Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why Do People Get Married?

Filed under: Marriage,Relationships,Weddings — Larry James @ 7:30 am

Everyone knows that there are ups and downs to putting a ring on it! Yet, thousands of couples get married every year. Love seems to be the main reason. What’s Love got to do with it? A lot. AND Love is never enough!

Love usually tops the list with most people. Companionship is a close second. Marriage usually involves tradition, religion, family and/or culture. Signing papers conveys respectability. You don’t need a marriage certificate or label to be happy. It’s a public declaration of love for each other. It is a promise of fidelity. It’s socially acceptable.

Demographers project that at least 80 percent of Americans will marry at some point in their lives. Love does not make for a strong enough foundation. It is far from “all you need.” Love alone will not carry you the distance. It is not something that can stand alone. Mature Love is more than whatever you think marriage is.

Marriage isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. A healthy relationship takes constant attention to it. It’s something you must work on all the time, not only when it’s broken and needs to be fixed.

WhyMarriageAaron T. Beck, M.D., author of “Love is Never Enough” says, there is an art to loving and being loved. The ingredients in mature love are:

• Feelings of warmth
• Caring
• Expressions of affection
• Acceptance
• Empathy
• Sensitivity
• Understanding
• Companionship
• Intimacy
• Friendliness
• Pleasing
• Support
• Closeness

I would add 6 others:

• Working together – Teamwork
• Trust
• Best friends
• Keep Romance Alive
• Shared Goals
• Respect

The list above is but a small gathering of traits that we must become skilled in to have a long-lasting, healthy relationship. It’s a list that couples contemplating marriage should become familiar with because those traits are a part of being hitched.

According to most relationship experts, effective communication is one of the most difficult to master. In my mind, so is undelivered communication. We often don’t say what we know we should because the last time we did, someone got upset and we don’t want to go through that again, so we close down, don’t say anything and when our partner asks, “What’s wrong?” we say nothing. The next time our partner doesn’t take out the garbage we want a divorce and it’s not about the garbage… it’s about all the things we didn’t say.

It’s important to take communication one step further. It’s one thing to have great conversations when you are dating and quite another to know how to communicate when problems surface. No yelling is the #1 rule. Keep it calm. No name calling. You can learn to express your anger or disappointment in a responsible and loving way. That must be a high priority.

“If you want your relationship to work, let go of your demands and expectations for how your partner should be, and make peace with the way they are. Do your best to empower them and do everything you can to make sure they feel loved, accepted and appreciated.” ~ Bill Ferguson

So, why get married? Marriage is the ultimate level of commitment that our society recognizes. A marriage commitment puts a protective shell around your relationship that helps keep your bond strong when there are bumps in the road – it gives couples a sense of security that they’ll stay together no matter what. It’s serious business. You have finally identified each other as your this-is-it, once-in-a-lifetime partner.

Tax breaks should never be a good reason to get married. It’s a benefit, but not a good reason. Another benefit is that married people live longer than single people. A 2006 study performed by University of California researchers contended that single people are five times more likely to die of infectious disease, nearly 40% more likely to die of heart disease and twice as likely to die accidentally.

More sex, anyone? A study done by the Kinsey Institute, for example, suggests that 23% of non-married men periodically go a year without sex, while only 1% of married men experience 12-month dry spells. 😉 Procreation has always been a factor in why people marry.

A final reason people want to get married is the gala event the wedding has become. The wedding is not the marriage. Everyone is there to celebrate you and your love for one another. Weddings are beautiful events. I know. I’ve performed hundreds of wedding ceremonies. When the couple truly understand what “marriage” is really about… something wonderful happens as that leave the alter and step into their new life together.

“All these promises we make, and we break, why is it that people get married? Because we need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet, I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything, the good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all the time, everyday. You’re saying, your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness.” ~ Susan Sarandon, in the movie, “Shall We Dance”

The truth is that when love wanes (and all the things that love entails), the marriage gets shaky; when the romance stops, the nuptials generally crumble. However, when you put in the extra effort required to make a marriage work, over time it becomes a strong, healthy, long-term relationship that can endure.

BONUS Article: Think Long and Hard…
Resist Exercising Your Voice Power…
Everything We Think We Know About Marriage and Divorce is Wrong!!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

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

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Why We Fight About Money

Filed under: Money,Relationships,Weddings — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

The classic line in many wedding ceremonies includes the words, “for richer or for poorer.”

Often heard in my relationship coaching sessions:

“You just don’t know when to stop spending.”
“You’re not doing your part to help with our money problem.”
“You never consult me when you make major purchases. I thought we were in this together.”
“You need to get a better job that pays more!”
“We need to cut back, but you keep on spending.”

Couples who once smoothed over spats with a little shopping therapy can no longer afford to fill that prescription. Marital roles are shifting as onetime breadwinners adjust to long bouts of unemployment. Husbands and wives are blaming each other for bad investments and onerous debt.

Money is the biggest stress on married couples in many years. It seems to be the top reason that most couples find themselves in major disagreements. Although the longer they are together, the less they argue about money.

Here are the latest stats:

43% – Married 1 to 8 years
38% – Married 9 to 25 years
23% – Married 26-plus years

You can blame the economy for shaking up your once solid union or you can define the real problem and mutually work together to find a workable solution.

Blame never solves the problem. It delays the inevitable search for a mutually beneficial solution. Work together. Cuss and discuss, but work on the solution.

Stats Source: Center for Marital and Family Studies, University of Denver.

moneyheart

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

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

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

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wedding Tip!

Filed under: Weddings — Larry James @ 12:01 am

It is considered inappropriate to include in your invitations where you are registered. No guest should ever receive an announcement about your wedding registry: not with your invitations, via e-mail, or from a store. If the store offers to send a note, decline the offer. Instead, pass the word through family and friends. It’s okay to tell someone if they ask you or to let those who may host a bridal shower for you so they can tell those who attend.

Guests often feel at a loss when choosing wedding gifts, and would prefer to purchase something you picked out yourself. Request a gift card to a nice restaurant for the bride and groom.

Many couples who do not wish to receive gifts, which is often the case with a second-time bride or groom, will provide the name of a charity organization to which wedding guests can contribute in lieu of buying a wedding gift for the couple.

Or… get help with the honeymoon. Who really needs three blenders anyway? Avoid incurring honeymoon debt and sign up with a honeymoon registry. Guests will then be able to buy increments of your big sendoff – a valuable cost-cutting plan.

Since you may already have most of the traditional wedding gift items, you may want to offer your guests a popular new wedding gift alternative – a honeymoon registry. This will allow them to help you create the honeymoon memories that will last a lifetime.

When your friends contribute to your honeymoon registry, they can help you take a cruise, stay at an all-inclusive resort, rent a condo on the beach, a honeymoon suite, include airfare, breakfast in bed, a relaxing massage, a romantic candlelight dinner at an elegant restaurant, scuba diving lessons, entertainment, a relaxing day at the spa and even shopping funds.

When wedding guests ask, “Where are you registered?” direct them to a honeymoon travel registry. Tell your bridal party to pass the word about where you are registered.

Check out Travelers Joy Honeymoon Registry, a great place to register.

Your comments are always welcome!

Copyright © 2009 – 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! You will find more than 450 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com.

Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wedding Tip!

Filed under: Weddings — Larry James @ 12:01 am

Make it easy on your long-distance guests. Make deals with local hotels or motels. Ask for a special group rate and be sure to communicate it to your relatives and friends.

Do your part to keep your guests safe. Consider partnering with a hotel with a shuttle service between the wedding reception site and the hotel. Send a card with your invitation offering a special rate at the hotel for your guests with the headline, “Don’t Drink and Drive!” Offer a special fee ($15 to $20) for the privilege of hopping on a shuttle at half hour intervals for guests that want a “designated driver.”

Include a phone number for hotel reservations. Ask them to send a check in advance for the shuttle service with their RSVP and a deadline date to respond.

Although the Minister will be at the wedding, to help you keep track of guests, remember to send him/her a wedding invitation.

Your comments are always welcome!

Copyright © 2009 – 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! You will find more than 450 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com.

Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

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

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

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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 “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wedding Tip!

Filed under: Weddings — Larry James @ 12:45 am

Don’t plan to leave on your honeymoon immediately. The wedding and reception may cause extreme exhaustion. It’s a big day. The honeymoon is very special so give yourself a couple of days (or more) to rest. Open gifts, write “thank you” notes, sleep late, rest and just be together.

When you are fully rested, go for it! Don’t worry about not being able to take a big fancy honeymoon. You have the rest of your lives to make money and take big, wonderful, fabulous vacations. But you only get “one” wedding.

Do it well and be happy.

Copyright © 2009 – 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! You will find more than 450 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com.

Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

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

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

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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 “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tips for Wedding Guests: How to Avoid Embarrassing Faux Pas

While advice and how-tos for Brides and Grooms are plentiful, many guests are still left with lingering questions about wedding day etiquette (often called wediquette).

It is an honor to be included in a couple’s special day – and it’s usually a ton of fun – there are a few guidelines wedding guests should be aware of. Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts plus a few additional tips to help guests avoid embarrassing faux pas and ensure a day of celebration for all.

First the Dos!

DO RSVP promptly.  Notify the couple as soon as possible. A speedy reply is always welcome and will assist the couple in making definite plans. Follow the instructions on the RSVP card to indicate your intentions.

If you cannot attend, a quick, “with regrets” response may allow the happy couple enough time to fire off an invitation to a guest they might not otherwise be able to include. If you must cancel after you’ve accepted, do so as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute.

It’s okay to decline an invitation. Write a brief note, including a brief explanation of the conflict. However, when explaining yourself, use good judgment.

We all know stuff happens. However, if you cannot attend because the wedding conflicts with your previously scheduled golf game or trip to the new shopping mall, it might be better to decline without the details.

Never change your mind at the last minute. This kind of inconsistency may seem harmless to you, but it wreaks havoc when you are planning a wedding. Make a decision, however difficult, and stick to it.

If you were unable to attend, call and schedule a dinner date with the Bride and Groom when they return from their honeymoon. Create a very special evening to show your Love and affection. Catch up on the wedding festivities. You’ll definitely see more of the Bride and Groom than you would have at the wedding or the reception.

DO be there in spirit.  If you cannot attend, write a toast and fax or e-mail it to a delegated wedding attendant. At the reception, the best man, maid of honor, or sometimes even the Bride and Groom will read your sentiments aloud. Your best wishes are toasted by all and you are forever part of a very special moment.

DO make your hotel and plane reservations early,  especially if you receive a “save the date” notice. Often the couple will reserve a block of rooms (especially for the wedding party) at the wedding venue. Be sure to inquire.

DO arrive on time!  Get there at least 15 minutes before the ceremony begins. Never arrive late. Take into account extra time for traffic snarls, bad directions and last minute runs to the convenience store. Do a MapQuest for specific directions. Unfamiliar with the location of the venue? Do a trial run.

If you do arrive late, approach with caution! Wait quietly at the back of the room until an appropriate moment.

If the ceremony is underway, the processional may also be in progress and you really don’t want to be strolling down the aisle beside the wedding party. If an usher is available, make your presence known and ask for assistance finding a seat. Never walk down the center aisle after the bridal party!

If the processional is underway, please wait quietly and patiently in an area outside and/or out of the way until the processional has been concluded.

Ideally, there should be someone to direct you as to when you may enter and take a seat. Use a side aisle rather than the center aisle. Always exercise discretion.

Although you may prefer to be seated up front, arriving late greatly diminishes that opportunity so locate a seat quickly and quietly in the back and avoid drawing any attention away from the ceremony that is underway.

If you have arrived after the ceremony is underway at an indoor wedding and cannot find an open entrance, avoid the temptation to knock! You may feel badly that you are missing the ceremony, however, you will only make matters worse by interrupting the ceremony.

DO sign the guest book, engagement photo, etc.  When you enter, some couples will hand rice or bird seed bags, bags with rose petals, etc., for you to toss during the processional. Arrive early enough to be a part of this celebration.

DO have fun!  Surrounded by family, friends and well-wishers, the Bride and Groom may not be able to spend more than a few moments with each guest. But having spent so much time on planning their perfect day, knowing that the guests had fun is the icing on the cake. Celebrate Love! The Bride and Groom are your hosts and want you to celebrate with them. Leave your problems at the door and enjoy their hospitality.

DO give a gift unless the Bride and Groom request no gifts. It is customary for wedding guests to give gifts to the Bride and Groom. Even if you can’t attend it is customary to send a gift anyway. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have up to a year to send a gift.

Purchase gifts early, and use the registry. This process is designed to make your life and the lives of the Bride and Groom much easier. Usually these are sent as soon as the invitation is received, rather than brought to the wedding. Gifts should be sent before the wedding. If you do bring the gift, take it to the reception and place it on the gift table. If you have given a shower present or engagement gift, you should still give a wedding gift.

Sending a gift indicates your support and best wishes for the happy couple who are starting their lives together. The benefit of sending a gift ahead of time is that the couple will not have to worry about keeping it safe at the reception or transporting it after.

Some guests may feel that for a second wedding, a gift is not necessary and bring a card instead, particularly if they gave a gift for the first wedding. This choice is left to your discretion, although most etiquette experts disagree with this idea.

It is also appropriate to give a gift of money, or to make a donation to charity in the couple’s names.

Send flowers, a registry gift, a bottle of wine, a journal to take on the honeymoon, a gift certificate to a spa or restaurant or tickets to a great show. Let your imagination be your guide.

Personalize your gift. While registries offer a great way for couples to select the perfect gifts, going the extra mile by adding a personal touch is a wonderful way to show you care. If the couple has registered for china, include a special family recipe with the place setting.

DO remember to turn off your cell phone or pager.  It’s the height of rudeness to allow a personal call to interrupt someone’s once-in-a-lifetime, special moment.

DO commemorate the special day.  After the wedding, send the Bride and Groom your snapshots. Even though most couples have professional photos, there is something extra special about pictures taken lovingly by friends and family. Personalize the gift by framing the best shot in a beautiful china frame to embellish the couple’s living-room.

DO wait in the receiving line, if there is one.  Congratulate the newlywed couple and their parents after the ceremony. Keep your greeting upbeat and brief.

DO remain quiet and attentive during toasts at the reception, and while the couple cuts the wedding cake. If you do not drink alcohol, join in the toast with a glass of water or a soft drink.

DO wait for the Bride and Groom to have their first dance before you hit the dance floor.  Then. . . it’s party time! Don’t be shy. Get up, dance and enjoy the evening. The couple will be pleased to see all the guests having a great time.

DO avoid keeping the Bride or Groom engaged in conversation for too long.  They have many guests to greet, and a honeymoon suite awaits them. Remember, the Bride and Groom want to see and talk to everybody, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t get to talk with them for long.

DOs & DON’Ts about invitations.  Just because you’ve been invited to a wedding does not mean you are obligated to attend. Also keep in mind that just because a friend has talked to you about their wedding, that doesn’t mean that they are inviting you. They may be having a very intimate ceremony, or may only be having close friends.

If you feel that you should have been invited, and are worried about the invitation being lost in the mail, first be patient – it may still be on its way. If you still haven’t received one just before the wedding, you can call and say something like “I just wanted to wish the two of you every happiness on your big day this weekend.” If they’ve invited you, this will be their clue to say “You’re not coming?” or “Didn’t you get your invitation?” Most of all, don’t take it personal if you weren’t invited.

If the invitation is addressed to you, the couple are expecting you to attend the wedding unaccompanied. Don’t bring a date unless your invitation specifically says “+ Guest.” Clearly indicating your guest’s name is important if the couple are to personalize your guest’s place card.

Every effort is usually made to seat you with other unaccompanied individuals and/or acquaintances. As the wedding date approaches, it is not improper to ask the couple if other mutual friends have been invited unaccompanied so that you may arrange to arrive at the wedding with them. This might be an attractive situation for you if you are single, unaccompanied and attending an evening wedding with concerns about not having a “date” for the event.

Couples know that not everyone they invite will be able to attend, and frequently their budget reflects this. If you cannot go to the wedding of a close relative, or a close friend, it would be nice to send them a note saying, “I’m so sorry that I can’t attend your wedding. I would love to be there, but unfortunately I will be out of town. Best wishes for all your happiness.” Most invited guests will also send a gift.

A few DON’Ts. . .

DON’T bring the children. . . unless the invitation specifically lists your children’s names, or says “The (your last name) family,” then your children are invited. It is never appropriate to ask the couple to let you bring extra people, even your children.

Many couples specifically do not want children at their wedding, or have not budgeted for the cost of having your entire family there. Bring children only if the invitation expressly mentions them.

If the exclusion of your children is such a problem that you can not attend without them, simply send your regrets, stating that family matters prevents you from being able to attend, and leave it at that.

Weddings are formal events and typically not appropriate for small children. No one thinks your child acting up is adorable. If you are allowed to bring children to the wedding or reception, make sure that they are not the center of attention.

This is the Bride’s and Groom’s day and they certainly don’t want their recordings or videos to be filled with children crying or misbehaving. A wedding ceremony and a two-year-old are not compatible.

Don’t take situations such as this personal, instead find a sitter and enjoy yourselves. Perhaps other couples that you know attending the wedding are in the same predicament. Pooling resources together and hiring one sitter for all the children is an option.

Look for a company that specializes in providing interactive entertainment for children during the wedding and the reception. This will allow you and your adult guests to focus on celebrating every precious moment of your special day. In the Greater Phoenix area visit: www.Princess-Teaparty.com.

It is inappropriate to bring anyone who was not specifically invited; each additional person is a significant expense, and table seating and catering has been planned for a specific number of guests. Look closely at how the invitation is worded.

DON’T upstage the couple.  Dress appropriately for the time of day, the setting and the season. A Saturday afternoon wedding generally means a coat and tie (perhaps with light-colored slacks) and flowing dresses. An evening wedding calls for a suit, or coat and tie with dark slacks.

If the invitation says black tie, men should wear tuxedos and women should wear formal dresses. If you are unsure of the dress code, you’re safer erring on the side of dressing up too much.

Never wear white. White is reserved for the Bride. Don’t be tempted to go more formal than you think the couple will be, and don’t dress to call excessive attention to yourself (e.g. a super short miniskirt or a sequined tie.)

Unless the invitation specifically calls for it, never wear blue jeans, even if the invite says casual. Casual in this case means your best casual, not your weekend down home casual.

DON’T take “flash” pictures during the ceremony.  Leave that to the professional photographers. As much as you would love to capture that perfect Kodak moment with a shot of the couple during the ceremony, remember that they may find your camera’s flash to be a distracting or a nuisance. Even when the couple has a professional photographer, snapping away, proper etiquette would indicate that you refrain from photographing the couple during the ceremony.

Do not get in the way! They’re paying a lot for a professional photographer’s expertise and time, so let the Bride and Groom get their money’s worth!

There’s a reason celebrities dislike the paparazzi – they can be very intrusive. It is easy to get carried away on the big day, but try to respect the dignity of the ceremony by refraining from taking distracting flash pictures at solemn moments.

DON’T drink and drive.  If you will be drinking, make sure you have a designated driver. While a wedding is a time to enjoy yourself, no one appreciates a drunk guest embarrassing themselves. Drink alcohol in moderation.

Misc. Tips. . .

Tradition dictates that friends and family of the Bride sit on the left and friends and family of the Groom sit on the right. Typically, an usher will lead you to your seat.

If you’ve been invited to a ceremony, you can safely assume that you don’t have to be a member of the faith to attend. You never have to participate in any part that you don’t believe in. Simply sit quietly as others observe their religion. Your primary purpose of being at the wedding is to support the couple’s love and relationship.

If this doesn’t matter to you, do as the others do. This includes standing and sitting along with the crowd. Not only does this take minimal effort, it is also a sign of respect. Exceptions include participation in events that make you uncomfortable, or spiritual practices reserved only for those of a certain religion.

If you have questions about attire, or other logistics of the wedding or protocol, for a quicker response your best bet is to call the best man or maid of honor. They will be more accessible than the Bride or Groom.

Put the happiness of the Bride and Groom above everything and follow these simple DOs and DON’Ts of courtesy and common sense and they will take you a long way on the road to proper etiquette and being a very special wedding guest.

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Visit Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://celebrateintimateweddings.wordpress.com/

For more of Larry’s articles about weddings, go to: http://www.CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com/articles.html

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. Larry James has been voted “Best Officiant” in the Greater Phoenix area by The Wedding Chronicle’s Reader’s Poll for 2007, 2008 & 2009 Readers’ Poll. He is a non-denominational minister and he performs the most “romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! – Read more! Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE.

NOTE: All articles listed in this BLOG 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 10, 2008

The Perfect Marriage – Just for Grins. . .

Filed under: Humor Break!,Weddings — Larry James @ 12:01 am
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Adam and Eve had the most perfect marriage in history.

Eve never talked about her old boyfriends, and Adam never bragged about his mother’s cooking!

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

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

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

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Serving Her Majesty the Bride: To Be a Maid of Honor. . . or Not

Filed under: Weddings — Larry James @ 12:01 am

While it is an honor for a bride to ask you to be the Maid (or Matron) of Honor, you would be wise to consider the many awesome responsibilities that go with this honor. Some brides will automatically think of their very best friend for this privilege. Perhaps a better reason would be to choose the person who is willing to do all the things that are necessary to cater to the Bride’s every whim, serving with distinction.

As Maid of Honor the Bride’s chief attendant and personal confidante – you have to keep things organized and under control as well as being her “crisis counselor.” Maids of Honor are chosen for their emotional stability and composure. You will offer moral support and assist with virtually every aspect of the pre-wedding planning all the way to the end of the wedding. Part of your job is to make the entire process as stress-free as possible.

You will be expected to give her your full attention on the day of the wedding and be ready to handle anything that comes up.

Once you have been asked to serve, have a meeting with the Bride and ask her to define what she expects from you. The key is to “ask.” Be clear about what she expects and be honest with her if you do not think you can live up to her expectations. When necessary, step in and take control of any stressful situations. Anticipate any needs the Bride may have and take care of them in a positive manner.

Once you accept the honor, try not to ask too many questions unless it is about something very important. This only adds to her frustration level. The Bride is counting you to take care of pretty much everything. Be a shoulder she can lean on when things become to overwhelming to bear. This can take a lot of time, energy and requires lots of preparation. Be cool, but never outshine the Bride.

You will act as a liaison between the Bride and the Bridesmaids from the beginning through the reception. You need to set the tone among the women in the bridal party. Prep the Bridesmaids and make sure they know their duties and show up “on time” for the rehearsal. Think of yourself as a coach. You are in charge of the Bridesmaids and with their cooperation the wedding will run more smoothly.

Bring tissues, extra makeup, pantyhose, nail polish, breath mints and anything else that she might need the day of the wedding. Put together an “Emergency Checklist” to make sure to avoid any crisis that might come up. Prepare a “beauty bag” (emergency pouch) to bring with you on the big day. Hold her flowers, straighten her veil and train before, during and after the wedding and especially during the wedding pictures.

One of the most important traditions of a Maid or Matron of Honor is to give the Bride a Toast at the reception. The best toasts include funny stories growing up with sentimental friendship and love. Don’t get too wordy. Keep it short and interesting. Offer a few words of advice to both the bride and groom and best wishes you have for the newlyweds (e.g., success, happiness, many babies). If you are a person who does not like to speak in front of others, make sure to rehearse and bring a hard copy of your wedding toast.

Tips for the Toast

• Have note cards handy! Write down what you will say.
• Take a deep breath before you start. You can’t go wrong with full lungs. It will even make your figure look better.
• Stand up.
• Use a microphone if given one. (IMPORTANT: Hold the microphone around the middle and keep it a few inches from your lips and an inch or so lower than your mouth. Try not to let it fall because no one will be able to hear you. Try not to hold it too close to your lips or you will get a popping sound when you say your P’s.)
• Don’t drink to much before your speech. Tranquilizers aren’t a good idea either. They will leave you with an inability to react to the situation.
• Click here for more toast tips!

Here are a few Wedding Toast ideas that may be helpful to you when writing your speech

• Stories of what the bride used to share with you about the groom when she first met him.
• Funny story while growing up
• How you and the bride met and how long you both have known each other
• Most “appropriately” embarrassing moment you shared with the bride
• How beautiful the bride and groom look together
• Talk about a funny habit of the bride that the groom will have to live with
• A spiritual statement (if the bride and groom are spiritual people)
• Words of advice to both the bride and groom
• Wishes you have for the newlyweds (e.g., success, happiness, many babies)

The Maid of Honor’s duties may be as many or as varied as the bride may wish to impose upon her, but typically, the Maid of Honor is responsible for:

Pre-wedding

• Traveling with the bride to help choose a wedding venue
• Helping to choose and address wedding invitations
* Going with the bride to help with the shopping for her wedding dress as well as the bridesmaid dresses
• Going with the bride to register for her wedding gifts
• Helping the bride with the seating arrangements
• She will be hosting and planning the bridal shower as well as the bachelorette party
• Maintaining communication and organization with the other bridesmaids
• She will be attending and assisting during the rehearsal dinner

Wedding day

• Assisting the bride with her dress and makeup
• Being the messenger if the bride wants to communicate sight unseen with the family or groom
• Visiting the reception room to check on the details
• Helping to make sure the bride has privacy before the ceremony if desired
• Signing of the marriage license after the ceremony (if requested)
• Helping the bride with her veil and train before, during and after the ceremony
• Holding the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony as required
• Holding the groom’s wedding ring to hand to the bride during the ceremony
• Making a toast and/or speech during the reception
• Securing any money as might be given to the wedding couple during the reception
• Providing emotional support as needed

What are the duties of a Maid of Honor? We went to the ultimate source to find a comprehensive answer for you. Emily’s Post’s Wedding Etiquette lists the following responsibilities for the Maid of Honor:

• Help the bride choose the bridesmaids’ attire
• Help address invitations and place cards
• Attend as many prenuptial events as possible
• Organizes bridesmaids’ gift to the bride; usually gives an individual gift to the couple as well
• Makes sure that all the bridesmaids, the flower girl and ring bearer are at fittings, the rehearsal, and the ceremony on time
• Is expected to attend the rehearsal and is included at the rehearsal dinner
• Takes part in the processional and recessional
• Hold the ring, which the bride will present to the groom
• Helps maintain the brides gown before, during, and after the ceremony. This includes helping her change out of it if she plans to change into going-away clothing
• Ensures that the bridal gown and accessories are well cared for after the wedding and until the bride is able to have them attended to
• Arranges the bride’s veil and train for the processional, recessional and photography
• During the ceremony the maid of honor holds the bride’s bouquet
• She is a witness to the signing of the marriage certificate
• If a receiving line is used, the Maid of Honor usually stands in it
• Is responsible for making sure the bride adheres to the schedule
• The maid of the honor is expected to pay for her own wedding attire and transportation to the wedding

While the maid of honor isn’t required to host the bridal shower, Emily Post notes that the family of the bride is not to do it. This generally leaves the attendants (of which the maid of honor is the head attendant) to throw the shower. It is suggested that the maid of honor co-host the bridal shower. The maid of honor hosts most bachelorette parties.

And finally, serve with distinction! If other commitments prevent you from giving the Bride the attention she deserves, you may be a better candidate for a Bridesmaid.

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For more of Larry’s articles about weddings, go to: http://www.CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com/articles.html

Copyright © 2008 – Larry James. Larry James has been selected as the “Best Officiant” in the Greater Phoenix area by The Wedding Chronicle’s 2007, 2008 & 2009 Readers’ Poll. He is a non-denominational minister and he performs the most “romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! – Read more! Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE.

NOTE: All articles listed in this BLOG are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

September 16th is National Step Family Day

Filed under: Relationships,Weddings — Larry James @ 12:01 pm

National Stepfamily Day is celebrated annually on September 16th and was founded by Christy Borgeld in 1997.

Stepfamilies are all around us. One in three Americans live in a stepfamily, and more than 50% of Americans will live in a stepfamily at some point in their lives. Thirty percent of children are growing up in stepfamilies. Some call these families, “blended” families.

For more information on “National Step Family Day,” books on “blended families” and a very special “Blended Family Ceremony” for your wedding ceremony, go to: http://www.CelebrateLove.com/stepfamilyday.htm and http://www.CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com/ceremonyblended.html.

Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Opps!!

Filed under: Humor Break!,Relationships,Weddings — Larry James @ 12:51 pm

Didn't you get my e-mail?Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

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

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

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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 “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

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