Here I stand, Mother of the Bride.
The hat I’ll wear is because someone said “no hats” and while middle age has caught up with me, a smidgen of rebellious teen remains. The sensible shoes are insurance against the champagne and the midi length dress is a nod to age, thanks wrinkly knees.
The colour I’ll wear, plum, will not clash with the bridesmaids, emerald green, because I am a good and gracious guest, especially so when it’s my first-born getting hitched.
I know I look forward to the day because when I think about it, my heart can’t contain the tiny bubbles of joy, they feel like fizz. They bust out, these bubbles, and race through my veins, round and round, leaving tracks of nervousness, excitement and delight.
It makes me want to squeeze the arm of whoever’s nearest because they need to know:
“My daughter’s getting married!” and also: “I am the only person in the whole world, ever, to experience this!”
I’d like to shout this at the top of my voice. Of course I don’t. Being MOTB carries with it a mantle of decorum which I’d like to cling to, at least til cake cutting time.
Besides, I know where I stand, my place in time, a mere one of billions that have gone before and will come after. There is nothing extra special about anything that happens in my life apart from that I’m uniquely living it.
I do anticipate this wedding day way more than I did my own. I was not quite an 80s bride, but the puffy sleeves and mere three choices of bridesmaid dress colours had me stuck right there. I condemned my bridesmaids to bright pink, exact replicas of my own dress only shorter, because, well, that’s what you did in 1991.
Nowadays, the choice facing brides and grooms is massive, almost overwhelming, sometimes distressingly so. Good decision making isn’t necessarily about the breadth of options available but the focus required to cut out all the noise and stick to plan.
I’m reluctant to offer advice. My only titbit is about letting go of the lofty ideal of a perfect day.
The quirks of guests, the mistakes that are inevitable when coordinating an event for 100 people, those very flaws which some will call imperfections, are the very things that can make for one special day and one perfect memory, if you’re willing to roll with them.
It’s unnecessary advice for my eldest daughter and future son in law, both relaxed, “she’ll be right” Kiwi bods. They’ve made the occasion easy on the rest of us.
Perfection will trick you into thinking its visual, or at least tangible. It will try and tell you its there in how the flowers are arranged, how the table is set up, the colours you’ve chosen and food and venue.
Real perfection is found in all the mishaps, accidental and even the intentional, the flaws, wrong turns, poor timing, spelling mistakes, speech blips, little moments that make up the real memory of the whole day and will have the couple looking back thinking, “What a perfect day”.