I think I made my position on thankfulness pretty clear in this post. However, I've been having a lot more thoughts on this topic recently, partly triggered by these...
I love weddings. I've been in a lot of them, attended even more of them, and planned several of them (not the least of which was my own). I am a detail person, and I am asked a lot for wedding advice, which frequently snowballs into me being a wedding coordinator. I don't mind. I like doing it. For some, I am a consultant only (I don't attend the wedding). For some, I only attend the wedding (and just make sure everything goes smoothly that day). For others, I plan everything from the music to the decorations to directing the MC at the reception. I don't charge anything because, again, I enjoy doing it, and I believe God has given me this gift to bless others.
I love when a wedding shows the personality of the couple. If they are musicians, the music should be live and lovely. If they are artistic, the programs should showcase some of their talent. If they love horses, why not ride in on one (for an outdoor wedding of course)? You get the point. I've planned some where I love everything they choose and some where I am shocked by how different our taste is....there really is a lot of subjectivity in what is beautiful.
In planning something as intimate and life changing as a wedding, you get to know the couple (or family) well. I find that I come to respect them more or lose respect for them as we go along. There are challenges with almost every one. Sometimes it is a clash of personalities (family dynamics), sometimes it is a tight budget, and sometimes I am contacted at the last minute when things are just not going well and there is too much to do with too little time. Sometimes it is all of the above. Some couples care about every detail (um, that would be us), and some just want someone to make decisions for them and show up on the day. What the particular challenge is is not nearly as important as how they face it.
For as varied as the couples and styles of weddings are, there are equal number of variations on thankfulness. For some, after I've put in HOURS of work, it would be nice to at least get a card. I know I shouldn't expect anything, but I struggle with feeling I have been taken advantage of when someone doesn't even take the time to write a thank you. Sometimes, not even a thank you for the wedding gift (if it's someone I know personally). I know that it is not personal, but it still bugs me.
I thoroughly enjoyed the most recent wedding I planned. Not because everything was easy and smooth, but because the family was truly thankful, and gracious. The bride and her mother each sent me heartfelt cards of thanks, which was more than enough (especially since the bride did some free babysitting for me). However, the bride's mother came for a visit this week and brought me the salt and pepper shakers above and some dinner plates. They match my set of pottery that we use every day. The company that makes it is located in Maine, and she was there visiting her parents. She called my mom to get ideas of pieces I might need (a few of my dinner plates broke). This is one of the most thoughtful and personal gifts I have received. The card (and babysitting...because I really was thankful for that) really would have been enough, but I am humbled by their thoughtfulness. Thank you Bloomberg family. Helping you was a pleasure.
For more "weekend thoughts" visit Crystal's blog...