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Ten Things the Mother of the Bride Needs To Know

by Jan Ackerson  
5/22/2007 / Humor

I have been the mother of the bride at two weddings in as many years. To be honestmistakes were made. As a public service, I offer the following advice to anyone about to step into my shoes (ivory stilettos that hurt like the dickens).

1. The first dress you buy won't quite fit, notwithstanding the fact that you bought it because it looked really cute in the catalog. (Here's a hintthe last time you weighed the same as that model, you were just learning cursive writing.) The second dress won't fit either, so you'll start dieting in hopes of wearing the first one (you liked that one better, anyway). But you won't be able to lose all the pounds, so you'll purchase dress #3. It'll be a tad snug, too, so you'll buy industrial-strength undergarments. Total investment: a bajillion dollars.

2. No one really likes that bridal shower game where they have to remember twenty household items on a tray. They don't like the one where they have to wear a blindfold and find safety pins in a bowl of rice, either. (If you do decide to play that one, don't make the mistake that II mean someone made. The rice is not supposed to be cooked.) And "Dress the Bride in a Toilet Paper Gown" sort of redefines "tacky," don't you think? Here's a formula for a great bridal shower: cake, presents, outta there.

3. It's not the end of the world that you printed two hundred programs reading "The Wedding Ceremony of Joy Anderson and Boob Carter." Yes, his name is "Bob." Perhaps a few peoplenotably, your daughter's future in-lawswill notice. They may even be slightly miffed. But not to the extent that you need to spend another bajillion dollars having corrected programs printed.

4. You know the hall closet that the cat has figured out how to open? Not really the best place to hang the veil. Cost of replacement veil: a bajillion dollars.

5. Ten minutes before the ceremony begins, take the flower girl to the potty. She won't go. Five minutes before the ceremony begins, take the flower girl to the potty. She won't go. One minute before the ceremony begins, take the flower girl to the potty. She won't go. Sixty seconds later, however, she will clutch her taffeta dress and scrunch her precious face all the way down the aisle, causing the guests to either (a) laugh uproariously, or (b) gasp in horror. If (a) happens, your daughter will blame you. If (b) happens, the guests will blame you.

6. Dabbing at a tear or two during the exchange of vows is sweet, and to be expected. Loudly wailing, "My baby, my BAAAAAAAABY" is discouraged.

7. A fun trend for the "green" bride who doesn't want guests throwing rice (bad for Tweety's digestion) is the Butterfly Release. Each guest is given a little box, and as the bride and groom exit the church, the guests slide open their boxes and liberate a flock of fluttering insects. Just be sure to order from a reputable company. It is reported that at one wedding, the butterflies were allshall we say reluctantto leave their boxes. Well, most of them were dead. Or dying. The area outside the church was littered with insect corpses and butterflies gasping their last, feeble breaths. Not an auspicious beginning for a marriage.

8. Lovely table decorations for the reception can be hand-made; consider origami doves. It only takes ninety-seven folds to complete each one. Let's see: ninety-seven folds times two hundred guestsyou should be done with them about the time you welcome your first grandchild. In the meantime, go out and buy some pretty candles.

9. Speaking of the receptionit's best not to flit from table to table, snatching silverware and glasses from guests lest they attempt to do the "clink for a kiss" maneuver. Some of them are still eating. Tell you what: you'll feel a lot happier if you excuse yourself and lose some of those industrial-strength undergarments.

10. Your daughter will be annoyed at you when you call her during the honeymoon. Several times.

A few final words: everything costs a bajillion dollars. But once the butterflies have been swept off the sidewalk and the origami doves have been gathered up with the used napkinsyour daughter will be married, and she will have begun a wonderful new phase of life. With Boob. Try not to call him that.

Jan is a Christian who has traveled through sorrow and depression, and has found victory and grace. She dedicates all writings to her Heavenly Father. Check out Jan's website at
Copywrite Jan Ackerson--2006

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