MOB – The Long Distance Destination Wedding

I think I need a personal assistant… so that she can remind me of all of the details that I will SURELY forget. My “mature” brain is filled with a myriad of odds and ends rattling around in my head at the moment. Planning a wedding is a big task for every bride and mum. Then throw in a billion mile, 12 time zone difference between mother and daughter and you have ramped up the stress times a million. I mean seriously, can you really discuss table settings via iChat or MSN messenger? “Yeah, it would look really pretty to put those kind of flowers that sort of look like this, you know the ones I mean, and have them in a glass, cube, semi transparent, but sort of opaque, vase about this big”. It is just not easy to picture it in your head. And, what color is teal REALLY??? Is is a blue with a little green in it or is it green with a smidgen of blue? How would you set those candles on the round table?

Well, I recently flew into London to have a 4 day brainfest with my daughter who is getting married next September. PLENTY of time! I was on very strict schedule, so I landed ready to run. First, I unloaded my suitcase full of bridal magazines with the dogeared pictures of flowers, dresses and tables … kind of threw that on my daughter and immediately launched into my spiel on receptions. Honestly, as much research as I have done, I could start my OWN bridal planning business! After the third magazine I could see that my daughter’s eyes were glazed over and she was no longer responding. Ok, so I guess that means sensory overload.

In my 4 day stint we had lots to accomplish. We had to meet with the caterers, meet with a hotel that was going to block some rooms for us, visit the golf course where we are planning to host a tournament, go to two dress appointments and oh yeah, decide on a theme and color scheme for the reception. No problem right? Forget that my daughter has a fulltime job and is renovating a flat as well as working on her wedding blog….but she is young right? She can handle it ALL.

We get ourselves up and out on Saturday morning at 6:00 am. Didn’t know there was any kind of productive activity at that hour but it is amazing that people are actually working in the middle of the night! We had a 1.5 hour train ride to Bath to meet with the caterers and a few hotels which resulted in a massive a blur of details flying at us from all angles. And despite the fact that we had discussed all of the questions we wanted to ask, we still forgot some important ones.

Rush rush rush. We jumped BACK on the train at 11:30 to make it back to London to try on dresses at the first shop at 1:30. Forget that we are now more than a bit hungry since breakfast was at the ungodly hour of 6 am!!! Oh well, that is the least of our worries. Apparently there is a person wandering on the train tracks and we are at a dead stop so that the police can search for him, lest we run him over! This now puts us in danger of being late for our first dress appointment!!! Horrors….tick tock… time passes and apparently so does the wanderer so we are able to proceed with only a minor delay. Once we hit Paddington Station we are RUNNING to grab a cab and arrive with no time to spare at our first destination. Breathless and panting we arrive only to sit and wait for a few minutes which gave us a chance to breathe again.

Now the dresses that my daughter tries on fit quite loosely because she has had NO TIME to eat anything, and not only is her stomach flat, it is concave and she is shaking from hypoglycemia! But oohs and aahs prevail and she soldiers on like a trooper, trying on dress after dress. I must digress momentariy at this point. I think in previous articles I mentioned that I live quite far from my daughter and am missing out on the day to day wedding planning. So when I am in town I want to make the most of my experience. That includes photos of various events – including the dresses! Well our dear maid of honor is quite clever and I appreciate her stealth maneuvers, but the poor girl was caught red handed with her iPhone in mid snap. If looks could kill, she would have been a goner. I am just thankful they did not haul her away in handcuffs. Thus the end of our photo ops. But my biggest hugs to G for risking her life for the sake of a picture!

Finally the appointment is over and our only thought at this point is FOOD. So we have an hour and a half before the next appointment and we scarf down lunch. Of course we are now in a food coma and could really imagine curling up on the sofa for a snooze, but NO, carry on!!!

The second dress fitting was a little more relaxed because 1) we were not as rushed and 2) we were tired and slowing down. But it was successful. You would think that the day would finally be over wouldn’t you? It is 6 pm, now almost 12 hours since we began this marathon and the girls look ready for bed … but Mum has other ideas. “How about we head to the book store and thumb through some books and magazines and see if we can get some ideas for the reception?”

Armed with a stack of books the size of a small house we plunk ourselves down and have a look. Things are going well I think until I hear something…wait…it is my daughter snoring!!! Ok, I get the hint. We are done for day…

A few more tips from MOB

1. Just because you are excited about the wedding and have been waiting weeks to share your info with your daughter, remember that she has a multi-faceted life and other commitments and obligations.

2. Pace the deluge of information.
You have had time to process all the stuff you have collected but your daughter is seeing it for the first time and needs time to digest.

3. When planning multiple outings in one day, don’t jam too many things into a short time frame.

4. Don’t schedule things too close together timewise.
Allow for traffic jams, and other delays. If you are late, you end up being stressed and not enjoying things to the fullest.

5. Make sure to schedule some time for lunch breaks.
Or bring some nutritious snacks with you in case there is no time for a proper meal. Also have water!

6. Write things down.
If possible, on a day with multiple stops, take 2 seconds at the end of each stop and jot down a few notes to expand upon later on. Write down those things you forgot to ask.

7. If you have the time, space out appointments.

8. REMEMBER this is a special time for you and your daughter.
Enjoy the fun times, laugh at the mistakes and laugh at yourselves.

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