Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hey, Guys! NEVER Forget Your Wedding Anniversary!

I hear it all the time, husbands getting in trouble because they’re forgotten their wedding anniversary. Women love to be shown that their husbands remembered their special day. One way husbands can achieve this is to do things that make sure that they do not forget their wedding anniversary.

anniversaryForgetting a wedding anniversary can be devastating for both the husband and the wife and it could happen to anyone. We all know someone who has made this mistake. Never let it happen again! It is much easier to avoid the mistake than to repair the damage.

Dr. Herb Goldberg, a Psychologist and author of “What Men Still Don’t Know About Women, Relationships, and Love” and “What Men Really Want” suggests that men forget important dates like birthdays and anniversaries because they are wired to focus on the external threats and pressures of the world outside of their “safe” relationships.

Dr. Goldberg notes that many men have excellent memories of these important dates in the early days of the relationship while they are still focused on winning their partners affection but as time passes their attention moves away to new challenges and they may forget what was once so easy and natural to remember.

That’s great, but it is hardly a good excuse to forget the day you married your sweetheart. We need to treat this problem as a serious blind-spot in men. An anniversary date is important stuff! The key to remembering wedding anniversaries and other important dates is to provide visual reminders of the event.

Here are a few ways that will help you to never have to spend another wedding anniversary in the spare bedroom, on the sofa or in the doghouse again.

• Change the password to one of your most frequently visited Websites to the date of your anniversary
• Use the Google Calender do this for free
• Set an alarm or calender on your cell phone, PDA, and iPad
• Marry your girlfriend on your birthday
• Mark your wedding anniversary in your daily planner
• Embroider your anniversary date on a pillow
• Combine a calendar with a highlighter to color-coordinate your anniversary date
• Design and engrave your anniversary date on a key chain or bracelet
• Arrange to have a close friend send you a reminder at least 2 weeks before your anniversary
• Get married on Valentine’s Day
• Make a “Special Dates Reminder” frame —>
• Design your own calendar with a wedding photo and your anniversary date on the month of your wedding
• Get a tattoo and put it someplace where it doesn’t show in public but a place that you see everyday 😉

The best way to celebrate a wedding anniversary is to plan for it beforehand. In addition to the reminders on the actual day of your anniversary, do everything above the same way but schedule it for a month in advance, the first day of the calendar month, a week in advance and three days in advance. This way, you will be receiving prompts all the way up to your anniversary. In other words, “Plan Ahead!

Some suggest engraving your anniversary date on the inside of your wedding ring. Not the best idea. It probably only works if you remember to take your ring off and look at the date. You may want to engrave both rings on the date of your first anniversary.

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

Remembering to send an anniversary card has never been easier, thanks to companies that offer paper, personalized greeting cards online. Companies like enGreet allow husbands and wives to select a card, personalize it and send it out on a scheduled date for a fee similar to buying a card in a store.

BONUS Article: How to Remember Your Wedding Anniversary

happyAnniversaryCopyright © 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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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Message in a Bottle

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

Putting a message in a bottle is a romantic and fun way to communicate. It’s a form of communication that has been used throughout history for serious purposes. England’s Queen Elizabeth I even appointed an official “Uncorker of Ocean Bottles.”

messageinabottleYou’ve probably already heard the story of Olivier Vandewalle, a Belgian who in 1977 at the age of 14 threw a message in a bottle into the sea while sailing off the south coast of England. Lorraine Yates found it 33 years later on a beach at Swanage, England. Figuring the address Olivier included was out of date, she tracked him down on Facebook.

While 33 years is an impressive time, it’s nowhere near the Guinness World Record for a bottle being at sea. The record holder was cast adrift in 1914 and recovered 92 years later in 2006. As recently as 2005, a message in a bottle saved the lives of 88 refugees adrift in the Caribbean Sea on a damaged boat.

Glass, it turns out, is an excellent container for carrying sea-born dispatches, although one couple wrote notes to each other, sealed them in a bottle made of chocolate and tossed them into the sea (see first Bonus Article below). Glass lasts a long time and can even survive hurricanes.

Consider this: Some evening soon light some candles, have a glass of wine and write a love note to each other and put them in a bottle. Create a special message you’d like your partner to enjoy on a future anniversary, perhaps a declaration of what your highest aspirations for each other will be between now and then. Stash them in a bottle. Store this time capsule in a place you won’t forget, and make some reminders on your calendar when you both agree it should be opened.

Choose your words carefully. Talk about what attracted you to each other in blushing and delightful detail. The best way to create a romantic note that will really touch her is be spontaneous and just charge ahead. Handwritten letters are more personal and romantic than computer generated letters. Describe the effect your partner has had on you since you have been together. Get mushy. Sign and date the letter and put it in the bottle.

Choose the perfect paper for your message. Paper that looks old and worn has a very romantic feel. Parchment paper is good. Roll the special paper into a scroll, give it a quick spray of your favorite perfume, tie with a decorative ribbon, then insert the scroll into a bottle. Putting your love, thoughts, and time into your romantic letter will make your gift that much more special to the one you love. Letting someone know why you love them is a gift that never gets old.

If you are in a long distance relationship, write your sweetheart a letter, place it in a bottle, package it securely and send it by U.S. Mail. Who wouldn’t be charmed by receiving a message in a bottle?

Click for more info

Save your next empty wine bottle and the next time you surprise your partner with her bubble bath, write a love note and stick it in the bottle, cork it and float it in the bath water for her.

There are Websites on the Internet that will sell you a “Message in a Bottle” kit. Here’s a good one that looks interesting. Do a Google search.

You might also be interested in watching the movie, “Message in a Bottle.” It’s the story of a long distance love connection that is made when Robin Wright Penn, a Chicago journalist, discovers a love letter that Costner, a widowed sailboat repairer, let drift into the ocean. She quickly tracks him down and an honest bond forms between the two.

What does this have to do with weddings? With a little creativity the “Message in a Bottle” could also be incorporated into a wedding ceremony to be opened on a fifth anniversary. It would be similar to the Wine Box & Love Letter Ceremony.

FLASH!!! – Oldest Message In A Bottle: 97-Year-Old Note Sets New World Record. Click here!

BONUS Article: Message in a Bottle – Take 2!
A Chocolate Lover’s Wedding
Wine Box & Love Letter 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
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Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Rainbow of Colors for the Bridesmaids

One of the benefits we receive from the sun’s rays is the energy produced when light waves become color as it passes through the droplets of rain. We get rainbows. Rainbows are created both by reflection and refraction (bending) of sunlight in raindrops. As sunlight enters a raindrop, it bends and it is separated into its constituent colors (the colors that comprise white light). Rainbows appear in seven colors. You can only see a rainbow if the Sun is behind you and the rain in front. Rainbows are a beautiful array of color.

rainbowWhy not incorporate the colors of the rainbow into your wedding? If you are a bride who has trouble making a decision on which color is right for your bridesmaids, then worry no more. With all of the colors and styles to choose from each member of your party could wear the same color but with a different style or you could even choose a rainbow of colors to really spice things up. If you have a lot of bridesmaids and they all love different styles and colors, then let them pick their own color.

How incredibly cool do all these colors look together look?

The Groomsmen could sport handkerchiefs in their pockets and ties that match the color of the dress of the bridesmaid they will walk up the aisle with.

All you need to remember is this: ROY G BIV (or ROYGBIV). These letters stand for the order of the colors of the rainbow, which are: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. Be sure that Red gets along with Orange!

bridesmaidrainbow

Photo Credit: Laura Murray Photography, Denver.

If you were one of the brides who kept hitting repeat on the ‘double rainbow guy video‘ then the idea above may be for you! In a double rainbow in this video, a second arc is seen outside the primary arc, and has the order of its colours reversed, red facing toward the other one, in both rainbows. This second rainbow is caused by light reflecting twice inside water droplets. Listen to the sound of the man’s voice who took the video. (Caution: Watch the volume level if you are at work).

Larry’s Note: A special “thank you” to TheKnottyBride.com for assistance in this blog post.

BONUS Article: The Meaning of Colors in Weddings
Just Got Engaged? Follow These Steps!

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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Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Just Got Engaged? Follow These Steps!

The moment has finally come! Your significant other has popped the question and you’re swimming in happiness – but what is next? Here are a few steps to help you get started on your journey to everlasting bliss!

Announce it! You have big news and word will inevitably spread fast! Make sure you tell the most significant people first. Mom wouldn’t want to hear about your engagement through a Facebook relationship status change. If at all possible, tell the crucial people first and follow with sharing it on your social networks.

partytimeA fun way to keep your friends and family updated is to build a wedding website. Write your love story, upload a photo album, announce your wedding party and give important information to guests. You can even have guests RSVP – which will give your poor writing hand a much needed rest!

Party! This is a celebration! Go out for a night with friends or ask a close friend (probably your maid of honor or best man) to organize a small gathering to celebrate the occasion!

Decide who is paying for what and design a budget. Traditionally, the bride’s family pays for: the ceremony, wedding dress, flower arrangements at ceremony, photos and video, reception, stationary and transportation. The groom’s family pays for the marriage license, wedding officiant, tuxedos, bouquet and flowers your attendants will wear, honeymoon, and rehearsal dinner.

Feel free to think outside the box when setting a budget and figuring out who pays for what. Tradition doesn’t always dictate. You can register your weddingmoon online and have attendants make a contribution to your weddingmoon destination! Visit a Honeymoon Registry for more information.

Where, oh where will your wedding be? Do you and your spouse prefer an intimate gathering of your nearest and dearest? Are you going big with 200+ guests? These decisions will inform your destination choice. Indoor wedding or outdoor wedding? While most venues can accommodate varying wedding parties, many may not have a decent indoor back up location in case of – gasp – rain! Start looking at locations and venues now to ensure availability.

honeymoonWhat are your colors? Chances are, this isn’t the first time you will have thought about your wedding colors. Go with your gut! If you need a little inspiration, do a Google search.

Plan your honeymoon. However, here is a good tip: Don't plan to leave on your honeymoon immediately. The wedding and reception may cause extreme exhaustion. It's a big day. The honeymoon is very special so give yourself a couple of days (or more) to rest. Open gifts, write "thank you" notes, sleep late, rest and just be together. When you are fully rested, go for it! Don't worry about not being able to take a big fancy honeymoon. You have the rest of your lives to make money and take big, wonderful, fabulous vacations. But you only get "one" wedding. Do it well and be happy. Seek out some place very special where you relax and have fun. Sandals Resorts are terrific. A Sandals tropical honeymoon is the kind of honeymoon you dream about. I’ve been to Sandals Emerald Isle in the Bahamas and highly recommend it.

Larry’s Note: A special “thank you!” to Sandals Resorts for inspiring this article.

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 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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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Techie Ways to Share Your Wedding Photos

Filed under: Photo Sharing — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags: , ,

Photo sharing services should make the process of uploading and sharing your pictures as painless as possible. Anyone who uses these services is going to want to be able to upload their photos without having to jump through a lot of hoops. As long as the service is able to strike a balance between functionality and ease of use, it isn’t going to have a hard time prevailing among the other photo sharing services.

PhotoSharingA computer failure can destroy 1000s of memories. You can avoid this by keeping your photos backed up on the internet. A number of sites make it inexpensive and easy for you to upload your photos for safe keeping. Once your photos are online and findable, it’s time to look at another fun part of online photo sharing – the actual sharing. You can choose to make your photos public or private – it’s up to you. Private is like a photo on your wall – few see it. But public is like taking your photos to a party – they become a representation of you and offer a way to make friends.

Looking for a simple way to swap event photos with your friends? Some are free, others require a fee. Check ’em out. Here are ten ways to share:

Facebook group: Before the event, create a Facebook group and invite other guests to share their photos on the group’s page. Take it a step further by making multiple groups according to who will be there – for instance, one group for friends, one for family, coworkers, etc. (NOTE: I use my Facebook page to post photos of the brides and grooms whose wedding ceremonies I perform.)

Twitter/Instagram: When it comes to Twitter and Instagram, it’s all about the hashtags. Ask friends to add a specific hashtag, like #KellyandMattWedding720, so that everyone can click on the tag and easily access all the event photos in one place.

Shutterfly: When you sign up for your free photo sharing account at Shutterfly, you’ll receive 50 free 4×6 prints. This offer will let you see the high quality of our digital printing service. With your photo sharing account you’ll also have access to all of our high quality products and services as well as special offers. One of those great products is our own Shutterfly Express™ software.

Avanquest SendPhotos: SendPhotos from Avanquest is a free photo sharing service, offering a variety of compelling features and functionality you won’t find elsewhere. SendPhotos includes a web-based service and basic software, but the real draw is from their mobile solution. It is an amazingly innovative way to get photos from your phone (140 handsets already supported) to a number of sharing endpoints almost instantaneously. More than just providing a place to keep photos and allow for sharing, SendPhotos integrates with a variety of photo sharing services (MySpace, Picasa) and truly facilitates sharing quickly and conveniently.

album_on_macPicasa album: Do most of your friends have a Google account? Try creating a Picasa album where they can add their own snaps. Send an email invitation for friends to access the album, and then share the link with pals who’d like to see the photos.

D-Series app: The free Hipstamatic D-Series app allows you to share a “roll” of up to 24 pictures with friends, each of whom can upload their own perspectives of the bash. Even better? You can order prints straight from the Hipstashop.

Flickr group: If all your friends are on Flickr, then go for a group where you can each upload your favorite shots from the day. Make it completely public to give anyone access, go invitation-only to keep it private, or stay totally private if you have no intention of making the album public in the future.

Photobucket: Once upon a time, this site was a favorite among internet users looking to quickly host an image and share it online at sites like eBay and MySpace or on blogs and message boards. While that’s still true, Photobucket has added several features to keep users coming back to the site for managing photo albums and videos.

Snapfish: This site has been around for a long time–I first wrote about this photo sharing site back around 2001. It is completely free, with absolutely unlimited photo storage. That said, the site’s photo sharing service exists mainly just to support an online printing business, so Snapfish maintains your photo collection only on the condition that you occasionally purchase something. Don’t make any prints, photo books, or photo gifts at least once a year, and your photos might be disappeared.

Zooomr: Zooomr is a very robust and feature-rich photo sharing site, but it lacks the appeal and charisma of Flickr to users. And last time I checked, Zooomr has removed the storage limit for free accounts, so you can upload as much photos as you want.

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, July 10, 2012

“Professional” Photography is too Expensive!

Filed under: Boudoir Photography,Photography Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

Oh, really?

There are a lot of people who think professional photography is too expensive. Please take a moment to consider the time and care that your photographer takes to create beautiful memories of your wedding for you. This is a great little run down sheet that shows you the time a photographer spends on a session. Some of my photographer friends say the time expressed in this graphic is on the low end.

Please think twice before you have your “friend” with a good camera take photos at your wedding! NOTE: Photo on the left below is by Aleksandar Jaredic.

PROvsAmateur

I would ask you to remember that you really do get what you pay for. Check references. Talk to others who have used the photographer you are considering. Make a wise choice.

BONUS Articles: Click here for at least a dozen articles, tips, etc., that may save you money when you hire a photographer!

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, July 6, 2012

Listen Up Guys! – Planning a Wedding is a Team Sport!

I know – I’ve said it before, but you grooms really need to pay attention! It often seems that women tend to do more than their fair share of the work when it comes to pulling off the perfect wedding. Teams of one don’t work very well. Wedding planning isn’t just for brides.

couple-doing-contractsMore than once recently when I heard the bride ask the groom for his opinion he answered, “Whatever you want,” or “It doesn’t matter to me,” or (worse of all) “I really don’t care.”

Guys, the bride wants you to care. When you partner thinks you don’t care she usually gets disappointed or annoyed or pushy. And guess where that began. Many men display a disappointing level of apathy when it comes to wedding planning. That’s a bad way to get your marriage started.

When she asks for your input she sincerely would like to hear your opinion. You’re engaged so GET ENGAGED in the planning of your wedding. Your degree of participation is a test of your teamwork – maybe even how you will work together after the ceremony and when you begin your life together. Your lack of involvement could be a red flag to her. It is important for engaged couples to work together on your weddings, because it will help to prepare you for what lies ahead. Working together as a team now, sets the tone for the marriage. Since marriage is about partnership, the wedding planning should be a partnership too.

Never be a groom who sits on the couch watching football, grunting random approval for her whirlwind of ideas for invitations, favors, flowers, music, guest lists, food, locations, dresses… well, you get the idea. There are colors to consider, flowers to choose, cakes to taste, vendors to meet and contracts to sign. This is definitely not a one person project. Pitch in. She needs your assistance. When she shows you a photo of a wedding dress she admires, give her input. When you take the initiative to help and realize how much she is grateful and appreciates you for it that will be your reward.

datebookShe needs you involved for several reasons. There are many decisions to be made during the wedding planning process, some of which can be very difficult. When she requests your opinion she is asking for your commitment to help her. She wants you to make everything happen “together.” You really need to be in on all of the details. It’s an opportunity for you to demonstrate teamwork.

If a decision needs to be made the day of the wedding, when the bride is in the limo on the way to the wedding venue, you better be ready to make a quick decision. Those decisions are usually time-sensitive and will not wait until the bride arrives. If you are engaged in the decision making from the beginning you will be aware of what’s going on and your opinion will be of value.

Your sweetheart needs your balance and perspective. Not participating can cause unneeded stress. She should not feel the weight of the entire responsibility for the entire event. Share the responsibility and share the stress. I believe that you should be asking her opinion about things too. “What do you think, dear?” Surprise her by asking if she would like to write some of your own wedding vows (I call these “Personal Promises“) for the wedding ceremony. Collaborate or write your own and let what you say be a surprise at the wedding (a better idea!).

spaCome to the wedding appointment with the Minister or Wedding Officiant. Help choose the wedding venue and go with her when she visits the other wedding vendors. She needs your input. Attend the Bridal Shows “together!” Having the groom involved with wedding planning is not a new phenomenon. Men who respect their partners go the extra mile – they fully participate.

Start planning the honeymoon. That should be right up your alley. Call Larry James for some very special ideas and savings for a Sandals Honeymoon! Once you decide on a destination that’s right for the both of you, work on a budget together. Surprise her with some of the details, eg., plan a special day at the spa, etc. Suggest that you take some dancing lessons together and put on a special show during the reception.

Don’t be clueless at your wedding! Don’t be a fiancée who’s sitting on the sidelines. Be part of the team! Make these important decisions together. Make a list and choose to help in the areas that best use your expertise. Many men are happy to pitch in with the planning in ways that allow them to best use their particular talents.

BONUS Articles: Grooming the Groom
How to Get the Most From a Bridal Show
Hey Guy! Getting Married? – Don’t Be Clueless!
Here Comes the Groom! – A Call to ACTIVE Duty!

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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Monday, July 2, 2012

Tips on Seating Guests at Your Wedding Reception

Kim Horn, MBC™, Guest Author

Your RSVPs are in, what’s next?

Deciding who sits with whom requires being tactful, being considerate, having diplomacy, and having a sense of adventure. This is similar to a jigsaw puzzle, where you will be putting all the pieces together, one by one.

1. Do I really need assigned seating? Most guests prefer having assigned seating to a table. Unassigned seating sounds great in theory, yet it rarely works out well.

• Do you like going to an event which is “general admission”?
• There may be a “rush” for the best seats.
• Couples may get split up.
• If people turn up who did not RSVP, they may take seats intended for your RSVPed guests.

2. Assigning tables or assigning seats? Guests may be assigned to a table (where they may be choose any seat) or assigned to a specific seat. Assigning tables is more common in the United States, where assigning seats (Mr. Steve Horn is at one o’clock, and Mrs. Kim Horn is at two o’clock) is more common in Europe.

3. Obtain a floor plan of your room from your reception site manager. Make photocopies of the floor plan so you may work with the seating arrangements. A few items are critical in the seating placement of your guests, such as placement of your:

• band/DJ (not the best seating placement for your grandparents)
• dance floor (next to your DJ/Band)
• bar(s)
• food tables (depending on the type of service you have chosen – sit-down/plated, action stations, or a buffet)
• cake table (away from the sun or heated area)
• dessert bar or candy bar (not the best seating placement for children)
• number/name your tables (make sure you place Table #1 next to Table #2; if you have “names” for your tables, make sure they are alphabetical beginning with the letter “A”)

www.amyandbyronphotography.com4. Know your tables sizes and how many guests fit at each table.

• 36” rounds seat 2-4 people
• 48” rounds seat 4-6 people
• 60” rounds seats 8-10 people
• 66” rounds seat 10 people
• 72” rounds seat 10–12 people
• 4’ banquet seats 4–6 people
• 6’ banquet seats 6–8 people
• 8’ banquet seats 8–10 people
• 36” square seats 4 people
• 48” square seats 8 people
• 60” square seats 10 people
• 72” square seats 12 people

NOTE: If you are having chargers/base plates, you may want to reduce the number of people at each table, since some charges are 13” in diameter.

5. Seating the bride and groom.

• together at a sweetheart table for two
• together with your matron/maid of honor and best man
• together with your matron/maid of honor, best man, and their spouse/guest
• together with your wedding party
• together with your wedding party and their spouse/guest
• together with both sets of parents

6. Seating parents. Traditionally you would have one table for the bride’s family and close friends, and another for the groom’s family. You may want to combine the two tables, yet normally there is an entourage of extended family and friends. When the bride and/or groom’s parents are divorced, and all are in attendance, it is usually not the best idea to seat them together. Hopefully they are amicable, yet the extended family of each may make it difficult logistically to seat them all at one table.

beachplacecards7. The bridal party table. Be creative with your wedding party. Think of how you feel when you attend weddings or events. You may your wedding party to sit with their spouse, guest, or family. The bridal party table may be a rectangular table set against one side or end of the room. The bride and groom sit at the center of the long side of the table, facing out so guests may see you. No one is seated opposite of the bride and groom. The bride sits on the groom’s right, with the best man on her right; the maid/matron of honor sits on the groom’s left, and the bridesmaids and groomsmen alternate along the same side of the table. If you have a large wedding party, or if you want the spouses/guests of the wedding party to be seated with them, you may want a U-shape table with the bride and groom in the center.

8. Other guest tables. Your basic objective is to make each table as congenial as possible. For couples, try to mix and match while considering their personalities and interests. Try to “fill the table”. If you have a table for 10, try to fill it with 10 guests. It will cost you more money on each table, linen, centerpiece, etc., if you do not fill your tables. Trust your instincts and common sense. If you do not personally know the guest, discuss with your fiancé or the parent which invited that person to assist you in the most logical positioning and grouping. NOTE: Seating a guest at a table where the other guests are close friends may leave the person feeling uncomfortable.

kids9. Seating children. Younger children are usually seated with their parents. Older children, tweens, or teens enjoy not being seated with their parents.

10. Seating disabled guests. If you have a guest in a wheelchair, you may want to put them close to the entrance doors so they easily may get in and out of the room. You may want to remove the chair for them if they will be seated in their wheelchair. If they would like to be seated in their chair, you may want to move the wheelchair to the side of the room for them. If someone has difficulty walking and has a cane or walker, normally it is easier to place them closer to the entrance doors. A person with impaired hearing or impaired vision may enjoy being placed near the bridal party or near the band/DJ.

assignedseating11. Seating charts, escort cards, tables numbers, and place cards. Guests will need to know which table they are seated at so they don’t have to walk around to every table to find their place. Place cards are recommended for seated dinners and formal buffets with more than twenty guests. Table numbers with stanchions or frames are placed on each table to display the number or name of the table. Table cards assign a guest to a specific table. Place cards assign a guest to a specific seat at a specific table. The table number of each guest’s table is written on his or her place card. These place cards are in alphabetical order by last name at the reception entrance. For assigned seating at the table, you will need to assign a direction in the room such as “the band is at 12 o’clock”, and seating is clockwise in the room. Make sure you number your floor plan with the appropriate table number or table name, and make sure the reception site has table numbers and table number holders/frames (hopefully their selection will match your décor).

12. Alphabetical list by last name of guest with their table number or table name. Make sure your wedding planner and head captain have your approved floor plan as well as an alphabetical list by last name of the guest with their assigned table number. It is also helpful if you have a table number or table name list with the guests listed under this. You will want to double and triple check this to make sure everyone has a seat.

13. Open the doors. Make sure at each entrance you have your wedding planner, a head captain, or a server with a detailed floor plan directing guests to their tables.

Larry’s NOTE and Opinion: Some brides and grooms and/or venues reserve a table at the reception for the vendors. Do not seat your Minister/Wedding OFficiant at the vendor table. Request that your Minister be seated with the guests. This is a better idea and is a sign of respect. It allows your family and friends the opportunity to offer their “thank yous” for a job well done. By the way, if the minister is invited to the reception and you have assigned seating, be sure to add the minister’s name to the guest list. It’s embarrassing for the minister to have to ask where he should sit if you forget to have a place card with his name and table number on it.

P.S. from Larry James: I have worked with Kim Horn, MBC™ as the Wedding Consultant many times. She is a true professional and a joy to work with. Kim gets 5 Stars from Larry James!

Photo Credit: Kim’s photo by www.AmyandByronPhotography.com

KimHornCopyright © 2012 – Kim Horn. To hire Kim as your wedding consultant, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™ (Master Bridal Consultant – 1 of 61 in the World)
Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings
Publisher | Pres. | ArizonaBridalSource.com
AZ State Coordinator Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012
2010 Annual Conference Chair (worked with David Tutera) – Assoc. of Bridal Consultants
View a video of Kim Horn.

Office: 480.921.7891
Cell: 602.418.9089
FAX: 480.829.6292
E-mail: info@ArizonaBridalSource.com
ArizonaBridalSource.com

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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