Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How To Choose A Wedding Limousine Service

Filed under: Limousines,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:45 am

Many people use a limousine service for their wedding. If you have the budget, consider using a limousine rental. This takes the load off of who is going to drive who where. Plans change at the last minute and now you have to scramble. But with a limousine service, the plans are not going to change. They will pick up anyone you want and take them anywhere they need to go.

limo2Here in Florida the rates are competitive and unless they offer coupons, or discounts on multiple cars. Most services charge 20% gratuity for the driver up front, so be sure you are getting quality before you sign. The biggest complaint about limousine services is the “no show”, or late show. When you spend money, you want a professional who knows where they are going. Why do no shows happen? Let’s not kid ourselves, we all know why. They didn’t forget, everything is written down. They know where they have to be. They over booked on your date or at the last minute needed your limo for a bigger more profitable job, or else they would be there. Airport limo companies are not good to use for weddings as their schedules are too hectic, and there’s too many last minute changes in flights and travel plans. You are much better off with a company whose specialty is weddings. The wedding limo is scheduled for you, and cannot change.

When To start Looking For A Limousine Service

A good time is 3-8 months before the wedding. We gave a deposit 7 months in advance because we chose an Excalibur and a Rolls Royce Limo, and wanted to be certain they were available. If you are using a standard limo, then 3-6 months in advance is fine. Allow 1 week to call and interview all the limousine services, and reserve one Saturday to inspect the operation of 3-5 good candidates.

Ask people you know who were recently married.

They can recommend the limousine service they used if they were happy. They can also warn you about companies they rejected as well. Also, ask your photographer. Studios know who shows up on time and who does not. In the wedding industry vendors know each other. Another source is the yellow pages. Try to pick only the companies who specialize in weddings.

Visit the limousine company and view their cars.

You must make sure the cars are kept in good condition. If the are in bad shape, you can bet that they’ll break down on the way to your wedding. If you plan to use a Rolls Royce, Excalibur, or other unique car, make an appointment with the limousine company at a time when you can see the car. This is usually early on Saturday and Sunday mornings before they leave for a wedding. You want to make sure the car you are going to pay top dollar for is in good condition. Believe it or not, many old fashioned Rolls Royce limousines are in sad shape, because they are too old. The average life of a limo is only about 3 years due to mileage. Some of the fancier old fashioned limousines can no longer be repaired for rips in the seating, or have other parts replaced, so you want to ensure you are paying for a car that is in good shape.

If you just want plain Lincoln type limousines, they all look the same. But also ask to see the premium cars listed in their ad and see if they really own it and is it all they touted it to be. One company advertised what I call a “gimmick limousine” with an extra wide “Bridal Door”, to allow the bride with a wide dress to easily pass through the door. But a friend checked it out and reported that the car was in terrible shape. So don’t just get sucked in by gimmick limousines with the beds and tubs in the back, check them out first. Don’t sign the contract for a premium limo unless you have seen it, and sat in it first. This is why you must visit the limousine service to inspect their cars.

Consumer Alert: Rolls Royce Limousines

While shopping around you’ll notice many companies in the yellow pages that claim they have have Rolls Royce or Excalibur limos. We discovered that many do NOT own the limousine, they contract it out from another source. In fact, most companies only have standard Lincolns and contract out the Rolls or Excalibur, while claiming in their ad that they have the car. They are just acting as brokers. If you want a Rolls or Excalibur, do like us and avoid dealing with these people. If they don’t own the car, they have no control over whether it will show up or not. This is a major root cause of limousines not showing up. Avoid the middleman and go right to the source. Suppose you sign a contract for a Rolls Royce. The day of your wedding Elton John flies into town for a concert and needs that Rolls Royce. Who do you think will get it? You think you will, because you signed a contract? Don’t be so naive!

You Must Have A Clear, Concise, Written Contract!

If you end up in court disputing your limo driver, the judge will say is "Where is your contract?" Make certain there is a written contract and that everything you expect of them is in writing. If they refuse or give you nothing but a bunch of verbal claims, get up and leave. Do you think they will remember 10 months from now what they promised you? A written contract will help them remember. You want the contract to state the type of limousine, how many it seats, and what package you chose. The contract must also state how long you have the limousine for. This is very important. You don't want the driver holding out his hand for more money when you least expect it.

The contract must also state what the overtime rate is for each vehicle. If they refuse to do this for you, get up an leave. Any reputable business would have this information on a standard contract without question. The contract should also list who your driver will be. Now is the time to pin them down. Then you have a basis for a claim later. If you interviewed any drivers that you liked, then have their names placed on the contract. The contract should show how much deposit you gave, and how much is owed. Most usually require payment in full 2 weeks before the wedding.

limoOne week before the wedding, call to confirm the date and time.

Fax a precise set of directions to the limousine service, on how to get to your house, reception, church, etc. Any maps or mapquest printouts you include will be helpful. It helps even more to type the instructions, so the driver can't show up late and say you gave sloppy instructions. Get the driver's cellular and pager numbers also. They usually call you from the limo when they are on the way to get you.

Keep a copy of the map and directions with you on the wedding day.
You may need to give them to the driver if the limo company sends a different driver at the last minute and you don't want to hear "so where are we going?" from the driver. Just give them the map!

Questions to ask the Limousine Company:

How many cars are in their fleet? Some services only have a few cars, but book several weddings, and contract out cars from other agencies. Our limousine service did 17 weddings the day we got married and had to contract out extra cars! But we had a contract stating the owner was our driver, and that we got their cars, so we were pretty much guaranteed he would show up. Usually the owners will be more reliable as their reputation is at stake.

Ask them how much deposit they require. The company we used only required a $20 deposit.

Ask for a flyer that shows prices in writing. You don't want them making up inflated prices on the fly. You want a rate that is fair. Do they have a flyer with photos of their cars? If they don't have it written down on a flyer, chances are they are unscrupulous, you should scratch them off your list, and move on to the next limousine company.

Can you bring your own champagne? The champagne they give you is barely useful for cleaning your toilet. You'll want to bring your own maybe water for your ride, you will be thirsty after the ceremony. They provide the glasses.

Have them describe the worst wedding situations they have been in, and how they handled it.

How much is the overtime rate? Some weddings could run longer than expected, and you want to know how much the overtime rate is per vehicle that you use. You want no surprises. This is a huge source of problems for many newlyweds.

Who will be your driver? We found the owner to be a very nice gentleman and his name went on the contract to drive our Rolls. His son’s name went on the contract to drive the Excalibur. Try to get the owner or their family members to be your driver. Family members have a reputation. Always try to get the owner!

If you cancel, can you get your deposit back? Most companies will not refund deposits, so choose one with a low deposit, and be certain before you signthat this is the company you want. Don’t be a moron, give a deposit, then research limo companies. The correct order is Research, Choose, Deposit. Avoid limousine companies that charge high deposits. The company we chose however, will allow you to apply the deposit toward their services within one year. Luckily, they only require a $20 deposit. There is no reason for any limousine company to require 50% deposit.

Copyright © 1996-2013 ConsumerNet, Inc. Reprinted with permission. Visit their Website at: http://www.BridalTips.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 455 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

“What Am I Going to Do With My Wedding Dress?”

You probably spent hours, days, weeks or months looking through magazines and at bridal shops for that perfect wedding dress. You most likely spent hundreds of dollars to purchase it and have it altered only to wear in one time at your wedding. After the wedding, brides have an important decision to make and that is what to do with the dress. What do you do with the used wedding dress?

TrashTheDressIf you’re like most brides, it’s carefully preserved, in a box, taking up loads of valuable storage space somewhere in your house. Or maybe it’s just hanging in your closet, still taking up equally as much storage space.

Why leave your gorgeous wedding dress to languish in the closet, only for your daughter to eventually decide it’s not really her style? Your daughter may want to have it altered into something more modern or may simply wants to wrap her bouquet in some of the lacey fabric.

Here are a few ways you can repurpose your wedding dress:

Since there’s a pretty good chance you will never wear it again you could trash your dress for the sake of some really awesome photos. Think water, mud, paint! The options are endless. Hire a photographer and with your husband come up with some wild and crazy ideas to “Trash the Dress!” You could save it and trash it on your first anniversary. “Trash the Dress,” also known as “Rock the Frock,” or “Drown the Gown,” is a style of wedding photography that contrasts elegant clothing with an environment in which it is totally out of place. This unexpected trend has emerged in recent years and it happens after your wedding day… obviously.

HillaryAnnePhotographyYou could sell it to recoup a little of your investment. If this is your plan, you have two options — direct sale or consignment. Consignment is when you bring your dress to a store, and they sell the dress for you. When the dress sells, the store will send you the proceeds, less their consignment fee.

You could donate it to a charity. Make it available to someone less fortunate by donating it to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. It would be a blessing for someone on a limited budget to be able to wear a great dress. The Brides Project resells your used wedding dress and gives the proceeds to cancer research. Brides Across America gives your gown to a military bride in need. Remember that donating your dress generally comes with a tax write-off as well.

If you have the heart to do this – it involves scissors – cut your gown into fabric squares and turn it into a beautiful heirloom wall or bed quilt. Leftover pieces can be used as “matting” for your favorite wedding photos and scrapbook projects. You can turn your veil into sachets for your drawers, baskets and closets.

Here are a few creative suggestions:

• Save it to wear at a Halloween or costume party. Go as a runaway bride, or a Bridezilla.
• Use your wedding dress to make a skirt for a baby bassinet. Perhaps “your” baby.
• Use it as a beautiful skirt under your Christmas tree.
• Make a covered photo album from it.
• Have a tailor cut your dress into cute boudior pillows.
• Make a ring pillow for the ring bearer for your daughter’s wedding.
ringpillow• Donated it to the costume department of a local school or college theater group.
• Make a hankie with lace attached as a keepsake or to use as a “something old” for your daughter’s wedding.
• Make a pillow for your bed, using the fabric from the dress, and embroider your wedding date, bride’s name, groom’s name, and any other pertinent information.
• Use the silk to cover the matting inside a picture frame.
• Create a “something old” hankie with lace attached for your daughter to carry.
• The satin from the dress might make a nice cushion or as the lining of a jewelry box.
• Create a shadow box, using a piece of the dress, a photo, the jewelry, your garter, and any other important things that you want to cherish and pass on to your children.
• Hang it on a tailor’s dummy in your guest room, as an exhibit.
• How about sachets for the dresser drawers or to hang on closet hangers?
• If you’d like to wear your wedding dress again, you can easily alter the dress by raising the hem and dyeing it another color.

No matter what you decide to do with your wedding dress, the wedding photos and memories will last a lifetime. If you decide to keep your wedding dress, there are some precautions you need to take to make sure it is well preserved. Read the bonus article below.

Photo Credit: Top left, Hillary Anne Photography

BONUS Article: How to Preserve and Store Your Wedding Gown
101 Ways to Use a Used Wedding Dress

Copyright © 2013 – 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 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Traditional & Non-Traditional Wedding Seating

Where the seating of guests and family used to be very traditional, today brides and grooms are looking for creative and meaningful ways to have their ceremony be different to allow their guests to have a memorable experience of their wedding.

Here is the traditional way of seating guests and family…

You may have been to weddings where an usher will ask, “The bride’s side, or the groom’s side?” Usually they would seat you based upon your choice. Typically in most ceremonies the bride’s family and guests sit on the left (when entering from the back), and the groom’s family and guests sit on the right. For Jewish services it’s reversed.

BridesSideWeddingWoman.netReserving the first two rows for immediate family is traditional and still very much the norm.

Consider a more non-traditional seating arrangement. You really don’t have to separate the sides. How about no bride’s side and no groom’s side? How about mixing it up a bit. I have been encouraging brides and grooms to tell the ushers – when asked, “Which side is the bride’s side?” to ask the guests to please fill the seats near the front first so the photos look more balanced. Some will display the sign asking the guests to choose a seat not a side near the guest entrance. Some couples prefer a more “free-for-all” approach to symbolize the joining families and friends.

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

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

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

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

If you like these non-traditional ideas, remember to tell the Wedding Consultant and the Wedding Coordinator at your wedding venue, otherwise tradition will most likely be the rule of the day.

My experience has been that most brides and grooms prefer a mixture of a little traditional and more non-traditional in their wedding. Old traditions are hard to break, but bridal couples must be mindful that just because something has been around for a long time, doesn’t mean that fashioning new rituals isn’t perfectly acceptable and perhaps even preferable.

Copyright © 2013 – 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 475 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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Friday, February 15, 2013

UpDate for the “Love in the Hills” Event on Valentine’s Day!

Filed under: Renewal of Vows — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

Love was in the air at Fountain Park Amphitheater in Fountain Hills, AZ as we attempted to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most couples to renew their wedding vows on Valentine’s Day. Hundreds of couples said “I do” all over again. Although we fell short of the 1,088 couples needed to break the Guiness Book of World Records, we did set a record for the state of Arizona and for me.

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The official count was 762 (REVISED 2/15/13) couples who gathered from all over the United States and Holland. There were couples from Florida, Alaska, Connecticut, Rhode Island and all over the state of Arizona.

JasonCrystalThe couple who was married the longest – 77 years – was presented with a very special prize.

Before the event began, Jason Keith was invited to come to the stage. He surprised Crystal Vankilsdonk by proposing before the 736 couples who had gathered to renew their wedding vows. She said, “Yes!”

Thank you to all the TV stations in the Greater Phoenix are for their excellent coverage. You can view several video of the event by clicking here. Several of the local radio stations also provided interviews from myself and some of the couples.

Curtis Whipple, DJ/entertainer (Larry’s Note: One of the best!) provided the sound system and an excellent playlist of romantic love songs as the couples gathered. He said, “That may be one of the coolest events I’ve ever done in 33 years as a professional DJ/entertainer – about 750 couples renewing wedding vows for Valentines Day. Always a good time with officiant Larry James on hand from CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com and event creator/host Stephenie Bjorkman from Sami Fine Jewelry.”

Hills2I was honored to perform my romantic “Renewal of Vows” ceremony. What a terrific experience being in the presence of 736 couples plus the hundreds of people who came to watch the festivities. The “Love” energy was truly present. It was great to see many of the couples that I have married over the past 12 years who came to renew their vows. Perhaps we will try again next Valentine’s Day, 2014 to break the Guiness Book of World Records for the most couples to renew their marriage vows. What say you?

A very special “Thank you!” to all of the sponsors of the “Love in the Hills” event and to the several hundred volunteers who made the Love fest possible.

Sami Fine Jewelry ~ Sami Fine Jewelry was named One of America’s Top 5 Cool Jewelry Stores by Instore Magazine. This second generation jewelry store knows how to pamper their clients with unique jewelry designs, customer service to the max, and fun events. Sami Fine Jewelry offers a wide variety of fine jewelry, that will hit the mark for all of your jewelry needs. Discriminating buyers around the world have sought out original Sami designs to ad to their jewelry collection. Known for their customer service, Sami’s “romantic advisers” are always ready to help you find the perfect gift for every occasion. For more information on Sami Fine Jewelry, visit <a href="Sami Fine Jewelry” target=”_blank”>www.SamifFneJewelry.com or call 480-837-8168.

Town of Fountain Hills, AZ ~ The Town of Fountain Hills, community service department is responsible for providing safe and accessible recreation services for all age groups. Community services include senior programs, adult and youth sports, pre-school programs, cultural programs, teen services, outdoor programs, special events, special interest classes, adult education classes, and after school programs. The department also oversees a growing trails system. For more information on the Town of Fountain Hills, visit www.fh.az.gov or call 480-816-5100.

Fort McDowell Casino ~ Fort McDowell Casino, Arizona’s original casino and premier destination is only minutes away on Hwy 87, just outside Fountain Hills. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of world-class gaming options, including blackjack, live cash poker, keno and more. For more information on Fort McDowell Casino, visit FortMcDowellCasino.com or call 1-800-TheFort.

Celebrate Intimate Weddings ~ Larry James is founder and President of CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com and CelebrateLove.com. He has been a full-time professional speaker and author since 1987. He is an ordained non-denominational award winning Wedding Officiant and author of five relationship books. He has appeared on and was interviewed by Barbara Walters on ABC TV’s “The View.” His Wedding and Renewal of Vows ceremonies are known throughout Arizona and are the most romantic ceremonies you will ever find anywhere! For more information on Celebrate Intimate Weddings, visit CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com or call 480-205-3694.

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100s of Couples signed the ‘Love in the Hills” banner!

Nonny’s ~ Nonny’s is a Florist, Wedding & Event Planning, & Decor boutique located in Fountain Hills Arizona, offering an alternative and unique vision. Our passion for beauty, combined with the desire to help clients create their vision is what inspired us to create Nonny’s. As a full service florist and wedding planner, Nonny’s prides itself on our originality, creativity, networking and inspirational services. Our team is ready to plan exceptional weddings and events, designed specifically to fulfill your aspirations, desires and needs. Nonny’s specialty shines in providing unique experiences from the largest weddings to the most intimate of events. Whether its for your Wedding day or flower’s for any special occasion in your life, Nonny’s specialty shines in providing unique floral arrangements. Our in-house floral and design studio allows our clients to visualize their entire event with selections of the greatest flowers, linens, and place settings right at their fingertips. We guarantee that our services will make your event truly unforgettable. For more information, visit www.nonnyscreations.com or call (480) 837-4558

Sara Goodnick Photography ~ Sara Goodnick Photography is an award-winning portrait studio based northeast of Fountain Hills in Goldfield Ranch. Sara, a Certified Professional Photographer, specializes in custom portraits of children, pets, horses, individuals, and families. She also photographs a limited number of weddings. As an active member of the Arizona Professional Photographers Association and the Professional Photographers of America, she finds new ideas and inspiration from participation in image competitions and cutting edge educational opportunities to use for the benefit of her clients. For more information on Sara Goodnick Photography, visit www.GoodnickPhotography.com or call 480-595-8188.

John Hersey International ~ A great relationship is about two things: First, appreciating the similarities, and second, respecting the differences. John Hersey International has been coaching people to have fulfilling relationships through better communication and power packed lives where their goals and dreams come true. Practice loving your differences and you will experience an extraordinary life. In just ten minutes, you can complete the Family Relationships Response Form and begin a process of self-understanding that will benefit you and your partner. After completing the instrument, the Internet Delivery Service™ (IDS) will be used to generate a valuable report full of information that may change the rest of your life. Your report merges sophisticated behavior analysis with computer software operations to provide you with unique personal insights. This comprehensive report will help you discover qualities about yourself that could be the key to opening new doors of opportunity. You will be able to better understand your style from the information provided. Then, using the Family Relationships Debriefing Process, you’ll be able to better understand your entire family.

Curtis Whipple: Disk Jockey ~ I started my DJ career 33 years ago, at age 14, at a retail promotion at my dad’s store in Winslow AZ – introducing a live remote appearance of Arizona TV legends “Wallace and Ladmo.” I’ve since performed at 1700 weddings and about 1700 corporate, school or other social occasions. Past President and current member of the American DJ Association. Past President and current member of the Wedding and Event Network. Winner 2010 and 2012 Wedding Chronicle readers poll – Best Wedding DJ in Phoenix. Visit Curtis’ Website @ www.CurtisWhipple.com.

Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate ~ Let Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate be your guide into real estate and the McDowell Mountain lifestyle of Fountain Hills and the East Shea Corridor. Whether you’re interested in a luxury home, condominium or patio home, a vacation or second home or full-time residence, we provide the research you need to make an informed decision for the future of your family. View our Online Relocation guide at www.150Ways.com

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This man’s t-shirt holds the secret for a happy marriage! 😉

AZ Trails Travel ~ Whether you’re planning a honeymoon, second honeymoon, anniversary trip or renewing your vows, AZ Trails Travel, in Fountain Hills, is the perfect place to starty your planning! Our Certified Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialists “invite you to place your dreams in our care”! We’re experts at planning, and take delight in being part of your life’s most anticipated events. Our years of experience and inside connections with the finest hotels, resorts, and cruise lines around the world are your access to unsurpassed quality and value. Trust us to handle the complex logistics that are the architecture of your event, while creating an inspired destination wedding or honeymoon vacation that is uniquely yours. Our travel professionals are certified with Sandals Resorts, Hawaii, Fiji, Tahiti, Europe, Australia, Africa and are Master Cruise Councilors. We’ve been awarded an A+ Rating with the AZ Better Business Bureau and are Licensed, Bonded & Insured. Explore our website www.AZTrailsTravel.com for inspiration, ideas, tips, then call us at 480-837-8665 or Toll Free 1-888-799-4284 to explore the possibilities!

Spike’s Treats ~ In Spike’s honor our professional staff celebrates his life through assisting other pets and pet owners in achieving optimal pet health. Spike’s Treats takes great care in hand baking all natural treats for pets as well as supplying a wide array of all-natural/holistic pet foods and supplements. Spike’s also has high quality name brands to accessorizing your pet. Please visit us on the web: www.SpikesTreats.com on how we can support you in providing the healthy life style your pet deserves.

The Discover Arizona Show ~ The Discover Arizona Show airs each Friday, from 10AM-11AM on KXXT, AM1010. Tune in to AM1010 or google KXXT and listen live. Enjoy the antics of Host Chris Scott and his co-host Biker Mike. The Discover Arizona Show features information on events, festivals, outdoor activity, and cities in Arizona. Our website www.DiscoverArizonasBest.com provides information on the best in Arizona and offers contests to win resort stays, tickets to area attractions and much more.

Classic Party Rentals ~ Whether you are hosting an elegant backyard wedding, a private party in a luxury resort or a corporate affair on a perfectly landscaped fairway, Classic Phoenix Event Specialists has your event covered from tent top to table top. Let us design an icy cool, colorfully filled tent with the latest in lounge furniture for the beginning of the evening. As the evening turns your guests can venture outside to dance under the stars surrounded by specialty lighting atop one of our custom clear pool covers. Classic Phoenix is Arizona’s premier source for party and event rentals. Quality… Service… Reliability & Capability. These are the cornerstones that make Classic Phoenix the trusted partner chosen by leading event planners, caterers, event venues and hosts. Call us at 602.232.9900 xtn147 or visit us at www.ClassicPartyRentals.com.

Copyright © 2013 – 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 475 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, February 11, 2013

Splitting the Household Chores

Filed under: Household Chores — Larry James @ 7:30 am

It’s official: no one likes doing chores. You’d always find that strange kid in high school who actually liked to do homework, but show me one person who actually likes to do all the chores that have to get done around the house and I’ll be truly amazed.

Chores are the most mundane part of being married, but believe it or not lots of couples have huge fights over chores. In the beginning, when first dating, couples generally do everything together: shop, cook, clean, and walk the dog. But shortly after saying our vows – or even before that – we fall into more familiar, even stereotypical, roles. “Part of this has to do with our role models – our parents,” explains Samara Fabrick, LCSW, a couples therapist in Beverly Hills. “But another part has to do with practicality. We naturally gravitate toward things we’re good at.”

cleaningutensilsGuys! This is for you! Nowhere is it written that the woman should do all the housework! Nowhere!

Before you begin to argue over whose turn it is to do the dishes or who has to take the trash out, it’s a good idea to split up the chores – newlywed style – in a way that’s agreeable to the both of you.

Like everything else about getting married, this should be addressed before the wedding. Newlyweds are often surprised to find that the division of household chores is something that can be difficult to work out. Often, there is no attempt to make an equitable division, and this creates hard feelings on the part of the spouse who feels that they do more than their fair share.

One of the biggest deciding factors on who is going to do what type of chore is who is going to be home and who is not. Some couples have similar work schedules, but quite often, in today’s economy, one spouse is working much later than the other, or on days that the other spouse has off.

Before you can begin to split up all the household chores that you have to get done, you need to make sure that you set realistic goals. You can’t expect someone to take out the trash every Friday morning, for instance, if they have to be at work at 7 a.m. on a Friday. Take their work load into consideration before you even begin negotiating.

When you start splitting up the chores, volunteer to take everything that you truly enjoy doing. Do you like making meals? Do you not mind folding laundry? Could you run the vacuum sweeper? Make a list of everything that you actually enjoy doing. If you both like to do similar things, you can bargain for things that you dislike to do, like taking out the trash or sweeping the floor.

While some couples divide up each and every chore, others are more fluid in their division. For instance there are many couples where the wife is in charge of most of the household chores (with a few thrown in for the man), while the husband is in charge of vehicle and yard maintenance. Or vice versa. Split the chores up you both are neutral about, either by agreement or by chance.

GroceryListJobs that only need to be done occasionally may need to be put into a job jar and each party draws one out per week to do during the next week. Seasonal work can be handled together as a team.

Aim to do more than your fair share. This sounds like it goes against the principal of dividing up household chores equitably, but, in fact, if you have this attitude, you’ll find that your spouse will adopt it too and try to make things easier for you.

In the beginning it may be wise to do the grocery shopping together. If the wife usually does most of the shopping she may have favorites that she consistently buys. The husband would be smart to learn what these items are so he will not be returning things that may not be what she needs if she is doing the cooking.

What works best for you is what’s important, and that you both agree on the division of labor. And remember: if you ever start to have an issue over the chores that you’re supposed to be doing, don’t get upset or passive-aggressive, actually talk to your spouse about the situation. Be flexible. Bargains and changes can always be made!

Larry’s Note: A special “Thank you” to Danielle Tate, Founder and President of http://www.MissNowMrs.com/ for inspiring this article.

Copyright © 2013 – 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 475 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, February 7, 2013

Keep Your Guests Guessing… Who Are the Flower Girls?

Traditional: The flower girl (usually 3 to 10 years old) walks down the aisle, throwing petals as she goes.

Alternative: How about having you and your fiancé’s grandmothers be the flower girls?

GrandmotherFlowerGirlsI Love this idea!

Most immediate family members have traditional roles to play on the wedding day. Perhaps it’s time we honor the grandmothers. As one of the oldest female relatives, the grandmothers can play an important and special role on her grandchild’s wedding day, whether she is the grandmother of the bride or groom. It a good idea to have corsages and boutonnieres made for the grandmothers and grandfathers to wear.

I’ve found that some couples do not have the choice of having children to be flower girls. Either they have decided not to have children be a part of their wedding or none of their family or friends have young children. This allows the grandmothers to be a part of the ceremony and certainly solves the problem.

When the grandmother’s are finished tossing the rose pedals, they simply take their seats next to their spouses, if any, who would usually be already seated on the first or second row.

For the bride, a grandmother is a wonderful person to ask for “something old” or “something borrowed” to use on her wedding day.

Larry’s Note: A special “Thank you!” to Brenda Owen @ http://WeddingWoman.net for this great idea. Be sure to check out Brenda’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/BrendaOwenOfficiant.

BONUS Articles: An Age Guide to the Little Ones in Your Wedding
Here Comes the Flower Girl!
Here Comes the Flower Girl… Again!
The History of the Flower Girl

Copyright © 2013 – 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 475 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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Sunday, February 3, 2013

What Does it Take to Have a Healthy Sexual Relationship?

Once married, there is more at stake. So why would you pay less attention to your lover’s needs once the prize has been won? The bonding of two hearts continues long after marriage. It takes diligent effort and a committed love for you to continue to stir the sparks and keep the fire burning. Getting married is just the beginning.

So… What does it take to have a healthy sexual relationship? It takes a relationship with unwavering commitment, a passion for life’s sexual journey and a dedication to the processes to go from boring sex to bliss in the bedroom.

Couple-in-bedIt requires dedication to pleasure;
• learning to be intentionally spontaneous;
• developing the ability to communicate openly and honestly your most secret sexual desires;
• the willingness to be a student of great sex; the discipline to stay in the moment when being sexually intimate;
• the daring to experiment;
• an attention to hygiene;
• the generosity to consider your lover’s pleasure before your own or the esprit de corps to decide whether you go first or reach orgasm together;
• the keenness of mind to recognize the value of making love vs. only having sex;
• the gusto to be energetic or the sensitivity to passionately lie motionless together;
• the wit to not always take yourselves so seriously, to laugh, to play and to experience whatever is sexually fun;
• the insight to negotiate agreements and promises about how you will mutually care for your partner¹s needs in the sexual arena;
• the courage to ask for the variety of pleasure you want and
• the deserve and the respect to honor your lover’s right to say no without consequence.

Avoid selective sharing. When you are talking about making love with your love partner, share what is really in your heart. Say what you want. Have an agreement to listen without judgment. The agreement must include the right to not participate in something you consider not right for you, but without making a big deal out of it or criticizing your lover for speaking what he or she would like to try. Just say no. Or say, “Yes! Let’s try that!”

Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers book cover

Click cover for info

It may be difficult at first to share your sexual desires, but remember, each time you do, it will not only give you more freedom to naturally express what you want, most likely it will also be an incredible turn-on for your lover. Talking about making love with someone you love and being authentic about your desires is verbal foreplay.

When you place a high value on your sexual relationship, you will find more pleasure in it. When you are both energetic in your pursuit of it, bells ring! Be intentional about striving for ways to improve it. When you can freely express with words what making love with your love partner is like, how it feels, and what you would like to try next time, then you can explore together the erotic treats that God has given you the choice to create. You must learn to continue doing those things that you do together that keeps your love alive. Anything of value must be managed to stay in existence.

There is nothing more romantic than a marriage in which the spark still flickers and, more importantly, ignites on a regular basis. Just because you are married does not mean you have to stop acting like lovers. Passion does not stay alive by itself. Neither does love. A garden unattended does not explode into color; it withers and dies. Love and passion must be nurtured. If you expect love and passion to continue to burn as an unattended fire, you will both burn out.

Commitment must be renewed. Love must be rekindled. The true romantics are those who continually work together to maintain the love and passion that brought them together in the first place. While the pursuit is exciting and fun in the beginning, the responsibility each partner has of investing time and energy to supporting a healthy and prosperous marriage on a continuing basis is undeniably more important than hoping that things work out while giving far less effort than you spent on winning your partner’s hand. Holding on to it is the key.

BONUS Article: 15 Hot Ideas for Phenomenal Physical Intimacy!
Red Hot LoveNotes

redhotCopyright © 2013 – 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 475 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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