Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Trust Your Wedding Vendors

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

In solving crimes, police officers rely on what they call a hunch or a “gut feeling.” It’s defined as instinctive feeling, intuition; also called gut reaction. When working with wedding vendors… trust your gut feeling.

“Your unconscious brain is intelligent enough to select the best options,” according to a study let by Mathias Pessiglione, a neuroscientist at the Centre for Neuroimaging Research in Paris, France.

gutSit down with each vendor and talk to them to see if they can actually create the vision you have of your wedding. Be strategic when interviewing them and rely on more than just the references. Look for a vendor who goes above and beyond your expectations. Beware of the high pressure sales pitch: The best vendors are eager for your business but not desperate. Also beware of part-timers. Look for vendors who are in the wedding business full-time.

When you trust your gut feeling you will avoid obnoxious and cheesy DJs, florists who do not make the arrangements as agreed, talented photographers who are rude to guests (or, heaven forbid, to you), caterers who consistently run behind schedule, a cake baker with a sloppy cake, and a dress shop that brings in a wedding dress inferior to the one you ordered and won’t return your deposit. If you feel the least bit discomfort in the interview process, run the other way.

Don’t choose the first vendor you find with the cheapest price, however, when your gut feeling says, “This is the one!” you would be wise to offer a deposit to secure your date. Shop value, not just price. The great wedding vendors are very busy and the choice date book quickly.

After you do your due diligent, you owe it to yourself to hire the best of the best and then let go and let them to their job. Full-time wedding vendors do what they do all the time. Trust them to do what they do best. They’re good at what they do. Let them work their magic. Don’t trust blindly though. Do your homework up front. A wedding vendor who offers you a low price and low quality is a recipe for a very expensive mistake. Your vendors will become a part of your life for the next several months so choose wisely.

Weddings can be the most stressful and emotional event you can help plan if you try to micromanage it every step of the way. If you do not trust your wedding vendors, you worry. That’s what make’s it stressful. Hiring a wedding vendor can be scary. You are in essence, purchasing something that at the time you pay for it, is invisible.

To a full-time professional wedding vendor, your wedding is not “just another wedding”. They will work to make it very special for you – the kind of wedding that will be memorable for you and your guests.

Do your vendors respond to your e-mail, text messages, and phone calls in a timely manner? Do they take the initiative in contacting you, or do they wait for a reminder from you? Not doing so can be a red flag.

Before you start micromanaging every decision your wedding vendors make, remember one thing: you’re paying them for a reason. Consider their experience and expertise an opportunity for you to relax and enjoy your wedding. They want you to love the result because your recommendation hinges on it. They’re going to strive to please. Wouldn’t you rather help someone who trusts your abilities rather than second-guesses everything you do? There’s no harm in giving a good amount of direction in the beginning, but asking for daily progress reports is overkill and eats into the time it takes them to do a great job.

One of the reasons I have a Wedding Blog is to build trust over the long-term with potential brides and grooms. I want them to see how involved I am in the industry. I want them to know that I know the wedding business – inside and out – not just what it takes to be an award winning Wedding OFficiant.

beachweddingBusiness relationships are built on trust. Make sure to hire someone you feel you can trust. If you don’t get the sense that the wedding vendor you are interviewing is someone you can trust, don’t move forward with them just because you’re getting a deal or you like the price. Trust your gut feeling! Shout, “NEXT!” and hire someone else!

A great vendor relationship will result in a smoother planning process and a seemless and stress-free wedding day. Take a deep breath and enjoy your special day.

Trust leads to a happy, stress-free wedding day and a lasting marriage.

BONUS Article: Trusting your wedding vendors
Beware of “Cheap” Wedding Vendors!
Why You Should Go With Your Gut Feeling

Copyright © 2012 – 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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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Enjoy the Dinner at Your Reception

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

Repeat this aloud: “I will actually eat dinner at my reception – that includes cake – and I will take time to enjoy it!”

Weddings are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a couple to make a declaration of love, commitment and independence. There is a lot that goes into the planning of a wedding. More than most brides and grooms realize. Your reception will most likely be the high point of your wedding day. It will most likely be the largest party you’ll ever throw. Don’t allow the whole process to become an ordeal. There’s going to be so much going on, and everything’s got to be perfect. NOT!! Let go of the quest for perfection.

receptionminglingMost brides and grooms today are foregoing the receiving line and allowing their guests to offer their congratulations at the reception. The thing to remember is to sit with your new partner, relax as best you can with all the excitement around you and truly enjoy your meal. Take your time. You will have plenty of time during the remaining part of the reception and table-hop to visit with your guests.

Many brides and grooms often tell me that everything was so hurry-skurry that they really didn’t get to enjoy the meal.

Hot Tip: Have the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner two days before the wedding, NOT the night before. This idea separates two stressful days and gives you a day of rest before the wedding to get last-minute things done. If you are anticipating a party… this extra day keeps you and your bridal party from arriving at your wedding with a hangover. 😉

Get a good night’s sleep before the wedding. Eight hours works good. Breakfast is your start to the day—it’s your first meal, the one that gives you energy and fuels you until lunch or even the reception dinner. Breakfast might be the only meal you have until dinner. Do yourself a favor and eat a decent breakfast.

receptiondinnerIf you spend your whole wedding day directing the photographer and making sure the bridal party makes their entrance on cue, you’ll be missing out on a lot of amazing memories. Make sure you take time with your new husband to really enjoy the party you worked so hard to plan. Let go of control.

It will be difficult to enjoy your wedding reception meal unless it is as stress-free as possible. That’s why all the planning of the reception – especially the meal – needs to be completed at least several weeks (or more) before the wedding.

My first suggestion would be to at least hire a “day-of wedding consultant.” Let someone else worry about the details. If you don’t do that another idea is to put a trusted relative or bridesmaid in charge of making sure things go smoothly on the big day so you can enjoy it. Designate tasks. If you do that you can let go of worry. Things will turn out the way they turn out.

After all the pomp and grandeur of the day is over you will want to sit back, relax and savor some of the memories you both made. Relax and enjoy yourself.

Take a deep breath and check out this Video from Fine Living for some helpful advice on how to stay in the moment on your big day. Click here to watch a Video about “How to relax and enjoy your wedding day!”

Copyright © 2012 – 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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Friday, January 20, 2012

A Very Special Wedding Reading

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

Brides and Grooms will often request to have Larry James include a romantic poem, prayer, song lyrics (read as a poem) or reading to his “romantic” wedding ceremony. One couple recently had Larry add the following words just after he said, “Please face each other, holding hands?”

“These hands holding yours on your wedding day are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.

edwardsThese are the hands that will work along side yours, as together you build your future.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years and, with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes – tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one and that will give you strength when you need it.

And lastly, these are the hands that, even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching out for yours.”

Larry’s Note: Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Tom Edwards. C. Marie Dunn (75) and Tom Edwards (81) were married at 11 a.m., Thursday, January 12, 2012 in Mesa, AZ. Wedding Officiant: Larry James, Scottsdale, AZ. http://www.CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com & Blog: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

BONUS Article: Are Wedding Readings Passé?

Copyright © 2012 – 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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Monday, January 16, 2012

Beware of “Cheap” Wedding Vendors!

Filed under: Budget,Vendor References,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 8:00 am

It’s difficult for a wedding vendor to imitate a true wedding professional. But there are those who try and often deceive their clients into going the cheap route. If it sounds to good to be true… it probably is. If it sounds like a duck, well… (you know the rest). One bad vendor can ruin a celebration and there is no time for buyer’s remorse on your wedding day.

VendorReviewIf you want your wedding to really shine – the kind of wedding that will be the “buzz” with your friends for months to come – never settle for cheap! Be wary that you do not sacrifice quality for the sake of price. The “cheap” vendors are probably cheap for a reason. There is a big difference between cheap and affordable, and you will know it when you see it.

Sit down with each vendor and talk to them to see if they can actually create the vision you have of your wedding. Be strategic when interviewing them and rely on more than just the references. Look for a vendor who goes above and beyond your expectations. Beware of the high pressure sales pitch: The best vendors are eager for your business but not desperate. Also beware of part-timers. Look for vendors who are in the wedding business full-time.

Most brides and grooms who haven’t done the getting-married thing before or haven’t been to a wedding recently may not know what to expect, so it may be up to the vendor to paint a picture of what they can do to make your ceremony memorable. If you agree with the picture they give – hire them. Trust your gut feeling.

Most wedding professionals should be able to provide you with a list of 2-3 couples they have worked with who are willing to act as references. But remember, this is a list the vendor put together. If they have a video… watch it. I often receive what I call “LoveNotes” or rave reviews from past clients. Ask the vendor to give you references to other vendors they have worked with. Contact the venues where the vendor has worked.

Carefully check the references of all of your wedding vendors before you sign on the dotted line! Is the vendor reputable. By “reputable” I mean the vendor has a solid reputation for delivering to the client exactly what the client is paying for. The only way you can get a “reputation” is by being in business for more than five minutes and working well with others and by “others” I don’t just mean the bride and groom, I mean the other vendors as well.

driveUPwedding

Cheap – NOT Memorable! 😉

When you call the references ask lots of questions. One of the main questions should be: Did they keep their word and deliver everything you requested? Others might be:

• What made you choose that vendor?
• Were there any charges on your bill that came as a surprise or were added at the last minute?
• On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate their professionalism, level of service, willingness to work with other vendors, etc.?
• If your best friend were getting married, would you recommend this vendor to her?
• Would you have any hesitation or reservations about recommending this vendor?
• Were they punctual?

Some wedding venues have a “Preferred Vendor” list that they will share. Usually they will have 2 wedding officiants, 2 photographers, etc., so it is up to you to choose. Click here for a list of questions you should ask Wedding Officiants, Ministers, Priests, etc. Ask how vendors are added to the list. If you’re told it’s a paid list, you can certainly start with it as a resource, but don’t assume that placement on the list is tantamount to a testimonial. Also, don’t assume that the absence of a vendor on a paid list makes them unworthy of your consideration.

Notice how well you connect with the vendor? Good personality? Easy to work with? Will they make the changes that you want? Are they trustworthy? There is normally a contract/agreement you must sign with them, so be sure to read the fine print “before” you sign it.

“Be leery of cheap impersonators. They CAN ruin your day! People who are not well trained can be disastrous. Planners will make sure to send you to the right people who they know are reputable and will do an outstanding job. This does not mean the most expensive in their field. We have our favorites that meet any bride’s budget.” ~ Lottie Fowler, Couture Events by Lottie

Comparing Prices: It’s certainly okay to check and compare prices (and you should), however, remember that cheap isn’t always the best. AND… expensive isn’t always the best either. If the fee of a vendor is higher than you have planned for in your wedding budget, you may want to look at other areas of your wedding where you can trim a few dollars here and there so that you can afford to hire who you want. I would never recommend that you make your decision based upon price alone. There are many other things to consider.

Newly Married CoupleVendors with big advertising budgets often get a lot of attention. I’ve often heard, “They have the biggest ad so they must be good.” Some are great. Others, not so great. Check ’em all out thoroughly.

Caution: Some vendors have wedding “packages” that virtually includes all the vendors you will need for your wedding. Some allow you to bring in other vendors and most do not. Proceed with caution because you may not be allowed to hire the one vendor that you like who may not be included in their package.

When you find the vendor of your choice – hire them. Don’t wait. Often a good “tell” is how busy they are. The busy wedding vendors are usually a wise choice. I had a wedding client recently who told me after the interview that they wanted to hire me but they had one more appointment with another wedding officiant. Three days later they called me and wanted to know where to send the deposit and I had already booked the date with someone else. In this case it would have been better for them to call the other officiant and cancel the appointment and offer me a deposit to secure the date. Hindsight is 20/20. When you find the vendor of your choice – hire them. Don’t wait.

Remember: Wedding vendors are a great source for other trustworthy and experienced professionals. Wedding planners/consultants, are also a great resource for quality, reliable vendors.

Sasha Souza, celebrity wedding planner, founder of Sasha Souza Events, and author of “Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design” says, “Your gut instinct, more than cost, is really important.”

I highly recommend you hire a trained wedding professional. Uncle George and his video camera, Cousin John with his stack of CDs and family friend Bob with his online ordination and no experience at performing wedding ceremonies isn’t gonna cut it!

BONUS Articles: Check Wedding Vendor’s References. . . A Piece of Cake! Right?
10+ Tips to Help You Choose the Right Wedding Vendor!
No Thanks! A Family Friend Will Perform Our Wedding Ceremony

Larry’s Note: A special “thank you” to Lottie Fowler, Couture Events by Lottie, Dallas for her contribution by inspiring this article.

Copyright © 2012 – 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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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, January 12, 2012

The Perfect Prenup. . .

Filed under: Guest Authors,Prenuptial Agreements,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags:

Why every couple needs one… especially the second time around!

Raoul Felder, Esq., Guest Author

“Don’t fear the prenup. Many couples avoid even discussing a prenuptial agreement because they perceive it to be a precursor for divorce. On the contrary, it can help lovebirds tackle real issues like debts, assets, business holdings and custody of children from previous marriages – all issues that could come back to bite you if not dealt with early enough.” ~ Larry James

prenuptial agreement with two red heartsPrenuptial agreements – contracts that specify how assets will be divided if a marriage ends in divorce – are no longer just for the ultra-wealthy. A 2010 poll by Harris Interactive found that prenups are three times as common as they were in 2002. That’s because even people of relatively modest means are searching for ways to limit the financial downside of divorce.

Prenups make particular sense for those who are remarrying later in life. Such people often have sizable assets to protect… little time to recover financially from divorce…and/or children from prior marriages to whom they wish to leave inheritances.

When couples without prenups divorce, their assets are divided according to the laws of their state. Most are “equitable distribution states,” meaning that courts consider a wide range of factors, including the length of the marriage and each partner’s job skills when divvying up assets. Nine states are “community property states,” in which property accumulated during the marriage is split down the middle. Either way, it’s a long, expensive and highly invasive process. Prenuptial agreements can be an effective way to avoid this mess—but only if they’re handled properly.

Raising a Touchy Topic

Probably the hardest aspect of a prenup is that it’s tricky to tell the person you are marrying that you want one. Some interpret this request to mean that you are accusing them of marrying you for money and/or that you don’t expect the marriage to last.

You can redirect some tension by citing the demands of third parties as one of the reasons for your prenup request…

• “My business partners/major clients/creditors are insisting that I get a prenup if I marry so that they don’t have to worry about who will own my business down the road.”

• “A relative intends to leave me an inheritance, but he’s insisting that I get a prenup so that he can be sure the money stays in the family.”

• “My kids are having kids of their own, and I promised to help with future college bills. I owe it to them to get a prenup to ensure that the money is there when they need it.”

If your prenup proposal is met with great anger and hurt, consider yourself fortunate to have learned now, before the wedding, that your betrothed does not handle difficult money conversations well. Fortunately, this often is not a problem with remarriage – people who have been married before tend to understand that marriage is a tricky financial and legal coupling as well as a romantic one.

Warning: Don’t let the discomfort of this discussion cause you to postpone it. If you do not have the prenup in place before the wedding plans are made and the invitations have been mailed, your spouse later could claim that he/she signed the prenup only because of the embarrassment that canceling the wedding at that point would have caused. A court could rule that such a prenup was signed under duress and invalidate it. In fact, it’s best to sign the prenup at least six months before the wedding. And it’s wise to include a provision agreeing to revisit the terms of the prenup after five years to acknowledge that things change, such as finances, needs and physical conditions. This provision might direct that a court or independent arbitrator step in if the spouses cannot agree on new terms.

Get the Prenup Right

Think twice about doing it yourself. A prenuptial agreement is like an insurance policy that protects the assets that you could lose in a divorce. You want that insurance policy to be one that you can depend on. Steven Spielberg reportedly tried the do-it-yourself prenup approach before marrying Amy Irving. His self-written prenup was not accepted by the courts, and he lost approximately $100 million.

Make a list of your assets before meeting with your attorney. Include all accounts and major possessions—lack of full financial disclosure could later invalidate the prenup.

Will You Marry Me?You and your fiancé/fiancée each should list your life goals, then compare them. Discussions about a prenuptial agreement can leave the two of you feeling at odds with each other. Comparing lists of life goals and seeing all that you intend to accomplish and enjoy together can start healing those wounds so that you feel like teammates again.

Hire two lawyers. If you hire just one lawyer to draft your prenup, your spouse could later claim that this attorney represented your interests while he/she effectively lacked legal representation. The prenup could be invalidated if a court believes this to be the case.

Each person should select his/her own attorney. Ask lawyers you know who specialize in other legal areas to recommend an attorney with expertise in drafting a prenuptial agreement. If your intended asks for your help choosing, ask your attorney or the state bar to produce a list of the leading attorneys in the region who handle prenuptial agreements, then give your fiancé this list.

An experienced attorney might charge between $1,500 and $5,000 to arrange a typical prenuptial agreement, or even up to $15,000 or more if the lawyer is from a prestigious law firm. Typically, the wealthier spouse-to-be pays the entire fee for both lawyers.

Make it clear that your goal is a fair division of assets when you meet with your attorney. Courts sometimes invalidate prenups that are too one-sided, though typically only if the court considers the division of assets so skewed that no reasonable person would have agreed to it.

A prenuptial agreement usually specifies each partner’s “separate property” – the assets and items that will remain exclusively the property of one partner. It also explains how “marital property” – the couple’s co-owned assets – will be divided in the event of a divorce. The prenup also might specify that premarital debts are the responsibility of the spouse who incurred them.

The line between separate and marital property can be complicated. Be sure that your prenup is written in a way that your separate property does not accidentally become marital property.

Example: A widow remarries and asks for a prenup to ensure that her home remains in her family. This prenup should specify that the home will remain her separate property regardless of whether the new husband lives there and contributes to the home’s upkeep and regardless of whether the couple’s jointly owned funds are used to pay for expenses such as home repairs or homeowners insurance.

A prenup also might specify that certain items will go to the children or other relatives of either person. It might even say who gets the pets.

Take into account other legal agreements. The prenups of those who remarry should take into account obligations under prior divorce agreements. If certain assets and/or income already are promised to the ex-spouse, they cannot also be promised to the new spouse in a prenup – the original divorce agreement takes precedence.

Prenups also can play a role in estate planning. A clause in the prenup could waive some or all of each partner’s rights to the other’s estate. That’s particularly useful for older people who wed but wish to leave most or all of their assets to children from a prior marriage. The prenup must be coordinated with the terms of the will to be effective. Consult with an estate-planning attorney for details.

Consider including a sunset clause in the prenup, so it dissolves if the marriage lasts a certain length of time – perhaps 20 years – to reassure your future spouse that you are willing to share your wealth as long as the marriage lasts for a long time.

BONUS Article: So, What About a Prenuptial Agreement?

RaoulFelderCopyright © 2012 – Raoul Felder, Esq. Reprinted with permission. Raoul Felder, Esq., an attorney who has practiced matrimonial and family law in New York City for more than 40 years. He has been named one of the nation’s 100 most powerful lawyers by The National Law Journal and has served as an assistant US attorney for the Justice Department. He is author of The Good Divorce: How to Walk Away Financially Sound and Emotionally Happy (St. Martin’s) www.RaoulFelder.com

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

Sunday, January 8, 2012

You’re Fired! – Letting the Maid of Honor Go!

Filed under: The Maid of Honor — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Larry’s Note: I am aware that this can be a very touchy topic. You may or may not agree with my suggestions, but just remember… that is what the “comments” section is all about. Your comments are welcome!

If you find yourself in a situation where someone in your bridal party isn’t fulfilling the commitments that are required, what do you do?

firedBe brave! It’s never an easy task to fire someone, however. . .

This is the most precious day of your life and you must never allow anyone in your bridal party to be anything less than their best nor have your wedding day be anything less than the highest priority on their list on your wedding day! NEVER!

First, it is of utmost importance that before you choose anyone, especially the Maid or Matron of honor, you have a serious “sit-down” conversation with her about “everything” that expected of her. Make it very clear that if she is unwilling or cannot comply, that you will have to choose someone else. Never choose a known slacker even if she is a friend. If, for any reason, they are unable to be at the wedding or provide the services that are required, they must have the courtesy to tell you as soon as possible.

Sadly, best friends are sometimes not always the best choice. Be careful when choosing an out-of-town bridesmaid. This person may not be able tp attend any of the prewedding activities. If that is an expectation and they cannot comply, choose someone else. Even if it is a longtime friend, working on coming to a place of understanding is the preferred way to go rather than to disinvite her.

(Just to be clear, uninvite is not a word, it is slang – disinvite is a verb meaning to rescind an invitation).

While etiquette generally states that once you’ve invited a bridesmaid, you shouldn’t disinvite her, that doesn’t always prepare you for every single event that might arise. Certainly etiquette doesn’t always take into account the myriad of situations that you might find yourself in during the wedding planning – and even in the course of the big day. You certainly don’t need any drama on your wedding day.

If you find yourself in a situation where one of your bridal party isn’t fulfilling the commitments that are required, what do you do?

bridezillaAsk yourself if it’s a big enough deal to let it ruin your day. If it is, “fix it!” In my opinion it would be better to lose a friend than to have them not be mature enough to carry out your wishes especially on your wedding day. Better her leave and you choose someone else than for you to turn into a Bridezilla! On the other hand, if she is one of your best friends, well… you need to make a choice. Keep her in the wedding and keep a friend and hope for the best.

If you have to disinvite someone, be prepare to lose a friend in this kind of situation. It would be wise to rule out texting and Facebook. 😉 Not a good idea. I would suggest that you have a private conversation with her (non-accusatory, of course) and first remind her that she is a good friend and of the conversation you initially had with her when you invited her to be your maid of honor. Assume she has a really good reason for her apparent lack of interest in carrying out her duties and let her know you are disappointed and listen how she responds. No excuses.

I do believe in second chances so if you truly believe that there is hope that she will come around let her know that you are depending upon her as a friend and let it go. If she continues to not answer phone calls or email and provides no explanation as to why she is avoiding involvement in your wedding, it may be time for you two to sit down and let her know that you will be choosing someone else. Do this as far in advance of the wedding as possible.

What about disinviting a guest? While in the strictest sense of etiquette it is seen as inappropriate to disinvite a wedding guest, it’s important to remember that every family situation is different. In this particular instance, you may want to call the guest and say, “Jennifer, I’m calling because I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate our friendship and that it troubles me but I have to cut down on the guest list because we’ve come into a budget crunch. I know that as a close friend, you’ll support me in this decision and I’d love for us to get together before/after the wedding.”

In the case where someone you have invited and your mother, mother-in-law or maid of honor objects… sometimes we as adults just need to suck it up and deal with it for a day. Whose day does she think it is? You must stand up for yourself. She has no right deciding who is worthy of your invitation. And then, again, every situation is different. Just remember it is YOUR wedding and you have the final decision.

BONUS Articles: Q & A – Can I Remove a Bridesmaid from the Wedding Party?
Serving Her Majesty the Bride: To Be a Maid of Honor. . . or Not (Guidelines for the Maid of Honor)
10 Fights All Brides Have During Wedding Planning and How to Avoid ‘Em
Your Wedding is “YOUR” Wedding!
Your Wedding Day is “YOUR” Day and You Get to Say!

Larry’s Note: A special “thank you” to Jen Kiaba, Jen Kiaba Photography, New York, for her thoughts on this subject.

Copyright © 2012 – 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
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Want Reception FUN? Add a Photo Booth!

Filed under: Photo Booths,Receptions,Wedding Trends,Wedding Video — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Photo booths are a trendy new one-of-a-kind feature at wedding receptions. They bring style, flair and lots of fun with absolute spontaneity. It will add a dash of real human interaction to create lasting memories. Photo booths are designed to blend in and compliment your event while adding another level of entertainment for your guests.

photoboothphotoFormerly an American tradition at five and dime stores, malls, arcades and amusement parks, photo booths add a lot of excitement for your guests and give you a terrific replacement of the traditional guest book. It not only provides a fun activity for your guests to do, but it provides memorabilia for the bride and groom.

All of your guests will be amazed with the incredible picture quality and quick development of the photos. The best part is that the photo booth is great for all ages. Every guest gets a personal photo strip and you get a duplicate the booth operator puts into a photo album that has space for the guests to write a personal greeting or note. Scrapbook, scissors, glue sticks, and pens are included.

Photo strips make the ultimate wedding favors. No need for the disposable cameras anymore. (Kids use them up; people don’t turn on the flashes; people take them thinking they’re favors; the whole roll is full of photos of the floor.)

Your guests can have a blast with unlimited photo ops. Guests can get creative with their photos by using props such as hats, glasses, flowers and more. Guests rarely need any guidance once they see how fun and easy it is to make custom pages. But just in case vendors always provides a trained photo booth attendant to help any guests who may need assistance.

The photo booth is interactive FUN to entertain your wedding guests for several hours. Photo booths are fun, exciting and a novel way to spice up a reception!

Here is a video from my friend, Mike Fazio, owner of Snap Booth Entertainment AZ. Enjoy!

Larry’s NOTE: I’ve worked with Mike Fazio and his excellent crew and have found them to be reliable and really FUN to work with. They tell you what they they will do and they keep their word. They have been in Arizona nearly 4 years and have hosted over 400 successful events in the Greater Phoenix area. Visit their Website and Facebook page.

BONUS Article: Do It Yourself “Funny” Photo Booth

Video Copyright © 2012 – Mike Fazio.

Copyright © 2012 – 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.

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

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