Well, the wedding has come and gone. Phew!
This seems like a good time to give you an insightful glimpse into the mind of the MOB (which is what they call you for a about a year before the event in which you will be the “Mother of the Bride”.)
For some of you, it may be helpful to learn about what happens in the mind of the MOB as the big day approaches; after all, a lot of you will be a MOB yourself before too long!
For others, this post may help you to cope when your own wife/mother/sister/friend becomes a MOB.
And the rest of you will probably just laugh and think, “Thank God this will never happen to me because a) I am a man; b) I am never ever ever planning to have a kid; c) I am an old lady raising cats who now feels a lot better about my life choices.”
The pressures on the MOB before the wedding cannot possibly be overstated. This is especially true if the bride is a mature, independent, capable young woman who doesn’t need or want you to do much. At first this will seem like a blessing, but as the wedding day gets closer and closer, you will begin to wish that you had been included in every single tiny detail.
You see, the week before the wedding, people will start to ask you a lot of questions that you can’t answer, so you immediately go into a panic. Kind of like this:
“What are the groomsmen wearing?” “Um…..pants?”
“What time will the caterer arrive?” “Not sure. In time to cook!”
“Where should we put all the wine?” “Ah…I…um…just leave it with me.”
You’ll also start waking up in the middle of the night (as the day gets closer, the wake-ups happen more often. By the night before the rehearsal, you’ll wake up every 14 seconds). You will be jolted out of sleep by burning questions like, “What if a sudden tornado blows through and everyone is lifted up and dropped over Kansas?” and “What if I fall off the dance floor?!!” In the brief periods where you do sleep, you will be overwhelmed by nightmares featuring giant black bears invading the wedding venue, drunken Uncles brawling on the porch, and suddenly realizing that you are on the dance floor stark naked.
What this all means, of course, is that by the time everyone you know and love appears in a giant throng to take endless pictures of you, will look like a refugee from a war zone. The bags under your eyes will be bigger than the big white wedding tent. Your hands will shake, and the golden tan that you so carefully worked on last week will have faded to the color of pasty oatmeal. This is the image that you will have of yourself:
In spite of all the stress, though, the big day will eventually come. You’ll carefully pack every single item that you or the bride could possibly want or need, and head off for the weekend. You’ll arrive at the hotel that you chose months ago, only to find that there are no more “non-smoking rooms” available, and that you and your kids are booked into “rooms-so-filled-with-smoke-that-we-offer-free-asthma-inhalers”. You’ll do your best to put a positive spin on the situation, telling yourself that it will be awesome to sound like Lauren Bacall at your daughter’s wedding, and ignoring the fact that you will smell like Humphrey Bogart at your daughter’s wedding.
You’ll go to the rehearsal with your family and the wedding party, where (if you are half as lucky as we were) the wonderful minister will manage to keep everyone under control long enough to do a run through of the event before they dive into the Irish Whiskey. You and the MOG (figure it out, people) will gulp your wine and compare notes on your respective neuroses. You’ll try to figure out if its a good thing or a bad thing that you’re both having nightmares about black bears. You’ll reassure each other a thousand times that “everything will be fine!”
And then the wedding day will dawn. You’ll drink four gallons of water because your throat is so dry from nerves. But you will immediately realize that you’ll have to pee 700 times before the ceremony. You are a middle aged woman. This can be a problem. This fact will make you more nervous, meaning you’ll need more water. You will wonder when you can switch to wine.
You’ll take the kids out to breakfast at a cute little diner where everyone moves at roughly the speed of a melting glacier. Your face will smile and chat with the family, but your brain will run a constant loop of reminders: “flowers, basket for flower girl, petals for basket, gift for the bride, make-up, computer for the music, deodorant, green tablecloth….flowers, basket for flower girl….”
Even though you know that you have brought every single thing you could possibly need for the celebration, the bride will text you to ask you to stop for hairpins and cold cuts. You’ll be happy to have something constructive to do as the clock inexorably ticks down toward the ceremony, but you’ll have a mini-panic attack when you realize that you’re in a far off land where you don’t exactly how to find a grocery store or a CVS. Lucky for you, the young people at the table know how to use an iPhone, and you’ll plan out your route.
At last, at last, the time will come for you to rush frantically back to the hotel to get dressed and ready. This is a day that you have dreamed of for years. Your emotions are on high. You and the FOB keep looking at each other with sappy grins. The two of you share memories of the cute little girls who once played “brides” together on your lawn, and who will now fulfill the roles of Bridesmaids, Maid of Honor and (gulp) Bride. Your nerves begin to settle, and you are filled with love and appreciation for the wonderful privilege of seeing your daughter married to a man who loves her to distraction.
You will step into the shower, humming the song that will always make you think of your baby girl and how intensely you will always love her.
Then you’ll step out of the shower and think to yourself, “What kind of freakin’ idiot thought it was a good idea to put a full size mirror opposite the shower?”
Just remember, no one has ever said, “It was a great wedding, except for that scab on the MOB’s elbow.” You and the MOG were right; everything will in fact be fine. Everyone will smile, and hug and wipe away tears as the truly happy couple exchanges vows. You’ll dance and sing together, you’ll toast each other, you’ll introduce your friends to your family. It will be incredible.
And at the end of the night, your beautiful daughter will kiss you and thank you and say, “Mom, this was so perfect! Thank you!”
20 thoughts on “Don’t be fooled by the MOB.”
There is definitely a multitude of thoughts & emotions leading up to your child’s wedding day.
Like you, I was our daughter’s unofficial wedding planner, guiding her in all things wedding, for months leading up to the big day:) We also hosted the rehearsal dinner in our backyard…I know, we are insane!
A good friend of mine offered me some very sound advice prior to our daughter’s big day. She told me to be sure to breathe & remember to take in all that this day represents. I took heed to her advice & made a pact with myself that nothing was going to get in the way of celebrating the joy of this milestone with our daughter. Mission accomplished! Despite those challenges that inevitably always present themselves the day of any event, I was able to deflect all of the crap & focus on the love & joy surrounding all of us.
It sounds like your daughter felt the same way! Congratulations to all:)
Its funny, but I was far from the wedding planner here: Kate really did do most of it herself! It was all the last minute things that weren’t under my control that made it panicky for me. But it went off without a hitch, and we are glowing now in the aftermath!
Yikes! I have four daughters…this is scaring me. You look beautiful, by the way. 🙂
Well, but you probably aren’t a naturally neurotic nut cake like me, so I’m sure you will be fine! Thank you for the compliment!
You looked beautiful! What a great day. Where are the pics of the bride?
I didn’t feel like I could post them without her permission…….
She was GORGEOUS in green.
Can I find your email address on your site?
I just tried to find your email, but I couldn’t. I thought I had seen it somewhere before. Can I email you?
Yup! I am “email@example.com”
What a surprise…..
Thanks, I will email you!
I can’t believe how well you captured my feelings as MOB! I have had the privilege of being the MOB twice in the last 2 years and both daughters planned and orchestrated their weddings . Like you I was thrilled at first but then the panic set in. I would wake up in a cold sweat worrying about details that maybe they didn’t think of or worse yet that there would be some sort of catastrophe. I would confide to my closest family and friends that I was looking forward to the day after the wedding when I could just relish in all the wonderful memories of the day! As it turned out both weddings were beautiful, and I am still relishing so many beautiful memories of their day!
PS I LOVE this picture of you! The look in your eyes pretty much sum up the way every MOB feels the day of her daughters wedding……
Thank you, my dear! I am sincerely hoping that you mean the “serene” photo and not the “internal MOB photo!”
I have to say, I have seen your photos, and YOU look absolutely amazing! I sort of hate you a little, to be honest…….
It is just such a huge event to have one of our children marry, isn’t it? Such a mix of joyful/terrified….! I’m glad that this silly post resonated with you!
Ha ha I did mean the “serene” photo!
Congratulations! So glad it was a great day!
Crazy but great!!! Phew!
Congratulations, MOB, you done good! Did any naked, drunken uncles end up dancing with a bear?
Only two, so it was better than we feared!
Actually, my husband and I decided to leave the party after midnight when all the drunken 20 somethings decided to swim in the pitch black pond!
aww! Your post made me laugh and then tear up! I hope to be an MOB sometime, but my nearly 21 year old informs me that she’ll “NEVER get married!” and my younger one is only 10. If that day ever comes, I’ll remember your words. Thank you.
Ah, my daughter said the same thing when she was 21! And 25 for that matter…..!
It was so much fun to be the MOB, but not until the wedding actually started!