I just had a long chat with my one of my former brides who is also one of my daughter’s friends. I met her when she was in the midst of her Goth phase: safety pins, dog collars, spiked hair, etc. Initially, I was a bit fearful that she’d be a bad influence on my beloved daughter, but quickly learned that a heart of gold lay under her every-parent’s-nightmare disguise.
The Goth phase passed and soon she was engaged. She and her mom were tireless in their efforts to make her wedding the event of the century – and it was. Even though I fashioned the wedding gown and bridesmaids’ dresses, I wasn’t involved in any of the other preparations and had only a vague idea of what to expect. The ceremony was beautiful, and the reception was extravagant and fun. Even to my discerning eye, there didn’t seem to be a single flaw in the whole production.
Now that Sara and I are planning a wedding, we have her on speed-dial. She encouraged us not to stress over minutiae because many of those oh-so-important little touches ended up meaning nothing to her. In fact, she couldn’t even remember what her invitations looked like and they had sweated and toiled over the color, the font and the style. I was glad to hear a bride echoing much of the advice I’ve offered in my book.
She also warned me that despite our good relationship, Sara and I were bound to come to blows over something. I said, “Really? I don’t think so. Sure we’ll bicker, but I can’t picture us yelling at each other.”
She recounted an argument she and her mother had at their final floral appointment, 8 weeks before The Big Day. Apparently there was a suggestion involving: “flowers”, “shoving” and someone’s “derriere”. Neither one of us could stop laughing for at least 10 minutes.
Frankly, I found it hard to believe that anyone as sweet as her mother could have been driven to that point. It did, however, make me realize that even I might fall prey to the stress monster and lose my cool. No, it’s not that I’m such a saint, but this isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve been involved in the wedding industry for 30 years. Of course, this is my daughter’s wedding, so all that experience probably isn’t worth much. I vowed to take an extra helping my own advice and encouraged my daughter to do the same. Will either one of us be scarred for life if the linens are the wrong shade of cream? Or if the place cards are oval instead of square? No, definitely not, but if I’m too controlling or she’s too obsessive, we could both be apologizing for decades.
The engagement period is the ultimate estrogen extravaganza. Let’s hope all brides and their mothers enjoy it to the fullest and remember that a wedding is not about the packaging it’s about the love inside.