Wedding Tips Wednesdays: “Helper” Gifts

Have you ever served a friend by helping with their wedding? It is both a delight and a lot of work! If you’ve ever had this privilege, you probably know the blessing of being acknowledged for your labor. While we may joyfully and willingly consider our effort at a friend’s wedding a labor of love and expect no recompense, it is always nice to be appreciated for the work we’ve done. I’ve been blessed many times by surprise gift baskets or cards tucked into thank-you notes for my wedding coordinating work.

Providing these tokens of appreciation is a kindness I encourage several time in All Things Are Ready. Even when you are blessed with a community of friends and family who are falling all over each other to help with your wedding, expressing your gratitude by way of a small gift is an important way to honor those who will work so hard to pull off your Dream Wedding. Keep in mind that most wedding chores filled by generous friends are things you would otherwise have to pay for by the hour for professional services. Show your helpers you recognize the cost and effort they have saved you by blessing them with a thoughtful gift.

Here are a few suggestions for your wedding helpers’ gifts.

  • Create a gift basket with either individualized treats fitting to the person receiving this gift or general locally available gifts. I was blessed to receive one such basket that included local wine, an Entertainment book, coffee shop gift cards, and more. It was such fun to remember the wedding as I used these treats over the next several months.
  • Gift card to a local bookstore, restaurant, coffee shop or gift shop.
  • Spa gift cards so your hard working friend can relax after your wedding!
  • Pretty aprons with the pockets filled with cute kitchen tools for those who help serve or cater your wedding.
  • Amazon gift cards are great general treats for those serving at the wedding, such as musicians or choir members, whom you may not know personally well enough to buy an individualized gifts.
  • Bottle of wine
  • Movie tickets or iTunes gift-cards are great for young people.
  • If you have those who have done larger jobs for the wedding (catering, photography, the wedding cake, etc.), but resist cash payment for their services, a gift-certificate for some kind of relaxing retreat is nice way to pay them in a way they can’t refuse. Here in Oregon, I would consider an night’s stay at the beach or a McMenamins Lodge. Wherever you are, there is probably a nice B&B or local favorite day-trip you could consider.

Do you have any additional creative ideas? Please share them in the comment section below!

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Wedding Tips Wednesdays: More or Less

A dozen little ways to be a happy bride…

  • Say thank-you more
  • Call, update, include and otherwise TALK to your mom more
  • Talk about your wedding less when it’s date-night with your fiance or girls’-night-out with your friends
  • Compromise more
  • Demand less
  • Share decision making with your fiance, mom and/or others who are invested in the wedding more
  • Pray more
  • Stress the small stuff less
  • Stop and take a deep breath more so you can recognize and enjoy the many special moments in your wedding journey
  • Waver over decisions, look-back, worry and complain less
  • Work hard, cheerfully more
  • Rejoice MORE in the goodness of God to bring you this wonderful man to marry!
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Wedding Tips Wednesdays: Wedding Photography – before or after?

In All Things Are Ready, there is an entire chapter dedicated to decisions about wedding photography. While I tried to thoroughly address as many options as possible, I do make the argument for having your pictures before the ceremony. The following article by a wedding photographer is an excellent additional explanation of why pre-ceremony photography may actually better achieve your goals for your wedding day. For more tips on when to have your pictures done, see All Things Are Ready, chapter 9.

7 Reasons to See the Bride Before the Wedding

Photos Courtesy of Jenn Lind Photography

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Why NOT to have a wedding in twelve weeks

All Things Are Ready is not based on any particular timeline or calendar. The checklists and tasks are arrange by priority and can be used whether you’re getting married next month or next year. When I was getting married, I was always frustrated by the fact that all the wedding advice was based on a 1 to 2 year engagement. What was I supposed to do if I was getting married in 3 months?

So, in writing a Christian wedding planner, I included tools for any engagement calendar, but also suggestions on how a wedding can be done in a short time frame if wanted.

But what if you don’t want a short engagement? What good reasons are there to have a long engagement? How should you think about your wedding season if it will last for months or even years? The following excerpt from the introduction to All Things Are Ready talks about the Whys of spending more than 12 weeks planning your wedding.

Why NOT to get married in just 12 weeks

The following are a few of the many reasons to consider choosing, out of love for others, a longer engagement: Continue reading

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Short Engagements and Wedding Planning

Bride getting ready for weddingOut of 319 entries, the randomly-drawn winner of last week’s giveaway is Julie Brown. Congratulations, Julie!

In her comment, Julie said “I heard about the book through the recent doorpost email. My daughter is in the process of getting engaged and we feel it will be a very short engagement. I am interested in this book.”

Julie, we’re sure this book will be a helpful too for you! A ten-page section of All Things Are Ready is devoted to helping you plan a wedding in 3 months (or less, if you want to), and the entire book is organized so that you can choose your priorities and plan the wedding according to your schedule (you also get a sample “3 month wedding planning checklist”).

3 month wedding planning checklist from "All Things Are Ready"Modupe in the UK mentioned short engagement wedding planning in her recent review of All Things Are Ready on Hephzibah Bride:

“…With the comprehensiveness comes flexibility, in that the planner doesn’t have a specific timeline that you have to stick to (those can be so stressful and can make you feel like you’re failing with your wedding planning schedule). Rather, you can focus on the sections as they are relevant to you, and probably more practical for weddings these days, Amy even details how it is possible plan a wedding within 12 weeks (I seriously didn’t think that could be possible, but now I am convinced otherwise!)”

Hephzibah Bride is also hosting a giveaway of All Things Are Ready! She wants to know what you think of planning a wedding in three months. To enter, visit the review/giveaway post on Hephzibah Bride and comment before the giveaway ends on Sunday, April 1.

 Top photo by JennLynn Images.

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Wedding Tip Wednesday: Honoring parents

While hunting up easily-accessible pictures for the last post, I came across an interesting little summary of ideas for honoring parents in a wedding. I thought since the last post was on how mothers treat their daughters during the wedding hubbub, it would be nice to turn the tables for Wedding Tip Wednesdays and share this little article on honoring the parents. I can’t vouch for anything else on the wedding site it comes from, but this list has some unusual and interesting ideas for showing appreciation to your moms and dads on your wedding day.

At my oldest son’s wedding, the parents came on stage and laid hands on the couple while the father of the bride gave a wedding prayer. My pastor-husband has officiated at the weddings of both our married sons so far. We’ve enjoyed how our children chose to include and honor us in their big day.

Did you do something special to honor your parents in your wedding ceremony? Leave a comments sharing your stories and ideas for showing love and appreciation to the parents of the bride and groom during the wedding day.

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Bride with familyPhoto Credit: Jenn Lynn Images

In All Things Are Ready, I included several bridal devotions to help your daughter glorify God and love her future husband, family and friends well while she is a bride. However, the bride is not the only one who may be tempted to lose perspective or turn a season of joy sour. The mother-of-the-bride is many times the hinge on which the joy of the bride and groom turns. Just as with every season of fruitful parenting, being the mother-of-the-bride requires a lot of prayer, wisdom and forethought.

The following is an excerpt from the Introduction to All Things Are Ready. Continue reading

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Win a free copy of All Things Are Ready!

To celebrate the launch of All Things Are Ready this week, we’re giving away a free copy of the book! This will make a great gift for a friend, a useful addition to your church library, or a valuable book to store away until one of your children gets engaged.

The new wedding planner binderTo enter the giveaway, just comment on this post and tell us how you heard about All Things Are Ready!

***Giveaway closed – the winner is Julie Brown!***

Rules: Only one entry allowed per person. Must be 18 or older, and a resident of the US or Canada. Giveaway starts March 15 and ends at midnight on March 25, 2012. Winner will be notified by email and must respond within 4 days, or a different winner will be chosen.
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An Engagement!

A very good friend of our family got engaged last weekend so I was thrilled that the first printing of All Things Are Ready has arrived in the warehouse and is available to order! I got my first finished copies on Sunday and am so pleased with the result. The binder is both practical and beautiful, it comes with a handy expandable file pocket in the back for holding all those receipts, notes and clippings, and has sturdy, useful tabbed dividers to place in each chapter so you can quickly get to the list you’re looking for. How fun to be able to present Miss Sara with her first engagement gift and share this with her!

If you know someone recently engaged, or would just like to read more about this next season of parenting, be sure to head over to the Doorposts blog this week to enter their free giveaway of one copy of All Things Are Ready!

All Things Are Ready binder

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All Things Are Ready…is ready!

The first printing of All Things Are Ready: A Bride’s Complete Christian Wedding Planner is complete, and we’re assembling the books here at our office!

The completed wedding planner binder - All Things Are ReadyIf you placed a pre-order, your book is in the mail.

You may now view sample pages here and order the book from Doorposts or from Amazon.

We’ll be hosting giveaways of All Things Are Ready here and on Doorposts’ blog next week. Stay tuned!

Master list, engagement, and wedding budget tabs in the wedding planner notebook

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