The MoBster Diaries

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mother of the Bride Advice: Part II

I know you've been waiting on the edge of your seats for the next installment of Mother of the Bride Advice. Well, wait no more, my dears. Here are a few more life-experiences to smooth your way along the bumpy run-up to the wedding.

Reception-invitation Advice: If you are going to serve your guests a meal in addition to mints, cookies, and wedding cake, make sure you put that on the invitation. Since Bride's wedding was at 5pm and the reception wouldn't start until around 6:30pm, we made the mistake of assuming that guests would understand that "Reception" would include a sit-down meal. We were wrong. A good handful of socially-aware attendees had made other dinner plans. While they did RSVP in the affirmative and they did show up at the wedding and reception venue, they left before the meal was served. All were lovely and apologized profusely for the misunderstanding, but we still paid for a lot of uneaten tenderloin and shrimp. So. On your reception enclosure card, put "Reception and Dinner" (or lunch or breakfast or whatever), not just "Reception" if you are serving your guests a meal. We learned that lesson too late, but the advice can certainly benefit those of you at the wedding invitation-stage of things.

"Hail, Hail the Gang's All Here" Advice: Instead of the traditional recessional for the mothers and fathers and grandparents, we asked our guests to stay in place at the church so that we could get a photo of all the wedding attendees. Of course, Bride, Groom, and their attendants recessed, but the rest of us just stayed put. Bride and Groom exited, came around through the Chapel, signed the obligatory paperwork with the priests, and returned to the church for one big ol' group picture. Now, you can't see everyone, and some folks slipped out for a smoke (I suspect) during this affair, but we now have a wonderful celebratory picture that we will always cherish.

Pre-wedding Attendant Care: Having been to two weddings where groomsmen fainted (it's always the groomsmen, isn't it?), we encouraged all attendants to A) eat breakfast/lunch and/or snack throughout the day, and B) not to drink alcohol before the wedding. We were lucky, granted, that all of Bride and Groom's attendants adhered to the request. I'm not sure what the groomsmen did (The Varsity?), but we had quite the food-fest up in our hotel room that doubled as hair and makeup headquarters. The girls brought fruit and veggie platters, homemade sandwiches, and snacks. No one was too nervous to eat. So keep the blood-sugar level up for Bride, Groom, and attendants, and no one will pass out on you. Or embarrass you in any other way. After all, isn't that what the reception's for?

More advice will come as time and thoughts permit.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Priestly Connection

It meant a lot to Bride and MoB that the priest who baptized Bride in August of 1983 was allowed to help with her wedding ceremony. When Kate was growing up, Harry was like a grandfather to her. In short, their connection is very strong. She was thrilled that he got to do wedding homily and the blessing of the rings.

The homily stressed the importance of humor and wonder in marriage. It was full of love. (And, no, he didn't write it down, so I can't post it here.)

Before the wedding I emailed Harry the picture of him holding Baby Kate after her baptism. His wife Allison remarked, "They both look so young!"

Well, granted, Kate has grown, but I don't think Harry's changed all that much over the past 25 years. At his suggestion, Bride and Priest had a picture taken at the baptismal font, where she'd been welcomed into the household of God back in 1983.

Ah, the circle of life!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mother of the Bride Advice, Part 1

Three weeks have passed since the big date, and MoB has had a bit of time to reflect on this whole wedding process. It's only right and proper that I pass along some of what I learned along the way.

First, keep good records. Store all contracts, estimates, and invoices in one place so that you can get your hands on them. Bride did a good job of this. All these things come in handy when a month or a week or a day out from the wedding, a vendor wants to stiff you for something not agreed upon or wants you to pay for something you've already taken care of. This dovetails into . . .

Warning #1: Vendors and others vital to your wedding process will - I repeat - will try to over-sell you stuff the closer you get to your Big Day. You may have signed off on venues, flowers, stationery, food and beverage, and so forth months before, but whoever you're paying money to will try their darndest to slip something over on you or guilt you into doing something you don't want to do. Guilt is big here. "Well, all the other brides are doing this-and-so . . . " "Everyone else does it this way . . . " "You're the first bride I've come across who doesn't want (fill in the blank) . . ."

Don't fall for it. It's your wedding, and if you don't give a flying flip about flowers or tablecloths or reception favors, do not get sucked in to feeling guilty about it. Do it your way. And if you've kept good records and have all your contracts at hand, hang on to them for dear life, wave them under the noses of people who gladly signed up with you months ago, and move on. Reception favors be damned.

Second, don't be shy about calling in the troops to help you pull this off. If they offer. Bride and MoB were refusing offers until the week before the wedding. Then, all bets were off. When someone asked what they could do to help, we warned them to be sure they were ready to do just that because we were accepting any and all offers. And you know what? Friends and family really do want to help. Elizabeth with the placecards (and apple cake!). Cindy, Jessica, and Kerry with the centerpieces and wedding programs. Dolores with the rehearsal "bouquets." And lots of others. Accepting help gave us occasion to talk and laugh and cut-up together. It saved us time and stress. Free and loving help is worth its weight in gold, if one had the gold to spend. (If no one offers to help, I guess you're on your own. Sorry.)

More advice coming soon. It's your wedding, honeychile!

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