Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping

You’ve decided on your wedding style, but now you’re having trouble finding the perfect gown. Follow these basic shopping tips to make sure the most important dress you’ll ever wear reflects your personal style.

Expect minor alterations. Even the most expensive designer wedding gowns might need a few adjustments. If you buy your gown well in advance, you may need to alter the dress again a couple of weeks prior to the wedding.

WEDdressshoppingAlways hang your wedding gown by loops inside the gown that are connected to sturdy side seams. NEVER hang your gown by fragile shoulder seams that can stretch or sag.

Always choose a specialist who will personally process your bridal gown. Never leave your gown with someone who sends your bridal gown away to be cleaned. Choose the right white for your skin tone, no matter what style you pick.

Think about wearing fun footwear. Getting married in the middle of July? Consider sporting flip-flops under your gown. If you’re all cowgirl, try a pair of boots. Bring shoes with the same height as your wedding shoes are going to be on your special day.

Remember to ask to inspect your wedding gown personally before it is put into the container, which should be a completely acid-free museum quality archival wedding chest lined with fabric or acid-free tissue.

Never store your wedding gown in plastic bags or vacuum-sealed, plastic wrapped containers because plastic emits fumes that can yellow your bridal gown and trap moisture that mildews your wedding gown.

If you are selling your gown, opt for a muslin bag. Museums use muslin for textile conservation and preservation because it provides a stable and non-acidic environment against contaminants.

Always ask what precautions the specialist takes to protect delicate trims and decorations on your wedding gown and how the cleaner guards against latent stains on your wedding gown.

Never store your bridal gown in the attic or basement where there are extreme changes in temperature or humidity.

Do not shop after you’ve purchased your wedding dress. Instead enjoy the rest of your wedding planning.

Wear the right undergarments when shopping. Don’t go bridal gown shopping without wearing the right undergarments. You need to wear the same or similar garments that you’ll be wearing for the wedding. Some gowns won’t fit the same way without the right undergarments. If you need some help, ask your bridal consultant about the right undergarments for the dresses you are considering. A full service bridal shop should be able to offer options for trying on with your gown as well.

BONUS Article: 11 Must-Read Gown Shopping Tips
Wedding Dress Shopping Tips From a Bridal Salon Owner
10 Mistakes Brides Make When Dress Shopping
Shopping for Your Wedding Dress

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.

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
Lots of Wedding Ideas on: Larry’s Pinterest Page

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

10 Tips to a Successful Back Yard Wedding

OneWed.com, Guest Author

If you’re choosing a non-traditional private residence for your reception venue or planning a low-key backyard wedding, there’s a lot to consider and lots to plan for. Read on to learn the top 10 tips to ensure your outdoor wedding is out-of-this-world.

1. Specify the dress code: It’s a backyard… But it’s a wedding… So you can’t blame wedding guests for being confused about what to wear. Let your loved ones know if you’re planning a formal, semi-formal, or informal affair.

WEDOutdoorWedding2. Have a parking plan: Once you pick the venue for your outdoor wedding, think about how many cars the street can handle. Will your guests need temporary neighborhood parking passes? If there’s a church or school nearby, ask if your guests can park there for the day.

3. Don’t surprise the neighbors: Because your guests will be arriving in droves, a quick heads-up before the wedding will ensure your neighbors don’t mind the parking crunch and the extra noise of a wedding. The last thing you want to deal with on your special day is angry neighbors!

4. Rent a tent: Even if you’re betting on perfect weather, make sure you have a tent, canopy or some sort of backup. It’s better to have one and not need it than the other way around.

5. Think about seating: Ample seating for elderly friends and relatives to take a load off is essential. Consider renting chairs for the ceremony and reception and create a comfortable lounge area if it fits with the overall feel of your wedding. Find decoration and rental companies on OneWed.com and read ratings and reviews from real brides and grooms!

6. Avoid messy reception food: Regardless of the formality of your nuptials, guests will probably be dressed to impress. If you’re not planning a sit-down dinner, take a moment to think about how easy it will be to handle the food you’re serving. Burgers, yes. Ribs, with caution; Remember to think outside the box and consider serving bite-sized versions of your favorite dishes.

7. Let there be light: So that you, your groom and your wedding guests can dance the night away, consider hanging strands of lights or lanterns above the reception tables. If you’re going for a beach-themed affair, place tiki torches around the reception area or sprinkle loads of beach candles on the tables. The effect will be beautiful, romantic and totally memorable.

8. Don’t run out of power: You may need power for lights, DJ equipment, or to keep chafing dishes warm if you’re planning an elaborate outdoor wedding. Make sure you have enough outlets or power strips and rent a generator if necessary.

9. No bugging out: Citronella candles or bug-repellent torches will keep uninvited guests (aka pesky bugs) away from the party and invited guests bite-free. What you don’t want is a bug zapper – they actually draw more insects to the area.

10. Dance barefoot: Or kick off your heels and throw on a pair of flip flops. To encourage guests to get comfortable too, place a basket of inexpensive flip flops near the dance floor. This personalized touch will make quite an impression on your friends and family.

Copyright © 2014 – OneWed.com. Reprinted with permission. Visit OneWed.com’s Website and Wedding BLOG.

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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 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
Lots of Wedding Ideas on: Larry’s Pinterest Page

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Unplugged Weddings ~ Trending…

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

I have talked about why some couples are planning unplugged weddings and with society’s social media obsession is at an all-time high, felt it bears further info. Cell phones, Facebook, YouTube – they are all part of our lives. But should they be front and center at your wedding?

It is becoming a bigger problem than most people consider. Many times guests with iPads, cameras, iPhones, etc., – especially guests sitting on the aisle – lean into the aisle (and sometimes stand in the aisle) and block the line of sight of the professional photographer.

Guests take photos at weddings because they want to remember the special day, not because they’re trying to be rude, however, photographers will often turn to get emotional shots of the bride and groom or family, only to find that they are hidden behind a camera and their perfect shot is blocked. Most couples have spent a large part of their wedding budge on their professional photographer, who will be getting amazing shots throughout the ceremony.

WEDUnplugedTrendingWhat is an unplugged wedding? ~ An unplugged wedding means that no electronic devices are to be used during the ceremony. This means no cameras, smart phones, no photo uploads to social media or tweeting, texting and Instagramming “during” the ceremony.

The unplugged trend rebukes the advances of Facebook (only for one day), with many brides and grooms encouraging guests to ditch their camera phones and enjoy their nuptials, distraction free. A ration may be in place, where a listed time for taking photos is planned as part of your schedule. If you’re allowing guests to snap away during a certain section of the day, a share tool is great for collating all the memories of your wedding.

Apps such as Wedpics host a real-time photo feed on your wedding day, and provide the ultimate photo and video sharing opportunity for you and your guests. Read: “Easy-to-Use Wedding Photo-Sharing Apps.” Be sure with the couple that it is okay to share any images you take after the ceremony on social media; sometimes couples prefer to keep things quiet due to varying factors, and you don’t want to cause undue stress.

A wedding ceremony is a brief and intimate moment shared between people who have been brought together as witnesses to the beginning of a marriage. What a novel idea! I truly believe that a carefully worded and meaningful ceremony can change lives and be a great influence upon the guests – but never if guests are too busy clicking away to hear or see what is happening.

A 30 minute respite from your electronic gear during a wedding ceremony is called: “being respectful of the bride and groom’s wishes!”

With the permission of the bride and groom, as soon as I get to the alter, I will often make the following announcement:

unplugedLadies and Gentlemen, I have a special announcement from the bride and groom: “We want you to be able to really enjoy our wedding ceremony today, feeling truly present and in the moment with us. We’ve hired an amazing wedding photographer who will be capturing the way the wedding looks – and we’re inviting each of you to sit back, relax, and just enjoy how the wedding feels. We’re respectfully asking that everyone consider turning all cameras and cell phones (pause) back on after the wedding. We look forward to sharing our professional photos after the big day! Thank you!”

Larry’s NOTE: I pause before saying “back on after the wedding” which usually gets a smile from the guests because they were all thinking I was going to say, “turn them OFF.”

Another strategy is as guests arrive, have a super cute sign made to post outside of the church or at the beginning of the aisle. Make sure your ushers point it out to guests as well. Some brides are including a brief note in the program. Be sure to let guests know that you’ll share your professional photos with them later, which is easy to do with Dropbox or other photo sharing services.

I recently had a bride and groom who wrote their own vows (I call them “Personal Promises“) and used their phones as the modern-day alternative to the piece of paper. My encouragement is that it is better all around to leave their phones at home. It just does not look good. I usually have the bride and groom send me their vows which I print on card stock and hand them to each when it’s time to read them.

Anna Post of the Emily Post Institute and co-author of the book Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition, shared six tips for successfully requesting guests power down as you gear up for your wedding day.

It’s a fine request for the ceremony, but not the reception ~ A wedding ceremony, Post said, is “solemn, even if it’s not religious,” she said. For that reason, it’s fine to ask guests to put away the phones for this portion of the evening. The reception, typically more of a party atmosphere, is another story.

Make the announcement well in advance ~ The wedding web site is a perfectly reasonable to place to ask guests to power down during the nuptials, Post said.

And then follow up at the ceremony ~ “It’s not a bad idea to put it [the request] in the [wedding] program as well,” Post said. She said it is also fine to have someone in an official position – either an officiate of member of the wedding part – make an announcement before the wedding begins. “It’s a very fair reminder not to distract from the ceremony.”

Unless you’re a celebrity, don’t confiscate the phones ~ Unless you-re an “A-list” celeb, asking guests to turn over their phones is “taking it too far,” said Post. “Trust your friends will respect your wishes and do what you ask,” she said. And if they don’t? Never interrupt the ceremony to confront the offender.

Ask for what you want ~ Is it no cell phone calls? No texting? Or no photos, plus no Facebooking or Instagraming? Post said couples should be very clear with their guests on their wishes. What may seem innocuous to a guest – like taking a photo and posting it to Facebook – may be the exact scenario a bride who wasn’t able to invite every friend she wanted to the wedding – is hoping to avoid.

Beside having the aisles free of people using and obtrusively holding iPhones, tablets and cameras blocking the view of guests and the professional photographers, your guests will now be a real and connected part of the ceremony that they were asked to witness and participate in.

BONUS Articles: How to Have an Unplugged Wedding
Welcome to Our Unplugged Wedding…
Considering an Unplugged Wedding?
Social Media Weddings VS. Unplugged Weddings

Photo Credit: Top left ~ Amber Wilkie Photography

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
Lots of Wedding Ideas on: Larry’s Pinterest Page

Friday, December 19, 2014

For Guests Only – Wedding Gift Suggestions for the Bride and Groom

What do you buy? How much do you give? Should you use the registry? Is cash okay? We thought should look at things from the guest’s perspective. Here are a few tips when buying wedding gifts for the bride and groom:

Your first go-to is the wedding registry. If the bride and groom have a registry you could begin there. Do you have to choose a gift from a registry? No. A registry is for your convenience and you are not limited to what is on the list. It’s there for a reason. This is where the couple is telling you what they really want and need. Ideally, you’ll be able to find a gift within your budget that you’re excited to give.

GuestWedGiftsWhat do you do if the registry is picked through and there is nothing “good” to buy? Or worse yet, what if you can’t afford the remaining items? Read on, we have a few ideas for you…

Cash also works. Contributing cash versus using a traditional wedding registry is a great option that allows you to control the amount spent. This is a highly debated issue, and while some guests have no problem giving cash, whether it’s through an online service or an envelope at the wedding, some still find it a little taboo. It may put your mind at ease to know that many couples prefer cash, and while they may not feel comfortable asking for it, a cash contribution would be much appreciated. In some cultures, this is the norm. It’s expected and preferred by everyone involved. On average the typical cash gift is around $150. Can’t give that? Give what you can afford with and open heart and a while lotta love!

Make what you give meaningful. If you choose to skip past the registry and don’t want to give cash, be sure to ask yourself these questions before purchasing a boxed gift:

• Is it meaningful in some way to the couple?
• Is it a gift you know they really want?
• Is it a gift you know they really need? (According to them, not you!)
• Will they love it?
• Is it meaningful in some way to you?

If you answered yes to 3 out of 5 questions, then you’re on the right track. Another thought. Be sure your gift suits their personalities, and they’ll see it as the thoughtful gift you intended to give.

Second marriages require more thought as to what to give. If it’s the number-two “I do” for the bride, the groom, or both, a second-time couple probably doesn’t need many of the traditional registry items. No one needs two toasters. Since they already have most of the basics, you can have fun buying them cool new gadgets and appliances, season tickets to their favorite sport, tickets to a play, musical, or the ballet, or a dinner cruise. Use your imagination.

Preferably, send the gift to the bride before the wedding or to the couple soon thereafter. Gifts are often brought to the reception and placed on a special table. Contrary to popular belief, you do no have a year to send a gift. Waiting a year after attending a wedding can be considered “rude.” A gift should be sent right away or at least within three months of the wedding.

CashisOkayThough it’s not obligatory, proper etiquette suggests it’s a nice gesture to send a gift and a note even if you can’t attend the wedding, particularly if you know the couple well.

When wedding guests ask, “Where are you registered?” direct them to a honeymoon travel registry. A honeymoon registry is a trendy alternative to a traditional wedding registry and allows your guests to help you to achieve your dream honeymoon vacation by purchasing pieces of the trip as a wedding gift. It is a relatively new and exciting concept that began in the 1990s as an additional service. Check out: Travelers Joy Honeymoon Registry.

Whatever you decide to give the couple, don’t stress over it too much because in the end, it’s the thought that counts

What do you do if you haven’t received a thank you note from the bride? Awkward! It is certainly okay to call and ask the couple if they received your gift. If you find this too awkward and the gift was sent from a store, you can call the store and have it traced. Just as a gift should be sent right away or within three months of a wedding, a thank you note from the bride and groom should also be written right away or, at the very least, within three months of receiving a gift.

One tip for the bride:

1. It is NEVER okay to include any mention of gifts with your invitation. It comes across like you’re expecting a gift.

BONUS Articles: Tips to Save Money as a Wedding Guest
How to Tell Guests Where Are You Registered

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
Lots of Wedding Ideas on: Larry’s Pinterest Page

Monday, December 15, 2014

Answering the Hard Questions Can Help You Make A Powerful Commitment

Susan Piver, Guest Author

For those of us contemplating marriage in the new millennium, a conscious effort is required to create a shared vision. Nothing can be taken for granted. There are no cultural models for us to look to. Often traditional religious values can’t support our relationship. For many of us, our divorced parents can’t offer a model to emulate. TV, movies, music; they’re all about easy solutions, romantic escapades, youthful passion. How, then, do we create an adult view of relationships, one that includes passion and commitment, the fullness of who each person is and can be?

HardQuestionsThere is no technique, no gimmick, no class, no easy answer. The solution, the only solution, is knowing and revealing yourself and receiving your pratner – relentlessly, and with great skill. My book, “The Hard Questions: 100 Questions to Ask Before You Say ‘I Do’” helps create a shared view of life and a deeper knowledge or your self and your beloved. It can be used throughout the life of a relationship; answering these questions ten years into a relationship is as valuable as answering them ten months into it. The hard questions can help lead to a deeper level of intimacy.

For many of us, religion is something that we observe when someone is born, marries or dies. Suddenly, as such moments, the religion you were raised with, the traditions your family may have followed, become vitally important.

Any impulse your beloved may have to devalue or ignore such traditions can become very, very hurtful. It’s important to examine what you will do, if anything, to mark the passages of life. If you are married, it is likely you encountered this curious arousal of attachment to tradition while planning the marriage ceremony.

HardQuestions

For more info, click book cover!

Also, for many of us, spirituality has become increasingly important in our day-to-day lives. Many people have “practices”; yoga, meditation, communal gatherings, discussion groups, that are central to their lives. It is important to share such practices with your beloved! If so, why? If not, why not? And what happens when one partner holds childhood religious traditions dear while the other has created a unique spiritual practice, totally apart from the religion her or she grew up with? How are both belief systems honored and blended under one roof?

1. Do we share a religion? Do we belong to a church, synagogue, mosque or temple? More than one? If not, would our relationship benefit from such an affiliation?

2. Do we share a spiritual practice such as meditation, yoga or some other type of “non-traditional” observance? If not, would adding such a practice enrich our lives together?

3. Does one of us have an individual spiritual practice? If the practice and the time devoted to it acceptable to the other? Does each partner understand and respect the other’s choices?

4. What does each desire of the other in terms of support and/or participation in the other’s practice?

5. How do we mark births and deaths within our family?

6. What place do spiritual and/or religious beliefs play in our home and home life?

7. Do we observe any spiritual rituals? Celebrate any religious holidays? Together? Separately?

Larry’s NOTE: Getting married? You would be wise to purchase this helpful book, “The Hard Questions: 100 Questions to Ask Before You Say ‘I Do’!” The questions include topics like, money, work, sex, health & food, family, home and more. It is a simple, yet profound relationship tool that can forge and strengthen lasting, intimate bonds between engaged couples, newly-weds, and all those in long term relationships. I highly recommend it!

BONUS Articles: Religion vs. Spirituality
Spirituality ~ Take Two
The Benefits of Integrating Spirituality into Your Daily Life
Holy! Holy! Holy!
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
Vows, Parents & Religion: Conundrum!

Susan_PiverCopyright © 2014 – Susan Piver. Adapted from Susan’s book. Susan Piver is the former President of Upaya Recordings, where she developed CD/Book packages with authors Andrew Weil, M.D., Deepak Chopra and Thomas Moore. She currently runs Padma Projects, a production company that creates CD/Books. To learn more about answering the Hard Questions, visit, SusanPiver.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.

letsbefriends2

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
Lots of Wedding Ideas on: Larry’s Pinterest Page

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Spirituality ~ Take Two

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

This is for the believers, the non-believers and the others who aren’t quite sure.

I am a deeply spiritual person who is inclined to listen with interest to other’s beliefs, however, will always make up my mind about what will become a part of me. Spiritual beliefs are developed individually and quite often deal with issues of a more personal or intimate nature than those addressed by religious doctrine.

SpiritualityTake2I am not a religious person. Religion is a specific church’s organized approach to human spirituality which usually encompasses a set of rules, narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices, not unlike a “how-to” guide, that give meaning to the practitioner’s experiences of life through reference to God or a higher power usually within that church’s denomination. Most religions and denominations are about conformity and the leadership has the right to demand such. However, it puts limits on us and often traps us in its dogma. God is too big to be confined to any one religion or denomination.

To me, spirituality means that, once one has accepted his or her faith in God, Great Spirit or a Higher Power (or whatever they choose to call it), how they personally choose to express it is their own personal choice not particularly what a church denomination chooses to impose on their followers. Spirituality is natural. We all have it, whether we know it or practice it, it is in us.

“Spirituality is NOT a Religion. Being spiritual just means you are in touch with your own divine self.” ~ Anna Pereira

Spirituality has to do with what we make of what religion offers us and what we make of our place in life relative to the Divine, to self and to others. Religion could be thought of, at least in very general terms, as a large shared human activity organized and passed along in time to help individuals in their relationship to the Divine and to one another.

Spirituality is all about finding the truth that resonates the highest with you. Religion is based on a fixed belief-system, and to be included (or to be saved) you need to adopt this belief system. There is a place for religion in society the same as spirituality. Spiritual people believe in God. Religious people believe in God. Both believe in God in different ways and I’m okay with that.

So to some, to be spiritual may mean the individual expression of their faith without religious interference from a church or any reference to God. It is only and always a personal choice. It is the connection we feel to something greater than ourselves. In a sense, spirituality is personalized religion. It also means that you recognize and acknowledge a power or sensibility within yourself and outside of yourself, beyond the purely physical or mental.

One of the reasons it is important for me to be clear about this is, because as an ordained minster, before I perform my “romantic” wedding ceremony, I always ask the bride and groom about their spiritual beliefs. I get a wide assortment of answers which often leads to some very interesting conversations. Some are believers, others are non-believers and there are others who aren’t quite sure.

I need to know what path they are on because each ceremony is always customized to their complete satisfaction. The more I understand what page they are on, the better I can design the ceremony. I also believe that it’s important for them to know who I am and what I believe to be true for me (which was the inspiration to write this article). The bride and groom always get to choose just how spiritual they want their wedding ceremony to be – or not. Sometimes we substitute the word Love for God. You believers know that God is Love, and those couples who choose to express their spirituality in a softer way have every right to do so.

My belief is that what is in the wedding ceremony should only and always be the choice of the bride and groom, not what any Minister thinks should be in it. I never push my beliefs off on anyone. I always respect their beliefs. And… they get to choose.

It is also my belief that you must never forget the importance of the spiritual side of your relationship. Just as we Celebrate Love we can also Celebrate our Spirituality in a way that never encroaches upon another’s beliefs nor do we become someone who believes that if you don’t believe my way you are going straight to hell. My God allows me to choose not to be that way.

I am content in my beliefs and no longer concern myself with what others think. Sorry, after I wrote that, I read it again and will acknowledge that it may have sounded a little cocky… I guess I just needed you to hear me say what’s true. 😉

Free at last! Free at last!

BONUS Article: Religion vs. Spirituality ~ Some of what I said in the above article, you will find there as well.
The Benefits of Integrating Spirituality into Your Daily Life
Holy! Holy! Holy!
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
Vows, Parents & Religion: Conundrum!

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.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Lots of Wedding Ideas on: Larry’s Pinterest Page

Sunday, December 7, 2014

9 Hidden Wedding Expenses That Caught Me by Surprise

Jennifer Calonia, Guest Author

Anyone who has planned or will plan a wedding can empathize with the horror of seeing expenses creep over their budget. The Knot revealed that the average 2013 wedding cost $29,858 – and that’s not including honeymoon expenses. In my hometown, Los Angeles, the average cost to host a wedding is $38,735 – and that only makes it the 11th most expensive place in the U.S. to get married, according to the survey.

HiddenWeddingExpensesMy wedding isn’t until November 2015, but my fiance and I mapped out a 27-month engagement that would give us time save money for the event. Like any newly engaged couple, we asked ourselves how much we were willing to spend on our big day, but we knew that our large Filipino families would expect us to extend invitations to distant relatives and friends with six degrees of separation from us. My mom’s contribution to the list of guests we needed to invite, for example, included one of her high school friends, that friend’s entire family and her friend’s daughter’s long-term boyfriend.

Some friends recommended that we dodge a traditional wedding by eloping on the cheap. This would save us from spending the equivalent of a home down payment on a single night, but we knew the importance of tempering family cultural expectations with our modest budget.

At this point, we’ve locked in the venue and most of our primary vendors. But along the way, I’ve encountered more than a few surprises and budget-busters.

To read the rest of the article, please click here!

BONUS Articles: Tying Up Loose Ends After the Wedding! – Newlywed To-Do List
10 Hidden Wedding Costs to Watch Out For
30 Unexpected Wedding Costs Brides Forget to Budget For

Larry’s NOTE: It’s very important to have a wedding budget. Not all vendors charge based on those discussed in this article. Please check your contracts with wedding vendors to keep you from experiencing hidden wedding expenses.

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Copyright © 2014 – Jennifer Calonia. Jennifer Calonia is a Los Angeles-based journalist covering consumer tips about banking, savings and other personal finance topics that matter most to your wallet. Her features and savings advice are featured on GOBankingRates, U.S. News, Yahoo! Finance and MSN Money. More about Jennifer!

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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 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
Lots of Wedding Ideas on: Larry’s Pinterest Page

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