When the mother of the groom is the wedding planner

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Whew! What a whirlwind wedding weekend!

Our son’s wedding day last weekend ranks as one of the happiest in my life. Right close to it on the happiness scale is today, the Monday after! Mark and Sayo went to Seattle yesterday to ferry her maid of honor to SeaTac for her flight back to Japan. Our daughter and her boyfriend are safely back to their homes and jobs. The house is quiet and there are lots of leftovers in the fridge.

Because Mark and Sayo live in Japan and wanted to get married here, most of the planning was left up to me. I can be organized and I’m good with food but those are about the only two skills I brought to the wedding planning table. I am not good at decorating…at all! And all the details drove me crazy. Really, you have to have a special pen for guests to sign the book? A perfectly serviceable, beat up, chewed on Bic from the pen drawer won’t do? Ribbon for everything but I cannot tie a decent bow. And all the little decisions like champagne toast or not, cake or cupcakes or both, colored or white napkins and tablecloths….it went on and on. Vendors kept calling me with questions to which my stock answer was, “I don’t know.” Mark and Sayo helped as much as they could but I felt the burden of responsibility on my shoulders. Did I mention that we only had two months to accomplish this? At one point during this process when I was probably pulling my hair out in clumps, my husband, Ric, said that weddings were a waste of time and money. At that time I couldn’t have agreed with him more.

Not now, though. They are expensive, true, but we were modest, for the most part, in our choices. And they do take a lot of time to plan and pull off. But beginning about three days before, when all those little details have to come together into the wedding events, I began to see the value. Mark and Sayo were home and, as they worked together to take care of some last minute details, I saw them practicing collaboration and compromise which are invaluable in a marriage. My sister, Mary, was here and, with an equally talented friend, gave up two days to bouquet making. Last minute touches for the flowers involved my niece and another sister. On Friday evening our family gathered along with those of Sayo’s who were able to make the long trip from Japan. Only her cousin spoke English and, of course, none of us speak Japanese, but somehow we managed to get to know one another. I was able to see that, even though they are from far away and a completely different culture, we had similar family traits which is probably why Sayo is the one Mark chose out of all the other young women.

On Saturday friends and family members helped wrap the planning up into a beautiful ceremony which was officiated by our daughter, Dana. At the reception close friends and family encircled Mark and Sayo to let them know they are loved and cherished and then sent them off, fully nourished to begin their life together. What more could a mom ask of a wedding weekend?

(Photo by Haley Christine)

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