Creative Wedding Gift Ideas – Gifts for Members of the Wedding Party

Creative Wedding Gift Ideas

Gifts given by the bride and groom are certainly part of the wedding tradition. But who makes up the group fortunate enough to receive a gift from the bride and groom? Members of the wedding party top that list. That includes everybody: best man, maid of honour, matron, bridesmaids, ushers, groomsmen, junior bridesmaids, flower girls, and ring bearers. It’s also a nice gesture for the bride to give a gift to the groom and vice versa, although this is not mandatory.

Nowadays, the bride and groom also include each set of parents on the gift giving list. Also, it’s definitely a nice gesture to give a gift to any other person who did something special during the occasion. Sometimes someone will be asked to do a special reading at the ceremony, or to step in for the bride’s father and walk the bride down the aisle and these individuals should be acknowledged.

Why give gifts to members of the wedding party? The purpose of these wedding gifts is to show your appreciation, not break your wedding budget.

A gift that has been specially picked out shows you put thought and consideration into the gift. Including a personalised note with the gift thanks the person for whatever role he or she played and it is certainly a nice touch when having the gift engraved with the wedding date and couple’s names or initials. To help with thank you letters, keep a note of what each person’s role is so you know exactly what to say when it comes to writing.

Prepare the personalised gifts several weeks in advance. Make sure you have the customised gifts purchased about 4 weeks prior to the wedding date. That gives you enough time to have them engraved and to create your personalised messages.

To help the gifts make an even greater impression on the recipient, take special care in wrapping them. Use fancy wrapping paper and elaborate bows using colours that complement the wedding colours. The best time to give your customised gifts is during the rehearsal dinner, as it’s intimate, and the people to whom you’re giving the gifts should all be present.

Here are some gift ideas to help you get started? First, check your wedding budget to see how much you have allocated to this category. You’ve likely spent quite a bit of your money by this stage, so it’s important to take a realistic look. Brides typically give each member of the bridal party a piece of jewellery or a hair clip that the bride would like her to wear on the wedding day. Other gift ideas include bud vases, picture frames, bath oils, a collectible item or a Personalised Memory Box.

The men in the wedding party like to receive engraved pens, pocket watches, cigars, business card holders, a clock for their desk, key chains or a personalised wedding poarty memory boxes.

For the parents, a professional wedding photo in an engraved frame is perfect as is a personalised letter detailing your appreciation. For each other, anything that conveys your love and devotion is ideal.


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Wrap Your Gardening Gifts in Love

If you’re looking for ways to make your gardening gifts really unique, try wrapping them in love and show your loved one you really care. You can gift wrap gardening gifts the traditional way, or you can get just a little more creative with your gift wrapping. Here are some ideas to give your gift-wrap a personal touch.

Garden Statues and Other Large Gardening Gift Items

For large gardening gifts such as full-size garden statues, birdbaths, arbors, a garden trellis, personalised garden tool set garden fountains, or patio furniture, use creative party decorations instead of gift wrap. You can tie big bows and balloons along with a card attached to decorate the gift.

Or, decorate the garden statue or fountain in plant or vegetable seed packs. To do this, use a hole-puncher to punch small holes in the very corner of each seed pack. Be sure not to puncture the pack where the seeds can spill. Then, thread ribbon through each of the holes and tie them around the statue, birdbath, or patio furniture with excess curly ribbon hanging for extra decoration.

Gift Wrap for Bird Houses or Bird Feeders

Bird houses and bird feeders are smaller items so you can easily place them in a gardening gift basket along with other gardening items such as bird seeds, vegetable or flower seed packs, unique garden tools, and other small garden decoration items. Fill the empty spaces in the basket with colorful cut shreds and fillers. Wrap the basket in a clear or colored shrink dome bag, and finish with a beautiful bow assortment and gift card.

Small Garden Sculptures and Other Lawn Decorations

Gift wrapping small garden sculptures and other lawn decorations is a cinch with themed gift boxes. There are garden-themed gift boxes that give your loved one just a “hint” of what’s inside. Fill the box with several of their favorite gardening decor items – a small garden sculpture, a wind chime, a sun catcher, along with some seeds, a small bag of soil, and a decorative planter. It’s sure to fill their heart as well!

Other Gift-Wrap Ideas

Gardening gifts can also be complemented by other items that are not particularly for gardening or lawn decoration. These might be a new coffee mug with a special-blend coffee, gourmet chocolate treats, baking mixes, or pampering products for women such as lotions and bath oils. The male gardener might enjoy some new household tools, tickets to a ball game, or some new work shoes. Items such as these make great “extras” along with gardening gifts during the holidays or for any occasion.

You can use decorative garden-themed gift bags instead of wrapping paper for a quick, easy gift-wrap alternative. There are also tie-up gift bags that are colored or decorated for convenience. Wood crate baskets are also popular for gardening gifts. These are small, decorative crates made of wood that are great for giving jars of jams or preserves, small potted plants or flowers, and other small gardening items.

Use these gardening gift wrapping techniques to make a great first impression when you present gifts to your friends and loved ones!

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Personalised Wedding Gifts for the Newlywed Couple

Nothing helps a couple remember their special day like a personalised wedding gift. Such a gift can bring back all the sentiment of their ceremony and celebration by displaying their names, initials or wedding date on a precious item.

Personalised gifts are widely available, though most stores will add a small charge for this service. It is important to note that a personalised gift will usually require additional processing time, which may delay delivery. Therefore, when ordering a personalised item, it is important to purchase the gift well in advance of the wedding date.

Monogrammed Gifts
Monogrammed gifts are both practical and romantic. From towels and glassware to stationary, monogrammed wedding gifts are a personal treasure.

Personalised Photo Options

Newlyweds are left with literally hundreds of photos documenting their wedding day and honeymoon. Engraved frames and photo albums give the couple beautiful storage and display options. These wedding gifts are usually personalised with the couple’s wedding date.

Autographed Gifts
Document the well-wishes of family and friends with an autographed gift. Wedding guests can sign a large matte of a photo frame, a specially made platter, or a fabric wall hanging.

Home Décor Items
Many home items can be personalised with beautiful results. Engraved photo coasters can display wedding memories while protecting new furniture. Embroidered throws accent the married couple’s home with color and warmth. Seasonal gifts such as personalised ornaments and tree skirts can add to the new couple’s holiday decorations. Embroidered table linens allow the newly married couple to entertain with pride.

Spiritual Items
For the devout couple, a personalised Bible would hold special significance — if given in advance of the wedding, it could even be used as part of the ceremony. An engraved wall cross for display in the home is another option for the spiritual pair.

A Personalized Future Toast
Wedding guests can order bottles of wine or champagne with personalised labels for the happy couple. Engraved wine glasses or bottle stoppers would nicely compliment the wedding gift. The married couple can open the bottles to toast on their honeymoon, or save them for a milestone anniversary.

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Our Latest Products

We add new products to our collection every week. Our latest products concentrate on wedding and engagement gifts. We have stunning wine and champagne glasses for a wedding party, for couples and for a special occasion, such as a 21st Birthday.

Our personalised glitter glasses are all handmade and are not engraved by a machine. They are made with heat transfer vinyls and are just a beautiful gift to present to the bride and groom.

Check them all out here


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How Important Is It to Read to Your Children?

Reading to your child at an early age has many benefits. Reading out loud is one of the most important things you can do to prepare them for school and life. This activity helps in language development, imagination skills, interaction abilities, and comprehension. The long-term effects of parents reading to their children at an early age may also help children become more proficient in writing. By pointing to the pictures while you are speaking the words your child will learn the importance of language. Reading out loud will stimulate their imagination and expand their language and listening skills. Needless to say, there is great value in reading to your children at a young age. Children who learn to read at a young age have an advantage over their peers when entering preschool. Basic reading, explaining characters, how they interact with each other, and how the story unfolds will help them develop an understanding of the text as well and prepare them for future interactions in their life. Helping your child enjoy reading will develop essential learning habits for school thereby allowing your child to learn more quickly and effectively.

Preparing your child for preschool is crucial to their short and long-term success. Growing their love of reading when they are young will offer many rewards. Reading and discussing stories will create personal bonding time and show your child the value of reading.

Reading can provide entertainment and fun for your child. The benefits of reading to your child at an early age can include the following advantages:

• Creates an interest in learning that can continue through adulthood

• Expands children’s vocabulary and helps with correct pronunciation

• Creates a curiosity and desire for reading and learning about new situations and concepts

• Instills confidence in children who are able to read on their own

• Helps with language and speech development

• Develops personal and bonding time with your child and encourages one on one time interaction

• Demonstrates the value of reading and learning

• Prepares your child for school

• Develops communication skills

• Helps in understanding new concepts and situations

• Helps develop a longer attention span

• Teaches children appropriate behavior when they are in future situations

• Builds listening skills

• Helps children understand basic sentence structure and grammar, which can help them become better writers

• Teaches basic knowledge of shapes, colors, numbers, and letters

• Helps develop critical thinking and problem solving skills

• Creates greater understanding of relationships between people and situations

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Help Your 3 Year Old Build A Love For Blocks

3-year-olds are learning and developing new skills daily and they love to try new things. Choosing age appropriate activities can help them gain confidence in their new found talents. These preschoolers want activities that are new but are not too difficult, frustrating or long. One toy preschoolers love is a set of wooden blocks. Building toys are the perfect toy to enhance their newly budding skills. Here are 3 suggestions to encourage your preschooler to play with these great educational toys.

1-Build Things Familiar To Your Child

A 3-year-old child likes to reproduce things they know. For example, they might build a house or barn, but not a castle. Your preschooler may make a simple car but not a space ship. They might want to build a dog but do not know how to recreate a dragon. A 3-year-old child’s imagination is developing but he prefers to draw, pretend and build things that are real to him.

2-Build Small Projects

A child of this age still has a fairly short attention span. Don’t overwhelm them with a large number of blocks at one time. A proper amount of blocks for this age would be 60-80 pieces. Investing in a larger set that they can use as they grow is a good idea, but at this age you may want to only get out a limited number of blocks.

Encourage projects they could complete in maybe 5 or 10 minutes. Projects that are too complex or large will make them lose interest. If they lose interest, they may end up just throwing the blocks and that will frustrate you too.

Children of this age use mostly square and rectangular blocks. They don’t use a lot of varied shapes at this age. They will only use a few blocks such as triangles and arches. They will mostly use the basic shapes that are easy to stack.

Keep their projects simple, such as making a small, simple four walled house not a huge mansion with a 5 car garage. If they are having to stack multiple blocks to complete a project, they may lose interest or become frustrated. Let your child build something that he or she can successfully finish. This helps build their confidence. Praise them for their accomplishments. Helping them have successes encourages them to build bigger and more complex things when they are ready. Make sure you are helping them build at their level so they will want to create again another day.

3-Build Low Structures Or Table Top Designs

A 3-year-old still has limited balancing skills. So remember that you don’t always have to build up! Instead of stacking blocks, have them build something that is only one or two blocks high. For example, a row of blocks lined up across the room will make a wonderful train. As they grow and play with blocks more they’ll start adding wheels to their train, a smokestack or cargo in the cars. They could make a row or two of blocks in squares that could be the cages for a zoo, and add their favorite plastic or stuffed animals.

Another fun activity is to let them line blocks up on the table.They can form them into shapes or copy simple outlines of objects with the blocks by placing the pieces flat on the table. You can give them a very simple picture, such as a page from a coloring book. They could line blocks right on top of the outline on the page or have them copy the shape on the table forming the shape of the picture. These table-top designs are really creative. They can make creatures, vehicles, people or their favorite super hero characters. Make funny faces using the different shaped blocks for eyes, ears, and an arch for either a smile or a frown. There is no limit to these creative table top designs.

Many toys today are electronic, “high-tech” and have specific ways to play with them. In our business over the past 5 years, we have noticed children of all ages who do not know what to do with a set of wooden blocks. They will ask ” What do you do with these?” when at a table filled with blocks. They don’t know how to stack them, and become quickly frustrated or uninterested. But educators and researchers and parents know the tremendous value of playing with simple toys that utilize a child’s imagination.These types of toys help them to develop important cognitive and motor skills and help them learn complex science and math concepts. It is important for children of a young age to engage in play with these types of educational toys. Make sure your little one grows up loving to play with wooden building blocks.

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Early Childhood Reading Is Fundamental

Children who are solid readers at an early age are typically well-rounded individuals. Young readers tend to perform better in school, have better language structure, and have a healthy self-esteem image while becoming lifelong learners. Statistics show that nearly 40% U.S. young reader’s particularly low-income families are not achieving basic levels of reading proficiency. The over whelming fear is that many of these young children may never fully participate in American society. These are society’s kids and as educators we have a duty to act and not allow these children to fall by the waste side.

A young children’s mind is like a sponge, they absorb everything. Young children learn the essential skills that will help them broaden their mind to become strong readers. Young children become aware of books and pictures and print from infancy, through toddler years and well beyond their preschool years. As early childhood educators we must get young minds excited about books so young children will become strong readers. Early educators play a significant role in helping to prepare and promote early literacy, reduce reading difficulties, and help prepare young preschoolers for the next grade level, kindergarten. Early educators and parents must read stories, keep stories fun and exciting for everyone. Parents and teachers can act out stories by using props and any fun essential aid to make reading exciting for young children.

Children love to answer questions about his or her favorite character in the story. As educators we should be asking them the important questions about stories being read to them. Another way to achieve successful readers would be to motivate him/her by keeping a visible record for the child. Perhaps some sort of chart or graph that would mark as a record of achievement that they’ve accomplished all on their very own. “Look at what I did!” Children love to be acknowledged for doing things. It gives them a sense of belonging, self-worth as well as build self-esteem and self-image.

Educators must be diligent and continue to work even harder to raise awareness to parents’, motivate the mind of young children, especially children in disadvantage households, we must provide new books into the hands of young children that will renew their mind and help them feel empowered to see over the horizon and begin to explore new possibilities. Educators must tackle literacy issues on a day-to-day basis, encourage families to read together, provide enough resources to inspire families and motivate young minds to enjoy learning to read.

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Six Reasons to Teach Your Child to Read

When my first child was about three-and-a-half years old, I decided I wanted to teach her how to read myself. As a first-grade teacher at the time, I may have just wanted to do it myself and not let anyone else do it. I can honestly tell you I am not sure why I was driven to do it, but in the end, I did teach her and I have taught my other two children to read as well.

In this article I will tell you, based on my experiences, why I believe parents themselves can and should take the initiative to teach their children to read. I no longer have any doubt whatsoever as to why and can share six reasons with you.

The first reason I will give you is that by ensuring your child reads well in school leads to early success in school. I learned in teacher school that success leads to more success. Children love to feel successful and will work hard to feel more success. This is the type of cycle I wanted my children and students to experience. And I saw a lot of it using the phonograms. First-graders love recess. There is no doubt about that. But when we were working on the phonograms, we often did not take morning recess and I rarely heard complaints about it. Other teachers would ask me where we were and then could hardly believe it when I told them we were working.

The second reason is that children will be more self-confident students. Imagine your child going to school already knowing how to read. Your child will walk into that school already knowing that this learning thing is not so hard and that they can do it. Contrast with an example of a student who does not yet know how to read and the difficulties faced. Much of life is believing in yourself and teaching your child to read is a good way to get them started believing early. You must know once they have it the odds of losing it are small.

Next, your child will learn so much through the world of reading. You might as well get them started early and let the learning begin. I helped my children choose books to read early on and often made non-fiction books an option. Pretty amazing what their little brains can soak up just because they can read about it. Children can learn a lot by watching TV too, but there is plenty of research that shows people who read are smarter than people who don’t read. Need I say more?

I haven’t talked about the phonograms yet. But teaching your child to read using 70 phonograms makes them understand that words are made up of parts. Research shows that children who understand that words are made up of parts are better readers. It is easy to see why your child would understand that words are made up of parts. You will teach them all the parts using the phonograms.

Another reason to teach your child to read is that you will have no doubt as to how your child learns to read. I’m not saying there aren’t many successful teachers in the world teaching children how to read and that there aren’t many different ways to teach children to read. I’m actually a very firm believer that if the parent is extremely involved and supportive, just about any method will work. What I’m saying is, you get the opportunity to remove any doubt about the process.

And finally, the last reason, which I lean toward as number one as well. This reason involves the joy that you get to experience during the process of teaching your child to read. You will spend many hours with your child during the process, some of it very challenging and some of it very frustrating. But in the end, your child will be reading well and you will have been instrumental in making it happen. When children transition from sounding out all the words to those first few words that become their own, it is a wonderful moment. And then the joy continues as you watch them learn more and more and more words and start reading. You will be amazed at what your child can do once all the phonograms have been learned and they start reading regularly. And it was because you made the choice to make it happen.

There you have it, six excellent reasons for parents themselves to teach their children to read. Success, confidence, knowledge, words are made of parts, surety of method, and finally, the joy that will be experienced. I may not have known why I was driven to teach my children to read, but I sure was lucky to experience all six reasons and I am now driven to help other parents have the same experience.

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How To Teach Your Child To Properly Report A Bully Problem

When under the stress of a bullying situation, virtually anyone can forget to do something, ask certain questions or perform a certain task. That is the nature of being under stress and not being trained to be in that particular situation, whatever that situation may be. Between stress, lack of preparation, and the dump of adrenalin into your body, virtually anyone would fall victim to the stress of the situation.

Since we know this is true, it is important to make sure that our children are prepared for a bully and what to do if they become the target of a bully. The only truly effective way to make sure your children are prepared is to remember the “Rule of R-Cubed” (Read, Recite, Role Play) and role play scenarios with your children until you are comfortable that they have the necessary skills to deal with a bully and they have the necessary habits in place on how to report a bully problem.

When working with your child on reporting a bully problem it is important that they understand and actually practice reporting problems using the “5 W Method.” The “5 W Method” is simply role playing with your child on reporting to you, or a teacher, etc., the Who, What, Where, When, and Why of what happened to them at the time of the bullying incident. Now in order to do this, you will need to have practiced the stress reduction method I described in a previous article about breathing techniques. If you have not read that article, the title is “The Best Way To Teach Your Kids To Stay Calm If They Are Being Bullied.”

The process is pretty straight forward, but unfortunately most people short-cut the process and either do not practice enough or they simply think that their child has the necessary skills and will magically remember details under stress without ever having sufficiently practiced. Both of these shortcomings are easily overcome by simply putting yourself in your child’s place and frame of mind and realizing that they do not have your level of sophistication or your years of dealing with people and problems.

To get the process rolling simply design some scenarios where your child will have to practice the stress reduction method from before and also remember the five W’s and then report them to you. Here is most parents’ mistake: they try to dream up some over-the-top scenarios and they end up traumatizing their children; that simply doesn’t work and in fact will only make the problem worse.

To overcome this problem, first explain to your child that you are going to do a fun activity that is designed to test their memory skills and their observation skills. When you make it a game with an objective and a fun reward you will get full engagement from your kids and that is exactly what is needed.

For a simple drill, simply set up an obstacle course with some things in your yard, at a local park, etc. In the obstacle course make sure they run around a barrier, crawl under objects, go over barriers etc. Make it challenging, but not dangerous, and make sure that you set a time frame for completion that is short so they have to hurry.

Explain the obstacle course, where they need to go, and how much time they have. Then tell them that you are going to ask them very specific questions about what they see on their journey and they need to remember in order to get maximum points / reward, etc. Then tell your child to cover their eyes. Place objects, pictures, people, or whatever you want in specific places throughout the course. Once you are done placing objects, have your child uncover their eyes and send them quickly through the course as fast as they can.

The running of the course will simulate the stress of the bullying situation because it will drive up their heart rate, send their respiratory system into overdrive, and cause their adrenal system to generate adrenalin. When they get back to you at the end of the course make sure that you give them lots of kudos and have them immediately start the stress reduction process. After a minute or so begin to ask them questions about the items placed on the obstacle course, questions like: “What was the color of the crayon under the tree?”, “How many ping pong balls did you count on the chair?”, “What sports team logo was on the hat on the tree,” etc. will cause them to have to think about the course and what they saw. With some creativity you can add all kinds of things to this drill, from people talking to them, songs on the radio as they ran by etc. In about 90 minutes you can have dramatically improved your child’s observation and reporting skills as well as created a fun bonding experience that they will remember forever. Additionally, this type of format can be used for fire drills at home, earthquake drills or even burglary situations as long as it is done slowly and not scary or intimidating to start.

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