As retreat season ramps up into high gear, I have some thoughts for your planning committee:
We are always on the lookout for little remembrances or “giveaways” for our women’s events. I have mentioned before that bookmarks or magnets can sometimes be the easy way to give your women something that will remind them of the message of your event. This year, at our women’s dessert, we used chalkboards as a decorating theme throughout the venue. But we found this great “mini” chalkboard stand on which we wrote the theme and theme verse. We used a permanent chalkboard pen as opposed to real chalk that would easily wipe off. Aren’t they cute? And so affordable! Check out these mini-chalkboard stands! (affiliate link)
Take a look at one of our table centerpieces from our last retreat. Our retreat theme “Deeper Still” used ocean decor. This could be used for any retreat theme where you are decorating with an ocean or beach theme.
You may have to look closely, but the plastic table cloth actually looked like water. Then small blue translucent trays were filled with
sand and shells and two corked bottles which contained more sand and tiny shells as well as a rolled up “message” — thus a “message in a bottle.”
There are several similar bottles that can be found on the internet, but we especially liked these because they came with sand, tiny shells, the message paper and cork, plus a way to pull the message from the bottle. With an assembly line, they were easy to assemble.
I loved these because we were able to use them for multiple purposes at our retreat. As seen above, they were a significant part of our decor. Later in the retreat, we had an activity (which I will share in the coming weeks) where each woman chose a bottle and checked out the “message” for her inside the bottle. Finally, the bottle then became our retreat remembrance – something each woman took home at the end of the retreat. Isn’t it great to find a multi-purpose item like this?
This is a closeup of the little giveaway for our women’s event theme “Singing in the Rain.” It perfectly brought in the elements of an umbrella and “raindrops,” represented by the Hershey kisses. But note the stickers on he bottom of the kiss. Were you aware that there is a place where you can buy these personalized stickers at a reasonable price? We chose our theme verse to put on the bottom of the kisses. However, the products on this website could be used in so many ways to make a sweet giveaway for any women’s event. Check out www.ClassicCandyCovers.com.
All the new social media options can be overwhelming and confusing–as well as time-consuming! However, I want to mention that Pinterest can be a creative resource for events and retreats. For those of you familiar with Pinterest, you know it to be a source of millions of recipes, as well as creative ideas culled from the web about every topic imaginable–crafts, children’s activities, fashion, landscaping, and home decorating, to name a few. But one way I have found it helpful (once you have jointed Pinterest) is to do a search of either your theme or just “retreats” or “women’s ministry” in general. Many women have created boards of ministry ideas, and some can contain very helpful ideas, easily adapted to your needs.
For example, we recently had a women’s event themed “From Lemons to Lemonade.” The theme scripture was Romans 8:28. I searched “lemons” on Pinterest, and found a wealth of decorating ideas, centerpiece ideas, graphics and recipes that were helpful.