Wedding Day Emergency Kit

The wedding day emergency kit— there are more than a few lists for brides out there (Philadelphia Wedding had the best one I found), but this one is more specific to you, the Mother of the Bride.

While the bride may have her own idea of what an “emergency kit” looks like (usually just more makeup!), it’s your job as her mother to “have her back.” And not only will you be the go-to source for your own daughter, you will be the one that every young woman at the wedding runs to when there’s an emergency!

So, here’s my list of must haves for every MOB’s Wedding Day Emergency Kit:

Tampons (not necessarily for you, but believe me, at least two frantic girls will ask you for these)
Spot remover (Tide stick)
Emery board (the girls call them “nail filers”)
Safety pins and/or mini sewing kit
Two-sided (tailor’s) tape or toupee tape
Extra reading glasses
Your own mini-makeup bag for touch-ups
Static guard (cool weather weddings)
Imodium (the big day has triggered many an IBS episode)
Tums or Pepcid AC

Stash these items, and anything else that you or your girl may need, in a small tote in the bridal suite. Whatever your venue, your coordinator or catering manager will find a place for you to keep necessities.

Prepare for everything, and hopefully you’ll need nothing!

Guest post from a mother of the groom: a good perspective for every bride and her mom

Mother of the Groom (MOG)….ahhh! As the mother of two sons I didn’t really knew what to expect when the first son announced that he would marry. Would I be invited to be an involved MOG or would I have to wiggle my way in any time the window was haphazardly left open?

We mothers of boys do chat about these things, and believe it or not we do worry that we will be the odd woman out.

The first wedding for us would be out of town. What would we be asked to do? What would our involvement be? MOG’s are sensitive and do have feelings. Please share with us what you would like us to do. Solicit input. It will make us feel good. Here are a few more tips for brides and their mothers:

Be thoughtful when establishing the wedding date. If you have always dreamed of a fall wedding and the brother of the groom is a college football player, a weekend in the fall could be difficult.

Don’t assume! I have seen several “lists” stating what the bride pays for and what the groom pays for. Sit down and talk about it. We all know that sometimes, in some circumstances, bride and groom paying for things really mean parents are paying. Be open, realistic and open-minded when having these conversations with each other and with both/all groups of parents.

•Just what should the MOG wear? Again, have a conversation! If you know that your future MIL loves the Lily Pulitzer look and thinks it can go anywhere, anytime, reel her in early and make suggestions that would complement your color palette. Is it really detrimental to the wedding if she wears knee length or long? Must she wear her hair up? Let her know the most important aspects of what you are looking for and don’t sweat the small stuff.

•Traditionally the parents of the groom provide a post-rehearsal gathering. If you know your future in-laws well, and trust that they will do a nice job no matter what, then let them offer ideas and let them run with it. Being from Italian descent, our DIL suggested a nice Italian Bistro. Perfect!

Who attends the rehearsal dinner? We had budgeted this as one of our big ticket items. Since all of our family and friends were traveling great distances to the wedding we invited all out-of-towners from both sides of the family. We provided a wonderful dinner venue that set the stage for a special weekend.

•Don’t have wild expectations, but do be grateful. Several years ago, a MOG friend told me that the groom’s family pays for the honeymoon. Yikes! I had not heard that one before. So that we wouldn’t be caught off guard, we began saving for a honeymoon. Of course the couple planned the destination and we surprised them with the airline tickets and hotel. This was NOT expected, and I’m not sure it’s even really a “rule,” but the kids were very grateful.

Being the MOG was a special privilege. I learned so much about weddings and my DIL. What a blessing she is. I know that I will be better prepared for the next wedding as it too will be a travel wedding once again.

Thanks Bridemomma, for allowing me to post my perspective!

~ Ally V.

Who needs a getaway after the wedding? Hint: It’s not the bride & groom

At our daughter’s rehearsal dinner, we were completely blown away when Megan and Matt presented us with a beautifully spoken thank you and a travel voucher that was creatively presented with guides to places we had expressed interest in visiting. I honestly hadn’t even considered the possibility that we would be thanked so generously; truly, planning her wedding was a labor of love. Nonetheless, our subsequent trip was the perfect ending to a year of planning and spending!

Brides and grooms out there, if your parents are at all helpful to you during the wedding process, consider recognizing them with a thoughtful gift. Nikki Stroud shares 10 excellent ideas in the BRIDAL GUIDE story below.

Click for full story and photos and get inspired. In addition to a getaway, my favorite by far is a registry of their own. What MOB hasn’t lamented, “I want a shower!”

Happy Father’s Day


So, is it ALWAYS Dad who gets the honor of escorting the bride (please don’t say “giving away” the bride)? Traditionally, yes. If the bride’s dad (or stepdad) is in her life, then he should do the honors. In Jewish ceremonies (and others who simply like the idea), both parents escort the bride. In cases of no dad, the bride can select her mother, brother, or anyone she chooses to escort her.

For all you fathers out there, this moment is one of the most serene, special and meaningful moments in life– enjoy your moment!

Engagement ~ Planning some fun around that calendar full of appointments!

The year between my daughter’s engagement and her wedding centered around a boatload of lists, appointments and errands, and most of those were fun. But make no mistake about it, for both the bride and her mom, it can feel like a year of working an extra job.

Looking back, those errands, chores and appointments added up to a whole lot of special time for my daughter and me. Look for ways to amp up the “special” factor throughout the engagement year. Some of those “to-do’s” are for the couple, but more than a few are opportunities for mother-daughter time— wedding dress fittings, florist appointments, shopping for outfits for engagement party/shower/rehearsal dinner, shoe shopping, welcome bag assembly, hair trials, etc.

Schedule those appointments so you can cap them off with something celebratory– a sushi lunch, a stop at your favorite wine bar, a mani/pedi. Now that she’s a fiance, how often do your really get your daughter to yourself?

As you cross things off that never-ending to-do list, celebrate that feeling of accomplishment together.

Some advice for brides on a budget

Thought I would share some tips from an article I saw today from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution > David Tutera’s advice for brides on a budget by Nedra Rhone.

Tutera, host of We TV’s “My Fair Wedding” offered the following tips I think are spot-on:

1. Trim the guests. “If you have 150 guests, really look at the list and see if you can scale it down to 100,” he says. His rule? “When you look at the photos in 10 years, will you know who these people are?”

2. Downsize the drinks. Tutera suggests choosing a specialty drink and serve wine and prosecco instead of champagne. My own thoughts: Why not offer the specialty drink plus beer and wine? And I love the prosecco idea.

3. Cut the cake. I agree that you don’t need a $2,000 cake. Spending too much here is probably not the best allocation of funds. He suggests maybe having an ice cream bar and just a small cake for cutting. We had a nice choice of cakes that came with our catering package. I don’t believe anyone in our family even HAD the cake, so there you go.

and my favorite piece of Tutera advice…

Be YOU and don’t copy someone else. “Couples get lost in all the craziness. They are so blurry-eyed by too much information, (the wedding) loses the personality of who they are. If you can remind yourself that there are two of you and you need to tell the story of who you are as a couple, you set the trends.”

Most important on your list….

US Passports

1. Leaving the continental U.S. for your honeymoon? Find your passport NOW, make sure it’s up to date, and scan it so you have both digital and hard copies. Always know where to find this critical document. Believe me, there are horror stories, and I lived through one.

2. Your marriage license. This is the most important item to bring to your ceremony. Whomever has the clipboard and itinerary on your wedding day should make sure this is on the top of the list! Again, horror stories.

These things may seem ordinary and boring compared with parties, shoe shopping, hair and nail appointments, but a misstep with one of the above necessities can ruin everything.

Beware of the bad vendor

I was watching the news this week, and there was a “7 on Your Side”-type segment about a couple who selected a photographer whose work looked great, paid more than $6,000, and TWO YEARS later were still waiting for their promised albums. Not until they enlisted the help of their local NYC consumer advocacy team did they get what they paid for. Is this the exception or the rule? I wonder. My daughter and her husband had a similar situation with a wedding video that only appeared after they threatened legal action.

So, how can you protect yourselves and avoid these scenarios?

1. Do lots of shopping around for your vendors, and once you’ve decided whose work you like, check them out thoroughly. There are quite a few vendor reviews online; take them seriously!

2. Once you meet the contact person, and you decide you like them, ask for three recent references. These should be people who have already received what was promised.

3. Hold back as much of the payment as you can until ALL goods and services have been received. Negotiate this right up front.

4. Ask your venue/reception site manager or wedding planner for recommendations. They probably won’t recommend someone who might tarnish their own reputations. But this really isn’t enough to go on, so follow through with numbers 1 and 2 as well. Sometimes the photographer, videographer or florist is a relative of the site manager, so do your own homework too!

A wedding planner: Do you need one?

There’s no quick answer for this one because there are a bunch of variables. Some questions to consider: Will it be a big wedding (more than 150)? Do you have a nice sized budget? Do you have multiple stops(hotel, chapel, pictures, reception hall)? Are you holding the party at an unconventional venue?

If you answer “yes” to any of these, you might consider a wedding planner. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need a pro with a hefty hourly fee, or that you need someone to orchestrate every detail of the planning. But you may need some help managing all the moving parts on the big day itself.

Here’s my story, and what I would do differently. My daughter and I did all of the planning (with our big binder). We are both teachers and had the summer months to get it all together for a late August wedding. But on the day of the wedding itself, it would have gone much more smoothly to have someone else in charge for the day.

MOB, do you have a good friend who can assume that role? No high-priced pro needed– just an organized friend with a clipboard, a cell phone and a watch. It would actually be a great wedding gift to give! Another option is to see if professional planners can give you a wedding day only option.

Take-away message: On such an emotional and busy day, don’t assume– like I did– that you can handle it. Get someone else, and give them a detailed itinerary along with key contacts and cell numbers.