Monday, August 22, 2011

Moms and Weddings, Part One

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. 


  1. All I can suggest is second hand stores that carry things like prom dresses or shopping online. I tried finding a dress to attend a wedding at our local mall, only to discover there were no such dresses in the stores. I'm not as familiar with sewing modern clothes to feel comfortable with helping with a wedding dress for the mother of the bride. If it were a medieval wedding, I'd so be your girl. lol

  2. All I can say is that "I WAS THERE". Sitting at the piano, I had the best view in the church. Gosh, Donna. That was a LONG time ago. Amy Knauth Cook

  3. Lovely. I so enjoy your reflections on life and the stories you share.

  4. It was always said in the South that you will have your own wedding when your daughter gets married. It's a good mom who will just let her daughter're a good mom.

  5. LOVED MY MOTHER and she was awesome (today would have been her 91st birthday) BUT at my first wedding, she bought my dress without asking! I couldn't hurt her by complaining, but I did not like it at all. Wore it anyway. Then I thought at least I can pick out my veil - NO, my future mother-in-law brought me one from a trip to her native Ireland and I couldn't hurt her by complaining, but I did not like it at all. Wore it anyway. Wedding was so-so. Marriage was so-so. Didn't last long. But the damn pictures last forever.