Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Welcome to Our Unplugged Wedding…

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

Digital media has changed the way we do business, communicate and take photos. With the increasing popularity of modern recording and photographic devices like smartphones, tablets, point and shoot cameras and even consumer DSLRs – more wedding guests are plugging in and snapping away throughout the wedding day! There are photos at every wedding that are ruined by guests with cameras, usually during the processional and recessional whether it’s down an aisle of a church or down a grassy lawn.

UnpluggedWedToo often these digital devices are causing disruptions during the wedding ceremony. OFten the people who sit on the aisle will either stand or lean out into the aisle to take photos. In doing so, they often block the memorable photos that the bride and groom have paid big bucks to get from the professional photographer. A guest watching the wedding through an LCD screen isn’t the same as seeing it with your eyes. You are so concentrated on getting your photos that you miss the romantic experience of the ceremony. Often the shadows from a guest’s flash are bothersome and with several flashes going off at the same time make the photo too bright for the photographer to work with in the editing process.

Professional photographers know all too well that in that split second before the kiss, hands usually dart into the aisle to capture the perfect iPhone picture – leaving the professional to do his or her best to dodge around the amateur devices in order to get the timeless shot. The couple have invited you to celebrate their day, not sit there on your phone.

You may want to post a sign: “Welcome to our unplugged Wedding! We invite you to be fully present with us during our ceremony. Please turn off your cell phone and camera. We promise to share with you the many beautiful photos taken today!”

Ask the Wedding Officiant or Minister to make an announcement before the ceremony begins. Every Officiant is different. For me, I like to lighten things up a bit and as soon as I arrive at the alter, I often will say, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the bride and groom request that you turn your cell phones and cameras (and I pause briefly, and say) “back on” after the ceremony. They ask that you be nice and turn off your device.” Some of the guests will laugh or smile and they usually respect the bride and groom’s wishes.

One of the most surprising things that has happened to me while I was performing a ceremony was the bride who asked me to make the above announcement, however during the ceremony she whipped out an iPhone from her bosom and snapped two selfies. Out of respect for the bride, I decided not to embarrass her by posting the photo. 😉 It seemed a bit incongruent to me, but that’s just me!

DisposableCamerasOne couple asked me to say, “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. I encourage you all to capture how it “feels” with your hearts and without the distraction of technology during the ceremony. Thank you.”

Perhaps a partial solution would be to have disposable cameras on each table at the wedding reception venue. The guests should be asked to leave the cameras on the table or drop them into a box or basket once they are done using them. This ensures that the bride and groom will have every camera which they are able to get developed.

Often the problem with that idea is that the children at the reception will begin snapping photos of everyone and you end up with a lot of photos of the floor or ceiling. If you use this idea, it’s important for the Master of Ceremonies (or Disc Jockey) to make an announcement that the cameras are there for the adults to use during the reception. A fun option would be giving the guests an assignment, such as incorporating their table number card into every picture.

BONUS Articles: Why You Might Want to Consider an Unplugged Wedding
Considering an Unplugged Wedding?
Smartphones at Weddings: Potential Distraction!
The Three P’s of Wedding Photography Shopping
Disposable Cameras for Your Reception

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.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Everything We Think We Know About Marriage and Divorce is Wrong!!

Shaunti Feldhahn, Guest Author

Have you ever quoted the facts about the 50% divorce rate?

Yeah? So have I.

Have you ever lamented the fact that the divorce rate was the same in the church? Or that most marriages are just hanging in there, not vibrant and happy?

NEWMarriageStatsHave you seen or shared the sobering statistic that most second marriages don’t make it? Or talked about marriage being hard?

Perhaps like you, I have said every one of those things – whether just to friends or from the stage at marriage conferences. I felt like I had to exhort people to work hard in their marriages, to get them to realize just how seriously they needed to take their vows. And while that goal is incredibly important, I had no idea that my means of getting there was having the opposite effect.

I ALSO HAD NO IDEA THAT EVERY ONE OF THE STATISTICS I WAS QUOTING – STATISTICS THAT FIT BOTH WITH CONVENTIONAL WISDOM AND WHAT I SAW REPORTED IN THE MEDIA – WERE NOWHERE CLOSE TO TRUE!

Without realizing it, those of us who have shared that information have been, as Andy Stanley put it in the Foreword to my new book, “The Good News About Marriage,” “A small part of a very large problem.” We have been both accepting and adding to a deep sense of cultural discouragement about marriage. A discouragement that instead of motivating people, leeches hope from marriages. A discouragement that, it turns out, is based more on myth than reality.

Indiana Jones and the Divorce Stats of Doom

In 2006 I was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist writing a routine piece about marriage and divorce. I wanted to accurately cite the numbers, but my senior researcher and I were soon really confused by contradictory statistics about what the divorce rate actually was. In the end, a question we originally expected to answer in two minutes, took eight years of investigation to unravel. I felt a bit like Indiana Jones as we waded into the deep jungle of complex statistical projections and feuding demographers in search of great treasure: the truth that surely had to be in there somewhere.

Along the way, we kept unearthing encouraging facts not just about the divorce rate but about marriage overall. Facts we felt urgently needed to come to light, to bring balance to the national conversation and encourage individual marriages! Yes, we also saw plenty of very real concerns. And we quickly found that this field is so complicated, there is often no way to nail down one “right” answer. But we can get a lot closer.

Here are just a few examples of the truths we cover in, “The Good News About Marriage.”

The Good News

Perhaps most surprising, half of all marriages are not ending in divorce. According to the Census Bureau, 72% of those who have ever been married, are still married to their first spouse! And the 28% who aren’t, includes everyone who was married for many years, until a spouse died. No-one knows what the average first-marriage divorce rate actually is, but based on the rate of widowhood and other factors, we can estimate it is probably closer to 20-25%. For all marriages (including second marriages, and so on), it is in the 31-35% range, depending on the study.

Now, expert demographers continue to project that 40-50% of couples will get divorced – but it is important to remember that those are projections. And I’m skeptical because the actual numbers have never come close, and divorce rates continue to drop, not rise! Even among the highest-risk age group – baby boomers—seven in ten are still married to their first spouse. Most of them have had 30 years’ worth of chances to get divorced… and they are still together.

Now any amount of divorce is still too high! But still, knowing that most marriages last a lifetime is good news that urgently needs to be part of our conventional wisdom.

ShauntiFeldhahn

Click cover for info!

Another myth that is begging to be debunked is the notion that “Barna found that the rate of divorce is the same in the church.” Actually the Barna Group found no such thing and George Barna himself told me he would love to correct this misunderstanding. Because he wasn’t studying people “in the church.”

The Barna Group studies were focusing specifically on the divorce rates of those with Christian and non-Christian belief systems and didn’t take worship attendance into account. So I partnered with the Barna Group and we re-ran the numbers: and if the person was in church last week, their divorce rate dropped by 27%. And that is one of the smallest drops found in recent studies: overall, regular church attendance lowers the divorce rate anywhere from 25-50%, depending on the study you look at.

“The implications are enormous”

A few years ago, when I first shared these facts and others at a conference of marriage and family pastors, one ministry leader came up to me with a stunned look on his face. “If this is true,” he said, “the implications are enormous.”

Since then I have heard similar statements from hundreds of pastors, counselors and average men and women. They have felt as though for too long they were – as one put it – “held hostage to bad data that we couldn’t contradict.” And they see the dramatic difference it will make to know the truth… and be able to share it.

Imagine the difference for pastors to know that they can stand on stage and tell their congregations with confidence that going to church matters for your marriage.

Imagine the difference to be able to tell a struggling couple, “Most people get through this, and you can too.”

Imagine equipping the average young person with the ability to counter the cynical statements of his college professors or the “why bother getting married” comments of friends who are living together, with the sold truth that, actually, most marriages last a lifetime. (And are happy! We cover that in “The Good News About Marriage,” too.)

Those of us who work with marriages may secretly wonder whether there is reason for our ministry, if the news about the divorce rate is better than we think. And the answer is a resounding yes. Because I have seen in the research what every marriage counselor knows intimately: divorce isn’t the greatest threat to marriage. Discouragement is.

What marriages need today is hope. And of all people, we in the Body of Christ should be the most ready to offer hope – not just for our spiritual life but for our marriages. And now, we can.

ShauntiCopyright © 2014 – Shaunti Feldhahn. Shaunti Feldhahn is a Harvard-trained social researcher, popular speaker and best-selling author of, “For Women Only, For Men Only” and “The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages,” which have sold more than 2 million copies in 22 languages worldwide. Her research is regularly featured in media as diverse as The New York Times and Focus on the Family, Cosmopolitan Magazine and The Today Show. With The Good News About Marriage, Shaunti is eager to support leaders in moving marriages from discouragement to hope. Get updates at www.GoodNewsMarriage.com.

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

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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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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Awesome Mother-Son Wedding Dance

Filed under: Mother/Son Dance,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: ,

There can be many touching moments at a wedding reception, however, the mother-son dance is one of the most meaningful and poignant times. And… there are few things that put a smile on the faces of the guests like a really great mother-son wedding dance. This is a special moment where a groom pays tribute to his mother with a song and a dance.

MomSonDanceThe Bridal Guide suggests it is not necessary to have the mother/groom dance or any dancing at all. Some wedding receptions eliminate the mother/groom dance for a variety of reasons. Some couples-to-be have complicated family backgrounds; deceased parents, etc. Parents may not approve of the union, which would make the dance awkward.

There could be parents who have divorced and remarried and both the step-parent and the biological parent are important to the couple. For the groom, picking which parent to dance with could cause emotional strife. The bride and groom work out any possible conflict before the wedding day.

Regarding etiquette, there is not one right way to handle awkward situations. It all depends on family dynamics, personal preference and determining what will help the reception run most smoothly.

In the following video the groom and his mother surprise guests (and even the bride!) with a comprehensive dance medley that includes hits like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, The Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache (Jump On It)”, Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” and ‘N Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye.” And props to Mom for pulling this all off in a pair of heels – you go girl!

For about 20 seconds, it was a typical – but emotional – moment between the groom and his mom. But then something happened that made everyone’s jaw hit the floor! You won’t believe this impressive wedding dance. I’m fairly certain in the video below, the groom exceeded the bride’s expectations and the guests as well that helped make your day memorable! Time: 2:29.

BONUS Article: Top 20 Mother-Son Wedding Dance Songs

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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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Is There a Shortage of “Professional/Qualified” Wedding Officiants?

My opinion… Yes!

Note that I said “Professional” wedding officiants. Not someone’s Uncle who got ordained online to do the only wedding he’s ever done – (That’s scarey!) – but a full-time, wedding officiant or minister who has performed lots of wedding ceremonies, can provide references, and who may have won awards for their ceremony or services.

WeddingOfficiantIt is important to understand that your choice in wedding officiants is one of the most critical decisions that you will make during the wedding planning process. The ceremony itself is the central and most special event of the day, and finding the perfect wedding officiate to deliver it is non-negotiable. Choose wisely.

If you are getting married there is one person you cannot do without. That would be the person who will perform your wedding ceremony. Performing a wedding ceremony is a little like any other performance. The officiant is “onstage” doing their performance and their
ability and grace goes a long way to making your wedding a memorable experience. Be sure to pick someone who you feel comfortable with and who is easy to work with. Avoid officiants and ministers who refuse to change the wording of their ceremony, for example, add cultural traditions, etc.

Absolute excellence is expected. Each wedding ceremony is unique and should be treated as such by the person performing it. Usually, wedding officiants are chosen because they either know the bride and groom on a personal level, or they have been recommended to the couple by someone who thinks they are a good fit.

Wedding officiants vary in their attitude, perspective and presentation. Duties during a wedding ceremony vary depending on the type of ceremony and the faith of the minster and couple. Some wedding ministers and civil officiants see officiating as a full-time job, no different than any other line of work. Others see it as a fun on-going learning and enriching opportunity to give loving and exellence to others. Some wedding ministers and civil officiants believe that there is a right and wrong way regarding ceremony and couple in the context of their background, church and religion. Others believe that it’s only about the couple, not them, not their background or even their religion and church, i.e., it’s just a wedding. A professional officiant will we willing to change the wording or exclude religion from the ceremony. Church ministers – perhaps due to their church denomination – may not have that option.

The basic duty of the officiant is to help you plan and write your “ceremony,” not plan your wedding, although there are officiants who may also be familiar with the duties of a wedding consultant. Officiants vary in their handling of “basic” tasks. Most will advise you on anything you need and will help wherever they can in organizing your processional, performing the ceremony and recessional and make suggestions to make sure everything goes smoothly. Here are a few basic tasks which all officiants should provide:

HireAPro• Meet with the bride and groom to determine their wants and needs
• Knowing the license requirement details – witness age limits, etc. Laws vary by state
• Making sure the marriage license is filled out properly
• Complete and file paperwork on time and file the governmental body responsible to record it
• Arrive ahead of schedule and be dressed appropriately for the occasion
• Speak clearly and be well prepared
• Being prepared and easy to understand when performing the wedding ceremony
• Attending the rehearsal (Many ministers and officiants do not attend rehearsals – Larry’s NOTE: I always attend the rehearsal to make sure things to smoothly and to review the highlights of the ceremony so they are fresh in the couple’s minds.)

Not all wedding officiants follow through with the same degree of care. For example, those officiants with experience may also provide the bride and groom with referrals to other wedding vendors they have worked with and who are honest and dependable. They should be willing to incorporate ideas into the ceremony provided by the couple and allow lots of room for variety and innovation. All couples have the right to celebrate their marriage according to their own values.

The officiant performing the wedding can use information obtained from the bride and groom to customize a ceremony that makes the wedding unique and special for the couple. Some add-on ceremonies include breaking the glass, blending of the sand, the rose ceremony, jumping of the broom, and Celtic and Pagan hand-fasting. Your wedding officiant should be knowledgeable of a wide variety of add-on ceremonies that will make the wedding ceremony personalized especially for you.

Professional wedding officiants are given the unique opportunity to elaborate on the love that you share, and the commitment that you are making. Good wedding officiants offer background insight into he meaning behind the traditions being lived out and give a sense of direction to the path that the two of you are choosing to explore together.

BringQuestionsCouples may wish to incorporate their own wedding vows (Personal Promises) into the ceremony. They can read them to each other or the officiant can read them for the bride and groom. Fees for professional wedding officiants vary depending on the officiant’s value they provide and the distance they may have to travel.

An officiant must be available to communicate with the couple in person and via e-mail and telephone to assess their needs and to brainstorm for ceremony ideas and requirements.

When interviewing a wedding officiant:

!. Always schedule a face to face meeting to get to know the wedding officiant.
2. Search reviews and testimonials to help establish their credibility.
3. Ask if they can offer video samples of weddings they have serviced.
4. Be comfortable with him or her. After all, this is your wedding ceremony!
5. Don’t make your decision upon their fee alone. The best wedding officiants usually costs a little more.

BONUS Articles: No Thanks! A Family Friend Will Perform Our Wedding Ceremony
How to Find a Qualified Wedding Officiant
Interviewing a Wedding Officiant? – Bring Lots of Questions!
Get Me to the Rehearsal on Time! – PLUS links to more “Rehearsal” articles!

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, May 9, 2014

Are Wedding Programs Necessary for Guests?

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

Some say, “Yes,” some say, “No.”

If you are on a tight budget, it may be something you may want to cut. Those who are short on time or money may wish to forgo this option, but remember that a simple wedding program doesn’t use much time or money.

WedProgram2“Your first step is to decide its style and your budget. You can choose from a variety of layouts, everything from a tri-fold (i.e., brochure design), a large piece of card stock, or one of many styles offered in stationary catalogues. The type of paper, card stock, print colors, number of colors and quantity will define the price.” ~ Hudson Valley Weddings

A program is fairly easy to create and doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate. It’s similar to a playbill at a theater. Wedding programs can come in various designs, shapes and colors! They are one of those little details that may be small but which add a lot to any wedding. Wedding programs help guests feel included and understand what is happening.

They often introduce the bridal party, post the date, time and place of the wedding, say “thank you” to certain people, honor someone who has died, list the parents and grandparents, the minister or wedding officiant’s name, any special traditions, explain cultural or religious ceremony customs, and list the order of events. Some list the names of your musicians, soloists or readers.

They list what will happen during the ceremony, including processional music, greeting, readings, prayers, exchange of vows, ring ceremony, unity candle ceremony or sand ceremony, pronouncement of marriage, recessional music, and any other ceremony music. You might add any special instructions, “Please remain seated for a group photo,” or “Please join us for the reception immediately following the ceremony.” You can add directions from the ceremony to the reception if different from the ceremony site.

Some programs list a brief explanation of how the bride and groom met, and the proposal story. Recently a bride and groom listed the lyrics to their first dance song and why it was chosen. Some contain a photo of the bride and groom. One couple scattered love quotes throughout the program and another thoughtfully added the couple’s new address. Brides are thinking up creative ways to personalize them and make them very special for their guests’ enjoyment. What you wish to include is entirely up to you.

WedProgramIn Arizona fans that have program information on them are “hot” and serve a duel purpose especially when the temperatures make guests feel a little uncomfortable.

Most place a copy of the program on every seat at the wedding venue, hand them to guests as they file into the ceremony area, designate someone to hand out the programs.

Remember to verify a reasonable time schedule with your printer. Also order a few extras for keepsakes as well as to mail to people who could not attend.

Although not required, programs are a thoughtful gesture and souvenir for your guests. Weddings are often part family reunion and part family introduction, especially for out-of-town guests. Guests tell me they help to keep the entire day more organized and understandable.

BONUS Articles: 15+ Creative Wedding Program Ideas
Wedding Program Examples
Fabulous Guide to Wedding Programs – 25 Creative Ideas
Ceremony Programs

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

Monday, May 5, 2014

Are You a Plus-Size Bride?

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

Chris Obenschain, Guest Author

Let’s be realistic: Most wedding dresses aren’t made with plus-size girls in mind. Sure, there are a lot more options than there used to be, but the cut, length and embellishments of most modern gowns are designed for slimmer figures. Just because society is stuck on small doesn’t mean plus-size brides should have to settle for whatever fits.

Any bride, regardless of size, can find her ideal dress – she just has to know what to look for. To help you find the perfect plus-size gown, we’ll explain how straps and sleeves can be used to gain a slimmer silhouette and why wearing a full-skirted dress may give your body a perfect shape.

plussizeBrideIf you’re a plus-size bride, it’s important to choose a material that flatters your body. Fabrics that are easily ruched (ribbed, creased, folded, pleated or laced) such as silk dupioni, satin and taffeta, look great on fuller frames because they conceal imperfections and disguise heavier areas. Stay away from beaded materials and appliquéd details as they’ll most likely end up enhancing those spots you’d prefer eyes to avoid.

You’ve got curves, so use them! Many plus-size women choose dresses with V-neck or sweetheart necklines that cover the décolleté but still call attention to their figures. Don’t be afraid to show off a little bit more if you’re comfortable doing so, but beware of plunging necklines, as they have a tendency to make you appear top-heavy and rounded.

Strapless gowns may be in vogue, but most plus-size brides should beware this style, which tends to accentuate and widen shoulders and arms. Luckily, most bridal shops can add sleeves or straps to any dress, so you’re not stuck with what’s available on the showroom floor.

Dresses with horizontal lines have a tendency to visually widen the body and thicken the frame, so if you’re at all weight- or size-conscious, you should avoid these designs.

When selecting sleeves or straps, make sure the material doesn’t squeeze or bind your arms, shoulder or back. Avoid sleeves that start puffy and end smooth or fitted, as they have tendency to make arms look bigger. Instead, choose short capped or lacy sleeves, or a light, long-sleeved jacket that can be worn over the dress. If you’re getting married in the fall or winter months, you can opt for a classic bell-sleeved wedding dress.

Perhaps the most important aspect of any plus-size bride’s dress is the skirt. Choose a gown with a full-skirt or an A-line skirt with an empire or a dropped-waist seam that will elongate your midriff and flow away from your hips. This will give your body a curvy, smooth shape that all your female guests will envy.

This is your wedding, your dress and, regardless of your size, you should never have to settle. Salesclerks may try to convince you to select a gown that’s less than flattering because it fits and they have it in stock, but you should hold out until you find something you really want.

Wedding dresses typically run a few sizes smaller than regular clothes, so don’t be horrified if you can’t fit into your normal size.

Take a few friends with you to get some honest feedback and opinions, and don’t be afraid to call ahead and ask what sizes are carried in a store before you make the trek over there. Numerous bridal shops are looking for your business, so don’t give up until you find that perfect dress!

From TheKnot: Wedding Gown: Should I Buy It Before I Lose Weight?

Q. ~ I am trying to lose a lot of weight in time for my wedding (six months from now). The problem is that I feel pressured to get my wedding dress soon (because of the three to four months it takes for one to come in). I don’t want to have to buy a size that fits me now or get a style that would flatter my current shape. I’m embarrassed to even make an appointment at an upscale wedding dress shop (I’ve only gone to discount places where they leave you alone). My family and close friends are out of state, which is why I have to go alone. Help!

A. ~ Your concern and stress are understandable, and you’re right that it does take a while for a custom-made wedding gown to arrive in the store once it’s ordered. So if you want to go that route, you should start thinking about buying a wedding gown as soon as possible (you’ll need time for alterations too). Of course your other option is to wait until a month before the wedding and to buy a gown off the rack at one of those discount stores or at a department store, but then you risk not finding the wedding gown you really want.

To address a larger concern though, making your wedding date the deadline to lose a certain number of pounds may not be the best idea. That just puts extra pressure on you during the already stressful planning period. You shouldn’t stop eating healthfully and exercising. But keep in mind the fact that you’re marrying the man you love, and he loves you for you — not for your weight! Simply decide whether you want a wedding dress that’s going to take a few months to order, or you’re comfortable waiting until the eleventh hour. Then do what you need to do.

BONUS Articles: Wedding Planning as a Plus Sized Bride
Plus Size Brides – You CAN Find a Wonderful Wedding Gown!
Is Trying to Lose Weight forYour Wedding Realistic?

Copyright 2014 – Chris Obenschain. This article was written by Chris Obenschain on HowStuffWorks.com.

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Click for Larry’s Wedding Website!

Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Top 10 Wedding Day Do’s from a Famous Bridal Designer!

Filed under: Wedding Dress,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Vera Wang, Guest Author

1. Comfort is Key: You must love your wedding day look, and feeling comfortable when you walk down the aisle is incredibly important. If you feel comfortable, you’ll radiate confidence, making you the most beautiful blushing bride around!

2. Showcase Your Wedding Style: Determine the style, vibe and theme of your wedding and take into account the wedding venue, season and time of day. Your wedding dress (the volume, silhouette, proportions, detailing, etc.) should mesh with the other elements of your wedding. While choosing a gown that flatters your figure is major, remember that the dress is not only about how it looks on your body. It should help tell the story of your wedding day!

WeddingDayDos3. Think Head-to-Toe: Make sure you see the whole look- the dress, headpiece or veil, bouquet and wedding shoes- prior to saying I Do. I’d even go so far as to include the bridal makeup in the equation. Don’t focus all of your energy and attention on the dress, and make sure your bridal accessories aren’t an afterthought.

4. Understated Bouquet: If you’re crazy about your dress, go easy on the bridal bouquet. Bouquets that are too big, loud, or statement-making will detract from your gown, so less is more when it comes to your bouquet.

5. Long and Short of It: Hem lengths are key! Make sure your gown is long enough to cover your shoes, but short enough so that it floats above in the front. A dress that’s too long in front is treacherous, and a bride tripping down the aisle is even worse. You shouldn’t have to lift the dress in order to float down the white aisle.

6. Bridal Beauty- Be Yourself: Think about your makeup and don’t go too wild. Your wedding is not the time to try out different makeup looks for the first time. Stick to what you know! Personally, I’m not crazy about strong red lipstick with a white wedding dress. But in general, you’ll want to avoid anything that makes you look caked or disguised, and the same goes for your wedding hair. Don’t let your stylist get too elaborate with your hairstyle or accessories. It’s all about editing!

7. Traditional Wedding Heels: I prefer a wedding shoe on the quieter side, style aside. A shoe with a tapered toe box is a lovely choice. I’m not into blinged-out wedding heels since they detract attention from the dress. If you and your fiancé are the same height, a little kitten heel is nice, and if your man is tall, platform heels are perfect.

8. Black, White & Color Wedding Photos: It’s just as important to have black-and-white wedding photography done as it is to have color. I adore black and white photos because they’re chic and timeless.

9. Step Into Your Dress! No matter what silhouette, neckline or level of volume, step into your wedding dress and DO NOT pull it on over your head. I once had a bride get red lipstick on the front of her dress when she pulled it on over her head. During the wedding reception, maintain a safe distance from anyone with colorful cocktails or makeup.

10. Enjoy the Moment: Once the ceremony has ended, don’t rush down the aisle! Savor the moment. Remember that wedding guests spend most of the time looking at your back during the service. You put so much labor and love into the wedding planning so take your time when walking back down the aisle. Let them see (and die over!) your gorgeous dress and the blushing bride!

VeraWangCopyright 2014 by Vera Wang. Vera Ellen Wang is an American fashion designer based in New York City and former figure skater. She is known for her wide range of haute couture bridesmaid gowns and wedding gown collections, as well as for her clientele of elite lady figure skaters, designing dresses for competitions and exhibitions. Visit her (NOTE: At the office? Turn down the volumn!) Website!

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Click for Larry’s Wedding Website!

Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

letsbefriends2

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

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