Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Let’s Lock Wedding Tradition in the Box…

AND not let it out… ever!

It can be a lot more fun when you have the courage to step out of the box and do your own thing at your own wedding. Wheew! Express your own creativity! What an exhilarating feeling!

WEDTraditionBOX1You really don’t have to worry about tradition and what others might think… once you decide, you can cast all traditions aside (or maybe keep a few traditions – your choice). The point is… it’s your choice, not your Moms, not the person who is paying for the wedding (I know, that’s a tough one), but yours (and your partner, of course).

There are so many interesting things that are not traditional that will keep the buzz at the reception buzzing for many months into the future.

1. Tradition says the Best Man and the Maid/Matron of Honor walk down the aisle just before the ring bearer and the flower girl; next comes the Bride and her escort. Dump tradition. If you have 3 or 4 (or more) Bridesmaids and Groomsmen on each side, it is often a better idea to have the Best Man and the Maid/Matron of Honor walk in after the Minister and the Groom so that everyone else knows exactly where they are suppose to stand.

The traditional way often has the spacing between everyone staggered or off the mark and may show up as loosely organized and bad in the wedding photos. If you decide to do it this way, please remember to tell the wedding venue coordinator because they usually line everyone up to go in the traditional way.

2. No more Bride’s or Groom’s side! “At many ceremonies, all the bride’s friends have to sit on one side of the room and all the groom’s friends sit on the other side. That sucks, because sometimes you’re friends with both of them — how do you choose? That moment of indecision is just weird for me. Plus, one side is usually much less crowded and people sit there thinking, ‘Gee, the groom doesn’t have many friends.’ All of this can easily be avoided by just letting guests sit where they want.” — Angie, 35

I totally agree! Usually it works best if when the guest asks the usher, “Which side is the Bride’s side?” that they tell them to not choose sides, but pick a good seat on either side towards the front. Find some neat sign’s you can post on my Pintrest Page.

3. What about seating the parents? Tradition says the parents of the bride sit in the front row on the left side and the parents of the groom sit in the front row on the right side. When the couple walks up the aisle, the bride is usually on the left and whoever is escorting her is on the right. Once the groom takes his place next to the bride their backs are to the guests. In my “romantic” wedding ceremony after about 6 minutes into the presentation of the ceremony they are asked to face each other holding hands.

When the bride faces the groom, she is facing away from her parents and the only thing they see is her back. The parents of the groom can only see the back of the groom. Solution: Seat the parents of the bride on the right side and the parents of the groom on the left side. I know, that’s not tradition, however the first time we actually seated the parents in this manner, both sets of parents came up to me after the ceremony to personally thank me for allowing them to see the expressions on the faces of their daughter and son as the ceremony was being performed.

4. Assigned seating at the reception? Some brides and grooms spend way to much time on trying to put the right guests at the right table. It’s not likely that you will please everyone. I’m finding that more and more couples are opting for “open seating,” – letting the guests sit with whomever they want. AND there are times when it is important to select the seating for a guest, such as exes who need to be separated, or putting a shy couple with someone you know that will engage them in conversation and help them to feel like part of the celebration. There are exceptions to every rule. I recommend two table of “reserved seating” for the the mothers and fathers and their close family members.

bridesmaidrainbow5. No more cloned “look alike” bridesmaids. In order to have a great time at your wedding, your bridesmaids need to feel attractive too – something that’s impossible if you’ve micromanaged their looks down to the lipstick hue. Plus, buying a bunch of matching accessories they may never wear again gets expensive. Not to worry… YOU will still be the main attraction! Why not select a dresses they can actually wear again without altering?

Your bridesmaids will look even better if you give them leeway to let their individual styles shine through the blush-colored chiffon gowns you’ve dressed them in. Even if the dresses are all completely different, you can still have a preview to determine who should stand next to who in order to create balance.

Their look should compliment their body type. Same color, different styles and lengths is another idea. Let them choose their hair and makeup styles; give them more than one option with accessories like shoes, jewelry, and cover-ups. Should your bridesmaids wear the same dress? No, just similar enough to be a little of the same but individual enough to compliment each girl.

Your bridesmaids don’t have to hold the same kind of flowers to look the part. Have each one carry a bouquet in a signature color or let your florist create several mono-botanic bouquets in the same hue. Perhaps it is finally time to ditch tradition of the matchy-matchy bridesmaid dresses! What say you?

6. Have your DJ or Band play “Another One Bites the Dust” for your processional. “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles is great too.

7. Bridesmaids are female and groomsmen are male. Wrong! Not anymore. Never confine your list of VIPs to your female friends (or his to only guys)! If the brides best friend in the world happens to be a guy, make him your bridesman, or the groom can ask his good friend to be a groomswoman.

8. Let’s get this party started! While it’s rare, I have had several couples offer cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks about 30 minutes before the ceremony. Or you can set up a table at the ceremony site with a few snacks, lemonade, iced tea, juice or even ice water with sliced lemons, limes or cucumber. Here in Arizona it’s wise to always have a bottled water table available at all times to help your guests stay hydrated.

9. Your wedding dress “has” to be white. NOT! You could still wear a white or ivory dress – but don’t be afraid to add a dash of color with a sash, cardigan, pair of shoes (or tennis shoes or something comphy) or fancy piece of jewelry. You could also do a lightly colored skirt with a white or ivory overlay for a barely there hint of color. Be brave and brazen! Champagne, black, blush and pastel-hued dresses in mint, lavender or cornflower blue are on trend right now, adding an understated uniqueness to your ensemble. (A special thank you to the Knot.com for this tip).

10. Add a fresh spin by incorporating some new ceremony material instead of the classic unity candle. This blog offers about 25 excellent “add-on” ceremonies, any of which will make your wedding more memorable or consider starting a new tradition of your own.

11. You can’t see each other before the ceremony. For many brides this is no longer true. Schedule a “first-look” photo session with just you and your groom and the photographer before the ceremony. This frees up more time after the ceremony so you can go directly to photos with the photographer or enjoy your own cocktail hour. It can also help with the pre-wedding jitters.

Being a full-time, non-denominational Wedding Officiant has allowed me to be a part of many non-traditional weddings and receptions. One Pirate themed wedding I was dressed like a pirate. Another renewal of vows ceremony was performed in a hot air balloon. Want a “beach wedding?” A 4 1/2 drive from Phoenix to Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), Mexico with a few close friends is something completely different.

Based upon the wishes of the bride and groom, I can also add a little light humor to give the guests a few giggles. Most guests would not expect the Wedding Officiant to have a sense of humor. Some weddings will have a slight touch of tradition, however the weddings that are memorable are the ones where the bride and groom are not afraid to do what “they” want.

My experience has been that most brides and grooms prefer a mixture of a little traditional and more non-traditional in their wedding. Old traditions are hard to break, but bridal couples must be mindful that just because something has been around for a long time, doesn’t mean that fashioning new rituals isn’t perfectly acceptable and perhaps even preferable.

BONUS Articles: Who (of the bridal party) Walks Down the Aisle First?
Traditional Wedding or NOT!?
A Bright Idea for Seating the Parents of the Bride and Groom
Cloned “look alike” Bridesmaids
To See… or Not to See? That is the Question!

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Click for Larry’s Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2015 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. 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: 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.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe 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, “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, October 14, 2012

Mix Up Your Bridal Party!

If you like to be the one to get the attention of your wedding guests by being a little non-traditional, this tip is for you. These days pretty much anything is acceptable.

Brides, who says your maid of honor must be a “maid” or “matron?” If your best pal happens to be a guy, have a “man of honor.” Same goes for the best man; there’s no reason why there can’t be a “best woman.” Bride’s men and Groom’s maids!

best_man_woman t-shirtTypically the bridesmaids stand to the right of the wedding officiant and the groomsmen stand on the left, facing the guests. To further mix things up, how about having every other person be a man, woman, man, women, etc. When the master of ceremonies announces the bridal party, he/she could say something like this: Here is the Maid of honor, “Sally,” being escorted, not by the best man, but the “best woman”, Bills childhood friend, Ms. Candy Smith.” She can also be referred to as “Best Friend of Honor to the groom.”

You could use gender-neutral terms. Bridesmaids and groomsmen become “attendants” and the best man and maid/matron of honor are the “honor attendants.”

You could have all men or all women in the bridal party. You could call them bridesmen and and specify a man of honor. There is no reason you can’t have a best woman too. I had a wedding several years ago where the bride had a guy on her side and the groom had a girl on his side. You could call the man a bridesman, not a bridesmaid.

boygirlboygirlHmmm. What should they wear? If a guy is a bridesmen, to differentiate between him and the groomsmen, you could try to match him to both the bride and bridesmaids – cream/white pants and a blue satin shirt. Bride’s men often wear the same suit as the groomsmen but with a different buttonhole flower and slightly different color tie.

Others say he should match the other groomsmen, and stand with them – not the bridesmaids. Perhaps the person standing beside the bride as she gets married should be the person she’s closest too, not necessarily the female she’s closest too. It may partly depend on how formal the wedding is. I say it’s a matter of personal choice.

But what will the guests say? Weddings are becoming less “traditional” and more and more on the “creative” side. The guests will be talking about how different your wedding was… they say that about my ceremonies already. Doesn’t bother me. 😉

There doesn’t have to be even numbers of boys on the boys side, and girls on the girls side. What if you have more bridesmaids than groomsmen? Simple. Arrange it so that they will all standing together, boy-girl-boy-girl-boy. People are choosing the people who matter and moving further from tradition to make things more interesting. Different is good!

Then there is the idea that the bride and the groom should be the center of attention at a wedding. It’s the bride and groom who will make the choice. It’s their wedding and they can do anything they want. By the way, the groomsmen and bridesmaid do not have to be partnered. And the bridesmaids can wear their favorite dress instead of the common all dress alike uniforms.

Choose to make your wedding unique to you. As long as it is special to you, that should be your only concern. There is no need to choose your bridal party because of other people’s feelings, just choose who you want, regardless of gender. Again, it’s a matter of personal choice.

BONUS Articles: Groomsmen: How to be as Suave as James Bond at the Wedding
Who (of the bridal party) Walks Down the Aisle First?

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” 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 470 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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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tempted to go to a Justice of the Peace? Think Again!

I wouldn’t recommend a JP if you want a memorable wedding ceremony. If you were going to call a Justice of the Peace, you get a cheap wedding, a civil ceremony that lasts a few minutes, an official pronouncement and that’s about it! Not very memorable for such an important day in your life.

KissnGoPROMOAs a full-time, professional Wedding Officiant, I often get phone calls asking if I am a Justice of the Peace. My truthful answer is always, “No.” However, here is your opportunity to get a very special, quick, intimate, affordable and legal “romantic” wedding ceremony that far exceeds the reach of an officer of the court. It’s also a terrific idea if you are thinking of eloping.

Large fancy weddings are very expensive… beautiful, memorable and more, but expensive. On average, couples who live in Maricopa County, AZ (the Greater Phoenix area) spend between $19,175 and $31,959 on their wedding. You should expect to pay, on average, 50% to 100%+ more when choosing well-experienced professionals, designer labels, popular event locations, unique or custom products and services. The amount you pay may also be affected by the number of guests you invite.

If you are looking for a quick way to save some $$$s, I have created a very special for those of you who just want to get married and would normally call a Justice of the Peace.

My “romantic” wedding ceremony is a great Justice of the Peace alternative. AND you don’t have to go through a metal detector and security screeners to get to the JP. It’s call a “Kiss ‘n Go” romantic wedding ceremony.

Here’s what you get with a Larry James “Kiss ‘n Go” Ceremony:

• A speedy 10 minute (or less – your choice) “romantic” wedding ceremony (no customization, no sand ceremony, extras, etc.)
• A copy of the ceremony on parchment paper as a keepsake
• A “
Relationship Coaching Certificate” (Value: $120.00)
• A Marriage Certificate from Larry James
• One digital photo taken after the wedding and sent by e-mail.
• Larry James will register your marriage license with the County Court Clerk the first business day after your ceremony
• And that’s it!

Here is what you need to do:

• Show up (on time)! I will tell you where we will meet.
• Provide the Marriage License
• Provide two witnesses (AZ law says: Must be 18 year of age or older)
• Limit your wedding party to no more than 4 people (plus the Bride and Groom)
• Bring the wedding rings (not required)
• Stand together for the ceremony – You may write some of your own vows
• Sign the marriage license with 2 witnesses
• Kiss ‘n Go!

My “Kiss ‘n Go” Ceremony is a limited offer and is subject to my availability. I am often available on short notice on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and sometimes on Thursdays. Weddings on Friday, Saturday and Sundays are limited and reserved for large weddings at Hotels and Resorts.

This offer is not available at hotels, resorts or wedding venues, on holidays, on special days (e.g., 12/12/12, Valentine’s Day, etc.) or on weekends. Friday, Saturday and Sundays are reserved for weddings at Hotels and Resorts.

CoupleKissingNo rehearsal is necessary. You will set up your wedding by telephone (no meeting). Casual dress (your option). No Covenant Marriage Ceremonies with this offer. The wedding will be in Scottsdale, AZ only.

Larry’s NOTE: Most of my weddings are at Hotels and Resorts. If you will be having a wedding at a Hotel or Resort, give me a call. I can give you lots of great ideas to make your wedding and your wedding ceremony something that your guests will be talking about for years to come. Really! These ceremonies have a touch of traditional with a few modern twists, a slight Spiritual tint (or not!) and an emphasis on lots of love and romance! It is my most popular ceremony. It is always customized to fit your specific needs. Anything goes! It’s “your” day and you get to say what is in your ceremony! The “romance” is in the details!

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” 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 470 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
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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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

“I’m Getting Married! What Are the Rules?”

Filed under: Non-Traditional Ideas,Wedding Rules,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Rules?

There are rules?

Tradition and etiquette. . . you bet. The only reason there “is” tradition is because someone – a looooong time ago – decided that this or that should only be done a certain way. Most rules for etiquette demonstrate a common courtesy.

So what are the rules these days? Are there any?

gartertossLots of wedding traditions are losing popularity. Many modern, hip brides are choosing to create some of their own rules and stepping out of the box to discover new and exciting traditions of their own. These new ideas capture the attention of the guests and help to make their wedding a truly memorable experience. It is important for the happy couple to create some of their own “customs.” Many of the customs are no brainers.

I love it when a bride and groom choose to have their ceremony be different. Different is a good thing. Often they will add a small bit of tradition but for the most part they want a wedding that is fun, inspiring for the guests and “romantic” – something that expresses their love for each other. That’s right down my alley. 😉

Every wedding ceremony I perform is different because it always reflects the couple’s tastes. In my opinion there are not too many wedding rules when it comes to a theme, style or location.

Obviously setting a budget is one of the first things you should do. I suppose you could call that a rule. Writing personal thank-you notes, making table visits during the reception, and selecting the caterer, the cake baker and other wedding vendors are a given. Traditions like the bouquet/garter toss, “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” “honor and obey,” throwing rice and others are being cast aside.

BouquetTossThe important thing to remember is to not get too distracted by advice from the many people who will be eager to give it (especially the mothers), and especially when it’s unsolicited. Never feel pressured to comply with all of your families’ or wedding guests’ requests. It is never possible to please everyone. Always remember… this is YOUR wedding… only yours.

clockHere is one of Larry’s rules: “NEVER be late to your own wedding.” (Read: “PLEASE Be on Time! (for your own wedding!).” Plan ahead. Hire a wedding consultant to give you an accurate timeline for the day of the wedding. This is a great idea! It will help keep you on schedule. Ask your consultant to help you avoid being late. They are good at that. If you are typically running late, ask them to add a 15 minute window to the timeline to give yourself plenty of time just in case something goes wrong. If you need a referral to a wedding consultant, give me a call. I am a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants and hang out monthly with many of the top wedding consultants in the Greater Phoenix area.

As a wedding officiant my primary role is to be a committed listener when meeting with the bride and groom and to cover all the details of the rehearsal, the ceremony and anything else I can assist them with. The couple never have to worry that they will be asked uncomfortable questions or “preached” to. That is not my style. I want to know what they like, dislike and what they might consider inappropriate in the ceremony. A little humor often lightens things up a bit.

Their dream wedding ceremony is a wish their hearts make. I am there to make sure they get what they really want, customized to their complete satisfaction – not out of a book! They get to choose their favorite readings, scriptures (if any), music, other participants, of significant cultural traditions.

Clergymen have less options because often they must follow the rules of the church, temple or synagogue. My ceremony is always a one-of-a-kind for each couple. I allow them to design a wedding that is uniquely theirs, to express their likes and dislikes freely and to make the day about the only two people that matter – the bride and groom! I often have married couples of different religions and different cultures – two religions, one marriage – tailored to meet the expectation of both the bride and the groom.

If your minister or Wedding Officant will not allow changes, you should call someone who will.

firstdanceWhat are the rules for the ceremony of couples who practice two spiritual disciplines? If the pressure between two sets of parents is too great then you can have a more casual (modern) ceremony by a wedding officiant. Generally speaking Clergymen may not be able to perform the ceremony in their church, temple or synagogue unless one of the partners converts to that religion. The couple is required to fulfill all of the obligations imposed upon the wedding of two Catholics (e.g., Practicing Catholics). The couple must request a dispensation for mixed marriage and the Catholic Party must sign the document stating that all children of the union will be baptized and educated in the Roman Catholic Faith. Rabbis are not permitted to perform ceremonies outside of the temple or synagogue. All Protestant churches are different. Ask your minister for the rules of your church. Read: Vows, Parents & Religion: Conundrum!

What about second marriages? If you’ve been married before or have children it’s perfectly acceptable to wear white. If you’ve been married before or have children you’re not supposed to wear a veil or have a train attached to your dress or carry orange blossoms. (Must be a sign of purity or virginity thing). The second time around, your parents are not obligated to pay for anything. If you get along with your ex-husband and his family and it’s fine with your fiancé, then it’s acceptable to invite them to the wedding. Before you do, you may want to read: “Tell Your Exes to Stay in Texas!

Click here for several non-traditional ceremony and wedding ideas.

Guess that’s it. If I missed anything… make up some of your own rules.

BONUS Articles: Top 7 Wedding Don’ts
6 New Wedding Rules
The 10 Wedding Rules You Can Break
25 Extremely Strange Wedding Traditions – (Not required reading!) 😉

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” 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 470 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
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Must the Bride Wear White?

Filed under: Non-Traditional Ideas,Wedding Dress,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

White is no longer just for virginal, first-time brides, nor do brides have to wear it at all. “Really, a bride may wear any color she desires on her wedding day,” says Washington, D.C.-based wedding planner and etiquette expert Claudia Lutman. “Before Queen Victoria, who is solely credited as establishing the tradition of the white bridal gown, brides wore their best dresses, despite the color.”

After Queen Victoria’s choice to wear a white wedding dress etiquette books then began to turn the practice into a “tradition” and the white gown soon became a popular symbol of status that also carried “a connotation of innocence and sexual purity.”

polka-dotweddingdress1One way for a bride to stand out from the many other brides-to-be out there and make a statement about her personal style is to choose a colored dress.

Recently, manufacturers are making a lot of stylish wedding dresses with color, in addition to the white dresses they already have in the marketplace. Sure, we know that this is not traditional, but modern brides are getting brave, breaking tradition and wearing what they want to wear. If you want your wedding to be different (memorable) and daring why not wear a wedding dress with color?

Dresses of color also offer many outstanding options for women who want a stunning wedding style. The best gown is one she feels most comfortable wearing, and for many brides, that’s not a stark white dress. Subtle hints of color on a wedding dress have been popular accents for years, and might include choices such as:

• Sashes or bows of color
• Colored hems or necklines
• Colored embroidery
• Contrasting inset panels
• Colored beading

Other accessories such as wedding shoes, gloves, a purse, or a handkerchief. Consider using a complementary shade, or one of a lighter or darker hue, for your accessories. While these delicate details can add a tinge of color to a dress, full colored gowns are also becoming more popular for modern, trendy brides.

Once last thought on breaking tradition: While white is typically “reserved for the bride,” according to nationally recognized etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, other experts see the tides changing on this rule. “As long as guests do not upstage the bride or appear to be in competition with her, a winter white or summer cream dress is now considered okay,” says Claudia Lutman. As Emily Post Etiquette advised New York Times readers in March, what matters most is making sure you’re not “unintentionally calling attention” or “causing offense to the bride.”

What color wedding dress would you wear, if white weren’t an option?

NOTE: Pink Wedding Gown photo courtesy of The Wedding Planning Institute, a division of Lovegevity, Inc.
Ombre (means “shaded” in French or graduated in tone) Bridal Gowns. (Photo left: Wedding dress by Lela Rose via Sunpost Weekly)
Polka-dot wedding dress photo by Bayly & Moore.

Bonus Articles: Colored Wedding Dresses
Your Gown: Choosing the Right White
Wedding Etiquette: 10 Rules You Can Break
Wedding Dress Shopping and Your Entourage

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” 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 470 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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Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Rainbow of Colors for the Bridesmaids

One of the benefits we receive from the sun’s rays is the energy produced when light waves become color as it passes through the droplets of rain. We get rainbows. Rainbows are created both by reflection and refraction (bending) of sunlight in raindrops. As sunlight enters a raindrop, it bends and it is separated into its constituent colors (the colors that comprise white light). Rainbows appear in seven colors. You can only see a rainbow if the Sun is behind you and the rain in front. Rainbows are a beautiful array of color.

rainbowWhy not incorporate the colors of the rainbow into your wedding? If you are a bride who has trouble making a decision on which color is right for your bridesmaids, then worry no more. With all of the colors and styles to choose from each member of your party could wear the same color but with a different style or you could even choose a rainbow of colors to really spice things up. If you have a lot of bridesmaids and they all love different styles and colors, then let them pick their own color.

How incredibly cool do all these colors look together look?

The Groomsmen could sport handkerchiefs in their pockets and ties that match the color of the dress of the bridesmaid they will walk up the aisle with.

All you need to remember is this: ROY G BIV (or ROYGBIV). These letters stand for the order of the colors of the rainbow, which are: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. Be sure that Red gets along with Orange!

bridesmaidrainbow

Photo Credit: Laura Murray Photography, Denver.

If you were one of the brides who kept hitting repeat on the ‘double rainbow guy video‘ then the idea above may be for you! In a double rainbow in this video, a second arc is seen outside the primary arc, and has the order of its colours reversed, red facing toward the other one, in both rainbows. This second rainbow is caused by light reflecting twice inside water droplets. Listen to the sound of the man’s voice who took the video. (Caution: Watch the volume level if you are at work).

Larry’s Note: A special “thank you” to TheKnottyBride.com for assistance in this blog post.

BONUS Article: The Meaning of Colors in Weddings
Just Got Engaged? Follow These Steps!

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” 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 470 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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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Bright Idea for Seating the Parents of the Bride and Groom

This idea falls into the category of “Why didn’t I think of this before??!!” 😉

Tradition says the parents of the bride sit in the front row on the left side and the parents of the groom sit in the front row on the right side.

parentsWhen the couple walks up the aisle, the bride is usually on the left and whoever is escorting her is on the right. Once the groom takes his place next to the bride their backs are to the guests. In my “romantic” wedding ceremony after about 6 minutes into the presentation of the ceremony they are asked to face each other holding hands.

Here’s the problem I noticed recently. When the bride faces the groom, she is facing away from her parents and the only thing they see is her back. The parents of the groom can only see the back of the groom.

BridesSideWeddingWoman.netSolution: Seat the parents of the bride on the right side and the parents of the groom on the left side. I know, that’s not tradition, however the first time we actually seated the parents in this manner, both sets of parents came up to me after the ceremony to personally thank me for allowing them to see the expressions on the faces of their daughter and son as the ceremony was being performed.

If you like this idea, please be sure to let the Wedding Consultant and the wedding coordinator at your wedding venue, otherwise tradition will most likely be the rule of the day.

Larry’s Note: We have been encouraging brides and grooms to tell the ushers – when asked, “Which side is the bride’s side?” to ask the guests to please fill the seats near the front first so the photos look more balanced. Some will display the sign asking the guests to choose a seat not a side near the guest entrance. Old traditions are hard to break, but bridal couples must be mindful that just because something has been around for a long time, doesn’t mean that fashioning new rituals isn’t perfectly acceptable and perhaps even preferable.

BONUS Articles: Who (of the bridal party) Walks Down the Aisle First?
Traditional Wedding or NOT!?

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” 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 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 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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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Who (of the bridal party) Walks Down the Aisle First?

Filed under: Bridal Party,Non-Traditional Ideas,Rehearsals — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Although tradition says that the Best Man and the Maid of Honor usually walk up just before Ring Bearer, Flower girl and the Bride and her escort, if you have 3 or 4 (or more) Bridesmaids and Groomsmen on each side, it is often a better idea to have the Best Man and the Maid of Honor walk in after the Minister and the Groom so that everyone else knows exactly where they are suppose to stand.

The traditional way often has the spacing between everyone staggered or off the mark and may show up as loosely organized and bad in the wedding photos. If you decide to do it this way, please remember to tell the wedding venue coordinator because they usually line everyone up to go in the traditional way.

orange-bridesmaidsRemember to provide the Wedding Venue Coordinator at your wedding venue ALL the details of the rehearsal, BEFORE the rehearsal NOT at the rehearsal. Example: Names of Groomsmen, Bridesmaids, who seats the parents & grandparents, are the guys walking up first or will the Groomsmen walk with the Bridesmaids, names of the ushers (if any), etc.

Having the names of EVERYONE in the wedding party in advance of the rehearsal will help make your rehearsal go much smoother and less time consuming. Send an e-mail a day or two before the rehearsal to the wedding venue coordinator with the names. Also send a copy of the e-mail to the Wedding Officiant/Minister.

When the wedding venue coordinator has the names of everyone “prior” to the rehearsal, it’s much easier for them to call out the names of everyone in the bridal party and line them up. When you wait until you get to the rehearsal to give the names to the wedding venue coordinator it often slows down the rehearsal time by 10 to 15 minutes while you give her/him the names and he/she writes them down.

Send an e-mail a day or two before the rehearsal to the wedding venue coordinator. A well-coordinated rehearsal should not take longer than 30 minutes provided everyone arrives on time. Please encourage those who will be in the wedding party to be on time. The Wedding Officiant or Minister often will have more than one rehearsal in a day.

Rehearsals go much faster and smoother when everyone is lined up first as if everyone had just walked in and are ready for the wedding to begin. In other words, you start at the end. Next, the wedding officiant/minster hits the highlights of the ceremony to familiarize everyone with the order of things, then you practice walking out. The wedding venue coordinator then lines everyone up in the order they will walk in and you do it all over again. In affect you get two rehearsals this way. I always ask if everyone is comfortable with the rehearsal and if they have any questions.

With this rehearsal method, 9 times out of 10, a one-time walk-through does it.

Larry’s Note: Old traditions are hard to break, but bridal couples must be mindful that just because something has been around for a long time, doesn’t mean that fashioning new rituals isn’t perfectly acceptable and perhaps even preferable.

BONUS Article: The Rehearsal & the Rehearsal Dinner! It’s Fun Time!

2hearts2

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Ceremony. 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 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 460 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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Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Monday, May 10, 2010

The Bride and Groom’s “Reveal Moment”

Here’s a great idea. Take nearly all your photos “before” the wedding. It’s called the “reveal moment.” Some call it, “first look.”

Traditionally the bride and groom do not see each other before the wedding. This tradition often causes problems. It originated in arranged marriages where bride and grooms had never met each other, let alone seen each other before the wedding. It was considered bad luck if either party saw each other.

reveal1More and more, brides and grooms are tossing aside the “no see before the wedding” idea in favor of a special moment where the bride and groom first meet before the wedding with the photographer.

Most couples do a “reveal moment” well before the ceremony. This gives them an opportunity to greet each other in a more secluded area away from the guests. A couple may choose to do this if they would like to do formal and family pictures before the ceremony rather than after, giving the couple more time with their guests following the ceremony. They may also choose to do this to relieve a little of the pressure of the wedding day.

reveal2The photographer will set it up. They will pick a special place for this photo opportunity. The groom with his back turned will be waiting. The bride walks within a few yards of him. The groom then turns around for the “reveal moment” as the photographer snaps away. The two of you will see each other for the first time all dressed up on their wedding day.

Having a reveal moment is the perfect way to freeze a moment in time when you get that first look at each other. Its a memory you will cling to when you remember your wedding day.

This gives the couple a chance to have some intimate time alone together on their wedding day. The rest of the day is filled with craziness, a little chaos, and mobs of family and friends rushing them at all times.

One bride said, “We only took photos after our ceremony because my husband insisted that he not see me until I walked down the aisle. After the wedding, he felt differently. We built in a time buffer between the ceremony and cocktail hour, however, we still spent a significant portion of our cocktail hour taking photos. If we could do it again, we would definitely take most of the photos prior to the ceremony.”

reveal3Doing the photos ahead of time is when the bride and groom are the freshest, look their best, and it gives them the option to go straight from the ceremony to the cocktail hour to mingle with their guests, then the reception and not leave their guests waiting for an hour or more while they take photos after the ceremony.

A private, romantic meeting – before photos with the wedding party – creates the first of two exciting “reveals”. It is an opportunity for the couple to exchange wedding gifts alone if they want to. It may be the only time they have together the entire day. The second heart-pounding “reveal” moment is walking down the aisle. It will always be a memorable moment for both of you even if they’ve seen each other earlier.

I had a wedding where the bride and groom kept their guests waiting for about an hour and 45 minutes while their photos were taken after the ceremony. Several guests left before the reception. I can imagine the shock when they finally received the cocktail hour bill. It’s thoughtless and rude to keep your guests waiting that long.

Taking photos and having a special “reveal moment” for the two of you before the wedding seems to make all photos go more smoothly and allows everyone to be a little more relaxed.

BONUS Article: Seven Reasons to See the Bride Before the Wedding
75 Reasons to Have a First Look

NOTE: Congratulations to: Katie Waldman and Evan Holdsworth – Married @ 6:30 p.m., Saturday, May 1, 2010 – Camelback Inn, Paradise Valley, AZ. There is great example of a “Reveal Moment” about 5 minutes into this video.

Larry’s Note: Photos by Marcia Mauskopf, Marcia The Art of Photography, Phoenix, AZ. These photos were taken at The Boojum Tree Hidden Gardens, Phoenix. Hold your mouse over the photos to see what’s going on.

Larry’s Note #2: Old traditions are hard to break, but bridal couples must be mindful that just because something has been around for a long time, doesn’t mean that fashioning new rituals isn’t perfectly acceptable and perhaps even preferable.

marriotphotography

Above photo by: Marnee Marriott, Marriot Photography, Scottsdale, AZ.

Another great “reveal moment.” Click here!

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (95 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Monday, March 15, 2010

Traditional Wedding or NOT!?

Is traditional so not you? Non-traditional is the perfect way to showcase your uniqueness as a couple. Here are a few ways to be creative, have “fun” at your wedding and some ways that happy couples are doing things differently nowadays. Your imagination is the key.

No where is tradition more honored in our culture than the wedding ceremony. The thing about tradition is that it gives you something to go by. It has its own agenda and there is certainly safety in that but that’s not what I am seeing in weddings today. Traditional weddings also come with the traditional stress.

Tradition says that the Best Man and the Maid (or Matron) of Honor usually walk up just before Ring Bearer, Flower girl and the Bride and her escort. If you have 5 or 6 Bridesmaids and Groomsmen on each side, it is often a better idea to have the Best Man and the Maid of Honor walk in after the Minister and the Groom. Why? So that everyone else knows exactly where they are suppose to stand.

The traditional way often has the first two people who walk in off the mark, e.g., too close in or too far out. The spacing between everyone looks staggered or not in line and may show up as loosely organized or bad spacing in the wedding photos.

Wedding vendors say the buzz word in weddings isn’t, “I do” it’s “Hey, why not?” Brides are gobbling up the idea of grazing stations, that offer a kind of exotic honeymoon for the taste buds instead of the traditional $100 a plate sit-down meals.

There are many ways to put your “spin” on your special day. Traditional wedding ideas are everywhere. “Honor and obey, till death do us part” is out! How about “Honor and R-E-S-P-E-C-T?”

Another example might be a non-traditional wedding cakes, e.g., cupcakes for everyone instead of an expensive cake. Do pies instead of a wedding cake. Who doesn’t love pie? One couple served Krispy Kreme donuts. Hey, hey, hey!

If you even choose to have bridesmaids, let them pick out their own dresses. This will not only save them some money, but will also ensure that they pick out a dress that flatters their own body type, style, and possibly be something they could wear again.

weddingticketHere’s a novel idea! For a more casual or romantic wedding, instead of the traditional wedding invitations, how about announcing your special event with a unique, look-a-like concert ticket? They look like the real thing. Customize the tickets to create cool save-the-date announcements too.

Modern brides today often opt for the non-traditional or unconventional way of doing things in their wedding to make it different and interesting for the guests.

Remember that (in Arizona) nothing is truly necessary in a wedding ceremony except the vows for the two of you and the legal pronouncement of marriage by the Officiant.

I think you should gave fun planning your wedding. It would be fun for you and end up begin fun for your guests. Don’t let anyone – including your mother – tell you what you have to do. Stand your ground and be honest and tactful with those around you. Stay true to yourself. Be nice, but if you don’t like their ideas, just say, “No.”

Wear flip flops – or go barefoot – to be comfortable if your wedding dress will cover your feet. Or, if you’re real brave, ask everyone to go barefoot including your Officiant. The photographer will get lots of cute feet photos.

Here’s some “food for thought.” If you’re have a small, intimate back-yard wedding, rent a jukebox and filled it with our own CDs. Order pizza for everyone or have a small potluck wedding.

Instead of expensive table centerpieces, opt for daisies or wildflowers in mason jars or fishbowls with exotic fish and colorful marbles offer live entertainment.

One bride reportedly walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of “God Only Knows What I’d Do Without You” by the Beach Boys. She said the funny thing was that all the guests in the audience sort of hummed or sang along. It created this weird, movie like atmosphere. “Love Me Tender” by Elvis as a processional song and “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen or “Wouldn’t it Be Nice” by the Beach Boys as a recessional song is quite popular at non-traditional weddings.

Hire a High School Band to do the processional.

How about some non-traditional portrait photography? After the wedding, do a “trash the dress” session.

Non-traditional wedding rings are gaining in popularity. Platinum, Palladium, Tungsten, Ceramic, and Titanium wedding rings are some of the choices.

A non-traditional wedding is not about cutting corners or saving money. . . it is about getting creative and having some fun at your wedding.

Non-traditional weddings afford you an opportunity to put your brand on the day, so relax and let your creativity shine through. If you want non-traditional, you have to start thinking outside of the box. It’s a lot more acceptable these days. Get crafty! Create some new wedding rules. Once you step outside of the box, the sky’s the limit!

Don’t do what is expected of you; do what you want! Create some new, unique and long-lasting memories.

Larry’s Note: Being a non-denominational Wedding OFficiant has allowed me to be a part of many non-traditional weddings and receptions. One Pirate themed wedding I was dressed like a pirate. Another renewal of vows ceremony was performed in a hot air balloon. Some will have a slight touch of tradition, however the weddings that are memorable are the ones where the bride and groom are not afraid to do what they want. Old traditions are hard to break, but bridal couples must be mindful that just because something has been around for a long time, doesn’t mean that fashioning new rituals isn’t perfectly acceptable and perhaps even preferable.

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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