Celebrations, Fashion, Grandchildren, Grandmother

Final Update: The Wedding!

Laura from Balcony

I’ve been mulling for a few days…

What can I say about being Mother of the Bride that is

profound

practical

witty

and/or

enlightening?

I’m either in too much of a glow because things went well

or still so worn out from a frenetic week

to bestow wedding-changing MOB wisdom (if I even have any);

therefore, my best advice is this:

You’re the mom,

but she’s the bride.

This is her dream, not yours.

Trust her

when it’s time to select the MOB dress

B's Dress

and her own.

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Trust her instincts on the bridesmaids dresses, too, and her shoes with lucky blue bows.

Bridesmaid dresses

She gets final call on what her nephew sports.

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 Up or down with the hair?  The bride knows best.

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When it comes to her dad’s bow tie,

Martin and Cliff edit

the design of the cake,

Cake

the added touches to the back of her dress,

Laura and Matt Tasting Cake

the napkin fabric and the menu design,

Napkins

the paper lanterns to brighten the ceiling and the flowers to grace the tables,

Lanterns

she gets to decide because, after all, isn’t this the daughter who, when it was time to pick a groom, made an excellent choice?

Laura and Matt (2)

May they have happy days, festive nights, and in time, the pitter patter of energetic little feet.

But don’t tell the bride I mentioned that last pitter patter part.

I promised her I’d trust her instincts on that, too.

Bald Head Island

Laura and Matt were married on June 1 in the chapel on Bald Head Island off the coast of North Carolina.  Wedding photos courtesy Matron of Honor Katherine Younger and wedding guest and blog reader, Lisa Wolfe.

Celebrations, Children

Wedding Update: Advice for the Back of the Church

Me and Dad

Years ago, my girls and I watched a TV show called  A Wedding Story. 

One day, when Kath had a friend over, I heard her announce:  “Listen to my mom during the show. She’s going to pick at everything. She thinks the only good wedding ever was her own.”

Not true!

Well at least not all the way true.

But isn’t it sort of okay for a bride to be partial to her own wedding?

Now it’s Laura’s turn.

I’m resisting giving lots of last minute advice.

And as mother of the bride, I won’t be there at the very last minute anyway.

Hopefully, I’ll be in my seat in the front pew.

However…

My last minute advice would be twofold:

Put your bouquet at your waist and keep it there.

Brides often carry their bouquets too high, covering the bodice of their lovely gown.

(I made this mistake, which proves, once and for all, that my wedding was NOT perfect.)

My other piece of advice is this:

The time at the back of the church is a dad’s moment too.

Remember the cool bike in fourth grade.

The Duke jacket I thought cost too much.

The checking out colleges trips.

The emergency earring repairs.

Right before you start down the aisle, say something sweet to your dad.

If I could sail back to August 20, 1977, that’s just what I would do.

Candace & Dad 2

Top Photo:  My dad helping me out of the car at my wedding in Towson, Maryland.

Bottom Photo: The mother of the groom-to-be with her father at the back of the church in Durham, New Hampshire some years ago.  Note that the bride is holding her bouquet correctly!

In some traditions, both parents walk their daughter down the aisle. To those daughters, I say, “Double your chance to say something sweet!”

Celebrations

Wedding Update: Showers and the Sisterhood!

A bride and  her mom.

Laura and Mom (2)

Presents.

Shower

A fun game that gets everyone thinking about marriage and love and weddings and the years ahead.Three of Us

Flowers in the wedding colors on a table splashed with more color.

Flowers

Chocolate and berries.

Strawberries

Sandwiches, oh so dainty and ladylike.

Cucumbers

Punch, gently spiked.

Punch

Cake!

Cake

Bridesmaids and sisters-in-law-to be.

Chelsea and Laura

And most of all, the good wishes and wise advice of  the sisterhood, women young and old.

The sisterhood comes out in enthusiastic force for showers!

Thanks to my friends Lisa and Judy and Gail, who put on this festive shower for Laura, and to the friends who joined us with gifts and good wishes. I’m sorry we didn’t capture your pictures.

And to the Shower Sisterhood Universal I say, “Cake and punch and advice forever!  Hooray!”

Any shower stories to share?

Slice of Cake

With thanks to my blogging daughters, Katherine and Laura for letting me use their photos. I can hardly bear to look at that cake. That’s how delicious it was.

Celebrations

Wedding Update: Invitations! (and a Minted Giveaway)

Save-the-Date

When your daughter is planning her wedding, your thoughts often go back to your own big day.

Holy Matrimony!  Have weddings and wedding products changed since then!

Check out the festive invitations you can find at Minted.com

Thirty-some years ago, non-traditional invitations were just coming into fashion.

But my mom and I stuck to tradition and what we thought was proper:  engraved invitations on cream colored paper.

Years later, they seem oh so boring :

Wedding Invitation

We thought the butterfly stamps made the RSVP envelope look festive. This was as cutting edge as we got:

RSVP

Nowadays you send out Save the Date cards too.  (A quite practical innovation, especially for a destination wedding.) Laura had a wonderful time designing the one in the top photo  from the selections at Minted.

Although the bride won’t let me show you her actual wedding invitations yet, I can promise you they bear no resemblance to my cream colored invites.

A few days ago, I met another mother of the bride.

It’s always fun to compare notes.

“All I  asked of her,” the mom said, drawing out her wedding words, “is that she use traditional invitations.”

Not me.

I’m rolling with the times.

The more festive the better!

Giveaway:  Minted sells all sorts of colorful and creative paper products from invitations to journals to note cards to party decor. They’re offering one Friend for the Ride reader a fifty dollar credit toward your next order. No other purchases required.

To enter the giveaway, simply post a comment by April 10 saying that you’d like to win. Winner will be chosen at random.

Invitations Below: If I could pick my wedding invitations all over again, here are some I’d consider  from Minted.

MIN-24P-INV-001_A_PD

MIN-SC1-INV-007B_A_CP

MIN-57P-INV-007B_A_CP

MIN-8J0-INV-001_A_PD

MIN-J88-INV-007B_A_CPMIN-11Q-INV-011O_A_CP

MIN-7V5-INV-007B_A_CP

MIN-8J9-INV-007B_A_CP

MIN-01P-INV-007B_A_CP

MIN-AQ1-INV-007B_A_CP

Celebrations, Menopause

Peekaboo: The Wedding Dress Revealed!

Crinoline

Not.

Just a trick to lure you into reading my post.

Won’t do it again, promise!

But this puff of underskirts is all the bride would permit me to show you.

Actually, she barely agreed to that much.

The dress is sitting in its long, important bag on her childhood bed.

Duckie stands guard.

Duckie Stands Guard

A brand new dress.

A not so new duck.

And love swirling around in all sorts of ways.

Aging, Celebrations, Children, Fashion, Menopause

White Lace and Promises: The Hunt Is Over!

Five cities.

Ten stores

And about sixty dresses.

But there was one Laura just kept thinking about.

She first tried it on in Atlanta, where she lived for the summer.  A store in Denver carries the dress, so she tried it on again while vacationing there.

Once settled back in Durham for the fall, she arranged for a loaner to be sent to a store about two hours away, one of only two stores in North Carolina to carry this particular designer.

Third time’s a charm, and if she liked it, this would be THE DRESS.

She stood in front of me, a cloud of white.

Beautiful!

I gave it my mother of the bride major thumbs up.

“Are you sure?” she asked.

“Yes.”

“I guess this is it,” she said, spreading her hands over the skirt. “This is the dress.”

But…

My daughter is a shopper’s shopper.

She gazed around the room.

This store stocked dresses she hadn’t seen in any other wedding store.

“I’d like to try on just a few more,” she said to the saleswoman.

The woman returned with a fluff of dresses.

But then the 26 -year-old shopper’s shopper shook her head.  “I changed my mind.”

“So you don’t want to try these?” the woman asked.

“I don’t want to get confused. I love this dress.”

Laura turned to me.  “Do  you think I should try them on?”

If she tried on more dresses, the hunt wouldn’t be over, yet.

Sitting in the chair and watching your daughter model wedding dresses is about as fun as it gets.

You don’t have to stuff yourself into any crazy corsets. Instead you get to live the experience through a younger version, sort of, of yourself, with better skin and body and teeth and hair and who knows what else.

I took in a small breath.

My last child to be married.

My last chance to give a motherly opinion on matters of tulle and lace.

My last opportunity to comment on how the bosoms look with the neckline or the flow of the skirt or the length of the train.

The dress is gorgeous.

“No,” I said. “Get this one.”

And so the hunt, is, sigh, over.

Dress details to come after the June, 2013 wedding. The groom-to-be doesn’t spend much time on menopause blogs, but there’s no sense taking any chances.

Celebrations, Menopause

Thirty-five Years!

Wow. Thirty-five years. That’s a long time!

If someone asked me the secret to a long and happy marriage, being one who likes to give advice, I suppose I could expound a bit.

But I think the real key is to celebrate everything you can from the baby’s brilliant first word to the first spring night when it’s warm enough to eat supper on the porch.

Oh and start off eating cake with buttercream frosting and keep buttercream on the permanent to-do list.

Happy celebration of everything good and happy in our lives and yours!

Photos:  Cliff and I were married on August 20, 1977 at Divinity Lutheran Church in Towson, Maryland, followed by a garden reception at my home. The figures on the cake were also on my mom and dad’s cake. My girls turned them down. Too old-fashioned.

Laura, who is wedding dress shopping, did consider wearing my dress, which pleased me. She’s decided  there are some other styles she prefers though. She wants a dress to change into for the dancing and suggested we cut mine off for her to wear then. I said no. My friends Gail and Judy say yes. Opinions?

The photo at the top was taken by Katherine in her living room two Thanksgivings ago.