Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Top 10 Wedding Guest Complaints

Stefania Sainato, Guest Author

Your wedding is about you and your fiancé getting married and sharing your love and commitment with those around you. However, I personally feel that my guests’ enjoyment is paramount to that experience. That’s why it’s important to me to thank them for their support and ensure that I do everything in my power to make sure they have a fabulous time. With that in mind, here are the most common gripes I’ve heard throughout the years (and how to pre-empt them).

1. An inconvenient date. ~ Think it over before asking guests to forfeit spending Christmas or the Super Bowl with their loved ones to celebrate with you. Hosting during a holiday may disrupt traditions they’d prefer not to miss, and in the case of a sporting event, you may find that guests are MIA because they’re sneaking off to catch the score or watch it on a nearby TV.

GuestComplaintsHow to deal: If you’re considering wedding at a potentially sticky time of year, check in with your closest loved ones to see if they already have set plans or would be open to attending. Some events may be easier to pull off than others. In some cases, like Halloween, there is no other option if you’re planning on throwing a full-out themed bash, so just shrug off the complainers!

Also, guests may be more inclined to consider attending if they knew about the date for months in advance, so the sooner you send out that save-the-date, the better. It’s also a good idea to check your local events calendar to ensure your big day doesn’t compete with a parade or other large-scale community event.

2. Invitation confusion. ~ There is nothing more frustrating than when a guest assumes they’re receiving a plus-one you had no intention of inviting (we meet again, random bar hookup #22). This can happen even if you address the wedding invitations using proper etiquette.

How to deal: Don’t dodge the question—it will only make things more awkward. I’d recommend addressing the miscommunication kindly. Please don’t tell someone who thought their children could come that you “can’t have them there because weddings with kids are tacky” (true story). Avoid confusion by writing the names of the guests you want to invite on the response card and having them check off a “will attend” or “will not attend” box.

3. Seating snafus. ~ After the victory of compiling (and finalizing) your guest list comes the challenge of seating arrangements. It’s part art, part science: Who will combust next to whom or become fast friends?

How to deal: If your guests’ elbows touch and they can’t easily move in between tables, you’ve probably crammed too many of them in one spot. Also keep centerpieces at a conversation-friendly height (no one wants to stare into an orchid all night). If you’re having a hard time divvying a group of friends or family members equally, try to seat guests within the same vicinity so that they can lean over and “awww” together during the first dance instead of texting across the room.

4. Pulling out the wallet. ~ How much do guests dislike cash bars? Just watch wedding planner David Tutera’s reaction when we asked him about them and see for yourself.

How to deal: All the pros are in agreement that cash bars are a major no-no. You’d never ask a guest to pay for a drink in your own home, so why should the wedding be any different? However, that doesn’t mean you have to fork over the cash for an open bar if you can’t afford it. Tutera recommends serving a limited selection of wine, beer and champagne or a couple of signature drinks.

5. Climate crisis. ~ Every frequent wedding-goer has experienced an event that was either scorching or freezing cold. Subjecting guests to extreme weather conditions will severely cramp their style.

Larry’s Note: Avoid complaint #5 when you have your wedding in Arizona by reading: Getting Married in Arizona? Here’s the Latest Scoop!

How to deal: You can’t help it if a weather emergency happens on your wedding day. However, there are small, fun measures you can take to ensure that guests are comfortable, beyond the obvious (plenty of shade and heat). Some ideas I love: double-duty fans that serve as programs for summer weddings and gifting your bridesmaids a shawl or faux fur wrap for winter weddings.

6. Inedible food (or lack thereof). ~ When I was no older than eight or nine, I went to a family party that I’ll never forget. But it wasn’t the bride’s poufy princess dress or the heartfelt recitation of vows that I remember most. It was the McDonald’s my cousin Vinny and I were allowed to eat afterwards, gleefully dipping fries into ketchup in the back of the car (because the food at the reception was so terrible).

How to deal: No bride wants to give her guests a stomachache—arrange for a food tasting before you carefully plan your menu. Not even spectacular décor can compensate for rubbery chicken or blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shrimp. Ask about food allergies or dietary requirements ahead of time. It’s also important to make sure they don’t run out of food at the cocktail hour. If you’re only having dessert or some light nibbles, that’s fine, but please mention it to your guests (especially if you’re having the party during mealtime).

7. Never-ending toasts or photo montages. ~ I wanted to sink into the floor at one wedding I attended where the Best Man’s speech was so long-winded that the chorus of “boos” was deafening. Add a couple of glasses of champagne to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

How to deal: Let the toastees know in advance that you don’t want them to stress about writing a novel of a speech, so the cheat sheet version will do just fine. Your DJ can signal a musical cue if it’s time to wrap things up, just like the Oscars. If you’re the one giving the toast, follow these easy speech pointers.

8. DJ, please stop the music. ~ I’ve heard complaints about weddings where the thump-thumping of techno music began the second that the couple walked through the door and didn’t end until the cake-cutting. (Grandma was afraid to step foot on the dance floor, lest she get clocked in the head by a stray fist pump.) At another wedding, the music was so loud that my mom escaped to the bathroom to rest her pounding head, only to find a group of other guests camped out there for the same reason.

How to deal: During your cocktail hour and dinner, play music that’s low enough so that guests can hear each other without having to scream. Pump up the volume when it’s appropriate, and don’t seat any elderly guests right next to the speakers. Conversely, nothing is more awkward than being at a wedding where no one wants to get up and dance. If a song or genre just isn’t working, ask your band or DJ to switch gears. Have fun with it: Once guests see your best Gangnam-style impression, they’ll want to join in, too.

9. Disorganization to the max. ~ I once attended a wedding where the cocktail hour became two-and-a-half hours long because the bride and groom wanted more photos in the moonlight. Imagine the look on guests’ faces when we finally sat down to our seats and waited another hour and a half before dinner was served.

How to deal: If you’re unable to hold the ceremony and reception within two hours of each other (guilty as charged), make other accomodations for your guests. For example, my reception site has a waiting area where drinks and light refreshments will be served for early birds. If your reception/ceremony space is sprawled out, consider using sign posts to direct guests to necessary landmarks, like the dance floor and bathroom.

10. Ungracious hosts. ~ “We only saw the bride when she walked down the aisle!” or “It’s been a year and I still haven’t received a thank-you card!”

How to deal: Sound familiar? You don’t have to hold up the wedding by having a receiving line. I love it when brides go from table to table to thank each person. It doesn’t have to take long—even just a quick “hi and bye” makes me feel happy and appreciated.

No matter how tempting it is to scrap the thank-you cards (who has the hand stamina for that?) guests will notice if you don’t send one. Split the duties with your husband and break it up into manageable chunks so that it doesn’t seem so overwhelming anymore.

What other complaints would you add to our list?

BONUS Articles: Include Creative Photos in Your “Thank You” Notes!

STEFANIASAINATOCopyright © 2014 – Stefania Sainato. Stefania is a Brooklyn-based writer pursuing a Masters in Publishing at Pace University. In addition to Celebrations.com, she has also written for Bene, Stuff, CosmoGIRL!, Bridal Guide and Good Housekeeping. She helps people circumnavigate the crazy world of wedding-planning, whether it’s dashing for diamonds in a scavenger hunt, painstakingly gluing rhinestones onto our engagement invitations to add some texture, or road-tripping it across the Tri-State area until we find the one special venue where we can see ourselves taking our first dance. We’ll share all of our financial experiences along the way, including booking vendors and tackling DIY projects together. This article was first published in the Bridal Guide.

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CelebrateIntimateWeddings

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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.

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

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

More About Wedding Favors

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

Wedding favors are mementos or gifts given by newlyweds for their guests after the wedding or at the reception.

It is known that the history of giving wedding favors started with couples in the old European upper class, who would offer items to their guests as a token of their gratitude. The bonbonniere, as it was called, was their expression of gratitude to their friends, relatives and acquaintances for having been present to witness their blessed union. These keepsakes used to come in expensive boxes – tiny chests made of porcelain and other pricey materials — and contained costly sweets (sugar lumps) or confections. It was a display of great wealth, and rich guests deserved nothing less.

sunglassfavorsThe tradition had eventually passed on among commoners who accepted the idea, but rather than such pricey giveaways, they made do with a unique wedding favor that went within their modest means.

Somewhere along the line of the wedding favors’ history, almonds became the preference of the majority. The 13th century saw the rise of the sugar-coated kind, called confetti, and it was supposed to signify the bitter-sweet union that is marriage. The almonds were offered in odd numbers (commonly in 3s or 5s) to make them difficult to divide, and each nut carried with it a specific meaning, like health, happiness, or wealth.

Nowadays, offering wedding favors to guests is still being done. In fact, it has become an expected part of the reception, and the wedding feast seems to be incomplete without it. However, the tradition had since evolved from sugar and candy-coated almonds to other more diverse and unique concepts .

When it comes to picking unique wedding favors, a couple is limited only by their imagination and budget. But even budget limitations can be overcome with a little creativity and a lot of effort. And effort can be minimized by intensive research and excellent planning.

Wedding planners, wedding sites, and other experts all agree that the selection of gift should coincide with the theme chosen for the event. It can be a unique wedding favor, or a traditional one presented in a unique package. Depending on the couple’s budget, it can be costly or inexpensive – but it should certainly be unique and well-thought of. Customized with the couple’s names, the date of the event, the venue, and a small thank you note would serve as a great finishing touch.

There are a lot of concepts to choose from, and this Blog and the Internet are the best places to a look.

BONUS Articles: 550 Wedding Favor Ideas
Do Me a (Wedding) “Favor”… or Not!
M&M® Candies as Wedding Favors
Instead of Buying Wedding Favors – Try This…

Copyright © 2014 – www.Your-Budget-Wedding.com/

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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.

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

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Watering the Tree Ceremony

Filed under: Add-on Ceremonies,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

The tree planting ceremony can be used to symbolize the joining together of two individuals or the joining of two families.

On a table behind the Wedding Officiant/Minister you would have a potted tree or sapling, something perhaps with special meaning to the couple or taken from a special place. You would also have two small buckets of dirt, two gardening trowels as well as a small watering can placed on the table. Planting a tree – even a small sapling – can be messy so most couples prefer to have the tree already planted and at the appropriate time use two small watering cans to only water the tree.

WateringTheTreeAfter the ceremony, the couple plants the tree in at their home or a special location to symbolize the putting down of roots, longevity and strengths in their marriage.

Watering the Tree Ceremony

Wedding Officiant: _Bride_ and _Groom_ will now take part in a Watering the Tree Ceremony, to symbolize the roots of their relationship, and the continued growth of their love, as they become each others family today. It will symbolically represent the growth of their love for one another. Please follow me to the table behind me.

Love is the essence of human experience and emotion. It is the root of all and everything we, as humans, do. Love enriches our experience, and fills our lives with meaning. It gives us a firm base from which to grow, to learn, and to change. Your Love must weather the challenges of daily life and the passage of time.

Just like the tree they have planted, marriage requires constant nurturing and nourishment. As they provide the sun, soil, and water for this tree, they will provide the encouragement, trust, and love needed on a daily basis to consciously nurture and nourish their connection to each other.

Wedding Officiant: Let your relationship and your love for each other be like this tree you have planted today. Let it grow tall and strong. Let it stand tall during the winds and rains and storms, and come through the desert sun unscathed. Like a tree, your marriage must be resilient.

Wedding Officiant: Let us now provide some water for the tree.

Wedding Officiant: Remember to nourish each other, with words of encouragement, trust, and love. This is needed on a daily basis so you each can grow and reach your fullest potential – just like this tree. The Bride and Groom will plant this tree in their backyard to always be a symbol of their love for each other.

(Optional) Prayer for the Watering the Tree Ceremony

Wedding Officiant: Dear God, we stand before you in awe as we witness the miracle of your creation – this young tree. Unique and original, just like the bride and groom and unlike anything that ever was before or will be. Each began with a single seed, concealing a complex potential that miraculously unfolds with each passing day. We pray that the roots of this tree will gain hold and spread deep, drawing nourishment from the fertile earth.

We pray that the trunk of this tree will grow healthy and strong, withstanding the forces of nature and to be able to support its canopy of branches and leaves. So may this couple possess a healthy body and a strong moral spirit, holding steadfast to their own integrity and understanding of the tempests and temptations that could weaken them. They will watch these branches bud and blossom, giving shade and beauty for all to enjoy. Help them to nourish and nurture this tree so that they may both mature and prosper, fulfilling to the greatest extent possible the potential for which God placed them on earth. And so it is. And so it is. Amen.

BONUS Article: Watering the Tree Ceremony

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
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Friday, February 14, 2014

Don’t Give Up Your Friends Once You Marry!

Filed under: Relationship Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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It’s important to maintain friendships. I once knew a woman who after getting married stopped seeing all her single friends she cherished before marriage because she thought it was more important to be dedicated to her husband. Little by little her friends gave up on her.

That was a very bad choice. Ten years later, she was divorced. It took her 5 or 6 years to make some new friends. She was lonely and everyone she used to know had moved or had moved on with their lives.

CoupleWITHfriendsHappy people don’t focus on a single passion or relationship.

They usually have multiple hobbies, belong to multiple clubs and organizations and socialize with a broad range of different friends and acquaintances. This diversification of interests reduces the risk that their happiness will suffer a catastrophic lost… e.g., should a divorce occur.

Her dedication to her husband was admirable, however when she stopped seeing her friends she lost touch with part of the past that – up to the point of her wedding – had played a very important part in her life. After divorce she felt lost.

On the other hand, things do change when you get married. Some of your single friends will sometimes feel out of place and may drop away. Other so-called friends who perhaps were not the best people to be hanging out with; those who may have been a not-so-good example of a true friend and may want you to do some of the things you did while single may not be a good influence upon your marriage. If you continue to hang with them – I have known instances where they have caused major upsets in your relationship with your partner.

You may want to cut out all those wild and crazy nights out with the girls or the guys! Stumbling home after a night out at 2:30 in the morning should be in the past, unless it’s with each other. 😉

They must be your friend, perhaps your best friend – as well as be active in all the other roles a spouse plays in marriage. You would be wise to have other friends as well. The lives you were living before you met were an important part of what made each of you who you were. To suddenly drop all your friends is a mistake.

Some couples go so far as to completely give up everything they previously found fulfilling and important in order to spend time together. The problem with this is, over time as you became closer, you became more and more dependent on each other to meet your individual needs.

As you give up those things you find fulfilling and important for the sake of the relationship, this places a tremendous burden on your spouse to fill the void of whatever you gave up. And this burden will create neediness and dependency, as well as resentment and boredom.

Every marriage needs space between the spouses. No one can grow in the shade. When your partner focuses solely on you, you run the risk of becoming dependent upon each other and experiencing a monotonous coexistence. Not good. It is within this space that you find energy, passion, eroticism, quiet time, and personal fulfillment. Close friendships outside of the marriage are equally important.

One caution… Don’t share your marital woes with your friends. They are only getting one side of the story and they may talk you into something – a separation or divorce – that would have a devastating effect upon your relationship with your partner. Going over all the details of the issue with your friends is more likely to pump up your distress, make you feel angrier and even betrayed – not better. You and your partner must learn to talk about anything and everything, all the time. If you have issues you cannot reach agreement on, call a relationship coach.

Continue trying new activities, joining new groups and building additional friendships even if you already have things and people you know that make you happy. Always be true to yourself. Your friend hasn’t changed because you’ve gotten married – you have. Keep that friend. You’ll need someone to go shopping with. Or even to do all those things that your husband won’t do, e.g., get facials, pedicures, etc. You can’t have a girls spa day without your girlfriends. They’ve been with you through thick and thin. They will always rally behind you whenever you need it. Maybe you can’t hang out as much since you are married, but true friends are hard to come by so you don’t want to give up any.

The same goes for husbands!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry 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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Monday, February 10, 2014

How To Deal With Wedding Guests Who Don’t RSVP On Time

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

Anna Post, Guest Author

RSVP

“Necessary? No. But I think you’ve answered your own question: You don’t want surprises. Unfortunately, some people do just show up, thinking it isn’t a big deal, when in fact it can cause a huge amount of stress, distraction and annoyance on a day when those are the last things you want to experience.

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WedEtiquette

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So that means you need to make some phone calls. There’s a good plan of attack for this, but first, a word on fairness. This isn’t fair – you have put a lot of effort and expense into planning a wedding. The least a guest can do is acknowledge your desire to include them with a yes or no (there’s even a convenient little form with check boxes! And a self-addressed, stamped envelope!)

If this is the position you find yourself in, you might want to take a moment and think about the big picture: There’s a reason you invited this person in the first place, and presumably you still want them to share in your Big Day. Letting annoyance drip from your voice when you call – even though they are in the wrong – won’t do much good.

After you’ve squared away any frustration, start making calls about a week before you need to give your numbers to the caterer and/or venue. (Note: It’s smart to set the RSVP date a week or two prior to this deadline.) This is a great time to enlist any offers of help from close friends, family and members of the wedding party to help you make calls. Remember that this is not required duty – it’s a favor.

When you call, start by giving your errant guest the benefit of the doubt: ‘I wanted to be sure you received our invitation. I need to give final numbers to my caterer on Friday, and wanted to know if you’ll be able to attend. We hope you can! Thanks.’ If you are worried this won’t cover it, you can always add, “I won’t be able to change the numbers after this.”

There’s no need for lengthy explanations – ‘numbers to the caterer’ in a wedding setting is about as clear as it gets. And, if someone does roll in on the wedding day who never replied, save any lecture on inconvenience for a later date. Delegate someone else to alert the caterers and squeeze them in – and hopefully it won’t be at the kids’ table.”

Larry’s NOTE: Some brides assign the task of calling guests to the maid of honor or someone in the bridal party. However, most say it’s more effective when the bride calls.

BONUS Articles: Received Few RSVPs for Your Wedding?
Répondez s’il vous plaît! – RSVP

Copyright © 2014 – Anna Post. Anna Post is the great-great-granddaughter of etiquette guru Emily Post and author of Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette

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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

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Playing House = Shacking Up!

According to the National Marriage Project, about 60% of young adults in America say they plan to live together before marriage. Most women ages 30 or younger said they’ve lived with a partner outside of marriage – known as cohabiting – at some point in their lives, according to a new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

People with more education and financial resources are more likely to view cohabiting as a “stepping stone” to marriage, while those with less education and fewer resources see cohabiting as an alternative to marriage, said Susan Brown, a professor of sociology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

shackingupIn generations past, couples met, fell in love, got married and began building a life together. Times are a-changing.

“Never live together [before marriage] to ‘test it out.’ There are plenty of weekends that you can spend together to tell you if you should live together and to give you that feeling. You don’t need the full move-in, lock, stock and barrel and then give the milk away for free. Have you paid attention to Jessica Biel and JT? Hello!” ~ Patti Stanger of Millionaire Matchmaker

Is living together before marriage a good idea? I know… couples do it. I did it once and I would not do it again and – if asked – I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m not saying there aren’t people who move in together, get engaged soon after, get married and live happily ever after, but it seems a mutually good experience is not the common outcome for cohabitating couples.

Probably one of the worst lies couples tell themselves when shacking up is that it is to save money. Get a room mate and charge them rent. Save that money… then get married. For some couples, they think it makes sense to live together so they can determine if their relationship will last before making the commitment of marriage. However, by far the worst reason to move in with your main squeeze is to test out whether or not he/she is really marriage material. Saying, “We’re going to see if we’re compatible!” is a superficial thing to say.

There is no true commitment in living together. There is always a back door. “If it doesn’t work out, I’ll leave.” Really? Going into a relationship with the attitude that you can always leave if it doesn’t work out could end in disaster. When you are together, in a flash you can vanished from your partner’s life, leaving no trace. It gets more complicate when there are children involved. You home is a school. What are you teaching your children?

Some research suggests that children of cohabiting couples don’t fare as well in terms of their health and education than children of married couples. But increasingly, research shows that these disparities are due to unstable relationships and financial struggles that occur in among some cohabiters, rather than cohabiting per se, says Corinne Reczek, an assistant professor in the department of sociology at the University of Cincinnati.

It’s possible that if you feel the need to “test” the relationship, you may already know in your heart of hearts that it’s not meant to be. A “test drive” should be “dating” not cohabitating. Moving in with your partner is not the “next level.” You might think that with more couples road-testing their cohabitation compatibility that divorce rates would fall? Numerous researchers are finding that couples who live together have a higher rate of divorce than couples who don’t cohabit before marrying. And prior to the divorce, these couples have lower rates of marital satisfaction.

“If you’re still claiming to be test-driving your marriage years after moving in together then you’re kidding yourself. Someone in that relationship is being led like a clueless horse with a carrot dangling in front of it, biding their time until they realize it’s being wasted.” ~ Alissa Henry

You aren’t engaged… but are hoping it’s a step toward a proposal. Believe me living together before marriage does not always guarantee an engagement ring in the near future. In fact, it typically has the opposite effect. And those couples that do go on to get married have a higher divorce rate than those who didn’t live together before marriage. Living together often sends the message that marriage isn’t important to you.

It’s important to step back and objectively consider whether this person you are about to move in with is truly the best match for you, the situation is ripe for sliding into marriage by default, rather than getting married as an active, conscious choice that you’re genuinely thrilled about. And when he doesn’t propose… what then?

shackingup2Here, let me translate the term “shacking up” to you in “man-speak” ~ “I like you well enough, but not quite well enough to marry. Not yet. In fact, I’m not really sure how I feel about you. I do know that I like you well enough to have sex with and for you to wash my stained underwear and pay half the bills, but not quite well enough to fully commit to you in marriage.” ~ Katrina Fernandez

Cohabitation just makes things messier, more drawn out. Who stays and who moves out? Who keeps what furniture? Since you were splitting bills before, how is that going to be handled now? There are many things to be considered when there is a break-up.

When married you can always get a divorce. So, in truth, that’s another back door. However, couples who love each other and are committed to one another and want to stay together can always get relationship coaching. That is recommended.

Research suggests some young couples live apart – in lieu of living together – because they don’t want to sacrifice their independence, while those who are older have accumulated too many possessions to fit in one property. I know several couples who live apart and prefer it that way. This especially applies to those who have got together later in life, when each person is more likely to be set in their ways and less willing to adapt. When you don’t live together you can always kiss when you’re reunited and you have lots of stored up news. You don’t take each other for granted. You dress up for each other rather than slumming around in shorts and a t-shirt.

I cherish my independence. Independence is fun, especially when there’s a beloved waiting in the wings, and freedom makes you a more interesting person. Having separate lives brings fresh air into a relationship. Believe me, you will know whether to proceed by tying the knot. Be sure. It’s good for couples to learn how to handle arguments over things like finances and cleanliness around the house before getting married. You can do that without shacking up. Managing the money part of living together can be a challenge. Does he or she have major credit card debt? Better to know this before living together and certainly before marriage.

Regardless of what your belief about this matter is right now. it’s important to have a serious talk with your partner about moving in together. Make sure you’re both on the same page as to what the step means for your relationship.

So to wrap it up… “Women want weddings too much, men not enough. Women embrace the intimacy; men fear the responsibility. Maybe if we switched those two, women would understand why men sometimes agree to moving in as a way to put off what they think is inevitable, and men would understand why a woman would settle for a major step closer to a cherished event in her life.” ~ John DeVore

You can just as easily craft a convincing pro pre-marriage cohabitation argument. A couple of the articles below will present their side.

BONUS Article: 5 (Secular) Reasons Not to Live Together Before Marriage
Cohabitation – Divorce Link? I Don’t Think So ~ Another opinion. (Fair and balanced?) 😉
Should You Be Shacking Up?
Is He the One? 6 Questions to Ask Yourself

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

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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.

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Advice to Young Married Couples

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

WittyWordsmith, Guest Author

Many things change in a marriage over time, especially if a couple decides to marry young. Divorce is common, and a reason behind those “irreconcilable differences” could simply be the fact that one or both spouses feel that those changes aren’t reversible. Isn’t that to be expected, though?

MarriageAdviceEvery year brings different situations that can drastically alter someone’s world view and desires. These alterations usually happen slowly, and may even go unnoticed at first.

It’s no secret that marriage takes work, and lots of it. Saying that those who marry young are unwise isn’t true for people that are willing to work hard at growing old together. What is unwise is when a couple tries to morph into the same person over time, as is often seen.

In an effort to start their marriage together, the two people try to adapt themselves to each other by blending all they can of their lives. It is vital that each person takes on hobbies and interests totally independent of the other, as not to lose themselves along the way. Doing this without growing apart is simple, but definitely not easy.

The most important thing to remember is to keep your spouse plugged in. Share experiences with them and let them have a part in it, even if it’s just to observe. Not only does this keep good conversation and communication alive in the young marriage, but it lets the other person enjoy the experience in their own way.

If a particular hobby happens to bore the spouse it might be more difficult, but they should still be included in new developments or creations. Even when there is no true interest in the activity itself, couples can still discuss their crafts and share in the excitement. One may love cars as the other loves reading; while neither personally enjoys the other activity, there is still positive exchange taking place.

This sort of communication does several things for a marriage. First, it tells your spouse that you still find them interesting and want to be a part of who they are becoming. Next, it helps each person learn to listen better and appreciate the other’s desires and see what excites them.

Last, but not least, the sharing of experiences helps strengthen the connection to the way your spouse is growing and changing. Five to ten years from now, nobody is looking back and saying, “Who are you again? And why am I supposed to love you?” This is known to happen frequently when a couple marries young and feels they have grown too far apart over time.

Remember that people stay true to themselves at the core, even over time. Of course, there are instances where drugs, mental issues, and physical trauma may alter a personality, and in these situations there are no absolutes. In most circumstances, it takes a lot to make someone’s values and opinions change. Even when it seems like there is nothing in common between two people anymore, the basics of who they are will remain intact.

It is vital for you to communicate, often and always; even if it feels like a chore at times. Let your other half know what makes you tick and why you love the things that make you who you are. Give them a chance to appreciate it and you. It’s important that this part of your marriage gets checked on frequently, or else it gets harder and harder to recapture. Don’t let who you are becoming turn into a mystery, or there won’t be any mystery to why it didn’t work.

WittyWWordsmith

Copyright © 2014 – WittyWordsmith. “Listen to your voice, the one that tells you to taste past the tip of your tongue, leap and the net will appear.” These beautiful lyrics by Jason Mraz pretty well characterize my passion for love and life. As an avid reader and searching writer, my interests are relationships, literature, animals (dogs in particular), travel, and the coffee industry. Life is hard, yet beautiful and real. I spend my time with my husband of nearly 7 years, my 3 dogs, and my loving family and friends. http://WittyWordsmith.hubpages.com/hub/advice-on-marrying-young

ljspacer

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

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