It’s a Wedding – Not a Jungle Expedition

Four days – my eldest is getting married in four days!  We (I) got a kick out of buying those bridal magazines (wedding porn, a girlfriend called them –referring to my ever growing stash).  So, yeah, I’ve flipped through a few and a good friend gave me the  survival guide for the MOB book and I read it cover to cover – Mrs. Bossy survival guide author and all those magazines  tell me we have to prepare the Bride’s/bridesmaids/groomsmen’s/Navy Seal type Emergency Kit.  My daughter has enough on her hands – temporarily living on a island, taking care of the soon-to-be cutest ring bearer in the world and dealing with that seating chart.

I happily  took on the Emergency Kit task.  So dear bride, we are set.  I have assembled in little sandwich bags inside of bigger freezer bags (bless those bags)  – safety pins (really what do you actually safety pin on the wedding day?), lip gloss, throat lozenges, needles and thread (did that son actually get his pants hemmed?), static guard (someone please ask me for static guard on the big day so that I can exclaim – yes, yes, I have it right here), handi-wipes, a stain remover pen, bug spray (for those late season bugs), sun screen (they are predicting clouds), bobby pins, hair elastics, duct tape (oops – did I forget the duct tape?), drugs – lots of them, aspirin, cough syrup, pills to plug sinuses – pills to unplug sinuses, back pain relieve, head pain relieve – also blister pads (lots), band-aids, lotions, deodorant (better get more)  protein bars (can’t forget that – but wouldn’t a nervous bridesmaids rather have a Nanaimo bar – got those too.)

This morning I woke up worried about having enough hair dryers for the sure-to-be overworked hairdresser, whose agreed to travel to the island – taking those two short ferries to get there – and what about mirrors?  I don’t know how our rental cottage is equipped with mirrors. Somebody told me about a fold up mirror (?).  Now I understand those families that you see at the airport from other countries with loads of suitcases, and duffels and taped boxes.  They aren’t going to the home country for a month, like I used to think.  They are going to a wedding for four days.   

I was busy adding to my list – smaller cooler, a spare sleeping bag for an uncounted for guest, eye drops to clear red eye ( in case we can’t sleep and then cry too much) – and that’s when it struck me – after the wedding I would leave straight for an African Safari –  I just need to throw in the tent and some mosquito netting  – and I’m set.

Mother of the Bride – a Fun Ride

Cover of "Wedding Flowers"

Cover of Wedding Flowers

Wow – five days until my daughter’s wedding!!  For the last three  days I’ve admitted to some people that I’ve been “oddly emotional” and they all reply – “What?  Of course you’re emotional – what’s odd about that?”  But I think I was surprised by my own tears in the pompom warehouse (no kidding – millions of pompoms under one roof) and even, can you believe it – over the phone to the indifferent desk clerk at the honeymoon spot (making sure that they acknowledge the honeymoon couple in some nice way – and they do  – with chocolates and wine) because except for a very few, very mild panic attacks (breath deep, in through the nose, out through the mouth)  I’ve enjoyed almost every minute of helping my daughter plan her hopefully lovely, ‘ smallish’ wedding.

My husband and I like to entertain – small scale in our home or cottage, with flowers from the garden, homemade food (okay – yeah, I cheat a bit on that) drinks, and the right music on the iPod.  My daughter’s guy has a similar background, and she and the wonderful young man she’s marrying  have the home in their community that friends spontaneously  gather at and so they regularly put on impromptu dinner parties as well.  So come on, tell me – how could we not have crazy fun planning a party where we don’t have to cook or clean up – but get to set the stage, make it dazzling (we hope) choose the menu and dance lots?  She’s an artist so indulged her passion for drawing by designing invites and seating charts (her small obsession), and programs and thank-you cards and EVEN those signs at the side of the road that say “Wedding this way” – paying no attention to my, “But honey, those don’t have to be art – they might get rained on and people are just speeding by.”

What were my obsessions? I admit I did tromp all over two cities looking for the right lacy socks for the flower girls -all women of a certain age will know the ones I refer to, I’m going to start importing them.) But I also was stuck on retro qualities from cousin’s weddings back in the day – the ones  where we ate homemade Ukrainian food and polka-ed and did the stupid chicken dance.  This wedding is on the coast on an island that takes two ferries to get to (just ten minutes each, honest).  There won’t be perogies, and maybe not the chicken dance, but there will be bright pompoms on the cars and match books with the couple’s names on them (if they arrive in the mail this week) and flower petals sprinkled down the aisle by tiny girls – the bride and groom’s niece, as well as their own fourteen- month-old toddler who may or may not help her cousin with those petals (okay – not).  There will be flowers grown on the island by a local young woman – dahlia’s and whatever else grew this summer, and groomsmen who have never been groomsmen before and bridesmaid’s in the same category, accept for the one whose done it five times this summer (bless her). There will be lots of young people who have never even been invited to a wedding or maybe one way back, but not a close friend’s.  Both families will walk down the grassy aisle and my sister will perform the ceremony.  There will be a cousin playing Davie Bowie songs on his guitar as the bride walks towards the groom with her dad, and I guess, this is the part that is making me cry, because I’m crying now, is that it’s been a hec of a fun ride, helping to put this together – fun, of the sorts that makes me happy.  That’s what we’re supposed to pursue right?  So now, after so much anticipation I’m tearing up.  Our two families have worked together so that the guests  that we love (even those slow to RSVP) could be well taken care of on the day that we join each other by the seaside, while our dear daughter and the good man that she is marrying stand together, with their little baby girl nearby and promise to keep loving each other for a very long time.

And the best advice that I can give the new couple is to cherish the day, to let others entertain you on Sept. 24th but most importantly –to  have fun on your day.   Just remember, we’ve got your back.