Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ya Gotta Meet in the Middle!

Filed under: Cooperation,Working together — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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When disagreements come up, you must meet in the middle. One cannot do the work of two. A successful marriage requires both partners to demonstrate that they are on the same team.

Why?

“Commitment. A deal is a deal. Your word is your bond. Commitment is based in integrity. It isn’t compromised based on your mood or emotions. Commitments are kept whether you feel like it or not.” ~ Larry Winget

meetintheMiddleWhen you’re married, you go through a lot of changes in life, buying a house, having kids, staying focused on working together to make everything work. It’s never easy.

When I talk with couple who have been married for a long time, say… 30 or 40 years for more, most tell me that they have become a “well-oiled couple machine.” They let go of things that used to annoy them. They choose their battles and fight fair. They learn to negotiate and compromise. They treat each other with total respect. They honor their word.

They trust that when one of them says they will do something, it will get done. They they are quick to agree to disagree at times. They communicate. instead of complaining. They make each other a priority. When they get irritated with one another, they look at the benefits of working together. They each take time to be alone. Everyone needs alone time.

A waning sex life is a complaint many couples have after years of marriage. Believe me, it doesn’t have to be that way. The truth is that if you have a “real” headache, participating in making love will banish your headache quicker that a Tylenol. If you want the excitement to continue, you must continue to work together to put the excitement in your relationship. Never, I repeat, never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place.

Somethings when one partner doesn’t feel like having fun, they remember that not feeling like it doesn’t have to keep you from joining in the fun and frolic. Almost always the shift that comes from doing it anyway causes attitudes about being complacent to disappear. Working together requires that you have great communication skills. Communication with one another is the key to being able to be with one another.

One of the many areas of marriage in which we should work together as a team is in the area of doing work around the house. Ya really gotta meet in the middle on this one. Where is it written that the woman should do all the housework. Do I hear an “Amen?” Your wife is your partner, not your mother. Don’t expect her to clean up after you and do all the chores. Guys, there is no better way to serve your wife than to understand her needs and do your best to meet them.

If he likes to cook… let him cook. If he doesn’t like to fold the laundry… she can fold the laundry. It could be taking turns changing diapers or one parent watching the children while the other prepares dinner. Doing things together and having mutual, agreed-upon divisions of labor benefits both partners. Split up the things that need to be done and decide who does what.

Smooth routines are made, they don’t magically appear. When you have a deep love for your partner, you must often do things that you would rather not do. Don’t be a whiner. Just do it anyway. If you are meeting in the middle, it will always come back to you. I call it, “turn about is fair play!” Cooperate. Share.

How much fun are you to live with? Couples who love and respect each other do everything they can to be someone their partner will love to be with. You have to meet in the middle for fun too. Not everyone likes the same things. Sometimes it’s best to go along and do something you may not like just to have the time to be together. Smart couples take turns doing that.

Let’s face it. It’s a wonder that men and women ever get along. They are so different. You teach people how to treat you. So… do unto your partner as you would have them do unto you. The longer you are together the easier it is to have a healthy love relationship. You will find peace in your relationship when you meet in the middle.

Love, cooperation, generosity, and mutual respect for each other can make things so much better. You’ll find that in the middle too!

Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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, October 25, 2013

5 Tips for Having a Successful Interfaith Marriage

Filed under: Interfaith Marriage,Religion,Spirituality — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Jacqui Barrie, Guest Author

With the divorce rate in America affecting around half of all marriages, it’s clear that building a successful, long-lasting union isn’t easy. When partners come from two different faiths, the challenges can be even more daunting. With love, respect and a healthy dose of compromise, however, interfaith marriages can be both successful and happy. If you’re in an interfaith marriage or relationship, here are some things to keep in mind:

Let Love Open the Lines of Communication

Cross-ChristianityInterfaith unions are most successful when both spouses remain committed to facing the unique challenges that dual-faith marriages present with honesty and integrity. Although open communication about differences in faith should begin before marriage, it’s never too late to start the conversation.

In “A Non-Judgmental Guide to Interfaith Marriage,” Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben encourages communication by reminding couples that “You won’t stop loving each other if you talk about your religion.” It’s important to remember that love is one human quality that practitioners of every religion value. If you’re nervous about talking to your spouse about faith, that’s OK. Tell him you’re nervous and that you’d like to talk about some serious matters, but you don’t know how or where to start. The more open you are, the better it will go for the both of you.

Learn About Each Other’s Faith

In the book “Interfaith Families: Personal Stories of Jewish-Christian Intermarriage,” Jane Kaplan stresses the importance about learning about your spouse’s religion as a way to develop mutual respect. Asking each other questions is not only a learning experience, but a way to determine the depth of commitment that each partner has to the faith. Bringing the extended family into the conversation may also be helpful, as long as everyone promises beforehand to treat each other with courtesy and respect. As always, open and honest questions are the best way to go.

Offer Education and Choices for Children

Any discussion about having and raising children should include a conversation about religion, particularly as it pertains to education. Couples need to decide how important it is to them that their children be educated in two religions, one faith, or none. Because the decision can influence the schools and childcare facilities that parents choose for their children, couples need to make clear choices early on in the marriage.

Whatever choices you make, it’s critical for the well-being of your children that you and your spouse present a united front. A show of mutual respect is a valuable life lesson that will serve your children well as they grow into adulthood. Answer your child’s questions, encourage him and help him learn how to make his own decisions.

Keep Holiday Traditions

When discussing how involved each spouse wants to be in his or her chosen faith, holiday observances should be included in the conversation. For some people, religious observances are so linked to holidays that celebrating without them is unimaginable. Even people who say that religion isn’t important to them, for example, may still find it difficult to enjoy the holiday season without a Christmas tree or a menorah. Couples may discover that it’s enjoyable to include traditions from both sides of the family. It’s likely that the in-laws will appreciate the inclusion of family traditions as well.

religionCelebrate Your Differences

Author Naomi Schaefer Riley conducted a national survey of couples in interfaith marriages for her book “Til Faith Do Us Part.” While findings from the survey did indicate a higher rate of conflict among interfaith couples — which isn’t surprising given the natural struggles such couples face — Riley also found that “marrying someone of another faith tended to improve one’s view of that faith.” A partner in an interfaith marriage herself, Riley encourages couples to take the challenges of a dual-faith partnership seriously, but also to celebrate the fact that they live in a country where they can marry anyone they wish despite their differences in faith.

When it comes to learning to navigate the pitfalls of an interfaith marriage, there are no hard and fast rules. Couples may feel less pressure and enjoy their marriage more by giving themselves permission to try a different approach if the situation warrants it. There’s nothing wrong with changing course midstream if a better solution shows up on the horizon.

When it comes to a happy marriage, compromise is much more about finding mutual success than it is about one side admitting defeat.

BONUS Article: Religion vs. Spirituality

Copyright © 2013 – Jacqui Barrie. Jacqui Barrie is a freelance writer and a frequent contributor for “http://www.aupairjobs.com/“. She loves writing article on Healthy Relationship, Marriages, Love etc.

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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 Weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding 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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Monday, October 21, 2013

Slow Motion Video Booth – The Best New Trend in Reception Entertainment

Filed under: Photo Booths,Wedding Tips,Wedding Video — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Move over wedding photo booths! There’s a new reception activity in town and it’s awesome! Photo booths at receptions are completely fun. I can’t even count how many strips I’ve saved from weddings and still love to look at, but check out this new take via video production company Super Frog Saves Tokyo, which shot this using a red epic camera.

I have a feeling this will be the next big thing in reception entertainment. Check it out for yourself in the video below and let us know what you think in the comments!

Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Will You Have Out-of-town Guests?

Filed under: Out-of-town Guests,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Make it easy on your long-distance guests. They have come a long way. A “Save the Date” card should be sent out as soon as you have finalized your planning, usually four to six months before the wedding date. Make deals with local hotels or motels. Ask for a special group rate and be sure to communicate it to your relatives and friends.

It doesn’t take much to do a little extra for your out of town guests, and we’re certain they’ll appreciate your extra thoughtfulness.

Welcome2AZDo your part to keep your guests safe. Consider partnering with a hotel with a shuttle service between the wedding reception site and the hotel. Send a card with your invitation offering a special rate at the hotel for your guests with the headline, “Don’t Drink and Drive!” Arrange for the privilege of having your guests hop on a shuttle at half hour intervals for guests that want a “designated driver.”

Include a phone number for hotel reservations of several area hotels and resorts. You may want to include some travel tips for guests. Some out-of-towners will choose to rent cars. Be sure to provide car rental info with your hotel and airline details.

Provide a map in your invitation to help your guests get familiar with the area.

Create a wedding web page for an easily referenced one-stop-shop for guests to check up on everything you have planned. Give them a complete rundown of the events leading up to and following your walk down the aisle. Include key times, locations, who is hosting, what to wear, and so on for each activity. Tell your visitors about any free time they’ll have, and provide suggestions for how to fill it.

Comfort the jet-lagged and travel-weary with a little something left in their hotel rooms. Nothing hits the spot more after a day of airline food or rest-stop take-out then an assortment of yummy treats waiting on the hotel dresser – especially ones your guest won’t be billed for by the item. For guests traveling with children, provide a smaller bag with age-appropriate toys, activity books and kid-friendly snacks along with the grown-up’s goodies.

“Create welcome packets of relevant information (phone numbers of the families of the bride and groom, the names of the other guests staying at the hotel, nearby hot spots to check out) to leave in guests’ rooms with another copy of your wedding itinerary, plus local brochures and sightseeing maps. Enlist the aid of your wedding crew to assemble and distribute all these treats. Finally, add that finishing touch and pen a personal note thanking each guest for coming to celebrate with you.” ~ The Knot

If your wedding is in Arizona, always include bottled water in you welcome packets. It’s important for your guests to be hydrated while they are in the Valley of the Sun (Greater Phoenix area). Find an adorable keepsake to stuff in the bag that is unique to your wedding’s locale. You may want to include a “Recovery Kit” (for hangovers). Give your guests a little love and make sure they’re stocked in aspirin and water. Perhaps even a custom do-not-disturb door hanger is in order. A month before your wedding, ask your local Chamber of Commerce to send brochures of area attractions to your visiting guests so they can plan their activities during their stay.

bubblesLong pauses between the ceremony and reception are generally a bummer to your guest. Schedule the cocktail hour immediately following the wedding ceremony. Arrange to take lots of your wedding photos before the wedding so you can make an appearance at the cocktail hour. Brides and grooms usually miss the cocktail partner because they are off somewhere with the photographer taking photos. Consider a “First Look!”

Some couples have a small appreciation brunch or dinner for traveling guests. Usually held after the wedding, the meal is an additional way for the bride and groom to personally thank these attendees. If a small celebration after the wedding is out of the question, consider inviting them to the rehearsal dinner. This will make your guests feel extra special and welcome.

Although the Minister will be at the wedding, to help you keep track of guests, remember to send him/her a wedding invitation. If you have invited him/her to the reception and you have assigned seating, remember to list his/her name on the table cards.

Let the concierge at their hotel know the details of your wedding; such as where they are registered, the time-line, and where it is being held. This way if guests have questions the hotel staff is prepared with the answers.

Pamper your out-of-town guests. A wedding can cost out of town guests between $500 to $1000 per person when you factor in the airfare, hotel, car rental, activities, food, and lost time at work.

Having lots of out-of-town guests takes a little extra effort. Remember to get your bridal party involved in relieving you of some of things that need to be done.

BONUS Article: A Wedding Map! A Helpful Idea for Your Guests!
Out of Town Guest Bags
Destination Wedding: Arizona…
Getting Married in Arizona? Here’s the Latest Scoop!

Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Wedding Is Just One Day, A Marriage Is For Life – Not Forever!

Filed under: Marriage Tips! — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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When planning a wedding, it is important to bear in mind that although the day is important and has a lot of high points, the day itself should never be bigger than the future you plan to have together!

Your wedding day is a very important day, however many brides and grooms get so wrapped up in the preparations that they remember very little of the ceremony and often are so exhausted that they skip the wedding night festivities.

just-marriedGetting prepared for marriage – a long-time deal – begins with a promise to work together to make your marriage mean something. Some couples rush into marriage for the wrong reasons. They think that love is enough. Sorry to pop your bubble, but love is never enough. It takes much more. Do you have the tools to make it great? If you don’t or know what it takes… you have some work to do BEFORE you tie the knot. Those who are called to the married life should be ready to learn what their vocation means and to acquire the skills needed for a happy marriage. Marriage is not always easy. That’s why you need to take time to prepare for marriage.

If you are getting married you should have every intention of making this arrangement stick for life. With statistics as they are… that means making a commitment to always be working together on your relationship. Marriage is not an agreement, marriage is a commitment. True love demands commitment. Life-changing decisions require a strong intention to do whatever it takes to make it work. A firm foundation is built on many things – mutual interests, shared beliefs, integrity, selflessness, forgiveness, patience, open and honest communication, appreciation, understanding, acceptance, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, and, of course, love. Did I miss anything? Anything less doesn’t usually work.

“Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice.” ~ Fawn Weaver

When you first meet, the hormones are dancing. You are in lust… well, you know what I mean – all candles and sex and witty banter. Despite what guys think, your wife won’t always want to wear that see-through teddy. Falling in love sometimes clouds your thinking. I may be old fashion, but I believe in long engagements. Developing a forever relationship takes time. How long, you ask? Until you are absolutely sure that the one you love doesn’t have any secrets you would regret finding out later. Some couple agree to run a background check on each other. Is your partner maxed out on their credit cards? Take your time getting to know each other. Take as long as it takes… however long that may be. Never rush into marriage.

When you first meet, your partner can do know wrong. However, the longer you are together without marriage, the better you will get to know each other. Be sure you are not getting married because you feel lonely. Marriage is never a cure for loneliness or boredom. It really sucks to be with a lonely person. Usually their self-image is a question they have not yet answered. How are your coping skills?

beachproposalBe together. Often. In different settings doing lot of different things. Living together? I know a lot of couples do it. Not recommended. There is no commitment in living together. There is always a back door from which to escape. You may argue that a marriage license is just a piece of paper, and it is. And it’s a legally binding agreement that is intended to last a lifetime.

“Well, we need to live together to see if we are compatible!” Are you kidding? You don’t really need to live together to know if your are compatible. All I’m saying is, be sure marriage is your next best step. If you must live together before marriage, set a date for your marriage. If it’s meant to be, both partners should be okay with that. If not, that could be a red flag.

“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” ~ Franklin P. Jones

I’ve been a relationship coach since 1995. The sad tales that some couples share with me are very hard to listen to because I’ve heard their story before. They fell in love. Shortly after, they moved in together. There was talk of getting married someday. But it’s been 6 years now and he still hasn’t proposed. Sad to say this happens more often than you would think. If you have any doubts… don’t get married just yet. Some couples opt for a couple of relationship coaching sessions prior to marriage.

Women and men often worry that the role of wife or husband might eat into their own sense of individuality. You have to make gradual adjustments. Be patient. Never rush. If you both really love each other and are “truly ready” to accept the changes and responsibilities that go with marriage… jump in.

Remember that ideally and spiritually both of you are like one soul and two bodies; if you hurt each other, you hurt yourselves as well. You would both be wise to remember the spiritual aspect of your lives.

Marriage is deeply satisfying, incredibly fulfilling and loads of fun. Marriage should be celebrated as the optimistic and glorious thing that it is. Start each day with a warm kiss or a hug and an “I Love you!”

Just make sure you do it for the right reasons.

BONUS Articles: What Your Mother Never Told You About Life After Marriage
What Really Changes When You Get Married

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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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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

When Looking for Wedding Vendors… Is Negotiation a No-No?

Filed under: Negotiation,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Every bride wants to feel as if she is getting a good deal on the products and services that she needs for her wedding day. Let’s face it. You can spend a lot of money on a fancy wedding with lots of extras. Not every wedding vendor is going to be a match for you.

NegotiateThere are so many aspects of a wedding. So many, that they can cloud your thinking and be very confusing. It’s important to know what aspects of your wedding are the most important because, we’re sorry to say, you can’t have it all. The perfect solution is to hire a Wedding Consultant and take advantage of their vast knowledge of the wedding business. They know where the good deals are.

If you don’t hire a Wedding Consultant, be curious. Do your due diligence. Shop around, however there are several things to keep in mind when you are talking price. There are many vendors from which to choose. Please keep in mind that not all vendors – even in the same genre – provide the same services. A vendor who charges $2,000.00 for something is not going to give it to you for $1,000.00, so don’t insult them by asking. Don’t make your first question be, “How much do you charge?” because, like I said, they are all different.

You are wise to ask lots of questions… and listen to the answers… then compare. Never be afraid to ask the tough questions and let them know you are seriously interested in working with them. Do your homework. Professional wedding vendors will more eagerly answer your questions, explain things and spend time with you. Ask for references. If the fee is in your budget and you feel that they are a good fit, hire them. Once you’ve negotiated a price with a vendor and the terms have been accepted, you should be ready to sign an agreement. I might add… don’t wait. The really great vendors keep very busy. A deposit to secure the date will demonstrate your sincere desire to use their services.

If their fee is more than your budget allows, consider making cuts to something else in your budget that you feel is less important to you. You can’t begin to think about negotiating if you’re even slightly unsure of how much you want to spend. You do have a budget, right? Either stick to your wedding budget or you will need to make huge compromises on other important elements of your wedding. Some couples – without budgets – often get their marriage off on the wrong foot by going head-over-heels in debt. Not a good idea.

Don’t make your budget a secret. Discuss it with your vendors. When you make your budget a secret, a vendor may propose something to you that is way out of your price range. This can be aggravating to you and a waste of time for them. A good wedding vendor will give you suggestions on how you can use their services while staying within your budget, or they may simply tell you that the two of you aren’t a good match.

“Aggressive negotiation devalues the offering of the supplier and, ultimately, of the category. If that’s your tactic you know that in the end you will find the supplier that is desperate for work and will lower the price. This means that other suppliers, who may be much more professional but who really can’t lower their prices because they are costing their services as honestly as they can, won’t stand a chance. This is a recipe for disaster and it is what sends many people out of business.” ~ Elisabetta @ Linen and Silk Blog

Treat your vendors nice and you will get the same treatment. Vendors depend heavily on word-of-mouth referrals. Be reasonable. They want your business and if you want their services you are most likely to work better together if you treat each other with respect.

“When it comes to negotiating, you need to remember the old adage; ‘You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.’ Most wedding vendors will go out of their way to work with a sweet, well-mannered bride. Transforming into “Bridezilla” will more than likely get you an extra nuisance fee, or an invitation to hire someone else.” ~ Susan Southerland, President, Just Marry!

More than likely you’ll have some number in your budget that you need to stick to and no matter what the number is – be true to it. When evaluating which vendors to book for your wedding day, you may be tempted to hire a vendor that may be more than your budget allows. If they are way out of your budget, move on.

“If you can’t necessarily afford the vendor, instead of negotiating and asking them to discount their services – “ask if you can make payments.” This may allow you to afford their services if you have to shell out a big chunk of money all at once. See if they will allow you to make smaller payments along the way. A vendor might be more willing to work with you on this so you can afford to book their services as opposed to belittling a vendors experience and services by asking to pay them less. Vendors usually charge what they feel their service is worth.” ~ Erica Bull is owner of Colorado Occasions.

Vendors can sometimes be accommodating when it comes to payment plans. “There are certain contractual things that we can be flexible about – deposits, how much money is paid when, when the final payment should be,” says Chad Michael Peters. “If quarterly payments suit your financial situation better, that’s fine. Ask questions to make it work for you.” Some vendors may even provide discounts to couples who pay with cash.

Negotiate2Be aware that vendors who know what there services are worth will seldom cut their fee. They may not drop the price, but they may throw in extras. They may add something or talk away something that will make it more worthwhile to you. On the other hand, vendors who are much too anxious to give you a large discount are the ones that should raise a red flag. Too anxious could signal a less than professional service. Be careful. Remember, a deal that is “too good to be true,” usually is!

“This isn’t like buying a car,” says Frank J. Andonoplas, MBC, of Frank Event Design, in Chicago. “If you want the price to come down, you have to take something out of the equation.” Of course, by far the most effective way to bring prices down is to put the ball in your vendor’s court. State the ideal amount you want to spend, and let them use their creativity, knowledge, and expertise to make it happen. You’ll have to be flexible, but the good news is that most vendors are willing to accommodate smaller wallets by adding, subtracting, or juggling items in packages.

When dealing with wedding vendors, remember – this is their livelihood. It’s how they pay bills and feed their family, just like you do with the money you make from your work. Put yourself in their shoes before you ask for a discount or something for free. It’s important to maintain a good relationship with your vendors – you want them to be as excited to work with you as you are with them. So be sure that your negotiations are handled as calmly and politely as possible.

Time pressure is a marketing strategy that sales people often employ and a bride and groom can easily fall for this trap. A bride should be on the lookout for such pitfalls. Also, beware of extra charges that wedding vendors might tack on. Get everything in writing.

They say the best always costs more. Most often this is true. When you are listening to what they offer, listen for extras that may make the difference between someone else who offered the same services for less.

If you are only interested in price… then hiring any vendor will do. However, if you want your ceremony and reception to be memorable hire the vendor that best fits what you want for your wedding.

One last thought: For me… I want to be considered for the excellent quality of my work as a Wedding Officiant, not just the fee!

Bonus Article: Interviewing a Wedding Officiant? – Bring Lots of Questions!
How Much Will Your Wedding Cost? + Ways to Save!

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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, October 5, 2013

How About a Mile High Wedding?

What could be more romantic than flying among the clouds and Celebrating Love in hot air balloon? Come on… life should be an adventure!

Your Arizona balloon adventure begins upon arrival at Hot Air Expeditions’ Sonoran desert launch site. You will receive a “pre-flight briefing” where you’ll learn more about the hot air balloon and how it flies, plus other facts you should know to make your Arizona flight as enjoyable as possible.

kissingballoons1Once the balloon is inflated, we will climb slowly for the first several minutes of the flight to give you time to “soak up” the views and get accustomed to the flight. Once we’ve reached our “cruising altitude”, I’ll perform my “romantic,” non-denominational wedding ceremony which usually takes about 20 to 25 minutes. You are encouraged to write some of your own “Personal Promises” to read to each other.

You can safely float along at about 5,500 feet without getting into commercial airline air space. You have an unobstructed 360-degree view and can see for miles. The sensation of ballooning is very gentle and it’s calming effect seems to put the world below into perspective. And… since we are in the Valley of the Sun (the Greater Phoenix area) it’s nice to escape to a temperature that can be as much as 20 to 30 degrees cooler than the sunny desert floor below.

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A “mile-high” wedding toast!

I’ve had some people tell me that they would never go up in a hot air balloon because they are afraid of heights. I can’t get within 10 feet of the short little rock wall that is suppose to protect you from falling into the Grand Canyon, but had no fear exploring the heavens in a hot air balloon. It is truly an exhilarating, fearless, safe, inspiring and “romantic” adventure – to say nothing of it being one of the most FUN things I’ve done!

Sometimes wedding guests will follow the balloon’s chase crew in their own vehicle, so they can be there when the balloon lands and greet the newly married couple.

Often the bride and groom will have two close friends tag along to be witnesses to their ceremony and to sign the marriage license when they land. To save a little on flight fees, sometimes the pilot and one of the ground crew will sub as witnesses.

As a safety precaution is is wise to add string to the ring to prevent the ring from being deep sixed. 😉

HotAir3You should plan to set aside approximately 3 hours for your entire ballooning experience including meeting, pre-launch set-up and inflation of the balloon, flight, landing, pack-up and the ride back home.

The ground crew of Hot Air Expeditions, Phoenix always prepares champagne/sparkling cider for a post-wedding toast and a brief snack is also available upon landing.

After landing, some couples will have a Wedding Reception Brunch at another location with family and friends.

Larry’s intimate hot air balloon weddings are tailored towards couples wishing to have a simple, unique and memorable wedding ceremony. He can arrange for a photographer to capture this romantic moment for you to enjoy with your friends after the wedding.

Renewal of Vows Ceremonies are fun too!

Be a true romantic!! Come fly with me! Up, up, and away!

Hot Air Expeditions Loves Larry James too! – “I don’t ‘partner’ with many people. In twenty years, you and Vincents Restaurant are about the only two people I actively promote. I do so with no hesitations knowing the quality of your service. Larry, I look forward to you coming out with us again soon! And, thank you for making booking weddings in the air easy!” – Margie Long, Hot Air Expeditions, Phoenix – Visit their Website for contact information and more details – then call Larry James to check availability before you book the date.

To read the story and view a few photos of one couple who celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary in a hot air balloon, click here.

Bonus Article: Come Fly With Me – Hot Air Balloon Wedding Inspiration

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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, October 1, 2013

The 9 Myths of Wedding Photography

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

Glenn Hamp, Guest Author

LightRain Images, has photographed hundreds of weddings in Arizona, the United States and around the world and while meeting with couples interested in wedding photography we have heard many myths and misconceptions. We have been able to save our clients a lot of stress and money with our friendly advice. The following are the most common myths we hear:

GreatWedPhotos1. Choose a beautiful venue and your wedding pictures will look good because the venue is pretty ~ While a beautiful venue is important, it is much less important for photographs than many brides realize. An experienced professional photographer can make a couple look breathtaking even in a simple venue. However, an inexperienced wedding photographer will find it difficult to make a couple look good, even in the most attractive surroundings. When planning your wedding budget, consider your expenditures in light of the life-time value of each element. Photographs are the only expenditure that increases in value over the years. You will love your photos and as the years go by you will come to treasure these works of art and proudly pass them down through generations.

2. Put little disposable cameras on every table to capture fun, candid shots of your reception ~ This is usually a very disappointing experience for couples. Disposable cameras take disposable quality pictures – especially being used by amateur partiers who have little interest in capturing quality candid imagery. Our advice is, save your money or spend it on anything else, you’ll be much happier. Professional photographers have high quality lighting and high-resolution cameras for a reason. Additionally, professionals are experienced in capturing fun and candid situations as well as facilitating the fun interaction between you and your guests.

3. Hiring the most expensive photographer guarantees quality ~ While generally speaking, you get what you pay for, there are some photographers who promote themselves as the most expensive, to create snob appeal and create the illusion of being the best available. Although you should plan to spend $3,000-$5,000 for coverage by a great photographer. If a photographer’s starting prices are $6,000+ you might want to look elsewhere.

4. A family member or college friend can take wedding pictures ~ Uncle Bob may have been a photography hobbyist for years or your college friend may have a great new expensive camera she is learning how to use, but take it from many disappointed brides, it takes a large eclectic bundle of skills to be a great professional wedding photographer. We start with formal education in lighting, cinematography and photography, add top of the line digital cameras, lenses and lighting gear, mix in years of experience working in chaotic stressful wedding environments, add a full-time graphics design team to enhance and retouch images and you have professional photography company. Don’t risk it for a “bargain”. These are your wedding pictures and can’t be redone.

5. You can look at a couple of dozen pictures on a photographer’s web site and can tell if they are good and like their style ~ Remember, that every photographer puts their best foot forward and of course the pictures on the web site, especially the first slide show or portfolios will look great. You need to dig deeper and look at many complete weddings and album designs. Look at the quality of imagery in all types of lighting; bright outdoor images, dim indoor lighting, ambient lighting and dark night.

Look at images from a wide range of angles, distances and macro shots. All of the images should be consistently sharp, properly exposed and compelling. If any seem a little off or out of focus, don’t waste your time, remember this is a photographer’s best work, if the best work isn’t great; your images probably won’t be any better and might be worse.

CastleLightRainImages6. Wedding photography seems to cost a lot for just clicking away with an expensive camera ~ There are a lot of hidden costs to wedding photography. Expensive cameras are just the start. Computer and software, education, training and advertising, lenses and lighting, employees, website hosting and electronic storage are just a few items. For every hour on site there are 3-4 hours behind the scenes in post production processing, retouching and organizing your images and that is before an album design takes place.

7. All you need is someone good at Photoshop and you can have great wedding pictures ~ If the original image capture is poor, splashing on contrast or color isn’t going to make your images any better unless you are looking for abstract art. What you really want is a company that captures the finest imagery in the correct lighting focus and exposure and has graphic designers highly trained in retouching and enhancing imagery to create works of art with you and your wedding party featured in the middle of the art.

8. Plan for and choose major vendors before photography ~ On the contrary it makes a lot of sense to start your wedding planning with the end result in mind. Because your photographic imagery is what you will have for the rest of your life and beyond as you pass them down through the generations, it makes sense to look around at who will provides the most dramatic, compelling imagery. Additionally, a professional wedding photographer will have many examples of wedding venues and locations for you to see in various lighting and décor to provide you with ideas to choosing a wedding location, florist and other professionals. Lastly, popular dates with great photographers get booked out a year or more in advance, so you might want to check availability as soon as possible.

9. Tell your photographer what poses and looks you like on the wedding day and direct the photographer to take the images the way you like them ~ This a recipe for disappointment. Brides typically have no idea of the stress and excitement (happy chaos) on the day of the wedding and attempting to remember a shoot list is difficult. Your photographer needs to know in advance the type of photography you like and the combinations of poses and groups of friends and relatives that you want. A good photographer will discuss a shoot list with you and will encourage collaboration well in advance of your wedding. An experienced photographer will know how to direct and pose you in natural looking ways.

BONUS Articles: Smartphones at Weddings: Potential Distraction!
10 Things You Can Do to Avoid a Photographer’s Gripes!
Spit Out Your Gum…

LightRainLOGOCopyright © 2013 – LightRain Images, LLC. Reprinted with permission – This article is adapted from LightRain Images Wedding Photography Website and Wedding Blog. LightRain Images is a Chandler based, Phoenix Wedding Photographer, photographing weddings and portraits worldwide. Contact: www.LightRainImages.com, Phoenix, AZ, 480-699-5731.

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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
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

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