Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Friday, August 30, 2013

Have You Planned Your Marriage… or Just the Wedding?

A wedding is just a day, but a marriage is for everyday. Of course, you must take a lot of time to plan a wedding, but you would be wise to not get so caught up in planning that you need a reality check. Getting married is a significant milestone. It’s the beginning of a partnership that will be challenging and rewarding in equal measure.

WeddingPlansCouples that I have coached before and after the wedding are sometimes surprised at the changes that occur when the two of them make the commitment to stay together forever. If they have not been also committed to personal growth, the kind that opens the door to tremendous opportunities for personal growth and personal development, the surprises keep on coming. Many couples don’t think past the wedding. Some have unrealistic expectations about what the days together will be like after their big day.

Those unfulfilled expectations almost always cause problems. When we don’t get what we expect, we usually get disappointed, frustrated, resentful, angry or worse.

The scenario often goes like this:

1. You live your life…
2. You meet someone and you fall in love
3. You become engaged (everything seems to be perfect)
4. You spend numerous hours planning for the wedding
5. You get married
6. … and everything changes.

The work of the marriage, the work that continues long after the bills for the reception and gown are paid, and long after the honeymoon photos are placed into an album or on a website, must become your highest priority.

It’s different when you are with the one you love everyday. The wedding was only part of your love story. Now you must concern yourself with all the things that some couples I talk with have never imagined. Marriages either get better or worse, they never stay the same. Things are always changing. Then comes the opportunity for personal growth.

• How long do we wait before we begin to want children?
• Separate checking accounts or one?
• Who pays the bills?
• Will you have a budget – and promise to stick to it?
• Will you have a savings plan – and promise to stick to it?
• When we have children, what spiritual path will they take. This can be a difficult choice when the parents are of different faiths.
• Etc., etc…

There are so many things to think about after the big day. What will your future together be like?

If you want to reach the full potential in your marriage, it must be worked on all the time, not only when it’s broken and needs to be fixed. Working together is the key. Having patience with each other.

PlanYourMarriageWhen I have the opportunity to coach couples before the wedding, I urge them to make key decisions before the wedding, not after. One couple after we had a serious talk about all the things that might happen after the wedding, decided to postpone their wedding for six months while they continued to work on the issues that came up during our time together.

That is also another reason for both the bride and groom to work together during the wedding planning stages so that when issues do come up they can mutually come to the conclusions that will satisfy both. When I hear that the groom may have said to his future wife, “It’s whatever you want to do at the wedding, honey… I don’t care” – that raises a red flag for me. Grooms need to know that the marriage begins with the planning of the wedding and they do need to be involved. When you plan things together that becomes a reflection of you as a couple and how you may choose to make decisions once the honeymoon is over.

It’s important for you to know that if you become unhappy with your partner about something, it stands to reason there are things about you that they may be unhappy about. Letting a problem fester only makes it harder to solve down the line. Talk – sooner than later. Communicate without fighting. Remain calm, express your love and tell your partner what’s on your mind in the most loving way you can. You need to work together.

With all the demands that other people and responsibilities make on your time, it’s easy to put your own needs on the back burner. Remember to live your own life, too. Agreement about how you do that is a wise conversation to have before you marry.

Make your partner a high priority. Every marriage is different, but the best marriages all share love, respect and joy. Maintaining a healthy and vibrant relationship isn’t always easy. It’s much easier if you always work together. When you first marry, you are each other’s whole world. That feeling isn’t sustainable forever, but don’t let your partner slip to the bottom of your priority list after kids, job, friends and hobbies. Remind your spouse – often – that they are important to you. Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place.

Always remember, making a healthy marriage work is a shared responsibility! It takes two… working together!

BONUS Articles: The Work of a Successful Marriage Begins After You Say, “I do!”
Romantic Ideas to Make it Valentine’s Day All Year Long!
How To Keep Your Love Alive
Ways to Relight the Flame of Love

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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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Monday, August 26, 2013

Marriage Secrets Of Highly Successful Couples

Filed under: Marriage Tips! — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Larry’s NOTE: As a bride and groom prepares for a life together, it is important to know what really makes a great marriage work. Victor is right on target with some inspiring words for newlyweds.

Victor M. Parachin, Guest Author

Over lunch with a friend one day, Kevin was asked about the “secret of your obviously happy and healthy love relationship.”

enjoyeachotherKevin responded, “I married a wonderful woman and made the commitment to apply myself to the relationship with the same energy that I place into other important areas of my life: school, work, health, friendships. I didn’t want to be casual about the relationship nor take it for granted. My partner has pretty much done the same thing. Consequently, we make a great team. I can’t imagine being without her.”

Highly successful couples like Kevin and his wife know that making the relationship a top priority is vital. They don’t allow it to derail. They know the ingredients that are necessary to keep each other content, happy, healthy and satisfied. To put it simply, philosopher Paul Tillich observed, “Any deep relationship to another human being requires watchfulness and nourishment.”

So listen up: Here are the 10 secrets of highly successful couples:

1. Successful couples enjoy each other. It’s just that simple. They like to be together, talk together, do things together. Former Beatle Ringo Starr has been married to his wife Barbara for more than three decades. He says the “secret” to the couple’s longevity is this: “I’m just blessed that she puts up with me. I love the woman. She loves me. There are less down days than up, and we get on really well. We spend a lot of time together. That’s the deal.

2. Successful couples fight skillfully. “In conflict, be fair and generous,” is wisdom from The Tao. When two people live together, they are bound to have differences of opinion and disagreements. Successful couples fight but do it skillfully; in a way that leaves the relationship stronger, not weaker. One technique they employ is their choice of words. For example, University of California (Berkeley) researchers looked at “connected” couples and discovered that they tend to use plural pronouns (“we”, “us” and “ours”) rather than singular pronouns (“I”, “me” and “mine”). As a result, they were less likely to feel stressed out after the disagreement than couples who used singular pronouns. “Using ‘we language’ during a fight helps couples align themselves on the same team, as opposed to being adversaries,” notes lead author Benjamin Seider.

3. Successful couples seek and offer forgiveness. They may not forgive and forget, but they do forgive and let it go. When they have done something wrong or hurtful, they offer an apology. When they are the wronged party, they accept the gift of an apology. Successful couples travel the pathway toward forgiving, which is outlined by author Clarissa Pinkola Estes, who cites these four stages for arrival at complete forgiveness:

Forgo: Take a break from thinking about the person or event for a while.

Forebear: Abstain from punishing, neither thinking about it nor acting on (the offense) in small or large ways. Give a bit of grace to the situation.

Forget: Refuse to dwell; let go and loosen one’s hold, particularly on memory. To forget is an active — not passive — endeavor.

Forgive: Make a conscious decision to cease to harbor resentment, which includes forgiving a debt and giving up one’s resolve to retaliate.

4. Successful couples are in it for the long haul. “There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either in or you’re out. There’s no such thing as life in between,” says professional basketball coach Pat Riley. Successful couples don’t just make promises to each other; they commit. After a marriage that spans 30 years, a couple named Doris and Jim say, “We are happy together because we have lived out our vows — for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health.” When Doris was in a serious auto accident a few years ago she remembers that “Jim was there all the way. He’s an incredible husband, the most selfless person. He’s the only person in the world I know I can count on.”

5. Successful couples are positive about each other. Marriage researcher John Gottman, Ph.D, says happy couples have relationships “characterized by respect, affection and empathy, and they pay close attention to what’s happening in each other’s lives.” Furthermore, his research reveals that happy and stable couples “made five positive remarks for every one negative remark when they were discussing conflict. In contrast, couples headed for divorce offered less than one positive remark for every single negative remark.”

datenight6. Successful couples learn and grow together. One couple, after being married for 30 years, decided they would both return to university for master’s degrees in liberal arts. “It took us nearly five years. We had a great time being in class together, studying together, reading together. The program allowed us to expand our horizons as we took courses in religion, politics, literature, history, foreign policy. We even persuaded one professor to let us write a paper together: joint authors!” Partners in successful couples play to each other’s strengths and interests. If one partner becomes more health conscious, the other joins. If one partner takes up a new activity, the other partner becomes supportive and involved. The end result is a stronger emotional bond and a deeper love.

7. Successful couples never stop dating. That was one of the “secrets” of a happy relationship uncovered by Matthew Boggs and Jason Miller. The duo traveled over 12,000 miles searching and interviewing people they called “marriage masters” – those married 40 years or more. One common element to many marriage masters was their ability to keep the romance going. Some set aside one evening a week for a date, others planned romantic getaways periodically, while others still met most afternoons for conversation at a coffee or tea shop.

8. Successful couples bring each other joy. In his book, The Real Rules of Life: Balancing Life’s Terms with Your Own, Ken Druck, Ph.D, tells about a workshop he gave to his wife as a birthday gift. “She had a beautiful voice that she rarely used. What better gift than to unleash the joy she already possessed.” In the workshop, participants of every age and background were encouraged to “vanquish the wagging finger of self-condemnation and sing their hearts out.” The workshop high point was a live concert for family and friends. “With the exception of our children’s births, I can never recall my wife as having been so joyful and happy.

9. Successful couples adhere to the 60/40 rule. Boggs and Miller also discovered that “marriage masters” have a high level of selflessness. “Walter” whom they interviewed, told them, “I’ll never forget what my mentor told my wife and me before we got married 42 years ago.” He looked at us and said, “Most people think marriage is 50/50. It’s not. It’s 60/40. You give 60. You take 40. And that goes for both of you.” It was a principle Walter and his wife adhered to faithfully.

10. Successful couples have shared values. When asked about her successful relationship of 58 years, “Emma,” age 87, smiled and proudly said, “It is quite an achievement. It’s important to have the same basic values. In other words, if you’re a free spender, marry someone who understands that. If you’re frugal, you need to marry someone who understands that because money is one of the stumbling blocks in marriage. Fortunately, we had the same values on most things. We usually had the same goals – we believed in education; we wanted to be moral; we wanted to raise children to be good citizens and to be responsible in terms of finances.

Poet Robert Browning put the secret to successful couples in a nutshell when he wrote, “Success in marriage is more than finding the right person: It is being the right person.”

parachin_victorCopyright © 2013 – Victor M. Parachin. Victor M. Parachin is a writer and minister whose work focuses on experiences of grief and loss and a teacher of meditation and yoga. He is also the author of a dozen books, including, “Eastern Wisdom for Western Minds,” “Healing Grief,” (from Chalice Press), “Eleven Modern Mystics and the Secrets of a Happy, Holy Life,” and “Daily Strength for Daily Needs.” Visit Victor’s Website! He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

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

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this 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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Thursday, August 22, 2013

How to Stay Together When One’s a Neat Freak and One’s Messy

Lori & Bob Hollander, Guest Authors

No one warned us 25 years ago that one of our major challenges would be how neat or messy we kept our home. Bob and I have struggled with this issue for years. I was the more meticulous one and Bob was, shall we say, more relaxed about how the house looked.

MessyKitchenWe often argued about who was right. I felt clothes should be put away each day and Bob thought putting them away once a week was enough. I liked the bed made up in the morning. He said, “Why make the bed when you are going to sleep in it again at night?”

When I came home from work I knew exactly what he’d had to eat since there would be a trail of wrappers and cups left wherever he had consumed them. When he came home to me there was no trash left around.

I thought the dishwasher should be emptied every morning so dirty dishes didn’t pile up during the day. Bob didn’t mind putting away the clean dishes at night and then loading the sink full of dirty dishes from that day, or even from the day before. When I cooked I cleaned up as I went along so there wasn’t such a large mess to clean up afterwards. Bob felt it was more efficient to make a full mess and clean it all up after we ate. Our tolerance for mess and clutter was at opposite ends of the spectrum.

We had countless arguments about this like many couples. Here are just a few of the comments you would hear in our home:

“You never clean up after yourself! I can’t stand it anymore. How many times have I asked you to wipe the crumbs off the counter so we don’t get ants?”

“You are so compulsive. Why does everything have to be perfect? It’s always got to be your way. You don’t know how to relax.”

Notice the focus is on justifying our own position and blaming the other for his/hers. One day we finally started to talk about our underlying feelings and dug deeper to find the root of the problem.

unmadebedI realized that when the house wasn’t straightened up, I couldn’t relax. I was very sensitive to and aware of my environment. Bob realized that he didn’t even notice when the house was a mess because it didn’t bother him; he could let things go until he felt ready to do them.

When we started listening to each other’s perspective without making the other one wrong, is when we began to solve the problem. He began to understand how stressful it was for me when things were in disarray and I saw his point of view, that it was ok for the house to look “lived in.” We compromised and worked toward the center. And we appreciated the other: I noticed when he cleaned up for me, and he noticed when I would let things go so we could spend part of the evening together. Now Bob and I joke that in our relationship OCD married ADD.

How does this issue play out in your relationship? Are you miles apart in your tolerance for clutter? Do you compromise on this or is it a chronic conflict?

Next time this issue comes up for you and your partner remember the following:

• Don’t make your partner wrong. Everyone has different views about the degree of cleanliness and clutter in the home.
• Ask your partner to explain his/her feelings about the issue. Listen to each other and respect your partner’s point of view even if you don’t agree with it.
• Work together to come to a compromise.
• Encourage each other by appreciating when your partner does something the way you like it.

BONUS Article: Splitting the Household Chores
Pick Up Your Socks!!!
13 Ways to Get Dad to Help Out More Around the House
Hey, Guys and Gals… What About Housework? Are You Sharing?
For Men Only – More Housework… More Intimacy!

Copyright © 2013 – Lori & Bob Hollander. Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, and Bob Hollander, JD, LCSW-C, are licensed counselors and co-founders of Relationships Work, an innovative therapy practice and online resource center. Together, they encourage couples to consciously co-create their relationships in order to achieve a deeper, more intimate connection. You can visit Relationships Work online at: http://www.RelationshipsWork.com. Follow them on Facebook.

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

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

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this 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, August 18, 2013

No Texting During Your Wedding Ceremony…

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

Smartphones at weddings are both a blessing and a curse. Your guests can use their phones to take photos and videos, capturing moments you might not have seen otherwise. However, some people can get a little too tech-happy, including the bride…

Thought this video might put a smile on your face and remind you to “TURN YOUR CELL PHONE COMPLETELY OFF” before you enter the ceremony area!

BONUS Article: Smartphones at Weddings: Potential Distraction!

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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/
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

One of the Top 25 Videographers in the World!

Filed under: Guest Authors,Wedding Video — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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The guests at this fabulous Destination Wedding at the beautiful The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico were treated to an amazing three-day adventure organized by Tropical Weddings.

GodfatherFilms

The number one company for wedding planning in Puerto Rico created an event that included a Welcome Party in Old San Juan, The World’s Largest Party Bus as listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, Sunset Wedding Overlooking the Ocean, Fire Dancer, Cirque Performances, Illuminated Dance Floor and a Great DJ.

A Concept Film produced in Central Park New York was played for the guests to enjoy along with this Same Day Edit. We have included a couple of shots with the couple in the pool following the all-night party as they “Trash the Dress!

A great example of what an expert videographer (John Goolsby @ GodfatherFilms.com), with a lot of creative imagination and expert video skills can do.

Click here to watch this 8:02 minute video!

Video Copyright © 2013 – John Goolsby/Godfather Films. GodfatherFilms.com has been named One of the Top 25 Videographers in the World. They have filmed in 27 states and 15 countries winning multiple Telly, Creative Excellence and Artistic Achievement Awards for our and Corporate Films. They are Certified Destination Wedding Experts by the Mexico Board of Tourism and have the designation of Master of Electronic Imaging from Professional Photographers of America and have received Honorary Lifetime Memberships from Professional Photographers of California and New York Professional Photographers. Visit their website @ GodfatherFilms.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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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Loving Cup Ceremony

Filed under: Add-on Ceremonies — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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The use of the wine cup or Loving Cup at a wedding is an ancient tradition. By the 15th century it was common for the Celtic people to toast each other with a ceremonial Loving Cup. In Scotland this cup is known as a quaich, which comes from the Celtic word cuach, meaning cup. The Loving Cup ceremony also has its roots in Irish, French and Jewish cultures.

lovingCup2Today there are different versions of the Loving Cup. The traditional quaich is shaped like a 2 handled bowl and often has a inlaid Celtic design. Loving Cups come in many designs, shapes, sizes and colors. Some couples choose use a crystal wine glass and have their names and the date of their wedding etched in glass.

lovingcup3The purpose of the Loving Cup ceremony is for the bride and groom to share their first drink together as wife and husband and to show the coming together of two families.

Special words can be added to include the Bride and Groom’s parents (and friends) as part of this ceremony.

The cup is then passed down from generation to generation, ensuring happiness and good fortune to all who drink from it. This is a special moment for the couple to toast their love, devotion, and friendship and usually comes toward the end of the wedding ceremony.

Click here for my words to the Loving Cup 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, August 6, 2013

Postage Stamps = An Unexpected Wedding Cost

Filed under: $$$ Tips,Gratuities for Vendors,Postage,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Although postage is one of a very small hidden costs of your wedding, if you are on a tight budget, here are a few things to think about.

extrapostageHopefully you have budgeted enough for the most beautiful letterpress invitations with multiple inserts, including the map, reception card, wedding website card, photo cards, but that’s not the only expense a couple will have when considering stationery and invitations. Remember to budget for postage, additional stationery required, etc.

When setting your invitation budget that you need to not only consider the cost of your invitations and save-the-date cards, but the cost of postage, as well as any additional stationery you may need. Using an example budget of $450 for 100 invitations, consider that you’ll need to budget at least $0.92 minimum (if you are in the US) for postage, since you need a stamp for both the outer envelope and the RSVP envelope.

You may also need to include extra postage if you have an oddly shaped, sized or overweight invitation, which happens fairly frequently. Stationers don’t often advertise the shipping costs; if they did, you might decide to go with less expensive invitations.

You may want to skip the fancy boxed invitations and multilayer cards, which can bulk up quickly and cost a lot more than you bargained for. Those invites are gorgeous, but that awkward square shape means you’ll be paying extra postage per invitation. Even if it’s just 92 cents per invitation, that can add up pretty quickly: It’s an additional $99 for 150 invitations. The cost of oversized, awkwardly shaped and bulky invitations will most often run you as much as $2 each to mail.

Another way to save – consider putting an odd-shaped invitation into a standard-size envelope, so you won’t pay extra. Or skip boxed invitations and cards with multiple layers of paper, which can bulk up quickly and cost more than you have in your budget.

If you’re hoarding your Forever stamps, a regular envelope will cost you 46 cents (2 ounces, 66¢, 3 ounces, 86¢, as of August, 2013 rates) to mail. If you want to be really thorough, remember to budget yet another 1st class stamp for thank-you notes.

Hot Tip: Sometimes people forget to write their name on the RSVP card before returning it to you, so spend a few extra minutes numbering the backs and keeping a corresponding list. This will be a big time saver in the long run.

Here is another item that couples often forget to add to their budget:

Gratuities and Tips ~ Just like tax, gratuities and tips are often left out of the initial wedding budget. Your caterer may tack a whopping 25 percent gratuity onto your bill for the privilege of serving their chicken skewers and manning the beef carving station. It’s in the fine print, so be sure you read over your contracts and estimates carefully. According to some industry insiders, it’s customary to also have tips ready for the wedding officiant/minister, band, DJ, photographer, florist, cake delivery, hairdresser, coatroom attendants, limo driver, bartenders and servers.

BONUS Articles: 10 Hidden Wedding Costs
DIY Invitation Tips from a Hindsight Bride
Tipping Your Wedding Vendors is a Common Courtesy
Accuracy of Your Wedding Guest List Helps You Stay On Budget
The Stages of Wedding Planning on a Budget
The Best Use of 10% of Your Budget: Hire a Coordinator!

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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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Friday, August 2, 2013

Create a Romantic Wedding Time Capsule…

For the past several years, after speaking with former brides and groom, I have been suggesting that after their wedding they create a “Wedding Time Capsule.” That would be a lockable box or tin – to help discourage premature peeking – that they store mementos about their wedding day and they keep to open this timeless keepsake on their 5th or future anniversary. The longer the wedding time capsule is left unopened the greater the impact on memories flooding back. It’s meant to preserve special memories and the romance of your wedding day.

Plan ahead when deciding what to place in your time capsule as you need to ensure fragile items are protected. This take a little pre-planning. Set aside any samples or extras you think might have a place in your time capsule. Assign one of your bridesmaids to look for and collect various keepsakes from the wedding and reception. It will be a treasure box of memories.

What to include? Use your imagination! Here are a few ideas that you may want to consider adding to your collection:

WedTimeCap

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• Special photos – include several photos taken when you first met, a photo of your first kiss as husband and wife, etc. Keep the photos in airtight plastic storage bags.
• A thumb-drive with digital photos, etc.
• A video
• Place cards for the bride and groom
• A menu card from your reception
• Your wedding guest book
• A small bad of birdseed, confetti, rice or bubble thingy
• If you asked guest to give you marriage tips, include those
• An invitation
• Flyers or bulletins announcing your wedding reception
• The cork from your champagne bottle
• A CD of music that was featured at the reception
• The music playlist from your DJ or band
• List the most popular song of the day
• A copy of your wedding ceremony or your wedding vows
• A single dried flower from your wedding bouquet
• Ribbons from the bridesmaid’s bouquets
• Write your own love story
• Your horoscopes for the day of your wedding
• Letters to each other about how your love has grown and surprises you have encountered during the time you’ve been together
• The headlines from your local paper or the complete paper from the day of your wedding
• The wrapper of the mint from your honeymoon pillow
• A souvenir from your honeymoon: Plane tickets, Do Not Disturb Sign, Business card from where you stayed, etc.
• Your garter from the reception
• Things you have saved from your engagement
• Any special notes you received attached to your wedding gifts
• Something old, something new, something borrowed (if you can keep it) and something blue
• A save the date card
• A wedding favor
• A sample of the perfume/colonge you each wore, sealed in a baggie
• A trinket from your wedding night
WeddingTimeCapsule• Bachelorette or bachelor party invitations
• Toss in the guest list
• Honeymoon itinerary
• A copy of a special reading during the ceremony
• A copy of your wedding license/certificate
• A love note to each other to be opened at a predetermined date

A note to the bride from the groom and a note from the bride to the groom. This can be a wish or prayer to each other that gets sealed and only opened at a future date. List a favorite memory of your dating & engagement time together. Write about your hopes and dreams for the future, your favorite part of your wedding, etc. Use your wedding stationery, jot down a few ideas or quotes, then sign and date it before sealing the envelope tight.

At the reception, give each guest a piece of paper that reads, “Write a message to Sally and Pete to be read on August 2, 2018, their 5th year wedding anniversary.” Assign someone to collect them after the reception. Don’t read them, put them in your wedding time capsule to be read later.

If you have a rehearsal dinner of bridal shower, you may want to brainstorm some wedding time capsule ideas. This can be a fun activity for you and your bridal party. There is no limit to the wedding time capsule ideas you can come up with. One bride included all her receipts and vendor contracts so she can show her own children how much mom and dad’s wedding cost “back in the good ole days.”

Remember to specify a specific date to open your wedding time capsule and make a note somewhere where you will remember to look. That will be a great time to reflect on the years since your wedding day. Label the date you intend to open it and place it on the outside of the capsule and then put it away somewhere safe to be left and forgotten for many years. The only thing more fun than putting together a wedding time capsule is opening one.

Another idea is to have your videographer put together a Video Time Capsule. This is a video interview of the couple talking about their present life and their favorite things/moments, etc. Click here for an example.

Boxes or tins for your Wedding Time Capsule are available here, here and online.

BONUS Articles: Love Letter & Wine Box Ceremony ~ Another great idea for saving your wedding mementos!
DIY ~ Time Capsule Guest Book

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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.

letsbefriends2

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

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