10 things I wish someone had told me before my daughter’s wedding day

Inspired by a Huff Post Weddings blog post (see previous post), I decided to compile my own “10 things” list, with a mother-of-the-bride slant. It was surprisingly easy to think of things, and I hope some of these help other MOB’s, brides, or anyone who is planning a wedding.

1. Groomsmen, especially youngish ones, know nothing about their wedding day responsibilities. Seriously, assume nothing. They need to know that their purpose is to seat guests, not just to stand there with “don’t I look awesome in this tux” expressions. The old ladies are waiting to be seated, and that is your job, boys!

2. You really do need a wedding planner of some kind (your cousin? best friend?) on the day of the wedding, because you, momma, will be like a deer in headlights. You can do all the planning and troubleshooting in the world, but have someone else run the itinerary that day. Your daughter is getting married!

3. Rehearse. All of it. Meticulously. Our daughter’s officiant was not able to run the rehearsal, so we did. What we thought would be a quick-and-dirty run-through, turned into a realization that we needed to walk through every last detail. See #1, above (I needed to use my teacher voice with them).

4. Your new son-in-law’s family WILL irritate you, no matter how much you like them. Get a good mantra going, and stay calm. Snapping at your daughter’s new mother-in-law could cause your daughter grief for a lifetime.

5. Dance with your son-in-law!

6. Make a list ahead of time of family pictures you really would like taken both at the reception and during the more formal photo time. Insist on this, even if your daughter says “MOM. There’s not time for all that!” We made mistakes here, and are missing photos we would have cherished. Ideas include bride with cousins, aunts and uncles, godparents, neighborhood pals, etc. And if you want “table shots,” you should add them to the list, because today’s photographers don’t always do those. Again, assume nothing.

7. Someone has to remember to bring the marriage license! Yes, we forgot that. It must be signed and posted immediately following the ceremony. This is a marriage, people, not just a photo op.

8. Decide ahead of time who will be dealing with packing up gifts, envelopes, and personal items from the reception. 1 a.m., after multiple cocktails, is not the time to do that. Have a plan so you know where everything is the next morning.

9. Your daughter will likely look to you to “fix” things along the way. Discourage her ahead of time from doing that, or you will look “clenched” in every photo. See #2, above. Put someone else in charge that day.

10. Once the day dawns, it’s all in motion; the weather is the weather, and what’s not done won’t be. Who cares? It’s your daughter’s wedding day!


What a certain bride wishes she had known before her wedding day

Latest blog seen on Huffpost Weddings; it’s a good one! Next from bridemomma, 10 things I wish someone had told me before my daughter’s wedding day. Thanks for the inspiration, Caci Cooper!


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!

Ceremony Checklist

Whether your ceremony is held in a chapel, church, or even a room adjacent to the reception, here is a checklist of things you may need:

1. Marriage license! We know firsthand that this can be overlooked. You need it at the ceremony so the officiant can sign and post it. Trust this to your best man, father of the bride, wedding planner, or other responsible participant.

2. The rings — the classic best man responsibility.

3. Programs to hand out as guests arrive. These can be simple, printed card stock. Have your invitation printer design one to match your suite, or make one yourselves. Check out the link below for a nice program option.

4. Bubbles, little pre-made packages of birdseed or confetti, or whatever your guests will toss at the happy couple as they exit the ceremony venue.

5. Candles in holders, if the couple will include some type of candle lighting as part of the ceremony. Don’t forget matches.

6. If you will incorporate the Jewish tradition of breaking a glass, bring what you need for that too (tip: a lightbulb in a velvet bag makes a satisfying sound when stomped).

7. Flowers to decorate the altar or place where the couple will stand to recite their vows.

8. A plan! Even if you don’t have a formal rehearsal, definitely do a walk-through so everyone knows their roles. My daughter’s groomsmen really had no idea that their primary responsiblity was to seat the guests. Assume nothing.

Rice, birdseed, bubbles? A tradition for a ‘fruitful and prosperous union’

One of the oldest and most enduring wedding traditions is throwing rice, or some other form of “confetti” on the newlyweds as they exit the ceremony.

Although theories about the origins of this custom vary, it is thought to have stemmed from an ancient pagan tradition of throwing wedding rice (or some other grain) on a couple in order to wish them a fruitful and prosperous union. Over time, couples began choosing more “eco friendly” confetti options, like birdseed. Kate Harrison, creator of greenbrideguide.com, offers 5 eco-friendly confetti ideas– check out the link below for some fun ideas.

We chose bubbles, which were easy to order through bridal sites and made for pretty pictures. As for getting them into the guests’ hands, enlist a couple of children who will be attending the ceremony to greet guests as they arrive with a printed program, and hand out bubbles as guests leave the ceremony.


Leave it to Martha to offer the last word on gift registries. Click on the link below, and learn 🙂


How about sharing some of the best registry items you’ve heard of? I would give a big thumbs up to the following:

– Really good sheets
– Beach chairs, towels and tote
– Rabbit wine opener
– Excellent knives
– Glasses! Red wine, white wine, champagne, beer, and both tall and
short cocktail glasses

I also agree that two stores is the way to go– maybe a combination of high-end and mainstream. Think William Sonoma plus Macy’s, for example. If yours is an e-crowd, try Amazon.

Social media at weddings: yes or no?


As I was waxing righteous about the plus-one situation, I came across a great article by Kim Ode in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She claims “social media are the new ‘plus one’ at weddings, causing couples how to manage the technology so that friends and relatives don’t morph into Guestzillas.”

Ode considers both sides of this, for there are indeed brides and grooms who can’t wait to see instantaneous postings, given the wait time for professional pix. As Ode says, this is fun for plenty of brides and grooms. Others, however, might freak out a bit if unvetted photos appear, especially from the getting ready period or the ceremony itself.

So, the advice…

*Bride and groom should consider their position on this issue and let it be known
*If you don’t want guests whipping out their iphones during your ceremony, put a line to that effect in your program, or have your officiant asks guests to refrain from using electronic devices
*If you DO want photo sharing, you can create a hashtag handle so you can enjoy all posted photos of the day

My favorite comment from this article comes from wedding photographer Becca Dilley, who says, “I would question why you’re taking photos instead of really being there.” Well said!

For the full article, go to http://m.startribune.com/lifestyle/?id=201664121