by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
Looking for a special way to honor the bride-to-be? A bead blessing may be the perfect answer!
Many brides are forgoing the traditional bridal shower (including those all-too-familiar shower games) in lieu of a more spiritually based celebration centered on a bead blessing. Unlike a typical bridal shower, there is less emphasis on commercial gift giving; instead the primary focus is to spend time with the bride-to-be and celebrate her upcoming journey.
The bride-to-be can be honored by soaking her feet in lavender-scented water, braiding her hair with flowers and other bride-centered pampering. Guests of the shower are asked to bring beads that represent the bride-to-be or have a special significance to them. The guests present their beads at the shower, along with a blessing, and the beads are made into a necklace or other piece of jewelry as a gift for the bride.
A bridal bead blessing allows guests to really feel part of the shower and can start an ongoing tradition among groups of friends, sisters and families to continue for other showers as well. A bead blessing can also be used for baby showers, graduation parties, special celebrations and more.
Here's how to honor the bride-to-be with a bead blessing.
Let your guests know you plan on having a bead blessing at the shower and request they bring one or more beads to gift to the bride-to-be and a blessing to share. This information can be included in the invitation. If you are mailing or hand delivering the invitations, you can include a gift pouch or presentation box for them to enclose their beads and bring to the shower.
Note: Incorporate out-of-town family and guests that are unable to attend by asking them to send their beads and blessings to you to present on their behalf.
It's fun to see the beads guests select to present to the bride-to-be. Here are some suggestions for guests seeking ideas:
Encourage guests to go to www.firemountaingems.com to search for beads
Note: Beads can also be made at the shower with the Paper Bead Roller, Kato Polyclay™, Apoxie® Sculpt or metal clay. This can be a fun shower activity and great way to share time together.
Start off the bead blessing by having the guests sit in a circle (or gather in the same room) and have everyone introduce themselves. It is always helpful to begin by presenting your own beads (explaining why you chose the specific beads) and blessing first, helping everyone to feel comfortable with sharing as well. Next ask the attendees to present their beads and read/give their blessing to the bride-to-be. As each person does this you can collect the beads in a dish or bowl, passing it around or displaying it in the center of the circle. People can also include their blessings in the bowl (if you've asked them to write them down). This allows the bride-to-be to read the blessings after the shower and keep them as mementos of the day.
Now comes the fun part. Take the beads and string them together to create a one-of-a-kind, meaningful piece of jewelry for the bride-to-be to wear on her wedding day and beyond. Depending on the number and size of the beads collected, a necklace is typically a great way to display them. Here are some tips for combining the wide variety of beads into one piece of jewelry:
Add initials or a special date to the necklace using number beads and alphabet beads
Whether you complete the necklace at the shower or gift the completed design to the bride-to-be at a later date, she will be able to cherish the beads and blessings forever. Enclose the necklace and blessings in a gift box for a beautiful presentation. The tactile nature of the beads and their special meanings will give the bride-to-be calmness and remind her of the support and love she has going into her new life journey.