Since the night I received the phone call that Andrew had asked my only daughter to marry, I knew this would be an interesting year for me. I have only one child: my smart, gorgeous, overindulged princess. We’ve always been close, but the journey to the wedding has in many ways brought us closer and in just as many ways revealed how different we truly are. During this planning process, I’ve learned a lot I never knew about weddings, a lot about my daughter, and to my surprise, a lot about myself. As the planning winds down and the wedding date approaches, I’d like to share some of the lessons I’ve learned as mother of the bride:
• The sight of your daughter in a wedding dress—any wedding dress—will bring you to tears every time even if you never actually cry, so bring tissues when you go shopping.
• You can care more than you think about the color and style of table linens. Go ahead and have fun having intense discussions about things you normally don’t think about at all. It’s surprisingly entertaining.
• Get yourself invited to the cake tastings—they’re the most fun. Don’t pass up caterer tastings, either: There’s some amazing food to be tried.
• Realize that your child is very different from you, and just because it isn’t important to you doesn’t mean it isn’t important to her. Pretend to care if you have to.
• Learn after some trial and error when to speak up and when to shut up.
• Don’t make any negative (or even mildly neutral comments) about anything for which a contract has been signed. It’ll send the bride into spasms of self-doubt.
• Make sure you have a common understanding of the budget, or you could find yourself in a screaming match in a venue parking lot.
• Corollary lesson to the above: Resist completely folding on the budget issue. There’s a compromise to be reached that’ll result in the perfect wedding for both of you.
• While you’ve always believed there isn’t anyone good enough for your daughter, trust her to know who the perfect guy is to spend the rest of her life with. Once you get to know him, chances are you’ll understand she’s right.
• Weddings are all about romance, pretty dresses, flowers, great food, and cake, so try and participate as much as you can without getting in the way of the bride. It’s fun for everyone, and you’ll become closer to your child than you ever could have imagined.
Lisa Marie, a local bride-to-be, writes every Friday about planning her wedding, which will be in Washington in July. To follow her adventures from the beginning, click here.