, here are some tips on being the bestman. Enjoy the article and then take a look at Kye’s blog for more advice, etiquette and ideas. Thanks to Kye for this great piece!

So you have been asked to be best man, you have gone through the usual stages as it sinks in. First, your friend/brother/cousin has finally acknowledged you are indeed the “Best Man”, a fact you have believed all along, what’s more you’re finally going to get a free meal out of him.

Then the touching sentiment has dawned, that of all the people he knows he has chosen you to be by his side on the most important day of his life.

And finally you realise the massive task you now face, organising the stag do (can anyone actually co-ordinate his rabble of friends and family for a decent knees up?), taking care of the main man and seeing him through his big day and then there is the sphincter tightening realisation that you are going to have to write and deliver the killer Best Man’s speech.

But where do you begin? It is possibly one of the most daunting roles a man will face.

Most modern couples plan their weddings with near military precision (although this is mostly down to the sensible bride rather than the hapless groom) however you might be called upon to help out. Make sure you communicate regularly with the happy couple in the build up to their big day offering your services where required. They have picked you for this huge honour for a reason so make sure you help out wherever you can.

Communication is king. Stay in regular contact with the happy couple, find out what roles they would like you to fulfil on the day and how they would like your help during the planning. The groom will probably have a few ideas of his own when it comes to the stag do, make sure you respect his wishes at all times (well… most of them). A day crawling from one bar to another en route to a lapdancing club might be your idea of fun but is it his? And will this land him in any trouble with the soon to be Mrs?

Also you might find the groom is starting to break under the strain of having to choose the best one out of 200 dresses that all look the same to him and other assorted tasks he didn’t see coming. The beautiful girl he fell in love with has suddenly turned into Bridezilla, and at times it will feel to him that no matter what he says or does, any word of him will bring forth accusations of not caring or pulling his weight and a few lonely nights on the sofa. Offering to get him out on “wedding fact finding missions” to the local bar might be an invaluable help.

The greatest advice we can offer to any Best Man is to get organised early. When facing such a massive task many guys revert to type and work under the delusion that “if I just don’t worry about it it’ll sort itself out and it’ll all be ok in the end” or are filled with such dread of everything that faces them that they simply bury their head in the sand and keep putting everything off until “tomorrow.” Bad idea.

The more you put things off until the last minute the more of a panic you’ll find those last few weeks before the wedding. And come the big day the bride and groom will be panicking enough already without finding out that the man they thought they could rely upon above all others has spent the last few weeks trying to beat his highest score on “Call of Duty” rather than taking care of the tasks he had promised faithfully to accomplish.

Now it is fair to say that most women are far more organised than us guys. One thing that certainly sets us apart is the matter of writing lists. Most guys at some time or other have noted how the woman in their life has an inbuilt propensity for writing lists for pretty much everything that happens or needs to happen in her life. While we guys find this notion completely alien. Lists are for girls right? Or are they?

In fact men are actually the king of lists, it is indeed where we thrive. Not convinced? Name your top 5 films of all time? Greatest All Star NBA line up of all time? Top 10 albums of the 20th century? Lists are the corner stone of the most hotly debated guy talk in barss and offices the length and breadth of the country. So start with a list of tasks the future Mr and Mrs wedded bliss have asked you to take care of before the wedding. A list of the names and numbers/email address of the stag attendees, a list of everything you’ll need to attend to on the big day.

Its really not as scary as you think. Communicate. Get organised. Write those lists. Soon you’ll find you’re halfway there and that on the day you will indeed be the BEST MAN. As for that speech, well we’ve got a few tips for you there as well.

As for those lists… we thought we’d share of few of our own. Although obviously we don’t like to think of them as “lists”. These are just a sample of our “Top 10’s.” We don’t write lists. . . Lists are for girls! 😉

Top 10 Stag Do Daytime Activities

1. SKeet Shooting
2. Paintball
3. Go Karts
4. ATV Riding
5. Racing School
6. White Water Rafting
7. 4×4 Off Road Driving
8. Mud Buggies
9. Tank Driving
10. Infantry Experience

Top 6 Stag Do Anthems

1. White Wedding ~ Billy Idol
2. It’s Over ~ Roy Orbison
3. Love Is The End ~ Keane
4. See You On The Other Side ~ Ozzy Osbourne
5. Modern Love ~ David Bowie
6. It’s The End Of The World As We Know It ~ REM

Top 8 Bachelor Weekends

1. Golfing Weekend – For the competitive streak in you why not get a bit of Tiger Woods style action (minus the prostitutes, press exposure and loss of endorsements).

2. Road Trip – Hire some classic wheels or VW camper vans and take the groom on a road trip back down memory lane to all those happy places he’s never going to be allowed to see again.

3. Go Overboard ~ 3 men in a boat? Why not hire a cruiser and find every fine beach bar along the coast.
The world’s your lobster. See the big picture and go find yourselves a new playground to have fun in.

4. Overseas Trip ~ The world’s your lobster. See the big picture and go find yourselves a new playground to have fun in.

5. Go Native ~ Tents, tequila and tantrums. Can any bachelor party survive the riggers of a camping trip and live to tell the tale?

6. Activities Weekend ~ ATV riding, go cart racing, skeet shooting, kayaking. Why not visit one of many activities centres and do the whole lot?

7. Summer Camp ~ Remember getting packed off to summer camp when you were at school and hoping after the archery, rock climbing and white water rafting you can get drunk and talk one of the girls into letting you put your hand up her sweater? Well there are now many summer camps that cater for bachelor parties at weekends.

8. Kidnap ~ Try any of the above just don’t tell the groom. Simply tell him what to pack, turn up on the day and bundle him in the back of a waiting car. Be sure to make it authentic and hand the bride a ransom note telling her where to pick him up and what the price of his safe return will be.

BONUS Articles: Wedding Toasts
Rambling Ron, Rita and the “Toasted” Toaster
Tips on Giving a Wedding Toast

Copyright © 2011 – Wendy Hartigan. Reprinted with permission. Wendy is a Wedding Consultant and is the owner of Wendy’s Affairs of the Heart in Philadelphia. She offers a variety of consultation and planning packages to give you just the right amount of assistance to make your special day truly special and stress-free for you, your families, and your loved ones. Visit her Wedding Website and Blog.

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 460 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, May 17, 2011

It’s Really Terrific When Good People Say Nice Things About You. . .

Filed under: LoveNotes for Larry James,Rave Reviews! — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Here are some of the comments that couples have said about Larry James and his “romantic,” award winning wedding ceremony:

LoveNote. . . “Thank you so much for being a part of the most amazing day of our lives. You helped make the most important words we will ever say to each other so easy. Words cannot thank you enough for your role on that special day.” – Brittany & Phillip (PJ) Foster

thank-you-2LoveNote. . . “Larry James has a beautiful and meaningful ceremony. When my husband and I first met with him we both got a little teary-eyed reading it and we both felt that the ceremony described how we really feel about marriage. What we liked about Larry was that he was very organized and prompt, and he allowed us to personalize the ceremony to meet our wishes.” – Lauren & Nam Ha

LoveNote. . . “Although Larry’s services are little more expensive than other ministers, it was totally worth it. My husband and I enjoyed the ceremony so much. It was entertaining and heartfelt. We received several compliments on the ceremony itself and on Larry! Larry is professional, personable, and he has a great sense of humor. He was also flexible in rescheduling the rehearsal when we had a change of plans. He really was a joy to work with!” – Brenna & Josh Maynard

LoveNote. . . “Larry was the most important part of our ceremony. He came very professionally dressed (he is willing to do some funny stuff too) and carried the ceremony better than we could have imagined. He was an absolute delight to have as our officiant and you should have him too!” – Amanda & Shane Lunneborg

LoveNote. . . “Our ceremony was absolutely amazing! Larry was very accommodating to work with and provided us with many suggestions throughout the entire planning process. Our ceremony was breathtaking and several people could not stop talking about how amazing our officiant was. He even helped me out in the middle of the ceremony as I became very emotional! Thanks Larry for making our wedding so memorable!” – Jennifer & Justin Humpal

LoveNote. . . “Larry was the most amazing officiant. I am not super religious and he described me perfectly. Spiritual but not religious. His ceremony was so beautiful and that was the thing I got complimented on the most. Every single person said they were in tears with everything he said and they had never seen such a beautiful ceremony. I was so lucky to find him. Thanks Larry!” – Karissa & Jake Shipp

LoveNote. . . “Larry James went above and beyond our expectation of an officiant. Tailoring the ceremony to fit our needs exactly. Larry James took the necessary amount of time needed to truly understand us and our personalities to accommodate what we were looking for in a ceremony. This was the last thing we expected during our first interview (an unrushed meaningful interview with depth), we are very impressed and his reputation holds true!

Larry James didn’t just show up to rehearsal, he participated, offering feedback based on his experience. Larry James took time to understand us which resulted in the personal touch that a wedding should have. We like to work with people who “want” to do their profession, show passion and care about their service or product. Larry James does just that and played a significant role on the biggest day of our lives. We are confident that nobody could have done it better.” – Holly & Tyler O’Neal

LoveNote. . . “Hello Larry. Phyllis and I are back from our “mini”moon and was delighted to find your package in the mail. We just wanted to say how much we appreciated your attention to detail and the many references you provided. It made our job much easier to plan our wedding. The ceremony was beautiful and we truly appreciated you allowing and encouraging us to personalize our ceremony. I have to say Larry, while your ceremony was very beautiful. . . Phyllis was absolutely stunning and she stole all the thunder! As you might imagine, I am a happy, happy man! We won’t hesitate to recommend your services whenever the opportunity presents itself. – Phyllis & John Underwood

thankyou2

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. 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 460 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

Friday, May 13, 2011

The BIG “However. . .” about Costco Weddings!

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

Well, it had to happen. When you hear “Costco,” you’re more likely to think of jumbo platters of frozen cocktail wieners, forty rolls of toilet paper, six cornish hens, coffee, dog biscuits, and packages of eight tubes of toothpaste.

As the American purveyor of bulk paper towels, discount tires and hamburger meat, huge carts, tasty food samples galore, Costco is opening a bridal boutique in its warehouses. You’ll find the Waterford crystal next to the tires and mayonnaise. Costco is now in the wedding business.

WeddingCartoonCare for a “warehouse wedding,” anyone? Perhaps we should call it “Costcouture.” 😉

The cover story in the March 2011 issue of “The Costco Connection” reads, “From Shopping Aisle to Wedding Aisle.”

Now. . . the BIG “However. . .”

Sounds like a great idea and admittedly (I am a Costco member) there are some great bargins there. . .

HOWEVER. . . let me give you some things to think about before you decide to go all-out at Costco for your wedding.

The article focused on current Costco members who have had great experiences using the various services that are available. These couples were primarily those who were “do-it-yourselfers.” Yes, they did save some coins, however they were all burdened with the responsibility of planning every phase of their wedding – that was on top of all the other things that they had to be concerned with that are expected if they are not “do-it-yourselfers.”

The most basic answer to the question “Why DIY? (Do-it-yourself)” would be to save money. AND. . . if all you want to do is save money and accept total responsibility for doing everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) to make your wedding great. . . perhaps it’s a good idea. However, I recommend that you hire a Wedding Consultant to do all the work for you to make your wedding virtually stress-free!

Costco’s courtship of their wedding clients is short-lived! With CostCo who will follow-up when the wedding cake arrives lopsided? What do you do when you’ve picked the flowers up the night before the wedding and discover the boutineers are missing from the floral order the next morning?

Of course, there are some trade-offs to buying your invitations at Costco. When you go to a printing shop or stationery store, a professional walks you through every step of the invitation process, helping you select paper, ink color, wording and font style. “Getting your invitations from Costco, though, is a solo – and more time-consuming – effort,” says Robyn Bruns, owner of Red Letter Event Planning in Chicago.

To me, CostCo seems to lack the romance and atmosphere one might have dreamed of as they plan for their wedding; it also lack the “personal touch” you get with a professional wedding consultant.

costcoAlthough the bridal dresses sold at Costco are designer gowns, Maro Ghoukassian, owner of Caprice Bridal Boutique in Glendale, said it would be like if someone “bought Ferragamo shoes and then saw that Payless was selling them.”

If you go with Costco for your wedding, you deserve what you get. Because you do get what you pay for. They sell coffins on-line so why not wedding dresses? Costco is now hawking designer wedding dresses. But don’t worry – you don’t have to buy them in bulk. Clearly a warehouse retailer can do it waaay better than professional planners or wedding consultants can or any bride with any taste who is going to DIY.

NOT!

Do-it-yourselfers. . . Caveat emptor! Caveat emptor is Latin for “Let the buyer beware!”

As I said before, I am a Costco member and I shop there a lot. There are a lot of great bargins there. So. . . the best one? A great wedding gift idea would be to give the Bride and Groom a gift membership to their local Costco store – not for the planning of their wedding but for all the other stuff they will need after they get married. Then – after the wedding – they can buy all the tubes of toothpaste and cartons of toilet paper they want! 😉

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 460 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, May 9, 2011

Yippee! Cake Tasting + 2 = Yummy!

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

The centerpiece of any wedding reception, besides the bride of course, is the wedding cake. Choosing the right pastry chef or wedding cake bakery requires extensive research and calculated preparation. Your choice in wedding cake design makes a statement about your personality and sense of style. It should reflect you and your good taste. Wedding cake tastings aren’t just an excuse to gorge on moist, rich cake and butter cream confections. They also serve a very important purpose, helping you to decide both the flavor and look of your wedding cake.

wedding_cakes_28You can choose a sophisticated elegant look or show your playfulness and sense of humor if you choose a “whimsical” style. Discuss with your partner the kind of cake you might prefer. Spend several hours browsing through wedding magazines taking in every detail, making notes as you do. What will it be, a traditional wedding cake or cupcakes?

Research the cake bakers in you area. Get references! Most wedding venues know the reputable bakers and often will have a “preferred vendor” list they will share with you. The first thing to consider is references. If you attended a reception recently and loved the cake you may want to talk with the recently married couple to see if they were satisfied with the cake, the customer service, etc. Something to know: some bakers require a few for a tasting – ask before you make an appointment.

wedding_cakes_13Once you have decided on 3 or 4 shops to visit. It’s best to make no more than 2 appointments in the same day. Call each shop to schedule a cake tasting and consultation. Show up on time. Notice if the people who work there make you feel welcomed as soon as you walk through their door.

Most wedding cake bakers will have photos of the cakes they have served in the past. They will want to show you their most incredible edible art. Look through the photo album that has photos of many of the custom cakes they’ve made. You will want to bring photographs, magazine pages and hand drawn sketches to help communicate your idea of the perfect wedding cake.

The baker will want to know your own personal cake preferences (My personal favorite is raspberry creme with real raspberries between the cake layers. Yummy!), your wedding style and theme, number of guests invited, and your wedding cake budget.

Most bakers will prepare several different cake samples for you to taste. Remember to cleanse your pallet with water between each different cake sample so you won’t mix up the cake flavors. It’s also better to not be hungry during the tasting so you can be more objective. Be sure to eat something before the cake tasting.

After you have finished a few tastings and you have a clear idea of which cake and pastry chef you want to use, It’s time to order the cake. Make sure that everything you discuss with the bakery is in writing before you sign a cake contract or receipt. Ask if they offer any guarantees; like the time of the cake delivery or the number of people it will serve. It’s always wise to put your deposit on a credit card if possible. Always call the week of your wedding to confirm everything you have ordered?

wedding_cakes_35Something else to consider: If some of your guests are allergic to eggs, gluten, wheat or peanuts, they may not be able to taste or even be near the wedding cake. Ask about options for allergen-free ingredients, and find out what the ingredients list is for a particular cake so you can post it for your guests.

Asking the right questions and interviewing several wedding cake designers is the key to having the wedding cake of your dreams. Here are a few questions to ask your baker on your way to confection perfection!

• Are you available on my wedding date?
• How far in advance should I place my order?
• Do you have a portfolio of previous wedding cakes you’ve made that we can look at?
• Hοw long hаνе thеу bееn іn business? Will you supply references?
• Do you have or can you rent items like cake toppers, stands, tiers, fountains, and cutters? Will we be billed extra?
• Do you customize wedding cakes? What is your specialty?
• What are my filling choices?
• What are the frosting choices?
• How far in advance are wedding cakes prepared? Will it be a fresh, moist cake – not frozen?
• Who will bake my wedding cake?
• Is there an extra cost for special fillings or details?
• Are there options for special diets?
• Will you provide a written proposal?
• How are your wedding cakes priced and is a deposit required (how much)?
• What is the payment schedule and date they need a final guest count?
• Does the wedding cake price include the top tier? Does the baker provide a box for the top anniversary tier?
• Who provides the fresh flowers, if any – baker or my florist? Who is responsible for placing them on the cake?
• Will you provide a digital preview of the cake? (Some wedding cake designers will be able to produce a computer-generated image of your cake based on your specifications.)
• When do I need to return the support pieces?
• Do you supply a cake knife? What is the best way to cut the cake?
• What is the delivery process? When will you deliver and set up the cake? Is there a delivery fee?
• If anything happens to the cake in transit, how will the baker deal with repairs, if needed?
• Any additional charges I should know about?
• Is the baker licensed by the state health department?

You will find hundreds of photos of wedding cake designs on The Knot!

BONUS Articles: Check Wedding Vendor’s References. . . A Piece of Cake! Right?
Four Advantages of a Cupcake Wedding Cake

Larry’s Note:
• Want cupcakes for your wedding? Let Them Eat Cake Inc. in Phoenix is a great place to start! Call my friend, Barb Gardner at 602-952-5272.
• Want a delicious wedding cake? BambooBakery.com in Phoenix. Call: Maria or David 602-246-8061.

Let Them Eat Cake Inc. is an award-winning, family-owned and operated “Cake Boutique” serving the Greater Phoenix area. They have been designing and decorating customized wedding and all-occasion cakes since 1977. They pride themselves on fresh, moist cake – not frozen. They offer friendly, knowledgeable and professional staff with on-time deliveries for your important day. If your taste buds have not experienced how scrumptious our cakes are, they offer cake tastings by appointment.

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 460 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
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

No Rugrats (Children) Allowed!

Filed under: Children or No Children? — Larry James @ 7:00 am

In order to avoid the possibility of kid related catastrophes, a bride and groom may wish to exclude children from their wedding and reception. If you are thinking about the option of an “Adults Only” wedding reception, its critically important that you consider the matter carefully and realize that some may indeed find this to be a tad offensive, tacky, ungracious, or downright cold.

NochildrensignHowever, your wedding day is YOUR day and the bottom line is that you have a right to have it “your way” on your wedding day. Following proper wedding invitation etiquette and protocol is crucial to not giving anyone the wrong impression. Traditional wedding etiquette provides a few ways to make this clarification known without hurting feelings.

Rule #1. NEVER use phrases such as NO KIDS, NO CHILDREN, etc., on your wedding invitations. This is not considered polite and is bad wedding etiquette.

There really is no easy way to tell your guests that their children are not invited. The most subtle approach is to spread the “no children” restriction by word-of-mouth. Word of mouth works fairly well and is best. Assign this task to the maid or matron of honor or members of the bridal party or you can post it on your wedding Website. If you are excluding some children, the rule is that you must exclude all children. There must not be different rules for different people or some individuals will be deeply offended and hurt – and rightly so.

Many couples these days have kid-free weddings, but find that some friends and family members may be unable to attend. You might want to consider providing guests with the names and numbers of local babysitters. Note on the reception “RSVP” card that an adult reception will be held after the ceremony. The only correct wording for your “save the date” cards is “Adult Reception,” “Adults Only Reception” or “Adult Only Ceremony and Reception.”

If the children’s names are not included on the envelope of the invitation, the recipients should know that the children are not invited. You list only those whom you wish to invite on the outside of the inner envelope. Only those listed are invited. The exclusion of “and family” or the child/children’s name(s) on the envelope should be understood as “no children allowed.”

“The way an invitation is addressed, whether on the inner or outer envelope, indicates exactly who is invited, and, by omission, who is not invited to the wedding.” ~ Emily Post

You can tell family members why you do not want children under the age of 17 or whatever age you choose. To avoid any miscommunication, clearly state what you mean by “children.” Some parents may assume that older kids are all right, while you may want no one under legal drinking age in attendance.

The only possible exception to this would be any children who are in the wedding party. However, the jury is out in this one. While some etiquette experts feel that it may be alright to make an exception to this, there is a stronger belief that if the reception is to be adults only, no children should be included as part of the wedding party. Otherwise, parents of children who were not allowed to attend may feel slighted that clearly some exceptions are being made to allow children, while they were instructed to leave their kids behind.

Children can sometimes create noisy distractions at weddings. They often don’t care for the food at receptions, yet because they require seats, the bride and groom must pay for their meals. The per plate charges can be as high as $40.00 per plate and up – even for children. Opps! There goes the budget. The cost of feeding a child at the wedding can be considerably less than the cost to feed an adult. However, not all caterers or reception sites have children’s menus from which they will serve kids under 12 years of age.

Mention on your “Save the Date” cards that this will be an “adults only” affair, and that you hope this ample notice will allow for plenty of time to secure babysitters or make appropriate arrangements. While you might not get the results you hope for, you can attempt to simply pass the notion of “no children allowed” via word of mouth.

young adult femaleIf someone is couragous enough to ask if they might bring their “well behaved” children, be sure you know in advance how you will respond. “We all deserve some adult time every now and then,” you might say. “We thought our wedding would be the perfect event for the adults to let loose and not have any obligations.”

If someone slips up and brings their children, let it go. Although this is a major etiquette faux pas have someone assigned to take care of this situation. It’s not worth ruining your day.

If you don’t mind having the children at the ceremony but want an adult reception, you could arrange for the use of a room and hire a babysitter to care for the children during the reception. You of course would have to provide meals for them as well, so you would incur more expense trying to please everybody. You really are better off just talking with the families involved.

BONUS Articles: Children at the Reception?
Honor Step-Children in Your Wedding Ceremony
The No Children Wedding: Tips for Enforcing the No Kids Allowed Rule for a Small Wedding

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 460 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

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Secrets From a Makeup Professional

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

Victoria Rozich, Guest Author

What could be more important than looking and feeling your best on your wedding day? Sometimes, however, the stress of wedding planning can take a lot out of a girl and leave you feeling all sorts of blah rather than beautiful.

So much goes into the focus of the bride’s appearance for the big day. Every young girl imagines the dress, veil and hair as they are growing up. I love to go into antique stores and look at old wedding pictures. Despite the black and white picture or outdated clothes, the one place I am drawn to first is the bride’s face. Happy, youthful, pretty.

victoria1As a makeup artist, my focus is to make sure the viewer sees the emotions, not the makeup. I have drawn faces since I was 4 or 5; and observed them on city buses to and from school in Chicago for years. I came to the conclusion that no matter the fashion, the ethnicity, the age, beauty exudes from the face like a beam of light.

Some of it of course is the expression, but a makeup artist can change and improve the exterior- and as all pampered women will agree, when the exterior is pampered, that beam of light is brighter and more confident. It is in this spirit that I share with you some tips for preparing your face for the wedding day.

When should I start my bridal beauty routine? – A six-month countdown is recommended to make sure you look as radiant as possible on your wedding day. The bride-to-be should maintain a skincare regimen which should include, among other things, a monthly facial accompanied by lots of water to ensure the skin is hydrated. About six-months before your wedding begin to think about your jewelry, hair, face and final look of the veil. I recommend keeping those details in line with the “feel” of the event: elegant, modern, whimsical, winter, beach, urban, country… the list is endless.

When you interview your makeup artist you will want to find out the range of looks, types of events, see their pictures, and decide if you like this person. Your makeup artist will be with you and your family during the most exciting and intimate moments as you dress and prepare for the ceremony. I want to feel pure joy as I share this time with my brides and their families.

One way a bride can take care of herself is to work with someone about their skin. Radiant skin comes from good products, lots of water and less caffeine. Your makeup artist or dermatologist can advise you if you have reaccuring issues.

Some great tips for all brides and women to follow is:

If you are going to “tan”, do it on alternative days and moisturize after each session. Stop 4 or 5 days before the wedding day to let any red turn brown, and rehydrate throughly before the big day.

victoria2Spray tans or self-tanners should be tried a month or two in advance to see what color the skin “takes it as.” Never do it the night before, and always wash your hands throughtly with a sea salt in between fingers to avoid a streaky orange palm. White creamy skin is prettier than orange fake tan.

Never use retin A or strong resurfacing topical creams within 10 days of the wedding.

Facials and waxing (under arms), face, eyebrows, are better recommended 2 to 3 days before to allow for swelling, redness and bumps. Again if you never did these spa treatments before, experiment the month before to gage how the skin will respond. Some brides cry at their wedding (and some grooms do too), but even if you don’t think you’re the crying type, with so many waterproof products out there why take a chance? Use an eye shadow base to help prevent creasing of shadow.

You will want to have a trial a few weeks to a month before, so you can see how you and your artist “see” the day. Take photos to see how colors will look. If possible have your trial in the morning so you can see how it wears over the course of a 6-8 hour day. Let your artist know about any concerns, melting, absorbing, etc.

The day of your wedding come to your appointment with no makeup or old mascara on… just super clean.

Have your hair done first. Having your artist on location assures comfort, touch ups, freshness and just plain fun!

Afterwards make sure your artist has the portal to your wedding pictures online, or send them a photo. You may end up in an add or on a website! Never the less, you will be in your artist’s heart – as we think about you throughout the entire rest of your reception. I think of your face, and the happiness and confidence that shown throught your smile.

Larry’s Note: Booking a makeup artist for your wedding should be like booking any other vendor. There are questions you should ask to make sure that you have all the information before your big day. It also will help you decide before the trial if the artist is a good match for you. Ask to look at the artist’s portfolio, or check it out if it is available online. This will give you an idea as to what style of makeup your artist typically does and if she works with brides. Victoria serves the Greater Phoenix area and is high on my recommended list.

Victoria Rozich

BONUS Articles: Prepare an Emergency Bag
Wedding Day Emergency Checklist

Copyright © 2011 – Victoria Rozich. Reprinted with permission. Victoria Rozich is the owner of Makeup by Victoria. She has been an Association of Bridal Consultants, Vendor Member since 1996. Victoria began applying makeup as a teen to friends, and worked as a makeup artist for cosmetics companies such as Trish McEvoy, Bobbi Brown, Chanel, and private label lines. She has common sense tips to promote long lasting makeup on your wedding day, a calm disposition, and is fun to be around. Visit her Website or call 480-518-4658.

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 460 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

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