Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Monday, July 29, 2013

What You Need to Know When Hiring Your Wedding Photographer

Sheryl Davies, Guest Author

When your wedding is over and the months of preparation leading up to your big day are done, what you have left are your memories! And those memories are preserved in your wedding photographs.

wedPhtographerYour pictures are a tangible of your joyous day and have the power to evoke those special moments. As the years go by, your photographs assume a large and greater importance, not only to remember your memories, but they will be of great interest in the future, to your children and grandchildren.

Choosing your photographer is one of the most important wedding decisions that you will make. A reputable professional will be booked a year or more in advance, and for that reason, it is suggested that you engage their services early in your planning process. There is nothing as disappointing as having your pictures turn out less than acceptable. There are no make- goods of your day. You only have one chance to get it right.

When you meet with a photographer, make sure you look at their sample work and ask questions regarding their style; is it journalistic, traditional or a combination of both? Be prepared to let the photographer know your expectations; what moments you want captured and what you envision in the final product. It is important for you both to be on the same page. Also, ensure that a contract is written with everything that you have discussed- quantities, hours, extra photos, an album, CD or memory stick storage, social media posting, ordering services online for your guests, a Plan B, etc.

You want to ask about their experience; you don’t want a photographer using your wedding for a practice run. What is included in their packages and how will the final product be delivered? Will you be receiving edited images that are print ready, will there be an album included in the price? Will he have more than one memory card to hold the images? It is recommended that they use one for each event throughout the day. With new technology, will you receive your 50 best images, emailed to you a couple days after the wedding in a digital mobile album?

photosIt is of importance to know if they will have a second camera, just in case there is a problem. You’ll want no surprises on your wedding day. Be sure to ask about a back-up plan, if your photographer can’t make it due to illness; a broken leg or who knows what. Make sure that point is added to the contract so you are not left high and dry. You will also need to ask about a secondary plan, in case of inclement weather. You may have wanted those outdoor pictures at that unique location in the worst way, but a torrential rain will ensure that it won’t happen. You need to know what the alternative spots will be, in advance of the day.

Your photographer will be spending time prior to the ceremony; possibly at two homes and then shooting your reception in its entirety, making it a 10 hour plus day. Be sure to provide a meal during the dinner hour.

In this age of technology, where everyone has a cell phone with a camera, it is important to note that you may want your wedding ceremony unplugged. That way your guests will have their full attention on you and your spouse taking your vows and the photographer will have an unhampered view of you both in order to capture what you are paying him for.

Once you are satisfied that you have conveyed all your wishes, relax and let your photographer fulfill them. A professional will gently capture the formal posing, unobtrusively capture the candid moments, and produce the photographs that genuinely reflect s your love and happiness you and your families share on your wedding day.

WedGuideCopyright © 2013 – Sheryl Davies. Sheryl Davies is a long-time wedding industry veteran who has seen the changes but also knows why they came about. She has published “The Wedding Guide Windsor|Essex County” since 1990. She hosts radio shows for her clients on http://www.am800cklw.com. Visit Sheryl’s Blog and Facebook page and http://www.Facebook.com/sheryldavies.

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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, July 25, 2013

How To Throw A Quick Bridal Shower

Filed under: Bridal Shower,Guest Authors — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

Amy Mancuso, Guest Author

One day, you might find yourself in the situation where your closest friend or family member decides to get married in a short amount of time. By short-time period, we mean 6 weeks or less! This gives you no time to prepare for the elaborate party you had always envisioned. Instead, your scrambling for a guest list and many other details that are involved when hosting a bridal shower. We put together 6 tips that will help alleviate some stress and get you ready for this spontaneous event.

BridalShower21. Find a venue ~ This might be the most difficult task due to short notice. Many times venues are booked for these types of events in advanced leaving limited options. We suggest brainstorming friends or family homes that you can utilize for the day. Make sure their home has a open floor plan or large backyard for guests to mingle throughout the event. If nobody’s home is available and it’s suppose to be nice weather, locate nearby parks that have coverings in case of unexpected rain or the need for shade.

2. Send an Evite ~ Forget the formal invite, there is no time! Send an Evite with the event information and consider yourself Eco-friendly! If you inviting older guests without email, contact those individual by phone.

3. Pick a simple-popular theme ~ Usually when throwing a wedding-related party you can search websites such as Pinterest for trendy themes that keep popping-up while searching. Most of the time, products used to create these popular themes will be available in many party or craft stores such as Hobby Lobby or JoAnne.

4. Borrow from friends & Family ~ Borrow whatever items you can that coordinate with your theme. There isn’t time to order online unless you want to pay for express shipping which can be very costly. Talk to your closest friends and family members to see what type of items they may have available to borrow such as tablecloths, food platters, pitchers or anything else you may need.

5. Pick a food theme ~ Do a simple food theme that the brides loves. For example, a bride’s favorite type if food maybe Mexican. If so, make this bridal shower food a fiesta with mini burritos, salsa, rice and beans. However, make sure to serve any food theme in a classy way with nice serving platters that match the shower decor.

6. Divide and concur ~ You’re going to need all help you can get! There is no way all the party details can be completed by yourself in a short span of time. Therefore, enlist people who can easily take orders, reliable, efficient and have great party planning skills.

AmyMancusoCopyright © 2013 -Amy Mancuso. Amy Mancuso is a Professional Wedding Consultant and a Specialist in the Weddings and Events Management Industry. Since establishing her own wedding planning company in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1996, Amy Mancuso has been living her passion. Her exquisite work has been featured online, in print and on television, garnering numerous awards from major media outlets and the event community. An uncanny ability to zero in on a client’s innermost wishes and dreams for their event, whether spoken or unspoken, and translate them into a reality is one of Amy’s specialities. Amy strives to make her clients feel 125 percent comfortable with the planning process. By literally having an answer for everything, Amy is ready for anything. http://amymancuso.com/blog/ and http://www.amymancuso.com/

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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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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Grab Plenty of ZZZZZ’s Before Your Wedding Day!

Filed under: Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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At one of my weddings recently, I heard a bride say, “I’m bushed! I only got 2 hours sleep last night.”

Here’s one idea that might help. Plan your rehearsal dinner 2 days before the wedding, not the night before. The rehearsal dinner is a night when many of your guests will let there hair down and party, party, party… and then hope to arrive at the wedding the next day without a hangover. I doubt that. Remember, you must do it when it is most convenient for you. The most common excuse for not doing this is because you have guests coming in from out-of-town. Got it! However, if only one or two of your wedding party is not expected to arrive 2 days before… they may have to miss it. You will have time to clue them in to any rehearsal tips that they need to know the day of the wedding. This idea will also help you get in bed early the night before you tie the knot.

sleepingBRIDESmart brides do all the heavy duty stuff days before the wedding, not the night before. The even smarter ones hire a full-time Wedding Consultant. Look over your wedding day check list for any last minute items you may have missed. Set a bed time, let other people know about it and stick to it. You don’t want to show up with baggy eyes. Cutting off all communications with your man the night before shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. Spend some alone time. Never allow your friends to keep you up all night! Slumber parties and pub crawls are out. Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before your wedding.

Lay out your “getting ready” clothes. You won’t need much on your wedding day, but it’s smart to fill a clutch with some “just-in-case” items: a mini deodorant, gum, tissues, and a list of your vendors’ phone numbers. If you plan on switching to flip-flops during the reception, toss those in there as well.

You need to be your freshest self on your big day. Relax. Pamper yourself. Staying stressed until the last minute may take away from your special day. Maintain control of your pre-wedding jitters by dealing with things you know you must do far in advance of bedtime. The day before your wedding… wind down at least two hours before you hit the sack. Drink some herbal tea, take a bubble bath. Avoid alcohol and caffeine (tea, coffee, chocolate). Have a glass of warm milk instead. Don’t eat anything the night before your big day that may give you indigestion or heartburn on your wedding day.

While you’re winding down for the night, take a few minutes and write a love note to your partner. Express yourself. Tell him how you feel and how much you love him. Give it to the best man to give to the groom on the day of the wedding. Also write a letter to yourself. Write about your excitement and your worries, about your hopes and aspirations, and predict what the future will hold for you. Hide it away and open it on your first anniversary.

If you will be saying anything to your partner during the wedding ceremony, read it over several times before you go to sleep. What you say should be spot-on for the big day so give it the once-over one last time.

Every bride and groom should look their best on their big day and that means no puffy eyes, pallid complexion or dark circles. Understandably it can be a mega challenge fighting those butterflies in your tummy and attempting slumber the night before such a huge day.

Do your best not to worry about the next day. If you find yourself lying awake in bed, follow the 15 minute rule. If sleep isn’t happening after 15 minutes, get up and read or relax on the sofa. When the sleepy feeling overwhelms you, get back into bed and go get some Zzzz’s. The more sleep you can get the night before your wedding day, the more energy you’ll have to make it through one of the biggest days of your life.

Have a light breakfast the morning of your wedding.

BONUS Articles: Bridal Beauty: Top 13 Bridal Beauty Don’ts
10 Biggest Things Brides Forget
Five Things You Should NEVER Do the Day Before Your Wedding
75 Simple “Do’s and Don’ts” For Your Wedding

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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 (96 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Financial Infidelity Is Cheating!!!

When you make a promise to love, honor and cherish another person, the faithfulness implied doesn’t have a thing to do with money. Or does it?

“If you don’t have a major discussion regarding debt and money before you got to the altar or live together and make a major investment together, you’re walking down a dangerous path. You can be rich in love, but money is important in paying the bills.” ~ Bruce Bickel, Managing Director of PNC Financial Services Group’s wealth management division

Why is it that as most new relationships develop, couples tend to see each other naked before seeing each other’s bank accounts? Are you keeping money secrets from your partner? Monetary deceit is usually a deal-breaker! Financial infidelity is cheating! It involve a series of secrets and lies that can devastate a relationship. You are putting your relationship at risk.

In 2012, Self.com and Today.com conducted a survey of almost 24,000 men and women and found that almost 50% of married adults admitted to keeping money secrets from their spouses. Additionally, the survey revealed that while 37% of men and 56% of women admitted to lying to their partner about money, 63% of men and 70% of women agreed that being honest about money was as important as being monogamous. And yet, another U.S. poll found that 31% of couples had committed financial infidelity.

My sometimes arrogant, straight-taking, no nonsense “friend” Larry Winget talks about financial infidelity!

“Sex may be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “infidelity,” but there are other types of “unfaithful or disloyal acts,” other ways spouses cheat on each other. A major one is money.” ~ Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY

Divorce360 experts call this “financial infidelity” or lying about how money is being spent. “…A married person who habitually spending more he makes and runs up debt or borrows from future earnings, retirement, whether it’s hidden or not, and knows that this is contrary to his spouse’s wishes, is being unfaithful to the health of the marriage relationship. He is demonstrating a lack of respect, reciprocity, prudence, honesty, especially if he knows that that style of money management is distressing to his spouse.

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Click book for info!

Listen to this dialogue about separate checking accounts or not and make your own decision:

It’s important for couples to come together about money. You can blame the economy for shaking up your once solid union or you can define the real problem and mutually work together to find a workable solution.

Blame never solves the problem. It delays the inevitable search for a mutually beneficial solution. Work together. Cuss and discuss, but work on the solution. The only way to solve the problem of financial infidelity is commucation, trust, compromise and cooperation. Without honesty, the marriage isn’t likely to survive. If you find that you both cannot come to a mutually agreeable solution, call a coach!

Regardless of where you are in your marriage or relationship, the learning never ends. The classroom doors are forever open. Personal growth happens… so you would be wise to be ready for it. Get ready to learn from the bonus articles listed below.

BONUS Article: Financial Infidelity Has its Costs
How to Make Money Talks Less Awkward
Finicky Finances – Who Controls the Checkbook?
Till Debt Do You Part: Avoiding Money Problems in Your Marriage
Can Money Mismanagement Kill Your Marriage?

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Click for Larry’s Wedding Website!

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 (96 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

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Till Death Do Us Part???

I really hate to be the bearer of bad news… but “till death do us part” isn’t working very well, at least in Arizona.

Arizona is one of 14 states where divorce rates are higher than the national average, according to the U.S. Census Bureau report, which used data from the 2009 American Community Survey. The Census Bureau found that divorce declined noticeably around the country between 2008 and 2009, but not necessarily in Arizona and there was no explanation for it.

neverrushWhen I began performing wedding ceremonies in 2002 one of the first things I did was to take out the words, “till death do us part” from the wedding ceremony. Not because of divorce stats, but because I felt there was a much better way to say the same thing differently. Those words are usually in the wedding vows that the bride and groom repeat to each other. I substituted the words with, “I say these words because I love you and choose to live the rest of my life with you.” Many ceremonies do not have a place in the ceremony where the bride and groom say, “I love you” to each other unless they write those words in. The words I added accomplishes both things… “I love you” and “choose to live the rest of my life with you.” Talking about death in a celebration of Love just doesn’t seem right to me.

It’s sad that many couples have no idea what it really takes to have a healthy relationship that lasts. Although it is not required, I always suggest that it’s a good idea to get a premarital “tune-up” before they tie the knot by getting relationship coaching. I also encourage them to consider the “potential” of coaching especially if one of the partners isn’t really in favor of coaching.

I can tell them what they might accomplish if they work together, but they both have to look forward to and have a “belief” in the potential that comes from that accomplishment. When that happens, the often begin to feel a closer connection and think of reasons why the relationship will work. When a couple is deep in the mire of discomfort, it is often not easy to think about the potential of the relationship. If they can understand the how they might feel toward each other if that discomfort is gone, they often will begin to do the work necessary to get their act together.

I say all that to say this… forget about “till death do us part” and focus on the present moment – moment by moment, day by day, week by week, etc. Relationships – the ones that last – takes a mutual intention to the type of commitment that has couples do “whatever it takes” to make them work and last! In other words, a mutual focus on the relationship – making the relationship a top priority.

It’s not going into the marriage hoping it will work, but knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that both partners are ready for marriage and committed to settling down and dealing with the little things as well as the big things that often show up when two people get together. Remember, women and men are different. It’s important to learn about those differences “before” marriage, otherwise you are in for a few surprises. Adapt. That’s a word that hopefully will help.

Jumping into marriage hoping your partner will change after marriage is a plan destined to fail. Life doesn’t work that way.

It worries me when talking with couples about their wedding and I ask, “How long have you been together?” and they say 4 months or 6 months or even a year. STOP! Think! Is that really enough time to get to know each other? It’s doubtful.

Dr. Karen Sherman, MFT, NCC, PhD, offers a few questions that you should discuss before the wedding. Honestly communicating the answers to these questions will assist you in getting to know each other better.

• Will you have kids and, if so, how will you raise them?
• Will they be raised under one religion?
• How do you expect to discipline them?
• How will you manage your finances?
• What individual assets and debts will you bring to the marriage?
• Who will pay the bills?
• Will you have a savings plan?
communicate2• How will you save?
• How will you spend free time?
• How do you expect to spend it – together or individually?
• Will you still have time with friends that doesn’t include each other?
• Do you have expectations about sex?
• How often will you have sex?
• When is a good time?
• How will you keep your sex life from getting boring?
• How will you share sexual fantasies and desires?
• Do you have any boundaries when it comes to intimacy?
• How will you divvy up chores?
• If your spouse cooks dinner, are you expected to clean the dishes, pots and pans?
• Who will keep up with the maintenance around the house?
• Who will mow the lawn or take out the trash?
• What can you do to openly communicate?
• How can you make sure that you keep your communication as good as it is now?
• How will you make sure to handle your conflicts appropriately?
• Will you check in with each other at the end of the day or once a week?
• What can you do as an individual to make sure that you keep the health of your marriage a priority?
• Do you have any annoyances?
• What annoys you?
• What annoys your spouse-to-be?
• How will you let each other know when certain habits or behaviors bother you?
• How is it best to tell the other person about things regarding family that are upsetting?
• If the relationship is needing help, will you be brave enough to ask for help?
• and the list goes on!

One question I would add is, “Ask yourself why. Why this person, why right now?”

You cannot be a commitment-phobe. Acceptance. Another important word. Learn to accept the little annoyances.

A relationship is something that must be worked on all the time, not only when it’s broken and needs to be fixed. It’s making darn sure each partner is doing what it takes to be committed to making it work. It’s not easy. But then nothing worth while is seldom easy.

AND… if you are having issues, never be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help is not a weakness. Asking for help demonstrates a need to make the relationship one you can be proud to be in.

Larry’s NOTE: Every bride and groom I marry receives a “Relationship Coaching Certificate” ($120 Value) good for one hour of free coaching anytime after the wedding ceremony.

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Click for Larry’s Wedding Website!

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 (96 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

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Biggest Wedding Guest Faux Pas

Victoria Van Ness, Guest Author

Weddings are a huge opportunity for couples to pull together an amazing celebration for all of their friends and family. They usually choose their favorite colors, favorite foods, and even favorite music all in an effort to share this special time in their lives in a memorable way for everyone they love!

invitationsAlong with all of the fun and hullabaloo though, comes a great deal of emotions. This is a big transition time for not only the bride and groom, but for their families, as the kids break away and become a family of their own. Sometimes what starts as a beautiful event where friends and loved ones come together to celebrate and congratulate the happy couple, can easily go bad just because of one or two misbehaving guests.

It’s so critical at this emotional time to take into consideration those heavily involved in the event you’re attending, when you’re invited to a wedding. It may not be exactly what you would do, you may not be sitting at a table you like or with people you like, and the food or music may not be your taste, but this is no excuse not be polite and respectful, and enjoy the party.

As a wedding guest, it is important that you keep a few tips in mind so that you don’t end up being the star of the show, in a way that everyone will remember for years to come. Check out some of these disturbing wedding guest faux pas!

1. Not returning the RSVP card. You don’t have to have planned your own wedding to know the importance of this one no-no. If you’ve ever attended a wedding, you know at least most of what goes into the creation of an event like this; the coordination of a team of wedding vendors, all from different companies, the creation of wedding menus, programs, place cards, escort cards, a seating chart, and the rental of just the right number of tables, chairs, dishes, place settings, and the preparation of enough food for everyone.

Guests are given an RSVP card, or asked to RSVP for a good reason. Couples have to know exactly how many people are going to attend their wedding at least one month before their wedding to make final payments and preparations. By not returning your card saying yea or nay, you are ignoring something that it crucial to the success of their event. If you have to be called to find our if you’re coming, you are simply making yourself a nuisance in their already full schedules. If calling is just too much work, at least email them.

2. Showing up at a wedding you weren’t invited to. If you have some friends or family members getting married soon and you haven’t received your invitation yet, just be patient. Considering how expensive weddings have become for couples getting married, the guest list is coming under a scrutiny that was never necessary before. If you are worried about not getting an invite, stop. You may not be invited, or you may simply have not received your invite yet. Either way, just be happy for the couple.

Showing up at a wedding you were not invited to will only cause TONS of problems. You will have become a wedding crasher! The wedding couple may be gracious and welcome you with open arms, but this stunt will be remembered. Worst case scenario, you could be thrown out of the wedding. Consider the feelings of the bride and groom before doing something like this. Stay home, make your own cake that you don’t have to share, and rent My Big Fat Greek Wedding instead. You’ll feel much better.

3. Not arriving on time. Everyone has those kind of days every now and then. There’s an accident on the freeway, you have a flat tire, or you simply get lost. Either way, arriving late to a wedding is disrespectful and distracting. Give yourself an extra 20-30 minutes to get to the wedding venue on the wedding day. Do a trial run or Google Map it ahead of time so the chances of getting lost are slim to none.

If for some reason you do happen to show up late, not on purpose I’m sure, be respectful of the ceremony going on. Don’t interrupt a procession by walking front of a bridesmaids or worse, the bride. Stand in the back until the procession is over. Then slide quietly into the back. I know you wanted to sit in the front, but that is out the window if you’re late. Just please do whatever you can to keep from drawing attention from the couple’s big moment.

4. Bringing people the bride and groom don’t know. A wedding is a celebration of love and finding that one true love to spend the rest of your life with. It is not a place to meet new people. The metaphor I liken this situation to is bringing new people into the delivery room at the hospital to meet a new delivering mom in her special moment of becoming a mother. Sounds bad, doesn’t it? It is!

This is a moment for the marrying couple, not for you. Introduce them at dinner when they return from their honeymoon, not at the wedding. I realize that people bring guests to weddings because they fear that they won’t know anyone and don’t want to be alone. I promise it’s more awkward to bring someone else that doesn’t know anyone. If you fear going alone, please refrain from going. Don’t bring strangers with you to a wedding.

BetterNeverLate5. Bringing your children to an Adult Only wedding. Children are a hot topic when it comes to weddings. Yes they are cute, but only for so long. Many couples want to have a “party” complete with loud music, vibrating lights, and tons of alcohol and don’t want to worry about children. There are also couples who simply would prefer an Adult Only celebration, and don’t want you to have to leave early to accommodate your little ones.

If your children were not specifically invited to the wedding, via “The Smith Family” or your kids specific names on the wedding invitation, assume they are not invited. This will likely cause LOTS of drama if you bring your little ones and others were not able to do the same. Drama for the bride and groom, which so isn’t fair to them. If attending the wedding without your little ones isn’t possible or seems too difficult, do yourself and the wedding couple a favor, and politely decline.

6. Allowing your children to misbehave at the wedding. If the bride and groom do allow your children to attend the wedding, at least keep them under control. Everyone has seen those parents at the movies, at the grocery store, at parent/teacher meetings, open houses, and even weddings, that bring their children with them only to let them run around, throw things, pull things off the wall or shelf, scream, disrupt everyone, and pretty much cause mass chaos and don’t lift a finger to do anything about it.

You know everyone despises those people. The last thing you want to do at a wedding is fill a couple’s one and only wedding video with unruly children screaming, running around, and destroying the ambiance of the perfect day the wedding couple has worked so hard to create. Please don’t be those people and make someone ask you to get them under control. It’s better just not to bring them at all if you’re not going to take care of them.

7. Not remembering to turn off your cell phone. It’s the height of rudeness to allow a personal call to interrupt someone’s once-in-a-lifetime, special moment. Enough said.

8. Moving to another table during the wedding. As a guest, do not move place cards or rearrange the seating chart. I realize that you feel like you should have been put at a more prominent place in the wedding, or you are not sitting with those people you wanted to at the wedding.

Realize that the bride and groom have put a great deal of time and thought into setting everyone out at the appropriate tables for the wedding to make sure the greatest number of people were happy. For a plated meal, the caterer has likely been given a chart saying where everyone is seated and what dinner choices have been made so that everyone gets the correct meal and the catering runs smoothly. You don’t know the whole story. Trust that they did their best and realize that this is a celebration about them.

If you are really unhappy, bite your tongue and wait until dinner is over, then get up, go around the room and mingle, or simply find a better seat. No one expects guests to stay in their seats after dinner has been served. This is the perfect time to get out of your seat and get to a better spot in the room.

9. Ignoring the invitation dress code. If the couple have listed the wedding dress code as black tie, this means tuxes and evening gowns. They have taken the time to plan their event down to the last detail and provide the event of a lifetime for this special moment in their lives. Rather than showing up in your holey jeans and grease stained t-shirt to destroy the ambiance they have worked so hard to create, please just stay home.

Weddings are about the bride and groom. They are normally paying, and have typically spent at least a year planning this incredible soiree. Please abide by their requests rather than making a spectacle. This also applies to dressing sleazy. Remember the bride should be the focus on her big day, not you. This is not the time to wear your bootie dress and pick up a bed mate for the night. Sorry for the picture. Don’t give it to someone else by making this mistake.

10. Taking “flash” pictures during the ceremony. As much as you would love to capture that perfect Kodak moment with a shot of the couple during the ceremony, your annoying flashes and clicks during the ceremony will only be distracting to the bride and groom and all of the other guests. And don’t get in the way of the photographer! They’re paying a lot for a professional photographer’s expertise and time, so let the Bride and Groom get their money’s worth! You don’t want to know how many times I’ve had to ask a wedding guest to stop taking photos because they are getting in the way of the professional photographer.

There’s a reason celebrities dislike the paparazzi – they can be very intrusive. It is easy to get carried away on the big day, but try to respect the dignity of the ceremony by refraining from standing in front of the photographer and videographer and taking distracting flash pictures at solemn moments.

no-flash11. Releasing tables for dinner yourself without being asked. So you’re desperate for dinner and you don’t think things are moving fast enough, so you think “If I can just release tables a little faster, then it will get things moving,” but what’s really happening is a back-up in the line and unhappy guests that have to stand up and wait. The host of the wedding has thought carefully about every detail of the wedding, including this one, and has a method to the madness. If not, it’s not the end of the world. Sit back and enjoy!

Let someone else run the show. You were invited so that you could enjoy the food, fun and festivities, and share this time with the bride and groom, not to work.

12. Giving an inappropriate toast. Do not embarrass the bride or groom with inappropriate comments during a toast. This is a day they want to remember for their lives. Tell them how much they mean to you and how happy you are that they found someone with which to spend the rest of their lives. This is not the opportune time to embarrass them and take advantage of them.

When in doubt, consider how you would feel if someone was vulgar, embarrassing, or rude on your wedding day (or any other special day in your life), much less committing it to video to be remembered for the rest of their lives. You will probably have lost a good friend (or more) and a wonderful opportunity to make two people really happy.

13. Getting drunk at the wedding. Inebriated guests are embarrassing and disrespectful. Too many guests show up at weddings simply for the free food and alcohol. These are typically the ones to get smashed at the open bar and cause a huge raucous.Drunk guest aren’t just disrespectful though, they can also facilitate a series of unfortunate events which could result in the worst wedding ever. There are tons of wedding videos out there depicting just this type of situation.

Screaming, yelling, fighting, cursing, throwing, items, breaking valuables, and destroying relationships are the typical actions created by those choosing to get drunk at the wedding. You have your entire life, and your own personal time, to drink all you want and cause problems. Please don’t use this one special day in the couples life, that they will remember forever, as your time to do this. If you’re worried it will happen, go to the bar instead.

14. Do have fun! Weddings are supposed to be fun. The bride and groom have gone to a lot of trouble to provide great food, great music, beautiful decorations, and a beautiful location for all of those that mean the most to them in their lives to have a stupendous time celebrating with them.They wanted you to come and have a good time or they wouldn’t have asked you to join them. In fact, if you don’t enjoy yourself, they will both likely feel really bad. Do yourself and the happy couple a favor. Leave your problems at the door and enjoy their hospitality.

If you’ve ever seen one or more of the wedding guests I’ve described above you know what I’m talking about. Don’t worry. The wedding party, the family, and even the bride and groom have their own faux pas that I will address in other articles. However, as a wedding guest, it is your responsibility to be respectful, gracious, polite and patient with the couple getting married. Sometimes from the top it is hard to see how others are feeling around you, but I promise they do care. And they did their best to throw the best party they could for their guests. Weddings are hard work! Just relax, and do your best to enjoy the party!

BONUS Article: Tips for Wedding Guests: How to Avoid Embarrassing Faux Pas
Smartphones at Weddings: Potential Distraction!

VictoriaCopyright © 2013 – Victoria Van Ness. Victoria is finally married, starting a family, working from home . . . What more could she want? An amazing writing career! She has already written four books and have a good deal more in the making. She owns a wedding consulting business called A Piece of Cake Wedding Design in Prescott Valley, AZ and wants to expand. At the moment, she strives daily to help couples all over the country have their perfect wedding for pennies on the dollar by sharing DIY tips, money-saving strategies, and clarifying the truth when it comes to planning a wedding and choosing vendors. Visit Victoria’s Website!

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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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Friday, July 5, 2013

People Walk Faster When They Are Nervous!

Filed under: Disc Jockeys - DJs,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Music is the pulse of the wedding – it sets the pace and shows off the life and personality of the bride and groom. If you want the music at your wedding to flow smoothly… hire a “professional” disc jockey!

“There’s a reason we use the words “professional wedding DJ” and not just “DJ”. There is a huge difference between the occasional wedding DJ (the ‘weekend warrior’ that has given the industry a bad name) and the full-time professional who customizes and personalizes every wedding s/he does.” ~ DJ Ron Michaels, Ron Michaels Weddings

No_ipods!It is never wise to count on your iPod to provide the musical entertainment at your wedding reception. They are a greatest invention since the TV remote, and have revolutionized the way we enjoy music, but they are not the best idea for weddings. They are a lot cheaper than hiring a DJ, but if you want you wedding and reception to be memorable for all the “right” reasons, nix the iPod.

The problem comes when you want to have one song as the Wedding Officiant and the groom walk down the aisle, another for the seating of the mothers, another for the bridal party, etc. To complicate things further, trying to time each song exactly to each walk down, can be a disaster. Believe me, it rarely works out.

People tend to walk faster when they are nervous. That means that the timing is seldom ever exact. You most likely will have to practice more than several times at the rehearsal but when the ceremony begins… well, that’s another story. A well organized wedding rehearsal should not take more than 30 minutes if everyone arrives on time – ready to rehearse.

Don’t try to time the music down to the second if you are bringing your own music. It doesn’t work. Even if you don’t want a DJ, you still need a microphone and someone who will make announcements, such as alerting everyone to when the bride and groom will cut the cake or when the bouquet will be tossed.

Couples may often ask a trusted, sober, articulate, and reliable friend or family member to manage the music transitions during the ceremony. Others may use a laptop to sidestep some of iPod players’ limitations, such as an iPods’ 2 or 3 second pause between songs and are unable to fade down and into the next song. You may have to rent a PA system/sound equipment and your friend will need to learn how to use it before the reception. All of this detail is too much for most amateurs to handle plus if just gives you something more to worry about when you should be focusing all your energy and attention on the moment at hand.

While it’s true that DJs will use an iPod or computer to play the music, it is always connected to other equipment that allows them to careful control how the music is played. They can also pre-program the music in advance based upon your personal selections. A DJ can help make a wedding flow smoothly, emcee the wedding reception, and makes sure that people are out on the dance floor having fun. And… most important, you can’t always count on technology, so it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan. DJs always have a back-up and a plan B if something does go wrong.

A professional DJ can cross-fade the music to make it work or fade in or out when the mothers reach their seats, etc, then fade-in the next song. When the DJ does it, it sounds great. A DJ does a lot more than just push play, and if you don’t plan ahead, you might end up with poor sound, the wrong songs, or technical difficulties!

When iPods first came out I had a wedding where the couple hired a harpist for the ceremony music but relied solely on their iPod for the reception. When they plugged the iPod into the hotel’s sound system… disaster! It didn’t work. All audio connections are not created equal. They failed to test out the hotel’s system and speakers. The result? No music for the introduction of the bride and groom and no music for nearly 50 minutes while someone set a new land speed record rushing home to get a boom-box. Talk about memorable.

Some wedding venues will not allow use of an iPod, because they have seen first hand the disasters that can occur. Using your iPod costs little or nothing if you already have a digital stereo system to plug into or, as is also becoming more common, you have a venue that provides a digital interface for its sound system.

PROdj3NEVER hire a $50 Craigslist Special – a guy who is a “weekend wonder” who downloads music illegally to pad his playlists.

Greg Tutwiler, professional DJ, offers a few things your iPod can’t do, but your DJ will:

• Consult with you about your specific tastes
• Show up in advance with all of the necessary equipment
• Start appropriate music long before you arrive at the reception
• Work closely with other professionals at the reception to coordinate timing
• Anticipate unforeseen events and changes in the format
• Monitor the lyric content for questionable language
• Control the volume for appropriate levels
• Make announcements, introductions, and keep your guests informed
• Read the dance floor and discern when a shift in genre’ is in order
• Take requests and dial up that special song at a moments notice

If the music at your wedding reception is going to be an important component and you’re considering using an iPod – please think again. I personally would never recommend an iPod wedding to anyone if you want your special day to run smoothly.

BONUS Articles: How Much Should Your Wedding DJ Cost?
Do You Need a Wedding Rehearsal?

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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 (96 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 1, 2013

Who Is Driving Your Guests Home From the Reception?

OneWed.com, Guest Author

When you think of memorable moments from your wedding, you don’t want your uncle’s DUI arrest to be one of them! Let your wedding guests relax and party without worrying about who the designated driver is by making sure that you have transportation to get them safely from the reception site to the hotel.

1. If you can afford it, hire a shuttle company to run shuttles to and from the wedding reception at specific hours. For example, if your reception is from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. you might have shuttles leaving the hotel (or ceremony site) at 5:45 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. Then, have shuttles returning to the hotel at 9:00 p.m., 10 p.m., 10:30 p.m., and 11 p.m. Make sure to put information about shuttle times in the guest welcome packages.

InTheScene2. If you have a small guest list, and you trust everyone to be ready on time, you might just hire one bus to drop off and pick up wedding guests at one specific time. It doesn’t have to be a fancy bus or trolley, a school bus can be decorated and can give the event a fun, festive feeling. If you’re renting a limo or town car for your bridal party, make sure to ask the company if they offer other transportation as well. Booking more than one type of vehicle with the same company may save you money.

3. If you can’t find a shuttle company (make sure to check OneWed.com’s transportation vendor listings) that’s in your budget, talk to the hotel. Frequently hotels have an airport shuttle service that isn’t used very often at night. The hotel may be willing to rent the shuttle to you at a discount. Because the hotel has more experience working with transportation needs, they may also have some good leads for you on less expensive services.

4. When looking at contracts for transportation services, make sure to check for things like minimum hour requirements and charges for mileage. Also, make sure to ask about their drivers’ qualifications. Obviously, all drivers should be licensed and insured.

5. If there’s simply no way to work transportation into your wedding budget then make sure to ask your wedding reception site to have taxis waiting at the end of the evening. It’s much easier to convince a tipsy guest to take a taxi if that taxi is ready and waiting.

Arranging transportation for your wedding guests may seem like one more to-do in an already crowded list, but this sort of thoughtful planning will help your guests relax and enjoy their evening.

Larry’s NOTE: The photo above is compliments of In The Scene Limousine‎ (Chauffeured Transportation for all events), Phoenix, AZ. Call Rachel Romero @ 480-966 1226.

OneWedlogoCopyright © 2013 – OneWed.com. OneWed.com is a new breed of digital media, marrying brilliant content with innovative software. Their content is a mix of top wedding bloggers, their editorial team, and their customers. Their software is a planning process and recommendation layer. The result: engagement and trust from an awesome audience and a hybrid SaaS and advertising revenue model. Visit their incredible Website at: http://www.OneWed.com

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Click for Larry’s 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 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
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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