I was dreading the wedding that I had to attend for my cousin. There was no escaping my family responsibility this time. She personally called me along with her mailed invitation. How could I possibly bow out gracefully? I thought that perhaps my husband would stay home with our four year old son, but he graciously informed me that he would be working that weekend. That meant I, once again, had all the responsibilities tossed on me. Just one more nail in the coffin of dread. I decided to toss on my “big girl panties” and behave like an adult. Just get it over with and you would be proud of yourself after it was all over with. We dressed up and took one for the home team. I was extremely proud of my son. He was adorable the entire evening. I realized that my time may run out so I shouldn’t push him too hard. Surprisingly he lasted for a full three hours without one temper tantrum, tear or disaster. I give high accolades to the open candy bar the bride had as wedding favors for the little tykes. That kept them entertained and smiling from ear to ear. He didn’t sleep well that night from all the sugar intake, but it was well worth it!
You have a thing for personalized items. Personalized napkins, personalized glassware, personalized cutlery, you like to have everything with your mark on it. You have been this way since a small child in elementary school. Everything that you possessed in school had to have your name on it, and it had to be in fancy writing. You just finished ordering another set of personalized napkins for several events you will be hosting in the next few weeks. You feel like you could probably order some special paper plates as well, as you go through them so fast. You wonder where this strange obsession comes from. Even more importantly, you wonder if it is a bad thing. Is it something that you should see someone about? People constantly make comments about your habit. On the other hand, it’s never hurt anyone. No, you decide that it’s just who you are and that you shouldn’t be ashamed in the slightest. There is nothing wrong with wanting things to look great. You are the official party planner in your group of friends after all.
Carla and John sat down in their living room. It was a quiet evening in their home, and the sun had just lowered past the horizon. They sat on the couch side by side, leaning on each other. Both had worked in the day, and both had worked hard. For the last few weeks they had been planning their wedding together, and everything was finally coming together. They were in the middle of talking about an important topic for their wedding. They had to decide what they were going to get for wedding favors, or even if they would get wedding favors at all. “I don’t mind getting wedding favors for all our guests, Carla. We just need to make sure that they aren’t too expensive. Our budget is pretty tight right now,” John said. “I know,” Carla agreed. “I just want to make sure that everyone feels special and that we care.” “No-one expects us to get them something super extravagant. It’s the thought that counts, right?” John said. “I know,” Carla said. “I’m going by the chocolate shop tomorrow after work. I’ll see what they have.”
What I love about weddings is how everything comes together so perfectly in the end like a magical treasure hunt. First come the wedding invitations, which are a tiny hint to what will happen in the future. They could incorporate the couple’s wedding colors or a theme like nature or nautical. Weddings take months or even years of preparation and finally on the big day everything lays out perfectly as planned. One step after another, like one of those dance floors with the colored squares that only light up once you’ve touched on the square before. Each time you’re surprised by the beauty and vibrancy of the square’s shade. I like to think of the invitations as a way to set the mood and prepare your guests for the evening they are about the experience.
I’ve always loved gardening, especially growing beautiful flowers around my house. I have many gardens and I think of them like an orchestra that I am conducting. First come the crocuses, then the daffodils, then the tulips, then the lilies, and in the meantime morning glories and roses are a-plenty. I love the way flowers smell and the way they look so I thought I would love to be a florist. A few days ago I went into a flower shop pretty close to where I live to see whether they were hiring and how much they paid. And then I went to talk to a friend of mine who used to work as a florist. She heavily advised me against this career change telling me regardless of the pay, that it was a very stressful job. Probably the most stressful job she’d ever had. So I thought about it: when do people buy flower bouquets? For funerals. And as wedding decorations. And to say “I’m sorry”. And to say “Congratulations!” All of these are important occasions when every little detail must be perfectly in place and everything needs to be done exactly on time. I can only imagine how hectic things get around Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
Red and his wife, Maurine, lay in bed late one night. They lay side by
side with their arms wrapped around each other. Red stroked Maurine’s
shoulder and stared deep into her eyes. They remained like this for
several minutes, simply enjoying each others company. It was Red who
finally broke the silence.
“So, I was thinking, Maurine.”
“Yes?” she replied.
“Remember how we discussed how we wanted to have something unique for our
Maurine smiled and nodded.
“Well, I think I found just the thing. It’s called a sand ceremony.”
Maurine tilted her head in confusion. “What’s that, Red?”
“It’s something really cool that Jay was telling me about. It’s like a
really short ceremony that represents us bonding together. We each have a
bottle of sand and we pour them together.” Red said.
“So, it’s like the two of us becoming one?” Maurine asked.
“Exactly!” Red answered.
The two sat in silence for a moment as Maurine contemplated the idea.
After a few minutes, she smiled and hugged Red tight.
“It’s a beautiful idea! I love it!”
The two lay together and slowly fell asleep holding each other.
Martha supposed that everything had worked out for the best. Her daughter may not have chosen the man that she thought she should have, but Kayla seemed very happy. And she had let her mother do most of the planning, although she had been very clear that she would do two things herself, find a wedding dress and make the wedding favors. And Martha had to admit that her daughter had outdone herself with both. The dress was elegant and suited Kayla perfectly. And much thought had been put into the gifts for each guest. It may have seemed strange for family and friends that they had to sit in the seats assigned to them until they had seen what was on their plate. Each wedding favor evoked a special memory specific to the bride and that person. Each was thrilled and would be sure to keep this reminder of the special day. Each gift also served to remind Martha how many people had helped make her daughter who she was. She was also reminded that her daughter was no longer hers to protect, she could stand aside and let her new son-in-law take that job. Yes everything was perfect even if it wasn’t her plan.
Some people do not get as excited about direct mail services as I do. For me, they’re a guilty pleasure. I secretly enjoy every time I go to the mailbox and discover a new flyer inside. My husband thinks I’m crazy. He’ll often put the things directly into the bin, leaving it to me to fish them out. I get my revenge by hiding the morning paper. I like to stick it in places he’d never think to look. My favorite hiding place so far was the freezer. John had rushed off that morning so we didn’t have a chance to do our normal dance of “where’s the paper today?” It took 3 days before either of us opened the freezer. What a shocker that was! The only thing you could do was laugh.
I sometimes wonder whether Alicia’s a normal child. I mean, what other 5-year old asks for personalized napkins for her birthday party? These aren’t the sort of questions mothers are supposed to talk about amongst their friends, so I’m left to ponder alone. Alicia’s dad hasn’t been in the picture since day one. It’s not that she’s a precocious child – far from it – she’s always just been incredibly, let’s say, advanced for her age. While all her little friends were learning how to spell “cat” and “dog”, Alicia was reading at a third-grade level. I often worry that I’m holding her back by not getting her into special classes.
Sugary wedding favors have been popular for over two hundred years. It first started when wealthy people started giving a box with 5 sugar cubes to their wedding guests. As the prices of sugar dropped, the tradition went to the masses. Today, these sugar cubes are substituted with almonds and confetti. The confetti was covered with sugar and from that today’s modern sugared almonds were transformed. A box or a fabric bag with five sugar almonds are presented to guests at the wedding breakfast table. These are almonds represent fertility, wealth, longevity, happiness and health. Since almonds are a bit bitter and sugar is sweet, the combination also represents the two sides of being married. Although the tradition started in western countries, it is now used worldwide. While the 5 almonds are still a popular gift, there are also many other kinds of favors prepared for guests. It can be a CD, some bathing supplies, a photo of the bride and groom or any other small item to help the guests remember the wedding they attended. Often, the whole wedding breakfast is arranged around the favors and how these are placed on the table. Children often get different favors, according to their age.