The MoBster Diaries

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Rules of Engagement

Well, I'm still trying to figure out what they are. I'm slowly getting into the swing of reading wedding stuff online and looking for guide books that might be helpful. Weddings are a lot more complicated today.

There was some comfort to be found in rigid rules of wedding etiquette. The old tried-and-true didn't give many options, from invitations to reception. You did things 1, 2, 3 - no variation. The rules were in black and white, and you followed them to the letter.

But now, well, seems everything's up for grabs. Engagement party. Engagement party? We didn't have engagement parties, so what's supposed to happen at one? Here in New York, you're expected to bring a present to an engagement party. Surely not. That just seems graspy and greedy to me. I picture a small, intimate gathering - food, wine, toast the impending marriage - badda-bing. Am I missing the point?

Favors. Favors? For whom? I get the idea of gifts for the bridesmaids and groomsmen, but I've seen suggestions for MoB, MoG, FoB, FoG - please! Why would you need to give gifts and presents to the parents? And favors for the wedding attendees? Lord, aren't we feedin' and waterin' 'em? Here, take a napkin with the couple's name on it. There's your favor!

I don't know. I guess I need to do more reading about what's au courant before getting settled on anything. I think I'll head for Miss Manners (Judith Martin), since she usually tells it like it is.

Any wedding books I shouldn't miss? (And, no, I haven't a clue as to who the couple is in the old-timey photo.)

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posted by MaryB at | 2 Comments

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Wedding Planner Blues

The search is on for a suitable wedding planner for the Big Day. Wedding planners weren't around back when my wedding took place. Or maybe they were, but I don't know anyone who had one. It was usually the mama's job to take care of the details - with the bride-to-be, of course - but things are different today.

The MoBster still plays a key role, but with chirruns marrying a little later - Kate's 'way more mature at 24 than I was when I went through this at 22 - and having been out on their own longer, an impartial professional is not a bad idea. Plus, today's wedding planners have a wealth of resources and contacts that the average Jane doesn't have.

Another reason for a planner is that I am in New York and Kate (and the wedding) is in Atlanta. I can only do so much via phone or during brief visits to my hometown. So hiring someone to help with the reception site and catering options will help all of us.

The problem is finding the right person. It's rather like searching for the right therapist, I guess. Very few are perfect fits, so you have to keep searching until the most compatible person presents her/himself.

Anyone out there work with a wedding planner? Any tips on finding the right one? Help!

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posted by MaryB at | 4 Comments

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Makin' a list, checkin' it - oh - any number of times

Ring. Check. Date. Check. Church. Check.

But now we have to get down to the real nitty-gritty. That's right, folks. The guest list. This thing's 14 months away, but we can't move forward on anything budget-wise until we know how many people are on The List. And let's face it, it's all about the budget. OK, it's all about the budget and love, of course, but we don't need a guest list for love, now do we? Until we have the head-count, though, we can't even begin to look at some of the major expense items, like the reception. Ai-yi-yi!

The good news is that the wedding website Kate's using, The Knot, has a handy-dandy database guest list tool that lets us go in an add all sorts of information. So in addition to the usual names and addresses, we can sort by out of town guests, children, and so forth. We can even add our own categories. I'm thinking of adding: Heavy Drinker, Over-eater, and Insufferable Bore. Whadaya think?

The other good news is that we're almost there, I think, on the guest list. We need to spend a few days letting names sink in, or more appropriately, pop up. I'm sure we're forgetting someone important, but we have a solid start. We're trying to keep the number low enough so that guests won't have to brown-bag it to the reception.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

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posted by MaryB at | 6 Comments

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Fall Wedding Date Dilemma

And the date is: Saturday, October 18, 2008! The church is officially booked. Now all we have to worry about is . . . football.

Of all the concerns in choosing an autumn wedding date in the South, the greatest is the everlasting football conflict. This is no small thing. Woe be the bride and groom who choose a date that corresponds with a big college game.

We are in a double-jeopardy situation since All Saints' Church in Atlanta is just a couple of blocks from Georgia Tech and right across the street from The Varsity, a perennial food hangout for pre- and post-football crowds. Make that hoards. If October 18th hits the same day as a home game for Tech, then getting to the church on time might be a problem. Oh, dear.

To make things even harder, the Atlantic Coast Conference, of which Tech is a member, doesn't release its 2008 football schedule until January 2008, or so the website says. We'll just have to wait and see. And sorry, all you Tennessee and Georgia fans (and you know who you are!) - I can't worry about your football schedule unless you happen to be playing Tech on the Big Day.

At this point, we can only keep our fingers crossed that Saturday, October 18 isn't a Ramblin' Wreck home game. Otherwise, I guess the wedding colors will have to be yellow and black.

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posted by MaryB at | 2 Comments

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Mother of the Bride Lesson #1: It ain't like it used to be

This is what the Mother of the Bride business looked like in 1973. But I have to confess that here and now in 2007, it's all new to me.

Another confession: I have not spent a moment's time thinking about what my daughter's wedding day would be like in the whole of her 24 years. Honestly. I spent more time imagining her baptism when I was carrying her those 9+ months. (The baptism turned out quite nicely, if you're wondering.)

As she grew up I pictured her doing lots of things - starring in school plays, hosting various birthday parties, attending camp, getting ready for college. But I can't remember ever daydreaming about her walking down the aisle in a big white dress. I never doubted she'd do it; she's gorgeous and dramatic - perfect Here-Comes-The-Bride material. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that she'd have her own opinions about how everything would happen, so I just left the bride-dreams up to her.

But now it seems I need to make up for lost time. If all goes as planned, the big day will happen sometime in October 2008, which gives me about 14 months to catch up.

And here's the first thing I've learned: the whole wedding game is really different from when I was a bride 34 years ago. I'm having to bring myself up to speed on today's rules (or lack thereof) of wedding etiquette and mores. Wedding planners, save-the-date cards, the size of the bridal party, reception expectations, online bridal registrations - it's a long, long list that needs my immediate attention.

I'm just getting started. Let's see if I make it from here through the Big Day with grace, sanity, and a few coins left in my pocket. And on top of everything, I'm having a hard time believing I'm old enough to be a MoB. Oh, dear!

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posted by MaryB at | 4 Comments