Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Don’t Lock Your Knees!

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

When conducting a wedding rehearsal, I always tell the bride, groom and wedding party to stand loose, shift their weight occasionally, (especially if you begin to feel some numbness), keep their legs flexed (bent slightly at the knees)… and never stand at attention or lock their knees during the wedding.

When you stand still for 20 to 30 minutes, the parasympathetic, or relaxing branch of your nervous system takes over, which causes your blood vessels to expand and blood to collect in your legs instead of pumping to your brain, says Julian Stewart, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Hypotension at New York Medical College.

WEDLockYourKneesFainting, also called syncope (pronounced SIN-ko-pee), is a sudden, brief loss of consciousness and posture caused by decreased blood flow to the brain.

Locking your knees, is standing in a manner in which your legs are completely straight, the knee joint “locking” back so the bones of your lower and upper legs support one another, requiring no work from the muscles of your body to maintain balance and position.

Locking your knees slows blood circulation to the brain and can cause you to pass out. Your brain needs that extra oxygen to help you maintain balance. Anxiety and dehydration, which also deprives the brain of oxygen will often exacerbate this fainting phenomenon – something you can do without at your wedding. You definitely don’t want to show up in one of those videos on America’s Funniest Videos or on blooper shows.

Heat (especially in my Arizona weddings) and alcohol don’t make standing upright for periods of time very easy. Drink plenty of water (and maybe some Gatorade) in the dressing area and limit your alcohol intake. A good rule is: No booze before the ceremony.

Be sure to eat a good breakfast the day of your wedding. Don’t go all day without giving your tummy something more to think about than being nervous.

It helps to provide a light healthy snack for your attendants so that they can nibble on something tasty and easy to eat like bananas or nectarines to keep their electrolytes balanced. No Red Bull or energy drinks, no espresso and limit the caffeine – they may work short term but you don’t know when they will wear off and its not worth the risk.

Some fainting symptoms are:

• A feeling of heaviness in the legs
• Blurred vision
• Confusion
• Feeling warm or hot
• Lightheadedness, dizziness, a floating feeling
• Nausea
• Sweating
• Vomiting
• Yawning

The best thing you can do if overcome with nerves or if you feel any of the symptoms listed above is to take a few deep cleansing breaths and relax your shoulders and legs and get that blood flowing. And, if possible, have a seat so you don’t fall down.

And now… for your entertainment…

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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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Friday, January 16, 2015

Guaranteed! No Hangovers on Your Wedding Day!

You’ve all seen “The Hangover,” a movie about three groomsmen who go overboard at their friend’s bachelor party and wake up with no memory of what has taken place. The groom is nowhere to be found, and the groomsmen go on an epic mission to find him before the wedding.

Oh, my!

WEDnoHangoversOne idea is to skip the bachelor and bachelorette parties. That’ll help.

If you have lots of friends in your wedding party, you will need a rehearsal. By having a wedding rehearsal, you can ensure that everyone involved with the ceremony knows the rest of the bridal party as well as their responsibilities.

Every person involved in your ceremony should attend: the bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, flower girl, ring bearer, Officiant, readers, and especially the bride and groom. It is considerate to invite the spouse or significant other of each attendant. The purpose of a rehearsal dinner is to provide an intimate setting for the two families to mingle before the big event. The rehearsal is designed to make the Bride and Groom familiar with the ceremony so they can be more relaxed on their big day.

Here is my idea: Break tradition! Have your rehearsal two days before the wedding, not the typical night before. Why?

Consider scheduling a Wednesday rehearsal for a Friday wedding or a Thursday rehearsal for a Saturday wedding. In other words: Consider choosing a rehearsal date two days before your wedding day, not one day before. This idea separates two stressful days and gives you a day of rest before the wedding to get last-minute things done. (The Groom will need time for a pedicure, right?) 😉

At the rehearsal dinner… the social lubrication portion can can get a little crazy and can offer a few headaches the morning after the night before. If you have that extra day in between the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner and the wedding, that pretty much will guarantee that every one in the wedding party will be clear-headed and ready for the main event.

There is also more time to relax, recuperate, and get ready for the big day. If most attendants won’t be arriving until late on the eve of your wedding, a breakfast celebration the morning before the wedding is also acceptable. Some couples are just having the rehearsal and skipping the rehearsal dinner.

If you have 12 in your wedding party – 6 bridesmaid and 6 groomsmen – and 2 or 3 are from out-of-town, go ahead and have your rehearsal without them and fill them in on the details of the rehearsal the day they arrive or the day of the wedding. If you only have 1 or 2 on each side you may not need a rehearsal.

Have out-of-town bridal party people? Plan special things for them to do – sans social lubrication (no pub crawls) – the day before the wedding. Plan some tame things for them to do. Take this opportunity to spend some quality time with your loved ones because the best day of your life is just around the corner.

BONUS Articles: Goody Bags for Out-of-Town” Wedding Guests
7 Dos and Don’ts for a Perfect STEN Do
How to Host a Unique Bachelor Party
Get Me to the Rehearsal on Time!
The Rehearsal & the Rehearsal Dinner! It’s Fun Time!
Do You Need a Wedding Rehearsal?
Will You Have Out-of-town Guests?

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2015 – 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

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Get Me to the Rehearsal on Time!

Filed under: Rehearsals,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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A wedding rehearsal shouldn’t usually take more than 30 minutes if everyone gets there on time. That’s a big “if!”

PartyBusGenerally speaking the mood of the bride, groom and bridal party is more relaxed and casual and some people tend to wander in whenever they decide to get there.

Recently I arrived early at one of my rehearsals. A few minutes later a big Party Bus arrived with “everyone” who was scheduled to be at the rehearsal on the bus. What a great way to make sure that everyone arrives to the rehearsal on time.

Everyone was told that there would be a Party Bus at a specific location, complete with refreshments and that it would leave at precisely 5 o’clock. Miss the bus… you may miss the rehearsal. Everyone met the bus (on time), including the families and a few close friends and they all arrived at the rehearsal on time. The Party Bus is a great idea because not only does it get everyone to the rehearsal on time and together, it helps the bridal party and family members to get better acquainted with each other in a light-hearted way. After the rehearsal, they were taken to the rehearsal dinner.

The rehearsal dinner is a great time to meet everyone, relax and begin your wedding celebration. I recommend that if possible, plan to have your rehearsal two days before the wedding. This gives everyone a day of rest before the wedding and allows the bride to tend to any last minute details the next day like doing her nails or packing for her honeymoon, and to allow her the opportunity to wind down, relax, and rest well for the big day ahead.

beearlyOften some of the bridal party may be coming from out of town and may not arrive until the day before the wedding. In that case, if there are only one or two that may not be able to be at the rehearsal two days before, go ahead and have your rehearsal and have someone assigned to give them the details of the rehearsal on the day of the wedding. The rehearsal dinner is a great time to hand out printed lists of duties for the attendants. They need to know what is expected of them, and when they are on call.

Being on time for the wedding rehearsal is deceptively important. Being on time is a matter of respect. This particular day it was very important to begin the rehearsal on time because there was another rehearsal scheduled at the wedding venue one hour later. For me, it’s important because I often have more than one rehearsal a day or may have an afternoon rehearsal and a wedding several hours later.

BONUS Articles: Do You Need a Wedding Rehearsal?
When to Schedule Your Wedding Rehearsal…
The Rehearsal & the Rehearsal Dinner! It’s Fun Time!

Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Monday, November 21, 2011

When to Schedule Your Wedding Rehearsal…

Filed under: Rehearsals,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 9:00 am
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In my many interviews with brides and grooms I often discover that they have booked the date, the venue and just about everyone else… then they book the wedding officiant or minister last… but they have also failed to book the rehearsal.

RehearsalScheduleFor those of us who are very busy with wedding ceremonies (for me, about 75 wedding ceremonies each year), you also need to remember to schedule the wedding rehearsal at the time you book the wedding venue. Some venues, however, do not like to book the rehearsal very far in advance because there is always the possibility that they could book a wedding on that date. For the venues and for me too, weddings are always booked before rehearsals.

NOTE: When interviewing your wedding officiant or minister, be sure to ask if attending the rehearsal is included in their fee. I do not charge extra for attending the wedding rehearsal, however some wedding officiants and ministers do.

You are encouraged to plan the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner two days before the wedding (instead of the day before the wedding) to give you time to work out all the details, to do things that you may have forgotten and to have time for all to recover from the rehearsal dinner. It’s never a good idea to come to the wedding with a hangover. 😉

HOT TIP: Consider scheduling a Wednesday rehearsal for a Friday Wedding and a Thursday rehearsal for a Saturday wedding. This idea separates two stressful days and give you a day before the wedding to get last-minute things done. I do not schedule rehearsals on Fridays any later than 1:00 p.m. because Friday evenings are reserved for weddings only. My attendance at a Friday rehearsal for a Saturday wedding is subject to whether I have a Friday wedding scheduled. Most rehearsals should not take longer than 30 minutes (provided everyone arrives on time).

If some of the Bridal party are coming in from out-of-town and will not arrive in time for a rehearsal scheduled two days prior to the wedding, not to worry. If only one or two are not able to be there, have someone stand in for them at the rehearsal. Usually myself or the bridal consultant at the wedding venue can lead those not present for a rehearsal through the process on the day of the wedding. If, for any reason, I am unable to attend the rehearsal, I will schedule an early arrival the day of the wedding to coach those not present at the rehearsal through the necessary steps. I always arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the wedding.

Your wedding rehearsal is really only for the people who are in your wedding party and the bride and groom’s parents. Of course, you can invite anyone you choose. During your wedding rehearsal, your officiant, your wedding consultant (if any) or the coordinator at the venue will guide you through the ceremony and explain everyone’s roles. My part of the rehearsal usually takes less than 10 minutes to hit the high points of the ceremony – those places where the bride and groom have to say something.

quicktipsFour Quick Tips for those in the wedding party:

1. Don’t lock your knees! Have you have every watched those funny TV shows where you see someone in the wedding party passing out? Here is what happens. IF you are a little nervous, your heart is beating faster (that’s normal at a wedding) and you lock your knees, you slow down the circulation of blood to your brain. Your brain needs that extra oxygen to help you maintain your equilibrium. So… do not lock your knees.

2. Remember to breathe! Regardless of whether it’s your first or second marriage most brides and grooms are a little nervous and some become emotional. This tip will help you calm down. Breathe in through you nose and out through your mouth. Why? Because we usually breathe in and out through our nose and when you have to THINK about breathing another way it short-circuits your brain and actually has a calming effect.

3. Have something to eat before the wedding! Put something in your tummy before you walk down the aisle. Crackers, cheese and a Pepsi are better than nothing.

4. Don’t worry about making a mistake during the wedding! Why? Because the guests do not know what we are going to do. If you make a mistake, don’t call attention to it. I’ve had rehearsal go one way and the actual wedding go another, however the guests were totally unaware of the mistake.

IMPORTANT: Remember to provide the venue wedding coordinator (and the Wedding Consultant/Planner) 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 and grandparents, are the guys walking up first or will the Groomsmen walk with the Bridesmaids, names of the ushers (if any), etc. This will help make your rehearsal go much smoother and a lot less time consuming. Most brides wait until the rehearsal to begin telling the venue wedding coordinator the names of those in the wedding party. Telling them in advance saves about 15 to 20 minutes at the actual rehearsal.

rehearsaldinnerI give the brides and grooms a “Wedding Party List” for them to complete and send to me and the venue wedding coordinator two weeks before the rehearsal. It is a complete list of everyone in the wedding party, including the names and both parents, grandparents, ushers, etc. The venues love it because when everyone arrives for the rehearsal all they have to do is to call out names and line everyone up.

If you don’t send a list 2 weeks before the rehearsal, either call the coordinator with the names or better yet, send e-mail a day or two before the rehearsal. 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. That is important to me because I will often have more than one rehearsal in a day.

Once you’ve taken care of the rehearsal business, it’s time to celebrate! Get your wedding party together, along with any other special guests and head off to your rehearsal dinner party – your time to unwind before the big day. The rehearsal dinner should be more intimate than the reception. It is a celebration usually reserved for the couple’s closest friends, relations and the wedding officiant.

NOTE: The best wedding officiants are usually very busy and book weddings anywhere from 6 months to 1 1/2 years in advance. It is also wise to book the wedding officiant right after you book the wedding venue if you want the best. Each year I have to turn down many requests for my “romantic” wedding ceremony because the bride and groom waited until the last minute to book the wedding officiant.

BONUS Articles: Do You Need a Wedding Rehearsal?
The Rehearsal & the Rehearsal Dinner! It’s Fun Time!

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2011 – 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: Cell: 480-205-3694. 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

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Do You Need a Wedding Rehearsal?

Filed under: Rehearsals,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 9:00 am

Maybe. Maybe not. There are no rules! The need for a wedding rehearsal depends on how large your wedding party will be.

If there is virtually no wedding party – just the bride and groom – you could probably skip the rehearsal. Or if it’s a casual outdoor ceremony in someone’s back yard with no wedding party a rehearsal may not be necessary. It has been my experience that most brides feel more comfortable having a quick, smooth rehearsal.

mcneilIf the wedding party has more than two or three couples I recommend a wedding rehearsal especially if there are young children involved in the wedding – flower girls, ring bearers, etc. The only people required to be in attendance at a wedding rehearsal are those who will participate in the wedding: the bride and groom, their parents and the wedding party. It is always a good idea to familiarize everyone with what will happen at the wedding. A few of the questions of the wedding party will probably be: who do I walk in with, where do I stand, how fast do I walk, who am I with, what do I do?

Some ministers and wedding officiants do not attend the rehearsal. Be sure to ask if they charge extra for the rehearsal. I don’t. As a wedding officiant I want to be there provided I don’t have another wedding scheduled on your rehearsal day. (Friday and Saturday evenings are reserved for weddings.)

Some couples make the mistake of checking everyone else’s schedule to set the rehearsal day and time, and then assume their wedding officiant will be there. Instead, you should check with the officiant first to find out when he/she is available, and then with everyone else. If you set the rehearsal without first checking with your officiant, and then find out your officiant has another commitment (such as a wedding) at the same time, you will be doing your rehearsal without him/her.

HOT TIP: Some couples prefer to have the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner (usually paid for by the groom’s parents) two days before the wedding to allow a day of rest from the stress of having two busy days in a row. Wrap it up early enough for the bride to tend to any last minute details the next day like doing her nails or packing for her honeymoon, and to allow her the opportunity to wind down, relax, and rest well for the big day ahead. If most of the wedding party are coming in from other cities, this idea may not work. However, if only 1 or 2 of the bridesmaids or groomsmen cannot be there don’t be concerned. As you line people up at the rehearsal leave a space for each missing attendant. Ask those who are on either side of the missing attendant to clue him or her in on the day of the wedding.

For the rehearsal dinner, consider a potluck event or a buffet-style meal at someone’s home featuring inexpensive food that feeds many (pasta, tacos and stews are a few ideas). Some couples prefer to schedule the rehearsal dinner at a restaurant.

You will not need to “dress up” for the rehearsal although if the bride is planning on wearing a veil as she walks up the aisle she may want to wear one for the rehearsal so your groom (or the father) can practice moving it from over your face. Most brides do not wear a veil over their face “during” the wedding – it hides their face from the camera.

Be sure to reserve the first row for the parents and grandparents of the bride and groom. If there are children involved, have adult supervision for them both at the rehearsal and wedding in case the children become confused as to where to be seated after they have tossed the flower petals and delivered the rings. Young children are usually more comfortable sitting rather than standing during the ceremony.

Usually if the ring bearer is very young he will carry a pillow with fake rings. I recommend that the best man have the rings – not the best man “and” the maid of honor. The maid of honor will be holding her own bouquet and the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony and she also has no pockets. Have the best man put the rings on a finger, and then curl his fingers. That way the rings aren’t going anywhere. By the way, NEVER say to a young ring bearer, “Don’t drop the rings!” Instead, if he will be carrying the real rings say, “Hold on to the rings really tight!”

beEarlyIf everyone in the wedding party arrives at the wedding venue for the rehearsal on time, the rehearsal shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes at the most. The only people who really need to be there are the bride, groom, the maid or matron of honor and best man, flower girl, ring bearer, whoever is walking the bride, the wedding consultant (if any), the wedding coordinator from the venue, ushers (if any) and the wedding officiant. Usually both parents are also invited. Readers, musicians and/or soloists, DJs, bands, photographers, etc., usually are not required to come to the rehearsal.

Often there will be a rehearsal brunch or dinner following the rehearsal depending on the start time.

I recommend that you begin at the end. In other words, line everyone up as if they have just walked in and the wedding is ready to begin. This makes the rehearsal go quicker and lets everyone know where they are to stand, who they stand next to, etc. Some brides arrange the attendants by height to obtain a pleasant visual effect for the photos.

The next step is to have the wedding officiant hit the highlights of the ceremony – not read the entire ceremony but go over the parts where the bride and groom have to say something. After they practice walking out, then line everyone up as if the wedding were ready to begin and have everyone in the wedding party walk in again and take their places. It isn’t necessary to sing any songs at the rehearsal, but you may like to have a reader practice the reading.

In the Greater Phoenix area most of my weddings are at hotels, resorts, back yards – almost all are out doors. I rarely recommend a receiving line especially if it’s a wedding that is an hour to a hour and a half before sunset. Most couples like to go directly to photos after the wedding. In that case, after everyone has left the alter, I am the last to leave and I step forward and make this brief announcement:

“Ladies and gentlemen, the bride and groom request that you offer your congratulations so pictures of the wedding can stay on schedule. In the meantime, help yourselves to hor d’oeuvres and something cold to drink. Please allow the parents and grandparents to go before me. Let the celebration begin!”

Usually everyone on both first rows follow the bride and groom and the wedding party so as family members they can be the first to greet the bride and groom and the wedding party. This also keeps the wedding party and close family members together so they are ready to return to the wedding area to take more photos after the guests have cleared the area.

By the way, most brides and grooms do not prefer to have guests seated on the “brides” side or the “grooms” side. Why? In a recent wedding, the groom had more that 75% of the guests while the brides friends were mostly from out of town and some couldn’t be there – she had about 25% guests. We had the ushers fill the seats close to the front on both sides equally so the photos would look better.

lightbulb-ideaHOT TIP: Here is another idea that is “contrary to tradition” but most parents like it. (Remember: Different is GOOD and the guests love it). As you are looking from the alter to the guests, have the parents of the bride seated on the “left” side and the parents of the groom seated on the “right” side so they won’t be looking at the back of their daughter and son’s heads during the ceremony. That way they will be able to see the expressions, emotions, etc., of the bride and groom as the wedding ceremony is being performed.

A quick word about how the bridal party walks. Step-touch-step-touch is old fashion and it out! A natural step is more relaxed and less taxing.

BONUS Articles: Who (of the bridal party) Walks Down the Aisle First?
The Rehearsal & the Rehearsal Dinner! It’s Fun Time!

Copyright © 2011 – 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
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

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!

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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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Friday, June 11, 2010

The Rehearsal & the Rehearsal Dinner! It’s Fun Time!

Filed under: Rehearsals,Wedding Articles — Larry James @ 6:00 am
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The wedding rehearsal is a run-through of the ceremony with the minister (hitting the highlights of the ceremony and giving everyone their cues for the big day) from beginning to end, allowing everybody involved to feel more confident about what will happen on the wedding day. Walk through the ceremony, establishing the pace and timing, in the order each element will occur, where everyone will be standing and make sure all of the participants know their responsibilities.

The only people required to be in attendance at a wedding rehearsal are those who will participate in the wedding: the bride and groom, their parents and the wedding party.

To make your rehearsal go smoother. . . here is a HOT TIP: Provide the Wedding Coordinator at your wedding venue, ALL the details of the rehearsal, if any, 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. This 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 coordinator with the names. Please send your minister a copy of the e-mail too. 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 so everyone can move along to the rehearsal dinner after the rehearsal.

formaldinnerThe wedding rehearsal is usually followed by a dinner for members of the wedding party. All attendants, the bride and her fiancé’s immediate families, the minister and spouse, as well as any out-of-town guests are usually included in the guest list. Family and friends of the bride or the host may also be invited. It is generally acceptable to invite the spouse or significant other of each attendant.

If money is an object, only invite the key players. Rehearsal dinners can offer a contrast to the formality and stress of the wedding day and give the families a chance to get to know each other in a more casual setting.

The purpose of the rehearsal dinner is to allow both families and your special friends to meet one another, socialize and have fun together. It is a great way to begin your wedding festivities. Consider an icebreaker game to encourage mingling and establish acquaintances.

The rehearsal dinner is usually held the night before the wedding.

HOT TIP: Some couples prefer to have the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner two days before the wedding to allow a day of rest from the stress of having two busy days in a row. Wrap it up early enough for the bride to tend to any last minute details the next day like doing her nails or packing for her honeymoon, and to allow her the opportunity to wind down, relax, and rest well for the big day ahead.

This may not work if guests who are in the wedding party do not arrive in town in time for the rehearsal. However, if only one or two bridesmaids or groomsmen cannot attend I encourage the couple to go ahead and have the rehearsal without them and catch them up just before the wedding.

casualdinnerNobody says the rehearsal dinner has to be a “dinner.” Instead, opt to have a rehearsal brunch or breakfast. It could be a picnic in the park or meet up at a favorite breakfast spot for some delicious breakfast entrees and mimosas.

For a nostalgic touch, have the rehearsal dinner at a spot that is special for the couple. If Italy is the honeymoon destination, for example, an Italian restaurant would be fitting. Perhaps the dinner can be held at the restaurant that was the site of their first date or the site of the proposal.

The rehearsal dinner is often held in a private home or a restaurant and is as formal or informal as the host would like. Special instrumental music will make this event even more elegant. Consider hiring a pianist, harpist, or a guitar duo.

Depending on the guest list and budget, and the wishes of the hosts, the event can be anything from a formal banquet to a casual outdoor picnic. From a pool side barbecue to a formal sit-down affair, there are no hard and fast rules for the rehearsal dinner. While the excitement and stress of the big day may loom before you, this event lets you enjoy quality time with loved ones.

The wedding rehearsal dinner is traditionally given by the groom’s family. Planning the party is usually the responsibility of the groom’s mother. Many mothers of the groom are eager to participate. This is her opportunity to get involved in the planning process and contribute to the wedding.

It is a good idea for the bride or her representative to ask the groom’s family if this is an event she would like to take on. If the dinner is not something that a specific person can do because of cost or location, any member of the wedding party can take over planning the rehearsal dinner. Although it is traditional for the groom’s family to pay for the rehearsal dinner, it can also be built-in to the wedding expenses by both the bride and groom.

Given the more relaxed standards of modern times, other relatives, close friends, or even the couple themselves can plan and pay for the event. Whoever throws the party should definitely confer with the bride and groom to avoid any conflict with the theme, menu, or decorations of the wedding.

rehearsalinvatationInvitations should be sent at least four weeks before the wedding; or a simple phone call informing the guests of the time, location, and perhaps formality of dress. Usually rehearsal dinners are informal affairs, however a classy restaurant can be a welcome counterpoint to a formal dinner.

Consider using place cards to ease seating arrangements. Decorate the dining area with flowers and candles. You may want to mix your guests up a bit to allow them to meet someone they do not know. It is important to arrange seating in a way that will make guests feel comfortable, while at the same time encouraging conversation. Try to keep the guest list small, so that the dinner is intimate enough to invite conversation between people who have never met.

If the attendants gifts have not already been passed out, now is a good time to do so. An early evening is suggested as the events of the wedding day will be exhausting. The bride and her attendants will appreciate their beauty sleep.

The toasts (with perhaps a few roasts – no off-color remarks, please, as children may be present) at the rehearsal dinner are given by the host of the event (usually the groom’s father) first. Next would be the bride’s father, then the best man offers a toast to the bride and groom.

rehearsaltoastThe bride and groom may also toast at the end of the others. The groom with a toast to his bride and her parents and the bride with a toast to her groom and his family. This is an opportunity for them to thank everybody for support, etc. during the engagement. As part of the introductions, the bride and groom can stand and introduce the bridal party one by one and tell a little about each person. This is a great way to put together names to faces and get people laughing.

Not everybody must toast, but this is a perfect time to get the more personal stories and feelings out to the couple in a more intimate atmosphere.

Wedding rehearsal dinner ideas are only limited by your imagination. While there are elements of a rehearsal dinner that are traditional, this is the part of a wedding that has the most flexibility.

Following dinner, of course, is dessert and chit chat. Delegate someone to take some photos. Then the evening usually wraps up, particularly if the wedding is the very next day. Discourage members of the bridal party from capping the evening by going to a club to continue the celebration – everyone should be rested and refreshed for the big day. Bloodshot eyes don’t look good in the wedding photos! 😉

Horror stories abound of the bride, groom, or members of the wedding party showing up at the wedding late, in extremely poor condition, or at a minimum – not rested, after a late night on the town the previous evening as part of the rehearsal dinner festivities. The big celebration should be saved for the wedding day itself, and the rehearsal dinner kept a little more low key and laid back.

breatheNow. . . take a deep breath. Take another. And another. Breathing deeply – in through your nose and out through your mouth – is a powerful force and can wash away your worries and stress in most cases. Breathing in through your nose and out through you mouth is not the normal way to breathe. You have to “think” about breathing this way. When you think about something other than what you are nervous about breathing this way has a calming effect on you. You’re almost there. Take another deep breath.

Quick recap. . .

• The rehearsal dinner is usually hosted by the groom’s parents
• The bride and groom’s parents, step-parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, close friends, the minister, readers, out-of-town guests, the entire wedding entourage and their spouses/live-in-relationships/fiances should be in attendance.
• The rehearsal dinner immediately follows the rehearsal of the ceremony, usually the night before the wedding. (Some prefer to have the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner two days before the wedding to allow a day of rest from the stress of having two busy days in a row.)
• The party can be as formal or informal as you wish
• The party can be hosted at someone’s residence or at a restaurant
• The bride and groom usually offer a toast to their family and friends for their love and support.
• Gifts for the wedding attendants are usually handed out at this time
• Consider using place cards to ease seating arrangements
• Consider an icebreaker game to encourage mingling and establish acquaintances
• Special instrumental music will make this event even more elegant
• Select a location for the rehearsal dinner “close” to the actual rehearsal site
• The toasts will take place during the dinner. Between courses is a perfect spot for the toasts.

BONUS Article: 5 Savvy Rehearsal Dinner Alternatives

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 455 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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