Time-Saving Wedding Planning Tip: Insider Info from Vendors

Mother of the Bride, selecting vendors for the various aspects of a wedding is a huge job. Whether the bride and groom make the decisions or it’s a joint effort including you, hours and hours of work can go into narrowing down the best choices.

Try this time-saving tip, MOB: Once you get one or two vendors secured, ask them for their recommendations in other areas. For example, if you’ve found the perfect florist, ask which caterer he would recommend or vice versa. The vendors in any given region work the same weddings at some point and become very familiar with each other’s work. They know who excels—and more importantly, who doesn’t. Ask them to give you their best recommendations.

Asking vendors for insider info can come in especially handy if you’re planning an out-of-town wedding. When you’re unfamiliar with the vendors you need to book and you feel like you’re starting from scratch, asking reliable vendors for their advice can save you tons of time. Both of our daughters had out-of-town weddings, and I wish I had learned this tip early-on.

One word of caution, though, MOB. Make sure the vendor you ask is not getting any kind of kick-back from the recommendations he makes. How do you do this? Come right out and ask. But instead of using the term kick-back, ask “Do you receive any commission from services you recommend?” You employ tact, MOB, but you also get the info you need!

*You might also like to read “Time Management: Give Yourself a Break, MOB”.

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

*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 Feb. 1st. 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 abnormalbeauty, Creative Commons License

The Divine Lookout

Are you on the lookout for a certain item at all times? Some of us are always quick to notice a good recipe while others gravitate toward a great coupon, a super bargain, or maybe a giveaway or an e-book temporarily offered for free.

Some of us also stay alert for less tangible things like a recommendation for an amazing book or tips on a particular area of interest. Since I’ve started blogging, I’m always on the lookout for new material for blog posts. In fact, my family and friends now live with the reality that some of their interactions with me might just make their way to the blog!

But we’re not the only ones on the lookout. God is on the lookout, too. He’s on the lookout for people. He is our Divine Lookout.

Consider these scriptures to see who God searches for:

“‘. . . who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?’ declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 30:21b

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’” Isaiah 6:8a

“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a

And we must not forget the parables in Luke 15 about the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son—all of which illustrate God’s continual efforts to go after and save the lost or to scan the horizon, waiting with open arms to welcome a returning child.

Where do each of us fall in the sights of the Divine Lookout? Are we among those who are lost, who have never given our hearts to him in faith, or is he watching for us because we have strayed away? Maybe he’s seen that we are fully committed to him, and he stands ready to imbue us with his strength. Or possibly we’re the ones who will answer his call for devotion or go in his name to the place where he sends us.

Let’s never hide from the Divine Lookout. Let’s always be ready to be found or answer his call. There’s no better place to be than with him.

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11

*I hope you were blessed by this encore post from Sept. 2011!

*Flickr photo by Dave Morrow’s Custom CreationsCreative Commons License

Wedding Planning Help Plus a Blogging Break

Mother of the Bride, I’m not even planning a wedding and May is still so crazy busy for me that I’m going to take a blogging break the last half of this month. I’ll return with regular weekly posts on June 6th, but in the meantime I’ll leave with you some wedding planning help.

I hope you find these resources helpful over the next couple of weeks. Have fun looking through everything—and don’t forget to share the links (or all your favorite finds!) with your daughter!

Helpful Links for Wedding Planning

*If your daughter is in the beginning stages of gathering ideas and investigating her options, try Martha Stewart Weddings, Real Simple Weddings, and Brides.

*If your daughter wants a rustic wedding, check out Rustic Wedding Chic.

*If you want a unique and fun gift idea for the bride or bridesmaids, take a look at Along Came a Box

*If you’re ready to look for your MOB dress, check out my Mother of the Bride Dresses Pinterest board and also my post Where to Find Your Mother of the Bride Dress.

*Need wedding cake ideas or ideas for the groom’s cake? Try my Wedding Cakes Pinterest board and my Groom’s Cake board

*If you want to share a round-up of Bridal Registry options, see my Wedding Registry Roundup post

*If you’d like to see all nineteen of my wedding related Pinterest boards, check out my Pinterest profile page

This should keep you busy while I’m on blogging break, huh? Have fun!

The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out early this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by Silvia Sala, Creative Commons License

All Things Loverly

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Mother of the Bride, has your daughter-turned-bride discovered Loverly yet? If not, score some MOB points by sharing the site with her pronto.

Loverly is an awesome website—a wedding search engine where brides, grooms, and anyone interested in all things wedding can search, save, share, and shop all in one place. You must be registered to save and bundle and also share the items you love, but creating an account is free.

The Frequently Asked Questions portion of the website fills you in on the details and shows you how to use the site. You can even use the site on the go by downloading the Loverly App.

Loverly has a Facebook page, too, where you and your daughter can benefit from more great wedding inspiration. What a great option to have as an extra source of ideas or as an alternative to taking time to visit the main website. With the Facebook page, you’ll be able to catch a quick look at wedding “loverlyness” right in your own newsfeed.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Loverly—and then share the link with your daughter. As for me, I’ve added Loverly to my Helpful Sites listed on the sidebar!

*You might also like to read Rustic Wedding Resource

*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 August 2013.

*The new issue of Life Notes, my inspirational quarterly newsletter, comes out tomorrow. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*My photo

Look for the Blessings

4748549566_820fe023ff_zHave you ever been through such a dark time that you had trouble noticing any light around you? Has your burden ever been so great that the blessings in your life seemed to be swallowed by the darkness?

The Bible tells us in the book of Ruth that Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi experienced this very thing—she missed seeing a wonderful blessing. It’s not hard to understand, though, when you consider all she’d been through.

While living in a foreign country to escape the famine in their own, Naomi’s husband died. About ten years later, both of her sons died as well. She and her daughters-in-law Ruth and Orpah were left alone. Can you imagine the depth of grief they must have experienced?

Eventually, the famine lifted in her home country, and Naomi decided to return, taking her daughters-in-law with her. As they were traveling, Naomi realized that Ruth and Orpah would be better off to stay in their home country with their own mothers. At Naomi’s urging, Orpah finally decided to head back home, but Ruth could not be dissuaded to leave Naomi. She pledged her allegiance and continued on the journey.

When Naomi was recognized and greeted as she and Ruth arrived in Bethlehem, Naomi summed up her life of late by focusing on the dark times and saying, “‘Don’t call me Naomi … Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty.’” (Ruth 1:20-21a)

Yes, Naomi had every reason to feel covered by a blanket of grief, but she allowed it to blind her to the fact that she had a great blessing in her life—she had Ruth. God had not brought Naomi back empty. She, however, couldn’t see that yet. Because of the darkness she felt, her blessing escaped her notice.

As we face dark times in our own lives, do we fail to see our blessings? Let’s do our best in those times to remember to look for the light around us. Let’s lift our eyes upward and outward and see the good things God has placed in our lives. Let’s look for the blessings.

“Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.” Psalm 112:4

*How has God blessed you during a particularly dark time in your life?

*Flickr photo by Lel4nd, Creative Commons License