Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Before You Book Your Wedding Venue…

Filed under: Receptions,Wedding Tips,Wedding Venues — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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First tip: Bring a camera with you to every wedding venue you visit. Second tip: Bring a notebook and take copious notes. The photos and notes will help with the final decision making process.

It’s no secret that wedding planning is full of surprises and hidden fees. If you haven’t hired a wedding consultant (I recommend that you do – call me for recommendations), it can be hard to know how to avoid bumps along the way, especially when choosing your wedding venue.

ChoosingWedVenueAsk if you can check out the venue during another wedding – from a distance, of course. It’s not nice to be a wedding crasher. 😉 You can get a feel for the place with a bar, tables and maybe seeing the guests will give you an idea of how the setting will look with your guests. Always ask permission.

How early can arrive on site to set up and will they have people to help you? Reception halls generally allow you ample time for this.

If you’re booking a large wedding, will there be more than one event scheduled on your day. How many events do you host a day? It’s important to know if there will be another wedding or event held on the day of your wedding. If another reception is taking place at your site, ask what steps the staff takes to keep the parties separate. Will the wedding coordinator be present to supervise your wedding? If not, who will be supervising and troubleshooting before the day of your wedding? Ask to meet them.

What is the maximum number of guests they can accommodate? Often the maximum number of people is based on fire code.

Will they provide a shuttle to and from a nearby hotel for your guests to the ceremony and reception? If not, you may need to rent your own shuttle service.

Do they provide a coat check service (especially important for winter weddings)? If not, is there an area that can be used and staffed for that purpose?

Are there any additional costs – cleaning fees, insurance – fee waivers, etc.? You don’t want any surprises. Asking for references can be helpful. It allows you to ask specific questions and get an unbiased answer.

chairbacksAre their any restrictions you need to know about. For example, candles are gorgeous and most brides would love candles all around their reception room. Are candles or other open flames allowed? Some venues restrict things like throwing rice or confetti, or bringing in outside beverages or rental items. There may be rules about decorating, like no hanging decorations or fabric from the ceilings. Ask about time restrictions. Some sites charge up to $500 an hour for overstaying.

Be sure to get a list of all the things that are NOT included in your venue package. Ask about extra items that could mean additional costs, such as a corkage fee for the champagne. Request that they eliminate features in your package that you don’t want. If they can’t be taken off the list, ask for a discount.

Some venues will expect you to use their caterers, florists, etc. If you are buying an all inclusive package and after you have interview one of the vendors find out they are not a good fit, can you bring in your own vendor? Your venue will probably give you some information on the food and beverage details up front, but hidden costs are very likely when dealing with food and alcohol. If your venue does not give you the food and beverage minimum up front, always ask for it. Most venues have something written into their contracts to ensure your vendors get a meal, often at discount prices. Make sure to ask about the price of these meals. If you are required to pay the full cost of the meal, you may want to factor that price into your budget. It is a common courtesy to invite the wedding officiant and/or minister to enjoy a meal at the reception.

What is their food and beverage minimum and what are the consequences of an overage?

Are there rooms available where the bride, bridesmaids and groomsmen can get ready before the ceremony?

If its an outdoor location, do they have any back-up plans for rain or other inclement weather?

Do not assume that parking is included in your cost. Most venues charge a fee for their valet service as well as their parking garages. Will there be ample parking for your guest list? Will it be complimentary or will the guests have to pay to park?

Is the wedding venue wheelchair accessible?

Does our venue have liability insurance? If someone gets injured during the reception, you don’t want to be held responsible – if the site doesn’t have insurance, you’ll need to get your own.

WedTastingIf they have there own in-house caterer, or cake baker, will there be a tasting? Is a tasting included as part of the wedding package? Is a tasting available before you book? Who can participate beside the bride and groom?

If your venue is a hotel, do they have any special discounts for rooms for your guests? If a country club or golf resort do they have any affiliations with local hotels for wedding guests?

Do you have to be a member of a country club to have your wedding there? Since country club memberships are usually very expensive, most clubs let outsiders hold events there if they are sponsored by a member. Before you even visit any club spaces, inquire about the membership requirements.

What security services do they offer? Do you need to hire your own security guards, or does the site hire them or have them on staff? In general, you should have 2 security guards for the first 100 guests and 1 more for every additional 100 guests. Gifts have been known to disappear from the gift table.

Do you have signage or other aids to direct guests to my wedding and reception?

Is a dance floor included at the reception? If not, what is the cost? What is the size?

Do you have a recycling policy? It’s not easy being green. 😉

Are there any sound equipment restrictions (e.g., noise ordinances) that you should know about for your band or disc jockey? Event spaces, like ballrooms and country clubs, often have built-in speakers, so all the band will have to do is bring their instruments and plug in. Most DJs have their own sound equipment, lights, etc.

If you are looking for other wedding vendors, ask for referrals. Your venue probably works with specific cake bakers, rental companies, wedding officiants, photographers, etc. Some venues will give you a list of “preferred vendors,” if not ask for specifics. When they recommend a vendor it usually means that the vendor already knows the lay of the land, has worked there before and has a good working relationship with the site coordinator. I recommend hiring a Wedding Consultant to assist with the many details of your wedding that you may never have thought of.

What is the staff’s dress code? What is the server to guest ratio?

receptionTableIs there an in house pastry chef? Is an outside cake allowed? Is there a cake cutting fee?

In your search for a wedding venue, there will probably be even more questions that arise for you personally. For example, you may want the menu to reflect your heritage, or with a large wedding party, you may need ample parking for limousines, trolleys, etc.

Request a proposal with all the pricing and policies, including the tax and service charge, so you have an idea of the basic cost. You will need a bottom-line fee. Never assume anything is included. Before you sign the contract, read it carefully. Is there a payment schedule? What kind of deposits are required? Your wedding date is not officially reserved until you sign a contract and, in most cases, give a deposit – even if the venue wedding coordinator says you don’t need to worry about it.

You may want to ask your venue for a sample contract before you sign your own contract.

It’s wise to document all your conversations in e-mail and keep your correspondence. Before you sign the final contract, read the fine print and make sure it includes everything you and the wedding coordinator agreed upon. Ask about any other hidden fees. As new things are added or changed in your contract, have the updated version printed out and signed by you and the wedding coordinator.

It may seem that there are a lot of questions to ask, but by asking, not only are you avoiding surprises, you are showing the venue that you are a serious customer and that they should treat you accordingly.

If you think of other questions that may be important to you, please leave your suggestions in the comments below.

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. 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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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It’s Christmas!

Filed under: LoveNotes for Larry James — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Today I step away from the day-to-day buzz about weddings to express my gratitude to all the brides and grooms who have placed their confidence in me during the past year to allow me to perform my romantic wedding ceremony for them.

I love weddings! It is everyone’s happiest day! It is an honor for me to be a part of each wedding. It is also great to hear that there is a new baby in the house or that they have care enough to keep me up-to-date on their busy lives. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I look forward to serving many new brides and grooms in the coming year!

HoHoHo15

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. 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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Friday, December 21, 2012

Clever Ways to Release the Tables at the Reception

Filed under: Buffet Line,Receptions,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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The reception is a great time for friends and family to get to know each other. For food choices, buffets are usually the less expensive option, and most preferred by guests. You can still experience high class, gourmet cuisine, even if the way it is being served is less formal than a full wait-staff. Guests can easily go back for seconds at any time throughout the duration of the reception.

buffetlineThe main advantage of serving buffet-style is that it’s easier to offer a broad selection of food to choose from, which can be a good alternative for a diverse group of people having widely varying tastes. Due to the fact that guests are forced to get out of their seats and interact while in line, buffets foster socialization. Having the hotel staff set up the buffet line so guests can get their food from either side will speed things up a bit.

Often the guests will wonder when they should go through the buffet line. You will want to avoid the problem that had everyone standing in a 150 person line that extends all the way around the wedding hall. The bride and groom are served by the staff from the buffet or they may choose to go through the buffet line. Next, the parents, the bridal party and then the guests.

Often someone from the catering staff will go from table to table telling each table when to join others in the buffet line. Each table can have a different color and the DJ simply calls out the color name at various intervals. Here are a few creative ways to have the disc jockey release tables to control congestion in the buffet line.

One of the most common ways to release the tables is to have the disc jockey or MC will call a table number at various intervals and those at that table will head for the buffet line. If number system on the tables does not thrill the bride and groom, you could put the numbers underneath the flower arrangements, or under one of the guest chairs.

Write the name of a song on the back of each of the table numbers or table names. Have your disc jockey make an announcement that when the guests hear the song designated for their table that they then can “dance” their way to the buffet. This only happens after the wedding party and parents have been released. The titles can reflect a theme or it could be a selection of songs from a particular band or artist. Instruct the guests that they will know it’s their turn to get in line when their song is played. This is a clever way to dismiss tables without having to have someone physically dismiss them or announce that they can go.

For a fun effect, Have your disc jockey call a flower name instead. For example, a table will have a centerpiece of calla lilies while another table will have roses, and so on. If you only want one kind o flower, you can have different types of roses – red roses, white, pink, yellow, etc. As long as the other parts of the table décor are coordinated it will work. For example, if you have a white tablecloth and green napkins – or all white, it will coordinate with virtually any flower arrangement. Instead of table numbers, you could name each table a term of endearment or words of love – love, hugs, caring, kisses, adore, etc., – name each table a different flower or an exotic location – Paris, Venice, etc.

endearmentTableName that tune. Before your wedding day, have the disc jockey create short song clips using favorite tunes enjoyed by the bride and groom. Play one song clip at a time and ask that guests stand up if they recognize the song. Guests are asked to stand up once they are sure they recognize the song. Pay close attention to who stands up first and give them the first chance to guess. If the table guesses correctly they will be the next to join the buffet line. If they guess wrong they’ll have to point to another table that will get to go up ahead of them as a consequence.

Have your guests sing for their supper! The disc jockey goes from table to table and asks the guests at each table to sing a few bars of a song with “Love” in the title.

Still another popular option for moving people easily to the buffet line: play the bride and groom trivia game. This idea is usually a crowd pleaser because it’s fun and gets everybody involved and working together. Prior to your wedding reception, write down some questions for your guests to answer. Your band’s leader, disc jockey/MC, or a member of the wedding party can ask trivia questions (about the Bride and Groom) and based on the winning table can tell them the order in which they will be released to the buffet line. This way, each table competes as a team to see in what order they get to hit the buffet. Doing it this way will keep it orderly and allow the catering staff to refresh the buffet after each eight to ten person team comes through the line. The winner of the first spot can proceed to the buffet while the game is still being played.

There are many other creative ways that you can come up to release the tables for the buffet line. The important thing is that the guests have fun and go home with their bellies full and satisfied.

Bonus Tip: This tip has nothing to do with releasing the tables at the reception but I like the idea and you will too. It’s a fun twist to the familiar tapping forks against glasses to see the bride and groom kiss. At various times during the reception – between dances and courses – have the disc jockey ask a couple of guests to go to the “Kissing Table” and each couple must roll a pair of dice just once. If they roll an even number, then the bride and groom kiss but if they roll an odd number, the dice rollers must kiss. The bride and groom can give the disc jockey the names of several couples to call on.

BONUS Article: Brilliant Ideas for Table Numbers at the Reception

Photo Credit: Top left, Morgan Trinker.

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

Monday, December 17, 2012

Here’s a Secret About Wedding Music

Filed under: Music,Receptions,Wedding Music — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Great wedding music has nothing to do with hiring a live band over a Disc Jockey or vice versa.

Planning the perfect wedding day soundtrack – the kind that will have guest tearing up during the ceremony and packing the dance floor until the last song is played at the reception – has everything to do with keeping your guests happy and “entertained.”

dancingHow do you do this? Take a cue from the latest entertainment trends and work with your DJ or band to map out your wedding music – from the time your guests are seated at the ceremony to the last dance of the evening.

Struggling to conjure up thoughts of what you and your guests will be up to once your reception meal is over, and the night becomes young? Whether it’s putting your dancing shoes on for a live band, or dancing to the latest DJ CDs, there’s plenty of options to undertake to keep the action flowing. Many couples think that simply having a DJ, or bringing in a friend’s amateur band is a great and cost-effective way of saving money. Believe me… it’s never a good idea!

If you will be hiring a DJ, make sure that he/she is someone more than someone who just plays music. It’s not rocket science, but it takes skill, experience and a great personality to make a party happen the way you want. An in-depth interview is good but it will not tell you how good a DJ will interact behind the mike in front of a crowd. If he doesn’t have a “great” video showing him in action, shout, “NEXT!” and move on.

A cringe-worthy DJ can cause the reception to be a disaster! Weddings should focus on the bride and groom, not a DJ eager for the spotlight. He should be a Professional – a DJ/Emcee/Entertainer! Pick a DJ who can loosen up a crowd and pick up a lull in the party. He needs to be able to deal with a crowd that just won’t dance, while keeping the reception enjoyable. It’s his job to get the party started and keep people on the dance floor. No cheesy or out-of-date songs. Let the DJ know the kind of genre you’re interested in, but allow him to choose the best way to mix the music.

There’s no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to your wedding music. Collaborate with the DJ. Talk about the music you like and dislike. It takes careful preparation. Coordinate a precise sequence of events for him to follow during the reception. Give him a “no play” list. If a guest requests a song on the no play list he can diplomatically explain to guests that the song they requested is on the no-play list without making the requester feel bad.

Nothing can beat the quality of listening to a professional live band. You might be surprised by the musical depth a “good” band can offer. One indication of a bands versatility: the number of singers. If a band has both female and male singers chances are pretty good that they can perform a wide range of songs.

It’s always worth going the extra mile when it comes to evening entertainment. Spend some money for the very best entertainers you can afford.

Another reminder: Never hire a professional DJ at the last minute. Most of the really good ones book months in advance.

BONUS Article: Hire a DJ Just for the Music? I Don’t Think So!!

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, December 13, 2012

From Duo to Trio ~ “We’re Having a Baby!!!”

Filed under: Having a Baby?,Quiz,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Dr. John Gottman, Guest Author

Parenting Quiz from the renowned Gottman Institute

quizBecoming parents and bringing home a baby truly changes your life and is a joyous experience. It’s important to remember that even the best relationships are strained after a baby arrives – it’s hard work. How are you doing as you transition from duo to trio? Take this quiz to find out and then check out the tips in the new GottSex.com vidoes on how you can nurture your friendship and reignite that spark in your relationship.

1. I feel like my partner and I are a united team when it comes to our family goals and taking care of baby
T – F

2. Our discussions get too heated
T – F

3. There is not enough closeness in this relationship
T – F

babyholdingmansfingers4. My partner is good at soothing me when I’m upset
T – F

5. Even when we argue about child care duties, we maintain a good sense of humor
T – F

6. My partner often expresses appreciation affection and admiration for me
T – F

7. Even though we now have a child/children we still prioritize sex and make time for it
T – F

8. Even though we are busier than ever with children, we still discuss our innermost feelings and don’t avoid conflict
T – F

9. Now that I am a parent, I feel overwhelmed with all the work and being tired all the time
T – F

10. The greatest gift we can give our baby is our love for one another
T – F

11. My partner and I have similar philosophies about balancing work and family life
T – F

12. My partner and I both accept that things have changed since baby arrived
T – F

Scoring: Compute the number of times you checked true. If greater than 5 you are adjusting better than most new parents. If you checked false more than 5 times, you might need some help on learning skills needed to maintain a healthy marriage and avoid the pitfalls of parenthood. Check out the newly debuted GottSex Series: The Art of Lovemaking at http://www.gottsex.com.

Survey questions from And Baby Makes Three: The Six Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling by John Gottman, PH.D and Julie Schwartz Gottman, PH.D.

JohnGottmanCopyright © 2012 by Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Gottman. Reprinted with permission by The Gottman Institute. Dr. John Gottman is a psychologist and one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of marriage and couples. His research has enabled him to predict, with over 90% accuracy, when observing a 5-minute conflict conversation, which couples will stay together and which will separate. Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman is cofounder and Clinical Director of the Gottman Institute and co-teaches the Institute’s Advanced Training Seminar in Couples Therapy and The Art and Science of Love Couples Weekend Workshop. For videos, products, workshops and therapy, visit www.Gottman.com and also check out GottSex.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

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Story of Katie and Nick

Filed under: Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 9:00 am

Katie 21, and husband Nick 23, knew before the wedding that Katie had terminal cancer but Nick vowed to marry the love of his life. With all her complications, Katie planned every part of her wedding and her dressed had to be altered many times due to the constant weight loss.

Katie&NickKatie died 5 days after her wedding. To see a fragile woman dress as a bride with a beautiful smile makes you think… Happiness is always there within reach, no matter how long it lasts. Lets enjoy life and don’t live a complicated life. Life is too short.

memoriesWork as if it was your first day.

Forgive as soon as possible.

Laugh without control and never stop smiling.

Love without boundaries.

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

letsbefriends2

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

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Who Walks the Bride Down the Aisle?

Filed under: Wedding Tips,Who Walks the Bride? — Larry James @ 8:30 am

Tradition has been that the father of the bride walks her down the aisle. I’m finding that more and more couples are breaking from tradition and adding their own special touch to the ceremony.

FatherandbrideWhat happens when a bride’s parents are divorced and she shares a close relationship with her stepfather? What if the bride is estranged from her father for personal reasons? What if her father is deceased or otherwise unavailable? What if the bride simply feels that it would be archaic to be given away? You are now faced with the dilemma of who will walk you down the aisle. You have some choices to make.

Having your dad escort you can be a great moment for the two of you – arm-in-arm with dad as he walks you to your groom, however, it is not the only option. Often the mother of the bride will walk with the bride and her father since mom played a huge role in your life too. You don’t want her to feel like she’s not included or recognized in your wedding. With one parent on each arm, you’ll show your guests just how important both your parents are to you. The father or whoever escorts her always walks on the bride’s right side.

If you have a closer relative or friend – like a brother or sister – it’s perfectly acceptable to have that person walk with you. Another choice can be a grandfather and/or a grandmother who raised you most of your life.

Often blended families may add a complication. If the bride has a step-father and her birth father has not been in the picture, the step-father can walk her down the aisle. In a similar situation, one bride had her birth father walk her to the back of the rows of chairs and her step-father walked her the rest of the way to the alter. If she was closer to her birth father then this way can be reversed. Or… if you have enough room in the aisle, you can consider having one father figure on each arm the whole way.

If your father is estranged or has passed away ask an uncle, grandfather, or one of dad’s close friends whom you respect to walk you down the aisle.

BohemianNoirVisionsIf your father isn’t available, or you don’t have anyone in mind, make the trip solo. By carrying yourself to your groom, you certainly can symbolize your independence as a woman as well as your choice, not anyone else’s decision, to join with your groom in marriage.

Another non-traditional solution has the bride being presented unescorted at one end of the aisle, the groom who is already standing at the front with the minister walks down the aisle to meet her, then they walk to the alter together.

Another option can be to walk with your soon to be husband all the way. Walking down the aisle together can be a way of showing that you are already in this together. It’s a great symbol of beginning your life together.

If you are getting remarried and your father has already walked you down the aisle, he could, if willing, do it again. A son or daughter of the bride who is old enough and mature could be another choice. Ask him if he would like to participate in your new marriage in this way.

If you are afraid of upsetting too many people by choosing who they think is the wrong person, remember, as a bride you get to make the decision of who will walk you, not have it made for you. Never let family drama deter you. You must decide what makes YOU happy! You may need to calmly explain your reasons for your choice. Whichever family member you choose for the aisle walk, they’ll all be there as guests to support your marriage. You have to find what best works for you, your family, and your groom.

When you walk down the aisle at your wedding, choose someone who loves you and supports your decision to marry your groom.

Photo Credit: Lower right: Bohemian Noir Visions, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina Area

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
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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Trading Spaces

Filed under: Wedding Tips,Wedding Venues — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: ,

Every couple wants their wedding to be “unique” or “unforgettable.” But just a handful of couples go to great lengths to make their big day completely different from everyone else’s.

More and more couples seeking unusual settings, from treetops to airplane hangars. Unusual weddings can be a memorable experience for the bride, groom and all the guests. Here are a few ideas for several unique alternatives to the classic church wedding venue:

HotAirBalloonWedding

Candice King & Mikkel Hansen were married at 6,200 feet above Phoenix in a Hot Air Balloon at 6:30 a.m., Tuesday, August 30, 2011.

• Your own backyard
• An Art Gallery
• A Vineyard or winery
• Lakeside
• In a loft
• On a boat
• In a Hot Air Balloon
• In a barn
• At a museum
• In a warehouse
• On the beach in Rocky Point, Mexico
• At a Sandals Resort in the Bahamas
• In a castle
• At a baseball, basketball or hockey game
• In your favorite department store
• At the Zoo
• At your favorite restaurant
• At victory lane at a race track
• At a nudist resort (or maybe not ;-))
• At the court house in the court room
• At a botanical gardens
• In a cave or cavern
• In a lighthouse
• At a hot dog stand
• On stage at a local theater
• At a park
• A chapel and alumni house at your college
• At the state capital
• At a Yacht Club
• At a Art Studio or Gallery
• At a Mansion or Historical Landmark Building
• At a Fire Station
• Exchange vows on a train or at a train station
• On a merry-go-round
• On a hay ride
• Pool side
• At an arboretum
• At a lake
• A local monument or attraction
• In a fancy lobbies in an office building

When you are planning a wedding at an unusual location, it is important that you understand all the rules, regulations and specifications of the wedding contract. Additionally, the arrangements should be made as far in advance as possible. Because some of these places aren’t used to having weddings, you might be able to snag them for a steal, though you’ll often have to bring in extra rentals (chairs, etc.).

Many of the locations mentioned here are not traditional places for holding a wedding. Finding the right wedding venue for you will take some checking around on your part, but in the end you will have a one-of-a-kind place to have a wedding.

There are many great places that you can have a very memorable wedding such as lush gardens or even in a forest clearing. Choose carefully. Plan in advance. Be sure to have your Wedding Consultant check out:

• Accessibility
• Parking space
• Privacy
• Facilities
• Presence of traffic
• Permits, fees
• Inclement weather (rent a tent or having alternate site)
• Noise levels

Check all restrictions that may accompany booking the venue. Some sites restrict practices like throwing rice or bringing outside beverages or rental items. There may also be rules about decorating like no hanging decorations or fabric from the ceiling. Some of the venue ideas may cause you to limit how many guests you have.

The most important thing is to have fun! AND hire a professional photographer to capture each and every moment.

Did I miss anything? Leave your ideas in the comments.

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

letsbefriends2

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

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