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July 26, 2011

Engaged and Planning a Wedding? Do it Corum Deo.

Recently a very good friend of mine said yes to a godly young man who had been pursuing her. Immediately they began planning their wedding.  It was going to be God-centered, gospel-preaching, and a joyful event to celebrate what God had done! They knew they wanted a short engagement, so a date was chosen 3 months out.

Recently I received a very sweet, transparent email from her asking for prayer. The wedding stress was starting to pile up, and it was getting more and more difficult to keep a proper focus on the things that really mattered! On top of that, she didn't like what the wedding stress seemed to be doing to the relationships that mattered most to her.

Here are some of the things she wanted prayer for. May her list bless you as well, and help you to keep a "Corum Deo" (before the face of God) mindset in your own wedding planning.

Pray that God continue to help us see each other through His eyes. That we would have unity and a united vision for our future. I believe we do have this but God allows us to see things differently and we need to use this as a strength not a weakness. 
Pray that financially things come through for us to get an apartment.
Pray that the Lord helps the wedding plans to come along but we don't want all our focus to be there. We still are trying to serve the Lord and seek him and a wedding is not more important then people knowing God and hearing the gospel!
I'm not perfect, still learning how to balance everything else and keep God as my first priority. 
Her heartfelt desire to please God and her future husband blessed me. I pray it blesses you as well! 

May 26, 2011

Top Seven Reasons to Use Silk and Real Touch Flowers at Your Wedding

Trying to make up your mind about whether to use artificial flowers instead of fresh flowers? This list of reasons might inspire you. 

1. Silk and real touch flowers will make your budget happy. In fact, the plethora of stems available at craft stores in every city have become so affordable that many of the more expensive silk flower merchants have abandoned the business. That’s a discount for you! A do-it-yourself bride with coupons in hand can easily cut her florist bill in half and have all her bouquets and bouts finished far in advance of her wedding. Or, she can find a great silk or real touch florist who will create a gorgeous design that fits her budget and her dreams. 

2. Here’s another secret. No one in your audience will believe that you aren’t carrying fresh flowers! In recent years, flower manufacturers have come up with innovative materials that make artificial flowers more realistic than ever before. Flowers labeled “real touch,” “true touch,” or “natural touch” may even fool the girl holding them!

3. Silk and real touch flowers never go out of season, which means you will not have to decide between expensive hothouse blooms and limited quantities of mediocre seasonal flowers. Go ahead and use summer-blooming hydrangea in your winter wedding, or daffodils and tulips in autumn. Your silk flowers will be just as vivacious in winter society as in summer. 

4. The variety of colors and textures alone will take your breath away. While fresh florists have to work within a specific blooming period of each flower’s life so that the color and size is right, silk and real touch florists do not! Shades of blue, white, and violet that are extremely rare in fresh flowers are easily found in silks and real touch, which means you get the colors you want at the price you want.

5. Silk and real touch flowers are low-maintenance. They don’t wilt, crush, tear, break, or fade as fresh flowers do. These are especially valuable qualities if you are a destination bride, because every destination bride knows that planning her wedding is more difficult when she has to find a florist overseas or across the country who can speak her language and keep his contract. However, silk and real-touch designs can be created months in advance and easily packed in a suitcase or shipped straight to your destination to look fresher than fresh on your wedding day.

6. You’ll have no worries about an allergic reaction to plants and petals! Sure your maid of honor tells you her allergy medication always works, but there was that one day last year… Yes, perhaps you’d rather not risk that sneezing fit during your ceremony. Silk and real touch flowers are the safest way to go if anyone in your wedding party has plant allergies.

7. All your artificial bouquets can be repurposed into home decor for your new place! Long stems (think calla lilies, iris, or birds-of-paradise) can stand in a tall, dark vase or be gracefully horizontal on a mantlepiece or piano top. Rounded bouquets, posies, and cascading bouquets are breathtaking when placed in a short vase, jar, or ceramic pitcher. Pomanders and kissing balls can be hung on varying lengths of ribbon from a row of coat hooks or piled together in a large bowl for your credenza or low table. If you are really innovative, try untying your bouquets and re-arranging the flowers in a styrofoam oasis inside a decorative planter or basket. The possibilities are endless!

Did you know? All the pictures of wedding flowers in this article are photos of silk or real touch flowers created by Lilywinkel: the bridal blossom shop.

    March 31, 2011

    Old Wedding Traditions from Around the World

    I recently found these funny old wedding traditions in the book, A Short History of Marriage by Ethel L. Urlin. Maybe you will find them useful for a wedding speech or best man toast!

    Southern Italy:
    "In country places harvest-time is the period for courtship, and the girl who is the quickest gleaner has the best chance of marriage. Gleaning takes place on Sunday, as a rule, and each maiden hangs the sheaves that she has gathered from her chamber window, or displays them on her roof, so that all may see the result of her labour." p. 79

     "It is the young women, and not the men, among the upper classes in Germany, who make the matrimonial choice. Girls who are sure of a comfortable dowry, settle the question with their mother." p. 82

    "Young men in Switzerland are very particular to marry a girl of their own village. Neighboring young men are kept out by force, and a girl who marries one is discredited."  p. 97ff

    March 8, 2011

    10 Tips for Clear & Glowing Skin on Your Wedding Day

    By special guest contributer Amber Schamel, Skin Analyst at Glow Spa

    Well congratulations! What an exciting time of your life! But you have lots to do! Picking out a dress, menu planning... and have you figured out what songs you are going to play? Are you having a reception? Who will be maid of honor? 

    But there’s one thing that the majority of brides forget: their skin. The skin has a 6 week renewal cycle; this means that women often won’t see skin problems until a week or so before their wedding, and by then it’s too late to do much about it! To prevent this, it takes some advance planning. 

    If you’re like most brides, there can be a lot of stress during the wedding preparation. Science has shown us that emotions and stress can cause skin breakouts such as acne or even eczema. In addition to that, brides-to-be don’t have a whole lot of time to devote to their skin on a daily basis. They need simple, quick, and economical ways to solve their skin troubles. 

    This is where the skin analysis comes in. With the analysis machine at Glow Spa Skin Analysis we can actually see below the surface of your skin to treat and prevent potential trouble areas. This also allows for more economical skin care as you know what is right for your skin. 

    We all want to have a glowing, healthy face and look our best on our wedding day, so what can we do to solve skin problems? 

    Here are 10 quick and easy tips to look your best on your wedding day.
    • Plan in advance!
      Brides need to start thinking about their skin right away and take measures to keep it healthy. If you choose to have a skin analysis, we like to schedule it 6-8 weeks before your wedding so that your skin has time to renew.

    February 24, 2011

    We Are Looking for Real Weddings to Feature!

    Tell us your story. Send us your photos. Be an encouragement to other Christian brides.

    Everyone who is planning a wedding loves to hear somebody else's real wedding story, especially if it gives insight or ideas for their own wedding. If you or someone you know has begun their marriage with a Christian wedding recently, we would love to hear about it! We want to know about how you managed both temporal and eternal details involving your wedding, so give us the low-down on practical things like venue, dresses, hairstyles, music, food, flowers, schedule, and other special elements that were important to you; but also tell us about composing your vows, using Scripture in the ceremony, honoring special family members, edifying others, giving glory to God, and making your wedding distinctly Christian for all concerned. Was there anything you were really glad you did? Anything that you wished could have been different? How about anything that was just plain hilarious?

    Real Wedding Stories Wanted!
    Let's give other would-be brides a vision for how to plan a wedding that is both beautiful & fun as well as God-honoring.

    If you're interested, contact Annie with your submission ideas.

    - The Christian Bride Resource

    February 17, 2011

    Create a Honeysuckle Wedding with the Pantone Colour of the Year 2011

    This color has been called "courageous," "confidant," and "vital," by its author, Pantone, the color trend-setter. This color has set wedding dreamers afloat on a cloud of rosy creativity. It's reddish pink: sweet, vibrant, glowing, energetic, and youthful. Why shouldn't it belong in a wedding? 

    Here are a few photos to help you out with ideas, and a few vendors who have caught on to the Honeysuckle Pink theme for this year. 

    Bouquets in Honeysuckle Pink
    We all know that the honeysuckle flower comes in yellow, cream, and white more commonly than it comes in pink. However, the fresh, sweet scent of real honeysuckle is what initiated the christening of this orangey-dusty-pink color as "Honeysuckle". Thankfully, there are many other types of flowers that come in this color, including roses, tulips, calla lilies, tiger lilies, carnations, ranunculus, and some orchids. 
    Pink Rose Bouquet by Lilywinkel (above)

    February 11, 2011

    The Vision of the Christian Bride Resource Directory

    There is a growing trend of snobbish brides that is starting to get out of hand. Their comments and conundrums are all over the internet as they stress over how to get the ring they want, how to exclude their little sister from the wedding party, how to trim down the guest list, how to tell a cousin to tidy his beard, how to get the rich great aunt to pay for a destination wedding... and the list goes on and on.

    It's no wonder. Bride resource magazines, websites, and forums have encouraged this type of behavior in all their literature. "It's your day." "What matters most is that you do what you want to do." "This is the biggest day of your life, so you are the one who needs to be happy with the results." "This wedding is about you, not them." Bridal advertisers build an image in every bride's mind of herself as the princess, the fairy queen, the goddess of the wedding day. Something about her status gives her the right to dictate exactly how every detail will be, and she thinks she has the right to cause thunderstorms or rainbows with her magic wand.

    February 2, 2011

    Custom Wedding Paintings and Drawings by Dina Argov of Dacha Studio

    Dina Argov
    Wedding portrait painting has become a lost art in this culture of digital photography, but many young couples and their families desire a wedding portrait that will be passed down to children and grandchildren in the form of a vivid, painted masterpiece. Today I want to introduce you to an artist with a rich appreciation for symbolism as well as an incredible talent for realistic representation in her custom wedding and portrait paintings and sketches. Dina Argov comes from a family of artistic talent and tells stories about her time spent as a little girl in Russia, sketching under the table while her mother painted folk art for tourists. Now Dina is married and has her own little girl. She lives in Israel, and spends her days painting heirloom masterpieces that represent the purity and joy of a godly marriage. If you'd like to contact Dina for a custom request or take a look at more of her artwork, go to the Dacha Studo on Etsy. Also, don't forget to tour the Weddings Section of her studio! 
    (Note: All photos copyright Dina Argov, Jan. 2010)

    Custom-made humorous wedding painting

    Tell us about your custom wedding portraits and what makes them unique.

    My custom wedding portraits are special artwork made by custom order. During history there were times when wedding portraits were very popular, and included marriage and wedding symbols like pearls, which indicate fertility, or palm leaves, which indicate pureness of the bride. My wedding portraits are inspired by this tradition, but they can be more versatile in theme and style. The premium portraits I make are with oil on canvas, or pencil on paper. I prefer monochrome when the style is classic, but full color when it is humorous.

    January 26, 2011

    An Interview with Michelle, Creator of Designer Napkin Cuffs

    I am happy to introduce you to a very special lady, who is both an exemplary bride to her husband of over 17 years and the designer and creator of luxurious and elegant napkin rings for weddings and formal dinners. She iMichele Nicholson, the designer behind Haute Interiors, LLC. In this interview, she tells about how she met and fell in love with her husband, and she gives some valuable advice about keeping the marriage covenant and honoring God's commands for marriage. She also tells us about her new line of wedding products, Designer Napkin Cuffs, available on Etsy.

    Tell us about you and your husband, and the story of how you met and fell in love.
      I had always desired to get married when growing up.  But, when I stopped looking for that perfect man for me, that is when he was provided. (I learned a valuable lesson there.) 

      One day, out of the blue, an older friend of mine asked me if I wanted to be married. I looked at her strangely and replied, “One day”. Then she disappeared. I thought no more of it. 

      January 22, 2011

      Wedding Gowns with Sleeves on Clearance!

      Much to my surprise, I found that Light-in-the-Box has some amazing clearances going on right now for wedding gowns, including an unparalleled selection of gowns with sleeves. Yes, sleeves are back in style for modern wedding gowns! I've always loved the look of sleeves even though I have nothing against many sleeveless styles. The coverage of sleeves is nice, of course, but I also have always appreciated how a bodice with sleeves aesthetically balances the bottom of the dress better than many strapless or sleeveless dresses. 

      Many of the dresses below are elegant, classic, and modern styles, some of them playful like styles found during the roaring 50s, others are reminiscent of Lady Jane Grey or Queen Elizabeth. Others look like a dress Galadrial or Arwen would wear. Some are simply modern, but sweet. You'll find sleeves of all lengths and shapes below, from capped sleeves to long, shear to double-lined satin, ruffled or bell-shaped to slim and straight.

      "So You Want to Get Married?" Advice for the Unmarried

      An overwhelming number of young, unmarried women I talk to say their hopes for the future include marrying and being a mommy. They say it in hushed tones and with half a smile, as if they think it is abnormal and archaic to wish such a thing. Many of these young women have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into ministry in their homes, churches, communities, foreign mission fields. Many climb the corporate ladder, or add bachelors, masters, and doctorates onto their resume. Many of them would drop any of these pursuits in a moment if a godly, visionary man came up to them and said, "Let's make a family together."

      Steve and Candice Watters have been promoting the cause of marriage among Christian young people for several years now, encouraging young women who want to be married to treat marriage and children like a worthy endeavor, and challenging young men to quickly reach the point where they are ready for marriage and to take initiative. I recently listened to a podcast interview done by Kevin Swanson's Generations with Vision program, in which he interviewed Steve and Candice Watters. Candice talks about how godly young women should look forward to and pursue marriage even more than educational and careerism goals. She says when we have a goal to pursue, such as wanting to be a doctor, or wanting to be a writer, we live like we want to be a doctor or a writer. The same should be true of marriage. If we want to be married, we should live like we are planning to be married-- we make a place for it in our lives, we build our character and skill base so that we are well-suited for marriage, we mingle with godly couples who will disciple us, and we live like we want to be married. Instead of whispering about and glancing sideways at goals for marriage, they encourage singles to pursue it as a worthy calling, which God will bless.

      Listen to Candice and Steve's interview on Generations with Vision. I guarantee that you will be edified and encouraged.

      Advice for Marrying and Marriage from the Reformers

      Martin Luther, Preaching on Marriage

      "How I dread preaching on the estate of marriage! I am reluctant to do it because I am afraid if I once get really involved in the subject it will make a lot of work for me and for others. ... I would much prefer neither to look into the matter nor to hear of it. But timidity is no help in an emergency; I must proceed. I must try to instruct poor bewildered consciences, and take up the matter boldly....