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.