She’s your little girl. You’ve had tea parties, played dress up, stood by her side through elementary, junior high and high school, sent her off to college and watched her grow into a beautiful young woman. Now she’s met the man of her dreams and they are getting married. I recently had the pleasure (and the sadness) of experiencing this exact thing as a mother…and as a Wedding Coordinator. It is a unique predicament to find yourself in. For years I have walked brides and their moms through this process, all the while sitting in the “Coordinator” chair. Explaining what exactly my services are, filling out information sheets, budgeting, scheduling and directing. Now it was my turn to sit on that side of the table. The reality of what was happening sank in, MY little girl was getting married! Lists and dollar signs became my life! Dreaming and planning while knowing all the behind the scenes things that would have to take place…I was overwhelmed, just like every mother of the bride. Just like I told them not to be.
There are a lot of moving parts involved in creating a wedding. Having the right professionals is crucial to an overall stress-free experience. I tell each bride and mother that, but never more than when I was in the middle of it did I truly understand it. So what did I do? I took it one day at a time AND I listened to my own advice. I turned it all over to the professionals. It was a hard thing to do having been a coordinator for 23 years but little by little, I let go.
I remembered it was my daughter’s day and made sure that she made the decisions. I let our florist/event designer…design. Sat close by while my daughter and her fiancé selected a delectable menu for the caterer. “Played” dressed up at the bridal boutique where ultimately she chose the dress of her dreams. I looked on through lots and lots of happy tears, as the photographer worked at creating beautiful bridal portraits of my daughter. I helped select invitations and programs. And then there we were. That beautiful day finally arrived and I stood gazing at my daughter, all grown up in her gorgeous bridal gown, not playing dress up this time! I stood back and tried my best to relax and enjoy the whirlwind while the wonderful ladies that directed the wedding ushered us down the aisle! It was the best thing I could have done. Everyone was helpful, encouraging and oh so creative. It allowed me to be there for my daughter to offer advice, hold her hand, give hugs and watch her and her fiancé step into the future. It was one of the most precious experiences.
So, now as I take my seat as Wedding Coordinator once again, I see things from a different perspective. I am really able to put myself in the shoes of the bride and her mother and look at things from their perspective. It has made it easier to provide them with the outcome and service that they expect, because I expected it too! It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind. Letting it toss you about causing you to miss the joy in the experience. Here’s what I offer to you, moms. Pay close attention to your daughter and her fiance’s desire (within the budget of course!) for the wedding, because it is THEIR wedding. Then let the professionals handle it, from design right down to the directing. The day will pass quickly, literally in the blink of an eye, especially if you are running around trying to do it all! Those professionals and directors truly are there to make your wedding journey as smooth as possible (we really are!) so that you can drink in every sweet, wild, funny, craaaazy emotional moment of a day that you will remember always! Happy planning!
(Photography - Charlotte Stringer Photography; Event Design/Floral/Catering - Fresh Cut Catering & Floral and Wendy Putt; Attire - The Bridal Path, Tuxes Too; Venue - FBC Raymond, Dot Brown, Lynn McKee, Jennie Massey & Scott Alexander; Signature Occasions - Debbie Simmons; Cakes - That Special Touch)
All photos courtesy: Charlotte Stringer Photography