Encouragement and Wisdom for the Mother of the Bride

Mother of the Bride, I’d love to start 2022 wedding planning off by offering you encouragement and wisdom straight from the Word of God. I’ve discovered over the course of my life that there is no better wisdom or encouragement to be found than what we find in the Bible.

You’ll be celebrating a wedding this year (or next perhaps)—and the demands of life may get a little overwhelming as you’re in prep mode. My prayer is that the following scriptures will provide the refreshment, encouragement, and wisdom you need to see you through to the big day and beyond. And if you’re hungry and thirsty for more after you read these, why not read a passage from the Bible each day. God is sure to provide just what you need!

Be blessed, MOB, as you drink in these precious life-giving words from the Word of God! (All scripture is taken from the NIV or NIV84 unless otherwise noted.)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

“. . .‘Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you . . .’” 1 Chronicles 28:20

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17

“. . . ‘Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.’” Deuteronomy 33:12

For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.” 2 Corinthians 8:12

“ . . . wisdom is found in those who take advice.” Proverbs 13:10

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

“Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 124:8

“ . . . serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13

“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4

“‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’” Matthew 11:28

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way…” 2 Thessalonians 3:16

*You might also like to read Spirit and Soul Refreshment for the Mother of the Bride and A Prayer for Weary Mothers of the Bride.

The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early February. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive $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.) Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by charamelodyCreative Commons License

Ring Out, Ring On!

“The Lord’s message rang out from you . . .” 1 Thessalonians 1:8 NIV

If you’ve read my writings for any length of time, you know that I want my words—whether here or in other venues—to be a source of refreshment, encouragement, and nourishment for all who read them. I hope you’ve been blessed and have heard the Lord speak to your heart when you’ve read my blog posts or other things I’ve written over the years.

But you know what? That works both ways. Many of you have blessed me at different times by telling me that my words have touched you in some way or that God has given you—through my writing—just the word you needed to hear on that particular day. I can’t tell you what an encouragement that is to me. Those are the kinds of things that keep a writer writing.

In fact, your words—whether through blog comments, notes, messages on Facebook, emails, words spoken face to face, or your own writings if you’re a writer—have many times been just the words I needed to hear.

Sometimes it’s been a message of encouragement from the Lord to help me stay committed to the calling he’s given me, but many other times he’s spoken through you to give me strength, wisdom, or direction for any number of personal issues I’ve faced.

What it boils down to is this: You don’t have to be a writer or a teacher or a preacher for the Lord’s message to ring out from you. You can simply be you. All you need is a willingness to speak words of kindness, truth, inspiration, thanks, wisdom, comfort, or encouragement. So ring on, my friends, ring on!

“But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.” Job 16:5 NIV

*How have someone’s words been a message from God ringing out to you recently?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, comes out today. 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.) Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by alykat, Creative Commons License

Wedding Savings Tip: Ask for Price Breaks

Mother of the Bride, did you know that savvy MOBs ask for price breaks?

You may be familiar with the verse of scripture that says “. . . ye have not because ye ask not.” (James 4:2 KJV) Yes, this verse is about asking things of God, but I think the principle holds true in other situations as well—wedding planning included. If we don’t ask for price breaks, we may not get them.

Every little bit saved helps when putting on the event of a lifetime so be bold when asking for discounts, MOB. Mention to vendors or shop owners/managers you’re speaking with that you’re trying to keep expenses down and are looking for the best deals you can find. Ask them what kind of discounts or price breaks they offer. If they don’t have any standard discounts, you can suggest one that might be appropriate to the situation.

Here are some examples of price breaks that might be offered or that you might be able to negotiate:

1) A percentage discount if paying in full or paying early.

2) Matching a competitor’s price.

3) Discount if giving a vendor business in two or more areas—renting tuxes from the shop where you buy the bridal gown or bridesmaids dresses, ordering the wedding cakes from the caterer in addition to the food for the reception, ordering bridesmaids dresses from the same shop where you buy the bridal gown, etc.

4) Discount for floor model or last item in stock.

5) Discount if wedding is being held in off-season.

6) Ask what they can do for the price you have in mind. They might give you a better deal to get your business.

7) If an item is not currently on sale, ask when it will go on sale—then grab it as soon as it goes on sale.

Good luck, MOB, as you ask for these and other price breaks. Remember, we have not because we ask not. So go out there and ask away!

*You might also like to read A Simple Wedding Expense Tip, Quick Tip: Getting the Most Bang for Your MOB Buck, and Wedding Savings Tip: Borrow!

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out earlier this month. 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.) *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by 401(K) 2012Creative Commons License

Beautiful Scripture Passage Plus Blogging Break

Hey friends, summer calls for a blogging break at some point, doesn’t it? We all need to slow things down where we can, and blogging is one place where I can do that. Here’s to you finding your own places to give yourself a bit of a break!

I’ll be back with regular weekly posts in mid-August, but in the meantime, let me leave you with a beautiful passage from the Word of God. Think of these words over the next several weeks when you look up at the skies or gaze at mountain views or take a dip in the ocean. Remember, God’s love is vast. It cannot be measured. And best of all, it’s for all of us!

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.” Psalm 36:5-9 NIV

*How has God shown you his love recently?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early August. 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.) *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo

Wedding Day Cake-Cutting Tip

Mother of the Bride, here’s an important cake-cutting tip for wedding day: After the bride and groom have cut the traditional first slice of cake, make sure that both the main cake and the groom’s cake are then cut and made available to the guests at the same time.

It’s a fact of wedding life that almost every wedding guest in the world looks forward to indulging in a piece of cake at the party. If someone wants a piece of the groom’s cake, don’t keep them waiting while the wedding cake is sliced for those who want a piece of the star-of-the-show cake. At most weddings, the guests have already been in waiting mode for the cake-cutting, so the last thing we want to do is keep them waiting longer than necessary.

Make arrangements ahead of time with your caterer for simultaneous cake-cutting. I didn’t realize I should have done this until we ran into a problem at one of our daughters’ weddings.

The on-site caterer for that wedding was busy cutting the main cake herself and had not assigned any of the servers to cut the groom’s cake. When I asked her to have someone start cutting the groom’s cake, she responded in a negative way. As a result, both cakes weren’t available to our guests until later. I’m sure some guests even had to leave before the groom’s cake was cut. On top of that, it was an unhappy wedding day experience for me as I was rebuffed by someone we were paying to serve us.

So learn from my bad experience, MOB, and arrange for simultaneous cake-cutting ahead of time. Your guests will be happy—and you will be happy as everyone joyfully savors the cake of their choice on your daughter’s big day. Now, “let them eat cake!”

*Note: If you and your friends and family are handling the catering by yourselves, be sure to assign helpers to cut both cakes at the same time.

*You might also like to read Three Tips for Working with Your Wedding DJWedding Day Tip: A List for the Photographer, and Day Before Wedding Tip: Preview Flowers.

*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 with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early August. 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.) *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by Lars PlougmannCreative Commons License