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!

Wedding Budget Tip: Prioritize and Trim

Mother of the Bride, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when thinking of all the expenses coming at you while planning a wedding. The whole process can start to feel like a runaway train you can’t seem to slow down. Soon you can find yourself engulfed in emotions like panic and dread instead of excitement and joy.

Here’s a wedding budget tip that can help: Prioritize and then trim. Talk with the bride and groom and have them decide which elements of the wedding are most important to them and  which elements are the least important. And then plan your spending from there.

Devote the bulk of your budget to the things the couple cares the most about and plan for minimal amounts to be spent on the others, possibly even forgoing some things altogether. If your daughter and her beloved want an amazing venue, a live band, and top notch photography, maybe they would be willing to have an hors d’oeuvres buffet rather than a sit-down dinner and scale back on flowers and favors. They might even decide they don’t need ceremony programs at all. You get the idea.

MOB, take the pressure off a bit—prioritize and trim. The results will be unique to your own situation and will help put the brakes on that runaway train, giving wings to joy instead. Why not give it a try?

*You might also like to read Budget Agreement with the Father of the BrideA Simple Wedding Expense Tip, Wedding Savings Tip: Borrow, Bridal Primping on a Budget, and Christmas Gifts for the Bride.

*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 this week. 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.) p.s. It is too late to get in on this issue’s giveaway, but if you subscribe, you will be included in all future Life Notes giveaways.

*Flickr photo by cafecredit, Creative Commons License

Bride and Bridesmaid Bouquet Savings Tip

Mother of the Bride, are you interested in saving money on the floral expense for your daughter’s wedding?

Silly question, right? Every MOB is interested in saving money. I heard a great tip about wedding flowers a few years ago while watching Wedding Wednesdays on Katie so I wanted to share it with you here.

Simply ask your daughter if she would be willing to select flowers with large blooms for the bridesmaids bouquets and possibly even her own. Large blooms means less flowers needed overall for the bouquets. And less flowers means less expense. And of course, less expense means welcome relief for the parents of the bride!

I realize the bride-to-be may have her heart set on particular flowers already, but if not, suggesting those with large blooms is a terrific idea. Like the gerber daisies pictured above, large-bloomed flowers can make beautiful bouquets. Peonies, dahlias, hydrangeas, and sunflowers are also some other great options.

So go on, MOB, ask away—and have fun saving a little money! 

*You might like to read this piece by Anne Chertoff that features lots of great ideas for saving money on the wedding flowers. 

*I hope this slightly revised post from May 2014 helped you today!

*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 shelleyelizabeth, Creative Commons License

Groom’s Cake Idea: Show State Pride

Mother of the Bride, has your daughter’s beloved decided what kind of groom’s cake he’d like to have yet? He may know hands-down what would express who he is perfectly, but if not, he may need some suggestions. This is where you and the bride can be of some help.  I suggest throwing out a wide variety of ideas that might fit him, both fun and traditional, and see which one snags his interest.

If he’s a fella who’s proud of his state, one of your suggestions could be a cake design that allows him to show some state pride. The cake’s shape could be the actual shape of his state, like the one pictured above from a Texas groom’s wedding.

This Texas groom’s cake also incorporates the state flag, but other options are possible as well. For instance, a Kansas groom might chooose to go with a Kansas-shaped cake covered in sunflowers or a scene picturing the wheat harvest. But you don’t have to worry about coming up with specific ideas because if your soon-to-be son is state-proud, he’ll quickly come up with the perfect ideas on his own.

So MOB, add the state theme to your groom’s cake ideas and share away when it comes time to talk wedding cakes. You never know, it might be the design idea that your man of the hour gets excited about!

*You might also like to read Groom’s Cake Idea: Law Books (or any other books!), Groom’s Cake Idea: Favorite Professional Sports Team, Groom’s Cake Idea for the Military Man, and Groom’s Cake Idea: A Chessboard!

*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.)

*Flickr photo by 19melissa68, Creative Commons License

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

Wedding Cake Idea for Musicians

Mother of the Bride, does your sweet couple also happen to be a musical couple? If so, here’s a wedding cake idea to share with them pronto. It’s almost certain to strike a chord with them. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the musical pun. Hee hee!) 

The staff of music/sheet music look is a perfect way for musicians—or anyone for that matter—to incorporate their love for music into their wedding celebration. The example above makes quite an elegant look and of course can be accented with the colors your daughter chose for their wedding.

The choice of sheet music can add a personal touch and special meaning as well. The bride and groom might want to feature their special song from their dating and engagement days. Or they could make it the same as their “first dance” song as man and wife. The cake designer of the cake pictured above noted that the sheet music on this cake was a song composed by the groom for the bride. Whatever your happy couple chooses, MOB, it can be a sweet reflection of them.

So what do you think, MOB—an idea worth sharing with your daughter and her beloved? Hope it proves to be the perfect suggestion for some very special couples out there!

*You might also like to read Wedding Cake Roundup

*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.)

*Flickr photo by Graceful Cake Creations, Creative Commons License