Archives for September 2013

For the Gardener: Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers!


Mother of the Bride, do you or your daughter love to garden? If so you might like to grow your own flowers for her wedding. Not only would it add a unique personal touch to your celebration, but it could save money and create a great memory as well.

I know it might sound a bit far-fetched at first, but why not enjoy your passion while accomplishing a task for the wedding? Some moms and brides love to sew and fashion their own dresses for the big day. Others love to cook and provide much of their own food for the reception. If you love to garden, why not plant and nurture your own flowers and then take joy in displaying them on Wedding Day?

I admit I’m not a gardener and don’t have first-hand experience with this. But I do know that people craft wedding flowers and table décor from silk flowers as well as from paper. So if they can do that, why not put your gardening skills to work for you and have some fun, too?

Maybe you feel confident in your gardening abilities but not so much when it comes to designing the arrangements or bouquets. If so, you could do the growing and find a floral designer to finish the job. You’d still be giving the wedding your personal touch.

However, don’t feel pressured to undertake a growing-your-own-flowers project, MOB, if you don’t really want to. I’m just throwing out ideas here and hoping they hit just the right spot for some of you. You alone know what you can handle time-wise and stress-wise.

If you’re interested in giving it a shot, though, here are a few resources to help get you started (hover over the title to click on the link):

Better Homes and Gardens—Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers 

Gardenista—DIY: Secrets of Growing Your Own Wedding Flowers

 Bridal Guide–How to Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers

 *If you could grow your own flowers for the wedding, which ones would you grow?

*Flickr photo by Robert S. Donovan, Creative Commons License

Midweek Morsel: Allowing Others to Bless Us

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.’” Mark 12:41-44

Several lessons can be drawn from the story of the poor widow, but today let’s notice what Jesus didn’t do. Jesus didn’t stop the woman from giving to the temple treasury. He didn’t stop the poor widow from giving to God—from giving to him. He allowed her to give him a gift, even though her personal sacrifice to do so was great.

Do we allow others to bless us, to give to us? Or do we refuse them or try to discourage them from giving the gift? Jesus didn’t rob this precious woman from the blessing of giving. Let’s not do so in our lives either. Let’s allow others to give to us. Let’s receive the blessing.

*When have you allowed someone to give generously to you?

Centerpiece Idea: Flower Ring and Candle


Are you and your daughter thinking about table décor yet, Mother of the Bride? Fresh flowers make gorgeous centerpieces for any wedding reception, but they can also be rather costly since you’ll need so many. If you’re trying to keep expenses down, you might like to try an alternative.

For my oldest daughter Kristin’s wedding, my good friend Teri came to the rescue and helped us craft beautiful centerpieces using silk flowers (see photo above). If you’ve priced silk flowers, you know they can be pricey as well, but Teri helped us make the most of the flowers we purchased. By the way, I would have been lost without her help. You see, I am severely craft-challenged :)

Since Kristin’s colors were blue and yellow, we bought beautiful blue hydrangeas and tiny yellow roses. Teri pulled the hydrangeas apart and fashioned full-bodied candle rings out of them with her trusty glue gun. To add the yellow accent, she then did the same with the yellow roses, making a smaller and more delicate ring to place on top of the hydrangea ring. The result was perfect.

To complete the centerpiece, we used blue pillar candles and inexpensive hurricanes and crystal-like glass candle holders. We then set the centerpieces on little clouds of shimmering blue tulle. Candlelight added the crowning touch to our table décor, making our tables—and the entire room—look absolutely stunning. All of this for $10 or under per centerpiece, thanks to coupons, sales, and the help of a devoted friend—which, of course, was priceless.

Maybe something like this can work for your daughter’s wedding, MOB. I just hope you have a friend as artistic and helpful as Teri!

*Do you know what your daughter has in mind for centerpieces yet? If not, maybe you can start the conversation by showing her this post.

Get It in Writing


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.

*What tips do you have for avoiding miscommunication with your vendors?

*Flickr photo by Maria Reyes-McDavis

Precious Sacrifice of Praise


When you picture someone praising God, what image comes to mind? A fellow worshipper singing with uplifted hands during Sunday morning services? Your own personal worship enjoyed out in the beauty of God’s world? Maybe a friend’s smiling face as she gives glory to God for an answered prayer or unexpected blessing?

All these joyful images paint beautiful portraits of praise, but I can think of a sacrifice of praise that must be even more beautiful and precious to God. I’m thinking of praise voiced through pain.

What could be more precious to the Father than praise offered through tears of heartache and grief? What more meaningful sacrifice could there be?

When someone, from the very depths of pain and sorrow, lifts a tear-stained face heavenward and praises God even as they weep, what could touch the Father’s heart more? How could he feel more loved than when his child shows such complete trust in him? Than when she chooses to believe in his love and goodness even when it feels as if he’s forsaken or forgotten her. Now that’s a sacrifice of praise.  

I’ve wept my praise most recently as my heart hurts for our daughter and son-in-law who are weathering an ongoing personal heartbreak. As we submit to God’s will in painful circumstances, I think of Jesus before his arrest and crucifixion and how he prayed “not my will, but yours be done.”(Luke 22:42b) Do you think he might have wept his praise in the Garden that night?

If you’re hurting, friend, I encourage you to offer praise to God through your tears. Don’t worry if your voice quavers and breaks, if your song of praise sounds weak. It will sound perfect to the Father. He will treasure your precious sacrifice of praise.

“. . . let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.” Hebrews 13:15

*When have you praised God through tears?

*Flickr photo by martinak15