My regular followers may have noticed Mama’s Empty Nest has been a bit absent on the blogging scene the last few days.
Matter of fact, for two consecutive days, Mama didn’t even turn on her laptop. That has to be some kind of record!
Never fear though, Mama’s not MIA (missing in action). I am, however, definitely in action – wedding planning action, that is.
In between chiropractor, dental, and car maintenance appointments, and – oh yeah – that crazy little thing called work, the last week or so has been chock full o’
Mama’s feathers are ruffled, not in an agitated way but in a feverish mode, from a flurry of flying here and there.
With one family wedding scheduled for late spring (middle daughter) and two – yes, two! – planned for fall (son and oldest daughter), the nest is ensconced in a full tilt tizzy. It’s a joyful tizzy, but still a tizzy nevertheless.
Can I declare right here and now that I’m ever so relieved to have only two daughters, not three? Way back when son was born, we felt fairly certain we would be dealt “three of a kind” and our third child would be another girl. Pleasantly surprised with a son instead, we were given a “pair and a spare.”
I didn’t think much then, when our children were 5, 2 ½, and a newborn, about their future weddings. But wow! I’m sure thinking about that now! Being the mother of a groom is a piece of cake (pun intended) compared to the responsibilities of the bride’s parents.
So as son and fiancée start planning their nuptials, I’m happy to just come along for the ride. But my ode to joy isn’t just because I only have two daughters’ weddings to plan; joy’s derived from the pleasure of watching all three of my children find their true loves.
So on to the flurry! Both of my girls ventured out of the city back to our country empty nest for a wedding planning marathon last weekend. Starting out Saturday, we launched a gift registry mission for middle daughter with a trip to the suburbs. Her groom, swamped in time consuming grad school classes in the state next door, is pretty much unavailable for preparation activities such as this until just shortly before the wedding.
First let me mention that this is the daughter who truly dislikes shopping. She’s one of those “get in, get what you want, get out” type of shoppers. Definitely not a shop til you drop kind of girl.
With that knowledge fully recognized, this mom expected to have to convince, cajole, and coerce to keep my darling daughter focused on the task at hand – completing a gift registry. Imagine my shock and awe when I realized we were in one store completing her bridal gift registry for a grand total of five hours! You read that correctly – five hours!
We had an amazingly helpful store associate assisting us in our quest (until her shift was over!). And we truly had fun! It overjoyed this mama to see middle daughter so excited over choosing prospective wedding gifts from china patterns to pig-shaped bag clips and oldest daughter helping. We laughed, we oohed, we joked, we aahed, we marveled, we zapped her finds on the hand-held register.
It was akin to an episode of the three musketeers. Armed with the store device instead of swords, we came, we divided, and we conquered! And then the weary wedding planners headed home to recoup because the next day guaranteed to be another day of going bridal.
Sunday we ventured back to the ‘burbs for a large bridal show. Vendor after vendor paraded their wedding fare to both of my girls. As we approached each booth, the vendor would ask, “Who’s the bride?”
My girls would smile demurely and I’d reply, “Both of them!”
Vendor would ask my daughters, “Are you friends? Sisters?”
“Sisters!” came the happy answer. “Getting married in the same year.”
Vendor’s attention refocused on good ol’ Mama, eyeing me up carefully saying, “Ooooooooh!”
I then laughingly retorted, “And that’s not all! My son is getting married this year too!”
Their eyes widened, mouths forming that proverbial O, and probably money signs appeared in their brains with that cah-ching sound. I firmly believe that when you admit the items you seek are for a wedding, the price suddenly sky-rockets, and then take that times three! Cash cow!
But what a day we had! We sampled wedding cakes, cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered pretzels, and candy favors until we were dizzy on a sugar high and oldest daughter developed real food hunger crankiness.
We saw everything you can imagine you might want to rent/purchase for a wedding and then some. Flowers, gowns, venues, photographers, DJs, limos, decorations, services ranging from dance lessons to make-up to chiropractic to wild bachelorette party ideas. You name it, it was there.
After registering for every door prize being offered in addition to a slew of other give-aways, we tasted macaroni and cheese cupcakes and tiny toasted cheese sandwiches with a tomatoey dipping sauce from one caterer. Both were scrumptious, by the way.
And just as the weight of our shopping bags full of brochures, catalogs, and coupons became a heavy load to carry and our legs and feet tired from all the standing and walking (especially Mama) we welcomed the chance to sit and enjoy an hour long fashion show featuring wedding gowns, veils, bridesmaid dresses, and tuxes for the men.
Alas, my girls didn’t win one give-away item (I really hoped one of them might win the all-expense paid honeymoon cruise) so we loaded our tired selves into middle daughter’s car and headed home to the nest. And there, we hauled out all our gleanings, searched for more ideas on the internet, and the girls pinned their finds on Pinterest.
It’s official. Wedding planning has taken over our thoughts, our discussions, our very lives, at least for the women in the family. But don’t worry, Papa had his moment in this marriage madness. While Mama helped middle daughter register for wedding gifts, Papa was getting measured for the tuxedo for her nuptials. He also was pleased to hear we found a reasonably affordable DJ for the first wedding in the line-up.
I think he enjoyed hearing his daughters gush about our two days of going bridal but realistically plan their lovely yet affordable weddings. He loves his girls and wants them both to have a memorable wedding day.
And that’s what it’s all really about – love – because I know that every day in my book of Opportunity, love gives us such joy. And love is a beautiful thing.
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