Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Friday, October 28, 2011

Groomsmen: How to be as Suave as James Bond at the Wedding

Filed under: Bridal Party,Groomsmen,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 9:00 am
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Dr. Alan Viau, Guest Author

The groom’s wedding party is getting ready to head to the ceremony area. The guys all walk up to their designated locations and are expected to look suave and supportive of their mate getting married. But are they committing some faux pas that doesn’t quite get that look?

One of the joys of being involved in a wedding is that you get to dress up for the special event. You don’t get that many occasions where you can look your best. Along with looking your best, there are implications that you are acting your best as well. The ultimate suave gentlemen is who you must be – at least for the ceremony. When the party begins, all bets are off.

messygroomsmen

No shades & left hand over right – No hands in pockets!

Unfortunately, I see many men not quite succeeding in pulling off the debonair James Bond 007 look and feel. They may have a nice made-to-measure suit on – but they don’t quite measure up in other ways. Here are some commonly made errors that kill the buzz.

Look the Part. Make sure your suit fits, your shirt is cleanly pressed, your tie is straight and all the appropriate buttons and zippers are done up. Nothing needs to be hanging out. Anything other than black shoes – like athletic wear or sandals – are a big NO. Ditch the chewing gum and sunglasses. Like the bridesmaids in their heels, you to can suffer for your friend.

Walk the Part. James Bond does not walk into a room shuffling his feet with slouched shoulders. He stands straight, shoulders relaxed and walks with purpose. You can see this with the GunBarrel clip in every film. When he stands – he stands with relaxed (and deadly) confidence. Try practicing the Yoga Mountain Pose in preparation for the event.

Act the Part. Avoid the smart ass quips and comments during the ceremony – it’s not about you but about your mate and his mate. I certainly don’t want to hear it and neither does anyone else. Keep it for the reception. Finally, learn to properly escort a lady on your arm for the exit. Those poor ladies have been standing there just as long as you have but in high heels. The least you can do is ensure that they walk out nicely.

Groomsmen, you are playing a noble role in this ceremony. A role that goes back centuries as the supportive gentlemen to your friend or family member who is in an important life transition. You have an important part to play in how he and everyone remembers this day. I know that you want it to be the best for him and therefore you can be the best you can be for this part of the day. Remember James Bond and you can be noticed as the suave and debonair man that was there for him.

Copyright © 2011 – Alan Viau. Reprinted with permission. Dr. Alan Viau performs weddings and other life celebrations in the capital of Canada, Ottawa, since 2004. As a multi-faith, multi-cultural wedding officiant, he works with and crafts a wedding so that the couple has the ceremony that is a true expression of what is in their hearts. Alan is married to his Sweetheart of over 30 years and has three wonderfully creative young adult children. He finds grounding in yoga and horseback riding. You can find more tips and real wedding stories at www.WeddingChaplain. ca

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

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

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

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Wedding Night Whoopee: Hot ‘n Heavy or Hype?

Filed under: Honeymoons,Intimacy,Wedding Night Sex — Larry James @ 11:50 am
Tags: ,

Sorry to say, but according to the brides and grooms who were willing to share in a brief, unofficial survey with me… making love on their wedding night is mostly hype, especially the hot ‘n heavy type!

Planning a wedding and all the things that are connected to it, eg., bridal showers, sending invitations, the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner, and finally the wedding day – with the cocktail party and the reception – can leave a couple nearly completely drained, exhausted and making love on their wedding night is the farthest thing from their minds – (for most, anyway!).

coupleinbedAND… for those who did, most admitted that that they could have been very easily talked out of it. One couple told me that they abstained for several weeks leading up to the wedding day so they could be ready for action and admitted that they were so exhausted from the wedding day that it wasn’t quite as pleasurable as they expected. Most were simply too pooped to be amorous. One bride told me, “I would never risk choosing a partner for life without knowing if we are sexually compatible. We had fun getting to know each other sexually (condoms, of course) about a year after we became engaged. Foreplay is a very important part of making love.”

About one in three brides-to-be expect to hop in the sack and snooze after the wedding reception. According to TheKnot.com, “About one third of all ages spend the wedding night opening gifts, sleeping, counting cash presents, partying with friends.” It’s not at all uncommon – in fact its very common – for newly married couples to be so tired on their wedding night that one or both immediately fall asleep so making love doesn’t happen till the next day.

I bring this up because after talking with newly married couples, most had not discussed their wedding night plans before the wedding. This is a subject that you really need to talk about. If you both agree, it could be a great idea to wait until the morning when you have more time and energy to enjoy making love – then your wedding night intimacy issue is resolved!

So, what the next best thing? How about planning an early afternoon wedding and after the reception take some alone time to rest, relax and reminisce about the day as you cuddle in each others arms. Swap some of the highlights of your wedding day and take a nap. You can plan for your romantic interlude later that evening when you have regained your energy and can take the time to focus solely on each other. Anticipation about what will happen later can only heighten your arousal.

Perhaps a better idea: hold the sexy lingerie, lovely candlelight, a glass of wine and a gorgeous room for the night after your wedding. It’ll be more fun after you had a little rest. In the meantime you can open gifts, make notes about who gave you what and begin to write your “thank yous.”

Long wedding receptions often morph into a night of revelry and celebration. The big day can become a blur. Romantic sex then can be the farthest thing from your mind. Do your best to not be one who drinks so much at the reception that you don’t remember crawling into bed on your wedding night. That’s a no-no!

One bride told me, “Our wedding night was amazing. I have never had sex so good. I am even more amazed that it keeps getting better. We agreed to have no more than two drinks and although we were both tired we did the deed!” As long as you make sure you are both on the same page you should be okay. To do it, or not to do it – that is the question. It’s great fun getting to know each other intimately.

You can always make up for not making love on your wedding night on your honeymoon. A groom told me (with a big smile on his face), “We decided to wait until the second night of our honeymoon. After the wedding we were both exhausted. We left for Italy two days after the wedding, went to sleep in each others arms the first night and the second night…WoW!”

Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers book cover

Click cover for info

What about those couples who don’t believe you should have sex before you are married? It’s a personal choice. Every couple has to make the decision that is best for them. If you are in that camp, remember that while sex is a natural part of life, it’s a bit more complicated than you might think. Your first time doesn’t need to be adventurous and perfect, you have the rest of your life for that – just do everything you can to make it special. To have pleasurable sex together there is a “learning curve.” Don’t expect fireworks the first time. It may be wise to seek advice from a sex therapist, a marriage counselor, relationship coach or talk about it together with a trusted friend. Read a good book about sex. “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers” is a good one (if I do say so myself). The more you talk about it with each other, the better off you will be.

Guys… Drink in moderation. If you both agree to make love on your wedding night, you don’t want to have trouble rising to the occasion later. The main thing to remember is making your bride feel special. If you can do that, you’ve already succeeded.

BONUS Article: For Husbands Only – More Housework. . . More Intimacy!
Honeymoon. . . A Bit of Romantic History!

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. 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 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Do You Need a Wedding Rehearsal?

Filed under: Rehearsals,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 9:00 am

Maybe. Maybe not. There are no rules! The need for a wedding rehearsal depends on how large your wedding party will be.

If there is virtually no wedding party – just the bride and groom – you could probably skip the rehearsal. Or if it’s a casual outdoor ceremony in someone’s back yard with no wedding party a rehearsal may not be necessary. It has been my experience that most brides feel more comfortable having a quick, smooth rehearsal.

mcneilIf the wedding party has more than two or three couples I recommend a wedding rehearsal especially if there are young children involved in the wedding – flower girls, ring bearers, etc. The only people required to be in attendance at a wedding rehearsal are those who will participate in the wedding: the bride and groom, their parents and the wedding party. It is always a good idea to familiarize everyone with what will happen at the wedding. A few of the questions of the wedding party will probably be: who do I walk in with, where do I stand, how fast do I walk, who am I with, what do I do?

Some ministers and wedding officiants do not attend the rehearsal. Be sure to ask if they charge extra for the rehearsal. I don’t. As a wedding officiant I want to be there provided I don’t have another wedding scheduled on your rehearsal day. (Friday and Saturday evenings are reserved for weddings.)

Some couples make the mistake of checking everyone else’s schedule to set the rehearsal day and time, and then assume their wedding officiant will be there. Instead, you should check with the officiant first to find out when he/she is available, and then with everyone else. If you set the rehearsal without first checking with your officiant, and then find out your officiant has another commitment (such as a wedding) at the same time, you will be doing your rehearsal without him/her.

HOT TIP: Some couples prefer to have the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner (usually paid for by the groom’s parents) two days before the wedding to allow a day of rest from the stress of having two busy days in a row. Wrap it up early enough for the bride to tend to any last minute details the next day like doing her nails or packing for her honeymoon, and to allow her the opportunity to wind down, relax, and rest well for the big day ahead. If most of the wedding party are coming in from other cities, this idea may not work. However, if only 1 or 2 of the bridesmaids or groomsmen cannot be there don’t be concerned. As you line people up at the rehearsal leave a space for each missing attendant. Ask those who are on either side of the missing attendant to clue him or her in on the day of the wedding.

For the rehearsal dinner, consider a potluck event or a buffet-style meal at someone’s home featuring inexpensive food that feeds many (pasta, tacos and stews are a few ideas). Some couples prefer to schedule the rehearsal dinner at a restaurant.

You will not need to “dress up” for the rehearsal although if the bride is planning on wearing a veil as she walks up the aisle she may want to wear one for the rehearsal so your groom (or the father) can practice moving it from over your face. Most brides do not wear a veil over their face “during” the wedding – it hides their face from the camera.

Be sure to reserve the first row for the parents and grandparents of the bride and groom. If there are children involved, have adult supervision for them both at the rehearsal and wedding in case the children become confused as to where to be seated after they have tossed the flower petals and delivered the rings. Young children are usually more comfortable sitting rather than standing during the ceremony.

Usually if the ring bearer is very young he will carry a pillow with fake rings. I recommend that the best man have the rings – not the best man “and” the maid of honor. The maid of honor will be holding her own bouquet and the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony and she also has no pockets. Have the best man put the rings on a finger, and then curl his fingers. That way the rings aren’t going anywhere. By the way, NEVER say to a young ring bearer, “Don’t drop the rings!” Instead, if he will be carrying the real rings say, “Hold on to the rings really tight!”

beEarlyIf everyone in the wedding party arrives at the wedding venue for the rehearsal on time, the rehearsal shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes at the most. The only people who really need to be there are the bride, groom, the maid or matron of honor and best man, flower girl, ring bearer, whoever is walking the bride, the wedding consultant (if any), the wedding coordinator from the venue, ushers (if any) and the wedding officiant. Usually both parents are also invited. Readers, musicians and/or soloists, DJs, bands, photographers, etc., usually are not required to come to the rehearsal.

Often there will be a rehearsal brunch or dinner following the rehearsal depending on the start time.

I recommend that you begin at the end. In other words, line everyone up as if they have just walked in and the wedding is ready to begin. This makes the rehearsal go quicker and lets everyone know where they are to stand, who they stand next to, etc. Some brides arrange the attendants by height to obtain a pleasant visual effect for the photos.

The next step is to have the wedding officiant hit the highlights of the ceremony – not read the entire ceremony but go over the parts where the bride and groom have to say something. After they practice walking out, then line everyone up as if the wedding were ready to begin and have everyone in the wedding party walk in again and take their places. It isn’t necessary to sing any songs at the rehearsal, but you may like to have a reader practice the reading.

In the Greater Phoenix area most of my weddings are at hotels, resorts, back yards – almost all are out doors. I rarely recommend a receiving line especially if it’s a wedding that is an hour to a hour and a half before sunset. Most couples like to go directly to photos after the wedding. In that case, after everyone has left the alter, I am the last to leave and I step forward and make this brief announcement:

“Ladies and gentlemen, the bride and groom request that you offer your congratulations so pictures of the wedding can stay on schedule. In the meantime, help yourselves to hor d’oeuvres and something cold to drink. Please allow the parents and grandparents to go before me. Let the celebration begin!”

Usually everyone on both first rows follow the bride and groom and the wedding party so as family members they can be the first to greet the bride and groom and the wedding party. This also keeps the wedding party and close family members together so they are ready to return to the wedding area to take more photos after the guests have cleared the area.

By the way, most brides and grooms do not prefer to have guests seated on the “brides” side or the “grooms” side. Why? In a recent wedding, the groom had more that 75% of the guests while the brides friends were mostly from out of town and some couldn’t be there – she had about 25% guests. We had the ushers fill the seats close to the front on both sides equally so the photos would look better.

lightbulb-ideaHOT TIP: Here is another idea that is “contrary to tradition” but most parents like it. (Remember: Different is GOOD and the guests love it). As you are looking from the alter to the guests, have the parents of the bride seated on the “left” side and the parents of the groom seated on the “right” side so they won’t be looking at the back of their daughter and son’s heads during the ceremony. That way they will be able to see the expressions, emotions, etc., of the bride and groom as the wedding ceremony is being performed.

A quick word about how the bridal party walks. Step-touch-step-touch is old fashion and it out! A natural step is more relaxed and less taxing.

BONUS Articles: Who (of the bridal party) Walks Down the Aisle First?
The Rehearsal & the Rehearsal Dinner! It’s Fun Time!

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. 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 470 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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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Instead of Buying Wedding Favors – Try This…

Wedding favors have become somewhat of a cliche. Depending upon the kind of favors you may provide your guests at the reception, some are kept as a reminder of the wedding however, most are later discarded, end up in a bottom drawer or destined for the trashcan. Some are quite pricey.

There was a time when wedding favors consisted of a cocktail napkin and a book of matches with the bride and groom’s names and wedding date. While some couples still enjoy going this route, as times have changed, so have the trends. Many couples skip the favor routine all together, however, there are other couples who adore the tradition of giving favors. Instead of giving the guests a small gift, use the money budgeted for favors and make a charitable donation. A charity gift is a memorable way to thank family and friends for sharing this special day with you.

ScrollFavorAt a recent wedding, beside every place setting was a scroll-like paper with a ribbon around it. When I returned home, I opened it and it was a letter from the President and CEO of a charitable organization that said:

Dear Guest, This is to inform you that a donation has been made to the Arizona Animal Welfare League and SPCA in lieu of wedding favors by Matthew and Tammi Fretz in honor of their wedding. The lives of thousands of pets are enhanced each year because of these acts of kindness and generosity… etc.

What a creative idea! This is a terrific way to make a donation to a worthy cause. There are plenty of ways to give to worthwhile causes on behalf of your guests. If you choose to do this, be sure to place a card on each table at the reception explaining about the donation to your guests. Cards or letters (as the one above) are also a great way to explain why you’ve chosen the particular charity, whether it’s to honor a deceased relative or celebrate a cause that you feel strongly about as a couple.

Here’s another idea. The I Do Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps generous couples incorporate charitable choices into their wedding celebration. Users can create a gift registry of charities by category (health, environment, social justice, etc.) or select a specific non-profit to support with the added option of donating to a local charity serving their own community.

charitableFavorJustGive.com is another site to check out. A JustGive charity gift certificate is a memorable way to thank people who participated in your wedding by letting them choose their own cause to support. Gift Certificates never expire and can be redeemed to any of the 1 million local and national charities. The JustGive Guide includes 1,000 charities that have met stringent public requirements. The charities are grouped into19 categories to make your search easier and faster.

If you’re still hoping to score some home goods for your new love nest, “I Do” also offers a list of partner stores that donate a percentage of gift purchases to your favorite charity. You can also do the giving yourself by making a donation in your guests’ names in lieu of handing out traditional wedding favors.

Even Kate Middleton and Prince William made the decision to “Pay it Forward” with their wedding gifts, asking that the money to be used for gifts be given to charities and good causes. Adding a charitable dimension to your wedding festivities can help your “happily ever after” extend to your community and beyond!

Here are a few other Ways to “Be a Charitable Bride:”

• Consider donating your wedding flowers when the ceremony and reception are over. Your leftover flowers can be distributed to the sick or elderly, and are certain to brighten their day.

• Think about donating your leftover food. Most caterers are only going to dispose of the remaining portions of food anyway, so why not request to have the leftovers distributed to local food banks?

• Your wedding dress and your bridesmaids’ dresses can be donated to charity. These dresses can be resold at a fraction of the cost to a bride who cannot afford her gown, and the maids’ gowns often get donated to underprivileged teenagers as prom dresses. There is also a charity called Making Memories that will happily accept your new or used gown, and then resell it, with all the profits going to Breast Cancer charities.

BONUS Article: Tips for Creating a Charitable Wedding

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. 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 470 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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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cheese it! Have a Cocktail Hour Cheese Table!

Filed under: Cocktail Hour,Receptions,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 9:00 am

This may be a bit cheesy. . . but having a cheese table available during your cocktail hour or reception (or even after dinner) is a very “gouda” idea! 😉

CheeseTableAnd now for something completely different. . .

Instead of finger foods or heavy appetizers, eg., petit franks in sauce, sweet and sour meatballs, and hot chicken wings at your wedding, try something new, fun and flavorful to excite your guests. Let them eat. . . Cheese – with all the unique shapes, textures and sizes!

Who in their right mind doesn’t love a good cheese spread? A cheese and fruit spread would be a attractive addition to any wedding. Cheese, in its blocks and wheels, is such a beautiful thing and provide for an attractive tablescape. Whether your love for cheese is subtle, or you’re an advanced cheese connoisseur, just select what you love best, provide bread and/or crackers and some fruit, arrange it prettily and you’re ready!

Have your caterer set up a table with a large variety of fruit and cheese. Have them use cheesecloth as the tablecloth. Chose your varieties of cheese to suit you from the supermarket or your local farmers market. Cheese selections can include cheddar, swiss, pepper jack, colby, muenster, smoked gouda, havarti, edam and more. Choose cheeses that create visual variety.

A small fruit selection can include: strawberries, grapes, pineapple, blueberries, and raspberries. Your guests can use skewers and have fruit and cheese before the reception or after.

A cheese table is also great for DIY (Do-it-yourself) brides or high end wedding planner events who can mold this idea to fit any budget. Cheese and fruit are very affordable. Create or buy small signs to identify the cheeses.

Another idea to consider: If you would prefer not to have a cheese table, how about individual cheese plates for your guests, perhaps as appetizer before the main course.

Photo Credit: Alex Johnson

ChooseCheeseCopyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. 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 470 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

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Shower Themes: From Lingerie to the Great Outdoors

Filed under: Guest Authors,Wedding Etiquette,Wedding Showers — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags:

Anna Post, Guest Author

One common approach to bridal showers is a theme shower, which determines the kinds of gifts guests give and offers a fun way to personalize the shower. A few suggestions follow; of course, you can go with any theme that fits the bride and the shower’s hosts – or no theme at all, other than having a good time.

Wine and … (cheese/beer/music/cigars, etc.): This shower can round out the couple’s collection of wines and whichever add-on they like best. Guests should bring a bottle of wine and/or whatever else is requested – fine cheeses, a case of microbrew beer, a favorite CD, or a box of cigars.

wedshower2Tea party: This shower is great for helping the couple stock up on goodies for their morning coffee, afternoon tea, or evening mug of cocoa. Presents might be nice teas, coffees, mugs, coffeemakers or coffee grinders, packages of fancy cookies, serving trays, teapots, or teacups.

Around the world: For world gourmets or travel enthusiasts. This party lends itself well to a cocktail party with hors d’oeuvres from all around the world. Gifts might be international foods or wines, travel accessories, CDs of world music, or beautiful books on travel and other cultures.

The great outdoors: This shower supplies the adventurous couple with presents to help keep them moving in the wilderness. The invitation should indicate what activities they like to do but, as always, should not suggest gifts. Depending on what the couple enjoys doing, guests might bring them camping equipment, fleece blankets, matching ski hats, or golf clothes, to name a few.

How does your garden grow? For the gardening couple, this party will nurture their green thumbs. The garden shower theme makes for a nice garden party or tea party. Guests can bring gifts like tin watering cans, garden tools, packets of flower and/or vegetable seeds, bird feeders, or sets of his-and-hers garden gloves.

wedshowerTools and gadgets: Especially great for coed parties, this shower supplies the couple with fun tools and gadgets for the house. Think Brookstone meets Home Depot: gifts might be a travel alarm clock, a mini blow torch for crème brûlées, or an all-in-one toolkit.

Entertainment: The idea here is to provide the couple with entertaining things to do. Gifts might be DVDs, CDs, movie tickets, museum passes, restaurant gift certificates, puzzles or games, books, journals, or magazine subscriptions.

Room of the house: Guests are asked to bring a gift for a specific room of the house. Most rooms are fairly self-explanatory, although I did once get stumped by the home office; a nice desk set, a cool paperweight, an assortment of beautiful note cards, or a pair of picture frames could all see you through.

Hours of the day: Guests are given an hour of the day for which to buy the couple a present. 8 am guests might give a set of egg cups or a juicer, while 8 pm guests might give a CD of dinner music or a set of beautiful candles for the dinner table.

Months of the year: Guests are assigned a month of the year and buy the couple a present appropriate to that month. Guests with January might give cocoas or matching cashmere socks; a guest with July might give a picnic basket or croquet set.

Letters of the alphabet: Guests are allotted a letter of the alphabet and buy the couple a present with that letter. Guests given the letter S might bring presents such as a collection of gourmet salsas or a gardening spade and seeds.

Bed and breakfast: Guests are asked to bring gifts for the kitchen or bedroom. This is a great shower to throw as a brunch! Gifts should be for use in the bedroom or kitchen but can go beyond the obvious items if you’re feeling creative, such as a set of books for bedside reading or a poker set for playing a game around the kitchen table. Just be sure your explanation makes sense, so it’s clear you’re still playing along.

Lingerie party: Not for the faint of heart! The idea here is to keep the spark alive in the bedroom. A word of warning: Choose your audience carefully with this one. All kinds of lingerie, from negligees and bra and panty sets to chemises and camisoles, slips, garters, and fancy stockings. If you’re not comfortable buying the lacy stuff, cozy pajamas, robes, or slippers are always a welcome alternative. Then there are other sexier parties that offer tools and gadgets of the naughty kind. Home Depo doesn’t sell that kind. 😉

Spa shower: A shower to indulge and pamper the senses. Gifts should pamper the bride and groom, such as bubble bath, scented candles, massage oils, or robes.

weddingpartiescoverSource: From Emily Post’s Wedding Parties: Smart Ideas for Stylish Parties, from Engagement to Reception and Everything in Between by Anna Post.

Larry’s Note: Did you know that the custom of a bridal shower is said to have originated in Holland? Legend has it that one man refused to provide the then-essential dowry for his daughter because he didn’t approve of the marriage. The bride-to-be’s friends then banded together to provide the dowry by “showering” her with gifts. Thus the Bridal shower was born. (Source: YouAreTheBride.com)

Anna Post
Inside Weddings

Copyright © 2011 – Anna Post. Reprinted with permission. Anna Post is the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and the author of Emily Post’s Wedding Parties. She speaks at bridal venues across the country, providing wedding etiquette advice. She also conducts business etiquette seminars for major corporations. A columnist for Brides.com and Inside Weddings, she lives in Burlington, Vermont. Visit their Website and Blogs. Click book cover for more info!

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 470 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, October 4, 2011

Will You “Remember” Your Wedding?

Filed under: Guest Authors,Videography,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 8:00 am

After your wedding, will you be able to fill in all the details if you ask yourself this question? What was my wedding really like? Chances are you’ll remember all the running around, busy planning, and crazily hectic schedules. If you ask your best friend the same question, he or she will probably tell you more than you knew about your own wedding!

lightscameraactionLet’s face it: weddings are often a chaotic circus and most brides and grooms survive it in a state of daze. They barely get to interact with their guests and miss out on a lot of the precious moments. More often than not it goes by too fast to be able to capture timeless memories in one’s mind. Thankfully videography can change all that!

It may seem like just another useless expense at the time, but wedding videos are truly worth every penny in retrospect. Not only does a skilled professional videographer capture the big moments of the special day, he also manages to capture the subtle yet significant personal touches that really make a wedding a cherished occasion. The wedding video is the only wedding expense that’s not a one day splurge. The video can be shared with close family and friends who were unable to make it to the wedding itself.

videographyMost importantly, they can be enjoyed over a cup of hot chocolate while taking a trip down memory lane. Imagine the thrill you would get if you had the chance to sit down and watch your grandparents wedding on TV. Weddings have become increasingly expensive affairs and more and more couples are seeking to tighten their budgets by cutting down on the so-called frills and sticking to the basics.

There is however no bigger mistake than eliminating the idea of hiring a professional wedding videographer or equally bad, asking a friend or cousin to do it for you on a HandyCam! Gone are the days of cheesey video with tacky effects. A skilled camera operator and editor can now weave your wedding video into a timeless movie capturing the true essence of your day.

So while you’re weighing up all the expenses for your big day, remember that it could be just one special day or a memory that lasts forever. The choice is yours to make, although I would personally recommend wedding videography as one of the best investments not only for your wedding, but for all of your marriage.

Larry’s Note: Yes, photos are fabulous, but video with sound captures moments that photos cannot – like your best man’s speech, your first dance, and your maid of honor’s toast. It’s well worth budgeting videography in your wedding.

NOTE: A special “Thank you” to Sharon at Encore Media for her assistance in preparing this article. Encore Media is a video production business in New South Wales consisting of a team of media professionals dedicated to creating world class visually stunning stories of your event. All members of their team have minimum 6 years experience in a variety of positions within the wedding, commercial and TV industries. They take pride on their constant desire to push the envelope and create some truly spectacular videos that capture the story, personality and emotions of your day. Their office is in Killara, NSW. Phone: +61 2 9498 6951.

If you need referrals to professional videographers in the Greater Phoenix area, call Larry James: 480-998-9411.

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. 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
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