Welcome, Mothers of the Bride!

DSC_4414_2.jpgIf you need someone who understands what’s going on in your life right now and wants to help you enjoy the journey, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll find everything from fabulous ideas to much needed advice and encouragement. Come on in and be refreshed!

A Winner Plus A Message for the Newlyweds

12893863323_341719a366_zThe day has come—time to announce the winner of the Mother of the Bride Book Launch Giveaway! That lucky winner is . . . drumroll, please . . . Susan Best! Congrats, Susan! I’ll get your winnings to you as soon as possible. I hope you enjoy each and every item and find my book to be super helpful and encouraging.

And now a little gift for the rest of you—a special message you can share with your sweet soon-to-be newlyweds! Perhaps you could share this message with them by reading it at the wedding reception during the time for toasts or perhaps you could mail it to them in a card. It could be a sweet surprise waiting for them as they return from their honeymoon.

Hope you enjoy sharing this with the new Mr. and Mrs.!

For You, Dear Newlyweds

What a joy it’s been to watch
Your story of love unfold,
From dating to engagement to marriage vows
You’ve made the perfect couple.
The wedding may be over now
But there’s still much to celebrate,
A chance to say “I do” again
Each day for the rest of your lives.
Right now that may seem easy
But days of challenge may lie ahead,
Keep saying “I do”, keep choosing love,
The rewards will surely come.
One day you’ll be that older couple
That everyone admires,
They’ll see your lasting mutual love
And decide to work for their own.
But today live life as newlyweds
Enjoy these fleeting days,
And in the process you’ll inspire
Others to choose love again.

Copyright © Cheryl Barker

*When you read this piece or print it out, please give attribution by saying it’s by Cheryl Barker, author of Mother of the Bride. Thanks!

*You might also like to read A Prayer for the Newlyweds and Gift Idea: The Newlywed’s Instruction Manual.

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

*Flickr photo by KerriNikolePhotography, Creative Commons License

Giveaway Celebrating Launch of Mother of the Bride!

Pinterest Pin - Friend for the JourneyThe official launch day for my book Mother of the Bride is finally here! The book has been available in limited supply on online sites already, but with the arrival of July 1st, it will now be widely available both online and in stores. I’m so excited!

To celebrate the launch of my dream come true, I’m doing a giveaway for a signed copy of the book as well as some other special treats. See all the details and enter on my home page giveaway post by noon CST July 20th, and I will announce the winner in my July 21st posts on both blogs.

Also, fyi, I won’t be posting here again until July 21st. I want to leave this post front and center for a while so everyone will have a chance to see it and enter the giveaway. I will also be taking a trip with my sisters—something  we planned long before I knew the launch date for my book—so I want to concentrate on enjoying that special time with them. In the meantime, scan the blog post titles in the archives to find just the help you might be looking for right now, MOB. You will find a wealth of ideas, tips, and advice there.

But first, MOB, head on over to my home page and enter for your chance to win a copy of Mother of the Bride. If you don’t happen to win, you’ll have to be sure to treat yourself to a copy. I hope it will be a wonderful encouragement, help, and blessing to you!

*See sidebar for links to buy the book!

Get It In Writing

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Mother of the Bride, here’s a quick tip when making plans with vendors: Get it in writing.

You’ve probably already discovered—and gratefully so—that reputable vendors use written agreements or contracts when dealing with their clients. This ensures that all parties know exactly what service is being provided for what price.

What may not occur to you until a problem presents itself is that all of the verbally agreed upon details most likely won’t be a part of a vendor’s standard contract. This doesn’t mean that those items can’t be added.

Protect yourselves from any forgotten or even purposefully neglected instructions. Think of the details that are important to you and to the bride and make sure they are included in the contract. If they’re not listed in the contract the vendor gives you, ask that they be added.

For example, if the photographer advertises a certain number of images shot for a certain price, be sure that number appears on the contract. If the caterer agrees to allow you to take left-over food home, make sure you get that in writing.

Having a written record of your agreements with the vendors will save you the grief of unmet expectations and will also provide some recourse financially if vendors fail to follow through in some way. Yes, Mother of the Bride, get it in writing—you’ll be glad you did.

*Since the readership of the Mother of the Bride Blog is ever-changing, I hope this encore post has been helpful to those of you who weren’t MOBs when I originally posted it in September 2013.

*Flickr photo by Maria Reyes-McDavis, Creative Commons License

Use Engagement Photo for Bridal Shower Invitation

3603572456_1c7fcaf33f_oMother of the Bride, are you helping plan a bridal shower for your daughter? Or do you know the girls planning the shower well enough to make a suggestion? If so, here’s an idea you might want to pass along—or incorporate into your own plans if you’re one of the hostesses.

Why not use one of the engagement photos on the invitation? The photo on the invitation above is fairly small, but I’ve seen a bridal shower invite done that uses the entire top half of the invite to feature the engagement photo. The details of the shower were then listed beneath it.  

I love this idea—how about you? Not only does it make the invitation gorgeous and meaningful, but it utilizes the expense for the engagement photos in one more way. Gotta love that, right, MOB?

*You might also like to read Bridal Shower Cake: A Cupcake Wedding Dress!, Bridal Shower Idea: A Cooking Class!, and Wedding-Themed Shower Gifts.

Wedding Card Box Idea: A Wedding Cake!

DSC_5262Mother of the Bride, have you thought about a card box or container yet for the gift table at the church and the reception site? You don’t want those all important cards—with money or gift cards tucked inside—to get lost in the wedding day shuffle. What will you provide for your guests to deposit wedding cards in?

At our daughter Kelli’s wedding, we featured a card box designed like a wedding cake. It was the perfect solution and oh so pretty, too.

I got the idea from my sister Debbie after she made one for her son Adam’s wedding. Since I am not arts and craftsy at all, I asked my artistic friend Teri (who was my right-hand woman in so many ways) if she would be willing to make one for us. She happily agreed if I could provide instructions. Thank goodness Debbie was able to supply not only the instructions but a photo of her card box as well.

As you can see from the photo above (taken at the church before other gifts arrived), Teri did a beautiful job. She got most of her supplies during one of our shopping expeditions to Hobby Lobby . The photo below shows how it fit in with all the other gifts on the gift table at the reception site. Things got a little crowded!

JWF_5414*Fyi: One resource with instructions for a wedding cake card box is The Artful Bride: Simple, Handmade Wedding Projects. And you might also like to read Wedding Card Box Idea: A Hatbox!

*Since the readership of the Mother of the Bride Blog is ever-changing, I hope this encore post has been helpful to those of you who weren’t MOBs when I originally posted it in July 2013.

*Photos by Flowers Photography