Turn Ordinary Wedding Items Into Keepsakes

Mother of the Bride, why not turn a few of the ordinary every-wedding-and-bride-must-have items into something more? Why not transform them into keepsakes that will remind the newlyweds of precious wedding day memories for years to come?

For instance, instead of picking up a set of standard wedding garters (one to keep and one to toss) at your favorite craft and hobby store, ask a family member or dear friend who loves to sew if she would be willing to make garters for your precious girl.

My friend Teri made garters for both of my girls (see Kelli’s above), and her loving touch and personal effort instantly transformed the garters into precious keepsakes for both Kristin and Kelli. And since Teri and I had great fun selecting the lace and ribbon she would use to craft this traditional part of the bride’s attire, the whole experience made for a great memory for us as well.

Toasting flutes can also become a treasured keepsake. I found a special and elegant set for Kristin’s wedding, but for Kelli’s, we decided to ask a friend to dress up some standard flutes. This time we asked Teri’s daughter Stephanie for help. With her creative knack and a little input from Kelli on what she would like, Stephanie transformed the flutes into something far more beautiful than we could have found at any wedding supply or craft store (see below; click on the photo to see it better).

MOB, these are just a couple of ideas—I’m sure other possibilities will come to mind as you think of your own daughter and her desires and style. Have fun turning the ordinary into keepsakes for her. She’ll be forever grateful—and you may make some great memories along the way!

*You might also like to read Craft It: Bridal Keepsake Box, A Keepsake Photo of the Wedding Invitation, Deciding On a Wedding Guest Book: Ideas to Get You Started, and Wedding-Themed Shower Gifts.

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

*The current 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.)

*Photos by Will Flowers

Deciding On a Wedding Guest Book: Ideas to Get You Started

Mother of the Bride, have your daughter and her beloved decided on what kind of guest book they’d like the wedding guests to sign yet? Years ago (when we got married!), there weren’t a lot of options where guest books were concerned, but today the guest book decision isn’t as straightforward as it once was.

Yes, MOB, the choices for wedding guest books have broadened considerably. Why not brainstorm some possible approaches with your bride-to-be?

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. The traditional guest-book-only sign-in. This is the small book (maybe 5×7) used exclusively on wedding day to sign guests in as they arrive for the ceremony or reception.
  2. The traditional wedding record/memory book. This book is larger (approx. 9×12) and includes pages for everything from the couple’s first date to where they honeymoon. Several sign-in pages for the wedding are included as well as pages for showers, gifts, etc. (My daughters both used this method. In fact, I gave them their special record books as Christmas gifts when they were planning their weddings.)
  3. A photo guest book designed by the couple through a site like Shutterfly. This type of guest book adds a real personal touch since it features the couple’s engagement photos.
  4. A large framed photo or piece of art with guests signing the mat that surrounds it. This option allows the couple to daily enjoy the memories of their big day and the people who joined them for it.
  5. A guest book quilt, hanging and ready for guests to sign. What a keepsake treasure this would be!
  6. A photo booth wedding guest book. It provides not only a super fun visual record of those attending the wedding, but also gives the guests a chance to include a personal message.
  7. A guest tree.  Each guest signs a leaf on the tree, and when the wedding is over, the bride and groom have a keepsake record ready to hang on the wall, a continual reminder of all who joined them for their special day.

Possibilities abound with a little creative thought. Some help from Pinterest can come in handy, too, right? If you’d like to see a few more options, check out my Weddings—This and That board on Pinterest. Have fun brainstorming with your girl, MOB!

*You might also like to read Photo Booth Idea for Wedding Guest Book and Guest Book Idea: A Guest Tree.

*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, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Amazon 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.)

*Photo by Flowers Photography

Wedding Chalkboard Signs: Versatile and Affordable

Mother of the Bride, are you and your darling daughter up to your elbows in decorating ideas yet? If not, I’m sure you soon will be—and if so, I’ve got an idea for you today that can be easily added at any stage of planning.

Chalkboard signs are nothing new in the world of wedding décor, but they are still an adorable option for almost any wedding. Not only can they offer information to guests but they can also be used to help set the mood for the wedding or reception. 

Just think about how versatile chalkboard signs can be. They can feature loving messages like the photo above or provide direction for the guests as in the photo below. Or you might want to feature some of these ideas: a welcome sign in the entry area, special instruction for the guest book, an unplugged wedding sign, a timeline for the festivities, a cute sign for the ring bearer, the couple’s relationship timeline, directions to a photo booth, an Instagram hashtag to use for photos, or a thank-you sign at the gift table. And these are just a few ideas to get you started!

Other good reasons to use chalkboard signs is that most are very affordable—plus they can be repurposed after the wedding is over.True, some of the larger or more decorative ones can be more expensive, but many are very easy on the budget. Take a look at some of these places where you can purchase them to get an idea of prices:

Etsy

Save on Crafts 

Amazon 

Michael’s 

Hope these ideas help, MOB. Now go have fun sign-planning with your girl!

*You might also like to read Just Married Sign and Photo Idea and Flower Girl and Ring Bearer Serve as Sign-Bearer.

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

*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.)

Top photo by Sooz . on Unsplash; bottom photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Shutterfly’s Free Printable Engagement Photo Props

Mother of the Bride, as your sweet daughter and her intended’s engagement photo session approaches, why not offer them a dynamite tip to help make things more fun.

Of course, you’ll want to offer some standard tips for a good experience—choosing the right photographer, outfits that flatter and express their personalities, a great location, and ideas for poses that will be meaningful to them—but my tip today might be something they are unaware of and would love to include in their photos.

Shutterfly offers free downloadable engagement photo props that can help a couple add their own personal touch to their engagement photos. These props are fun and creative and a few can even be customized. You’ll even see some that can be used in photos or for décor on the wedding day itself.

Share this post pronto with your darling couple, MOB. And be sure to tell them to read Shutterfly’s post to the very end for lots of great tips on how to use the props and for photo session tips in general. Then sit back and wait for the moment they share their amazing photos with you!

Read more on Shutterfly.com.

*You might also like to read Use Engagement Photo for Bridal Shower Invitation.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride 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 August. 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.)

*Photos by Shutterfly

Wedding Photo: Bridesmaids Blow the Groom a Kiss

Mother of the Bride, add this “blowing a kiss to the groom” wedding shot to your list for the photographer pronto! It will be one of the cutest photos of the day. Photographic magic is bound to happen when your daughter’s bridesmaids are asked to show the groom a little love.

As soon as the bridesmaids are asked to blow the groom a kiss, he will start smiling and blushing—or turn into a Romeo on the spot and eat up the attention like a glowing Adonis. Either way, the results will be wedding-photo gold.

So, MOB, share this idea with your daughter and/or the photographer. He can set it up like the shot above of our son-in-law Jake, or he can get creative and change it up any number of ways. As long as there’s kissing involved, it will be fun, right?

*You might also like to read 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 current 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.)

*Photo by Flowers Photography