Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Moms and Weddings, Part Two

She's married.

I'm a mother-in-law.

I have a son-in-law.

I also have a house full of leftover food, reception decorations, wedding gifts and a hard drive full of photos waiting to be edited and shared.

It happens so fast. And like Liza Minelli's song, when it all comes true just the way you planned, it's a quiet thing.* Her smile as an infant, a toddler and every age along the way flashed through my mind along with every wish I'd ever had for her. And they all came true in that moment.

I did not take pictures during the ceremony itself, did not even have my camera with me then since I'd promised my daughter I would simply be the Mother Of The Bride. At times I have to choose whether to be a participant or an observer when do I have my camera with me and I confess I slipped into observer mode for a while during the reception.

But as I looked around the room at my brother and sister, Aunt Becky, nieces, nephews, cousins and all my extended family gathered there, I had to save the moment.

The last time so many of us had been together was for my mother's memorial service and I wondered then how well we would stay in touch with each other since Mom had been our communications hub, relaying the news from one corner of the family to another. While weeks and months have passed between emails and phone calls and an occasional birthday gets missed, we do love and enjoy each other and have stayed in touch pretty well. My sister, aunt and sister-in-law hosted a delightful bridesmaid's luncheon for my daughter the day before the wedding, filled with laughter and hugs. Then they showed up the next day ready to pitch in and help make this DIY wedding everything Becky and Andy hoped it would be.

I love my family.

I told my sister that it was just as well that my mother wasn't around for this one, though.  Mom liked to have all the details arranged well in advance whether she was planning a Sunday School lesson or a wedding. My daughter, Becky, is much more spontaneous. While some things had been prepared well in advance, other elements came together nicely the day before with assignments handed out to relatives and friends who were eager to help, as she knew they would be. That would have driven my mother batty!

But it gave us the opportunity to be participants

instead of just observers

To give something of ourselves to bring joy to Becky and Andy

who have given so much joy to us

To get to know each other

on all sides of this growing family

as we worked together to make memories that would last a lifetime.

*If you aren't familiar with the song, here's one of my favorite versions of it.


  1. Always keep that sense of family, Donna...and your eye as an observer. Good luck to Becky and Andy and all the best for the future.

  2. Beautiful in every way - the pictures too, even mom-o-bride couldn't have done better. Takes me back to my daughter's wedding (I think you know her???) My mom couldn't be there either, but Eden made sure there were touches of her everywhere, even to the Irises embroidered in the lace covering the couple as they took their vows (My mom's name was Iris.)

  3. The first two photos are single frames recorded by the HD camcorder I borrowed from our church that my husband set up at the back and left running during the ceremony. The other photos I took myself after the ceremony and during the reception. I can't wait to see the ones the professional wedding photographer took!

    Irises have a special place in our family, too. We had large purple and white and yellow bearded irises at the house where I grew up in Dallas. They came from cuttings from my grandmother's house in Georgia.

  4. Your emotion-filled words made me cry, as I read them to Marshall. Happy tears. Precious memories. So happy for ALL of you!

  5. Beautiful! As a photographer/practiced observer, you sure knew how to savor such a precious moment. Thanks for sharing, Donna.