June 17, 2009

Dear Zadie:  My husband and I attended a lovely wedding last week.  Everything was perfect right down to the lovely favors the bride made for each of her guests.  The food was wonderful; the music during the ceremony beautiful, the band at the reception was the best I have heard in a long time.  My question is this:  Is it proper for a guest to bring his own camera to take pictures?  There was the most obnoxious man with a camera who insisted arranging people and jumping into the middle of some beautiful pictures about to be snapped by the professional photographer.  What does a host do about someone this rude?

Dear Curious: It is Zadie’s considered opinion that asking a self-appointed photographer to get rid of the camera would not be rude.  It is the height of bad manners for a guest to bring a camera to a wedding to get his own shots.  The bride and groom have hired someone to be in charge of photography at their wedding.  They have paid this professional money to catch all the wonderful moments.  If a guest injects himself and his camera into this situation, he deserves whatever is directed his way.  If this should happen at a wedding you are paying for, I would tell the man (woman), as nicely as possible, to put the camera away NOW…he will be able to order photographs from the professional photographer just like everyone else.

Dear Zadie:  My groom’s mother is from a very small town and she is having a wonderful time helping me with the guest list.  Every week she sends me another five or six people to be added.  Her explanation usually goes along the lines of…she must invite them because she invited the second cousin of her brother’s first wife and they all belong to the same country club…or some such explanation.  How do I handle this?

Dear Zadie:  I have just about had it with my mother who won’t stop inviting people to my wedding.  My groom and I have budgeted a good, healthy amount, but it is not bottomless.  How do I stop her from taking over?

Dear Budgeting Brides:  Zadie has a question for both of you…are you and the groom paying for your weddings with no help from your parents?  If the answer is yes, this is a fairly simple situation to handle.  The wedding is yours.  Tell both sets of parents how many people they may invite.  At the same time, ask them to put the list in order of the guests’ importance—so that if you must cut people, you can start from the bottom of the list.

However, if your parents are paying for most of the wedding, they get a bigger say on everything including the invitation list so you may need to brush up on your negotiating skills.  Many questions about the wedding depend on who’s paying.  I know it sounds crass, but it’s true.  If your parents are paying and you want a bigger say, you might start by thanking them for all they have done and are doing for your wedding FIRST before you start negotiations.  It empowers your position, if you are sincerely grateful.

Dear Zadie:  Is it permissible to have a cash bar?  We are getting low on funds for the reception and if we didn’t have to pay for an open bar, it would help a lot.

Dear Pinching Pennies:  Zadie is assuming that it’s too late to shave the guest list so you can afford an open bar, right?   When you invite guests to your reception, you pay for everything.  When alcohol is made available, you pay for it.  There are ways to cut down on the expense, but if you plan to serve it, you pay.  It is extremely rude to force your guests to buy a glass of champagne to toast YOU.  Your party:  Your bill. 

Keep in mind you do not have to serve top-shelf liquor; in fact there are plenty of ways to serve and save.  You can offer wine and beer only or create a signature cocktail.  You might have an open bar with hors d’oeuvres and serve wine with dinner.  If you have an open bar during the cocktail hour, don’t stay away two hours taking photographs…that’s a good way to run a huge bar tab because when people get hungry, they tend to drink more. 

Dear Zadie:  I am planning a fall wedding and we do not want children to attend.  I want this to be an adult affair.  We are not even having a flower girl or ring bearer.  Is it too awful to put a line in the invitations announcing NO CHILDREN?   

Dear Adults Only:  In the olden days this topic never came up mainly because weddings were considered adults only affairs to begin with.  Children, such as flower girls and ring bearers were shuttled off after the ceremony not to be seen or heard from again that day.  A few years ago, the question of children in attendance started coming up, but it was never addressed in the invitation.  The bridal party assumed the duty of letting guests knows that children were not welcome.   

Today, we have progressed to the point where a note is permissible.  It is best handled with a notation on the Reply Card— where people have a better chance of actually reading it.  A delicate note of “Adults Only, Please,” should handle it.  There will still be people who insist that their children are not a problem; but that is really not the question.  Many brides and grooms do not wish to plan a separate menu for children; nor do they want to buy a kid a filet mignon.  It is the prerogative of the hosts to decide who is invited and who is not.  Zadie looks forward to the day when hauling children to adult parties and functions is not considered de rigueur.  It will still be helpful for the bridal party to circulate the word that children are not invited.

 Zadie extends her sincerest thanks to René Showalter for her help in answering the last question.  René is the owner of Celebrations in Paper in old Scottsdale and rides to Zadie’s rescue on questions about invitations.  Now, it is the time to close this article.  Zadie wishes all brides and grooms lovely weddings and wonderful spring days.

 Your Mannered Friend,




June 17, 2009

Continuity and Love—The legacy of loved ones

There is nothing sweeter than a mother’s love.  In fact there is nothing more precious than the attachment that began in the womb and was then drawn into the light, still attached.  And when the cord is severed a different connection materializes; Loyalty, devotion and affection.  And that is what is known as a mother’s love.

A mother’s love is unconditional, demanding at times, but never-the-less filled with compassion and understanding.  Not unlike the love that God has for each of us.  Each time we see a wave of soft gray hair, we seem to see our mother there. We should hold her hand and tell her how much she means to us. And also tell her that we understand how tired she must feel when she sees our pain.  A mother’s capacity for empathy and love is endless.

 And then we think of tenderness and the acknowledgement of continuity and heritage in the bequest we receive from the one we call father.  It is his task to teach us to navigate the world we will find waiting for us.  He represents the blending of lives and the expression of completion we feel as we undertake to ensure the growth and development of the generations.  

If we only knew how to say thank you for giving us life, for bringing us to the day of marriage.  If only we could realize that one kind gesture, one kind act, to acknowledge the joy that was theirs as we continue the journey they started for us.

I am reminded of a story about an old man planting a carob tree.  He was asked when he thought the tree would bear fruit.  The answer he gave was that it probably would take seventy years.  Of course the question on the mind of the person witnessing this was whether the man planting the tree expected to live long enough to eat the fruit of his labors.  His reply is what continuity is all about:  We did not find the world desolate when we entered it, and as the generations past planted for us so do we plant for those who will follow.

 Perhaps all this would enable us to kiss our mother’s face, hold our father’s hand and tell them how grateful we are for their encouragement and the feeling of security that comes from knowing that they will always be there to caress our cares so to ease the burden. 

So as we embark on a journey of love and we stand in the presence of loved ones let us pause for just one moment and thank our parents for bringing us the beauty of God as we thank God for the beauty of life.


June 17, 2009

How I love thee?  Let me count the ways!

In the movie Dumb and Dumber Lloyd, played by Jim Carrey, asks Mary his love interest. “What are the chances of a guy like you and a girl like me…ending up together?

Mary: Not good.

Lloyd: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?

Mary: I’d say more like one out of a million.

Lloyd: So you’re telling me there’s a chance. 

It doesn’t matter how far you travel around the world the questions of love, commitment, and marriage are on everyone’s mind.  If you listen you will begin to see that the topic of romance and relationship permeates our lives.  Love is being sung about through the airwaves and shown in the movie theaters. You can find it in secret notes passed in high-school hallways or scratched into the side of aspen trees. We put on perfume, write poems and go dancing after countless hours primping all with the hope of finding love. 

Why do we act so silly and chase so hard after this crazy thing called love?  Three descriptions of what love can be may help give some direction into our motivations.

Friendship. This is the foundation of any great love story. We are not meant to live a solitary life without connection to others.  Finding a best friend brings a level of platonic love to our life.  This looks like someone who just gets you and appreciates your unique qualities. 

Partner.  We need a helpmate to navigate life’s tumultuous waters.  Life necessitates having someone to cry and laugh with. When your spouse plays on your team and you on theirs you can’t lose.  This person becomes your biggest fan and wants to build you up and help you reach your dreams.   Partners are looking out for the best of the other person.  This is so important in creating a healthy families and marriages. 

Romance.  This seems to be the most obvious at first glance but probably the most challenging to keep alive long-term.  We need romance and sparks of passion to keep our hearts and minds connected as one.  Romance is the beginning point of soulful communication.  This seems silly and out of character at times but is so necessary if we want love to draw us together as we travel through life’s journey.

We are made to live in relationship.  We have been designed with the capacity to both give and receive love.  This can look many different ways but starts with two people giving one-another serious promises of commitment without reservation.  These commitments that are made before God and others are sacred and should be guarded as treasure.  Because of the value this love holds we should take time to learn how to work out our weak areas and increase our strengths.  My hope is that your proposal, engagement, wedding and marriage will grow into a testimony of love that is built upon a foundation of friendship, and a committed partnership and fueled by an inferno of romance that never burns out.


June 17, 2009

The Engagement Party

The engagement is really the most important step of the marriage process. If it is not done properly it could result in the heart breaking answer of no.  If it is done well it will be the happiest day of your life.  Either way it is a moment that will forever be remembered.  But the engagement day sometimes gets overshadowed by the shower, the rehearsal dinner and then the actual wedding.  Occasionally you will hear of an engagement party but not as often as we should.  This event should be marked in celebration with close friends and family.

At the wedding reception you will probably not have the time to spend with your guests as you would like.  There will be so much happening and so many people to visit with and thank that you have to replace quality with quantity to make all the stops.  You hardly ever get a chance to eat and every time you put your champagne glass down the catering staff comes and takes it away.

That’s why an engagement party works so well.  Fill the guest list with people you know you can be relaxed with and who will attend just to share in your joy.  An engagement party should be just that—a party which will make the planning easier on you.  You can drop all the formal aspects you might feel you need at the wedding.  Now let your hair down, eat, drink and then be married later.

A casual appetizer menu will work well.  Have your caterer create a menu with items you and your fiancé both enjoy but may not want to serve at your wedding.  It could be as simple as those little beef franks in pastry with spicy mustard, or mini designer pizzas with fresh pears, brie and arugula.  If you still feel the need for formality then go with butler-passed hors d’oeuvres with more flare.  Lobster griddle cakes with roasted corn, crème fraiche and caviar or Kobe beef sliders with tarragon horseradish cream on peppered brioche.

If your engagement began in Italy, France or the Bahamas consider a theme party.  You can relive the moment he popped the question with your guests and incorporate the menu and décor around that location.  Maybe it happened over a special dinner or a picnic lunch.  Did he dig up the nerve at sunrise breakfast on the balcony overlooking the ocean, then brunch might be appropriate. Remember we are having fun here so theme music, dancing and specialty drinks should be involved.

Each step on your journey to the altar will become meaningful to you in the years to come.  Do your best to make them special and to share them with those who are special to you.  When the planning starts and you have a million and one things running around your head, don’t forget the engagement party, who knows you may start a trend.

Imagine the possibilities.


June 17, 2009

For decades, the bride and groom’s first dance consisted putting their arms around each other and simply swaying slowly back and forth to their special song.  Now, thanks in part to shows like Dancing with the Stars, more and more couples are choreographing their first dance. 

For examples of just how far this has developed, visit the YouTube website ( and search for Wedding First Dance.  What follows is a sampling of creative ideas and suggestions that can help make your first dance one to remember.

Perhaps you have one very special song for your first dance.  You can work with a professional dance instructor, learn a few moves, and make your dance even more special.  Fear not, a good instructor will work with you at your comfort level and make it much easier to dance than you might expect.  Check out this couple dancing to Lady in Red by Chris De Burgh.  Search:  Chris De Burgh–Lady in Red (Wedding Dance)

One of the most famous videos has the couple dancing to the slow classic Unchained Melody.  Suddenly, the sound of a record scratching interrupts the dance, the music changes to the Sir Mix-a-lot rap Baby Got Back and the bride & groom get down!  Their surprised guests love it and cheer them on!  Search:  Cool Wedding Dance

Some choose to start with a slow song, get funky with another tune, and then return to the slow song to finish the dance.  This one begins with them waltzing to the Blue Danube, next jammin’ and poppin’ to Looking for the Perfect Beat, and then sailing back to port on the Blue Danube to finish their dance.  Search t&a:  Wedding dance (the ORIGINAL YouTube surprise wedding dance)

Many incorporate a medley of fun dances.  This couple begins with the sweet ballad When You Say Nothing At All, and then treats their guests to an amazing variety of dances.  The medley includes Hound Dog, The Twist, Hokey Pokey, Oompa Loompa, Kung Fu Fightin’, Chicken Dance, Grease Lightin’, YMCA, Billie Jean, Thriller, Mr. Roboto, Walk Like an Egyptian, Ice Ice Baby, U Can’t Touch This, Love Shack, Jump On It, Cha Cha Slide, Cotton Eyed Joe, Macarena, Oops I Did It Again, Bye Bye Bye, Lose Yourself, Hey Ya, Dirt Off Ur Shoulders, then back to When You Say Nothing At All.  Too funny!  Search: Brian & Katie’s Evolution of Wedding Dance

Your dance can express both your ethnic heritage and your ability to get down at the club.  One video features the bride wearing a colorful, sparkling dress that reflects her roots.  The first song in their dance is slow and respectful of the family.  Later, it breaks into 2Pac’s west coast groove California Love.  Search:  Wedding First Dance – California Love – Surprise 

What a wonderful way to communicate through your dance that you honor where you’ve come from, appreciate where you are, and equally enjoy both worlds.  Depending on your family history, you can include an Irish Jig, a Salsa, or a polka into your unique medley.

In the videos, the DJ is an integral part of the presentation.  He sets the stage by announcing the dance, plays the music, reacts to an apparent miscue, and then publicly recognizes the great performance.  An experienced, professional DJ can help you with your songs, add the sound effect of a record scratching, and offer suggestions to make your first dance the best it can be.

Truly, the possibilities for a fabulous first dance are endless.

Live Music

June 17, 2009

We Want To Sing You A Love Song!

Anne Murray sang in 1974, “I wanna sing you a love song….”  That’s the desire of all the talented professional musicians and vocalists who perform live for weddings and events in the Valley of the Sun.  These performers are there to sing and play for you.  And, as Shakespeare so beautifully wrote: “If music be the food of love, play on”!

Whether for your wedding ceremony, cocktail reception and/or dinner reception, live music creates an extraordinary atmosphere that elevates the entire experience by adding a soundscape designed with you, the bride and groom, in mind.  Live music is an art form that is created and enjoyed in the moment, instantly lifting your emotions and senses as the experience of your event unfolds.  Live music connects with the emotions and energy of the bride and groom as well as the guests.  The joy of your event is tangible as the performers and their music enliven the ambiance.  You can feel the energy of live music—music created in the moment—and the memory of these magical musical moments can last forever! 

Live music has been a part of life’s celebrations forever!  Music history teaches us that music is a very important element in sacred religious services, including the marriage ceremony.  Unaccompanied voice was the first instrument used in early sacred music.  Performance styles were very restricted depending on the time period and music creation had very stringent guidelines and practices.  The Church allowed only sacred texts to be set to music. This music was passed down from performer to performer and was not notated.  At first, hauntingly beautiful and simple (in terms of composition) single line vocal melodies were performed.  As time progressed another voice, as a sustained note (or chant drone), was added below the melody and basic harmony was then created.  Music composition and performance changed over time as single line melodies developed into melodies with harmony by adding complementary notes to the melody played in exact rhythm.  From simple harmony, music became more intricate with the use of inter-woven melodies that created harmony by their movements and the “rules” of music composition were expanded.

Secular music (music for use outside the church), especially songs of love, became more and more popular and was performed usually by a stringed instrument called a lute (the predecessor to the guitar), which was also used to accompany the voice.  Over time, keyboard and orchestral instruments were added to sacred and popular music performance.  Though early music was very beautiful, contemporary music performance today encompasses a wide and varied range of musical styles and performance mediums.  Performers today are always adding something new and fresh into the mix and this can be very exciting to hear.  Anything goes!

The wedding musicians’ highest purpose is to provide an impressive soundtrack for your most special day.  To a professional musician, now as in earlier times, being in the moment of this musical creation is always an absolutely awesome experience!   Professional musicians who perform for weddings describe their music as extraordinary, elegant, sophisticated, and beautiful.  And that allows you, the bride and groom, to feel exactly that–extraordinary, elegant, sophisticated and beautiful!


June 17, 2009

A Recession Proof Wedding

During the early 1980’s our country was going through a very rough economic time.  People were being laid off from work, and many families were suffering.  A very famous motivational speaker by the name of Robert Schuller wrote a book that became a bestseller.  The name of the book was Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do.  His basic message was to tell us the art of positive thinking.  Your first question might be, “What does that have to do with my wedding day?”  A simple answer:  Everything!

 Trying to stay within a certain budget for your wedding day even during good economic times is difficult for many brides. When there is a downturn in the economy, it becomes more difficult. What you have to decide is how can you still have an elegant wedding and cut cost at the same time. 

What things are most important in your wedding?  One of the best ways to determine how best to live within your budget is to list all of the things that you would like to have in your wedding.  As an example, you might come up with a list like:  Your wedding gown, flowers, rings, wedding party, venue, cake, food and beverages, invitations, music, photography and video etc… 

After you put together your entire list, start by assigning numbers to each one signifying its importance with ten being most important and one being the least.  Your initial list may look something like this:

Gown Ten $  1,200
Flowers Ten $  2,300
Rings Ten $  4,000
Minister Ten $     300
Location Ten $  4,000
Cake Ten $  1,500
Food & Beverages Ten $15,000
Music Ten $  1,000
Invitations Ten $     500
Photography Ten $  3,000
Videography Ten $  3,000

 This might be a somewhat typical list with priorities and approximate costs.  Notice that everything on your list has a ten.  The major problem isn’t the priority, it is the cost of each item.  They’re all important, but you could still have an elegant wedding for less than the above listed costs.  How?  Look again at all of the items and start thinking about ways to reduce costs without sacrificing your dream wedding.  One of the best ways to cut costs on vendors is to have your wedding on any day other than a Saturday.  Many vendors will offer you a big discount for a Friday or Sunday wedding.

 BUT, when your wedding is over, there will only be two things left to remind you of your very special day—your photographs and your video. 

Wedding Consulting

April 9, 2009

Wedding Dollars

And consulting sense


How does a bride capture her lifelong dreams and fulfill her wedding fantasies in consideration of today’s economy?   


Many think of wedding consultants as those who help run the flow of events at ceremonies and are surprised to find the knowledge a full service consultant offers goes beyond choosing table linens and centerpieces.   Professional, full service wedding consultants are those who know the industry vendors, who know the often overlooked and surprise expenses, who have thorough knowledge of vendor contracts and wedding-related expenses, and can provide couples with the most accurate spending overview. 


A session with a consultant to listen to your ideas, confirm or debunk your concerns, and help you create a workable wedding budget with referrals to honest, proven, quality vendors may be your best wedding expense.  


A good consultant knows the work produced by most wedding vendors, she knows who is reliable and who isn’t, she knows the additional expenses and the plus-pluses, the bonuses and pitfalls. She knows the noise ordinances at venues, the seasonal charge fluctuations, the equipment or space missing from behind-the-scenes that require more rentals, the dilemmas created by outdoor temperatures, the lighting considerations, and even the numbers of restrooms that will best accommodate your guest count.  She knows how to work with the fire department in obtaining inspections to make certain your tent is within code. 


A consultant can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars simply by referring you to those who best align with your budget and desires, by making alternative suggestions that can both save money and allow you to realize your dreams, or by objectively assisting you in prioritizing your desires so that you don’t spend emotionally now and regret later.  


Begin with calling those listed in The Wedding Chronicle.  Always ask if your date is open because if you meet with a consultant and decide you want full service consulting, you want that person to be available. Is she friendly, professional and available?  Does she return calls promptly?  You might want to meet with several consultants to find the one who best fits both of you professionally and personally.  Ask for references and ask questions, especially those related to your concerns.  


Schedule an appointment to have a consultation, and remember to ask the fee and length of time for the consultation.  If you decide to hire the consultant for full service, does this fee apply to your contracted amount?  Be prepared by gathering as much data as you can before the appointment.  Your information should include such things as your wedding date (time of year is important), budget (the amount of money you plan on spending for your wedding and reception) and what all you are including in that budget, your proposed guest count, your idea about wedding and reception sites, the formality of your wedding and type of reception, along with information on travel or honeymoon plans that you want to include in your consultation. 


Often after meeting with a consultant, a couple realizes this huge investment, their wedding day, deserves to be overseen by a professional.   What about the consultant’s fee?  Where will that fit in?  Talk with your chosen consultant.  Her expertise is worth it and perhaps she can show you how an alternative idea here and scale back there can make it possible to pay her fee. Some consultants have payment plans with all fees due before the wedding date. 


It’s your wedding and your dollars.  A good wedding consultant can make them work sensibly together so you can beautifully and happily say, “I do”. 



April 9, 2009

Dear Zadie:  We’re having a flower girl and a ring bearer in the wedding party.  I have chosen the most beautiful dress for the little girl.  It cost a little more than some of the other dresses but I think it is worth every penny. Who pays for these outfits?


Dear Paying Bride:  That’s a good question and the answer is very simple.  The parents!  I’m certain you loved hearing that answer, didn’t you?  Finally, something you don’t have to pay for.  However, it might be a good idea to defer a little to the parents of participating children regarding costs, don’t you think?  That said, here are the caveats to who pays for what.  You are responsible for the flower girl’s basket and ring bearer’s pillow.  Plus, if you are putting flowers or crystals in the little girl’s hair that come under the florist’s bill that is yours to pay.  If you want her to wear a tiara that matches yours, you better spring for that, too.  It should not cost the parents of the flower girl as much as bridesmaids to participate in your wedding.



Dear Zadie:  I have an unexpected problem.  Last weekend when I told one of my bridesmaids the cost of the dresses I selected, she freaked out!  In the midst of her tirade, she said she didn’t know if she could afford it and more than that didn’t think she could be in the wedding!  I wasn’t planning on paying for the bridesmaids’ dresses.  Now what???


Dear Surprised:  It’s time to sit down and have a heart to heart about money and the costs to be a bridesmaid.  Be upfront with your friend about all of the upcoming costs:  As a bridesmaid she will be expected to chip in for the bridal shower and possibly the bachelorette party; travel expenses; her dress, hair and makeup on the big day. 


After you have discussed these possibilities, give her the opportunity to back out with no hard feelings.  Tell her you understand being a bridesmaid is responsibility that comes with a pretty big price tag.  If the wedding is just weeks away, consider putting a halt on bridesmaids’ gifts and using that money towards their dresses.  On the other hand if you really wanted to buy specific gifts for your maids, just spring for this particular bridesmaid’s dress.  Ask for her word that she will not reveal this to the other members of your wedding party.



Dear Zadie:  What’s the best answer to rude people who ask how much we’re spending on our wedding?


Dear Quick Answer:  Your question is one  that doesn’t come up often, but it reflects a whole genre of embarrassing, rude questions…the askers of which really need to be put in their places…in the nicest possible terms. 


First, listen to the politicians and you will hear numerous ways to respond to a question without actually answering it.  Zadie’s favorite is:  “Why do you ask?”  Or if you are a little bolder, “It is necessary for you to know this because…?”  Most of these bold questioners really have no shame so a cheeky reply is entirely fine with me.  If that doesn’t back them down, you can also reply with a straight face, “Our love has no price tag!”  That should handle it.  If not, just turn and pretend to be very busy doing something, anything—about ten feet away and ignore further conversation.



Dear Zadie:  My parents are giving me only half of what they paid for my sister’s wedding last year.  This is so unfair!!  How can I get them to give me more?


Dear Grasping:  I hope when you re-read your question you will see how selfish and self-centered you sound.  Maybe your parents are victims of this recession and don’t have the money to spend on you they had last year.  Nowhere is it written that just because your sister had a $50,000 wedding that you must have one also…it might be nice, but it’s not their obligation.  Times and circumstances change.  Did it ever occur to you that maybe your attitude is causing your parents to rethink this whole wedding thing?  In addition, I have a bulletin for you:  Seventy percent of all couples getting married today are paying for some part or ALL of their weddings.  Expecting your parents to foot the whole, entire bill is very much yesterday’s thinking. 


Now, get over your snit.  Your parents love you.  There is just something else at play in this situation that you don’t know about right now.  At some point in the future you will be glad you didn’t make a big deal of this.



Dear Zadie:  We are getting married in California next fall, but my husband’s whole family lives in Iowa.  I think they are wonderful people, until a week ago when they began insisting we pay for all their accommodations in Santa Barbara.  Zadie, we just cannot afford that.  Where do we go from here?


Dear Close-to-Broke:  By no means do you have to pay for their accommodations and/or travel costs, but you are responsible for making their trip more affordable.  Look into group rates at local hotels.  It’s really easy to negotiate a discount if you booking a block of rooms.  If some of his family are really in need of help, maybe you can find accommodations with local friends of yours who may have a guest room or two.  Another way to cut expenses for your guests is to plan tours, a couple of parties or other entertainment so your guests won’t have to spend so much on food and diversions. 


If this is a destination wedding, you may get married without the blessing or presence of your fiancé’s parents.  I would also suggest that more thought should be given to the expense of a wedding far away from home…for everyone.



Dear Zadie:  My fiancé’s parents are making a financial contribution to the cost of our wedding, but it’s about half of what my parents are paying.  Should we include my in-laws on the invitation?


Dear Giving Credit:  Traditionally, whoever is hosting the wedding—whether it’s the bride’s parents, an aunt and uncle, or a combination of people—is listed on the invitations, regardless of their financial contribution.  Times have changed a few things, however, and many couples now list both sets of parents (bride’s first) as a sign of respect. 


One common structure:  “Mr. and Mrs. John Robbins and Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Peters request the honor of your presence at the wedding of their children, Claire Marie and Joseph Brian…..”  Your stationer and most etiquette books will have a few alternatives for you, too.


Does anyone else FEEL spring in the air?  Look at the foothills around town, they are turning bright green and even the ocotillos are starting to bud with the flame red flowers that resemble feathers on the top of each branch.  This is Zadie’s favorite season of the year…it is the time of new beginnings and if you are newly engaged, we welcome you to the pages of The Wedding Chronicle.  Every issue is all brand new material, and we are glad you are here.


Your mannered friend,



April 9, 2009

Workout Videos

How they can help


Ever since Jane Fonda got us moving in the ’80’s to her aerobics videos, workout videos have been a part of most people’s exercise routines at one time or another. The selection of videos available today is so varied that no matter what your choice of exercise, you can find a video to assist you. Workout videos are a great component to help achieve your fitness goals.


Using workout videos in your fitness routine is helpful in many ways. Everyone knows how hard it is to make the time to exercise. Getting to the gym is an impossibility for many people. Workout videos are available right in your home any time day or night. Having a variety of workout videos in your home make it hard to have an excuse for not exercising. You can work out whenever you’ve got a few spare minutes and at your own pace.


Workout videos can help you save money. Gym memberships can be very costly and not everyone can afford them. Also the number of people who have gym memberships but never step foot in the gym is ridiculously high. It’s estimated that 50% of people who sign up for memberships either go infrequently or not at all. For many people it’s a big waste of money. For an investment of $10-$25 you can own a workout video. For four times that amount you can have a variety of workout videos to help you target different fitness goals.


Using a workout video during your home workouts can help you avoid injury. Many exercise videos are taught by experts in their fields. It’s beneficial to have a professional show you how to exercise correctly, and workout videos can provide professional assistance. Workout videos usually contain a warm-up and a cool-down. These are very important to avoid injuries, yet many people would not include them with their exercise routine if they weren’t right there on the video. Also, many specific types of exercises require precise movements, and the instructor on a workout video can demonstrate the correct movements.


If you’re self-conscious, workout videos can be very helpful. You get the benefit of being in an exercise class without having to exercise in front of other people. Perhaps you feel awkward trying to learn new moves or simply uncomfortable having other people see you exercise. Using videos in your own home can solve this problem.


Workout videos can keep you from getting into a fitness rut. If you’ve got a variety of videos – yoga, kick boxing, aerobics, Pilates, dance, walking, boot camp – you can keep yourself from getting bored. If you’re tired of one video, you can put it aside for a while.


Workout videos can cater to your level of fitness. If you’re just beginning an exercise program and are not in great shape, you can find many workout videos for beginners. Once you gain endurance and stamina, you can move up to a more difficult level. Also, there are many videos that cater to those who have very specific fitness needs like senior citizens or women who are pregnant.


If you’ve got kids, workout videos can help you instill a love of exercise in them. If they see you exercising, they are more likely to be active themselves. They may just join in with you. There are some workout videos created especially for kids and you can join them when it’s their exercise time.


With a variety of exercise videos in your home video library, you’ve got all the help you need to get moving and get fit.