39 days until the wedding!
Another hurdle has been successfully jumped! Thanks to the magic of the Internet, I was able to browse hundreds of dresses before settling on two appropriate choices from Nordstrom. I tried both of them on for Christina and she chose her favorite….a lovely black dress with a beaded bodice and flowing below-the-knee length skirt….perfect for the mother of the bride who does not wish to make a bold fashion statement or call attention to her figure (such as it is).
There are no feathers, ribbons, bows or frothy lace.
It is not dowdy or matronly.
It’s just right!
Speaking of dresses, here’s another true story from my days as an event coordinator:
I had been working with a bride and her mother for months, making sure that all of the preparations for the wedding ceremony and reception were in place. During our many meetings, I noticed that as the wedding day drew closer, the mother of the bride was becoming increasingly emotional and agitated, picking fights with her daughter about flower arrangements, seating charts and what the sunlight would look like in the photographs if the ceremony went too long. The list of her worries seemed to be growing by the day, and as was typical for my job description, I was more of a peace-keeper/negotiator/calming voice of reason than an event planner.
I kept a careful eye on the bride, who seemed to be doing a lot of eye-rolling and biting back of her comments as her mother went over her checklist of concerns at each meeting. It was apparent that this bride was in the passenger seat of her own wedding, and mother was steering the bus in frustrating little circles all over the map.
Little did I know the true dynamics behind all of this drama…..but I was about to receive a startling education on some of the stark and unpleasant realities of human nature.
It was the afternoon of the wedding and the guests began arriving at the Inn for the ceremony which was to take place outdoors in the garden by the river. Some family members trickled in, the groom and his best man arrived and as the time of the wedding grew closer, I began to wonder where the bride and her mother were. Just as I was beginning to become truly concerned about staying on schedule, I saw a woman approaching in a very low-cut white lace dress and hat with a short veil. From a distance, I assumed it was the bride, but as she got closer, I saw with horror that it was her mother, smiling sweetly, greeting guests and pulling the groom by the hand to meet relatives from Kansas.
As I watched, it became apparent that mother had a real thing for the groom. She was flirting and giggling, clutching tightly onto his arm as she tried to totter around the garden in her too-high heels that were sinking into the soft grass.
After observing this spectacle for a few minutes, I went to the lobby to see if the bride was there, waiting for the ceremony to begin. Indeed she was, standing silently in her lovely dress (also white lace) and short veil with a pinched look on her face that confirmed everything I suspected…..she had not known beforehand what her mother was going to wear or that she was going to do her level best to out-shine her daughter on her wedding day. No wonder those pre-wedding planning sessions had been such an uphill climb….mother was determined to have this event be all about HER….and since she was without a husband at this point in her life, her daughter’s fiancée would do quite nicely, thank you very much.
The ceremony proceeded as the bride and groom agreed to be wedlocked in holy matrimony, and all the while, mother was dabbing tears from her eyes with her gaze riveted on the handsome groom, nodding as the minister was delivering his words of loving wisdom and silently mouthing the words “I do” along with her daughter as she spoke her vows. From where I stood on the sideline, I could see this entire disturbing scenario unfolding and grew increasingly uncomfortable at the thought of what was going to happen at the reception as the champagne flowed and decorum was tossed aside like yesterday’s underwear.
Because it was a small wedding, the seating arrangement for dinner was informal. Mother had somehow convinced her daughter that she should sit on the other side of the groom during the meal…..and to the casual observer, it would have appeared that this young man just married two women in nearly identical dresses, except for the fact that mother had chosen to show off her ample bosom with an inappropriately plunging neckline.
The liquor flowed freely and mother rapidly switched gears from champagne to wine to shots of tequila, barely touching her meal. The bride was doing her best to ignore her mother who was tickling the groom’s neck with a long-stemmed rose and making what appeared to be naughty comments into his ear when nobody was looking.
The problem was that EVERYONE was looking.
The relatives from Kansas tried to distract mother by pulling her off of the groom and offering her cups of hot coffee. The groom’s father (who had been consuming far too many martinis) decided to get into the act by doing his rendition of dirty dancing with the bride’s mother while his own wife took long walks outside “to get some fresh air”.
It was quite unsettling to observe these goings-on, but I was marginally comforted by the fact that this ugly spectacle would have to move to another venue NOT overseen by me at 10:00 p.m. when the Inn closed for the night.
I lost count of how many times mother mischievously clinked her own glass with a spoon and then kissed the groom….not quite on the lips, but close enough. The bride wore the disenchanted look of someone who knew she would never win the war but was expected to show up for battle, anyway.
I was never really sure how the groom felt about all of this attention from his new mother-in-law, but I can tell you that he didn’t seem to be resisting her advances very strongly. There was much gossip and whispering amongst the guests about this frightening show of affection, but no one ever stepped forward to put a stop to it.
I don’t know what became of these people. Mother’s credit card went through, and the event was successfully paid for that night, so I had no need to follow up after the wedding. To this day, I am an adamant supporter of the rule that the ONLY one who is allowed to wear white to a wedding is the bride!