Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Brides: Taking the Name Change Plunge?

Filed under: Name Change Checklist — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , ,

Are you about to take the name change plunge? This is not just a question for the bride-to-be. Modern couples are hyphenating, adjoining their surnames together (keeping the maiden name as a middle name) and even creating entirely new last names. No matter what your choice, here is a reminder list of businesses, government agencies and financial institutions who may want to know about your new name and how to do it.

Your easiest option is to do nothing at all. If you’ve built a name for yourself professionally, you may want to maintain that “brand name.” It may take a while for co-workers, friends and family to get used to your new name. Never be afraid to courteously correct people when they erroneously use your maiden name.

namechangeChanging the Brides last name after marriage is considered the socially acceptable thing to do and most Brides do however, this is always your choice. Some women choose to keep their maiden name for professional reasons, some feel as though by changing their name they’re losing a part of their identity, while for others, the decision relies heavily on family and traditions.

Often couples in many Spanish speaking countries give their children both their father’s last name and their mother’s maiden name to preserve the heritage of both families. When marrying, a woman has the option of keeping all her names and adding her husband’s last name or dropping her mother’s maiden name.

Many brides are curious about what happens to their credit when they change their name. Do they lose their credit history and start over with a new name? Do they need to notify the main credit bureaus of their name-change? No. When you change your name you do not need to notify the three U.S. credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experion. When you update your name with all of your creditors (banks, credit cards, etc.) these bureaus will add your new name to your account and keep your maiden name as well. This way you keep your established credit and build credit with your married name.

When you update your name with all of your creditors (see list below) the bureaus will add your new name to your account and keep your maiden name as well. This way you keep your established credit and build credit with your married name.

NOTE: Some places (including state and U.S. government offices) may require you to show a certified copy – not photocopies – (see Larry’s Note #1 below) of your marriage license before they will legally change your name. You usually get this from the Clerk of the Court where the marriage license was recorded. Certified marriage certificates will have a raised state and/or county seal on them. The seal ensures that the certificate is a legitimate copy of the original marriage certificate. If your document does not have a seal, it will not be accepted as a certified copy.

If you are changing your name you may be concerned that your maiden name is printed on your certified marriage certificate or that you signed the certificate with your maiden signature. Not to worry! As long as your name and your husband’s name are listed on the certificate you can use it as legal proof of marriage for name change purposes. The name you are changing to does not need to be listed on the certified marriage certificate.

Larry James always makes a copy (for his file) of the part of the license that he sends to the Court Clerk just before he places in in the envelope and it is usually sent on the first business day after the wedding. Arizona law requires that it be sent by the Officiant/Minister who performed the wedding ceremony within 10 days.

passport• Social Security card – Begin with this agency because it needs your correct name and ID number for payroll tax withholdings and retirement benefits. A mismatch between your name and Social Security number could trigger a rejection of your tax return. Having your new Social Security card will also help you change your name with financial institutions and other contacts on your list. Click here to download a Social Security form to make a name change. It takes about 10 days or more for IRS records to be updated after the Social Security Administration effects your name change. You are required to show or send a certified copy of your marriage license to Social Security.

• For directions to the North Phoenix Social Security Card Center in the Greater Phoenix area, click here.

• Passport – The State Department does require a certified copy of your marriage license to change your name. More info. Click here for more Passport info.

Larry’s NOTE: Don’t change your name before your honeymoon. Make your honeymoon reservations using your MAIDEN name. Your new name has to match all travel documents, most importantly, your passport and processing name changes on passports generally takes anywhere from four to six weeks.

• Driver’s license – Most state Department of Motor Vehicles (DVDs) require a certified copy of your marriage license to change your name. More info.

Note: Most of the links below are intended especially for someone living in Arizona.

• Car registration and title – More info
• Rental agreement for your house or apartment
• Telephone company – More info
• Water company – More info
• Electric company – More info
• Household security system and alarm company
• Credit cards – More info
• All bank checking and savings accounts – More info. Not all banks require a certified copy of your marriage license.
• Mutual funds, stocks and bonds
• Insurance policies – You may want to change the beneficiary.
• Deeds
• Legal Contracts
• Last will and testament – Don’t have one? Get one! You may want to change the beneficiary to your spouse at the same time.
• Voter Registration – More info
married-on-facebook• Post Office “Change of Name Form” – More info
• Employee ID card
• School ID card
• School Alumni Association
• Sorority or Fraternity organizations
• Library card
• Discount, courtesy, and frequent-flyer cards
• Health club membership
• Video rental card
• Tell the HR department at your place of work so they can start the process of changing your e-mail address and business cards.
• Cellphone company
• Employee Records for your paycheck
• Magazine subscriptions
• Doctor’s offices & Medical Organizations – Medical plan, Dentist, etc.
• Address labels
• Online registrations for eZINES, etc.
• Internal Revenue Service – More info
• Are you a Notary Public? Don’t forget to notify the state or risk losing your commission.

QuickLink to a Sample “Notice of Name Change Letter.”

If you live in Arizona, click here for a summary of additional questions you may have about changing your name.

A search on Google will bring up numerous Websites where you can purchase “Name Change Kits,” however most Brides find that the information and the links listed on this page can accomplish the same thing.

Larry’s Notes: #1 – It is recommended that you also purchased one or more “Certified” copies of the marriage license (about $27.50 each in Arizona) to be sent to you after the license is filed by the Officiant with the Clerk of the Court. Some agencies require it but do no send it back so, ordering several “Certified” copies is recommend. If you order 2 or 3 certified marriage certificates you can begin to file multiple forms simultaneously and not have to wait for one to be returned before you file the next request to change your name. Click here for more info about obtaining your Marriage License in Arizona.

#2 – Do not make your honeymoon reservations in your married name especially if you are leaving within a few days of the wedding. It often takes 4 to 6 weeks or more to receive your “Certified” copies. The passport people will not accept a photo copy.

#3 – If a newlywed husband wants to take his wife’s name, as of today’s date, only eight states – California, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina and New York – will allow him to follow the standard married name-change procedures. Everywhere else, the man would have to undergo a legal name change, which requires petitioning for a court order and running ads in local papers notifying the public of the change, and can cost $100 to $400 total. Same-sex couples may be similarly put upon in states that do not allow or recognize gay marriages or civil unions.

#4 – Another option. Take your spouse’s name legally, but keep your given name professionally. A couple of female editors at Kiplinger’s have followed this route for the best of both worlds – keeping with tradition in their personal lives and maintaining their professional brands.

As with so many legal matters, the rules change by municipality, so check with your local city hall to get specifics.

BONUS Article: Research Reveals How Many Women Give Up Names
‎Changing Your Last Name When You Get Married?

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. 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 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe 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
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, January 25, 2014

Why You Need A Wedding Planner For Your Sanity

Janet Marhover, Guest Author

It’s the big day! You’ve booked Val Vista Lakes (Gilbert, AZ), the best wedding venue in Gilbert, Arizona, and you’re ready to say “I Do.” But, the florist hasn’t arrived yet, some people have shown up who were not invited, the mother-of-the-bride is trying, but failing, at setting up the centerpieces, and all you can think about is how you should have called that wedding planner last year when you had the opportunity to get some professional wedding assistance. Unfortunately, it happens, and it happens quite a lot. The unexpected will occur on your wedding day, and sometimes it’s a bit easier to deal with if you have a professional wedding planner handling everything.

ValVistaLakesYou might be thinking to yourself right now, “I don’t need a wedding planner. We can organize everything and manage everything ourselves, and it will be loads cheaper without one.” Sure, you can organize everything and manage everything up to the day of your Arizona wedding, but when that day arrives and you’re worrying about the small details, you’ll be reconsidering that decision.

Let’s take a moment to really think about this. Every great event, from Broadway shows to the neighborhood carnival, has a planner, a project manager – one person who knows the secrets, the tricks, and the most efficient ways to get it all done. A Gilbert wedding planner is just that – someone who can do it all more efficiently then anyone else. They have the experience, and often times they have the know-how to get you a better deal on many crucial elements of your Gilbert wedding.

Connections: If you have the right Gilbert wedding planner, they have the right connections. They know the vendors who will deliver at a good rate. The Val Vista Lakes website features some of our favorite local vendors, and a wedding planner will take those connections to the next step by getting you awesome services or products for even better prices.

Foresight: An experienced Gilbert wedding planner has this amazing ability to see your wedding, in it’s entirety, before you even have an idea of what it’s going to look like. One of the greatest and most unappreciated gifts and talents that a true wedding planner has is the keen ability to see your wedding, in it’s full glory with theme, colors, flowers, attire, music, and so much more, in complete clarity. This insight gives the wedding planner the facility to incorporate new ideas that you’d like in a way that fits into the overall theme.

Skills: If you understand the business of, well, business, you know that one person cannot do it all. There are experts at certain elements in life, and there are amateurs. A wedding planner not only knows who the experts are in each individual task, a great Gilbert wedding planner will cater to each vendors strengths and avoid their weaknesses. It can be difficult to give up control of your wedding, but if you can find a wedding planner whom you trust, whom you can communicate effectively with and who completely understands you and your partner, it’s best to let them to their job. They are the professionals.

Stress: As the Val Vista Lakes wedding coordinator for many years, I can tell you with 100% honesty – weddings can be stressful for the groom and bride. With juggling family, flowers, vendors, fittings, tastings, invitations, seating, and so much more, the stress can occasionally take away from the excitement of the big day. In some cases, even causing young couples to forget the whole thing and run to Vegas. Wedding planning is stressful, so let the professionals do the stressful stuff while you sti back, relax, and revel in the fact that you are getting married!

Copyright © 2014 – Janet Marhover. Janet is the Wedding and Events Coordinator at Val Vista Lake Events in Gilbert, AZ. Val Vista Lakes Events offers waterfront elegance, sunset draped mountain views, green scenery and distinctly personalized service. They are more than just an Arizona wedding venue; Val Vista Lakes offers a classic ballroom for any occasion, from receptions to baby showers and everything in-between. Larry James is one of Val Vista Lakes’ “Preferred Wedding Vendors.”

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CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to 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 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe 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
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Love in the Hills! ~ 2014 ~ Renew Your Wedding Vows for FREE!

This Valentine’s Day (Friday), February 14, 2014 married couples from all over the United States will be gathering at Fountain Hills Park in Fountain Hills, Arizona (a shade east of the Greater Phoenix area) to help us exceed the Guinness Book of World Records for the most couples Renewing their Marriage Vows as the same time.

This was the scene on Valentine’s Day in 2013!

Hillspic

I will be performing a very “romantic” Renewal of Vows Ceremony for more than 1088 couples in the amphitheater near “The Fountain” of Fountain Hills, Arizona as nearly 2,500 others observe this incredible Celebration of Love Event. At 560 Feet, being one of the “World’s Highest Fountains” it is 5 feet taller than Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Fountain Park is a 64-acre passive recreation area and anchor to the town center.

Sami Fine Jewelry, plus our amazing “Love in the Hills” sponsors, plan to exceed the Guinness Book of World Records! Sami Fine Jewelry will be hosting the second annual “Love in the Hills”, the largest, most romantic and most beautiful vow renewal ceremony in the world!

As of 2012, the “Miami Merger Moment”, held on June 20th 2009, renewed the vows of 1,087 couples. Deemed, the “Queen of Marketing”, Stephenie Bjorkman, owner of Sami Fine Jewelry, claims that Sami’s event, “Love in the Hills”, will exceed that record!

Bjorkman is currently working day and night to assemble her troop of local businesses to help put together this amazing event. We are thrilled that the Town of Fountain Hills has donated the Fountain Hills Park as the ceremony location. The park features over 35 acres of turf, and has been named one of the most beautiful wedding locations in Arizona. “The Fountain Hills park is the perfect location for the vow renewal ceremony. Not only is it beautiful, but the park can easily hold thousands of people”, says Bryan Hughes, Supervisor of Recreation for the Town of Fountain Hills. “Besides, who wouldn’t want to renew their vows with the World Famous Fountain in the background?” exclaims Hughes.

Reminder: You must register to participate and to be eligible for the prizes! Details below.

Sponsors:

LoveintheHillsLogo2014Sami Fine Jewelry was named One of America’s Top 5 Cool Jewelry Stores by Instore Magazine. This second generation jewelry store knows how to pamper their clients with unique jewelry designs, customer service to the max, and fun events. Sami Fine Jewelry offers a wide variety of fine jewelry, that will hit the mark for all of your jewelry needs. Discriminating buyers around the world have sought out original Sami designs to add to their jewelry collection. Known for their customer service, Sami’s “romantic advisers” are always ready to help you find the perfect gift for every occasion. For more information on Sami Fine Jewelry, visit www.SamiFineJewelry.com or call 480-837-8168.

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

Larry James, Award Winning Wedding Officiant, Professional Speaker, Relationship Coach, and author of the book “How to Really Love the One You’re With,” was interviewed by Barbara Walters on ABC TVs “The View,” and will again be the honored Wedding Officiant for the event. Larry has performed wedding and renewal of vows ceremonies for more than 600 couples and has won numerous awards for his ceremonies. “I can’t wait to make this the largest celebration of love in the United States and exceed the Guinness Book of World Records,” say James. He is also President of CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com.

Curtis Whipple ~ Award winning DJ and Entertainer, Curtis Whipple, will provide the music and sound equipment.

Sara Goodnick Photography ~ Sara Goodnick is a portrait photographer for those who love the classic, timeless look. Families, children, and pets are specialties, as well as business portraits for the working professional. Each portrait is planned and designed especially for each client, working together to create personal art for the home. She is a Certified Professional Photographer, Member of the Professional Photographers of America, the Arizona Professional Photographers Association, and a volunteer trip leader with the Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.)

Nick Laessig Photography ~ From landscape, portraits, to commercial and real estate photography, Nick Laessig can do it all. Proudly serving the Fountain Hills area, as well as Scottsdale and Rio Verde.)

Lexington Hotel and Suites/Holiday Inn ~ Award-winning Holiday Inn Hotel and Resort, located in Fountain Hills, with their stunning oversized hotel rooms and breathtaking views of the world-famous Fountain, is offering special rates for Love in the Hills participants as well as dining specials at Fireside Grill inside the hotel. They are just minutes away from the Mayo Clinic, Ft. McDowell Casino, McDowell Mountain Park, Saguaro Lake, and Taliesin West. Other major attractions include the Golf Club at Eagle Mountain, SunRidge Canyon Golf Cours, Desert Canyon Golf Course, and We-Ko-Pa Golf Course.)

Fireside Grill and Bar ~ This hotel restaurant serves a delicious menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Menu items include egg dishes, baked goods,appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, pizza, American grill items and daily specials.)

Plaza Fountainside ~ Plaza Fountainside is a unique retail destination offering ample opportunity to dine, shop and play in the shadow of Fountain Hills’ world famous fountain towering 560 feet overhead. At Plaza Fountainside, you will find great restaurants, unique shopping, and top-tier professional and personal services with unparalleled vistas in a hometown atmosphere. 12645 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

Watch a 17 minute video of the 2013 “Love in the Hills” Event:

Event Timeline:
4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Couples check in at registration tent
5 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. – Winner of prize baskets announced, plus giveaways!
5:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. – Vow renewal ceremony with Larry James begins
4 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Enjoy your visit to Fountain Hills! Holiday Inn and Fireside Grill will have special rates and offers, and Plaza Fountainside is nearby with dining, ambiance and breathtaking views!

No matter where you live… you are invited. In 2013 we had people as far away as Holland and from all over the U.S. (Alaska, Florida, Connecticut, Ohio, and many more), not just Arizona! There are hotels nearby. Fountain Hills, AZ is a shade east of Phoenix.

LoveintheHillsMAP2

Gather all your married friends together for a Valentine’s Day event you will always remember… and renew your wedding vows for FREE! Major hotels are nearby. Everyone – married or not – is invited to come and be a part of the gigantic event. Make your reservations TODAY! There will be specials from local restaurants so you can take your sweetheart to dinner after the event. No special papers to bring, just be there and invite all your friends. Register at: http://www.LoveintheHills.com

Send your friends a link to this Blog: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/love-in-the-hills-2014/

Special request: Please help us get the word out to married couples all over the U.S. by passing the link to this blog post to your friends! We look forward to seeing you on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2014.

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. 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 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe 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
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Friday, January 17, 2014

17 Questions to Ask Your Caterer

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

The Knot, Guest Author

You’ll spend more money on wedding food than any other aspect of your reception, so you’ll want to work with a top-notch professional. When making appointments to interview wedding caterers, try to schedule a tasting of their wares at a later point. Don’t forget to ask them the questions below, and choosing a caterer will be as easy as pie – just make sure your taste buds have a say in the matter too.

1. Does the caterer specialize in certain types of food or service? (They should provide you with sample menus to review.) Find a wedding caterer who can make a memorable meal.

Catering2. Can the caterer arrange for a tasting of the specific foods you’re interested in prior to hiring? (They should.) Schedule a tasting if you get a good vibe.

3. What is the caterer’s average price range? Are costs itemized depending on the foods you choose, or is there an all-inclusive flat rate? What would that include (linens, tax, and gratuity)? Does the caterer have printed price sheets for food selections? Make sure there’s room in your wedding budget.

4. How involved is the caterer in a typical reception – does she work like a wedding coordinator or banquet manager, cueing the band, telling the couple when to cut the cake, adjusting the schedule if guests don’t seem ready to sit down to dinner? (You will need to find someone to fill this role – if your site manager or caterer isn’t going to do this, think about hiring a wedding coordinator.)

5. Will the caterer provide tables, chairs, plates, table linens, silverware, salt-and-pepper shakers, and more? Ask to see these items to make sure they’re acceptable. Do you have to rent tables, place settings, or other equipment? Or will they arrange for the rentals? If not, find wedding rentals in your area.

6. Who is the main contact? Will the same person you work with when planning also oversee meal service on the day of the wedding? (You want this to be the case.)

7. Will the caterer work any other weddings on the same weekend, the same day, or at the same time as yours? (You want to be sure they will devote sufficient attention to you.) You may want to pass on a smaller outfit who indicates they have another job or two scheduled for that day.

8. Does the caterer handle all table settings? Will they put out place cards and favors?

9. Will the caterer provide wait staff? How many would they recommend for the size of your wedding? What will the waitstaff wear? (Top caterers say they always use their own serving personnel, even if the site’s staff is available, because they understand the caterer’s way of doing business.)

10. Will the caterer be willing to include a recipe you provide, like a special family dish, or an appetizer with some sort of sentimental significance? Can they prepare vegetarian, kosher, kids, or halal meals for just a few of your guests?

11. Where will the food be prepared? Are there on-site facilities, or do you, the caterer, and the site manager need to make additional arrangements? If the caterer must bring in his own equipment, is there an additional fee?

12. Does the caterer work with fresh (not frozen) food?

13. Does the caterer have a license? (This means her business has met health department standards and has liability insurance — make sure this includes a liquor license if you’re having a bar.)

14. Can the caterer provide alcohol? Or can you handle the bar separately? If you can provide it, is there a corkage fee? How and when will you get the alcohol to the caterer? If the caterer will provide it, do they have an flexible wine list, and can you make special requests? How is this list priced?

15. How will the caterer arrange the food on the buffet table or on plates? Can you see photos of previous work displays?

16. Can you speak to previous clients? (Get at least two references that had a similar number of guests and a similar menu style.)

17. Does the caterer also do wedding cakes? Can you use an outside baker if you desire? Is there a cake-cutting fee?

Copyright © 2014 – The Knot.

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to Wedding Website!

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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 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe 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
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Monday, January 13, 2014

Considering an Unplugged Wedding?

Welcome to the era of the over-documented wedding, where, even if you’ve hired someone to take photos, every guest has a camera and an iPhone and is tweeting the whole event. Not cool. Especially when you’ve paid big bucks to hire a professional photographer and the photos they deliver to you after the wedding had numerous guest with their iPads and smart phones held in the air and they are staring at the tiny screens. Photography fail. “Be nice, turn off your device!”

If you want your wedding guests to be fully present at your wedding consider an unplugged wedding!

unplugged

Click to Download a full color, printable PDF (without the URL)
Compliments of the Offbeat Bride!

“Don’t like the idea of guests attached to their phones throughout the ceremony and reception? Opt for an unplugged wedding. Provide a phone check at the door (similar to a coat check), or add a note to your wedding website or ceremony program asking guests to refrain from taking photos or video. You can word it nicely – something like: ‘We want you to truly enjoy the ceremony and reception, so we ask that you please refrain from taking photos or video today and just have fun. You are welcome to take as many photos as you want at the reception.'” ~ The Knot

Many couples have been heard to say, “I’d rather guests simply watch and clap and smile and cry — and really listen and remember, not from the photos they downloaded onto their computers or Instagram, but from their own individual memories.”

I’ve had numerous weddings where some of the guests were downright rude. They lean out into the aisle when the bride walks down the aisle with her father and the photographer is seen trying to shoot their photos around the madding crowd. If it doesn’t bother the couple, then it’s not a problem. However, to most, it does.

Most photographers will provide a link to where guests can view their photos and choose to purchase their favorites. Speak with your wedding photographer to ensure you can make a small set of photos (perhaps just five photos) available digitally to guests within a couple days of the wedding. The link can be posted on your Facebook page.

When I interview a couple, I bring up this issue and ask if they would like for me to make a brief – slightly humorous – announcement at the beginning the the ceremony. Most say, “Yes.” Often when the request comes from the Wedding Officiant, guests will take note and respect the couple’s wishes. My experience is that an announcement from the Wedding Officiant along with a brief note on the program and a sign on a chalk board as guests enter the ceremony area works best.

unplugged2

Have a couple of girls carry signs as they walk in!

Minister: “Ladies and Gentlemen, the bride and groom request that you turn your cell phones, iPads, cameras and other digital distractions (pause) back on after the wedding. The professional photographer will capture how this moment ‘looks.’ They encourage you all to capture how it ‘feels’ with your hearts and without the distraction of technology during the ceremony. Thank you.”

Sometimes not everyone listens. I recently had a guest walk behind me and begin taking photos of the Sand Ceremony during the wedding ceremony. The bride and groom had me make the above announcement at the beginning of the ceremony, so I turned and politely asked the guest to please be seated, which he did. I’m sure it was an embarrassing moment for him, however, I don’t work for him. I work for the bride and groom.

Another humorous version: “Ladies and gentlemen, prior to Sally and Pete’s wedding take-off, all seat backs and tray tables must be in their upright and locked positions, all bags properly stowed, and they request that all portable electronic devices turned off and stowed. This includes cell phones, iPads and cameras. Thank you on behalf of the bride and groom.”

The Offbeat Bride Website suggests that you could include a short note in your programs:

“We want you to be able to relax and have fun with us today! This in mind, we invite you to put down all your favorite devices and just be present in the moment with us. Please leave your camera in your bag (we’ve got photography covered!), and put your cell phone on mute (we promise they’ll call back!). We’re happy to share our professional wedding photos later (on Facebook, etc), but the greatest gift you can give us today is just being fully here with us in this sacred and special moment.”

Note for Guests: A wedding ceremony is a brief and intimate moment shared between people who have been brought together as witnesses to the beginning of the couple’s marriage… please don’t mess it up for the bride and groom!

Just a thought: It is no more rude or tacky to ask your guests to turn off all electronic devices than to have “guest photographers” compromise your professional photos from your photographer!

So… what’s your take on this issue? Please comment below.

BONUS Article: I’ve Had Enough with Wedding Guests Taking Pictures with Phones
Photographer Posts Epic Rant
10 Hot Wedding Trends for 2014!
Unplugged Wedding (Pinterest)
Smartphones at Weddings: Potential Distraction!

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. 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 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe 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
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bride Films Walk Down the Aisle With Google Glass

Filed under: Wedding Video — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

We found one adventurous bride who was willing to be the first to wear Google Glass on her Wedding day. The result is the first wedding to be filmed via Google Glass and wearable technology, a brides-eye view of her wedding day. Jessica Kuan and Steven Soong were married August 24th, 2013.

The video seamlessly captures Jessica’s perspective from behind the veil as part of a project for a Tumblr called OkGlassIDo.com, which seeks to document the way technology is increasingly involved in traditions and relationships.

Wedding Video Credits:

The Couple: Jessice Kuan and Steven Soong
Wedding Videographers: Rawflax
Song: Change and Aska Say Yes (Played live by a friend of the bride)
Producers: Vandrico Inc & Jess Sloss
Editor: Aperiso Media

BONUS Article: Smartphones at Weddings: Potential Distraction!

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2014 – OkGlassIDo.com.

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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 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe 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
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Let Them Eat… PIE!

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

Modern brides love to have it their way… they often break the rules so they can celebrate their love for each other in their very own way. Some like to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing or expecting to have their wedding be a new and exciting adventure for the guests. This makes their wedding a true reflection of who they are; a little bit edgy, a little bit trendy and a whole lot of different. They want their personalities to shine through. They want to get wed their way! They want a wedding and reception that the guests will be texting about for weeks to come.

Today it seems to be “Out with the old rules… let’s be different and create some new and exciting ideas.”

EatPIEHere’s one: When it comes to wedding desserts at the reception, some are deciding to ditch the traditional cake-cutting ceremony and are offering a wide selection of pies. It’s a growing trend. Even the pickiest eater is bound to favor at least a few flavors of pies with their ooey-gooey fillings and flaky crusts. Plus… pies are less expensive.

A recent blog post by Pie&Ltd. reports that in the 17th century, the Bride’s Pie was in fact very common. The fillings that they served then are not what we would expect to find in a pie today. They were savory pies made with sweetbreads, mincemeat or mutton.

A pie buffet isn’t just a fun, all-American wedding cake alternative, it can also be budget friendly. If you’ve got great pie bakers in your circle of friends and family, ask each one to contribute a different home-baked treat. (Caveat: Check with your wedding venue. Some venues do not allow any homemade food from an unlicensed kitchen to be served due to local health dept laws). With pies, you can store them days in advance in the freezer, and then defrost and bake for the Big Day. If that’s not an option, outsource the job to a stellar bakery specializing in pie.

WEDpieThe choices are endless: peach, blueberry, cherry, key lime, strawberry-rhubarb, pecan, coconut creme, lemon, and apple and more. Dress up a basic pie stand with a scalloped “skirt” and a grosgrain bow to add style to your sweets table. Miniature pies can be arranged in a “tower of pies.” A fun cake alternative is to put a miniature (six-to-ten person) wedding pie on every table. Your guests can serve themselves instead of waiting around to be served individually from a four-tiered wedding cake.

Another option is to pass around platters of miniature-sized desserts in different flavors with ornamental cut-outs shaped like hearts. You’ve probably seen and tasted cake-pops… why not have your baker make pie-pops? Punch up your mason jar presentation – this long-running trend shows no sign of slowing down – with deliciously flaky shapes of pie.

Tie the pies in with the color choices of your wedding:: red (cherry), orange (pumpkin), yellow (apple), green (Key lime pie), blue (blueberry) and purple (which they suspect will involve mulberries). In order to make the colors visible, ask the baker to create a latticework crust so the fillings show through.

Other options: Donuts. These fried treats are about to surpass cupcakes as the trendiest handheld wedding dessert. Cupcakes, pies and doughnuts are also popular substitutions for the traditional multitiered wedding cake, as well as sundae bars; cookie and candy stations; and cupcakes or pie in a jar – in which the dessert is baked inside an actual jar. You don’t have to be of Italian heritage to appreciate the flavor of cannoli – another option. One of my recent weddings featured a Hostess Twinkie tower.

For those edgy brides and grooms that often push a bit of cake in their partner’s face… now they have an option of a pie-in-the-face!

On second thought… “Don’t do that!” 😉

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. 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 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe 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
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Rules of Engagement. . .

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

He popped the question. You said yes. Yippee! You are now engaged! A marriage proposal is exciting, but it’s also serious. You’ve just agreed to commit to one another — for forever. You’ve offered each other your hearts… now what?

offermyheartAfter you decide to get married it can seem intimidating and scary knowing you have to plan a wedding, and you probably don’t know where to begin. Here are a few suggestions that may help:

First a quick note: I have numbered the first 7 to-dos which I believe are the most important and added a few other suggestions.

1. Tell your family and friends ~ Most brides and grooms cannot wait to share the exciting news with their family and friends. Most consider it an engagement no-no to not pick up the phone and call your family members and friends. All of them. No one likes to be the last to know – and getting the news via mass e-mail, Twitter update or Facebook is especially in bad taste.

2. Size your ring and get it insured ~ Once the engagement rings goes on your finger, you won’t be able to stop staring at your hand. Nothing can replace the sentimental value of your ring, but if something happens to it, at least you can get your (or his) money back. If you have home owner’s or renter’s insurance, call to add the ring to your policy. You may need an official appraisal before you can officially add the ring, so call the insurance broker to see what paperwork is required.

3. Pick a tentative date ~ You will need to talk about a time frame for your wedding date, even if you don’t choose an exact date right away. The first thing people will want to know is: “When’s the wedding?” Set a tentative date so you can keep your family and friends in the loop. You can always make it permanent after you have the venue, the wedding officiant, etc.

4. Hire a full-time Wedding Consultant ~ Can’t afford a Wedding Consultant? Think again! Are you an expert in negotiating with bakers, caterers, etc., for the best prices, finding the ideal venue, organizing party favors and all the other details you haven’t even thought of yet? They can help you set a budget and offer suggestions of where to cut if someone you really want to hire is more than your budget allows. They can help you stay on track with your budget, allocate funds correctly, and steer you in the right direction so you won’t have to waste money on having to learn things the hard way when it comes to vendors, deposits, favors, catering, etc. I truly believe that – in the long run – you will actually save money because they know the ends-and-outs of the wedding business and they can get you started in the right direction.

5. Choose a wedding venue ~ You will need to coordinate choosing the venue with creating your guest list (#6). A firm count is not needed to look at venues, however one of the first questions the venue will ask is how many guest you’ll be hosting. You can usually check the venue’s Website for guest limits.

5. Book your Wedding Officiant/Minister ~ I’ve been an award winning, wedding officiant since 2002. My experience has been that most couples wait until the last minute to choose the person who makes the pronouncement of marriage! In all 50 states you must have a judge, justice of the piece or an ordained minister or wedding officiant perform your wedding ceremony. I have yet to understand why this is last on the bride and groom’s list of things-to-do. It doesn’t make sense. Over the years so many couples have called at the last minute – two or three months in advance – to book me only to find that I am already booked. Don’t wait to book the person who will be most responsible for the most important part of your wedding… the wedding ceremony! Many times, 3 months is not enough time. The good ones are the most active (a full-time Wedding Officiant is best) and often book their weddings anywhere from 6 months to 1 1/2 years in advance.

6. Start your wedding savings account ~ Weddings can cost thousands of dollars. It is never good to start your marriage with several credit cards charged to the max. Today many couples are responsible for the cost of their weddings. If you are on your own this is a great idea. Deposit a set amount every paycheck that’ll go toward wedding-related expenses only. Another idea is to start a Honeymoon Bridal Gift Registry.

7. Create A Guest List ~ Because your wedding’s size determines where you’ll hold the reception, how much it will cost (prices usually rise by guest) and whether travel will be involved, creating a guest list is one of the first and most important things to do. It will help with planning your budget. So make your list; your fiancé and both families should do the same. Remember: Send save-the-date cards to your guest list.

Caution: Don’t be blindsided by your partner’s debt. If you or your partner are knee deep in credit card debt, you need to talk about it “before” you tie the knot. Waiting until after marriage and then finding out that your partner has $45,000 in credit card debt could be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Other things to consider:

Create a wedding blog. WordPress.com is a good place to begin. You can always spice it up later with wedding details, hotel advice, maps, quizzes, daily thoughts and whatever other wedding whimsies you want to share.

Make your OWN wedding plans ~ Have it YOUR way! Do what YOU want to do. Listen for ideas from the ones who love your, however be sure to stand up for what you want your wedding to be. This is not your mother’s wedding… it’s your wedding so you get to do whatever you want to do.

Choose your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen carefully ~ Remember, the earlier you ask them, the sooner you can enlist their help. Keep in mind that your wedding party is agreeing to spend their hard-earned money and donate their precious time — be considerate and kind by informing everyone about all your plans, showing them a good time, and making sure they know how much you appreciate them. Be clear to them about their responsibilities and if anyone is not 100% on board with your ideas, choose someone else, especially the Maid/Matron of Honor. I know, that’s harsh, but this is YOUR wedding and your attendants must support you 100%!

Be considerate of your long distance travelers ~ Securing blocks of hotel rooms is a must, or at least providing a list of hotels that are close to the wedding venue.

Start a Journal ~ Let the ideas, dreams, schemes and pie-in-the-sky plans flow to paper. This will be a time of ten thousand moments you won’t want to forget, as well as some frustrating times that you’ll need to vent about, and not necessarily to your partner. The journal you keep while planning your wedding will not only help you through this time, but it will be something you cherish for the rest of your life.

There are many other things you should be aware of when you begin planning your wedding. The Article Index on this Wedding Blog lists hundreds of wedding topics from which you can choose. Please seriously review #4 if you want the best bang for your bucks! Call me if you need referrals. I belong to the Association of Bridal Consultants and can guide you to some of the very best Wedding Consultants in the Greater Phoenix area. Call my Cell anytime up until 9 p.m. MST. 480-205-3694.

BONUS Articles: The Best Use of 10% of Your Budget: Hire a Coordinator!
Beware of “Cheap” Wedding Vendors!
Do’s and Don’ts for a Stress-Free Wedding
Making Your Guest List Budget-Friendly!
Just Got Engaged? Follow These Steps!

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. 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 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe 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
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

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