Children, Second Marriages & Amazing Families

Nelson-158Including your child in the wedding ceremony is extremely important in second marriages as it helps the child/children feel as if they are part of the new family. Children need to know that they will always be loved and cherish by their parents, and not feel abandoned. Taking some steps to include them in this new “family” helps create a stronger bond. In fact, many times when you are happy and your spouse treats your kids like his own, it’s amazing how well children thrive.

So – be sure to make them a part of your ceremony. A nice touch is to present the child with a gift just after your vows are completed, and when you present this gift, you each can make a vow to the child pledging your support and encouragement. Let the child know that you want to create a new family together where everyone loves honors and protects one another.Butterfly Release BSL

Addional ways to include children is through the sand ceremony where each member of the family has different color sand or perhaps a butterfly release if the weather permits.Gift Presentation BSL

Answers to Questions about Wedding Dilemmas

 Bride with Both Dads

Over the last few months we have received emails regarding various dilemmas and so we thought today we would answer a few of these concerns:

If a friend can’t attend, should I still invite them?

That’s a sticky one.   An invitation generally means the expectation of a gift, and you don’t want people to think they have to give a gift even though they can’t attend.  If you still want to send an invitation, add a small note that this invitation is sent just as a keepsake.

Can I have my mother walk me down the aisle?

You can have anyone who is significant to you walk you down the aisle.  You can even walk alone or with more than one person.

How do I deal with guests who ask to bring kids even after we’ve made it clear they’re not invited?

Call or email your guests and explain that the invitation was just for adults only.  It’s not fair to other guests if you make an exception.  The flower girl and ring bearer are the only allowable exceptions.

How can I back out of my agreement to be a bridesmaid?

First of all, you need to talk with the bride regarding the situation.  Other than illness, family emergency or work demand, it’s not acceptable to back out once you’ve committed.  Even when you have disagreements with the bride during the wedding planning, you are expected to live up to your commitment.

Does only the Maid of Honor host the bridal shower?

Bridesmaids, Mother of the Bride, Mother of the Groom, Close Friends, Co-Workers – just about anyone can host a bridal shower.

When I invited a single friend do I automatically invite a +1?

If you know that your single friend is in a committed relationship then it is the right move to extend the invitation to their partner.  Single friends who are in a more casual relationship (or no relationship) do not need the courtesy of an additional +1 invite.

10 Secrets to Success



1.  How You Think is Everything.

Always be positive.  Think success, not failure.  Beware of a negative environment.

2.  Decide Upon Your True Dreams & Goals.

Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them.

3.  Take Action.

Goals are nothing without action.  Don’t be afraid to get started now.  Just do it!

4.  Never Stop  Learning.

Go back to school or read books.  Get training and acquire skills.

5.  Be Persistent and Work Hard.

Success is a marathon, not a sprint.  Never give up.

6.  Learn To Analyze Details.

Get all the facts, all the input.  Learn from your mistakes.

7.  Focus Your Time and Money.

Don’t let other people or things distract you.

8.  Don’t Be Afraid to Innovate;  Be Different.

Following the herd is a sure way to mediocity.

9.  Deal and Communicate With People Effectively.

No person is an island.  Learn to understand and motivate others.

10.  Be Honest & Dependable;  Take Responsibility.

Otherwise, number 1-9 won’t mater.

Investor’s Business Daily

How to Work with Vendors Who Fall Below Expectations

All bridal couples have certain expectations from wedding professionals that are a given such as the caterers will provide great food that is at the right temperature and properly cooked, the flowers will be fresh and as requested, and the DJ will play all the preferred songs.   However what do you do if the food is cold, the florist delivers the wrong flowers, or the DJ plays the wrong tunes?

Cake Decorator

There are steps that you should be taking now, before the wedding.   Of course, you will probably want to interview several vendors in each category appropriate to your budget for that item.  Questions need to be asked and expectations need to be communicated clearly.  If fact, it is always best to put everything in writing – and the beauty of contracts is that they will include such directions and instructions.  For the creative arts such as photography, be sure that your vision and the vision of the photographer are the same.  If the photographer shoots in a more candid style, that’s the type of images you will receive.

But, let’s say you have done all that and your expectations still have not been met.  The best way to approach a vendor who has not met requirements is to ask what they can do to remedy the situation.  We all have bad days, and they probably feel bad; screaming and yelling never resolves problems.  I have found that most vendors understand the importance of this day for you and are more than willing to fix the problem.  You will need to be realistic about the situation – if the flowers are wrong, he/she may not be able to get your requested buds, but work with an alternative.

Yes, this situation can be very upsetting but you really need to focus on enjoying your day and not spending energy being stressed and angry about a situation that cannot be remedied.  There is never a perfect wedding.  Things will go wrong.

After the wedding is the best time to approach the vendor and talk to him.    Perhaps a credit can be arranged, or other appropriate resolution can be made in an attempt to make amends.


2013 Top Ten List of Do’s and Don’ts for the Bride



After many, many weddings where I’ve see all sorts of things from brides hyperventilating over the “wrong” shade of purple in the flowers, dresses with no top hooks, shoes missing, and groomsmen drunk before the wedding begins, I decided to list a few things that will help keep you sane.  There are any number of things that can gone wrong, and they will  – but  if you follow these rules, you can manage most anything that comes your way.

Rule #1 Remember the Budget.  You cannot indulge every whim.  Yes, it’s your day, but maintaining your perspective on the entire wedding and what’s important will help you say “No” to those hand engraved invitations that are to die for, but three times the budget.  There is a world of amazing options available and if you find yourself tempted by jaw dropping expenses, remember Rule #1.  Your budget was set keeping in mind what’s important to you.  It might have been great photography or a fabulous honeymoon.  Splurge on the important things.  Will those other expensive obsessions add to what’s important?   Do not impulse buy.  A beautiful event can be created without being expensive.

Rule #2 – Don’t have unrealistic weight expectations.  He loves you.  He loves you because you are you.   He has proposed.  Crash dieting will make you exhausted, irritable and cranky.  Enjoy the wedding planning.  The wedding is a process…so make the planning fun and a memorable part of the event.  Don’t ruin the experience with a poor attitude.

Rule #3 – Keep the Guest List in check.  This is your celebration.  Invite only friends and family who you want to share this day with.  Besides adding significant expense, do you really want to celebrate the most important event of your life with people you’ll never see again?

Rule #4 – Don’t Micro Manage Every Detail.  One of the many areas where many brides go crazy is the bridal registry.  They start second guessing every decision and then on-line options allow you to review and revise.  And other things like Seating Charts.  Brides are constantly revising these charts.  These are just two examples of details that can overwhelm you.  Make a decision and move forward.

Rule #5 – Take a day off from all wedding planning.  Just enjoy the moment of the two of you being together.  Do something fun…but non wedding related.  Do this ever so often and don’t let the stress of wedding planning ruining the intimacy you share.

Rule #6 – On Your Wedding Day share Personal Time for Just the Two of You.  You will be celebrating with family and friends all day.  Take 20 to 30 minutes between the ceremony and the reception and share some one on one time.   You are now Mr.  & Mrs. and you need to be able to share your feelings and excitement together – alone.

Rule #7 – Go with the Flow.  Your photos will reflect the story of your day.  Choose a photographer that will capture your story in a natural, unobtrusive manner.  You’ll want to remember the memory, not the photographer poising you and saying, “Now embrace and pretend to kiss”.    Rule #10 says to “Enjoy & Have Fun at your wedding, so hire a photographer that is like a fly-on-the wall, and go party.

Rule #8 – Ask for help.  You have bridesmaids and groomsmen are there to help you.  If you need something, don’t hesitate to ask.  That’s part of their job.  Communicate your needs and trust them to handle the job.

Rule #9 – Expect the Unexpected.  Acknowledge that weddings can’t be scripted and run entirely as planned.   Things will go wrong.  Do you become a foot stomping bridezilla or do you  acknowledge that your main goal is to have a wonderful time where love, friendship, and fun are the emotions of the day.  No one will remember that the “purple” flowers were not dark enough.  What they will remember is how much fun they had sharing your celebration.

Rule 10 – Enjoy & Have Fun at your Wedding.