Wedding Invitations: Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

2392325187_153e371099_zMother of the Bride, I have some very important advice for you today: Be sure to proofread the copy for the wedding invitation very carefully before sending it off to the printer. And after you’ve proofread it once, proof it again—and again. Oh, and did I mention proofreading it? You get the idea, right?

As you might have guessed, my oldest daughter and I had a proofreading fail while planning her wedding. Talk about a sinking feeling when we discovered the mistake—yes, on the actual invitations.

We had both proofread the invitation copy before sending it to the printer, but we still missed seeing a misspelling. Since our eyes were familiar with the name, they evidently sailed right past it as we read the copy. We failed to look the copy over very slowly and very carefully. And yes, it cost us. Lesson learned.

So, MOB, learn from our mistake and proofread like crazy. Both you and the bride proofread the invitation multiple times and then ask someone else to proofread it, too. Believe me, being a stickler for details this time will save you valuable dollars and an extra helping of stress. Here’s to no invitation mistakes as you plan for the big day!

*You might also like to read A Keepsake Photo of the Wedding Invitation.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out the first of August. Sign up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by Jase the Bass, Creative Commons License

Gift Yourself and Take the Easy Route

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*Since the readership of the Mother of the Bride Blog is ever-changing, here is an encore post that I hope will be helpful to those of you who weren’t MOBs when I originally posted it in June of 2013. May this post help you take it easy at times, MOB!

Mother of the Bride, if you’re like I was, you’re all about saving a dollar or two (or ten!) every chance you get, right? Your mental calculator runs non-stop, causing you to continually feel the pressure of mounting expenses. You begin to look for every way you can to save a little money. But you know what? Sometimes it’s not worth it.

My first time around the MOB block, I decided we should forgo the pre-cut tulle circles that we wanted to use for making the favors—little bags of chocolate candies tied with pretty ribbon. In an attempt to save some dollars, I decided we could cut our own circles of tulle.

Big mistake. At a time when both the bride and I had more to do than we had time, we had to push ourselves even more. Believe it or not, the tulle circle-cutting fairies did not show up at nighttime to cut the circles for us.

My decision to cut costs ended up costing us in other ways—in time, in stress, and in weariness. The dollars saved were definitely not worth it.

Learn from my mistake, dear MOB. Carefully weigh all the costs before making more work for yourself. Sometimes the best thing you can do is gift yourself and take the easy route.

*You might also like to read A Simple Wedding Expense Tip, Mothers of the Bride Need Prayer, and Gather Photos Early for Wedding Day Slide Show.

*Flickr photo by FutUnBeidl, Creative Commons License

What We Can Do When Grief Is Compounded

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We’ve all been there—smack dab in the middle of a conversation or situation that compounds a heavy grief we’re bearing.

Remarks are made that drive a knife deeper into an open wound. People may offer trite words or pat answers that may, in fact, be true, but do nothing but make the pain sharper because of their lack of understanding. Some may even make comments with an edge—with an implication of how we should get over the situation or fix it or how we possibly could have prevented it to start with. The knife goes in deeper.

Other times, actions are taken—or not taken—that show a lack of sensitivity and understanding. After asking how we’re doing, someone glances at his watch repeatedly as we try to share our stories. Another knife in the heart. Sometimes our heartache is ignored—we are ignored—when people, unsure of what to say or do, carry on as if nothing is wrong. In the process, these unwitting but guilty parties compound our grief as well.

So what can we do when our grief is compounded, when the pain is made worse? How can we turn it into something positive? A few things come to mind:

  1. We can give grace. We can forgive. Chances are, the offender doesn’t even realize the pain his remarks or actions caused. Let’s give the benefit of the doubt and overlook the offense. And if the person should have known better, we can still forgive. We can remember how God has forgiven us time and again and offer the same mercy ourselves.
  1. We can learn from the situation. Any time and every time our grief is compounded, we can make a mental note to avoid such remarks or actions in our own dealings with those who are hurting. We can guard against compounding others’ grief in the future.
  1. We can educate and enlighten others. We can share the lessons we’ve learned during our season of grief as opportunities arise. Depending on the situation and the people involved, it might even be appropriate and helpful to let an offender know how his actions or words caused hurt.
  1. We can draw closer to God as we handle the hurt. We can go to God with every fresh heartache. We can tell him all about it. In his arms we’ll find comfort and understanding. We can see the hurtful situation as one more opportunity to go deeper in our relationship with God.

Grief compounded doesn’t have to win, doesn’t have to have the final say. God can help us even through this. God can redeem the pain-made-worse. Let’s allow him to do so.

“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 KJV

*What are some ways we can avoid compounding the grief of others?

 *Flickr photo by Thomas Leuthard, Creative Commons License

Midweek Morsel: A Missed Opportunity’s Blessing

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From time to time, I’ve been known to break one of the cardinal rules of any self-respecting photo-taking enthusiast—keep your camera battery charged at all times. None of us wants to be caught with a dead camera when a photo opp presents itself, but alas, I’ve found myself in that very position at times.

I’ve reached for my camera to try to capture a photo of a neat backyard bird sighting and have immediately discovered my oversight. Darn. Dad-gum-it. I failed to charge the battery during the night. And then I proceed to mentally kick myself until I see that that’s not going to change a thing.

But you know what? In the midst of one of my missed photo opportunities, I realized a different kind of blessing awaited. Since I wasn’t busy snapping photos of the birds, I had the chance to simply watch them. Instead of focusing on taking photos, I fully savored the moment and reveled in the beauty of the scene.

So next time we mess up and miss an opportunity, let’s remember to look for a different blessing that might be right in front of us. Let’s take advantage of the new opportunity.

“Be joyful always . . . give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16, 18

*When have you discovered a different kind of blessing in the midst of a missed opportunity?

*My photo

Day Before Wedding Tip: Preview Flowers

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Mother of the Bride, do you and your daughter want to avoid one potential for big 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 jam-packed decorating day prior to 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.

Even 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 if 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.

*So tell me, what kind of flowers has your daughter chosen for her bridal bouquet? There are some gorgeous ones out there!

*Photo by Will Flowers

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out Feb. 3rd. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!