Monday, November 14, 2011

Final Conclusions --Things I Loved and Would Not Change

As promised, I will end this last post on a positive note.  The year of wedding planning was mostly fun, sometimes difficult, and something I will always remember.  Here are the things that gave me the most joy in the process:

-  The Pre-Wedding Photography -- I thought the engagement shots taken by Abigail Criner of Waco were awesome! Great poses, nice Waco scenery, and the couple looked adorable together. (And the price couldn’t be beat – the photo session was done pretty much as a wedding gift to the couple.)   And, the formal bridal portraits by Wendell and Mary Sanford of Chapel Hill Photography were so beautiful!  They did a great job of capturing the "Old South" images inspired by our beautiful bride in her princess ball-gown, and the gorgeous plantation-style background of the Earle Harrison House and Gardens.  They really made you think of "Gone With the Wind!"

- I thought everyone connected to the wedding looked awesome – from the Bride’s exquisite gown, all the lovely bridesmaids in their light blue gowns to match the wedding colors, to the Mothers and Grandmothers of the bride and groom in their coordinating darker blue gowns and dresses, the guys in their dapper tuxes and light blue ties, and even the Dads in their new suits!

- The unified color scheme of light blue and ivory carried on from the Save the Date cards, to the bridal showers, to the invitations and other stationery, to the ceremony, and through the reception.

- The service reflected the couple's beliefs and highlighted the blessed union they were undergoing as man and wife, and featured beautiful and moving music, which was important to them.

- The Maid of Honor (sister of the bride) and Best Man (brother of the groom) using their talents singing special music and playing the guitar for the wedding ceremony…such a nice touch of family involvement!

- Using some lace taken off my wedding dress to wrap around the bride’s bouquet, – after deciding my dress was beyond cleaning and repair (as if either one of my girls would wear it) – at least it served some sentimental value!

- All the beautiful flowers. Blue hydrangeas will now forever remind me of My First Daughter’s Wedding! Our wedding coordinator, Denise Harlan, did an excellent job fulfilling the bride’s vision with the bouquets and all the florals.

- Renting the big white limo to carry the bridal party from the church to the reception site, and to use as the “getaway” car for the newlyweds – the bridal party was surprised and impressed, but it also kept them together and ensured a timely arrival at the reception; allowed the newlyweds a nice ride for the farewell moment.

- Renting the dance floor – it looked nicer than the ballroom carpet and was easier to dance on, and I think the dancers got into the party/dancing spirit seeing it there at the reception venue.

- Making the feathered floral hairclip for my daughter to wear at the reception – I think it looked fabulous on her, it was truly “one-of a kind” and gave me some personal satisfaction that I could add something fun to her day! (Even if I did not get to clip it on her myself…)

- The table markers that my daughter and her fiancé made using photos of themselves at favorite locales in their town. Added personalization and a unique touch.

- Hiring a professional DJ instead of using an IPOD for the reception . Was he the best DJ ever? Maybe not, but he was professional, got the job done and served as Announcer and “Master of Ceremonies” so my hubby didn’t have to do it, and so that we did not have to risk technical difficulties with an IPOD system.

- The guests blowing bubbles at the couple during their last dance. (The bubble favors were definitely worth the time and effort!)

- The cake balls were also a hit! They were unusual, there was a variety, they were free, and there were no leftovers!

- It was fun being able to share some of the leftover flower arrangements with out of town wedding guests at the hotel -- it kind of made up for the lack of  "welcome bags".  We even left some floral arrangements at the hotel desk and "elite hotel club" area...and they seemed appreciative.  We also shared leftover cupcakes with the serving staff, the DJ and his assistant, the wedding coordinator and her assistant, etc.

- Hiring the weekend-of wedding coordinator. I really don’t know what we would have done without her! Thanks again, Denise Harlan!

- Last but not least -- the knowledge that I was entrusting my daughter into good hands with her new husband.  We even like the in-laws!   Couldn't have asked for anything better.   I have read about, and corresponded with other Mothers of the Bride who were planning their daughter's weddings, all the while having doubts about the union, or with tales of terrible strife between the families.  I can't even imaging having to go through that.  We were/are so blessed!

So, this is me, former MOB, signing out! I have lots of very happy memories of the year of wedding planning, but am ready now to put it behind me. I don’t know what’s next…I loved blogging and plan to continue, but need to figure out what it is that I am now as passionate about as planning My First Daughter’s Wedding! In a perfect world, I think I would be signing up for classes to become a Certified Wedding Planner, and seeing if I could launch a second career!

But this world is not perfect… like so many others these days, some months ago my job was eliminated. For the time being, I have been shuffled elsewhere within my department in a position that I have to admit, I do not like as well.  Not ready for retirement yet -- we still have another daughter to put through college. 

I leave this blog as inspiration and advice to any other mothers of the occasion who may be looking for ideas or pointers for their own son or daughter’s wedding! (As well as notes to myself, if and when I need to help plan My Second Daughter’s Wedding!)