When I was planning my wedding I lived 4 hours away from my mom. This proved to be a good thing. I recall several conversations that went something like this:
Mom: Have you chosen your flowers and talked to a florist yet?
Me: Not yet, Mom.
Mom: Well, what about your colors, have you picked your colors?
Me: No, Mom, I've been a little busy here.
Mom: Have you even registered your china?
Me: No, Mom, I'm trying to pass my Soviet Foreign Policy class at the moment.
Mom: Well, people are going to start asking and you really have to –
Me: Mom, all I really have to do is show up with Dub and the preacher and the rest is gravy!
While I was busy trying to finish my last three semesters of college and graduate, my mom made my wedding dress. I remember showing her a picture in a Bride's magazine and saying “I want something like this.” She held up a couple of pattern pieces to me to check the size one weekend when I came home and the next time I came home it was finished. It fit perfectly and was exactly what I wanted. She made my going away outfit, too.
My mother and my sister also took care of all our flowers, buying silk flowers and supplies at Michael's and making all boutonnieres for the men and the bouquets for the bridesmaids, too. My bouquet was also made of silk flowers but we had a local florist put that one together.
I hear DIY weddings are all the rage these days. We just did it that way because it was cheaper.
Now my daughter and her fiance are working on their own DIY wedding. Hardly a day goes by without some discussion of wedding plans with someone in my family. And each new discussion reminds me of my mother and I miss her all over again, wishing she were here to help. She'd make sure no detail was forgotten, no checklist left unchecked and she would have had the time of her life doing it all.
My daughter lives about an hour away and I see and talk with her frequently. I often catch myself wishing I could do more to help with her wedding plans, although I know she wouldn't want me to feel that way. I'm usually the geek in the back of the room running the audio equipment at special events or the photographer documenting it all, not the one you'd want to consult about wedding planning details, anyway, so it's just as well.
I feel like all I can do for my daughter is to stand on the sidelines and cheer her on, which is probably the best thing I can do for her, all things considered. Well, that and try to find something to wear to this shindig that looks more like the mother of the bride than my jeans and Chucks.