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World’s Most Daunting Wedding Task: Writing Thank-You Notes and How to Do It Quickly

Most tasks having to do with your wedding are fun.  Everyone likes to choose the cake or shop for the wedding dress.  Booking the church or ordering the tuxedos are not chores that can be left undone.  When it comes to writing out the thank-you notes, though, it can seem like a very boring chore that can drag on weeks or months if you aren’t careful. 

Dreading a chore like writing thank-you notes does not mean that you are not thankful for the gifts you received.  You may be very thankful, but there are just so many other things to do after you get married that are more interesting and fun than writing thank-you notes.  And it is just so tempting to save the postage and tell someone you appreciate their gift via Facebook. 

While I don’t always agree with so-called wedding etiquette experts on everything, I do still think it is important to send hand-written thank-you notes in the actual mail and to do so promptly.  Most experts say that gifts received before the wedding should be acknowledged within 2 weeks and gifts received at the wedding should be acknowledged within 1 month.  I will admit none of my thank-you notes were sent out that soon.  The task of writing a personal note to so many people was just overwhelmingly daunting to me.

Thank you notes are important because it assures the gift-giver that you did in fact receive their gift and it wasn’t stolen off the gift table when everyone was busy with the Chicken Dance.  It also shows the gift-giver that you are appreciative of the gift.  Many people still think that the more thankful you are for the gift, the quicker you send the thank-you note.  So it remains very important that you send a note for every gift you receive and to do so as quickly as possible.

So how do you make yourself sit down and complete this monumental chore of sending out so many thank-you notes?  Here are 13 tips and tricks for you and your husband to choose from to help turn an overwhelming chore into a completed task.  Every person and every couple are different, so pick and choose the tips that will work best for you.

1.       Write out 2 cards before each meal until you are done.

2.      Don’t fast-forward commercials on your DVR.  Use that time to write out your cards.

3.      Write 4 cards and then get up and do some sit-ups or pushups to get your blood flowing then get back to the cards.

4.      Write 5 cards each night before bed.

5.      Race your husband to see who can get the most cards done in 15 minutes.

6.      Every time you want to check Facebook or email, do a card first.

7.      Take cards on trips in the car and the passenger writes them out while the other spouse drives.

8.      Keep a few cards in your purse so you can write out the cards when waiting at the doctor or dentist or the supermarket checkout line.

9.      Set aside a Thankful Day and do all the cards that one day.

10.   If you open your gifts at home, write the card immediately after you open the gift before you move on to opening the next gift.

11.   Take some cards to work and do them at lunch or break time.

12.   Set up a reward system for yourself.  You do 2 cards and get a kiss (either Hershey’s or regular).

13.   Write the note before you put the gift away or before you use it.

While there is no way to make the task of writing the thank-you cards go away except to just do it, maybe here you can see a tip or two that will make the task more manageable.

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

But YOU Picked the Dresses!

I like to plan ahead.  I like to anticipate problems and try to avoid them if at all possible.  It was no different with my wedding.  I had seen enough sitcoms and movies to know that all bridesmaids hate their dresses.  I mean ALL bridesmaids.  It never fails, the bride picks a color that looks great on her but awful on the girls that are actually going to be wearing the dresses.  Or the bride chooses a type of dress that does nothing but accentuate the bulges and bumps that the bridesmaids have tried to diet off or cover up for years.  And I have never heard a bridesmaid say, “I know I used my life savings to buy this dress for the wedding, but it is ok because I will wear it ALL the time!”

Since I am a plan-ahead type of person and I knew that ALL bridesmaids hate the dresses the brides choose for them to wear, I decided to do things a little differently.  I decided to choose a color that I knew my bridesmaids could wear again.  I choose black.  Who doesn’t need a nice black dress?  And I also left the style up to them.  I told them that the dresses didn’t have to all match each other.  Each girl could choose a black dress in a style that would flatter her own body and that she would feel good in.  I thought I was being the perfect bride.  How much nicer could I be?  They could set the price and the style and get a dress that they would be able to wear again and again.  I was ready to receive my Bride of the Year award any day.

But instead of an award, I got complaints.  Although I said they didn’t have to match, my bridesmaids disagreed.  They decided to get together and choose the same dress.  My two best friends looked through countless magazines and narrowed it down to 3 styles.  Then they met with my sister to see which dress she wanted.  She made her choice and they ordered them.  I thought they all looked lovely.  But I never saw one of them wear their dress again.  Once I made the mistake of asking why.  What I heard made my blood boil.  My best friends said the dreaded words that I had taken great pains to avoid, “We didn’t really like the dresses.”  I looked at them with incredulity.  “YOU picked out the dresses in the first place, how could YOU not like them?”  Here I chose black for a summer wedding color so they could have something to wear again, I allowed them to choose the style, the dress, the price, everything and they didn’t really like the dresses.

So here is my take home message…you can’t please everyone.  (or in my case anyone!)

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

Time is Slipping Away!

I just realized that my last post was Sunday.  It seems like time just gets away from me so quickly. 

As a bride trying to get everything ready for your big day, you may be feeling the same time pressure.  My suggestion to you is to get organized.  My husband and kids make fun of the lists I create for everything.  But after we took our baby daughter to the beach without any sunscreen or towels, I realized that I needed to get organized.  Now I create lists for things to take on vacation, grocery shopping lists, lists for errands I have to run, and lists for what we intend to buy for Christmas.

You too may need some lists.  Write and tell me which lists would be most helpful, and I will see if I can get them posted for you.  In the meantime, you can start with my FREE wedding registry checklist

Happy list making!

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

Out of the Swing of Things

As I sit at a picnic table watching my kids and their cousin on the swings, I feel out of the swing of things myself.  It seems like forever since I have done any work on my website.  While a vacation from reality is needed every once in a while, there is something to be said for momentum.

What about you?

As you plan your wedding, do you work better by completing a few tasks each day or by setting aside an entire day to get everything done at once?

Let me know how you work best—leave your comments below.

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

FREE Wedding Registry Checklist

Your wedding registry is where you get to dream big and choose things your friends and family will buy for you.  In that way, it is a little like a big letter to Santa!  I know you won’t want to forget anything.  I have consolidated registry checklists from major department stores and added tips and suggestions to make your registry more efficient and more complete.

Click here to sign-up for our free mailing list.  When you have confirmed your place on our mailing list, I will send you a link so you can download our Free Wedding Registry Checklist and get started choosing items.  Ho Ho Ho, Merry Wedding!

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

Top 15 Musts for Your Wedding Registry

Creating your wedding registry will probably be one of the most fun but also most tiring parts of planning for your wedding.

It starts off super fun to use the little scanner guns to choose the wedding gifts you hope someone will buy you.  But then the list gets longer and longer and you start to wonder which set of dishes would look best with the set of glasses you chose.  Then you can’t remember which set you actually chose so you have to go over and look at them again.  Then you wonder how many things you need on your list or if it is considered good etiquette to register for expensive things or not.

While you are peppering your fiancé with these questions, he is getting more and more tired of shopping.  Pretty soon your fiancé says he doesn’t care which set of towels match your soap dispenser best, just hurry and choose.  Then you accuse him of not caring about this wedding like you do and things go downhill from there.

So how do you keep your wedding registering from turning ugly?  You go to register prepared and knowledgeable about what to choose.  Keep these top 10 wedding registry tips in mind as you tackle this wedding task.

As Featured On EzineArticles

Quality Register for good quality items.  We knew our friends were not very well off because they were college students like us.  We also didn’t want to seem greedy, so we registered for the least expensive of every item we could find.  The problem with this was that many of the cheap items we registered for had to be replaced within a year or two, but this time it was at our expense.  So be sure to look for quality.
Price Register for a variety of price levels.  What you may think is too expensive to put on a registry may be perfect for your coworkers to go in together on.  What you may be afraid is too small to put on a registry may be fun for people to bundle together for a personalized gift basket.
Convenience Take your guests’ convenience into account when you register.  Ask the store if your guests can purchase items online from your registry.  Make sure to register at a store that is close to where your wedding will be held.  Make sure your registry is easy to understand and includes all the information your guests will need to get the exact product you want.
Creativity Be creative when you register.  Try to think of items that you really want but that might not traditionally be on a registry such as camping gear.
Duplication Be careful when registering at multiple stores that you don’t register for the same item but different brands or features at two different stores.  This may confuse guests who look at multiple registries as to which item you really want.
Quantity This isn’t a time to skimp on quantity.  Just because you have a set quantity listed on your register doesn’t mean your guest has to purchase the number you listed.  They might purchase some and another guest could purchase some.  Also, make sure there are enough items on your registry up until your wedding date for people to have lots of items to choose from.  As your wedding day approaches, check your registry to see if you need to register for some more items to fill out a registry that has been picked over.
Lifestyle Take into account your lifestyle when registering.  Don’t register for fancy china if you know you would never use it.  Go for sturdy dishes instead.  If you love to have people over to eat, register for more place settings and serving bowls than you would need to cook for just the two of you.
Accessibility Be sure to register at more than one store.  This helps your guests who may not like to shop at a certain place be able to choose a store they feel comfortable with.  Two or three stores should be plenty.
Compromise Make sure you both get a say in what will go on your registry.  Practice the art of compromise and show him that he and his opinions are valued.
Variety Remember that your guests have varied tastes.  Your grandparents might want to buy something traditional whereas your friends from school might want to buy something crazy and fun.  Be sure to register with all of your guests in mind.
Prioritize You may want to register more than once.  At first, start off with the items you really need and want.  Then as things get chosen you can add items that may be lower on your list of wants.  This way people still have enough variety to choose from when they buy for you but you also are more likely to get the items you really want.
Timing You may be registering months before the actual wedding.  Be sure when you register to steer clear of items that are seasonal and may not be available for purchase at a different time in the year.  A store associate should be able to help you identify items that may not be available later.
Fun Many couples already have most of the items they need to set up house.  If you are having trouble finding things to register for, it is perfectly acceptable to set up a honeymoon registry.  This allows people who don’t want to bother with purchasing and wrapping and transporting a gift to send money that will go towards your honeymoon expenses.
Etiquette It is considered rude to include any information about your registry in wedding invitations.  It is ok to put it in shower invitations because those are coming from your bridesmaids and not from you.  However, many people appreciate not having to call anyone or search around to figure out where you are registered.  The only solution I have found to this conundrum is to create a wedding website and include a card in the wedding invitation pointing people to your wedding website.  On you can create a free website.  On this website you could include lots of information including directions to the wedding and reception hall, pictures of you and your fiancé, and allows them to RSVP online.  Your registry information could be included here.
Gratefulness Remember that no matter how well you register, some people like to give wedding gifts that are not on your registry (or not what you would ever choose).  Make sure to be gracious.  Never tell someone you are returning their gift.  Send thank-you cards promptly (within 2 weeks of the shower and 1 month of the wedding).  If they give cash, it is appropriate to tell them what you plan to use the money for.

Two Right Shoes is Just Wrong!

wedding shoes

Be advised, no matter how much you plan and prepare and anticipate…YOUR WEDDING WILL NOT BE PERFECT!

I am sorry to disillusion you.  “Not MY wedding” you say, but I respond with, “Yes, YOUR wedding!”  Something will happen to throw a wrench in your plans.  Your caterer will forget to make one of the appetizers, or your ushers will forget to pull out the fancy carpet before you walk down the aisle or your ring bearer will run the other way with your rings.  SOMETHING will happen to mess up the plans you have been making for months.

Now that you know that no one can plan and execute the perfect wedding, it is up to you to decide how you will respond to the little snafus that make the day interesting.  I found out about our snafu at the reception when my new husband had me look at the shoes of one of his groomsmen.  He had two right shoes!  Not one right and one left one or two different sizes, but two right shoes!  And that dear man had worn the shoes all day regardless of how much they hurt his feet or how silly he looked.

Now I was a bride just like you.  I had looked forward to my wedding day since I was born.  I had cut out pictures of wedding dresses and agonized over flowers for way too many hours.  I had dreamed that my wedding would be perfect.  So how did I respond when I learned that the shop that we ordered the too expensive tuxedos from had messed up and sent two right shoes…I laughed and laughed and laughed.

What purpose would it have served if I had gotten mad and called the tuxedo place?  What would my husband have thought if I had burst into tears and cried that our special day was ruined?  What if I had pouted my way through our reception?  The events on our wedding days are for the most part out of our control, but our response to them is completely under our control.  I know you want this day to be perfect, but going off without a hitch does not a perfect wedding day make.  Marrying the man you love and being calm enough to enjoy the magic of the day does.

So take my advice, lighten up, and be sure to check everyone’s shoes!

As Featured On EzineArticles

Has Your Wedding Become a Dangerous Distraction? Part 3

We have been talking about how your wedding planning could become so much of a distraction to your normal life that your health and relationships become compromised.  So how can you plan a wedding without becoming dangerously distracted?  Here are the last 3 ways…

  1. “Text decide” the small stuff.  For the wedding details that you don’t care about as much as the rest, make quick decisions like you would if you were texting.  Since you can’t have long, drawn-out conversations over text, people usually get right to the point, say what they need to, and move on.  Doing this with as many of the smaller decisions will free up time to devote to the parts of your wedding that are most important to you.
  2. Invite others to help.  Notice I used the word “invite.”  While you don’t want to use your family and friends as wedding slave labor, it is perfectly alright to let them help you with some of the planning.  This way you can make progress on your planning and spend time with your loved ones too.
  3. Chunk it.  No, I didn’t say “chuck it” as in the entire wedding.  I said “chunk it.”  By this I mean that you work on wedding planning for a certain length of time.  Then move to do a wedding workout for another chunk of time.  When you are tired from your workout, sit down to study a wife from the Bible.  Then for your last chunk of time call your fiancé to talk about the checking account you will open together.  If your time is chunked then you won’t be tempted to focus on just one aspect of wedding planning.  Moving from topic to topic in time chunks throughout the day will allow you to get more done and not to be distracted by one aspect of wedding planning.  As you read this, we are developing a product that will chunk your time for you.  There will be activities for you to complete in each of the five main areas of wedding preparation:  financial, spiritual, bridal, relational, and physical.  To make sure you don’t miss this product, sign up for our free e-mail newsletter.

While your wedding day is super important, don’t let all the planning become a dangerous distraction from your life outside the wedding.

As Featured On EzineArticles

Has Your Wedding Become a Dangerous Distraction? Part 2

Yesterday we talked about how your wedding planning could become so much of a distraction to your normal life that your health and relationships become compromised.  So how can you plan a wedding without becoming dangerously distracted?  Here are the first 6 ways…

  1. When you get overwhelmed with wedding planning, remind yourself that the wedding is just one day.  Picture your life as a married couple two years down the road.  By then it won’t matter if the color of the flowers is an exact match to the color on the wedding cake.  Think of the big picture.
  2. Take time each day to do something non-wedding related.  Read your favorite book.  Do a cross word puzzle.  Take a bubble bath.  Jog around your block.  Just get your mind off the wedding for a while to refocus.
  3. Give your fiancé, friends, and family permission to stop you if you are getting stressed planning the wedding.  And do NOT get mad at them if they tell you to take a break for a while.  Thank them for caring about you enough to not let you go overboard.
  4. Use a wedding planner to help you stay organized.  If everything you need to do is listed in one place you can easily see what you need to focus on when.  You might want to make a daily to-do list so you can scratch off items that are completed so you can see that you are making progress.
  5. Ask God to give you His priorities for your day and for your marriage.  When you keep Him at the forefront of your planning, you are much less likely to get carried away.
  6. Set realistic limits.  All of your spare time shouldn’t be needed to plan your wedding.  Set a limit for yourself like an hour per day for instance.  If you haven’t finished with your planning when your time limit has expired, then set it aside and come back to it tomorrow.  You will come back with fresh eyes and may find that you get more done than if you agonized over every decision for hours on end.

As Featured On EzineArticles

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