Tips & Ideas

Tips & Ideas


submitted by: Jill B

Long on love and short on funds, I was delighted to think of a truly special anniversary gift for myhusband for our 5th anniversary.  With some time and effort, I gave him the magic of our wedding ceremony through the words of the powerful message we heard together that day.

While planning our wedding, Greg shared he really wanted the homily/message to incorporate hisfavorite text — the Parable of the Sower.  Admittedly this is not a common passage for wedding services but our college pastor did an excellent job.  (In brief: Sowing seeds and becoming married are both acts of faith.  Though you face untold challenges, countless blessings are possible.)  Though difficult to condense here, it was an especially meaningful message for us.  It was thought-provoking and unique.  Something we’d always comment on during our wedding reminiscences.

For our anniversary, I contacted the pastor and requested a copy of the text of his message.  He was unable to locate this, so when I was alone I listened to the video of the wedding sermon (over and over) and I quickly typed into the computer. (The remote control was my friend!)
Once the text was in place, I worked with a friend to format it into something easier to read.   We broke it into three columns and spotlighted different sections by changing the font and centering the text within that section.  Over the top of it all we printed our full names (similar to the wedding invite) and said “joined in marriage” then listed the wedding date, followed by the anniversary date.
Using a publishing program, we planned the final piece to fit into a 11 x 14 frame (something standard I’d picked up at the local “everything” store). We “enclosed” the text with a simple border and put floral embellishments at the corners.  In these “pre-inkjet” times, my friend used her artists pens to color the flowers and give it a little life. Screened images of doves underscored the text without making it harder to read. It also gave it a little more visual focus.

I had to buy some 11×17 paper to print the finished piece, but that was still rather cheap. The paper and the frame were my only real expenses. My time was a gift of love, and my friend and I bartered services for her contributions. I teased my husband that I had the perfect anniversary gift and it didn’t cost me much of anything (beyond my time!).
When he opened the framed gift and realized what it was, he was speechless.  The promise of our wedding day was captured and available to read anytime we wanted. It’s held a place of honor on our walls ever since.

On a side note: My sister-in-law liked the idea so well that when she married, she and her husband asked their pastor for a copy of their message right away. He gave it to them both on paper and diskette!  This is probably a good idea — even if you don’t plan to tackle this project right away. The audio quality on our tape was rough in one or two spots where I never felt comfortable that my transcription was accurate.