Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm Only The Mother of the Bride

My name is Jody. It's been 3 months since my last blog.
Busy time. Charlotte's wedding and 2 receptions, one in Salt Lake City, one in Colorado are now great memories with plenty of photos to remind us. Here are some of my favorite moments and thoughts.
I made one trip to Utah each month in December, January and February to take care of arrangements for the wedding. Even though it was hectic, and Charlotte was always busy with her job and church assignments, we were able to do things together and make everything work. We weren't having stereotypical mother daughter wedding planning blow-ups. I guess TV producers will have to find others for their so-called reality shows.
I liked it when Charlotte would call me several times a day to go over details.
I love the way she used Google to gather addresses. I don't know how we got by without that. Then she used a program that printed the addresses from her data base on all the envelopes, so the only ones I hand lettered were the ones to the President and other officials, or the ones we couldn't find addresses for until the very end. So, even though the addresses looked like they were printed by Wall-E from the Disney movie, it saved the sanity of more than a few of us. I just hope there weren't too many people who thought it was junk mail because of the machine printing.

I was thrilled to find a printer in Denver who, unlike so many heathens who work at copy centers, could tell that the artwork I brought to him was hand lettered calligraphy...not some type face I had spit out of my computer so they could try to match it with some technical typeface of their own. Blessings and appreciation for Scott of Centennial Press who spent 2 hours going over the artwork after he scanned it to make sure it printed well. He deserved the brownies and ginger cookies I took to him and his family.
I am so glad Anna went with Charlotte to find a wedding dress, and that she texted me photos of Charlotte in the dress she chose. Even though I couldn't be there for this important moment, I still got to shed a tear within minutes of it.
I liked it when Reed would let us know when he was doing something to surprise Charlotte, and ask for our help with details.
Once the major stress of getting the announcements printed and sent, and choosing a caterer and venue was mostly done, it was nice to focus energy on scanning photos for the reception slide show. We had plenty of Charlotte, and we were able to get a box from Reed's family. It was bittersweet to go through 25 years of pictures in a short time. That was when it really did seem as though it was just last week that Charlotte was toddling across the floor, or jabbering in her 3 year old language, or playing in her first recital.
I was glad my friend Andi would remind us (whenever any of us would voice a different opinion from what Charlotte had chosen, and yes, my mom and siblings have strong opinions, too) that we were not the ones who had the veil and bouquet, but she would bring us a cheesy one if we really felt the need to be the bride for a while. What she really brought us was some of her fabulous homemade bread, which bestowed on us comfort and calm.

I was very glad to be there when Anna and Charlotte went up to Red Butte Gardens the week before the wedding and Anna photographed Charlotte in her dress for the Bridal pictures. Even though I had to spread a sheet on the ground for Charlotte to stand on so her dress wouldn't get wet, the fresh snow on the trees made a beautiful backdrop for a beautiful woman in some beautiful photos. It was a gift to be able to see my daughters interacting this way.
I loved being able to take Charlotte out to dinner a few days before the wedding and have some time with just her. Some others suggested I not do that during such a busy time, and I was almost ready to play the "I'm just the mother of the bride and this is all I am asking" guilt card, but I didn't have to. I got my time alone with my daughter before she formally became part of a new family, and that is all I wanted.
I am so grateful my brother Mark and sister-in-law Elizabeth run the best gelato shop outside of Italy. Their gelato was a great addition to the buffet from Cuisine Unlimited for the reception.
I am also grateful Elizabeth willingly became the hairdresser, make-up artist and florist for the reception and the wedding. She patiently supervised me, Charlotte and my sisters as we arranged flowers in vases and she created a stunning bouquet, corsages and boutonnières. She did Charlotte's hair and make-up for the reception, then again the next day for the wedding. That woman deserves some artwork.

I am thrilled Charlotte and Reed decided to have the reception Friday evening, and then the wedding on Saturday morning. It was nice to have all the fuss of the big reception on Friday, and then be able to concentrate on the more intimate gathering at the temple with family on Saturday for the wedding. That is the way Mike and I did it and I have always been glad we did.
I am glad both receptions accomplished what we hoped. It was a time and place for people to gather, celebrate and honor a new couple, see family and friends again, relax, visit and enjoy good food. The one at Red Butte was a beautiful setting and perfect for the 450+ people who came. Cuisine Unlimited did a beautiful job with the catering, Dolcetti's with the gelato and Paula with the cake, and family and friends with the ambiance. The second one at our home was crowded and fun. We were thrilled so many came and stayed the whole time.
I loved it when we walked out of the temple after the wedding, and so many family and friends were there to greet Charlotte and Reed. I am thrilled so many family members came a long way to be a part of this.
I am especially glad all my kids could be there for this.
I am glad Charlotte's friend Morgan (Morgan Leigh Photography) was willing to be her photographer for the reception and wedding, and that she did such a great job.
I am glad my nephew Jacob invited the spirit of celebration by doing some great flying leaps for the wedding. His last leap was the best, when he jumped over everyone else to snatch the bouquet when Charlotte tossed it.
I am glad Reed's parents, Ross and Eileen provided a wonderful luncheon for the family after the wedding. It was nice to have a moment to unwind, relax and get some delicious caloric sustenance after such a week.
My favorite moment after the reception was when we finished taking the gifts to Charlotte's apartment. She changed into jeans and a t-shirt, then she sat on the floor and visited with Mike while she ate some of the food the caterers had set aside for her.
Then the next morning, Mike and I went with Charlotte to my dad's grave and covered it with all the flowers from the reception. We knew that was one way to include him, and to make sure he was awake in time for the wedding. We went to the temple after that and had some quiet time walking around with her before Reed got there.
It was a nice way to begin a whole new part of life.


Melanie said...

What a glorious occasion, Jody! Everything was lovely. We loved your beautiful and personal hand-caligraphied invitation! We loved seeing your family. And most of all, we are so happy for Charlotte and Reed!

nano*ink said...

Thanks for sharing this...really gave me a lovely feeling for your family time.