Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Advice for Dealing with Wedding Stress

Filed under: Stress-Free Wedding — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway, Guest Author

It’s supposed to be such a “happy time” yet brides tend to get clobbered by stress on the way to the altar. Here are some of the stressors and some solutions from my book, “Wedding Goddess.”

stress1. Bridezillas are made, not born. It’s easy to get sucked into the vortex of wedding planning stress, and overwhelmed by the stress, pressure and expectations of those around you. You have to include stress management, self-nurturing and time to chill out as an integral part of her wedding planning process.

2. Know what YOU want before everyone you know starts telling you what you’re wedding should be. Before you run off to tell the folks and friends you are engaged, take some time for you and your beloved to get used to the idea. And to discuss the kind of wedding you want. When you start sharing the news, without having a clue about the experience you want to create, you are more vulnerable to pressure and influence from others.

3. Stay on the same page with the man you will marry. Make an agreement that you will make all decisions together, and back each other up. The moment there is a weakness in your partnership, you will both be swayed more easily by other people’s opinions.

4. Everyone has something to say about your wedding. It’s a given. Just accept it. Whether they are paying for it or not … no matter whom you are or what age. You’ll be showered with congratulations and gifts… and bombarded with unsolicited advice.

Click to order book!

5. Everyone has an agenda for your wedding. It is a rare family that does not have a reason to be part of your big day for reasons other than the mere fact that you are getting married. People tend to see your wedding as a chance to fulfill their own needs. They tend to act out what it’s all about for them – not you! You have to set clear boundaries, and also protect yourself emotionally from the sometimes-negative vibes from well-meaning friends and relatives.

6. You can include loved ones without letting them run the show. There are so many creative ways to honor them in the ceremony and at the reception. Get over your desire to make everyone happy and focus instead on honoring family ties in a way that is meaningful to your marriage.

7. Getting married can stir up a lot of emotions. The process itself sets forth period of growth and change that can be very nerve -wracking. Once you decide to marry you will begin the process of getting ready for marriage … and unresolved emotions may come to the surface to be explored. Be prepared to do some inner work along with all the external preparations. Honor and address the emotions and fears that arise. Trust they are natural. Don’t sweep things under the rug.

8. Your happiness in life (and marriage) DOES NOT hinge on your wedding alone. Our culture places a tremendous emphasis on having a great wedding and not enough focus on having an awesome marriage. It’s okay to be temporarily obsessed and to yearn for the perfect wedding – we all go there at some point – but you have to keep your eye on what’s truly important. Too many brides treat the wedding itself as something to be worshipped and served. Don’t give the wedding day so much power! Step back and realize, the most important part of the day is not the day itself… but that you walked down that aisle and into the arms of the One you love… the One you look forward to building your life with.

BONUS Article: How to Manage Wedding Planning Stress with Your Partner
Do’s and Don’ts for a Stress-Free Wedding

LSB twitter profileCopyright © 2012 – Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway. Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway is a leading interfaith and non-denominational wedding officiant who creates unique ceremonies for couples of all backgrounds and faiths. She is widely recognized as an expert on interfaith and intercultural marriage, and bridal stress. She is also author of Your Perfect Wedding Vows: Finding the Right Words to Express Your Love and Your Interfaith Wedding: A Guide to Blending Faiths, Cultures and Personal Values into One Beautiful Wedding. Visit Rev. Laurie Sue at www.YourInterfaithWedding.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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Saturday, February 25, 2012

How to Remember Your Wedding Anniversary

Filed under: Anniversary Date — Larry James @ 8:00 am

Celebrating a wedding anniversary is both exciting, fun and romantic! It’s a celebration of your love for one another. Make it special. It’s also an opportunity to look back at your wedding day and assess how far you’ve come as a couple. Make it an anniversary week. Celebrate more than just one day.

AnniversaryRewind to your wedding. Dig out the wedding photo album and reminisce. Talk about how you met, your dates, engagement, wedding and honeymoon. Watch your wedding video. Have a private dance on the back patio to the music of your first dance on your wedding day. Get away from the busyness of life and take time for the two of you. Make it a week-long celebration.

Everyone knows that your wedding anniversary is the anniversary of the date your wedding took place but sometimes it can be forgotten. That could cause a stressful situation and is never a good idea.

Most people have a daily planner or a family wall calendar. Make sure you mark your wedding anniversary in your planner, and make sure you write it in BIG letters with “hearts” around the date so you will remember. Also note what anniversary (how many years) you will be celebrating.

Make notes to yourself in your smart phone, iPod, and your computer. Plan ahead. Don’t just log the date, post a reminder at least a month before so you can begin to make special plans to celebrate.

Some online anniversary reminder services will let you log the anniversary date and will send you an e-mail reminder about a week or two before your anniversary. Click here!

Listen for hints of ideas something special that your partner may like to have as a gift. It’s okay to drop some hints. Sometime guys don’t know what to do. Put your wedding photo on the coffee table the week before your anniversary. Wedding anniversaries, like other celebrated days, are worth putting some time and effort into making that day something to be remembered.

On the wedding day you can give each other gifts. Below you’ll find some traditional and modern gift ideas for each anniversary year.

1st Year
Traditional gift – Paper
Modern gift – Clocks

2nd Year
Traditional gift – Cotton
Modern gift – China

3rd Year
Traditional gift – Leather
Modern gift – Crystal/glass

Guys: Don’t wait for her to say, “Do you know what day it is, dear?” She will forgive you, but she won’t forget it.

4th Year
Traditional gift – Fruit/flowers
Modern gift – Appliances

5th Year
Traditional gift – Wood
Modern gift – Silverware

6th Year
Traditional gift – Candy/iron
Modern gift – Wood

7th Year
Traditional gift – Wool/copper
Modern gift – Desk sets

8th Year
Traditional gift – Bronze/pottery
Modern gift – Linens/lace

9th Year
Traditional gift – Pottery/willow
Modern gift – Leather

10th Year
Traditional gift – Tin/aluminum
Modern gift – Diamond jewellery

Keep the fire alive by recreating your honeymoon! If you never took a honeymoon, plan a trip to somewhere you have both always wanted to visit. Make a bucket list of exciting things to do on each anniversary for the future. Call Larry James for some exciting news about a romantic honeymoon at Sandals Resorts. Larry is a Certified Sandals Specialist.

Renew your wedding vows either privately each year in the quiet of your home or in an official renewal ceremony to mark a 5th, 10th or more anniversary. Involve the entire family. Every couple I marry receives a copy of their wedding ceremony on parchment paper. If you have the words from your ceremony use them to reaffirm your vows or make some new promises to each other.

Never, ever forget your wedding anniversary!

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, February 21, 2012

How About a Wedding in the Round?

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

I love new wedding ideas! I also believe that in order for you to have a memorable wedding it is often wise to break with tradition and do something different.

Recently I introduced another of my bright ideas called, “A Bright Idea for Seating the Parents of the Bride and Groom!” which certainly breaks tradition. Every bride and groom I have shared this idea with loves it. I am finding that the guests love to come to a wedding where they will not be subjected to a lot of out-of-date traditions. So here is another great idea.

Although a “Wedding in the Round” is not a totally new idea, it is a very refreshing way to arrange the seating at a wedding – with a modern twist. There’s not a bad seat in the house. You could almost say that everyone has a front row seat or “the best seat” in the house. It avoids the hierarchy of rows and rows of seats. It also provides a unique panoramic view for each of your guests. It truly represents the ring of love.

Outdoor settings are ideal for weddings in the round. This idea certainly creates an interesting ceremony environment. Seating in-the-round is always fun because it gives everyone a chance to get a close-up view of the bride and groom as they walk into the “circle of Love.” It’s a great time for the guests to take photos. A round seating arrangement can help the guests feel closer to the couple and ensure that they can hear and see the ceremony. It allows them to see your tears, hear your excitement and feel the love. It also creates a feeling of romantic intimacy for the bride and groom in that they have the feeling of being surrounded by family and friends.

RavenVerrado2

Raven Golf Club at Verrado is an exquisite site for an Arizona wedding, with beautiful Arizona desert vistas and water features surrounding the exquisitely manicured grounds, and luxurious outdoor and indoor settings for dining, dancing, and exchanging vows. Call Ann Mattis – 623-388-3002 or click on this photo.

The happy couple stand in the center of the circle and are surrounded by all the love and support of all your family and friends. They become the absolute focal point of the wedding ceremony.

A platform can be placed in the middle of the circle upon which the bride and groom can stand with the wedding officiant. Someone doing a special reading also comes to the platform.

MichelleDurpettiEventsOne version could be the the wedding officiant and the groom walk into the circle together and the bride walks with her escort (usually her father) to the center of the circle.

Another version could be that the wedding officiant walks in first and the father escorts the bride to the entrance and groom awaits the bride at the circle’s entrance and together they walk around the entire inside of the circle so they and their guests gets a front, side and back view of bride and groom.

roundweddingTo accommodate the bridal party, simply make the inner-circle bigger. Some couples have the bridal party be seated in the inner-circle instead of standing so everyone can see while the ceremony is being performed. Others prefer to have the wedding party stand in one of the four aisles that you see in the photo above.

A seating arrangement that creates a 4-way entrance leaves your guest in suspense. Which aisle will the bride enter? With four different entrances, the bride can select her aisle separate from the bridal party.

The inner-circle become a sacred space for the wedding ceremony. The parents of the bride and groom are always seated in the center closest to the bride and groom. You can place reserved signs on the seats for the parents and grandparents.

imgfave.comSo that everyone doesn’t have to see only the backs of the bride and groom, the wedding officiant – at various times during the ceremony – can rotate the positions of the bride and groom so everyone will get a good view. The circle arrangement also encourages no empty seats – which shows up well in the photos. Ushers can ask the guests who are entering to please walk all the way to the center, leaving no empty seats.

Ask the wedding officiant to add a few words to the ceremony that refers to the significance of the circle – represented as a continuance of an unending love; similar to the symbolism of the wedding ring; an unbroken line that has no beginning and no end. It emphasizes completeness and unity.

A wedding in the round is a fun and different way to showcase your ceremony and what a wonderful way to provide a 360 view for your guests!

Photo credits: Top 2 photos by Larry James. Third photo from the bottom (right) compliments of Michelle Durpetti Events, Chicago. Photo with couple in the middle, Studio Mathewes Photography, Baltimore.

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, February 17, 2012

Skip the Shots at Your Cocktail Hour and Reception

Filed under: Cocktail Hour — Larry James @ 8:00 am

The cocktail hour is fun and a great transition period from ceremony to reception. It is a nice chance for guests to mingle and chat, as well as a good time for the bride and groom to have their photos taken. Don’t skip the cocktail hour as your vendors need time to prepare for dinner, and this can take up to 45 minutes, sometimes an hour.

NOshotsSkipping shots is a good idea. Shots are easier and quicker to get bombed on. It prevents uncle Louie, the groomsmen, and others, etc., from over imbibing.

“If you’re hosting an open bar, ask the bartenders to adhere to a ‘no shot’ policy. Enthusiastic revelers often order rounds for their entire table, some of which go unconsumed. Eliminating that option helps keep down the added costs of late-night trips to the bar.” ~ Megan Weisberg, Wedding Consultant, San Francisco.

Make it clear to your bartenders in advance that although you want your wedding guests to have a good time, you are equally concerned about their safety and that the bartenders should monitor consumption and alert you if a guest has exceeded his/her limit. Professional bartenders have the experience to track individual consumption, recognize signs of intoxication and to tactfully slow an individual’s consumption when needed. You should take the responsibility for the overall safety of your wedding guests and intervene when necessary. You can always request that the bartender WATER DOWN drinks for specific people who you know tend to drink too much.

shrimpGuests imbibing on an empty stomach equals a recipe for disaster, so you’ll not only want to have plenty of munchies – finger food – on hand, but also make sure they work with your drink mix.

Consider closing the bar during dinner to allow people to eat and fill their tummies with something other than booze. Then reopen the bar when dinner is over. That way people aren’t drinking the whole night through. And closing the bar early – the last hour – means people have a chance to sober up before driving home. Serving coffee is a good idea.

From a wedding budget cost and handling perspective, it is best to keep your drink selections basic. Since you do not know what specific type of beverages your guests will consume at your wedding reception, by minimizing the number of overall selections you will be able to stock sufficient quantities of each beverage type – and within a reasonable budget – to make sure that you do not run short of any individual selection.

drinksNon-alcoholic beverages are always an essential offering. A selection of soft drinks like cola, diet cola, a lemon/lime soda like Sprite or 7up, and sparkling water with lemon and lime twists will pretty much take care of the soft drink selection.

If you have hired a beverage service or caterer who has a liquor license to provide bar service for your wedding reception or if your wedding reception is being held in a facility that provides bar service, their liquor liability insurance should cover the liability of service of alcoholic beverages. It is advisable to obtain a copy of both the liquor license and the certificate of insurance for the beverage service. It is also advisable to check the local regulations pertaining to “cash bars” to make sure that you are in compliance with local laws unless your wedding reception is being held in a liquor licensed facility, i.e. hotel, restaurant, etc.

Tip: If you will be taking your formal and group photos immediately after the wedding, be careful not to take too much time taking photos while your guests are at the cocktail hour. If you give your photographer a list of what photos to take after the ceremony when you meet with them, the photos should not take more than 45 minutes. If cocktail hour is for one hour that still gives you 15 minutes to freshen up before you make the grand entrance.

Some couples are choosing to take most of their photos before the wedding so they can enjoy the cocktail hour with their guests. Seeing you at the cocktail hour doesn’t make it any less dramatic or exciting for the guests when the new Mr. and Mrs. are announced.

BONUS Articles: Cheese it! Have a Cocktail Hour Cheese Table!
Booze: To Serve or Not to Serve
Cash Bars at Weddings: Tacky or Thrifty?
Beverage Selections for a Toast

heartcupcakeCopyright © 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, February 13, 2012

The Receiving Line – “NOT!”

Filed under: Receiving Line,Receptions — Larry James @ 8:00 am

The receiving line is an outdated tradition that has generally fallen by the wayside in favor of having the bride and groom visit each table, visiting with guests and posing for photos after they have had your meal at the reception. The bride and groom always get served first, so they should have lots of time for table-hopping and a quick hello after they have enjoyed the culinary delights of your wedding dinner. Have the photographer take photos of you with each table.

TIP: Do your table-hopping as a couple – together! Stay by each others side. This is a time when guests will want to take photos of the newly weds. Remember that ultimately the goal is to make guests traveling from afar feel personally welcomed by both of you.

vintageweddingreceivinglineThe purpose behind the tradition of the receiving line is to allow the hostess – usually the Mother of the Bride, regardless of who is paying for the wedding – to personally welcome the guests into the reception. Traditionally, the bride’s parents – as hosts – head the receiving line and are first to greet guests, followed by the bride and groom and then the groom’s parents. Many lines we’ve seen also include the entire bridal party (if there’s room), and sometimes even grandparents. The couple may wish to stand alone.

Large guest lists and big bridal parties can make for very long and time consuming receiving lines. The receiving line is still used by some where the guest list is very small – no more than 25. Most of my weddings are at resorts and are outside and are usually near sunset. Standing in line and waiting for 100 or more guests to offer their congratulations takes time. If you will be having your photographer take some photos featuring the beautiful Arizona sunset, dump the formality of the receiving line.

When there is no receiving line I usually make this brief announcement immediately following the ceremony after the bride, groom and bridal party walk out:

“Ladies and Gentlemen. The bride and groom request that you offer your congratulations at the reception so pictures of the wedding party can stay on schedule. In the meantime, please help yourself to hors d’oeuvres and something cold to drink. Please allow the parents to go before me. Let the celebration begin!”

bridegetshugAllowing the parents to exit before I do has them follow the bride and groom and the wedding party and not get caught up in the crowd as the guests exit. That way they can be the first to congratulate the bride and groom and remain close for photos after the wedding.

Speaking from a guest’s perspective, there’s nothing more awkward than waiting in line to say some forced greeting to the bride and groom. Since people do not usually enjoy standing in line for a long period of time, if you have a large wedding and anticipate a significant wait in line for the guests, consideration should be given to the comfort of your wedding guests – especially if your wedding is outdoors in the Greater Phoenix area.

Some brides and grooms are choosing to see each other before the wedding so that can take the majority of their photos before the wedding so they can join their guests at the cocktail hour for a meet-and-greet opportunity instead of a formal receiving line.

There is a cool Chinese custom that has the bride and groom go from table to table at the reception to have a toast with every table. You could have an assistant standby to pour the champagne or apple cider for non-drinkers.

Here is another alternative: A Receiving Photo. At the reception the bride and groom take center stage on the dance floor. The MC calls each table up, telling them to bring their empty champagne glasses with them. The men are instructed to stand on Grooms side, women on Brides side. When in place, 1/2 turn, raise glass, smile and offer “Cheers” to Bride and Groom as the photographer takes the photo. You will have a keepsake photo of all the guests. The first table may take a couple of minutes to get in place, however the subsequent tables will see how it’s done and this should not take too long at all.

Another alternative for a receiving line is to have the bride and groom walk around the reception with a basket of wedding favors and personally hand them to each guest. Be sure to assign someone to carry the favors for the bride and groom.

Photo Credits: Upper Left:June and Art (A charming blog for vintage romantics documenting a courtship in the 40s/early 50s)
Right: Christophe Wedding Photo

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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Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Hot New Wedding Registry Idea! – Cash Only, Please!

Filed under: Gift Registry,Gifts,Wedding Video — Larry James @ 8:00 am

It used to be that gift registries were the norm, however with the average age for marrying on the rise, many couples have already established households and have accumulated everything they need before they get married, and really don’t want to end up with two toasters, blenders, etc. Many couples are shelling out a serious sum of cash for their wedding themselves, and the idea of money for a honeymoon, down payment on a house or simply some spending cash to put toward the expense of a wedding is more appealing.

Most will agree that it is no longer considered tacky to request money instead of household items as long as you do it tactfully. The first few years of marriage are often full of surprise expenses. If a couple is in need of cash, my opinion is that it is a great idea to ask for what they really need.

steinmann80

Honeymoon in Rocky Point, Mexico

It is considered tacky to speak of anything other than requesting their presence at your wedding in a “wedding invitation.” That is a definite no-no! Asking for cash as a wedding gift can be touchy, particularly when it comes to etiquette conscious or older guests, who may not feel comfortable giving anything other than a traditional wedding gift.

When people know where the money is going, they tend to feel a lot better about the act of giving cash at a wedding. They will often ask the members of the bridal party and your immediate family for your registry information. Clue the members of your bridal party and family to respond by saying, “The bride and groom have a registry at Crate & Barrel (or wherever) however they request that you go to www.CashWeddingGift.com to contribute to the savings plan they have for a down payment on a house because they have just about everything they need to set up housekeeping,” (or: “The bride and groom have a registry at Crate & Barrel however they request that you go to http://www.CashWeddingGift.com to contribute their ‘honeymoon fund’ (or: ‘replace our dilapidated car fund’) because they have just about everything they need to set up housekeeping.”

If you are looking for the best wedding registry for your wedding, you found it. CashWeddingGift helps you get the gift you really want. It’s an online cash wedding registry where guests can easily and securely give cash gifts to engaged couples. Use your cash gifts to buy a home, help pay for your wedding or honeymoon or even start a retirement or college fund. CashWeddingGift.com is the fastest and easiest online cash wedding registry available. It’s convenient, safe and secure.

“Nowadays, with family and friends living across the country and at various stages in their lives, it’s definitely acceptable for a bride and groom to ask for gift cards or cash. It’s a great way to make it convenient for the guests and easy on them. I don’t think it’s tacky, whereas you can ask for gift cards on your registry, as far as cash, just be polite about it. You usually want to spread it by word of mouth. You definitely don’t want to put ‘cash only’ on your Website and you never put it on your invitation.” ~ Anna Post

Be sure to include any user IDs or passwords that guests will need in order to give a monetary gift via your chosen cash registry website.

Have more questions about CashWeddingGift.com? Click here!

BONUS Video: Is It Bad To Ask For Money As A Gift From Your Guests?

Video (How it works!): Copyright © 2012 – CashWeddingGift.com.
Text: 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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Sunday, February 5, 2012

“Do You Really Know What You’re Doing?!!!”

Filed under: Things to Consider Berore Marriage,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

When we make the most important decision of our life – to marry – many of us have no idea what we are getting into. I repeat… “no idea!”

slowDownDo you?

“When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Look before you leap. Slow down! Don’t get in such a big hurry! “Always date for one year before you make a proposal before marriage,” says Louanne Cole Weston, PhD, a marriage and family therapist. “You need to see how the other person behaves 365 days of the year – birthdays, deaths, Thanksgiving, etc. You learn how they treat these events and treat you before, during, and after they occur. Give relationship a full four seasons before you think about marriage.”

I agree! I believe in long engagements. At least long enough so that you experience the good, bad and the not so good; long enough to really get to know each other. You can’t do that in a 6 month relationship… or a two month relationship. I performed the marriage ceremony for a couple several years ago. They had known each other for a little less than 2 months, both in their lower 20s. We talked at length about some of the things to watch for that could cause bumps in the road but they were both “so in love” (and I might add, to blind to see) that they both lacked the maturity necessary to have them side-step the little issues that most couples face and 8 months later the bride called me crying saying that they were no longer together.

“Once I’m done with kindergarten, I’m going to find me a wife.” ~ Bert, Age 5

Psychologists say the typical infatuation (or “lust”) lasts 6 to 18 months. So, if a total of 19 or more months elapses between first meeting and the wedding, there’s a much better chance it’s really love and that it will last.

marryMeIt takes much more than love, boys and girls! Both parties must be ready for the long-term commitment of marriage in all aspects, financially, spiritually, emotionally and in maturity. In the beginning – for most couples – it’s about having fun, enjoying each others company finding out that you both like a lot of the same things. They need to spend more time talking about their relationship – their future (when the time seems right), their values, and their differences.

“It’s easy to love your partner when things are great. The true test of a marriage is when things are not going so well; when you have to sacrifice for your partner; when you have to come together as a team to face differences and difficulties.” ~ Lori and Bob Hollander

Ask lots of questions. Really get to know each other. You must have open and honest communication. If you are putting your best foot forward, make sure it’s connected to the real you. You have to stop trying to live up to your partner’s expectations and just be yourself.

If you don’t do that, in six months to a year they will discover the real you. As a relationship coach that is the time I hear some partner’s say… “Wow! I didn’t know that about him.” “After we had been together for awhile, I discovered that she really likes to have things her way most of the time. I just go along.”

Hmmm. Just going along will only last for a little while. Be yourself.

There are so many things to consider that many couples let slide because “they are in love.”

• Who will control the families money? Separate accounts or joint? Do you know your partner’s credit score? Money troubles plague many couples and it’s important to discuss this aspect of your relationship before it spins out of control. If she makes more money than you do can you handle that?
• If there are children from previous marriages, how will you handle that?
• Do you want to have children? If so, how many? Children affect a marriage in many ways; sleep-deprivation and disagreements on the proper amount and administration of discipline are just a couple of examples.
• How will you handle the chores?
• What about Spirituality? How important is it and how will we teach the kids if you are both of different faiths?
• Nicole Teague asks, “Are you ready to get married? During their teens and 20’s, people change considerably. Until a person has matured as an individual, it is difficult to know if a relationship that worked for them in their younger years will still be working for them years later. Have you experienced everything you wanted to as a single person?”
texting• Is there anything you feel you need to talk about but haven’t?
• Discuss your expectations about sex, your preferences and fears.
• Are there times when you need to be left alone?
• Do you have mutual goals for your life, your career and your marriage?
• Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental?
• Do You value and respect each other?
• Do you like and respect each others friends?
• Should either of you sign a prenuptial, or premarital, agreement?
• How will you handle disagreements? Will you promise each other to seek help if needed?
• Any addictions? Alcohol, drugs, sex, porn, gambling? Discuss how you’re going to handle this as a couple.

These are just a few things to consider. Talk to each other about these things and anything else that comes up and really listen.

When you think you have found “the one,” how do you know that for sure? The usual response is always the same, “You just know.” While that is true… it really doesn’t help much.

“Knowing comes from time spent contemplating your similarities, your differences, and how well you fit together. It comes from making the decision in your heart that you will remain committed to this person no matter what the future holds.” ~ Belinda Elliott

Take your time before you commit to marriage. Getting married will not fix problems within a relationship. Don’t rush into things. Take some time to consider why you want to get married in the first place. Many people get married thinking that they can change the other person. If something doesn’t seem right you need to know that after marriage it’s highly doubtful if it will change than. Getting married isn’t really about the wedding day – it’s about the quality of the relationship that follows. Wait on marriage until you are absolutely certain. If there is any doubt… don’t do it!

BONUS Articles: Are You Ready for Marriage?
276 Questions to Ask Before You Marry
The Marriage Test

weddingringheartCopyright © 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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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Bright Idea for Seating the Parents of the Bride and Groom

This idea falls into the category of “Why didn’t I think of this before??!!” 😉

Tradition says the parents of the bride sit in the front row on the left side and the parents of the groom sit in the front row on the right side.

parentsWhen the couple walks up the aisle, the bride is usually on the left and whoever is escorting her is on the right. Once the groom takes his place next to the bride their backs are to the guests. In my “romantic” wedding ceremony after about 6 minutes into the presentation of the ceremony they are asked to face each other holding hands.

Here’s the problem I noticed recently. When the bride faces the groom, she is facing away from her parents and the only thing they see is her back. The parents of the groom can only see the back of the groom.

BridesSideWeddingWoman.netSolution: Seat the parents of the bride on the right side and the parents of the groom on the left side. I know, that’s not tradition, however the first time we actually seated the parents in this manner, both sets of parents came up to me after the ceremony to personally thank me for allowing them to see the expressions on the faces of their daughter and son as the ceremony was being performed.

If you like this idea, please be sure to let the Wedding Consultant and the wedding coordinator at your wedding venue, otherwise tradition will most likely be the rule of the day.

Larry’s Note: We have been encouraging brides and grooms to tell the ushers – when asked, “Which side is the bride’s side?” to ask the guests to please fill the seats near the front first so the photos look more balanced. Some will display the sign asking the guests to choose a seat not a side near the guest entrance. Old traditions are hard to break, but bridal couples must be mindful that just because something has been around for a long time, doesn’t mean that fashioning new rituals isn’t perfectly acceptable and perhaps even preferable.

BONUS Articles: Who (of the bridal party) Walks Down the Aisle First?
Traditional Wedding or NOT!?

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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