Wedding planning advice?

January 22, 2016

I've been busy this month planning my daughter's wedding. It's going to be in September, a very popular wedding month here, and we've been scurrying to get the important things nailed down early.

At this point, we know the church is available and we have the reception venue booked. A bakery has been decided upon and the cake ordered. The florist is booked, though we have details to iron out. The photographer and DJ are in the works. The invitation list is being finalized, and the save the dates are being planned. We have someone getting the favors together. I even have my dress and shoes! Whew!

(Not sure this is my final choice. This will be very comfortable to wear, but I'm not super-excited about it. We'll see.)

My daughter has been setting up a wedding website, and working on their registry. So much nicer to browse the options online, than wandering through a store, I think. And they are looking for a house.

Lots and lots of fun things happening, and lots of fun late-night discussions about all the little details.

Her maid of honor, who lives out of state, is flying in next weekend to go dress shopping with her. I've been invited, too. So looking forward to it. I promised her I wouldn't act like those mothers on Say Yes to the Dress

Pinterest is great for ideas, and for putting together inspiration boards. And so is a notebook. I know they have planners you can buy, but I think that when you make your own it can be personalized exactly the way you want it.

The Knot had a checklist in a recent issue that we're using as a loose guide. Some things don't apply; others aren't listed. Will probably eventually come up with our own master to-do list.

 I've never done this before. (One of our sons is married, but being mother of the groom is a whole lot different than being mother of the bride, especially since that wedding was out of state.) So, for those of you experienced in this, do you have any advice? Anything you wish someone had told you during the preparations? I'd love to hear.


  1. Wonderful news. My advice would be relax and enjoy it.

  2. I have been through 3 weddings...3 greatest advice is to enjoy the ride! You are doing things perfectly.. As much as you can, allow others to do the work...Be the Brides Mother...cry, laugh and have fun! You are so right on the dress... get it as comfortable as you can. I think the one you have picked out looks nice.. Blessings!

  3. It sounds like you're planning very well, Deborah. It is much different being the mother of the bride, than of the groom. I love the dress and the color. The book looks so pretty, too. Enjoy all the fun and dress shopping for your daughter's dress.

  4. It sounds like you and your daughter are moving right along with your plans. It must be such fun. Enjoy every minute of it.

    We got married in September, the 8th. :-)

    Much love & happiness ~ FlowerLady

  5. Dear Deborah

    Oh the excitement!
    I always think half the fun in my yearly trips to France, is the planning and anticipation!
    I think that applies to many things in life.

    You're doing so well, I love the idea of your planning note book - the one you've shown us is oh so feminine and will make a treasured memory for your daughter - I'm sure it will become an heirloom that will be passed on through the generations - what a lovely thought!

    The dress is stunning and will look amazing on you - perfect for your colouring.
    Now I want to see the shoes too!

    I will be eagerly awaiting your next update on the details - all of us girls love a wedding don't we!
    One of the girls at work is getting married on 12th March, so we are always looking at the Pinterest wedding sites! She has even got her hairstyle from there.

    To echo the girls comments before me - ENJOY every single moment of this special time in your daughters and your life - and have FUN!!!

    I'm so happy for you Deb
    Shane x

  6. It seems that you're all done and can just sit back and relax. I have zero experience with weddings. My family seems to elope.☺ Your mother of the bride dress is very elegant and you will be beautiful.

  7. What a fun time for you - now that both my daughter's beautiful weddings are behind us, I can happily say "been there, done that." It does appear as though you are really on top of things.

    If you are interested in my daughter's Pinterest boards on wedding stuff let me know and I will let you know how to find them.

    Have fun, it is a whirlwind time.

    Your dress is gorgeous - looks a great deal like the brown one I wore to my first daughter's wedding, married in November 6 years ago and her colors were brown. Katie's colors were navy this past august. Hugs. ♥

  8. Sounds like a lot of fun! I think the dress you've tentatively picked looks lovely. Congrats to your daughter!

  9. Deborah, the only other thing I would add is keeping an eye open for deals. For example, I just received an email about 1 week ago from Williams Sonoma saying if you sign up for registry, you're automatically entered to where you could win everything on your list - a winner each month (don't know long for, it didn't say). In 2013, my daughter won a $200 gift certificate toward her invitations by something we saw on the FB page (Fine, just by leaving a comment). Enjoy the next nine months, and your dress is beautiful. You'll look great in that color!

  10. You seem to be very organised. The notebook looks lovely. My only piece of advice is to try to enjoy yourself - and to remember that it is your daughter's wedding. She will depend do on you to be an anchor for her. It's a wonderful time!

  11. Oh, I am so, so, so excited for all of you :) This is such a wonderful time and I will never forget the endless hours my mom and I spent in planning my wedding - it was a time I will always cherish :) Have fun and enjoy, sweet Deborah. Love and hugs!

  12. I learned to not over plan and to trust Catherine. I was pretty intent on not allowing details to hurt our relationship (even though it was always good, there's still so many details I wasn't sure of, but she was!) She had a vision and it was perfect for her! Not even a torrential downpour ruined what was to be an outdoor wedding, because her priorities were there. It really was perfect and a great experience. And, I wore navy lace as well!

  13. Oh, what a special time for both of you! I have two daughters and have been through this before. Your dress is lovely and it is so important to be comfortable! Especially make sure you have comfortable shoes on such a busy day. It sounds like you are very well organized. My only advise is to pack a little emergency kit for the big day. A little sewing kit, pins, hairpins, etc. There always seems to be at least one wardrobe or hair malfunction at the last minute. Enjoy this very special time in both of your lives! xx Karen

  14. My daughter is getting married this June. Libby is a master at planning; she does not miss a single detail! A few words of advise for you to say when your daughter asks your opinion; "What would make you happy?," "What do you think?," and lastly, "I love everything you love." A few times I have questioned some of her choices I have learned that things we did when we were married decades ago, are done a lot differently in this day and age. Enjoy the wonderful, loving and blessed experience!

  15. Hi, Deborah: I've been through this 2 times and from what you've said, you are in good shape: very organized with check-off lists! One thing you might want to consider is to have a Wedding Planner for the "day-of". This is someone who you will meet before the wedding (each Planner has their own time frame) who will help finalize decisions, but more importantly will supervise the day of the wedding: they will develop a timeline for the day, keep things running smoothly, head off complications and keep you and your daughter's concentration clear to just relish the events of the day. For one of my daughter's, one of the floral bouquets was missing, and the "day of" planner, contacted the florist and handled everything. We just continued our preparations for the day without stress! Also, make sure you give the photographer a list of the pictures you want taken (which family member groups, out-of-state visitors, etc.) Saves much confusion that day. Enjoy the process and the day. You'll have such wonderful memories (and some situations to look back at and laugh at!) Congratulations! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch
    P.S. Have you had any trouble with Blogger making it difficult to write a New Post over the past couple of days?

  16. Dearest Deborah,
    That is for sure an unforgettable year coming your way.
    No, I cannot give you any advice here, at least not from personal experience.
    Our foster-daughter got married in Indonesia and Pieter's adopted daughter opted for having nobody present at their wedding. Not even his parents, nor her adoptive Mom nor us who paid for her education and all... What can one say?
    Life goes on and in your place I would certainly be thankful for all those little things and ENJJOY it. Drink it all in and make lasting memories for the rest of your life.

  17. I have been Mom of the Bride and Mom of the Groom. Mom of the Bride is a lot more work lol!!! I agree with not suffocating the bride and to continually reinforce HER choices. Things have changed from when we were married, and I think they want our support, but they don't want us to take over. Remember to breathe. You will find yourself holding your breath so many times the few days before AND the day of.
    Be SURE that you provide bottles of water to the bride for days before and the day of. And make SURE she is drinking the water. Our daughter ended up in the hospital at the Gift Opening the day after because she was dehydrated!! I felt like the worse mom EVER!! We had provided baskets in every out of town guest's room in the hotels to include a few "local" snacks and several bottles of water... but she was so nervous and caught up in everything, she wasn't drinking any water herself ~ PLUS she went for a run early on the wedding day & still didn't hydrate!!!!
    Try to stop every few minutes and take a mental picture of what is going on. It makes you actually stop and gives you a chance to look around so you will remember to see what is going on and enjoy the moment.
    As someone else said, have a list of photos of special out of town guests and family you want to have taken w/ the bride & groom. In the years following you will be so happy you did that so no one was forgotten. And, finally, remember this is only ONE DAY of their lives. It is an important one, but don't forget the budget. As you know, if someone asks you about a wedding you attended 4 years ago, you remember a few things, but if you attend a few weddings each year, they do tend to blend together. You and your family will ALWAYS remember, but you don't want to go into debt or have them start with debt for that one day. It will still be the most perfect wedding without going too overboard!
    Good luck and do appreciate each and every minute as you celebrate. You will remember it forever!

  18. What fun! Our two daughters are married and we had a great time planning their weddings. My only piece of advice is to stop the wedding talk and planning when it doesn't become fun anymore. Relationships are so much more important than that. And as Pondside said, let your daughter take the lead - you are the support and the guide.

  19. Hello, I think you are doing very well in all your planning! And really your dress is lovely! I just think that having shoes that are supper comfortable is a huge deal!
    Just Breathe and enjoy all the days leading up to it! And when the wedding day arrives you will be so ready to enjoy and celebrate!
    Hugs, Roxy

  20. Dear Deborah, not having any daughters, I cannot speak from the point of view of the mother of the bride; however, having been a bride many, many years ago and a guest at many, many weddings since, I have one piece of advice to give, which may or may not apply in this case.

    Still, I offer it in the spirit of making sure you've covered all your bases. Here's the link to The Princess Bride:

    I can't wait to see how things progress. What a wonderful event to look forward to this year. I'm so very happy for all of you. May it be a beautiful and perfect day for everyone.

    Big hugs,


  21. Have fun with the wedding planning, Deborah. I'm sure that the next 8 months will just fly by!

  22. Aww Congrats Deborah. It sounds like you both are very organized and well planned out. The dress is pretty. Good luck with everything.

  23. This all sounds so exciting Deborah! I've read through many of these comments, and it doesn't seem like there's anything I could add. I have both a son and daughter, neither one married, so no help there. I do remember planning my own wedding, and my mother was a great support and didn't try to change any of my own ideas. I'll admit it was a pretty simple wedding compared to weddings these days. But I appreciated that she supported all my decisions with the really important things ... dress and bouquets. She even pushed me towards the more expensive dress because I loved it, and she was right about that. Keeping all your ideas and plans in a book is such a great idea, and something to look back on later. Your dress is beautiful, and I love the lace overlay. Enjoy these exciting days! I was married in September too!

  24. I've done the mother-of-the-groom (last May), but not mother-of-the-bride yet :) Sounds like you have your act together!


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