I love the story of how Mr. Cloud Nine and I met, but he doesn’t readily share it because it involves his mom. I worked at Children’s Hospital and his mom is one of the dietitians. Since Omaha is such a small world, we quickly realized that his mom and my mom go to the same hairstylist. So through their mom magic, they set us up. It was a complete blind date (I may or may not have Googled him). I was horribly sick, but already cancelled on him one time so I thought I should suck it up and go. Besides, what were the odds that I would like the dietitian’s son? Apparently pretty good, because we were on that first date for hours. First date turned into second date and we were quickly spending lots of time together. You can’t fight the mom magic.
We dated for about a year before we were engaged on December 6th. The engagement story I love — most of it at least. He took me to dinner at Crave in midtown and after dinner he suggested we go downtown to look at the Christmas lights. I became suspicious at this point because it was about -10 degrees out that night. I went with it though because I thought a proposal might be in the works. We got some hot chocolate and went to the Pedestrian Bridge. Now this is the part of the story I could do away with….we walked on the bridge and he acted like he was getting on a knee. Suddenly it wasn’t so cold. Just wait though. He acted like he stumbled and tossed something over the bridge. Huh? What? I was really confused. He got up and said, “I’m a horrible actor, just kidding I don’t even have the ring yet.” I’m sorry, what?
I was not happy. Really not happy. His idea was to act as if he stumbled and dropped the ring over the bridge to play a joke on me. Just a little tidbit about Mr. Cloud Nine: he is a HUGE prankster.
The ride home was silent. I was mad. We pulled up to my house and I stormed inside. I opened the door and my anger immediately turned into amazement. There were candles all over my house. Over 250 candles everywhere. It was like a scene out of a movie. I turned around and he was on one knee and asked me to marry him.
He worked with my mom so she could light all the candles while we were on the ride home. He didn’t think I would get so upset, but it definitely threw me off. He drives me crazy sometimes, but he did a pretty good job with this one. One memorable story.
Engagement date: December 6, 2013
Wedding date: August 16, 2014
Wedding & Reception venue: 1316 Jones St.
About me: I love to write but I don’t get to do it much anymore because sometimes life just gets in the way. I have lots of fun ideas to share, plus a whole lot of other fun stuff i get to try to accomplish while planning. We are a goofy couple and ultimately just want our friends and family to have a great time at our wedding. Mr. Cloud Nine is pretty hands-off when it comes to planning, but he chimes in when something is important to him like the band and the cake. He also asked not to wear any pink (does coral count? ha!) We are in our mid-30′s now so different things are important to us now. We’ve finally found each other so we want to celebrate big!
My wedding plan: I like to call the style of our wedding “traditional with a twist.” I like to have traditional elements, but I also want the special/quirky details that our guest will enjoy and remember. In the think tank currently are things like: Lithuanian torte, food truck, burger bar, sparklers, giant light-up letters, and Moscow Mules. Luckily my wedding planner can focus my crazy ideas into a cohesive party. We will have a lot of out-of-town guests, so the Old Market seemed like a great place to have the reception; lots of stuff to do and a cool part of Omaha to show off.
When I got engaged, back in the last century, I automatically turned everything over to my mother. Truly, it never crossed my mind to plan my own wedding.
As soon as we were engaged, my mom kicked it into gear. Seven months later, she pulled off the perfect wedding. She even got the rain to stop for the garden reception.
My mom really planned it all herself. From time to time, she would drag me somewhere to decide on something. But, she had it all under control. Early on, a friend advised, “I know it’s your wedding, but don’t get involved. Let your mom do what she wants and it will all turn out fine.” She was right.
This has an added benefit: my mother recalls that I was a delightful bride. Althought she hasn’t forgotten that I asked her a few days before the wedding, “What do you do all day when you aren’t planning a wedding?”
My uncle informed my husband that when asked for an opinion, he should just respond, “Whatever you want, dear.” Alas, he did not continue to follow this advice after the wedding.
So, thirty-something years later, my daughter announces that she is getting married. OK. I’m primed. I’m ready to kick it into gear. It’s my job to plan this wedding, right? Not so fast.
Guess what? The world has changed. Today’s bride doesn’t want to “be involved.” She wants to be in CHARGE. The groom is the one who is expected to “be involved.” As my husband reminded me repeatedly, “it is their wedding.” My rebuttal of “Yeah, but…” fell on deaf ears.
Both my daughter and I approached the wedding with certain expectations. She felt that since it was their wedding and it was taking place 500 miles away, in the town where she lived, she should orchestrate it … a perfectly logical point of view. Of course, that is injecting logic into a totally illogical situation.
I believed that since we were paying for the wedding, my vote superseded all others. This may be a more emotional point of view. A friend kept asking me, “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” Both! Being right makes me happy.
At one point, my son asked my husband how wedding planning was going. My husband responded, “There isn’t going to be a wedding. Your mother and sister will kill each other long before the wedding. So, one will be going to jail and the other one will be going to the cemetery.”
Fortunately, we did NOT kill each other. There were times that I thought she was “Bridezilla” and she thought I was “Mother From Hell.” We both might have been right. We both like being right.
So, if we had to do it all over again, which both of us swear we will never do, what would we do differently?
1. Try not to have any expectations.
2. When that doesn’t work, explain what you expect and LISTEN to what she expects. Try to understand their point of view.
3. Set a budget. A real budget. Check your expenses against the budget along the way.
4. Have a contingency budget for emergencies of for stuff that you really want that isn’t in the budget. This is the first that my daughter has heard that I did this. SURPRISE!
5. Be receptive to her opinion, even if you really think it is a stupid idea.
6. The Mother of the Bride doesn’t have to wear beige. I wore orange and my daughter approved.
7. Guess what? This a really emotional time. You both may have a tendency to overreact. It didn’t happen to either of us, but we have heard stories.
8. After you overreact, apologize. It helps — really.
9. Something ridiculous will happen. It will seem like a total disaster. And that’s the seed of the stories you both will tell over the years.
10. Have fun and enjoy the wedding.
It was a great wedding. My daughter did a fabulous job. The music, the venue, the food were all perfect. Her attention to detail paid off big time. Everyone had a great time. She was right about a lot of thins. And she even admits that I was right about a few things. It’s all good.
Kathy Koch Joyce is the mother of only one daughter, who notes that this is a nice piece of historical fiction. Her two sons plan to elope (not with each other!), as they can’t match the perfect wedding that their sister created.
Hello ladies. It’s my first official post, so I thought I’d go a little picture-crazy and talk about my wedding colors and what’s blowing up on pinterest right not — OMBRES! Ombre hair, cakes, dress — everything.
Those pro photographer, pro wardrobe-planner, airbrushed pictures online look pretty darn amazing, but let’s be real. That’s not me. I needed some dumbed-down pointers to make this ombre thing work out. Here’s my tips for making your ombre dreams come true.
1. Keep all your dresses the same length and same fabric. There’s a fine line between classy mismatched and….not sure the lights were on when you picked those. You can mismatch your dress styles, but it’s important they all have the same textures. I went for long and chiffon. These are four of the six dresses that have come in — all long and chiffon. Different styles for different smiles = perfectly mismatched.
2. Pick your shades. Easy, right? Not. I wanted purples. There are cool purples and warm purples that just don’t jive with each other. I also tried to keep all my bridesmaids dresses within one brand, which proved to be impossible. Take your time on picking out your shades. If you’re not finding enough swatches, don’t be scared to bring in a new brand of dresses so you can get the shades you need. I used a combination of Allure and Alfred Angelo colors.
3. Assign your shades to each bridesmaid. You want them to have an idea what shade they’ll be in before they shop for their dress style. We brought dress swatches to the suit store and found a tie option for the groomsmen to complement each color. The bouquet above is my fabric/brooch bouquet I ordered on Etsy. I wanted to have my bouquet as a keepsake and love the bling this bouquet offers.
4. Let your bridesmaids pick out their dress. Within reason, right? We all know they gotta stay long and chiffon, but I LOVE this idea. All my bridesmaids are different heights, shapes and styles. By letting them pick out their own dress shape, I’m hoping they can feel comfortable and confident on wedding day. And, as we all say, they can totally wear their dress again for other occasions! (although, I don’t think this ever happens in real life.)
I LIKE TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY There’s a time and place for tradition, but I like to shake a few things up here and there. Instead of a guestbook, we’ll be having two wishing trees. I’ve ordered two gold glitter-covered mini trees and some crystal garland to drape on the branches (keeping with my Christmas winter wonderland theme) and have wishing tags guests can fill out as they enter the ceremony — our version of a wedding Christmas tree. We’re also planning a literal knot tying in the middle of our ceremony. We will tie a fisherman’s knot, the strongest knot out there that only gets stronger the more tension you put on it, which is very representative of Mr. Student-Doc and I’s relationship. OBSESSED WITH MY FURRY CHILD Mr. Student-Doc and I have a dog named Malibu, who is a four-year-old Morkie (maltese + yorkie). She is truly part of the family and as such, she is going to be part of our big day. One of the many perks of the DoubleTree is that they are very dog-friendly. Malibu will be our flower-dog, escorted down the aisle by our Ring Bearer in her rhinestone-encrusted (duh!) collar (and leash) wearing a purple tutu. GATSBY BRIDE I fell in love with the Gatsby style as soon as I saw the movie. I ordered a beautiful custom Juliet Cap Cathedral-length veil from Etsy for the ceremony, another crystal-covered headpiece for the reception, some long, geometric earrings and a beautiful necklace and earring set for my bridesmaids. KEEPING WITH TRADITION I grew up in small-town Nebraska (population 4,000) and spent lots of time at my pastor’s home (his wife babysat me) and at church. I have so many pleasant memories of my church and the wonderful people there from growing up. My pastor has agreed to travel to Omaha to officiate our wedding ceremony.
We are always looking for more bride bloggers! If you think you’d be interested in joining our Chatty Brides team and writing about your wedding planning experience, sharing your theme, how you found you dress and just anything wedding-related, we’d love to have you. Just fill out this bride blogger application and send it to Heidi.
Well, we’ve heard a lot from brides on the blog, but this is the first time we’ve had a Mother of the Bride reveal her thoughts on seemingly silly suggestions from her daughter and how she dealt with each decision.
From the Mother of the Bride:
During the 15 months before my daughter’s wedding, wedding websites became the bane of my existence.
For brides, wedding websites are a treasure trove of ideas and looks, so that you can construct a “theme” or a “vision” for you wedding. For the Mother of the Bride, or “Muthahs” as my friend Jane refers to us, it is a wealth of stupid ideas and budget busters.
In fairness, this is not the case for all “Muthahs.” One of my college friends recently informed me that a sorority sister had made it on TheKnot.com (be still my heart). Her daughter had had a garden wedding and at the exact moment that the couple said, “I do,” hundreds of butterflies were released.
Evidently, the butterflies are kept in the freezer until a few hours before the wedding, then they get to defrost in their box. Then, at an opportune moment, strings are pulled, the box opens and the butterflies are released. Alas, TheKnot.com did not show a picture of the “freeing of the flies.” So, you will just have to imagine hypothermic butterflies hovering around the bride and groom.
My first encounter with these wedding websites was the flurry of e-mails from my daughter, featuring links to ideas that were creating her “vision.” When I received the picture of the clear tent with hundreds of colored ribbons sprouting from the center of the tent, I asked her, “Did you win the lottery?” as I could tell that our budget and her “vision” certainly were not going to mesh.
There are people who make sure that every detail is perfect. My mother and my daughter are those people. Regrettably, I am not one of them. The majority of my daughter’s ideas were wonderful, such as the venue, the music and the attire. Some of them, while interesting, fell into my “too much work for too little gain” category.
Some of the ideas that didn’t make it down the aisle were “Flower Dogs” and “S’mores.” My daughter and her husband have a golden lab and a doberman. While the dogs would be more than willing to wear a bow tie (Labrador) and a flower wreath (Doberman), the logistics proved too daunting. The S’mores as party favors were another matter. My daughter felt that individually wrapped S’mores would be the perfect party favors. I did not.
First of all, I am philosophically opposed to party favors, except for children’s birthday parties. Even then, it is something that usually finds its way to the trash or is forgotten in the rush to depart. Secondly, the last thing that I wanted to do before the wedding was individually wrap graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows in cellophane and ribbon. Third, who is going to stand by a fire in their good clothes and toast marshmallows at a wedding?
Right. I refused to participate in this folly, as I viewed it as a waste of time and money. At some point, the idea met with a timely death.
One idea that did make it was “the table seating ladder.” My daughter assigned her soon-to-be husband the task of painting his mother’s wooden ladder a lovely shade of blue (They both are great sports). Then we tied string to the top and anchored the bottom to the ground. We attached the seating cards with little, tiny clothespins. It looked cool for about five minutes, until the wind blew away the cards. At that point, chaos ensued as I had given the wedding planner the wrong list.
Due to a variety of reasons, we had prepared four versions of the seating chart. A word to the wise: erase all old seating charts when they become obsolete. My favorite guests were the two people who were at the wrong table and refused to go to their new assignment, as they liked where they were. I shot them — just kidding. It is poor form and for good reason that “Muthahs” don’t “pack heat” at their daughter’s wedding.
To my daughter’s credit, she pulled off her vision and every detail was perfect. Everything was beautiful and fun. But quite honestly, I could’ve lived without TheKnot.com.
Kathy Koch Joyce is the mother of only one daughter, who notes that this is a piece of humorous historical fiction. Her two sons plan to elope (not with each other), as they can’t match the perfect wedding that their sister created.