Preparation for Decorating Wedding Reception Venue

Mother of the Bride, one vital step in your wedding decor preparation is to visit the reception venue site. You probably visited it early-on with your daughter while selecting a venue, but now you need to go back and carefully survey everything with an eye for decorating.

Here are some things to take to the reception venue when you visit:

*The bride. This is her party, and you definitely need her input. Your job is to help bring her vision to fruition. As you visit the site with your daughter, you’ll both have ideas and can decide together which ideas to implement. Also, two sets of eyes are always better than one in spotting potential problem areas and making sure those are addressed before you arrive to decorate.

*Questions for the venue’s event coordinator. When you make your appointment to visit, make sure the event coordinator will be there so you can ask questions, gain his or her insight, and get advice based on what they’ve seen work well there before. Take time to compile a list of questions before you go so you’re not trying to think off the top of your head. (Lists like this are included in my book Mother of the Bride.) If you see any problems or things you’d like fixed or done differently than their norm, speak up and ask. They will generally try to accommodate if possible.

*Your MOB folder or notebook/journal. As you make your way through wedding planning, you’ll keep a folder and/or notebook of all the info and plans you’re accumulating. You may need some of that info as you talk with the venue’s event coordinator or as you brainstorm decorating ideas with your daughter. Be sure to take this all-important MOB folder/notebook with you. It will also give you a place to make notes during your appointment.

*Camera. Pictures of the site will be invaluable after the appointment since more ideas will come to you and your daughter later on. Pictures of the site will help you carry them out. Also be sure to capture a shot of the two of you during this stop on your wedding-planning journey. You’ll be so glad you documented this once-in-a-lifetime journey together.

*Tape measure. This is the time to record vital statistics like how long banisters or mantles are or how many feet of lights you’ll need. Measure everywhere, even if you’re not sure you’ll decorate a certain area. For example, if you ultimately decide to string lights around the windows, you’ll have the measurements you need.

So MOB, head out for your venue appointment armed with these items. You’ll not only have a successful planning day, but you’ll have fun with your daughter as well. Another win-win on the wedding front!

*You might also like to read Include Venue Signs in the Wedding Photos , Wedding Planning Tip: Ask for Price Breaks, and Get It In Writing.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by J. Aaron DelgadoCreative Commons License

Preview Flowers Day Before Wedding

Mother of the Bride, do you and your daughter want to avoid one potential disappointment on wedding day? Make arrangements with your florist to preview the wedding flowers the day before the big event.

You don’t want to arrive at the church just a few hours before the wedding and find that a mistake has been made on the type of flowers requested for the bridal bouquet or that the florist completely missed your vision for the altar flowers. You don’t want to be short on corsages or boutonnieres.

Previewing the flowers may not be convenient on the already-busy decorating day before the wedding, but it’s a safeguard you need to make time for. You may not be able to avoid some things that go wrong on wedding day, but disappointment with the flowers is one thing you can fix before it happens.

I didn’t know to do a preview when Kristin, our first daughter, got married, and she ended up unhappy with her bridal bouquet. She had requested a white rose bouquet with a few little yellow touches in it. But when we got to the church and saw the bouquet, we discovered that the florist had gone overboard with yellow. Kristin was so disappointed. I know now it could have been altered if we’d seen the bouquet the afternoon before.

When planning our second daughter’s wedding, I still didn’t realize that previewing the flowers the day before the wedding was done in the floral business, but Kelli’s florist himself asked that we come by and give final approval, even though some of the flowers might not be finished. This is when you know you’ve got a good florist, MOB. A good florist doesn’t want any misunderstanding. He or she wants everyone happy on wedding day.

So go ahead and add a quick preview of the flowers to your day-before-wedding schedule now, Mother of the Bride. You’ll be glad you did.

*You might also like read Get It In Writing and Three Tips for Working with Your Wedding DJ.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Hope this slightly revised post from Feb. 2014 was helpful to you today, MOB!

*Photo by Will Flowers

Making Our Lives Count: Laura Bush’s Words Still True Today

Several years ago when the tenth anniversary of 9/11 drew near, we heard, saw, and read many reminders of that horrific time. I came across one that year that I think bears repeating here. I hope you will agree.

Woman’s Day Editor-In-Chief (at that time) Elizabeth Mayhew introduced their September issue with a quote from an essay former First Lady Laura Bush wrote for their magazine on the first anniversary of the attacks. I love what Mrs. Bush had to say:

“You don’t have to walk into a burning building or wear a badge to rescue someone. You don’t have to go to medical school to help a person feel better, or walk on the moon to change this earth. You simply have to care about what happens in our country. To me, we can all honor the lives lost on September 11 by making our lives count even more.”

What great perspective Mrs. Bush offered back in 2002—and it’s still true today. Instead of feeling hopeless and helpless in the face of overwhelming times, we can make a difference. We can make our lives count. Sometimes we just need to think about it a bit and then become more intentional in our efforts.

So what can we do to make things better for our nation? We can vote regularly in elections and pray for our leaders. We can treat others with kindness and respect. We can volunteer through our churches and civic organizations when crises come or to help with ongoing projects. We can support our military and their families and volunteer at our communities’ schools. We can also recycle and try to incorporate other earth friendly practices in our lives. The possibilities abound.

In like fashion, we as Christians should be making our lives count for the Lord as well. We can grow closer to him each day, becoming a beacon of hope and good news for those around us. We can live our faith in front of our families and friends in good times and bad, setting an example for our children and grandchildren. We can pray for and encourage others. We can get involved in mission projects and actively support missionaries. We can be ready to share the good news of a Savior as the Lord gives opportunity. Yes, we can make a difference eternally.

Let’s heed the wisdom Mrs. Bush offered on that first anniversary of 9/11. Let’s make our lives count even more.

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” Matthew 10:42 NIV

*What else can we do to make a difference in our nation or for Christ?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*I hope this slightly revised post from Sept. 2011 blessed you today!

*Flickr photo by włodiCreative Commons License

Wedding Day Tip: A List for the Photographer

Mother of the Bride, today I have a tip on how to sidestep a potential disappointment with photos from the big day. Since wedding photography is one of the major expenses for the wedding, you definitely want to do anything you can to insure that both you and the happy couple will be satisfied with the once-in-a-lifetime photos from their special day.

One of the best things you can do to avoid disappointment with the photos is to give a list of must-have shots to your professional photographer. Don’t assume he or she will automatically take all the shots you think are standard. Don’t expect him to be a mind-reader, MOB. Some couples and their parents have a very traditional vision of what their photos should include while others want to take a more casual or photo-journalistic approach.

Be specific. Don’t just say family shots. List the specific family shots you want. Also be sure to tell him that in addition to the list, you want him to be as creative as possible and capture unexpected, fun, and tender moments whenever and wherever he can.

As you compile your list, MOB, think outside the box—think of some of the great photo opps that might present themselves at the wedding that are unique to you and your family and friends.The photographer will not magically know to take a photo of you with your very best friends. He won’t know that the newlyweds want a shot of all their college friends together.

Do a little photography preparation, MOB, and you’ll come much closer to being pleasantly surprised with the results instead of unhappy over missed shots. Take full advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime event—make your list!

*You might also like to read Wedding Weekend Photography Tip and Day Before Wedding Tip: Preview Flowers.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out in early August. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Hope this slightly revised encore post from Feb. 2014 has been helpful to you!

*Flickr photo by Elvert Barnes, Creative Commons License

Wedding Day List: Add Comfy Shoes

Mother of the Bride, your attire for wedding day will not be complete without bringing a pair of comfy shoes. Whether slippers, flip-flops, or casual flats, you need to have a pair of comfortable shoes on hand for some well-timed relief from the dazzling heels you bought to go with your gorgeous MOB dress.

Comfy shoes can be worn at various times—during the pre-ceremony prep, the reception venue clean-up, and also the last couple of hours of the reception when dancing is fully underway. Guests probably won’t start arriving at the ceremony any earlier than thirty minutes prior, but to play it safe, you might want to slip on your MOB heels at least forty-five minutes ahead of start-time.

As far as the party goes, once the photographer snaps photos of the traditional dances, go ahead and get footloose and fancy free and dance in comfort. No one will care, and it will actually add to the fun atmosphere when everyone sees you unwind. Of course, only your closest family members will hang around to help with the clean-up so no worries about looking put together then. Who knows, you may even be barefoot by that point!

My comfy shoe of choice for both my girls’ weddings was my favorite flip-flops. Since they had May and July weddings, flip-flops worked great for me, but if your daughter is getting married in a cold-weather month, slippers may be in order. No rules here, though, MOB. Whatever works for you is the right choice.

So go ahead—add comfy shoes to your list right now while you’re thinking about it. Your tootsies will thank you come wedding day!

*You might also like to read Most Important Part of the MOBs Wedding Day Attire, Wedding Day Checklist: Containers for Leftover Cake, and Wedding Day Tip: A List for the Photographer.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Flickr photo by Wicker Paradise, Creative Commons License