Lessons Learned from My Son’s Wedding

After a year of building anticipation and excitement, my son married his high school sweetheart this past Sunday. In the few days since then – with the calls, emails, text messages, and Facebook postings still trickling in – I’ve had the opportunity to reflect back on a few lessons that I learned as Mother-of-the-Groom.

  1. When the RSVPs start coming in, don’t get upset over those who cannot attend. Focus instead on those who are willing, able, and excited to spend their time and money to be with you on this special day.
  1. Buy a new dress and a pair of shoes that make you feel special.
  1. Set realistic expectations. You cannot make everyone happy. Some won’t like food, the music, the table at which they are seated, the location of the event, or something else. Remember that this affair is for you to celebrate with your guests, but it’s not about them.
  1. Drink lots of water and get a good night’s sleep the day before. On the big day, I woke up feeling calm, relaxed, and refreshed. It made a huge difference.
  1. Keep the schedule of the day accessible (on your iPhone, iPad, or in hardcopy) so that you know what’s going on and where you need to be at all times. And, confirm the list the night before. I almost missed my turn with the makeup artist!
  1. If there are certain family photos you want taken, list them out and get confirmation from the photographer in advance or it won’t happen.
  1. Have the groom and his groomsmen get dressed and ready together (with scotch on hand) in your suite. It’s a blast! I really enjoyed being asked to help with cummerbunds, bow ties, studs, and straightening jackets. (I love those guys!!!)
  1. Eat before the festivities begin. I never even saw the hors d’oeuvres and hardly ate any dinner!
  1. Wear waterproof mascara and bring tissues with you to the ceremony. You never know when you, the bride, the groom, or the rabbi will cry. (My brother, the rabbi, was crying before the ceremony even started!)
  1. Make your rounds and say your hellos to family and friends early in the evening. I feel like the evening went SO fast; I simply didn’t have enough time to schmooze with everyone.
  1. Walk around or dance in your new dress shoes as often as possible before the big day. As a result of doing this, I was able to dance in my three-inch heels the entire night. If your feet are happy, so is the rest of you!
  1. Get sweaty and dance the hora early at the reception! It is a great way to kick things off and get everyone up on their feet.
  1. If the wedding reception is being held at a hotel, book a room there (or at least at a hotel nearby) if you enjoy drinking, dancing, and staying up late. You’ll be glad you did.
  1. Do something to make your other child(ren) feel important and special on this day too.
  1. Don’t sweat the small sh*t or that’s all you’ll remember! Take it all in and enjoy. Decades down the road, when you look back at all the wedding photos, you only want to remember how wonderful it all was….

…and how you celebrated – with loved ones – this new chapter in your son’s (and your!) life. And, the very best part? You have a new daughter to show for it all.   Mazel tov!


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