My daughter was born when I was thirty-six-years old after thirteen years of various infertility treatments. Planning Katherine Harding Jones’s wedding didn’t start immediately. Sitting in church with my sweet toddler I can admit to forming mental images regarding my idea of the perfect wedding. These were complete with an organ fanfare, a gossamer wedding dress, an elegant bridal party and several smiling guests.
Type “A” women are visionaries. We constantly review every detail, organize them and work in the now, but we like to plan and prepare for events in the distant future. I’m sure several potential MOBS begin planning their little girls’ wedding before their darlings can walk. This past October, my twenty- three-year old daughter and I did create the perfect wedding. Katie is also a Type “A” and at fifty-nine patience is not my greatest virtue any more. Since I have retired, my Bi-polar disorder is easier to deal with although it is a concern. Time is the greatest asset. It is imperative to have a year to plan if you are in my situation. Also, my eighty-six-year old mother, Flo, lives with me so this combination of factors created unique situations and stressors that Katie and I were able turn into successes.
My mom is healthy and a great blessing. Flo and I take trips and have developed a bond that others envy; however, her short term memory no longer exists. This created several tense moments as I tried to keep up with Katie, all involved parties and suddenly I was playing the game of “Where’s my momma?”. Luckily, each time Flo turned left when she should have turned right, I was able to quickly find her. I asked my best friends, who have taken Flo to their hearts, to be on “mom duty” during the reception and I knew she would get her food, find her way to her seat, the bathroom and be present for all the big moments.
Now that my daughter is happily married and feathering her own nest, I wanted to share my experiences for other MOBS and who share my personality traits. Getting things right without collapsing in a corner the day of the wedding is possible. It’s also possible to avoid making it about your vision or becoming the center of attention by trying to micromanage the details or letting your inner leader run the show. So how do you and your daughter plan and execute the PERFECT WEDDING?
Luckily my daughter and I agree about style most of the time and are somewhat practical. From the start we had that as a planning plus. However, when conflicts in choices occur as the Type “A” MOB one phrase you will constantly hear that irritates you is: “It’s the Bride’s day and the final word belongs to her.”
My mental response and sometimes testy verbal response was: “Yes, it is Katie’s day, but I have to have a lot of input because my checkbook is the source of the funds.”
My observation for fretful Type “A” MOBS is that you may be the most vulnerable to stress. Everyone thinks the bride is the stressed one, but moms, if your daughter is also a Type “A” personality or you have other issues – you will find that you’re the one having the most sleepless nights. For the MOB and her daughter each decision is a potential emotional bomb that can easily explode.
To conquer this, I have borrowed a behavior modification technique from the old “Ally McBeal” television show. For those of you who are too young to remember, Ally was a young lawyer whose psychiatrist advised her to have a song that she put in her head whenever she was stressed. My song is “Mustang Sally” and it works very well. The tune works by overriding the stress signals your brain is sending out.
Also, my daughter and I worked out a topic/phrase that served as a warning when one or the other of us was getting upset or angry and needed a time out. We decided that if either of us talked about the weather in any way – that was our signal to talk about something else or wait until later to work things out.