Wednesday, April 07, 2010


When I was first asked to teach a course called Social Graces at Christian Life College, in Stockton, California, I began searching for resources. After searching many bookstores and libraries on the subject, I was dismayed to find there was no single source that would serve as a textbook for this class. As I compiled my material from the resources available, I stumbled upon another revelation. From the limited sources put out by Christian companies, many emphasized areas of concern that would not apply to conservative Christian ladies. When I approached the subject on appearance, I groped for material, refusing to put vain suggestions into the hands of students who were trying to be more Christ-like. The need for a Christian perspective on the subject of beauty and other areas of etiquette inspired this writing. If you're interested in ordering Christian Social Graces please go to

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Announcing the Engagement

On a crisp November evening, the stars were specks of twinkling diamonds in the clear sky. It was a dreamy night, the night I became engaged. Of course, it is much more romantic as I remember it now, a few decades later. The happiness that engulfed me made my feet feel as though they would never touch the ground again. I was engaged to be married! From that moment on, my world was a blur of excited planning mixed with even bouts of euphoria and stress.

Perhaps your day is almost here; the day you have dreamed of. You are engaged to Mr. Wonderful and it won’t be long before you will be a bride. This is your dream-come-true. You will be the beautiful princess in a long flowing white gown, ready to meet your prince, the man of your dreams.

Beautiful weddings don’t guarantee beautiful marriages. But every bride wants a wedding that will be forever etched in her memory. As is your marriage, your wedding will be as beautiful as the time invested planning. When you think about all the details that planning a wedding involves, it can be very overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. If you plan ahead you may find that planning your wedding can be actually fun!

Your Prince Charming has popped the question and you have agreed to marry your One and Only. Now you want the world to know. I would not suggest climbing to the roof and shouting your engagement announcement from there, although that is probably how you feel. Your family should be the first in line to hear the announcement. Get together and tell both of your parents first (unless of course, your beloved got their permission before asking you!) Even so, it is a great idea to share the news personally with them. The best way to let your friends and family know the good news is to make a formal announcement. This can be done by having an engagement party, publishing it in the local newspaper, or sending our formal announcements. Whatever the choice, have fun sharing the news! And by the way, congratulations!

Monday, April 05, 2010

The Wedding Coordinator

Many brides are well capable of planning and organizing every aspect of their weddings. Purchasing a wedding planner and following the organized suggestions is all the direction many brides need.

A wedding coordinator is either someone of your choice, or someone the church provides. If the church has a wedding coordinator, she will help you with the pastor’s schedule and coordinate your plans with his. She can clear up many questions regarding church regulations, give you suggestions on music, reception, decorations, and help you walk through the rehearsal and ceremony. The coordinator will work closely with the clergy or pastor during the rehearsal. The pastor often knows ceremony etiquette and will be the primary spokesman, but it is nice to have a liaison between you and well-meaning family or friends especially if things start to get out of hand. Having someone else there with knowledge about weddings, will help preserve your wishes.

Even if the church has a wedding coordinator, you may want to use a personal coordinator, someone of your choice, for the rehearsal and ceremony. When looking for someone to be a personal wedding coordinator, find one who is not afraid to take charge with initiative to follow through. This person can help the pastor during the rehearsal by seeing that it starts on time, goes smoothly, and reflects your wishes. When it is time for the ceremony, she will help pin corsages, keep mom calm, tell the attendants when to enter the procession and help you with last minute touches just before you enter the sanctuary.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Wedding Time Line

12 Months before:

  • Announce your engagement.
  • Arrange for your parents to get together if they haven’t already met.
  • Select a date.
  • Choose the kind of wedding you want.
  • Go over the budget. (Include both sets of parents if they will be paying for any portion of the event.)
  • Work on guest list to get a rough guest count.
  • Reserve the ceremony site and talk to the pastor.
  • Reserve a reception site.

6-9 Months before:

  • Purchase a wedding planner.
  • Choose your wedding party.
  • Decide on a caterer.
  • Enroll in bridal gift registry.
  • Shop for a gown.
  • Shop for attendants’ dresses.
  • Choose a photographer and, if desired, a videographer.
  • Hire a florist.
  • Book musicians and/or DJ.

4-6 Months before:

  • Order wedding invitations, envelopes, and thank-you cards.
  • Order your wedding gown.
  • Order tuxedos for the groom and groomsmen.
  • Shop for cake.
  • Scout accommodations so you can send guests a list of nearby hotels in various priceranges. (Most hotels offer lower rates when you tell them a group is coming.)
  • Meet with the caterer or banquet manager to discuss menus, service style, etc.
  • Complete the guest list.
  • Arrange the rehearsal dinner.

2-4 Months before:

  • Call county clerk’s office to find out about requirements for the marriage license.
  • Check state requirements for blood tests.
  • Make honeymoon reservations, and compile all necessary travel documents.
  • Pick ceremony and reception music. (Check with ceremony site about any restrictions.
  • Order wedding cake.
  • Complete honeymoon plans.
  • Meet with party-rental companies if special supplies, such as candelabras, tables and chairs are being used for the ceremony or reception.

4-8 Weeks before:

  • Mail invitations eight weeks ahead of the date.
  • Have final dress fitting and select headpiece.
  • Buy your fiancé’s wedding gift.
  • Buy thank-you gifts for the attendants.
  • Look over insurance papers with your fiancé (car, life, medical, home) – You may need to make changes in the policies when you go from single to married.

2-3 Weeks before:

  • Arrange seating for the reception.
  • Confirm details with caterer, florist, etc.
  • Give caterer the final head count.
  • Send an engagement photograph with a wedding announcement to the newspapers.

1 Week before:

  • Place fees in envelopes to be given to the organist, soloist, minister, etc., on the big day.
  • Appoint a reliable pal to bring a cake knife, toasting glasses or other heirlooms to the wedding site before hand (and to be responsible for getting them home again).
  • Get a manicure, pedicure, facial, massage or other beauty treatment of your choice.
  • Pack for the honeymoon. (Arrange for someone to bring your luggage and going-away clothes to the reception site if you are leaving from the reception.)

The day before:

  • Greet out-of-town guests.
  • Go to the gym, take a long walk, or do some other stress-reducing activity.
  • Schedule time for a bubble bath, facial or a hair-styling appointment before the rehearsal dinner.
  • Attend the wedding rehearsal and dinner.