Advice for When Moms and Weddings Mix

I have gotten out of my blogging habits here on GWADR as I’ve been busy supporting the launch and creation of blog content for the company Joy Photo and Video, an awesome wedding photography and videography company that provides services in Texas and Florida. Catch up on my blogs here and check back weekly. I will get back in the swing of things on here with my personal wedding blog as it brings me a lot of happiness. Thanks for your patience!

As we acknowledge Mother’s Day around the world, I wanted to share my thoughts on the role a mother plays throughout the wedding planning process, along with a few tips for after the wedding.

For The Bride

Recognize that the wedding planning process will shine the spotlight on both your strengths and weaknesses. It will likely also magnify the differences that you have with those closest to you. If you’re the bride who is planning her big day and your mom is involved in this process, it’s important to communicate what matters most to you. Your future mother-in-law will also probably be trying to find the role that she will play so make sure that she feels welcome and heard. With both of them, aim to set clear boundaries and focus more the things that you agree on than those that you disagree on. Have these discussions when you are calm and not in a chaotic frenzy—you should be able to be clear and focused so that emotions aren’t unnecessarily heightened.

What most brides miss out on is taking this time during wedding planning to have deeper dialogue with their parents (if they are able) about the things they learned amidst their love story and all that they would have done differently. These discussions will give you the opportunity to see your mom as a wife more clearly and that may help you both learn and see one another in a new light.

After you recuperate from the wedding and all that went into making it a reality, take your mom to get a meal or a manicure and swap stories about your big day. If there was anything tense that occurred between the two of you during the planning process then this will help you reconnect, smooth things over, and allow you to hit the reset button for the new chapter of your life. Show her your appreciation and find new ways for you and your spouse include her in the redefined version of your family. Do the same with your future mother-in-law to set new and healthy foundations for your future together as a new family.

For The Groom

Your mom likely has a special place in your heart, as does your future spouse. There may be points in the planning process where you have to balance both your mother, her mother, as well as your spouses’ needs. Be intentional about spending time with each of these women to keep your relationships strong. But make sure you stand up for your wife-to-be when the situation may call for it. Work with her privately to define what boundaries may need to look like and then help her draw these lines.

If there are unbalanced powers and drama between the women in your life during this season, you may find that deep wounds begin which are hard to come back from. Do what you can to prevent these hurts and play an active role in healing—because this season will set the standard for a long future together. Don’t just get in the backseat and ignore what’s going on during the planning process; your leadership role in connecting these relationships is critical. And then on the wedding day, take some time to be alone with your mom if you have the chance to. Share your gratitude with her and show her the honor that she deserves. Do the same for your future mother-in-law, too. This will go a long way for your relationship.

For The Mother Of The Bride Or Groom

Remember that you aren’t losing a child; you’re simply getting a new one who will be added to your family. You will need to pay close attention to the moments where you will need to step back and those where you will need to step forward. Pick up on the subtle cues from your child and their future spouse and be open to having transparent discussion about what each of you are experiencing emotionally during this time. Recognize that dynamics will change during the planning process and after the wedding day; they have to.

Change does not mean it will be negative. However, it will take some time for the dust to settle after the wedding. Make sure to allow the new couple to settle in and find their routine and traditions before you find your place in the new normal. You will find it and it will be special, but it’s important to be patient in defining your new role. There was probably a lot of stress that led up to the big day (and maybe even some drama within the family) so allow them space to adjust—and don’t take this personal. You’re entering a new season of your family with new family dynamics so do what you can to be thoughtful, supportive and understanding. Your child and their new spouse will appreciate this more than you know.

Moms play such a special role in our lives. I hope these tips helped.

A shout out to my mom, the most courageous and amazing woman that I know. She was everything I needed during my wedding planning process, on the wedding day, and beyond. One of my best memories from my wedding day: seeing my parents on the dance floor together with the biggest smiles on their faces while relishing in all that their love story created. I love you, Mom, and I’ll step in to be dance partner at any wedding we attend in the future (because I know that’s what Dad would have wanted. You know that he taught me all of the moves I know…)

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Weddings Amidst A Global Pandemic

I’m back after a much-needed break for a few months. A lot has changed during this time, including the beginning of a global pandemic! As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed, and continues to change, every single industry in unique ways. The wedding industry tops the list. It’s heartbreaking, knowing that couples who have planned their big day for years have had to make abrupt changes to their vision just so they could still get married. While others have made the hard choice to reschedule or cancel altogether. In a way, it’s simplified weddings and forced couples to focus on what matters: the two of them, vows, and those absolutely closest to them. It’s no longer about whether or not your third cousin needs to be invited or if the DJ can amp up a party.

I know, however, that simple doesn’t mean easy. I’ve seen a lot of creative ideas thus far and am looking forward to seeing how more couples navigate this time.

  1. Video streaming services allow for couples to bring their big day live to their loved ones. Consideration: Be thoughtful with the platform that you choose since some require logins that your guests may not have.
  2. Drive-by weddings are the new drive-by birthday parties. Allow guests to drive by when you and your spouse exist the ceremony space. The most creative guests might decorate their cars with balloons or throw rose petals out of the window. Consideration: This will work for some locations and/or sizes of guest lists. If you plan to be married in a tight urban or residential area then it may not work.
  3. If your wedding is further out (6+ months), don’t make any hasty changes. While it’s important to research specific policies to postpone or cancel, things will continue to change. If you move too quickly to make changes then you might need to adapt yet again at a later date. Consideration: Reach out to all of your vendors to find out what their cancellation policies are and specific time frames to keep in mind. Set a reminder on your calendar so you know when these dates are coming up.
  4. Even if you host a small event, you will still need to remain cautious and that might require some additional creativity. Keep an eye on your local news and pay attention to guidelines like these from the CDC on how to safely host an event. Consideration: Try to be flexible with your wedding vision. While having wedding rows that are 6-feet apart or signs on extra hand-sanitizer at the food stations weren’t likely what you first envisioned, it could be worth it if it still allows you to have an in-person event during the age of the coronavirus.
  5. You may have found that wedding planning was already getting really complicated and becoming much bigger than you had hoped. This could be your way of making your day just about you two and the love that you share. Elopement-like weddings are at an all-time high and could be done in exotic or beautiful places within driving distance. As long as you have someone to marry you and an epic photographer, this could end up being something really special. Consideration: Before you go this route, both you and your spouse-to-be need to make a list of the people who you believe HAVE to be at your wedding. This could change whether or not it’s feasible something this small. If it’s important for you to be married, you could also do something super-small now and then re-do your I do’s when things settle down.

I’m sorry for the bride and groom’s who have to quickly change their wedding logistics but have been encouraged by the resilience and openness displayed by many engaged couples during this time. Make the best of it and just know that these will make for great stories in the future! I mean, who else can say that they were married during a global pandemic?

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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From the Archives: How to Say I Love You All Year Round

img_7482Happy Valentines Day! I’m throwing it back to a post from my archives.

What I’ve found is that the lovey dovey sentiments while in a relationship can sometimes come a little ‘easier’ when you’re dating (as opposed to in marriage.) Being married can be incredibly romantic but you might need to become a little more intentional to keep the spark turned on during some life seasons together.

So what I highly would recommend is that you don’t just do nice things for one another during the annual events like Valentines, anniversaries or birthdays. Year after year that will likely begin to feel forced. And it’s important to remember that it’s the small moments of everyday kindness that can make your spouse feel cherished and loved. Here are a few ways that I think you can say ‘ILY’ all year round, in no particular order.

  • Surprise your spouse by doing a house chore that typically falls outside of your responsibilities.
  • Go to their favorite restaurant or movie of their choice…without complaining
  • Take their car to the car wash or fill it up with gas. While you’re at it, buy their favorite car air freshener.
  • Leave a love note in their car, under their pillow, or on the bathroom mirror.
  • Send a nice text to let them know that they are on your mind during the day. This could be an emoji, a cute photo of the two of you, or a love quote or saying. You could even send a link to a song that reminds you of them.
  • Deliver a bouquet of flowers or chocolate-covered fruit to their work…not on Valentines Day!
  • Surprise them with a gift card to their favorite spa for a pedicure or massage.
  • Bring home their favorite drink from Starbucks with a hand written message on the cup.
  • Plan an entire day to getaway and drive to your favorite romantic spot.
  • Propose an impromptu dinner at the beach or visit to the local park.
  • Bake (or purchase) their favorite dessert for a normal weekday night at home.
  • Plan ahead for date night with a bottle of wine to share, either their favorite kind or one that might remind you of your wedding day or wedding location.
  • Play your favorite romantic song and ask them for a slow dance, in the kitchen.
  • An album of boudoir photos, perhaps?
  • Change up your nighttime routine and serve them in ways that they desire to be served, not the other way around.
  • Check out the app “Hotel Tonight” for an inexpensive hotel stay.
  • If you want to try something completely different, spend some time on the Groupon app for creative+local ideas that could create for a special experience!

These are just examples of small things which can truly add up to a fulfilled life with one another. I hope you can make these personal to your insidiously personalities and relationship-norms. If Valentines becomes ‘less of a big deal’ because you do these things together often; that isn’t a bad thing. Try to put a few of these into action in 2019 and just see how it goes!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Update: I’ll be taking a break from wedding content for a few months to focus on my personal life. To catch up on past content, feel free to check out the links above, and scroll down this page for other posts. If you subscribe to my blog via email then you’ll be notified when I’m back!