Monday, May 30, 2011

Ode to the Wedding Planner

At an unimposing 5’ tall, she is a mighty force to be reckoned with. Trained with the best - her other job is a 1st grade teacher and has been for the past 33 years. Has an eye for detail that is unequalled. And an all together lovely person.

Let me give some specifics. If you Google “A force to be reckoned with” you will get an answer that states “someone or something that is important and powerful and must not be ignored”. That someone is our friend and wedding planner. I’ll call her Rosey, because…well, that is her name. She has been affectionately dubbed “General Rosey” because if you don’t know what your doing, she will command and lead you forward. She has a great sense of humor and an amazing memory and those two qualities together make for some fun times. She is quick witted and sharp and can assess a situation and make a decision that is spot on. Things just work with her. And if they weren’t destined to work, she makes them work.

Second, I can think of no finer trainer for a person who deals with multiple personalities, multiple maturity levels, multiple diva’s (although not with our wedding) and dudes, than someone who has been teaching 1st graders for 33 years. Am I the only one who doesn’t see a big difference between a wedding party and 1st graders? But also she was born into a family who loved to share their gift of hospitality and entertain friends. It is in her DNA. Luckily she married someone who has the same love of hospitality or she trained him really well. Because they are a perfect match.
One of the first parties Rosey and I worked together on was Allison’s Sweet 16 Party. And let me tell you it was a splendiferous affair. I knew right then and there that we would be doing more shindigs and soirees together. Having gone to the same church and both loving to throw a great party, we have enjoyed putting on many a social events. To say nothing of the years of decorating the church for the Christmas season. Working with her is like no other experience. That is where her eye for detail comes in to view. Got paper - gotta list. We have a list for the Bride and Groom, a list for the MoB, a list for the Maid of Honor and Best Man, a list for each person who is involved, whatever capacity, on where to be, in what and when and what the heck to do when you are there and what to bring with you.

She has been known on many occasion to stay up all night working on something or decorating and the most remarkable part of that is she can still function and be kind and on target the next day. She is not only a great delegator but she is a hands on kind of gal. She knows the proper way to do things. Everything is always done with style, flair and a special knack.

Sure, five months ago, the decision could have been made not to engage the assistance of a trained professional. We would still be at the same spot on the calendar with just a few days before the blessed event. But I dare not even let myself ponder what state of mind I would be in right now. I would not be sitting here feeling relaxed and confident that Allison and Jon’s wedding will be a reflection of who they are. Full of their ideas and wishes. Enjoying the process and enjoying the moments. Knowing Allison can rest and relish in the moments leading up to her special day, assured that everything is taken care of , is the goal of Rosey and that is exactly what has happened.

Oh, but I don’t just call her our wedding planner. I call her my friend.

Thank you Rosey.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Reflections from the Mother of the Bride

 Mother of the Bride. Has a nice ring to it I do believe. When Jon announced his intentions to make Allison his bride, and the news sunk in, it was then that I decided I would be the very best MOB I could be. Not sure that I will be wearing the crown but with a few days until the wedding I have a different view of the landscape now.

1.              I had my wedding. This nuptial ceremony and festivities following isn’t about me. Although I am aware and like to think I am consciously observant of rules of etiquette, I don’t think stressing proper decorum is the same as pushing my ideas on my lovely daughter and her wonderful fiancĂ©.
2.              Some things just don’t matter and some things do. Figure out early in the game, which is which.
3.              Be supportive. I am grateful that I am close to Allison and am fairly good at reading her and know when to add a little pressure and when just to stand back. Some decisions just take more time than others.  Be the strong foundation that she can make choices on.
4.              Some times my opinion is requested and some times it is just in the way. Sometimes Jon’s opinion is the only one that matters. Again it is their day not mine.
5.              After the bride finds her most stunning dress and the bridesmaids are gracefully and tastefully frocked it is time for the MOB to find a fabulous dress. I think it is important to feel and look attractive on the wedding day. I don’t want to be tugging, shifting, pulling or squirming. I want to walk confidently knowing that this breathtaking young woman is taking one of the most important steps of her life and Iam blessed to have played such an important role. I don’t want to be uncomfortable.
6.              The MOB does have an important job to give wise words. I have tried to remember to let the words that I think are so important to say roll around in my head a time or two before I allow something to come out of my mouth that I might regret.
7.              Help sort out the things that are really important. I think Allison has done a really good job with this. Probably more than I know, there are things that at one time in the wedding dreaming stage she would have been firm about wanting to have or do at her wedding. But as the planning continued she changed her mind. It is her right to switch directions when it feels right to do so for whatever reason.
8.              It isn’t so until the bride says it is so. This is probably one of my favorite lessons. No surprise here but I have ideas, thoughts and plans constantly rolling around in my head.  I can gently suggest, show, advise, offer, theorize, murmur or mutter about anything I think would be lovely, charming, fitting, gracious or beautiful. But until the bride says so, it isn’t so!
9.              Back off. I would rate myself as “needs improvement” on this one.  Case in point, I wanted to know what song was going to be played while Allison walks down the isle a couple months ago. Don’t ask how many times I have inquired on the status of this little detail.
10.          Be ever present but never overbearing. Allison knows I am here and will do whatever she needs me to do. She can call on me anytime. I like to think that she can confidently go about tending to details that only she can tend to because I have her back.
11.          Remember that I am not the only person who loves and supports Allison. Jon has been stellar in letting her know how much he loves Allison and wants the best for her. The little things he does for her warms my heart. I am working through the letting go of my baby who has grown up to be a remarkable and beautiful young woman. Fortunately we have a whole host of people who love and care about us all and are walking this path with us.
12.          No whining. No one, including but not limited to the MOB, the bride, the groom, the bridesmaids, the groomsmen, the brother of the bride or any other person who this applies to. This blessed and beautiful time has no place for the grumbles.
13.          Keep my purpose in view and my perspective clear and enjoy each and every moment.

Next job, work on being the very best mother-in-law. That one is really out of my league. But Jon seems to be a man of grace. He’ll get to practice it a lot.