Talking about this subject is very special to me these days since my oldest son, Nathan, is (finally!) engaged to his Lovely Lindsey and we have a wedding to look forward to this coming June. So you can imagine how happy I am to share all of these ideas with you!
As I have mentioned before, over the years I have been to countless engagement and bridal showers. There is always the question of what is appropriate as a gift. Do we go big time and give them something that they have registered for and then do the same for the wedding? Or do something small for the shower and save the money for the wedding? A few years ago I decided I needed to come up with something that would be my 'Go To' gift for most everyone when it came to engagements and bridal showers. Depending on who the gifts were going to would dictate how much I would do. Each of these ideas can be done in whole, or you can take one or two ideas which makes it even simpler and less expensive. This has been such a life saver for me since it is always so hard to come up with something so often and is economical, too.
I actually gave this to Nathan and Lindsey the day after they became engaged and was tickled when they were so pleased by it.
It is my belief that if a couple were to put as much energy into their relationship as they do the wedding, we would have less divorce in our country. And maybe even less weddings, if you think of it that way! Still, I truly believe that if a couple were to take the time to find out what each others expectations are, their days ahead would be so much easier. I am aware that there are classes given at different churches and am a huge advocate for them, but what about those couples who are marrying without that opportunity? I have found a terrific book that covers most everything when it relates to what marriage brings. It's called 'The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask Before you Say "I Do" by Susan Piver. The categories are Home, Money, Work, Sex, Heath and Food, Family, Children, Community and Family, and Spiritual Life. When I first read some of the questions, I was thinking they were just common sense but then I thought back (and back and back!) when I was first married and remembered how confusing and frustrating it was when it came to simple things like Money and Children. The one question of 'Who keeps the household books and pays bills' seems easy but I remember my husband and I having a very heated discussion over who exactly was in charge of that. His idea was I did all the books and pay bills while he decided how the money was to be spent. You can imagine the energy in the house during those sessions! It would have been so much easier for us if we had discussed this ahead of time, in theory, of course, instead of trying to come to a nice solution in the heat of the moment! We were both so adamant about our positions!
In anticipation of the conversation becoming, well, shall we say, lively between the newly engaged couple, I sometimes include a bottle of champagne, two champagne glasses and a note suggesting they consume the champagne to make the time a little less stressful. The book by itself is more than fine, but it's fun to add a little incentive to read it! And chocolate's not a bad as an added bonus!
Since I can't resist giving something I make, I came up with the idea of massage oils with blends for both Him and Her. The blends can vary and you can find different ones online if you Google 'romantic essential oil blends' or 'sensual essential oil blends.' I have several and will supply all of those to you but keep in mind you can do a simple blend of lavender or vanilla. Those happen to be some of the top 'Turn On' scents for BOTH men and women! I pick out nice glass bottles for the oils but I also include plastic bottles so that if they choose to take them on the honeymoon, they can store the oils in plastic so they won't make a mess of their luggage contents.
In addition to the massage oils, I may include cute panties or a teddy, just to make it that much more fun.
Another item I make is an air mist with a blend for Wedding Day Jitters. This blend is supposed to be used by the bride and her attendants while they are getting ready for the big event. It's a nice blend of jasmine, lemon and patchouli which is a great combination of light and dark tones. In the Middle Ages, the traditional scent was neroli, which is calming, so this may be a nice alternative, too. Whatever works to calm the nerves on that special day!
Last, but not least, I have to suggest a couple more books or this wouldn't be a typical gift from me! A sweet little jewel of a book I found is called, 'Don'ts for Husbands and Don'ts for Wives' by Blanche Ebbutt published in 1913. What. A. Blast. Even though it was written a year shy of 100 years ago, this book has some very good advice on How One Should Conduct Oneself. I admit that I feel my grandmother peering over my shoulder when I read it.
The second book I may include is something my husband and I read together a few years ago and I have to say it made our marriage better than it had been in over 35 years. It's called, 'The Five Love Languages' by Gary Chapman. It helps you understand what sort of Love Language you are and those 5 are: Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. Once we know what our own language is and that of our partner, we are better equipped to help that person feel as loved as possible. At the end of the book, you list your love languages in order of importance and then are challenged to list your partner's in order. I am proud to say I listed my husband's in exact order and he listed mine in exact order--in reverse! Let's just say we had a little chat and got it all straightened out! What great information to have when starting a new life with the one you adore!
Please remember that combining these items as one gift is only a suggestion and that you can take one thing and make it your gift. I have given the books by themselves individually and they were received with much appreciation. You can find all these books at Amazon.com.
I see some massage oil and books in Nathan and Lindsey's future!
His Massage Oil
4 ounces oil (almond, jojoba, avocado, whatever you like best; a note, though, about olive oil-although it makes a terrific massage oil, I would not add essential oils without remembering olive oil has a scent of its own and may conflict with any essential oil you add to it)
20-40 combined drops of the following essential oils:
Put oil in small bowl and add essential oils. Stir gently and put in decorative bottle or plastic bottle. Label.
Her Massage Oil
4 ounces oil (almond, jojoba, avocado, whatever you like best)
20-40 combined drops of the following essential oils:
Put oil in small bowl and add essential oils. Stir gently and put in decorative bottle or plastic bottle. Label
Alternative Massage Oil Blends
For Ardour (2 ounces of oil)
3 drops jasmine
3 drops neroli
4 drops orange
1 drop clary sage
3 drops patchouli
2 drops rose
4 drops rosewood
Individual essential oils (any of these three are heavenly by themselves)
Wedding Day Jitters Air Mist
6 ounces water
1 ounce witch hazel
20-40 drops combined drops of the following essential oils:
Put water and witch hazel in spray bottle. Add essential oils and label. Give directions on label to shake before each use.
This is a blend that is very nice in a lotion or body cream. I have made as a gift from the bride to her attendants that included air mist, sugar scrub and body lotion. I would use the 40 drops in about 4 ounces of lotion or cream. Start with a small amount first, then add as needed to create the scent you desire. You can always add more scent but it's impossible to take it away!
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup almond oil (or any oil of your choice; I use olive oil for every day use)
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. essential oil (if using more than one oil, combine the oils by the drop in a small amount of oil then add to the sugar)
Mix ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. The sugar should be the consistency of new, fluffy snow. Store in an air-tight container.