Wednesday, February 19, 2020

What Every Mother of the Bride Should Know



Dr. and Mrs. Christopher Smith
Photography by Chrissy Rae Photography

Happy Tuesday, My Lovelies!

Guess what?  I have a new son!!!  

Shanley Belle and Christopher were married over the weekend.  We had so much fun, and I'm feeling blessed not only that Shanley Belle and Christopher found each other, but that friends and family from all over the United States traveled to Alabama for the wedding.

Today I'm sharing things I wish I had known before the wedding planning process began.  I haven't had any close friends with daughters tie the knot yet, but I've had friends with sons marry recently.  These friends were NO HELP!  Just kidding....no I'm not.....  ;P



Ten Things Every Mother of the Bride Should Know


1.   Before you do anything, encourage the bride and groom to set the date, and then as quickly as you can after that, secure the wedding venue.  This is important because the season, location, and availability of certain vendors will depend on the date.

The bride and groom should also consider conflicts.  For example: If you live in the South, football season can be very sketchy.  Couples should never want to get married on the Third Saturday in October because this is the date for the Alabama v. Tennessee game, and it's GOOD to have guests at the wedding.

2.   Hire competent wedding planners.  This should be your next step.  Shanley Belle and Christopher had three:  two overall planners, and one at our church.  Wedding planners are worth their weight in gold!  They will think of things you've never even thought of, trust me.  Wedding planners should be the very first thing you budget for, and if their services take a chunk out of your overall budget, that is okay because they will help you and the couple prioritize how to spend the remaining budget.  I cannot say enough wonderful things about our planners: Grace & Truth.  I will also write an entire post about them because they are that good, and I want to share.  Stay tuned!

3.   Next to the Wedding Planners, Pinterest is your best friend!  Once you have planners, organize a private Pinterest board for the wedding.  Shanley Belle invited me and her bridesmaids to post ideas for the wedding on her board, and she even had sub-boards for the reception, flowers, dresses, etc.  We began to see that Shanley certainly had a distinct style, and she constantly cleaned-up the boards by deleting pins she no longer saw as her vision for the wedding.

Here is the reason Pinterest boards are so important: More than seventy-five percent of people are visual learners.  That means that you can tell them what you want, but they are probably not visualizing what's in your head.  You can even invite the wedding planners and vendors to contribute to the boards.  It's helpful to take an iPad with you to meetings with vendors so they can see what the couple's vision for the wedding is.  Your phone will be too small, so if the internet will be sketchy where you're meeting, then print out favorite pins and keep them in a binder.

4.   Keep a composition-sized notebook with you at all times.  I kept one in my purse because sometimes I would think of something I needed to do, or Shanley would call me with something important concerning the wedding.  I taped business cards in there and other important papers.  Plus the notebooks are great for list-making because there will be many, many lists before all is said and done.  Another reason this was important is because Shanley lives two states away, and she wanted a wedding in our church.  I had to help her because she couldn't be here for everything.

5.   Schedule the cake tastings from various bakeries the same day.  This is more important than you think; if you spread them out, then you can't compare the cakes as well.  Some bakeries will bake mini cupcakes of your requested flavors and send them home with you.  Shanley Belle and Christopher brought their selections home in mini cupcake form, and made their selections.  The reason I mention this particular thing is the cakes were tops on Shanley's priority list.




Photography by Chrissy Rae Photography

6.   Trust your wedding planners' assessments of vendors.  They have worked with them before, and they know the ones who are easy to work with and dependable.  Just do it! Trust them!

7.   If you live in the South, you should probably go wedding dress shopping in a small town.  Most of the bridal boutiques in the cities are tiny, and all the dresses are a size twelve.  They clip the brides into the dresses, and it's hard to really know how the dress will look in the appropriate size.  We found Shanley Belle's dress at a tremndously huge store in Tupelo, Mississippi: Kay's Kreations.  This store is amazing....there are so many stunning dresses in every size.  They also carried the designer Shanley Belle liked best.  Another very important service that these stores offer is on-site alterations, and the fees are reasonable. At the second fitting, Val the fantastic seamstress made the final adjustments on my dress and Shanley's dress while we waited.  The smaller boutiques do not offer this.  As a matter of fact, one of the local stores here in Birmingham said that their off-site seamstress would charge around $850.00 to alter a gown.

Driving to Tupelo was worth it, plus it's a darling Hallmark town with one of the best coffee shops I've ever visited.

8.   Etsy is a great resource for all the tiny details.  We were blown away by the Etsy artists who helped make Shanley Belle and Christopher's wedding unique and unforgettable.  As they say: God is in the details.  Plus, Etsy allows you to favorite items and shops, and pin things to Pinterest.  Etsy really helped make the wedding personal.  I will post more on the details from Etsy and vendors we loved in separate posts.

9.   If your daughter wants to have a church wedding, make sure you get a copy of the church's customary before you make any plans.  Not all churches are alike.  We've been members of our church for at least 8 years, but we'd never planned a wedding there before.  It's always better to know what the church's guidelines are before the bride and groom establish expectations that can't be implemented.

10.  Many photograpers will take engagement pictures gratis if you hire them for the wedding.  This did not work out for us because Christopher and Shanley Belle's schedule didn't allow for them to come home for engagement photos, but I wanted to share this not only for the cost savings, but it also allows the photographer to get to know them a little before the big day.


I hope these tips will help future mothers of the bride.  

I am not a wedding expert, and I don't claim to be.  I just wanted to share things I thought would be helpful because they were helpful to us.






Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill



24 comments:

  1. What a beautiful photo and I know you have lots to share! It sounds like it was perfect....but a lot of work! Hopefully you can relax now! Great info! Hugs!

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    1. Diane, we want to get away for the weekend soon. :D Trip and I both need it!

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  2. I have been down this road with my first and oldest daughter. All of these tips are perfect to let a parent or parents of a new bride that has never planned a wedding know what needs to be done. Organization is your best friend and writing things down. Such good tips. Glad the wedding was wonderful. Hope you post more pics when you get them. I know it was gorgeous.
    Hugs
    Kris

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    1. As soon as Chrissy Rae shares more photos, I'll share. She was a joy to work with!

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  3. I have been through this a few times and it is a year long process!! Alterations on wedding gowns are outragious!! But in the end, the wedding day is always so special and memorable! Pretty color scheme!

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    1. LOL I wish we had had a year....but Shanley Belle and Christopher wanted to be married before Mardi Gras! ;P

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  4. Thank you for sharing. I am looking forward to future posts. :-)

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    1. You're blessed you have sons.....for many, many reason! ;P

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  5. So many great tips! I could not agree more about the wedding planner. I lived in Florida and got married at the American Club in Kohler Wisconsin. The wedding planner did everything and it was so helpful because we were so far away. As for Etsy, I had my wedding invitations handmade by an artist on Etsy and they were gorgeous, as were my save the date cards,

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    1. Etsy is the best resource, I so agree!!! We developed relationships with a few of the artisans who contributed to the wedding.

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  6. Ricki Jill, absolutely love the first photo of Shanley Belle and Christopher in the woods. She is a gorgeous bride!!! Can't wait to see more of this magical weekend.
    You are certainly on top of things to write up a post so quickly. Well done!

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    1. LOL that is on the grounds of our church. That's why they call our church "God's Treehouse" because it's in the woods, and the grounds are gorgeous!

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  7. As a person who needs organization her in her life, I find these are very pin-worthy tips for any mother who has a daughter's wedding in the future! Even the simplest of weddings needs cues like these, great post. Shanley Belle was a beautiful bride. Looking forward to seeing more!

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    1. Thanks, Rita. I am hoping that these general tips will be helpful, especially for the mother of the bride helping her daughter (who lives two states away) plan a hometown wedding.

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  8. I'm so glad that things went well and you enjoyed yourself! Weddings are stressful yes, but also one of the happiest of days!! Your photos are beautiful and you will have wonderful memories with more to come! They are an adorable couple!
    Jenna

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    1. Thanks, Jenna. I appreciate how supportive you've been. You are the best listener! :D

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  9. Congratulations!! How beautiful!! You must be thrilled. I love this post and, as the mom of girls, I'm going to pin it. My nieces and nephews (seven of them) are almost all married now and very recently at that, so I've watched my sisters go through exactly what you described. Lots to think about for sure...Best wishes to them for a fabulous future!! And now you get to rest! ;)

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    1. Thanks, Kim. I hope mothers find this post helpful! Wow, there have been lots of weddings in your recent past. What a blessing to have such a large family!

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  10. Congratulations to them! The photos are beautiful!!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Su! We were lucky that we had Chrissy Rae as our photographer!

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  11. I'm sharing this one with my cousin -- Mother of a September bride! The photos are so lovely!

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    1. Thanks, Jeanie. I hope these tips are helpful to her!

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  12. Loved seeing a preview of your daughter and new son at their wedding. Look forward to more.
    I am amazed you are already blogging after the wedding.
    Congratulations.

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    1. I have many things to do to get caught-up around here. I keep procrastinating, probably because of the rain!

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