Sunday, May 31, 2009

Planning A Second Wedding

Planning a second wedding involves many of the same challenges as planning a first. The fact that you're remarrying doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be downsizing your wedding. For example, if your future spouse is a first-time bride or groom, she or he may want a big wedding with all the trimmings. Look at the big picture first when planning a second wedding.

Once you and your partner agree on the type of wedding you want-whether it's small and intimate or big and lavish-you'll need to begin planning. For a large event, and especially if you're a busy person with a lot of other responsibilities, you may want to engage a wedding consultant to help.

Planning a second wedding: should you hire a wedding consultant or do it yourself?

Wedding consultants can scout sites, advise you on etiquette, manage the budget and coordinate a whole range of people and projects, including the caterer, the music, the florist and the other service providers. They can obtain discounts and negotiate pricing with vendors. Wedding consultants have a wealth of experience in solving problems, paying attention to details and dealing with the unexpected. For this reason, they can help avert catastrophes and save you a lot of headaches.

There are many different levels of service and types of wedding planners. At one extreme, the full-fledged consultant can handle every detail for you. At the other, a wedding day coordinator is someone who will orchestrate the events of the ceremony and reception and see that things run on schedule. And there are all levels of wedding planning services in-between. Think about what kind of assistance you need. Here are some tips to help you decide if you need a wedding planner, and what kinds of services are appropriate for you.

A wedding consultant can help you:
• Select a site for the ceremony and reception.
• Find all the suppliers you need, including the florist, the caterer, the musicians, and the video and still photographers.

• Manage communication between vendors. For example, the caterer will need to know when and how to obtain access to the reception site to begin food preparation.
• Coordinate your wedding rehearsal with the person officiating.
• Supervise all the details of your wedding day.

The cost of a wedding planner can vary widely. If you hire someone early on to coordinate most of your wedding arrangements, expect to pay this person on a fee basis (generally 10 to 20 percent of the total wedding costs). If you hire someone to provide selected services, you will probably be charged a flat fee, depending on the nature and extent of the work. The bottom line: If time is money for you, wedding consultants can be a good investment; and savvy ones will be able to pass on enough savings to defray much of their fee.

If you're not hiring a wedding consultant, you may want to delegate some of the responsibilities to appropriate family members and good friends. For example, if your future mother-in-law is a gourmet cook, you could ask her to research caterers and bakeries. If a friend is an avid traveler, he might be enlisted to come up with ideas for the honeymoon.

Once you've announced your remarriage, it's probably time to start planning your second wedding. Particularly during certain times of the year, popular sites and suppliers are in heavy demand. It's wise to begin a year ahead of time. If your wedding will be small, you may have some leeway here.

Proper second wedding etiquette to make your second wedding the most perfect day of your life.

If you plan it right, it can be better than the first! Certainly, it will be different, because there's a very special etiquette to second weddings. You are probably already wondering about a number of issues.
How big should your second wedding be?

Weddings between people who have been married before are, as a rule, smaller and less formal or lavish affairs than a first marriage. However, there is nothing to say that it has to be that way. Many second timers are marrying someone for whom it is the first time. In that case, it might be unfair to limit the celebration to family and close friends. Naturally, you'll want to be gracious about whom you invite.

The wording of your second wedding invitation is another point to consider.

According to etiquette specialist Emily Post, there are two options for wording a traditional wedding invitation correctly. The first applies to a young bride or divorcee, in which case her parents extend the invitation as though it were a first wedding using the bride-to-be's married name if she has retained it, or her first and middle name if not. For a more mature encore bride-to-be, it is appropriate to issue the invitation in your own name and the name of your future husband.

To whom should you send a printed second wedding announcement?

If you intend to have a small wedding, you will want to send printed announcements to the family and friends who were not included among the wedding guests, or in the case of a larger wedding, to acquaintances and business associates who were not invited. Plan to have the announcements mailed the day after you are married.

You want to look beautiful, but what's considered appropriate second wedding etiquette when it comes to a second wedding dress?

Once upon a time, it was considered inappropriate for encore brides to wear white or a long wedding dress. A simple suit or dress in a pastel color or off-white was recommended. However, today you may wear white, because it is the color of joy and celebration and no longer represents chastity. While a beautiful bridal gown is perfectly acceptable, consider your age and figure before you make your selection. A woman over forty will look far more elegant in a dress that isn't frilly or too long.

While it is preferable for an encore bride to forego the veil, you may want to wear one for religious reasons. If the bride is wearing a formal wedding gown, the groom may wear a classic a tuxedo or a dark suit. If, however, the bride is attired in a less formal suit or dress, the groom would most likely want to wear a suit, rather than a formal tuxedo.

Should others be included in the wedding party?

It is quite common for couples getting remarried to dispense with the wedding party, if that means numbers of bridesmaids and groomsmen, unless it is a first wedding for one or the other of them.If the bride has been given away by her father at a previous wedding, it would seem silly for him to give her away again. But it is perfectly acceptable for the bride and groom each to ask a very close friend or relative to stand with them during the ceremony.

If there are children and/or stepchildren involved, finding a place for them in the bridal party is a nice way to make them feel a part of the new family. A young boy can serve as ring bearer; while a young girl can be a flower girl. Older children may wish to accompany their parents to the altar as best man or maid of honor.

What is proper second wedding etiquette when it comes to who should pay for the wedding?

If the bride has never been married before, traditionally her parents would assume most of the costs of the wedding, although in modern times it is not unusual for the groom's family to help with the costs or for the bride and groom themselves to pay or help pay for some of the expenses. The fact is that 40 percent of today's couples assume the responsibility for paying for their wedding, especially when it is not their first marriage.

It's a good idea to determine a budget you are both comfortable with before making any wedding plans. You'll need to agree on your priorities before you move forward to avoid beginning your marriage with a disagreement or worse yet with outstanding debt.

Receiving gifts the second time around.

Many couples who are getting married for the second time already have a full complement of silver, china, crystal and other gifts including linens and kitchenware. In fact, most people need to edit their collections so they can combine households without having two of everything cluttering their new home.

If you have sterling silver or fine linens with a monogram on them, how will your new husband feel about an initial that represents your former husband's last name? The answer is to ask him. Silver, especially, is ultra expensive to replace these days. Many people buy antique silver with monograms other than their own and don't even think about it. But, ultimately, it's a decision you both should feel comfortable about.

You may feel uncomfortable asking people to give you gifts the second time around . You can mention to friends and relatives that you would prefer it if people did not feel obliged to provide a gift and ask them to pass the message along . It is not appropriate to add a "no gifts please" message on your invitation as it tends to emphasize the gift. If new friends wish to give you a gift, they may ask your older friends and relatives for ideas. You can offer up a few fun and inexpensive gifts for them to suggest, but only if asked.

Should you change your name when you remarry?

While a more traditional bride usually opts to take her husband's last name as her own, it is perfectly acceptable in today's world for her to retain her own name or use a hyphenated form, i.e. Amy Wetmore marries John Sullivan and becomes Amy Wetmore-Sullivan. When making this decision, however, there are a number of considerations. For example, if you have children of your own, you might prefer to retain the same last name they have to make matters simpler for them and you. Imagine that every time you make a call regarding your children, you will have to say, "Hello, this is Mrs. Sullivan, I'm Nancy Wetmore's mother. Or, it may be that your children want you to keep the same name they have for emotional reasons.
Another reason for keeping your own name may be that you are recognized by that name among business contacts. It is possible to use your own name in business, but your married name in every other part of your life.

You can always change your name at a later date, remember, by filing a petition for a name change with the court. However, the marriage license and certificate cannot be changed.

If you decide not to take your husband's name, you will undoubtedly have to find a diplomatic explanation to provide the more traditional members of both families, who may be surprised. You can point out, if questioned, that there are practical reasons for keeping your own name, but that the decision in no way reflects your feelings or attachment to your new husband and his family.

Info provided by how to

Saturday, May 23, 2009

No drama, Marry Mama

Charlotte Post
The Charlotte Post

The Voice of the Black Community
Read original article about Gala Affairs by at Ur Best in The Charlotte Post

It’s never too late to tie the knot after starting a family.

Marry Your Baby Daddy Day, a national movement to promote family commitment through marriage, is spreading to Charlotte. Organizers are recruiting five couples with children for a free mass wedding Sept. 24 at Charlotte Museum of History. MYBDD started in New York five years ago to strengthen African families through traditional matrimony.

“To change this issue, black women need to get themselves together,” said Maryanne Reid, an author and founder of MYBDD. “We need to say as a community no more out of wedlock births and make it happen.”

Amanda Sherman, owner of Gala Affairs by At Ur Best, is organizing the Charlotte weddings. She said interviews are underway for prospective couples, and sponsors have been lined up to provide wedding essentials from catering to gowns and tuxedoes.

“I thought it would be a wonderful idea in Charlotte,” Sherman said. “I thought it would work well here. I’d like to move up next year to 10 like Maryann does in New York. It’ll be an annual thing and we’ll be looking for more families.”

Reid, who has organized the weddings of 40 couples in New York and plans to add another 10 this year, said families benefit from marriage, especially kids. More than 6 of every 10 black children in the U.S. (64 percent) are born to unwed parents, and the social costs rival the economic price tag of poverty through government-sponsored programs.

“I realized there are so many out of wedlock children, I thought it was a threat not only to women, but to their children,” Reid said. “They are so worried about being with someone so badly they get pregnant and don’t make good decisions with their bodies. It’s a very convoluted situation.”

Marry Your Baby Daddy Day is also good for the bottom line. Married families are in better position to leverage assets as opposed to being split, which is also manifesting itself during the recession.

“It’s not an issue of marriage and staying together,” Reid said. “It’s an economic issue because couples are now trying to stay together.”

For information, call (212) 946-5164.

On the Net:
Marry Your Baby Daddy Day

Article done by The Charlotte Post Reporter Herbert L. White

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mireya Navarro Author 'Green Wedding' Planning Your Eco-Friendly Celebration.

New York Times reporter Mireya Navarro will sign her book

Engaged couples planning a wedding may consider buying invitations made of recycled paper, choosing a venue close to where their guests live to limit long-distance travel, and serving food that is seasonal, organic and local.

  These are just a few ways couples can host a more ecologically friendly wedding, according to Mireya Navarro, a New York Times journalist who recently published the book 'Green Wedding: Planning Your Eco-Friendly Celebration.' Navarro will sign and discuss her new book at Village Books, located at 1049 Swarthmore Ave., today at 7:30 p.m.

  Navarro, 51, who divides her time between Pacific Palisades and Washington Heights in Manhattan, decided to write the book after receiving positive responses from an article she wrote in 2007 for the New York Times called 'How Green Was My Wedding.'

  'It turned out to be a great story,' Navarro said. 'It's pretty novel what these couples are doing.'

  For the book, she spent one year interviewing couples and conducting research, while working full-time as the West Coast Style correspondent for the New York Times in the Los Angeles bureau. She is now the Times' environmental reporter in New York.

A native of Puerto Rico, Navarro moved to the United States to attend college. She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York.

She has worked at the New York Times since 1989, winning the Pulitzer Prize with a team of journalists in 2001 for the series, 'How Race is Lived in America.'

Navarro married her husband, James Sterngold, a Palisades resident and reporter for Bloomberg News, in 2005 before she discovered the trend of green weddings. She has two step-children: Marina, a senior at Palisades Charter High School, and Sammy, a sophomore at New Roads School in Santa Monica. She and James have a bicoastal marriage, traveling from coast to coast to see one another.

'Green Weddings' serves as a typical how-to-guide for wedding planning, providing tips on how to chose a venue, dress, invitations, caterer and flowers, but through the lens of an environmentalist.

'Couples reported that it doesn't take longer to plan for a green wedding,' Navarro said. In fact, many vendors, such as caterers, do not offer organic food, so there are fewer options.

The goal of a green wedding is to avoid excess and waste, Navarro said. For example, party favors are optional and invitations with layers of paper are unnecessary.

Navarro suggests that brides buy their wedding gown second-hand or borrow one. If they want to buy brand new, they should choose a dress made of eco fabrics that they can wear again, sell or donate after the wedding. 'Do something, don't let it sit in the closet,' she said.

A major way couples can help the environment is to conserve electricity and minimize transportation, Navarro said. Couples should choose a venue that can accommodate a ceremony and reception to avoid shuttling and marry at a time that doesn't require air conditioning or heat.

In the end, 'I hope they look at wedding planning in a different way,' Navarro said. 'But remember it's a party and a celebration; I wouldn't want [couples] to go crazy ' they should do what they can to have the wedding of their dreams.'

Navarro hopes this emerging trend of green weddings will shift the bridal industry toward better practices but believes it will take time.

'The couples I interviewed are in the minority,' Navarro said. 'I call them pioneers.'

Article By,
Danielle Gillespie , Staff Writer Pacific Palisades Post, Pacific Palisades

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I had written this for my mother a long time ago. I would like to share it our readers.

On this Mother's Day, so many families are blessed to be able to tell our mothers Happy Mother's Day. For all the mothers who have gone on to a better place, we still cherish you in our hearts, minds and souls.

I remember Momma always saying time your time in everything you do;
Always say please, thank you, yes and no;
Always say good morning, or how do you do;
Always respect your elders in everything you do;
Always remember no matter what you do, Momma will always love you;

On this Mother's Day, I will always remember Momma;
No matter what the situation, the problem or the cause
w always thought the world was going to come to the end,
but some how mother always knew exactly what to say or do,
She would always make everything seem so right.

The world prospers with all the new mothers young and old,
caring for the new babies, so tender and innocent and yet so small,
kissing that crying little toddler that just fell and skinned his or her knee,
smiling as that six year old just tied his or her shoes,
shaking your head as your teenager tells you that you just don't understand.

What a blessing it is to be able to say that whatever you remember that was so special that your mother has taught you, or even given you.
You will always be able to cherish it in your own special way.

Thank you Momma because I do remember how you have passed on your values,
how you took the time to teach us right from wrong; showed us how to stand up for ourselves; showed us how to be good mothers and fathers for our special ones;

Thank you Momma for being number one in our lives so many young and old.

For all the mothers, (and the fathers who have to be mothers also)... Happy Mother's Day. Its a blessing to have you...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Colour Meanings of Mothers Day Flowers

Flowers come in every colour and shade imaginable, from deep red roses to pale white and purple orchids. While most of us have a favourite colour, not all flower colours have the same meaning. It may seem obvious that sending red rose is a romantic gesture, and that pink roses are the traditional mother's day flower... but why? And what exactly do the colours mean?

Pink is the perfect choice for mother's day. Again pink roses are the traditional choice however pink camellias make a beautiful alternative. Conveying feelings of youth, joy and innocence, pink is associated with happiness and grace.

Lavender is somewhat similar to pink with its meanings of femininity, grace and elegance. Nearly all lavender flowers give a soothing and gentle feel to any floral arrangement, known for their delicacy and preciousness. It is the grown up and mature version of pink, and as such is very suited for older mums.

Green flowers represent nature itself, and make a great addition to any bouquet. While not a colour that is normally used on its own in a display, green compliments virtually every other colour in nature. Sending the sense of renewal and life, green flowers embody health and good fortune.

Yellow, the colour of cheerfulness and joy. While in the animal kingdom yellow is a sign for danger, in flora it is an attraction colour made to bring wildlife. Yellow flowers are most often associated with friendship , appreciation and happiness. Daffodils are a very fitting mother's day flower, being very much in season and a well loved favourite.

White the mark of purity and simple beauty. Whether in the delicately small bells of lily of the valley or silky smooth petals of fragrant gardenias, white has always been a symbol of humility and pureness. White on white bouquets make for a striking display, with white also working well with all pale colours, especially pink, blue, peaches and yellows.

Red is undeniably the colour of love, passion and desire. While red flowers, especially roses, are most commonly given to wives or girlfriends by men this doesn't mean they should not be given on mother's day. Its symbolism of love is not restricted purely to the romantic sense and red roses make an excellent gift.

Purple is associated with the royalty and ceremonies. In the past purple was a rare colour in dyes for clothes and even in nature, so it was only the rich who could afford to wear purple or have purple flowers in their homes. Part of this rarity and dignity is still carried across with deep purples adding contrast and intensity to any bouquet.

Blue soothes the mind with its calming and cooling shades. Offering serenity to any room, pale or profound blue shades are a great combination with the pureness of white. Most often given to represent openness or peace, blue flowers such as irises or hydrangea make for a calm and gentle gift.

Mothers Day Flowers colour meanings can make a massive impact on how they are received. Choosing the right colour for your mothers bouquet is a matter of focusing on the feelings and emotions you wish to convey.

Article provided by Rossie Richards

Also for gift ideas:
Ribbon of Choice