Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Personalized Approach to Paperless Wedding Invitations

Filed under: Green Weddings,Ideas for Going Green!,Wedding Video — Larry James @ 7:00 am

According to the US Census, 2.3 million couples are wed every year, and the average number of guests at a wedding is about 178 people. This means approximately 409 million wedding invitations are sent every year!

GreenvelopeLogoA tree produces 8,500 pieces of paper. So if everyone sent a paper invitation, about 48,000 trees must be cut down every year, to make all the invitations.

Hmmm. Now it’s easier “being green!”

This idea is for couples who want to take eco-planning to a whole new level (and save a bundle on invitations). Greenvelope is such a great option. They offer elegant and stylish paperfree invitations, while preserving a hands-on feel by presenting guests with an animated envelope that is sent by e-mail. Keep your carbon footprint light as you take your first steps into married life.

At 18 years old, Sam Franklin had an idea for a web-based, eco-friendly wedding service. And two years later, after countless hours of researching, writing and overseeing the development of a website, Franklin’s idea came to fruition, with the launch of Greenvelope.com.

Sam’s website allows couples to order online paperless wedding packages that range from save-the-dates, invites, envelopes and thank you notes. The site also lets couples manage their rsvp’s and guest lists which makes planning such an ease. There are lots of designs to choose from and the website is really user friendly.

You can sign up for FREE to create your own “Save the Date” paperless cards (for a limited time). For more information and more paperless options. . . click here!

“Just be sure to send the save-the-dates six to eight months before your wedding (depending on how many of your guests will be traveling from out of state or abroad). And don’t forget to indicate on your cards the city where your wedding will take place and that a formal invitation will follow. If you’ve created a wedding website, feel free to add this information as well.” ~ David Tutera

BONUS Articles: Tying the Eco-Friendly Knot! – The Simplification of a “Green” Wedding
Guestbooks Go Green!

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 Cell: 480-205-3694. 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

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Here Comes the Groom! – A Call to ACTIVE Duty!

Filed under: Groom's Duties — Larry James @ 7:00 am

It’s safe to say that your bride-to-be has probably been dreaming of her wedding since she was a little girl. You are engaged and ready to take the next big step – plan for your wedding. I’ve noticed that today, many men are more interested in making the wedding a shared experience, a day for the bride and groom to celebrate – and be celebrated – together.

bridegroomholdinghandsGrooms – be an active part of this growing trend.

“According to recent statistics, 34% of the grooms participate a lot in the wedding planning and only 7% do not participate at all. The groom’s involvement in the wedding preparations has increased over time. Long gone are the days when the groom was only expected to propose and then say “yes” on the wedding day.” ~ StylishWeddingIdeas.com

Planning a wedding takes commitment, patience and is a massive undertaking, most likely bigger that you and your partner ever imagined. I highly recommend that you sit down together and decide who will be responsible for this and that and begin to set some deadlines. Women do some things better and men do some things better, so be sure to take that into consideration. You would be wise to begin planning your wedding at least one year to 18 months in advance. The best wedding vendors and venues book far in advance.

Once you decide who is doing what, make a commitment to follow-through and keep your word. Agree to hold each other accountable. You can’t call it nagging if you agree to it and your partner gives you a reminder. And don’t wait until the night before the deadline to begin. That causes stress. Take care not to turn into a groomzilla! Check out my Wedding Checklist. If will give you a good idea of when things need to be done.

Begin with with doing the numbers! What is your absolute limit on spending? Be sure you include hiring a wedding consultant in your budget. When I ask brides and grooms what kind of wedding they have envisioned and how they would like for their wedding to be remembered, most may have a vague idea but are not familiar with all of the many details and really are starving for information. That is why you must hire a wedding consultant. They know the approximate numbers, have valuable vendor contacts and can help greatly in reducing the stress of taking on this task alone.

I often hear man joking that their only duty is to show up and bring the ring. Nothing could not be further from the truth. That’s an interesting way to start off a marriage that is supposed to be about sharing responsibilities. I hear men say, “It’s her wedding. She can pick anything she wants. I don’t care. Whatever she decides. It doesn’t matter to me.” Don’t go there! First of all it’s not just HER wedding, it’s your wedding as a couple and she needs to hear that you really do care. Never leave it all up to her. She will appreciate your direct involvement with your wedding.

When planning, just don’t say “yes” to everything – only most things. Interject your opinion here and there to show her you really do care. If the normal protocol is followed, the groom is actually the person who gets the whole ball rolling for this amazing journey which culminates with your wedding day.

Once she says “yes” to your marriage proposal, expect to get to work right away. Here is the latest list of chores for you from Emily Post:

groomTakecharge• Select the engagement ring – although now-a-days brides may also be involved in choosing the engagement ring.
• Choosing his wedding party: best man, groomsmen and ushers
• Choosing the attire for the groom’s wedding party – in keeping with the style of the wedding
• Selecting thank-you gifts for his wedding party
• Arranging – and paying for – lodging for his wedding party
• Selecting a gift for the bride
• Compiling the groom’s part of the guest list and making sure that his parents provide their guest list.
• Planning the honeymoon – Today, this is more of a joint venture – (Call Larry James for some ideas!)
• Choosing wedding bands together
• Arranging for and purchasing the marriage license
• Making arrangements for transportation from the ceremony to the reception site, if necessary
• Planning the bachelor party or event (if applicable)
• Giving the wedding officiant the fee, and arranging for the best man to give the wedding officiant the gratuity
• Standing in the receiving line, if there is one, or – with the bride – being sure to greet all the guests at the reception
• Making toasts and responding to toasts at the rehearsal dinner and the reception
• Dancing the first dance with the bride, dancing with the couple’s respective mothers and the maid/matron of honor
• Cutting the cake with the bride

Okay, guys! It’s time to get busy. Whatever you do is one less thing for the bride to worry about. Don’t get too caught up in planning to forget about your sweetheart. Just because she said “yes” doesn’t mean you can cut back on the romance and courtship. Your wife-to-be will appreciate your efforts!

BONUS Articles: Grooming the Groom! Staying on Track for the Big Day!
Groom’s Wedding Planning Timeline: The Final Countdown
Wedding & Reception Gratuity Guide
Beware of “Cheap” Wedding Vendors!

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 Cell: 480-205-3694. 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

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Why The First Year Of Marriage Can Be Rocky

Filed under: Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags:

Sophie Keller, Guest Author

Everyone thinks of the first year of marriage as the “honeymoon” period, but newlyweds can often be dismayed to find that the first year can be rockier than they expected. So don’t be surprised if your marriage is a little volatile during the first year.

drifitingapartThe truth is that the first year tends to be unstable for a few reasons. For one, you are testing each others boundaries to see how far you can push one another. For another, you are each coming to terms with the disconnect between fantasy and reality, the fantasy idea of who you thought you were going to marry and the actual person you ended up marrying.

No matter how much you love your partner, you probably never envisioned how your life would play out on a day-to-day basis, unless of course you have already lived with him or her for a long time. In the year after you tie the knot, you realize that who you thought you were going to marry and who you did marry in the end are probably pretty different.

The first year of marriage is often a reality check. It takes time to build a bridge in your mind between the life partner you’d always fantasized about since you were in your teens and the partner who is now in your home. The more quickly you can be more realistic and let go of expectations, the better, because staying in that fantasy place can cause a lot of stress and frustration. The more quickly you can appreciate your partner for who he or she really is, the better.

“Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place.” ~ Larry James

Oli and I were much more volatile in our first year of marriage than we are now. I remember arriving in Sri Lanka for our honeymoon. Oli was nursing a headache, he had an upset stomach, a crook in his neck from sleeping badly and he had one more issue that I probably shouldn’t tell you about! He was walking slowly, almost limping, in front of me because he was so uncomfortable! One of his hands was supporting his head and the other was on his stomach, and I remember thinking, Oh, shoot, this is who I married?

couplelaughingI had always thought I was going to marry an athlete! Of course there were many things — and are many things — that I love about my husband. But at that moment, fantasy and reality collided, and I had to take a minute to readjust my perspective and to remember and appreciate my husband for all his wonderful qualities: the things I love about him that I never would have dreamed up in my wildest fantasies!

BONUS Articles: How to Survive Your First Year of Marriage
The Work of a Successful Marriage Begins After You Say, “I do!”
Being a Newlywed is Not Always Blissful
In the Beginning… Everything Was Terrific!
34 Articles about “Comunication.” Click here!

sophieKellerCopyright © 2012 – Sophie Keller. Happiness expert and best selling author Sophie Keller appears regularly on Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS and on KTLA 5 Morning News. Her highly acclaimed 4-book series includes “How Happy is Your Love Life? 50 Great Tips to Help You Attract and Keep your Perfect Partner,” and “How Happy is Your Home? 50 Great Tips to Bring More Health, Wealth and Joy in to Your Home” and two more. Visit Sophie’s Website!

safetypinheartLarry 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.

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wedding Planning Tips from a Newlywed

Filed under: Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags:

Sonya Dunham, Guest Author

Nearly-wed couples can benefit greatly from newlywed wedding tips. After all, they have waded the waters of wedding planning and lived to tell about it.

computerbrideResearching tips to plan a wedding can be extremely overwhelming, and with so many wedding books and websites available, it is not surprising that many brides get stressed and confused before they have even made their first decision. Sifting through all the information can be costly and time consuming. With three simple suggestions, you will be on your way to planning your dream wedding and enjoying the process.

Researching is a great way to familiarize oneself with sage advice. So, by all means, do some research, but keep the invested time to a minimum. Searching too many websites can be confusing and overwhelming, and can be an unneeded drain on your time and sanity. The old adage “too many cooks spoil the broth” goes for wedding planning too.

Newly engaged brides stock up on wedding magazines, which can be a little pricey.

Certainly most couples will need to research and plan wedding attire, food, venue, etc., but there are a few facets of a wedding, regardless of a couple’s individual needs, that continues to be the main area of focus for a spectacular day:

Reading about etiquette is a great way to familiarize oneself with continually evolving advice and getting information about constructing a budget will help couples keep important aspects of the wedding in perspective.

The Knot, a one-stop wedding website, is a great source for etiquette and budgeting advice – of course any website that offers sound guidance is a good foundational tool for anyone planning a wedding – just remember to select a website and stay with it.

When looking for great wedding professionals, Wedding Wire proves to be one of the best resources. Wedding Wire offers free wedding websites, information and reviews on local wedding professionals, and many other services that can be utilized on websites like The Knot.

Researching tips to plan a wedding can be extremely overwhelming, and with so many wedding books and websites available, it is not surprising that many brides get stressed and confused before they have even made their first decision. Sifting through all the information can be costly and time consuming. With three simple suggestions, you will be on your way to planning your dream wedding and enjoying the process.

When it comes to entertainment, time lines, and tips on interviewing wedding professionals, nearly-wed couples should invest in “The Best Wedding Reception Ever!” by Peter Merry.

bridedancingEntertainment is the key to any successful wedding reception, regardless of style or size of the party, and Merry’s professional experience makes his book a priceless source for every couple planning their wedding. Merry has been helping couples create fun and entertaining wedding receptions for over 15 years. He’s an innovator, leading the wedding industry in a new and fresh direction.

“The Best Wedding Reception Ever!” is not just another “one size fits all” instruction booklet that ultimately disappoints readers. Couples who read Merry’s book will benefit from the 22 real couple profiles and the innovative ideas that are brought to the wedding planning forum. Additionally, Merry offers logical and priceless advice on how to construct a seamless time line, how to interview wedding professionals, and how to create an environment that screams “FUN.”

Having a few great sources at your disposal can make the planning process a pleasurable experience and can help you create the day of your dreams.

Interviewing wedding professionals is the key to unlocking your wedding dream day.

limoThe first thing a couple should know about selecting wedding professionals is that the most-referred wedding professional is not always the best fit for all weddings. Sometimes, the smaller companies can offer the best services for a couple. Therefore, zeroing in on a wedding professional’s mission statement, personality, and talents can help couples decipher whether someone is a good fit for their wedding team.

The complexity of a wedding can certainly dictate the number and type of wedding professionals a couple might need to hire, but complexity should not be the only consideration when deciding the size of one’s wedding team. A couple should also consider what kind of planning experience and wedding style they are desiring in order to assemble their support team.

Therefore, before a couple can assess whether any wedding professional is a good fit they must get to know their potential professional. Interviewing and getting references is key to successfully getting to know any potential wedding professional. Even if a wedding professional comes highly recommended, nearly-wed couples must interview and check references to ensure that there won’t be any surprises along the way. The old adage “It is better to be safe than sorry” definitely applies here.

Before visiting any wedding professional, a couple should know their budget, their total guest number, and have designated their wedding party. Having a clear vision of the day will help a nearly-wed couple obtain their dream wedding and help wedding professionals best serve them.

beautiful-gardenHere are few questions a couple should be prepared to ask all of their wedding professionals:

• Why did you choose to become a [insert type of professional. i.e. wedding planner, DJ, etc.]?
• How long have you been a [insert type of profession]?
• Are you certified in [insert the professional focus of the interviewee. i.e. wedding entertainment, event planning, catering, etc.]?
• Do you have an up-to-date business license [this is especially helpful in the areas of catering and adult beverages] and is that indicated in your contract?
• May I see a list of referrals and/or customer comments?
• Read, “Interviewing a Wedding Officiant? – Bring Lots of Questions!

Asking these questions will give a couple some insight into the commitment and experience of a wedding professional. Remember, although this is your wedding day, it is also business. Compiling a list of questions will not only better acquaint you with a wedding professional, but also protect you from deceptive individuals and safeguard you from fraud and illegitimate business practices.

Some couples are not able to create a vision for their day without the help of a wedding consultant and may seek to hire a planner to help, not only with the vision of the day, but also with contracting and hiring other wedding professionals, event venues, and food catering.

Whatever the level of involvement or range of professionals a couple has procured, having these three aspects [budget, guest total, and wedding party] decided will not only give the wedding planner a foundation on which to work, but also give all wedding professionals some solid boundaries.

The amount of responsibility a couple has in planning their wedding will depend on the couple. However, every couple must remember that there is a fine line between trusting a wedding professional to execute their vision and giving over complete control of their day. A nearly-wed couple must remain the final voice, as it is their day to remember and cherish forever. Thus, the day must be their vision and not the vision of any other person. So, make sure that your wedding planner (or any other wedding professional) is a complement to your voice and not a substitute for it.

Here are a few additional and more specific questions you can ask a wedding planner to help ensure that he or she is the best fit:

• What was the most challenging wedding you have planned and why?
• What are the most common problems you have encountered while planning and executing a wedding? How did you handle them?
• What are the duties you will handle as a wedding planner?
• In case of an emergency, what plan do you have in place to cover the wedding in your absence? Will someone else take over for you?

ringonfingerAlthough nearly-wed couples might not want to think about mishaps or missing wedding professionals, emergencies do happen. Therefore, a couple should know the contingency plans of prospective wedding professionals and ask to meet with any person(s) who might ultimately be responsible for executing their wedding day.

Whether a couple is hiring a DJ, Wedding Entertainment Director or live entertainment (such as a band), there are a few simple questions a couple can ask to further get to know their potential wedding entertainment:

• How many weddings do you perform in a year?
• How are your services different than others in your field?
• What services are included in the contract?
• How long can we contract your services and will there be any hidden or additional fees that aren’t covered in the contracted material?

Regardless of the type of wedding professional a couple is looking to hire, focusing on the essential wishes for the day should allow a couple to not only identify and prioritize a budget, but also highlight the specific questions needed for a thorough interview session. No question is a stupid question. Do not be afraid to ask as many questions as are pertinent to the job and situation in which you are hiring a professional. If a wedding professional is challenged or irritated by your thoughtful list, then that might be a sign that a potential professional is not for you. Often times, superb wedding professionals welcome all questions and even offer unsolicited advice or information.

The above questions offer a guideline, but it is important for a couple to create and tailor the questions specifically to their wedding day and to the wedding professional they are interviewing. Generic questions are good for logistic information, such as cost of services, but it is the questions that ask more about the professional and his or her services that will reveal the “heart” of the wedding professional and help the couple determine if the personality and work ethic of the professional is a good match.

In the end, do not substitute your intuition with someone elses reassurances. If something does not feel right in the interviewing process, then it probably is not right.

BONUS Article: No Thanks! A Family Friend Will Perform Our Wedding Ceremony
Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner

SonyaDunhamCopyright © 2012 – Sonya Dunham – Sonya studied English Literature and Writing at Park University and is a member of the English Honor Societies, Phi Theta Kappa and Sigma Tau Delta. She is a writer of mainstream and literary fiction, as well as non-fiction prose. Sonya lives with her husband and cat in seasonal Missouri, but often finds her heart alongside the Pacific Ocean in California. More about Sonya.

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.

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

Friday, April 13, 2012

How to Deal With Noisy Children During the Ceremony

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

I do understand the crying, the hissyfits and hyjinks children at weddings can bring, however it is rude if parents who have children at the wedding don’t keep them under control. At a recent wedding a small fit-throwing toddler began to cry incessantly during the ceremony. The mother continued to hold the child on her lap while the crying was getting louder as time went on, but made no move to take the child out of the ceremony area. It was terribly distracting to me as the Wedding Officiant to say nothing of the adults who were trying to hear the ceremony. And the wedding ceremony was being filmed by a videographer. Can you imagine the bride and groom listening and watching the video later?

mother&cryingkidIf you have friends who would not take a crying child outside of a wedding ceremony immediately, perhaps you should rethink your friends. Why on earth do parents think that a squealing child makes for acceptable behavior at an event like a wedding? I guess duct tape is out of the question? 😉 If I did that when I was a child, you can bet I would be removed from the premises post-haste and disciplined when I got home. While it is true that “kids will be kids,” a wedding is not the place to tolerate bad behavior.

It’s become increasingly acceptable to outlaw little people at weddings. Small children have a short attention span so their capacity for sitting still at a wedding is decidedly limited. Because children are unpredictable and have a hard time sitting still for any length of time, you must be prepared for the unexpected when inviting children to your wedding.

If a child becomes unruly or loud during the ceremony, assign someone to ask the parent of a crying child to take the child away from the ceremony area until the ceremony ends. The person you assign must be willing to take action quickly and silently as needed.

If you’re inviting children to your wedding provide a nursery with hired personnel. You can’t force parents to leave them in the nursery, but you can print a line in your program stating that fussy or noisy children should be taken into the nursery. Because parents aren’t likely to want their children to be kept in a nursery for the duration of the entire wedding, having a nursery available for just the main ceremony should be sufficient.

Set aside a space at the reception for a “Children’s Party.” This is usually a corner or room near the main reception area that offers lots of activities to alleviate children’s boredom. You can also assign an usher at the back of the ceremony site (or church) to approach parents of fussy/noisy children during the ceremony and volunteer quietly to escort them away from the ceremony area.

bridaltablekidChildren also have a tendency to take over the dance floor, running, etc. If the children aren’t old enough to know better and the parents can’t control them, then perhaps they shouldn’t be there. Since it’s a little late for that have someone guide the children to the “children’s party.”

Brides and Grooms who do not wish children to be present during the ceremony – or reception – must make childcare arrangements for the parents. Put together a box of “fun” things with coloring books, crayons, card games, DVD movies, building blocks, art activities or video games are all great options for the children’s entertainment. Include a few other dollar store items to entertain the children after dinner.

One bride said, “With the enormous expenses of weddings today, the expectation that children should be allowed at a wedding is simply outlandish. Furthermore, the drinking of the reception, uncensored language, inexplicable boredom for children, and sexual undertones that often come with a wedding should be enough for any responsible parent to willingly omit their child from the proceedings.”

Another bride said, “There seem to be two issues at the heart of the debate: controlling children so they don’t ruin the ceremony/reception and wasting food on children, who hardly eat/sit still anyway.”

If parents with children who have a history of misbehaving are not invited to the wedding, that pretty much solves the problem. I know that is not what you want to hear but weddings are expensive and should not be spoiled by a spoiled child.

When a couple decides not to invite children to their wedding, they can head off drama (and children) by getting the word out, informally, before the invitations are sent. Pass the word through your families, during showers or other wedding parties and events, and casually with friends. Your friends will understand and not feel bad knowing you must limit your guest list.

Have someone go first to the parents of the children you won’t be inviting. Tell them you’re having to make some difficult decisions about your guest list, and that you won’t be inviting any children to the event (other than those who may be in the wedding party as flower girls, ring bearer, etc., if that’s your decision). Tell them you’re sorry not to be able to include their children, and that you’re calling early to give them as much notice as they can to find a sitter or if you have made arrangements for nursery attendants, let them know.

babyflowergirlWhen you want the children invited, the inside envelope of the invitation will include the parents names, as well as the children’s names. Most people know, when receiving an invitation, that children are not invited, unless their names are listed, or unless “and family” is written on the inside invitation. This does not, however, protect you from a thoughtless guest. Some brides choose to personally call guests with children and clarify if the wedding will be for adults only so there is no misunderstanding. It is considered rude to put phrases such as “No Children” on an invitation. One bride I know provided a list of several baby-sitting services with her invitations.

Note for Guests: It is improper to argue with a couple over their decision to include or not include children in their wedding – or to insist that your child be the exception. A wedding guest list – even if you find it unfair – is not up for debate.

To invite, or not to invite, children to the wedding is a topic that has long caused strife to wedding planning couples. Some say a wedding with drinking and dancing all through the night is no place for children. Others think that leaving kids off the guest list is ridiculous and rude. Always remember, it is your wedding and you can invite whomever you choose. You may run the risk of offending some parents, but you have to stay true to what you want your wedding day to be.

On the other hand, I’ve seen some very funny things happen when children are involved in the wedding party that really make the wedding memorable. In the end… it is only and always your choice!

BONUS Article: How to Keep Children Quiet and Prevent Interruptions During Your Wedding
No Rugrats (Children) Allowed!
Children at the Reception?
An Age Guide to the Little Ones in Your Wedding

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 Cell: 480-205-3694. 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

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Work of a Successful Marriage Begins After You Say, “I do!”

Filed under: Coaching,Marriage Tips!,Relationship Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Marital bliss is not something that just magically happens after you say, “I do.” It’s a relationship where both parties need to communicate about what’s going on in their life. When you spoke your wedding vows to each other you made a commitment to make your marriage work. Now that you are past the “I dos,” it’s time to get to work!

eggshellsAccording to a 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center, nearly 40% of Americans believe marriage is obsolete, and only 54% of American adults are married, down from 72% in 1960. However, some experts argue it’s not marriage itself that’s obsolete; it’s the stereotype of what a “perfect” marriage is that’s antiquated. Marrying the person you love and turning your marriage into a happy one – requires immense hard work. And you are the one who has to do the work. It’s a constant process to make it better.

Your wife/husband should be your very best friend! No excuses. If this is true – and you “know” it is – you should be able to talk to your partner about how you’re feeling about your marriage relationship. You should not have to walk on egg shells wondering whether you will say something that will upset the apple cart.

Something to consider. Preventative maintenance works. To me, what that means is: You shouldn’t just be together hoping everything will work out fine. It means that if you really want a healthy love relationship with your partner you both must continue to work on the relationship all the time, not only when it’s broken and needs to be fixed.

Read about relationships. Study them. Good relationship books can give you ideas that you can use to make your relationship better. Make plans to attend relationship workshops and seminars. If things begin to go sideways, find a good relationship coach – sit down and talk about what’s going on and together determine what you need to do to fix it.

Never ever let your love diminish. Respect each other. When you give respect, you get respect. Never take each other for granted. This can be a killer for a relationship. When your partner feels taken for granted, not respected or acknowledged, and feels that others are a higher priority than him/herself, resentment brews. A regular “state of the union” check-in with your spouse as to how she/he is feeling about the relationship can help avert resentment build-up.

Communicate. Communication is key. Talk to each other as much as you can. Couples who stop talking will find that their marriages don’t last. Express your love in romantic ways. Compromise. It can’t always be your way. Don’t be selfish. Marriage works best when you give to your partner the love that you need. Pay attention to important dates. Remember birthdays and anniversaries.

sippingshakesForgiveness is another important key. No one is perfect and invariable your partner will do something that hurts you. Be willing to forgive. Read, “Forgiveness… What’s it For?

Resolve conflict quickly. Don’t let the pot boil over. The more time you wait to move to a solution the more difficult it will be to take the first step. Say, “I’m sorry,” when you need to and mean it when you say it. Never nag. Nagging is genuinely harmful for maintaining harmony in your married life. Never use harsh words. If physical or emotional abuse occurs, move quickly to get professional help. If it requires leaving to get out of harms way, do it NOW!

When you get angry… “think” before you speak! Always express appreciation even for the small things your partner does. Listen! Be attentive to your partner. NEVER talk about your exes. If your partner has children from a previous marriage and they must communicate with their ex about the kids, be as understanding as you can.

Don’t hide your feelings. If you’re happy about something, speak up. If something is bothering you, speak up. Be loving when communicating something that is bothering you.

Share responsibilities. Nowhere does it say that only the woman should do the housework. Nowhere! Share. Take turns doing chores. Share and delegate your responsibilities among each other so that there is balance at work and home.

Remember to say, “I love you!” (outloud) at least once each day. Those three magical words brightens up any face and makes the relationship grow fonder and more intimate. Be vulnerable, open and honest about your fears and hopes; share yourself without fear of failure or being hurt.

Keep the romance alive. Romance will make the relationship spicy and juicy. Never allow business, chores, or children to get the way of your romantic life. Always express your feelings to your partner and try out ways to make them feel special for no reason except that you love them. There doesn’t have to be a special occasion. Plan to have FUN together.

Read Greg Godek’s book, “1001 Ways to Be Romantic.” Have a healthy relationship requires planning, creativity and commitment. Make time for each other just as you use to when you were dating.

GreatSexThese are but a few things you can work on – issues that tend to surface in my relationship coaching sessions. No one said that a successful marriage was going to be easy. Remember you are a team… and you should work together as such.

Great sex! That’s important too. For you to share intense intimacy… all other factors of a healthy relationship must be in place. It’s difficult to make love with someone with whom you are pissed off. 😉 Love each other. Physically, yes; but emotionally, too. Always keep in mind what it was love that brought the two of you together. Hang on to it. Whatever happens, remember that you’re in it together.

Marriage, like any other worthwhile endeavor, requires patience and practice – it needs help now and then, both during the good times and when things become difficult. Never let problems build up till they are uncontrollable. And certainly never underestimate any problem that comes up. Often a small problem – when allowed to fester – could have been solved with 5 minutes of discussion, turns into grounds for divorce. Don’t let that happen to you.

redhot

More info – click book cover!

When there is difficulty, it may require outside help. Never be ashamed to ask for help. I am sadden when I hear of couples who move so quickly to divorce rather than muster up the courage to seek help and try to make a marriage work. It’s not easy. Maintaining a marriage is one of our most significant challenges. And there is a solution for every problem. If you can’t find it, perhaps someone else can. Don’t give up so easily.

BONUS Articles: Sweet Dreams Are Made of This…
Unleash Your Romantic Fervor!
Need Some Romantic Ideas?
Focus on Spending “Quality” Time Together
Ear Candy, Anyone?

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 Cell: 480-205-3694. 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

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Save $$’s With a Cake and Punch Reception!

Filed under: $$$ Tips,Receptions — Larry James @ 7:30 am

Often the most expensive thing in your wedding planning is covering the cost of food. It’s not necessary to feed the masses. If you are on a small budget for your wedding and don’t want to carry a lot of debt after the wedding and really need to plan something that is affordable, a great way to save some bucks is to have your wedding in the afternoon – say around 2 p.m. – and have a cake and punch reception. Usually the time of day will dictate the type of reception. Mid afternoon is the best time – sometime between lunch and dinner. Forgo full dinner service.

punchDecide whether you will have a choice of non-alcoholic and alcoholic punch or no alcohol at all. You could serve a signature drink, such as punch or a favorite cocktail, instead of providing a full bar.

A cake and punch reception usually also includes coffee and perhaps tea, individual sodas instead of punch if you prefer, but that costs a little more. Desserts can include pies, cakes, doughnuts, cookies, pastries, brownies, etc. Another option, which can be combined with a normal dessert reception is a sundae bar. In this type of reception, you serve bowls of ice cream (usually vanilla) and let your guests choose their topping. If you want to add some fruit and vege trays for munching, do it. It’s YOUR wedding. Have fun with it. Do it the way you want it to be.

An afternoon wedding eliminates the need to serve lunch or dinner. Having cake and punch also frees up extra cash and allows you to be more creative with other expenditures you may have. Add a small combo for dancing.

Call it a reception with a “Dessert & Dancing” theme. There is some debate on whether it’s a good idea to add a line on your invitation stating what type of reception is occurring. Some examples of this are: “Cake and Punch Reception to Follow Ceremony,” or “Celebrate our wedding with a “Dessert & Dancing” reception theme immediately after the ceremony.”

cake&punchTake most of your wedding photos before the wedding and after the ceremony, go directly to the reception for cake and punch. It’s a time for celebration. Non-traditional – to say the least. But controversial? I doubt it. Most guests understand the tremendous planning and expense occurred when planning a wedding when you have to feed 150 to 200 guests. A sit down dinner cost big bucks. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a wonderful, memorable wedding.

Have your cake baker make your wedding cake the focal point of the room. Don’t skimp. Go fancy. Add some creative lighting to the cake table, candles for center pieces always looks romantic. Sprinkle flower pedals around the cake and each table.

You can cut cake costs further, if necessary, by having a very small decorative and/or stacked cake, and supplementing the servings with additional sheet cake in the same flavor.

Here’s another idea. You can avoid the high cost of professional bakeries by having your friends and family involved. Make a list of the most popular kinds of cake and ask close friends and family members to volunteer to bake one or two of them and bring it to the reception.

Hiring professionals, of course, accounts for a great chunk of many wedding budgets and is a better idea. As a professional myself, and speaking for the many fine wedding professionals I know, this is often money very well spent. Choose your professionals with care.

IMPORTANT: Plan to do something special with the money you save by having a Cake and Punch Reception.

BONUS Article: Several articles about saving $$s!
Several articles about receptions!

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Ceremony. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 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

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wedding Congratulations from the White House!

Filed under: Congratulations from the President,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

You’ve got to admit, regardless of one’s political affiliation, a congratulatory note from the President of the United States and First Lady would make a memorable addition to your wedding scrapbook, right? And, you don’t have to “crash” a White House party to get it!

Receive Congratulatory Greetings For Your Wedding From The President Of The United States and The First Lady.

Imagine how exciting it would be, as a Bride & Groom, to receive congratulatory greetings for your wedding from White House.

Well, you can and it’s FREE as long as the recipients are American citizens and you follow two very simple steps.

First, wedding greetings may only be requested “after” the wedding has taken place.

Second, a Presidential greeting request must include the following information:

Name of the Bride & Groom

Address of the Bride & Groom

Date (month, day, year) of the wedding

The name, e-mail address and daytime phone number of the individual requesting the greeting.

And, although not mandated as a requirement, sending a copy of the wedding invitation might be a nice gesture. It would also add legitimacy to the request.

Now that you’ve got all of the information put together, you can submit it in one of 2 ways:

Fax: 202-456-2461

Mail: The White House
Attn: Greetings Office
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20502-0039

As you can probably guess, the White House gets a hundreds of requests for wedding congratulatory greetings. So, allow several months for it to reach the recipient.

Larry’s Note: A special “thank you” to Ron Ruth, Ron Ruth Wedding Entertainment, Kansas City for calling this to my attention!

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 Cell: 480-205-3694. 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

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: