Category Archives: The Wedding Plan Her

Sand, Surf and…DUCK!

I remember when my son first told me about his plans to marry his fianćee on the beach near Duck in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  How romantic, I thought.  I taught him well.  He’s going to make for a great husband

Me: “Wait.  When did you say the wedding will be held?”
Him: “September.

Ack!!! He just burst my NOAA weather balloon. Romantic as he may be, seems he missed a gene in the judgment department. My eyes rolled into the back of my head as I envisioned the dark cumulus buildup looming dauntingly over friends and family tripping over hurricane lanterns and scattering like sand crabs with a bad case of the crabs.

But that’s the worrier in me.  Thank God he didn’t inherit that part of my DNA. “Fahgetaboudit!” That’s his take.  He doesn’t worry about it any more than he would worry about a blizzard if they got married on a ski slope in Maine, a tsunami if they got married on surf boards in the Pacific, or a BP oil spill if they rocked the night away on Bourbon Street. Now, he might reconsider if it was the Mexican Riviera, since being jumped and robbed isn’t what they had in mind in the “till death do us part without our ATM cards”…part of their vows.

But I’m feeling the need for speed to sit down with the mother of the bride, biting my fingernails the whole time and trying not to twitch as we go over Plan B over three bottles of wine. I keep waking up in the middle of the night, note pad and pencil handy on my night table, jotting down things to remember to bring, or not bring, in the event of a hurricane.

With 6,504,222,450,960,472 sites on the Internet feeding off the fears of people like me, there are tons of survivor kits one can purchase for slightly less than a down payment on a full size Humvee. Really? A roll of duck tape for $37?

Wait…did someone say Humvee? That’s a great idea, in case we need to traverse over the wet sand dunes while being chased by the Spanish Mustangs of Currituck.

Now, mind you, I’m just as concerned about safety as the next person but, by gosh, there are just more pending, important items to consider in the case of nuptial mayhem.

Case(s) in point:

The power goes out. OhEmGee. What will happen to the music!? That’s where emergency acoustics come into play.  Note to self: Make sure Grandpa brings that dusty old accordion out of the basement. Also, remind kids what a “polka” is. Amplifiers, shamplifiers…

Now would be a good time to scour the Sears ads for a good backup generator, one with at least 65 kilowatts. Better yet, that neighbor down the street whose house was demolished by that tree last week might be willing to work out a deal with the one he had. Oh, and as for so-called “hurricane” candles?  Yeah, right.

“You distract them while I go for the cake…”

Vendors are a no-show.  Sure, they’ve covered themselves already in the “not responsible for natural disaster” part of your contract, so they’ll be big pussies and not show up.  No problem.  Three words: box cake mix. Note to self: Bring son’s plastic, miniature baseball statue he got from cheap little league official for top of cake.

Mass (hysteria) communication. Leave voicemail on your answering machine for the 100+ calls you’ll be getting just prior to wedding.  Leave verbal instructions: “Look out window. If there’s a hurricane, don’t come. But thanks for the gifts.”

Medications:  Those three Xanax you stole from your sister aren’t going to cut it.  Bring enough for three weeks. Lengthy evacuation routes may call for extreme measures and extreme partying. Also, you’ll be in a room with family members for over an hour, dontcha know. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Travel insurance: Family from out of town would be wise to purchase it. Of course, considering most of them will be stuck due to layovers for two days and probably won’t make it, the point may be moot. Note to self: Bring extra Xanax for Aunt Jane who is stuck on tarmac for 16 hours and not allowed to pee.

Storage items.  Just bring anything with the word Ziploc on it.

What NOT to bring:  Umbrellas.  (You were actually thinking of bringing one, weren’t you?  That’s so cute.)  Baby diapers, formula, etc. You know why. Don’t make me say it.

So I know my list is not complete.  But I have a few months to build up my personalized, bedazzled survival kit. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer but, after all, I was a Girl Scout and learned to always be prepared. I know how to light a fire without a match.  And that’s not a euphemism. I was also a Red Cross volunteer. Didn’t do much. Just ate the leftovers on the patients’ plates.  But I looked really good in those candy striper outfits. No, that’s striper with one “p,” not two. Note to self: Explain term “candy striper” to kids.

So come hell or high waters that soak our Louboutins, we shall prevail. I don’t know what the next name will be for the hurricane d’season, but she’s not invited.

Note to self: Request Rolling Stones song from deejay…“Gimme Shelter”


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Dress for Sucksess

I just had the most painful experience. It involved a road trip, bad decisions, stripping down, glaring lights and solitary confinement.

 Yes, I went shopping for a mother-of-the-groom dress. I was going to shop in the safety of my daughter’s watchful eye this weekend, but the two of us couldn’t get our schedules in sync, so I impulsively wandered off on my own this morning to at least check which styles I could get away with without my son disassociating from me. Although I was just going to window shop for ideas, I succumbed to entering the great fashionista abyss, and with each item I hauled into the dressing room, I knew I was in trouble when the nice lady handed me a number and whispered, “Bueno suerte…”

Good luck?  What did she know that I didn’t know? Oh…

I was just telling a friend the other day after witnessing a cute, tow-headed toddler with her frilly frock and Mary Jane shoes with daisy-trimmed white socks that I am so excited that dresses are making a comeback.  After the drab neutrals of unkind khakis and woeful, winter hues, it’s so refreshing to see color back in style. Florals, pinks, yellows…a true sign of spring and oh so perfect for a “beachy” wedding.  Personally, I like night weddings – preferably indoors – with lots of dim lights and softening filters on cameras. But, no, I’ll be exposed in the full glory of the bright sun with my lily-white legs blinding the guests, overlapping dough peaking out of my armpits, and my dimpled, sun-damaged décolletage. Who says I’m not growing old gracefully?

And I don’t look good in dresses. I have chicken legs, a dumpling waistline and fried eggs on my chest. Life would be easy if the celebration was held on the snow-covered peak of a ski slope. I could don my finest turtleneck with my padded uplift bra, cover my stick-legs in fashionable, knee-high leather boots and eat all I want, exhaling in comfort after each course.

Every dress I tried on either gave me flashbacks of my prom or made me look like a librarian that had been ridden hard and put away wet.

The sensory overload I witnessed standing in front of those fluorescent lights was enough to send me sprinting out of the dressing room. “Gracias,” I said to the nice lady as I handed back my outfits, even though I wanted to slap that “told you so” grin off her face. “You could have at least warned me,” I said.

In my dream world, I sketch up my own design with lots of whispy coverage and ship it off to Vera Wang to perform her magic. I want to look like Grace Kelly, I’ll say, with a little Audrey Hepburn thrown in, but with a Katharine Hepburn attitude. I’ll sit comfortably throughout the entire wedding, sans Spanks, and she’ll insert an undetected metal rod through the back so I can’t slouch. I don’t mind paying extra for that.

I’m in cahoots with the mother of the bride, and recently asked her what length she’s wearing. “Long,” she said. “I don’t like my legs.”  My reply: “That’s all you don’t like!?” She’s lucky I really like her. This could get ugly.

Hopefully, by the time the wedding rolls around, I should have whittled at least an inch off my fla-belly with this new low-carb diet I’m attempting to try out. (Notice how I didn’t commit fully there.) And as for the old-age spots on my skin, I’ll just flaunt them, telling people I’m Irish and was blessed with freckles en masse. Half truths…works every time.

And, attention guests, there will be absolutely no low-carb dieting for anyone that weekend.  I’ll be spiking everyone’s bottled Evian with extremely hard, carb-laden alcohol, ensuring that they’ll all be seeing double, thus providing me with the best excuse ever to stuff my face with cake.


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Meet the ‘Rents

Feels a bit like limbo.  Too far away from The Wedding to really worry about things, too close to not start thinking about things. So the best thing to do at this point is take that next step that all parents of brides and grooms usually dread, and that’s Meet the Parents.

My son’s future in-laws and I got together, sans hubs, to make sure we don’t end up stabbing each other’s eyes out in the coming years. I just about stabbed my mister’s eyes out because he opted to attend a football game someone had given him tickets to instead. But he stayed in my graces by offering to have them over soon for another meet ‘n greet. He’s in charge of the spaghetti. What the heck?  If they don’t like him, I’ll just move in with them.

All kidding aside, it was a great day full of end-of-summer boating, birthdays and booze with them and their friends. Both dads have at lease one thing in common as neither of them drink, so mom-in-law and I will have our very own designated drivers on the big day.  This is going just swimmingly….

Like their daughter, they’re relaxed, don’t take things too seriously and they like to eat.  Thank God.  If I had to look forward to tofu fingers and wasabi chickpeas at the reception, I was going to shudder with dread and be sure to pack some beef jerky in my makeup bag.

They have a sense of humor. They’re going to need one when they meet my half Irish, half Polish, half Italian family. What. Okay, so I wasn’t good in math. Anyway, their friends’  first words to me were, “Oh, we understand they’ve changed the rules of tradition, and the parents of the groom now pick up the whole tab.” Buwaaaaaaaaaaaaa….no. I get to save that for when my own princess gets delusions of grandeur after watching My Best Friend’s Wedding for the umpteenth time. Please elope, please elope, please elope…

So for now, the only thing I  know for sure is that the wedding will be at the beach. Both of my kids have always been water babies, and the in-laws are avid boaters, so it is only befitting, and I’m sure it will be lovely, hurricanes notwithstanding. And I look forward to sending my son and his new bride off into the beautiful sunset with the backdrop of the ocean lapping upon the shore with nothing but the smell of the misty, salty ocean air.

Unless, of course, I need to drag out my beef jerky.

To be continued…

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He Went to Jared!

Today I’m starting to journal the trials and tribulations that will unfold during my son and his fiancée’s wedding planning [cough]from hell[cough].  Let me begin by saying: Anything I say from this day forward cannot be used against me and will not stand up in a court of law. This in no way represents the opinions of said fiancee’s family, and will be from my perspective − and my perspective only − as the groom’s mother. Hmmm, I still remember him saying he was going to marry me.

But I digest.  I don’t mean to make it sound less than exciting and romantic.  It’s just that I am so very thankful that it is the bride’s parents who are doing most of the planning.  I couldn’t plan my way out of a dark bathroom with a blow torch, much less take on something this enormous in scale. I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda girl. I know, I know.  That’s what wedding planners are for, but I remember trying to plan my own wedding, with no family members in the area, and on a shoestring budget back in the 70’s.  It was the closest my husband and I ever got to a divorce.  Address books were flung, color swatches ripped up, frustration ensued and tempers flared.  And that was the hour before our engagement.

It all turned out fine in the end, and the big day went off without a hitch. Oh, who am I kidding?  I don’t remember one minute of it.  I just sometimes think it would all be so much more fun without the frustration and frivolous fights.  I say do it in reverse.  Have a big freakin’ impromptu, unplanned party, get your souls knotted by some magistrate in a monkey suit…THEN start planning a committal celebration for some other weekend, once you’ve gotten used to his stinky socks on the floor and he’s learned to say “You’re right, and I’m wrong,” without missing a beat.  You’ll sooo already know your color scheme and decorating style. So it may take a year or two to get to that relaxation level with your spouse.  But party on, young lovers…you’ve made it this far.

….to be continued.


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