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Posted in Funerals & Memorials

Planning Your Own Funeral

While planning your own funeral is not exactly something you want to think about, more and more people are doing it. Many want to relieve their family of the burden so that they can focus on grieving rather than funeral services details when the time comes. In fact, many people now view it as a part of their estate planning or as an extension of their will.

Planning ahead for funerals prevents those that are left behind from experiencing the pressure to create a memorial service that is fitting. It can be very stressful for loved ones who are facing time constraints to make preparations while they are experiencing strong emotions. Many feel a sense of relief when their loved ones have made arrangements so that they have the comfort knowing that their loved ones last wishes were met.

Arrangements that are typically made in advance include items such as where your remains will be buried, entombed or scattered. You will also need to decide where you will have a memorial service if different from the burial location. Just be sure that your preferences are in writing and that your family has a copy as well as your attorney.

Funerals can also be costly and that is why many people are opting to prepay for the costs so that their family does not bear the burden. Individuals must be sure however to check on the laws in their state regarding prepaying funeral costs. Some states offer protection to ensure that advanced payments are available when needed while other states offer little to no protection.

Making preparations ahead of time help you make well informed decisions so that you can choose specific items and compare pricing. Too often family members are left to make financial decisions when they are not in the best frame of mind to be making such decisions. Funerals can be preplanned and prearranged directly with the funeral establishment or a memorial society. Memorial societies are very helpful in that they offer information about funeral planning but they are non-profit and don’t offer actual services.

For more information regarding funeral services please contact us at 713-208-2025 for a complimentary phone consultation if you are in need of minister services in Houston and surrounding areas. You may also view other articles in our Minister Services blog for more information such as how to write and deliver a eulogy.

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Baby Christening

Posted in Baptisms & Christenings

There is so much to think about when you are preparing for your child’s baptism that it can be a bit overwhelming. Below we provide a baby christening ceremony checklist to help make it easier for you and to keep you organized.

Baby Christening Ceremony Checklist

  • Ceremony Location
  • Date and Time
  • Officiant & Contact Information
  • God parents and/or Guardians
  • Reception Location (if different from ceremony location)
  • Guest List, Invitations, Menu, Decorations, Favors
  • Photographer & Photo Requests (professional or family friend)
  • Baby’s clothing
    • Options can include a dress, gown, or another outfit. (Keep in mind that the baby’s outfit should be comfortable so that they baby is more likely to cooperate during the christening ceremony)
  • Baby’s hat or bonnet
    • Options can include a white headband or a soft liner cap to be worn under the bonnet to protect from oil, water and perspiration.
  • Baby’s change of clothing for after the ceremony
    • This is important in order to preserve the baptismal gown and bonnet from additional soiling. (This also allows your baby to be more comfortable so that you enjoy the celebration more)
  • Baby Christening Accessories
    • Shoes – matching shoes
    • Socks – these are often plain or decorated with lace to match the gown.
    • Bib – this is a very important accessory as it will protect the bodice from soiling which tends to stain yellow over time.
    • Blanket – keep in mind the temperature and time of year. Many have a light weight blanket available just in case.
    • Scripture – some families keep a bible or set of scripture as a keepsake.
    • Candle
    • Towel – for use to wipe the baby’s head after the ceremony.
    • Memory Book – a place to put pictures of the special day and any details of the day as well.
    • Certificate – this can serve as a wonderful commemorative and can be framed as a keepsake.
    • Picture Frame – special personalized picture frame with the date and name of child who is being baptized. (This can also be a nice gift for godparents)

This baby christening checklist covers the major items that most parents provide during this very special day. Please contact us for a complimentary phone consultation and let’s discuss your requirements and the type of ceremony you wish to have.

Please allow Minister Services to create a baby christening ceremony that you and your family will cherish forever. Please also continue to view other articles in our Minster Services blog for more information.

Christian Jewelry – Gold Crosses, Christian Rings, Christian Wedding Bands!

Personalized gifts and favors from Beau-coup.


Beach Wedding

Posted in Alternative Custom Weddings

There are more and more couples these days that are choosing to have a beach wedding that is typically a smaller and more intimate affair. Weddings that take place on a beach are seen by many to be more romantic and casual as well as beautiful. There are many wedding ideas available that are fun and that can be personal to the couple getting married. In today’s article we discuss beach theme invitations, beach wedding décor, as well as other ceremony options.

Beach Theme Invitations
Couples can really have fun with creating these invitations. Couples can include a picture of themselves at a beach and/or make that the background for the invitation. The invitations could include a seascape background, shells, or palm trees. Couples can also put a small amount of sand into the guests’ wedding invitations. Another neat idea could be the “message in a bottle” theme where the invitation is actually sent in a bottle to guests.

Beach Wedding Décor
Some ideas could be to pass out hand-held decorative fans to the guests as they arrive. You can find these fans on various sites online in various shades and patterns. An alternative to hand-held fans could also be a palm leaf handed out to guests to keep them cool. Exotic flowers that are native to the location of the beach wedding add color as well as tropical fruit scented candles for the guest tables. You can scatter various sea shells on tables for decoration as well as include sea shell place card holders. Another neat idea is to have coconut drinking cups for more casual receptions. Some couples will use garlands of shells to decorate guests’ ceremony chairs as well as coral, sand dollars, and/or starfish. The wedding cake could also be a key lime or pineapple flavor with some sort of white coconut frosting.

Beach Wedding Attire
As you can imagine the theme should be lose fitting, flowing, natural attire. Many brides choose a halter, strapless, or off the shoulder dress with an empire waist. As for the wedding party, many dress in white along with the bride and groom, while others may wear a solid color such as ocean green, sky blue, or sandy beige.  As for shoes many opt to wear either flip flops, sandals, or they go barefoot. Just remember that flip flops can be noisy and messy with sand, so be sure that it works with the setting of your wedding ceremony.

Other details to consider include the music, unity ceremony as well as the time of day that you choose to have your beach wedding ceremony. You should avoid having your wedding in the afternoon when it is hottest and aim to have it either early morning or at dusk to get the best photographs and happy guests. Many wedding ceremonies that take place on the beach also include music such as reggae with Caribbean type instruments, such as the steel drum or bamboo flute. Additionally many couples opt to perform a sand ceremony instead of a unity candle ceremony due to often windy weather that takes place by the beach.

For more information on how to create the perfect wedding ceremony or if you are in need of a wedding officiant, please contact us at Houston Minister Services or continue to view other articles in our Minster Services blog.

Custom Beach Wedding Favors from HansonEllis