Wedding Moments

img_0566The big day finally came last Saturday, and my son is now officially married to the lovely young woman he has been dating for the last several years.   People have been asking me, “How did the wedding go?” and I answer, honestly if vaguely, “Very well, thank you.”  The thing is, my memories of that day are jumbled images that are all mixed up together in my mind.  I’ve always been told I’m a bit of a scatter-brain, and I guess this proves it. But that’s okay, because all of the images are good ones.

I remember waking up on the morning of the wedding and immediately checking to see if the weather forecast of a cool but sunny day was correct.  It was, which meant that it was a perfect Fall day for the outdoor ceremony.  I remember getting my hair done later that morning, and telling the stylist to be very generous with the hair spray so that my hair wouldn’t be drooping by that evening.  I believe my exact words were, “Use enough so that if I walk into a brick wall, the wall will be dented but my hair won’t.”  And she did. I think I finally washed the last of it out this morning.

img_2001I remember seeing my daughter-in-law in her wedding dress for the first time and how incredibly beautiful she looked,  but also thinking how lucky I am that my son chose to marry someone who is even more beautiful on the inside.   I remember seeing my son, all dressed up in his suit and tie and wondering exactly when my energetic, loving and creative little boy turned into such a handsome, intelligent and caring young man.  (I know I’m bragging here, but I’m a mother, and that’s one of the perks.  It makes up for all those years of dirty diapers and sleep deprivation.)

I remember blinking back a few tears during the ceremony, and not even being sure why, because I felt nothing but happiness at that moment.  Later, during the cocktail hour, I remember greeting so many friends and family, and feeling so grateful for each and every person who came to share the day.  I remember being nervous right before the mother and son dance, because I rarely dance and never like to be the center of attention.  But I followed my blogger friend Jodi’s advice and simply focused on my son, and enjoyed it so much that I was actually just a little sorry when it was over.  Who knew?

Once everyone was dancing, there was so much to notice I could hardly keep track.  I was touched when my son-in-law asked my mother to dance, and impressed with their moves on the dance floor.  I remember trying to follow along in a line dance, being glad I was at the back of the group, and my surprise when they all suddenly did an about-face and I found myself front and center.  (I have since learned that where you want to be in a group dance is in the exact middle, sandwiched in between tall people on all sides.)  I remember watching in awe as my son (who hates to dance) danced not only with his new wife, but with his grandmother, his friends, and (briefly) with his cousin Travis.

I remember posing for many photos, some serious and some silly, and texting a few to dear friends who were not able to attend the wedding, because we wanted to find a way to include them.  But mostly, I remember looking up to see my son, my daughter, my son-in-law and my new daughter in-law taking a group photo and thinking, “That’s my family now.  Those are my kids.”  And I couldn’t have been happier…..

Wedding Dance

I have long been convinced that the world is divided between people who enjoy being the center of attention and people who hate being the center of attention.  Both my son and I are in the second category, as are most members of my family.  Additionally, neither my son nor I like to dance and we most especially don’t like to dance if other people are watching.  Which means that we have a bit of a dilemma on our hands, since his wedding is just a little over a month away and that means we are going to be expected to do the traditional mother/son dance at the reception.

My son has already informed me he doesn’t want to do the mother/son dance, and I completely understand why he feels that way.  I know that the dances are a way of giving the parents of the couple who are getting married a special time with their son or daughter on this very important day, and I admit that I would like to have that moment with my son.  I just don’t see why the tradition has to be limited to dancing.  There are other options, in my opinion.

0467-2Personally, I like the idea of a mother/son cake eating.  At some point during the reception my son and I could sit down at a table together and enjoy a piece of wedding cake.  It would be that special “mother and son moment,” and I would even have a chance to pass on some valuable marriage advice, such as “the wife is always right.” (That one has served me well, lo these many years.)  I don’t think we’d even mind if others watched while we were enjoying our cake, as both of us are actually good at cake-eating.

Sadly, I doubt very much if I’ll be able to talk anyone into going along with my idea, so that brings me back to the question of whether or not we will be doing the mother/son dance.  For a long time, I agreed with my son and thought that I would really rather not do the dance at all, especially when I wasn’t sure if the bride and her father were going to be doing their traditional dance.  But they are doing the dance, and I know it will be a beautiful memory for both of them.  There’s something very special about the wedding of a son or daughter, and I think the tradition of the dance is meant to acknowledge that.

So while I am not a good dancer and I know I will be nervous with just my son and I out there on the dance floor, I have decided that I would like to do the mother/son dance at my son’s wedding.  I will search for a song that is very, very, easy to dance to and that is also (and more importantly) very, very, short.  I may even ask the DJ to dim the lights so that people sitting a few tables away won’t be able to see us.  But I will do the dance, because I do want to have that moment with my son and to publicly acknowledge how happy I am that he is getting married and that his fiancé is going to be an official part of our family.

Now I just have to figure out a way to break the news to my son……

Wedding Memories

IMG_0615When my daughter’s fiancé first told us he was going to propose, I was very happy and excited for her, right up to the moment I realized I was going to have to help plan and host the wedding, at which point the panic set in.  I just couldn’t imagine that we would be able to pull together all the little details of such a huge event (whatever happened to the days when a wedding meant a quick ceremony in the sanctuary, followed by cake and punch in the church basement?) even knowing that my daughter is a very organized person who would be doing most of the work herself.  Multi-tasking has never been my strong point, and in weddings, the devil is definitely in the details.  There were many times in the past year when I thought herding fifty cats would have been much easier.

But we did it.  My daughter got married last Saturday, and all the important things went according to plan.  The weather was perfect, everyone was where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there, the ceremony was beautiful, and the reception was fun.  I had been told that, after all that planning and work, the day would just fly by, and that was so true.  I really don’t have a strong, clear memory of it that I can share when people ask, “How did the wedding go?”

IMG_0666What I do have are a series of mental pictures of the highlights of the day.  First, I remember how beautiful my daughter looked when she first put on her dress in the chapel of the church, and how proud I was when she walked down the aisle with her father.  After the ceremony, I remember watching everyone gather in the front of the church for family pictures, and I remember thinking how lucky the bride and groom were to have such a large, loving family to support them in their marriage.

I remember the slight panic I felt during the cocktail hour, as I stood on the edge of the crowded room and realized that I needed to circulate and greet the guests.  I much prefer to stay “behind the scenes” at large social gatherings, working quietly to make sure everything is going well, and I am never comfortable in large crowds.

Later, when we were seated in the ballroom and they introduced the wedding party as they came in, I remember the precious sight of my son (a groomsman) walking in with a bridesmaid on his left arm while holding the hand of the little Junior Bridesmaid on his right.  And then my daughter and her new husband came in, and I realized that all the planning, work and money had been worth it, just for that moment alone.

There are lots of other special memories:  the toasts, the first dance, seeing my eight-five year old mother dancing to some modern song with my nephew (as one of my friends told me later, “your mother still has the moves!”), and finally, everyone out on the dance floor for the final song, dancing and singing along to Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places.”  (I knew my daughter would work a country song in there somewhere.)

I firmly believe that every bride is beautiful on her wedding day, just as every groom is handsome.  I also firmly believe that true beauty comes from within, and what made my daughter and her new husband so pleasing to look at had nothing to do with their physical appearance, and everything to do with the way they kept looking at each other throughout the day.  The happiness and the love for each other I saw on their faces made them a very beautiful couple, and that’s a beauty that will, hopefully, stay with them for the rest of their lives ….

Wedding Hopes

I usually write a blog post on Sunday, but since this Sunday happens to be the day after my daughter’s wedding, I decided I’d better write it now, and simply publish it on Sunday. And since I have no idea how my daughter’s wedding will actually go, I decided that I’d write about how I hoped it went instead.

We had a few glitches this past week, but I’m hoping that the wedding ceremony went ahead as planned and that it was both beautiful and meaningful.  I’m also hoping I didn’t do anything to embarrass my daughter, like tripping down the aisle, knocking over the unity candle, or crying during the ceremony.  (All very real possibilities, trust me.) The ceremony is the heart and soul of any wedding, and I hope it was everything my daughter and her finance wanted it to be.

IMG_0612I hope that the wedding party was able to get some nice outdoor photos during the time between the ceremony and the reception, as my daughter absolutely loves photos, and her finance has learned to be very patient about posing for pictures.  (They are already getting started on the give-and-take of married life.)   And I hope that after riding around on the party bus that was taking them from one photo op to another for three hours, that the newlyweds made it to the cocktail hour in time to thank their guests for coming.  We have been both surprised and touched by how many people are planning to come to the wedding, even when it means traveling across the country.  That kind of support is priceless.

I hope that the reception was nice:  the food was good, my husband made it through his welcome speech without having a panic attack, that people enjoyed dancing, etc.  I hope that my daughter and her finance realized how blessed they are to share their wedding day with so many of their friends and family, all together in one big room. It isn’t often in life that you get to have all of the people you love in the same place and at the same time, and that is a big part of what makes weddings so special.

I hope we remembered to thank everyone who helped us pull the wedding together, as there is no way we could have done this without them.  We had friends and family help with the centerpieces and decorations, provide transportation, take photos, provide food, and most importantly, give their advice and support when it was so desperately needed.  We’ll never be able to thank them enough.

I hope that my daughter and her new husband enjoyed their special day, and that it was all they imagined it would be.   Despite all the planning, money and work that goes into the actual wedding day, it is over so very quickly.  But mostly, I hope that my daughter and my new son-in-law have a long and happy life together, and they grow to love and appreciate each other even more than they already do as they journey through life together.  And if they should happen to decide to provide my husband and I with a grandchild or two, that would be a nice touch as well…..