Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Thursday, May 31, 2012

5 Tips To Help Safeguard Your Wedding Day

Filed under: $$$ Tips,Fees,Vendor Fees,Vendor References,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Every bride and groom wants their wedding to come off without a hitch. Take these extra precautions as you plan to help avoid problems on the big day.

1. Do your homework. Use local wedding vendors and do your homework before you make your final choice. Don’t rely solely on an attractive website as an indication of quality service. Ask friends if they know of the company, and request references from the vendor. Also research the company to see if any complaints have been filed against it with business or consumer-protection groups.

weddingcontract2. Always read the contracts. Insist on a written contract for any service you retain, and make sure all the details of your agreement – including dates, times and prices – are correct before you sign. Make sure the contract/agreement spells out delivery arrangements, vendor duties and responsibilities, and payment terms as well.

3. If the vendor accepts credit cards consider using a credit card. Credit cards make it easier to track your wedding deposits and purchases, especially if you conduct some transactions well in advance of the wedding date. Cards also provide more protection than checks or cash in the event of a disputed charge.

thumbsUP4. Compare your options. As you talk with various vendors, keep track of the details on a worksheet that lets you thoroughly compare their offerings. Beyond the basics of price and availability, note specific details such as their cancellation or refund policies, whether or not they plan to subcontract any portion of the services and if they’re currently and appropriately licensed (if necessary).

5. Never allow price to get in the way of choosing the wedding vendor that you really want. Think before you choose. Instead choose to trim your budget in another place to allow for the difference. Be flexible. Thumbs up to a better (but more expensive) vendor and thumbs down to some of the extras you could really do without. Some wedding venues with offer a better deal if your wedding day is on one of their off days – e.g., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. A buffet line is often less expensive that a charge per plate. Instead of expensive favors – which often go into a drawer, never to be used again – put that savings toward a vendor that you really like.

BONUS Article: Several articles about saving $$s!
How Much Do You Charge to Perform a Wedding Ceremony?

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.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hey Guy! Getting Married? – Don’t Be Clueless!

Filed under: Groom's Duties,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags: ,

Getting married – for a guy – is much more that picking out your tux, bringing the ring and show up at the wedding on time (and sober). 😉 Sorry, guys… but it’s really stupid to tell your bride, “Whatever you want, just do it!” or “I like all your ideas.” This is not just HER day, it’s your day as a couple! Weddings are not just a “girl thing.”

planningWeddingYour sweetie would like for you to be proactive in helping her plan the wedding (even if she says otherwise). Leaving it all up to her and her maid of honor (or heaven forbid, her mother) is just wrong. Not to get involved is a big mistake. Never, I repeat, never defer to your fiancée for all the planning. According to a 2007 survey of recently married couples by The Knot Wedding Network, the groom was significantly involved in planning: 36 percent of grooms were “very involved” and 57 percent of grooms were “somewhat involved.” Respondents to a GroomsOnline.com poll indicated similar numbers, with 38 percent of grooms “very involved” and over 60 percent “somewhat involved.”

Brides today often expect grooms to fully participate in the wedding planning process. But many men continue to display stereotypical aversion to all things wedding-related. PLEASE don’t be one of those guys. Ask yourself, what kind of team you want to be as a couple in planning your wedding. How do you want to do this together? Communicate.

The underlying goal is to get your marriage started on the right foot. You are a couple now – it’s about sharing responsibilities! The day is about the couple and not just the bride after all. Don’t get involved and you will look like a loser who let his woman do everything. What kind of message does that send to her and her family? Be completely involved. Go over every decision together.

It’s a given that you will need to choose your best man and the groomsmen. By the way, it’s considered a common courtesy to include your soon-to-be brother-in-law(s) in the wedding party. You might be smart to trade in night clubs and beer parties for golf outings, camping trips, and even a baseball game if you’re planning a bachelor party.

Don’t just help her when she asks for it, offer to take over certain duties and keep your word and – this happens a lot – don’t wait until the last minute to do what you promised. In other words, don’t be a procrastinator.

Stress-free?? Brides! Give the Groom a to-do list!

Attend all the vendor interviews “together,” especially the one with the Wedding Officiant. As a Wedding Officiant, I often spend anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 hours with couples talking about all the details of the ceremony – do the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk in together or separately, what are the seating arrangements for the parents of the bride and groom, are there additional “add-on” ceremonies like the “Blending of the Sands” that you would like to add, etc. Think about what you want to express as you exchange vows. Write some “romantic” words of your own to say to her during the ceremony. Go to the food tastings. Help with choosing the entertainment at the reception.

takebackwed

Click book cover & buy this book!

Think about this, guys! Most couples have no idea of all the various details of a wedding. There are literally hundreds of little decisions that need to be made when planning your wedding. Not knowing causes anxiety and stress. Show her you really care.

Do yourself a favor. Consider hiring a Wedding Consultant. The Wedding Consultant is often the first thing people cut from their budget. That is never a good idea! They know the details and can often get you special deals with the vendors they work with.

While you may not think wedding planning is fun, plenty of other people are usually happy to lend a hand. Reach out to your friends, family, and the bridal party for support.

The book, “Take Back Your Wedding” combines wisdom from the world of family therapy with a realistic picture of how couples and families behave under the stress of planning a wedding. Weddings bring out the best and worst in all of us because they combine romance, money, family and friend loyalties, jealousies, new in-law relations, and endless practical decisions, all played out publicly. With the book (on the right) you will better handle stress, avoid common pitfalls, enhance your relationships, and better launch a successful marriage. I highly recommend that you purchase this book.

The best advice I can give you guys is not to be a disengaged groom – take a serious interest in the decision-making process of planning your wedding. It’s important to work as a couple towards your big wedding day, to say nothing about your marriage.

BONUS Article: Top 10 Things Men Can Do to Get Involved with Wedding Planning
Wedding Planning Like a Man

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.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Brides BEWARE, Publishers BE AWARE

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

Angelica Permiakov, Estelle Iung, & Mina Kim, Guest Authors

Counterfeiting and piracy throughout the web is an epidemic that has reached the bridal market. Women looking for a good bargain and inexpensive wedding dresses are being deceived by counterfeit sites. These sites use stolen designer images and false descriptions to entice women to purchase low quality, imitation wedding dresses.

fakedress“This is the best day of my life!” is what every bride wants to be able to say, dressed up in the perfect dress on her wedding day. However, such a scene could never be possible if the bride buys a counterfeit dress online. In fact, as soon as she receives the counterfeit gown, she is overwhelmed with disappointment.

The rise of counterfeit wedding dress manufacturing in the bridal industry affects not only real designers who have invested their time and talent into building a respected reputation in the fashion industry, but also the brides themselves. Providing information and bringing awareness to this counterfeit phenomenon is a responsible way to spare brides exasperation and frustration with their wedding gown.

The Internet: the best venue to meet counterfeit dress sellers

Counterfeit dressmakers find the Internet to be the perfect medium through which they can reach brides who are looking for less expensive dresses. Indeed, the counterfeiters make profit on the Internet with their ability to avoid USA laws regarding garment manufacturing and US Customs. They thrive on the web, where creating knockoffs is technically not against the law, but branding and identifying the knockoffs as originals with labels and tags is illegal.

Brides-to-be are the ultimate targets for the counterfeiters. They take advantage of brides who are very excited to find the dress of their dreams online for a vastly reduced price. The old adage rings true, “you get what you pay for.”

A fake good deal

As attractive as the price may be, counterfeit dresses, upon arrival, disappoint the bride and turn her sacred wedding dress fitting time into a nightmare.

In fact, most of these counterfeit dresses are not made of silk or other fine fabrics, which is why the perpetrators can market the gowns at unbelievable discounts. Sizing may not always be true, as designers have individual sizing charts for their dresses. Many brides, such as Rachel Ruffer, have been dismayed when they unpacked a cheaply-made imitation lacking the fine detailing of hand sewn beading, embroidery and lace.

Moreover, counterfeiters are developing strong strategies to encourage brides to buy their dresses. Counterfeiters often steal photos of designer gowns and claim they can reproduce the look of the dress. Counterfeit operations have loopholes to escape dissatisfied customers. They do not accept returns and give no address or contact information on their websites. That’s how the bride, who thinks she landed a deal, ends up spending more money to buy another dress.

Putting an end to copyists

Many key players of the bridal industry are rallying against the rise of the counterfeit market. Among them are the IBMA (International Bridal Manufacturing Association) and the UAMA (United Apparel Manufacturers Association). The IBMA and the UAMA are non-profit organizations created to solve significant industry concerns, including addressing the issues associated with counterfeit gown and accessory manufacturing. They are implementing global and centralized actions in counterfeit prevention for the designers, bloggers, and brides-to-be.

For your convenience, here is a list of sites that are known to sell dresses that are poorly imitated and counterfeit.

BrideClicklogoCopyright © 2012 – Angelica Permiakov, Estelle Iung, Mina Kim. BrideClick.net is the first and largest advertising network solely dedicated to the bridal and wedding market. Their focus has been on growing the network and attracting reputable wedding-related web publishers. The BrideClick network launched on July 17, 2008 and has already signed more than 300 wedding-related web publishers. This equates to an aggregate of more than 3.4 million unique visitors each month. Visit their Blog at http://BrideClick.net/blog/ and their Website.

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Where the Tradition of Tossing the Bridal Bouquet Began

Filed under: Bride's Bouquet — Larry James @ 7:00 am

In one of the final scenes of “Clueless” starring Alicia Silverstone as Cher, she and her friends go up to catch the bouquet at her teacher’s wedding. The bride throws the bouquet with her back turned and the ladies scramble to be the one to catch it ending up on the ground, with Cher coming out the victor.

bouquetTOSS

“Now, now, girls. Don’t fight!

The tossing of the bouquet is an important and fun wedding tradition, especially for all the single women at a wedding. However, compared to some fights over the bouquet I’ve witnessed, that scene can be considered quite tame. Besides the superstitious belief that the lady who catches the bouquet will be the next to wed, have you ever wondered why catching the bouquet is such a big deal, or why the bride even bothers to throw it in the first place? Whether you believe this or not, it is a great way of entertaining guests and the girl who catches the bouquet will also have a souvenir of the wedding to take home.

Apparently, in medieval Europe, (around the 14th century) a bride’s dress was considered good luck for other women and a type of fertility charm. The wedding dress was considered such good luck that single women chased the bride and actually ripped off pieces of her dress to bring them good luck (aka a husband). To prevent guests from ripping the wedding dress, brides began throwing other objects as a distraction, with the bouquet becoming the most traditionally thrown object.

The wedding bouquet is particularly suited to this use, as flowers symbolize fertility, and as perishable items, they are not something the bride would mind pried from her fingers (at least they didn’t grab the ring and run!) The bouquet was also a safer item to toss than the garter, as unruly and impatient wedding guests were sometimes known to try to take the garter from the bride while she was still wearing it. (We promise we’re not making this up).

Thankfully the tradition of throwing the bouquet has become more of a fun wedding activity rather than an expected event, although there are a few overzealous women who may knock the bride down to get the bouquet. Some brides don’t even throw a bouquet anymore, deciding instead to give her flowers to her mother to keep, or divide the bouquet among her bridal party. Other brides have been known to have an extra bouquet to throw instead of the one she carried during the ceremony. However if you’re bent on honoring wedding traditions, make sure you throw your bouquet from a safe or guarded position (We suggest behind a makeshift wall of groomsmen!) 😉

Photo Credits: Top left – Wink Photography, Lower right – Kelly Vasami Photography

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.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Name Change Checklist for the Bride

Filed under: Name Change Checklist — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Will you be changing your name once you are married? This is not just a question for the bride-to-be. Modern couples are hyphenating, adjoining their surnames together (keeping the maiden name as a middle name) and even creating entirely new last names. No matter what your choice, here is a reminder list of businesses, government agencies and financial institutions who may want to know about your new name.

Ms2MrsChanging the Brides last name after marriage is considered the socially acceptable thing to do and most Brides do however, this is always your choice. Some women choose to keep their maiden name for professional reasons, some feel as though by changing their name they’re losing a part of their identity, while for others, the decision relies heavily on family and traditions.

Often couples in many Spanish speaking countries give their children both their father’s last name and their mother’s maiden name to preserve the heritage of both families. When marrying, a woman has the option of keeping all her names and adding her husband’s last name or dropping her mother’s maiden name.

Many brides are curious about what happens to their credit when they change their name. Do they lose their credit history and start over with a new name? Do they need to notify the main credit bureaus of their name-change? No. When you change your name you do not need to notify the three U.S. credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experion. When you update your name with all of your creditors (banks, credit cards, etc.) these bureaus will add your new name to your account and keep your maiden name as well. This way you keep your established credit and build credit with your married name.

When you update your name with all of your creditors (see list below) the bureaus will add your new name to your account and keep your maiden name as well. This way you keep your established credit and build credit with your married name.

NOTE: Some places (including state and U.S. government offices) may require you to show a certified copy (see Larry’s Note #1 below) of your marriage license before they will legally change your name. You usually get this from the Clerk of the Court where the marriage license was recorded. Certified marriage certificates will have a raised state and/or county seal on them. The seal ensures that the certificate is a legitimate copy of the original marriage certificate. If your document does not have a seal, it will not be accepted as a certified copy.

If you are changing your name you may be concerned that your maiden name is printed on your certified marriage certificate or that you signed the certificate with your maiden signature. Not to worry! As long as your name and your husband’s name are listed on the certificate you can use it as legal proof of marriage for name change purposes. The name you are changing to does not need to be listed on the certified marriage certificate.

Larry James always makes a copy (for his file) of the part of the license that he sends to the Court Clerk just before he places in in the envelope and it is usually sent on the first business day after the wedding. Arizona law requires that it be sent by the Officiant/Minister who performed the wedding ceremony within 10 days.

passport• Social Security card – Click here to download a Social Security form to make a name change. It takes about 10 days or more for IRS records to be updated after the Social Security Administration effects your name change. You are required to show or send a certified copy of your marriage license to Social Security.

• For directions to the North Phoenix Social Security Card Center in the Greater Phoenix area, click here.

• Passport – The State Department does require a certified copy of your marriage license to change your name. More info. Click here for more Passport info.

• Driver’s license – Most state Department of Motor Vehicles (DVDs) require a certified copy of your marriage license to change your name. More info.

Note: Some of the links below are intended especially for someone living in Arizona.

• Car registration and title – More info
• Rental agreement for your house or apartment
• Telephone company – More info
• Water company – More info
• Electric company – More info
• Household security system and alarm company
• Credit cards – More info
• All bank checking and savings accounts – More info. Not all banks require a certified copy of your marriage license.
• Mutual funds, stocks and bonds
• Insurance policies – You may want to change the beneficiary.
• Deeds
• Legal Contracts
• Last will and testament – Don’t have one? Get one! You may want to change the beneficiary to your spouse at the same time.
• Voter Registration – More info
ringceremony• Post Office “Change of Name Form” – More info
• Employee ID card
• School ID card
• School Alumni Association
• Sorority or Fraternity organizations
• Library card
• Discount, courtesy, and frequent-flyer cards
• Health club membership
• Video rental card
• Business cards
• Employee Records for your paycheck
• Magazine subscriptions
• Doctor’s offices & Medical Organizations – Medical plan, Dentist, etc.
• Address labels
• Online registrations for eZINES, etc.
• Internal Revenue Service – More info
• Are you a Notary Public? Don’t forget to notify the state or risk losing your commission.

Shortcut LINK to a Sample “Notice of Name Change Letter.”

If you live in Arizona, click here for a summary of additional questions you may have about changing your name.

A search on Google will bring up numerous Websites where you can purchase “Name Change Kits,” however most Brides find that the information and the links listed on this page can accomplish the same thing.

Larry’s Notes: #1 – It is recommended that you also purchased one or more “Certified” copies of the marriage license (about $26.00 each in Arizona) to be sent to you after the license is filed by the Officiant with the Clerk of the Court. Some agencies require it but do no send it back so, ordering several “Certified” copies is recommend. If you order 2 or 3 certified marriage certificates you can begin to file multiple forms simultaneously and not have to wait for one to be returned before you file the next request to change your name. Click here for more info about obtaining your Marriage License in Arizona.

#2 – Do not make your honeymoon reservations in your married name especially if you are leaving within a few days of the wedding. It often takes 4 to 6 weeks or more to receive your “Certified” copies.

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.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Friday, May 11, 2012

So… What’s the Secret to a Happy Marriage?

Filed under: Relationship Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags:

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT, Guest Author

Nothing is perfect and marriages aren’t either. The reality is that conflict happens and in fact, it is healthier to successfully navigate through challenges than to stuff your feelings. This behavior has a tendency to become resentment, a toxic force if left unchecked. How do couples successfully navigate through conflict and keep it manageable while others do damage to each other? John Gottman, PhD, refers to successful repair attempts as the “happy couple’s secret weapon.”

marriagesecretsThe beginning stages of conflict are wrought with possible paths to take, some helpful and some not. I imagine there have been a few times in your life when you’ve gotten irritated around a particularly tense subject with your spouse. You likely either successfully or unsuccessfully diffused what might have been a big argument.

There are a few types of repair attempts; the ones that happen along the way that help mitigate a higher level of conflict (low level) and the ones that are needed when real emotional damage has been done to the other (high level).

One of the biggest problems I see coming up between couples in my therapy practice is unresolved anger or sadness around things the other did or said which in worse case scenarios can stretch into years of simmering discontent creating an emotional gap or disconnection between them. The irony is that much of these resentment markers might never had existed had repair attempts been made at the time.

7 ways to make a repair attempt in the moment to keep from escalation: (low level)

1. Use humor

2. Ask your partner what they need from you right now

cartoon3. Validate their emotions

4. Apologize in the moment

5. Touch them gently

6. Verbally remind both of you that you’re on the same team

7. Empathize with them. “I get you.”

7 ways to make a repair attempts when real emotional damage has been done: (high level)

1. Take responsibility for your behavior

2. Verbally apologize with sincerity

3. Give your partner a hand-written, personalized card

4. Tell them you love them and didn’t mean to hurt them

5. Ask them what they need from you to help salve the wound

6. Share your ideas around how you got triggered and how you plan to work on avoiding it happening again

7. Tell your partner why they are worth it and what they mean to you

The best way to avoid problems in the future is to nip problematic situations in the bud – in the moment. However, often times this is easier said than done. If you miss the window of opportunity and things get heated, remember that you can still make a repair attempt after the fact.

Do it for your spouse – and for the marriage.

You can find more tips and tools for creating a better relationship including how to assess the emotional safety in your own, practice active listening and strengthen the over-all foundation in your marriage with The Marriage Refresher Course Workbook for Couples.

BONUS Article: Working Together Helps Get Your Own Needs Met
Put the “Fun” in Relationship Fundamentals!
Need Some Romantic Ideas?

LisaBrookesCopyright © 2012 – Lisa Brookes Kift. Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT is the creator of The Toolbox at LisaKiftTherapy.com with tools for marriage, relationship and emotional health. A frequent consultant for the media, she has appeared in numerous publications and online news sources including CNN.com, HuffingtonPost.com and Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine. Learn more about Lisa’s private practice working with individuals and couples in Marin County, CA at MarinTherapyandCounseling.com.

2heartringsLarry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Honeymoon at Sandals Emerald Bay – All inclusive Bahamas Resort

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

Greeting from the Bahamas!

I am currently at Sandals Emerald Bay, Bahamas for a special tour of the resort with other ABC (Association of Bridal Consultants) wedding consultants and vendors. I’ve been certified as a Sandals Travel Specialist and am on a special tour of this resort. I will be offering specials for my wedding clients and friends when I return on May 11, 2012.

Watch a 10-minute video of Sandals Emerald Bay!

EmeraldBayCopyright © 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.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Monday, May 7, 2012

Need Your Spirit Lifted? – Get Hitched!

Filed under: Having Second Thoughts?,Marriage Tips! — Larry James @ 8:00 am

Marriage can be a major mood booster, say a new Ohio State University study. Of 3,000 single, divorced, and widowed participants, those who married during the five-year study ended up in better spirits than the ones who stayed single.

“Marriage provides unique emotional and financial support,” says Adrianne Frech, a coauthor of the study. “The intimacy, the expanded family and friend network, and the greater sense that one matters to someone else all might be reasons for increased happiness.”

Contemplating marriage? Think again.

One caveat… Be sure you are getting married for the right reasons. Too many people fail to ask themselves why they are getting married and end up marrying for the wrong reasons. Don’t get roped into a premature commitment.

Reasons not to get married include getting married due to love at first sight, sexual attraction, to cure loneliness, as an act of rebellion, rebound love, out of obligation, pressure, pregnancy, and for financial gain. Some of these reasons are selfish and do not take in consideration the other partner’s feelings.

Because you are pregnant is never the right reason. While pregnancies out of wedlock are on the rise, so are divorces.

Here are a few more reasons to say, “I don’t!”

doubtingbride• Because everyone is supposed to get married
• Want to be free from parents.
• To be happy.
• To show you are an adult.
• He or she loves you.
• To save or help someone.
• Because all your friends are married.
• Out of fear that no one else will want to marry you.
• For immigration purposes.
• You are tired of being single, you’re getting older and your biological clock is ticking.
• You don’t want people gossiping about the two of you living together.
• You happen to be in Las Vegas.

When you marry for any of the above reasons you will most likely will be disappointed with what follows and those couples too frequently end up in divorce court. Most of the wrong reasons usually demonstrate the level of your self image – how you really feel about yourself. Know who you are. Before you can devote your love to someone else, you must first love yourself. Have you given yourself enough time to grow and mature on your own?

You alone are responsible for your own happiness. Too many people get married hoping their partner will fix their lives and make them happy. Someone else cannot make you happy. That is way too much responsibility to put on your partner and it’s a task they cannot complete. Happiness is a personal choice.

You think getting married will solve your problems? NOT! Seldom do I find that the wrong reason to get married ever becomes the right reason. Marrying for the right reasons is taking care of you from the very beginning.

“Because you love someone is not always the right reason. Love is not all it takes to make a long-term relationship work. If this is what is leading you to the alter stop and simply savor this someone you love. Don’t burden the relationship with marriage.” ~ Jonathan Goodman-Herrick

marriedcoupleAh! Love. That’s what marriage is all about isn’t it? Marriage isn’t what we see in the movies. Do we really understand what love is? Is there love at first sight? Lust, maybe, but true love takes time to grow. Marriages based on sexual attraction usually do not survive. Besides love, a lot of other factors are important to consider when deciding whether to take that next step.

I believe that the main “right” reason is because you are in love AND you have been together long enough to know you are compatible and you are both deeply committed to the long-term process of learning and loving together. Being compatible in a marriage is having the ability to adapt to and accept the constant changes that naturally occur. A strong foundation for marriage includes compatibility, trust, and open and honest communication.

When you talk together about life, your prejudices must be congruent. By that I mean, you see life the same way. A lack of communication is a leading reason for divorce. Divorcees often complain that their partner never listened or avoided conversations with them. You also must be good at working out your differences. Research indicates that one common theme among long-lasting marriages involves an ability to work out conflict together. You also need to share common interests and be willing to forgive when necessary.

“All relationships have conflicts. The couples that can talk out their differences, surmount the conflict, and agree on a compromise last. The partners that trigger anger and resentment in one another or are unable to talk about their differences often can’t sustain marriage.” ~ Michele Weiner Davis, Author of “The Sex-Starved Marriage” and “The Sex-Starved Wife

Here is some advice: NEVER be in a rush to get married! It worries me when I interview a bride and groom who come to me to perform their marriage ceremony and when I ask them how long they have been together, they say, “Two months” or even 6 to 12 months. REALLY? The hormones are dancing and that seldom can be long enough to know you are compatible with each other. That is not even long enough to recognize the difference between love and lust. Take some time to examine the personality and character of the person that you plan to marry. I mean… really take some time!

compatibilityMarriage is supposed to be a lifelong commitment that lasts well beyond your wedding day. It is not the cure to loneliness and will not make your life more meaningful. Thinking that someone will “complete you” is crazy!

I believe that both partners should be at approximately the same level of spiritual maturity. I have found the more two people are spiritually compatible and are at the approximate same level of maturity, the stronger the marriage will be. Then, there is always the issue – if both are from different spiritual practices – which spiritual concept will you teach and raise your children?

Another good reason is that your partner knows all of your faults and loves you anyway! If both your hearts are in the right place, marriage can add tremendous happiness and value to your life.

Always remember, marriage is not about taking; it’s about giving. Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place!

If you are having serious doubts about marriage… don’t get married! Serious doubts are a big red flag.

BONUS Article: What is Love? – If you are going to read this at the office, caution: There is music!

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.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Thursday, May 3, 2012

7 Things the Best Man Should Never Say in a Toast

Filed under: Best Man,Guest Authors,Toasts,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Rob Lowry, Guest Author

The best man’s speech is usually the speech most talked about at a wedding. There are exceptions though, and one is when the Groom says something he should never say. I’m here to help you avoid these potential pitfalls which could spoil a great day.

BestManToast1. Insult Your Bride’s Parents – This mistake commonly occurs when then Groom enjoys a great relationship with his in-laws, and so feels they will ‘see the funny side.’ Its one thing to ‘see the funny side’ of a joke, but another thing altogether to be insulted in front of your friends and family by the very man who should respect you more than any, your new son-in-law.

2. Insult the Minister – I once attended a Wedding where the Groom told a joke that included the Vicar. The Minister in question, who was sat at the top table alongside the Wedding party, certainly did not look amused. Some people laughed, which only made it worse. The Minister, who was kind enough to marry you, should not find himself sitting in front of all your guests being laughed at as part of a cheap gag.

3. Mention the Ex – Under no circumstances, should you ever mention ex-partners! Whether her ex or your ex. Even if you are both comfortable with the subject, there is a time and place, and that is certainly NOT during your wedding speech! I know of one Wedding where one ‘ex’ joke made by the Groom during his speech left his bride crying in the toilets for most of the rest of the day. How would you feel if you caused this to happen?

4. Make Inappropriate Jokes – Believe it or not, it happens. Even If your wife and your families are comfortable with smutty jokes, you can be sure to make a lot of your guests uncomfortable with them. Humor should really be left to your best man. At most, use it sparingly and only if you are a naturally funny person. Overly using humor here is a bad move, as you should be sincere and genuine as much as you can.

5. Overly Praise the Bride – Obviously it is essential to praise your bride during your speech. However, overdoing this can have the opposite effect, seeming insincere. It can also come across as a bit soppy and cheesy, even embarrassing your bride, both families and your guests.

celebration toast with champagne6. Cause Offense to Any of Your Guests – If you had a guest in your home, you wouldn’t insult them would you? You would, if anything, go out of your way to make them feel comfortable. Treat your wedding guests similarly. Be sure not to say anything that will offend anyone. Avoid topics you feel may be offensive, and don’t mention any grievances you may have with anyone, whether they are attending the wedding or not.

7. Don’t Mention Deceased Family or Friends Unless You’ve Cleared it Beforehand – Mentioning deceased family and friends could upset people, making them emotional. This is not what you want to do, remember this is a happy occasion. Especially don’t mention the deceased if you yourself will get emotional and shed a tear mid speech! It may sound harsh and cold-hearted, but this could put a sad tone on what is the happiest day of your life.

A few other things you should do are avoid alcohol beforehand, be prepared, and smile! The last thing you want to do is get drunk before your Wedding speech. It will affect your delivery and you will be more likely to say things you shouldn’t. Be prepared, because if you aren’t you will look like you don’t care, and your wife and her family may not be too happy about this.

Finally, make sure you smile! I know for some of you this may seem like the most nerve-wracking thing you’ve ever had to do, but if you don’t at least smile, you will look like you never wanted to get married and are in fact having the worst day of your life! So with this, I wish you luck in writing your Wedding speech and a very happy Wedding Day!

Larry’s NOTE: First things first. When a toast is given TO the Bride and Groom they will be seen raising their glasses and drinking to themselves. Wrong!! Proper etiquette says that during a toast “to” the Bride and Groom, the couple should NEVER stand, raise their glasses, or drink to themselves. This is construed by etiquette mavens as patting yourself on the back. Instead, they should stand and respond with thanks or by offering another toast.

BONUS Articles: Rambling Ron, Rita and the “Toasted” Toaster
Toasting Like a Pro!

Copyright © 2012 – Rob Lowry. Rob Lowry’s speciality is weddings and party planning in the UK. He helps Bridezillas to overcome their most feared nightmares and also advises for creating wedding lists for themed and seasonal weddings. Visit Rob’s Website at: http://www.personalisedweddinggifts.co.uk/!

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

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