The wedding was two weeks ago and I’m still incredibly amazed at how quickly the time went.
The job that Oona and Sam did in planning their wedding was stellar. It was beautiful and gorgeous and one of the happiest days of my life.
These two! What a spectacular job they did!
And, it was the first and only time in my life that I had the pleasurable experience of being the Mother-of-the-Bride. Because of my experience I want to devote this blog post as a bit of a Mother=of-the-Bride Guide. So here goes…
The official Mother-of-the-Bride Guide! Brought to you by….ME!!
Your daughter just got engaged and you are over-the-moon thrilled. You are the newest member of the MOTB club (or perhaps you are renewing your membership). You are excited. You are about to embark on an emotional roller-coaster. And you have a lot spinning around in your mind.
Engaged July 2018__NYC!
This is about your daughter. Not you: Most likely, this is the most difficult thought to process. Trust me, I had feelings that this was my day. But the fact of the matter is that all eyes will be on the Bride and not the bride’s mom. Once you “get” this, it’ll be smooth sailing.
Face it mommy. You ARE gonna be ignored! Let your daughter be the center of attention. It’s only one day anway!
Date set? Go and buy your dress. Now! Trust me the sooner you begin your search for the Mother-of-the-Bride dress, the better off you will be. And you’ll be able to relax a bit. The most daunting experience was finding that MOTB dress. I do not lie to you when I tell you that the fashion industry has a stereotypical vision of how they think the MOTB should look. This is wrong. On all levels.
Why are Mother-of-the-Bride Dresses so Stinking Ugly?
Just wait. Just wait till you start your search. The fashion industry things that all MOTB dresses should be either dusty rose, or champagne, or taupe. And they think the dress should wear you. And that the dress should be matronly….
Start looking outside the MOTB dress department.
I went with this simple, black Calvin Klein number. A simple pearl choker and pearl earrings jewelry and a long wig completed the look!
Go simple. No embellishments. You do not want to take any attention from your daughter.
If you are a stress-eater such as I am, don’t go for a tight-fitting dress. If you gain weight you will regret that tightness!
Simple lines. Solid colors. And when in doubt, black always looks great.
Get rid of the damned Spanx and other shapewear: Trust me you will thank me for this. I purchased very tight shapewear. It was to hold my gut in because the dress I purchased for the rehearsal dinner was a bit snug due to the 15-pound weight gain. I also figured it would be great insurance for my MOTB dress that I wore to the wedding.
No. The Spanx or any shapewear will NOT make you look 30 pounds thinner..
It took approximately three minutes to stuff myself into this thing. That also meant another five minutes to slide it down when going to the Ladies’ room. Have you any idea how difficult it is to slide one of these things down your legs after being in heat and humidity? And the longer one wears the shapewear, the better your chances are of having your lady parts become a living petri dish!
No! Your body is NOT ready for the abuse of being stuffed and trussed into a tiny little bit of Spandex. It’s harmful and will prevent you from enjoying eating and going to the bathroom!
Let’s not even discuss our weakened bladders. Do you understand?
The shapewear never made it to the wedding because the second I returned to our hotel room after the rehearsal party, I took a scissor, cut the casing down the middle, allowed my gut to fall into all it’s glorious flab and proceeded to throw the shapewear out.
I was smiling in this photo but it wasn’t long after this was taken I took the shapewear off. FOREVER!!!
The objective is to enjoy the festivities. If you are trussed and encased in shapewear, you will have a miserable time. Any food you eat will not make it to your stomach. Any drinks will bypass the food and go directly to your origin of the world and you’ll have to go to the bathroom. It’ll take a long time to do what you have to do and you’ll miss all the fun.
And when it comes down to it–you can’t tell anyway!!!!
Be comfortable! Have fun. To Hell with the shapewear!
Be like this guy! Let your belly dance!
Zip it! Keep your opinions to yourself: Back when your daughter was a young girl, you were able to give your opinion just about everything. Which friends you liked or didn’t. The clothing she wore (because you paid for it). Hairstyles—and my rule of a chin-length-bob-with-bangs-until-you-are-able-to-style-your-own-hair was put into place for many years.
Yes. And when the girl was little, you COULD give her your opinion of her make-believe bride. Wise up mom! This is real life. Your daughter is adulting. You no longer have an opinion!
Now your daughter is getting married. It’s her wedding. And the closer to the wedding, the more emotional everyone gets. Keep your mouth shut. Any suggestion or opinion will be interpreted by the bride-to-be as critical. You will argue and if you are of the New York blood such as I am, things will get LOUD! You do not want this.
That’s the idea! Have a glass of Rose’ and zip it!
If need be, excuse yourself. Go to the bathroom. Close the door. Look in the mirror and whisper any opinion to yourself. This is because you are the only person who will listen to you! You’re welcome!
And remember–an opinion, no matter how innocent it is, is a judgement!
Now, if you are asked for your opinion, smile, tilt your head to the side, shrug, nod, and excuse yourself to go to back to the bathroom.
Practice: Nod, smile…
Tilt your head, shrug and run to the bathroom1
Help when needed and when asked: You will be asked to help with little tasks. This is the part that’s the most fun. It brings you back to when your daughter (or basically all your kids) were needy. Remember those days? I do!! This is your time to shine and take charge.
I handled place card management,,
It was great occupational therapy and kept me quiet!
I also kept busy in the basement laundry room. I did laundry and ironed clothing. And I was happy and my daughter was happier!
Yes. Take charge. There’s something magical when your daughter asks for help that puts you into complete mom mode! Run with it. Enjoy it. It could be something as simple as alphabetizing place cards to doing a few loads of laundry or choosing where to eat. Savor the moment! Its what memories are made of!
Take advantage of the Make-Up Artist: Most modern brides have their makeup professionally applied. It’s the Instagram and social media generation. They want to look their best for photographs and I can’t blame them. My daughter treated her bridesmaids and me to having our makeup done and it was great.
My makeup was incredibly natural. Just the way I love it. But it was airbrushed and simple. And this No-Makeup Look took quite a bit of time. I loved it!
I know. I know. You like the way you look and are afraid you will look like that streetwalker getting ready to strut the walk of shame. It’s not gonna happen.
Another look in better lighting before I got dressed.
Makeup artists know how to dress your face for the camera. They know that the makeup needs to stay put. Getting my makeup done was the greatest thing and I’m forever grateful to my daughter for it.
Besides, it’s so relaxing to have someone pamper you and you’ll look supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Hair issues? Get a wig! I’m adding this as an extra. Let’s face it. A good number of us have hair that hasn’t aged as well as the rest of us has! You may have a case of thinning hair. You may have lost hair. You may have very temperamental hair—the kind that misbehaves during the summer and you are a summer Mother-of-the-Bride.
The hair I traveled in and wore for every day out-and-abouts: Enchantress by Mane Concept wigs.
My rehearsal dinner hair: Avalon by Estetica Designs..
....and my MOTB Wedding hair was Alden by Estetica Designs! I never even gave my hair a second thought!
Why stress and worry about your hair? Get a wig. You have plenty of time to research. Go online and peruse wig sites. Visit a wig store. Watch YouTube wig reviews.
Trust me, your hair is the last thing you want to fuss with and wigs are a wonderful way to have a fabulous hair day!
What’s in Your MOTB Purse? You’ll want a purse that’ll hold the following: Your phone because you’ll want to take photos (in between mingling, dancing and drinking). Lip balm or clear gloss. Travel deodorant just in case. Mints. Tissues or a handkerchief. That’s all you’ll need. If you take my advice and wear a wig you won’t even need to carry a comb.
A too-small purse won’t hold a damned thing. One too large and you’ll look like you dressed up to go to the supermarket. Keep it tasteful.
The perfect sized purse. A clutch with a chain. It held everything I needed!
The shoes: Summer wedding? Strappy sandals always look fantastic. Winter wedding? Pointy-toed kitten heels baring toe cleavage work wonders. The point is that you’ll be wearing the shoes during the ceremony and for photographs. Once you hit the reception, get rid of the shoes and barefoot it! This is all about comfort. So, don’t forget to get a pedicure!
I multitasked these shoes. They were worn for the rehearsal and the wedding. I can’t see traveling with too much stuff!
OVERALL—ENJOY! You may be taking a backseat to the attention the bride is getting and that’s a great thing. You can blend. She’s an adult now and she has started her journey with her new partner. They are a family now. They are a unit. This is where you breathe in, shed a tear or twenty, look at your beautiful daughter and know you did a stellar job in raising her. Now go. Dance. Eat that cake. Drink that Gin & Tonic. Let loose! And have fun!
That’s right Mommy! You raised a little girl who is now getting married. You’ll go through ups and downs. But mostly ups. You’ll be stressed and nervous and happy at the same time. GO HAVE THAT GIN AND TONIC! And enjoy yourself!
I enjoyed reading your journey with the wedding!
Thanks so much Nancy! A sigh of relief because things are getting back to normal now! XOXOXOXO
I’ve so enjoyed going to your daughters wedding. Love the way you broke it up into chapters. You’re so right about the Spanx, your husbands radiant smile and learning the ability to keep ones mouth shut. Wait until you’re a grandma.
Oh Sandy. Thank you so much! I’m glad that you came along! But the grandma thing–I think nobody will want me to know until labor!! LOL!!!!!! I’ll be such a pain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXO
I so enjoyed reading this. My step-daughter gets married in February, the hottest month of the year in South Africa. Thanks for all the great tips. Honestly, I was going to get the spanx! Can you imagine, in that heat? I’m even less involved with the process, in fact I’ve been instructed to just show up – so I’m going to take advantage, book myself in with a makeup artist and relax and enjoy the day.
OMG. Let it all hang out. Especially during the hotest month of the year! And congratulations to you and your step-daughter! Actually, you’re in a good place –just showing up is great fun!! And yeah, the makeup artist is the greatest thing!! XOXOXOXO
Great post, as always! Just love some of your graphics, they are hysterically funny. I’ll never be a MOB, but can appreciate the stress involved in it.
Gin and tonics on a hot day = WONDERFUL
Spanx on a hot day = UNBEARABLE You were brave to try that, but made the right choice on the matter.
Congratulations to you, the bride and groom, and your entire family!!! Let the good times roll!
Hi Vava! Thank you so much! Yeah. If those Spanx were on my body any longer, stuff would have started to grow down there!! XOXOXOXOXO
Great guide, Catherine. I wish I had this when my daughter got married a year ago 😀 You didn’t mention anything about dealing with an ‘ex’ husband, aka “father of the bride”…ugh. All else is wonderful though, Catherine and it’s true that it is an emotional time for MOB’s…but keeping our opinions to ourselves is key. You looked gorgeous and I love your dress and so good to hear you enjoyed yourself at the wedding.
LOL! Hi Lisa. I dealt with the ex-husband. All was fine for my daughter! Thank you so much! It really was a blur! XOXOXOXO
Thanks for sharing this! Neither of mine are even engaged but I will remember your advice to just nod and do what I am told. And no Spanx, ever! Never was able to do that – I like comfort!
I really enjoyed reading all of your posts (and excitement) leading up to the wedding.
She was a beautiful bride, of course, and he, a handsome groom.
And you gave good advice.
Our youngest son married the gal of his dreams a month ago & I gave myself the grace to 1) buy and wear a dress I like, 2) could sit/eat/dance in, 3) wore my favorite cotton undies underneath – no sweaty spanx torture device for me, and 4) wore shoes that fit and 5) jewelry I loved and 6) leaned in and rolled in it. Polka’d till I couldn’t then did it again!
Hubbs was a wreck, cried all weekend at our baby getting married. I didn’t because I know he was making the right choice … we survived, they beamed and it was all good.
PS You were one gorgeous MOB!
Hey MJ. HUGE Congrats to you and the hubs on your baby’s marriage! Comfort is definitely the way to go–it allows us the utmost pleasure!! Oh man, if there was a polka at daughter’s wedding, I would have been off and running!! Glad your son made a perfect choice! XOOXOXOXO