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  • Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Joanne and I’ve been blogging for many years under the name The Simple Wife (you can see all of my old posts under the archives or by clicking on any of the categories that interest you). I love receiving comments from you and try to respond to each one personally. I hope you’ll visit often!

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Kim Feth

Is there a massage therapy school in the area? The students always need to practice on folks. Maybe the "winners" of some special drawing could get a free 30-minutes massage.

What about those little sample-sized bottles of a body spray? Sometimes just a little bit of a new smell is nice.

Do you have other folks helping out at the marriage retreat? What about someone to "babysit your cell, blackberry," etc. and take messages from them overnight so that if there's a true emergency at home you would be interrupted, but otherwise, you can't be distracted. Now, I'd pay for that service!

Definitely the candles.

Hope this helps,
Kim Feth

Meredith

Little notes or cards that had verses that pertained to marriage, forgiveness,love,etc.

I leave my husband what I call love notes. Sometimes they have words of encouragement, or how special he is to me and God.

If they have someone who is good at stamping or making them on the computer it would not cost that much.

Bobbi

Ooooo...I like your ideas....now I want to go! HA! I was going to suggest the topics to talk about...it's ridiculous how hard that can be sometimes!

Stephanie

I'm with Meredith on the verses...What about some sort of Ornament with the dates of the conference or theme verse on marriage as a reminder of the weekend.

Carrie

I would want something to remind me of what the purpose of the retreat was. Something that when I look at it weeks or months later I can recall how I was blessed by it and what I could do at that moment to continue to bless my marriage.

I guess my point is that I would rather see a strong, permanent reminder of the retreat in place of chocolates or other things that can be consumed and are gone forever. I personally like magnets, bookmarks, or something that can be easily tied into the theme or main message of the retreat.

Wendy

I love all of these ideas. I think they could even be put together as a Valentine bag for your hubby! On a similiar line as the conversation booklet, how about a little book of inexpensive date night ideas - both going out and staying in. Would be cute to be formatted like a little date coupon book.
- another ideas - small bottle of massage oil.

Helen at A Work of Heart

Hey Joanne,

Great question!

I don't know how many goody bags she will have to put together...but when Carl and I were an elder couple...I put together each couples gift boxes and I always had a really small budget but I wanted to make it special because this literally was the one tangible thank you each year.

My advice is that girls like pretty and guys like practical...so make the bags look nice but don't forget about the guys.

We always had a box of Altoids for each couple...that was at their place. Usually the box contained a piece of chocolate, or two special cookies...like shortbread dipped in chocolate, a candle, scriptures that related to the theme of the weekend and I liked to include a small gift certificate/card that would enable the couple to do something together post-retreat...one year I did a fun cupcake place another year I did Cold Stone Creamery...you can easily do this for like 5 dollars and not feel like you have scrimped. But you can even get one dollar Baskin-Robbin gift checks and even if it doesn't pay for the whole goody it is still a savings...

Trish

Perhaps a small couples devotional? You may be able to get a discount from a Christian bookstore if you buy them in bulk.

Jenny

Candles are a great idea- or some yummy soap- or massage oil. Also, we got notebooks and pens which were awesome. So fun.

Jen

Rob and I went to a retreat in Sandestin a while back. It was not with our home church but with my Mom's church. They had a pretty big budget, but some of the ideas could be scaled down. They definitely had the candles in the goody bags (and matches!), chocolates, snacky bags of cheezits, cheese crackers, etc, RC Sproul's book "The Intimate Marriage", scripture verses...

On a smaller budget, maybe you could have one or two "grand prize" goody bags that had a book of some sort, or something extra special. The rest of the things can be bought in bulk. My cousin is the secretary for the church, so she did the bags. I know that she got tons of things at Sam's.

Hope that helps!

gretchen

How about a fill in the blank "gift certificate" for/from each spouse. E.g. This entitles the bearer to a day of golf with no questions asked, a day off from mowing, a favorite dinner, a peppermint foot rub, an evening of wild passionate sex...
Anything.

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