Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Things We Do For Love

Okay. So I've pretty much left you feeling like we have had a blissfully happy planning experience. And for the most part -this is true. Lindsey and I have gotten along beautifully. For a 25 year old daughter and her mother to get along  85% of the time while planning a wedding in 6's worthy of a hallelujah shout!  However, yesterday I had a MOB (Mother of the Bride) ask me if Lindsey and I ever have disagreements, (hurtful words and hurt feelings), so I thought I should tell you - of course we do! But any smart mom understands that sharing about our spats on a BLOG for  the world to see probably isn't such a smart thing to do. Believe me, while planning a wedding the last thing the mother-of-the-bride wants to do is heap coals on a hot spot. 

With that said, Lindsey gave me permission to share about one of those heated moments. But for the life of me as I sit here this morning, I can't think of one in particular. What I can tell you is that there have been numerous times when my sweet little bride-to-be was a perfect picture of Bridezilla!Oh...just thought of one. It was while we were at an appointment with Heidi, our wedding coordinator. I had done the leg work, made the phone calls, written the checks and quite honestly was the one who orchestrated this particular meeting so, Heidi directed her question to me.  While answering, Lindsey abruptly held out her hand in my direction to shush me,  and rudely said, "Mom! I've got this!"with a mean look on her face. Embarrassed I sat back and shut my mouth. I smiled and hoped the tears in my eyes would not roll down my cheeks in front of this sweet innocent wedding planner seated across from me. How embarrassing! Another time...oh shoot. She told me I could only share one. Ha! 

All I can say is...the things we do for love. Bruce and I want the very best wedding for Lindsey and Bryan that we can make happen within our budget. And we've put together a pretty sweet event! I know that tensions are high and those glaring looks may only get worse during these last 15 days. And in all fairness, I've had a few mom-Zilla moments of my own! Boy, Satan would really love to destroy this joyous occasion if he could, wouldn't he? But nope- not happening here. Instead- I'm praying that through the tedious last minute details, when the bride-to-be has a moment, I will be ever so calm, cool and collected. Prayerfully I will be the godly mother I've always hoped to be. I love Lindsey Nicole Peele, she's my daughter, my friend and I'll put up with a few spats here and there because I know she loves me as much as I love her. The sweet moments we've shared far out shine the others and I'll cherish each one. To think in just a few days, she'll be Mrs. Bryan Oler. She won't come home to her room. She won't be calling to say, "Mom, I'm on my way home", or "What's for dinner". Instead she'll be starting a new life with Bryan. It's a bitter-sweet season. I'm so proud of her and can see God's plan unfolding in her life.  It's true, the mother daughter relationship can be difficult at times, but it is also one of the greatest blessings of my life. Okay, now...the tears are rolling down my cheeks.

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your great love. Thank You for Your grace and unconditional love. Thank You that your love is deep, long and wide and nothing we can do will ever separate us from Your love. May Your love be what shines brightest through me during the next two weeks. When tensions and stresses get high, (and they will), and everyone in my family, (especially Lindsey) looks to me to make it happen, help me be the one who calms and brings peace.  Lord- You love, You give, You forgive. Surely I can put up with a few harsh words, ugly looks and embarrassing moments from those I love. And when Lindsey walks down the aisle to meet her will all be worth it! We pray that the ceremony, the vows and the celebration will all bring honor to You.  I love you Jesus- Amen

The Thing Jesus Christ did for love- He gave His life.
The Things we do for love- serve others. give, give and give some more.

Much Joy!
The Mother of the Bride(s)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

18 Days away from the Wedding Day!

Boy meets girl. One of them does that little something that catches the eye of the other. Smiles are exchanged. Small talk is made. Then it happens. The flutter inside that makes them think...he/she just might be the one! Then the first date. Life and laughs. The first kiss. Then those three words are spoken- I love you. The relationship grows and then those four words are spoken- "Will you marry me?" She said,"yes!"  There's celebration, an engagement period, wedding planning, then finally...the Wedding Day! The day two individuals selflessly give themselves to each other; promise to love and to cherish their soul mate, best friend, the love of their life; the day two become one. 

We are 18 days away. The RSVP list is in. We have our final tasting tomorrow. There are only a few more things on my "To Do list" (for now anyway).  We wait with great anticipation for the blessing of the day; to celebrate with our dearest friends as we witness this magical moment. You can be certain we are and we will praise God for all that He has done. 

You would think this is the down time everyone talks about. Not for me. It's time to pull up my boot straps and find a venue and wedding date for Holly and Caleb. I spent the day yesterday calling all the venues on her list. Today I've made a few appointments. Tomorrow, Holly and I will go look for ourselves, with hopes of finding the place so we have the date. Holly's dream wedding looks much different than Lindsey's. It will not be as easy as "let's do it again!" Of course not! Holly's wedding will be a very different style, a lot of personal touches and for those who know Holly...Vintage Chic is the look she hopes to achieve. This can be difficult in the Big City of Houston, Texas but...we're going to make it happen and have fun doing so! Wow! I can hardly wait to see- wedding number 2.

If you are a praying person, (and I hope that you are), pray for God's provision, strength and blessing on our family. And if you are planning a wedding or hoping for one...may the Lord bless you more than you can imagine! Ephesians 3:20.

Much Joy!
Mother of the Bride(s)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bridal Portrait Day

I'll keep this short and sweet. Today was one of those days most moms dream about. To see the bride (your daughter), dressed up in a beautiful wedding dress- for real. She's not playing dress up and she's not six years old. No matter how many times you blink your eyes in disbelief, she's your little girl, all grown up, ready to walk down the aisle. Hair perfectly placed, a face that looks like a porcelain doll and the veil. Oh was the veil that got me. Wow! She is gorgeous!

Hair at 10:00. Pick up bridal bouquet at 11:30. Lunch. Pick up the dress at 12:30. Make-up at 2:00. Dressed and ready for the photo shoot at 4:00. All I can say is...this is SO MUCH FUN!!!! We are loving every single minute. Anxious? Of course. Blessed? Abundantly! Thankful to God? Most assuredly.

Twenty three days can't get here soon enough for Lindsey and Bryan. But for me...I plan to slow down time as much as  possible to savor every sweet moment with the Bride to be- my precious daughter.

Tired and ready for bed. 

The Mother of the Bride

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

...And Holly Too!

Remember the prayer I put in the Western Wall in the city of Jerusalem? If not...let me remind you. "Lord, bless Lindsey with a godly husband and soon! And Holly too!!" Well...this past Saturday, October the 8th, 2011, fifteen months later,  Caleb O'Flaherty ask Holly Peele to marry him. Oh my goodness! This has been so hard to keep a secret but we pulled it off. Or should I say, he pulled it off. Just like Bryan (Lindsey's groom) asked Bruce to a man to man dinner, Caleb did also. On August 20th, Bruce and Caleb had a three hour dinner to discuss his intentions, and Caleb had to answer all those questions on Daddy Bruce's list. And just like Bryan, Caleb passed the test, had a ring made and...she said yes!

I think Bruce has the hang of this thing now. Maybe he should mentor Fathers of the bride on the side. I'm so proud of Bruce, the man I married 30 years ago. I love Him so much! He's not your typical get your shot gun kind of dad. Nope. Bruce is kind, gentle and loving and wants the best for his girls whatever that may be. Like me, he has prayed for this day since before the girls were born. We have raised our daughters, taught them God's Word, loved them and guided them through life. Now God has revealed His plan to them for marriage.   I'm sure on the wedding day there will be tears, but not tears of I'm giving my daughter away. But tears of joy and praise as we celebrate their holy union, two becoming one and becoming a family of their own. And...we are gaining two sons!

The Proposal

After finding the perfect ring, Caleb hid it in his room for weeks. He waited until all the wedding showers for Lindsey and Bryan were over before he proposed to Holly. We appreciate that. The planning has been fun to watch. Our girls have been blessed with guys that want to please and surprise. After several ideas, Caleb finally came up with a plan that was big enough for his Holly.  After Holly got off work on Saturday she would have to run home and change clothes. Caleb told her they were going to Hotel ZaZa for dinner so she wanted to look nice...just in case.  Yes, a few weeks ago she said,"Mom every day I think...this could be the day." She knew he had talked to dad and they had looked at rings, but the timing of the proposal would be a surprise.

After a wonderful dinner, Caleb and Holly walked over to the fountains at Herman Park. If you live in Houston, you know the area. (side note-I actually took my Vaquera drill Team  pictures there one year.) What Holly didn't know was that Caleb had parked at the Planetarium for a very special reason. Holly loves the stars! In Houston with all the big city lights, its pretty tough to find stars so... you guessed it- Caleb rented the Planetarium! (I went there on my 5th grade field trip. Never imagined my daughter would get engaged there.)

When they were walking back to the car, Caleb said, "Man Holly. I need to go to the bathroom. Let's see if we can get in this door," as he pulled open the back door to the Planatarium.  Holly said, "Caleb they're closed!" But according to plan when Caleb opened the door a woman was there and Caleb said, "Can I please use your bathroom?" Holly was surprised when the woman said, "Sure. Its right down this hall." But she didn't think a thing about it. After Caleb came out of the men's room they were walking back down the hall and he said, "Hey, let's see whats in here." Holly said, "Calebbbb! We are going to get in trouble and my feet are killing me! Let's go!"
Caleb opens the door and walks to the center of the very dark Planetarium and with Holly close by- POOF, there they were, standing under the stars. After a speech (which I have no idea what he said, she won't tell me...yet. lol) he got down on one knee, took the ring out of his pocket and asked Holly to marry him. I know! I know!!! Isn't it so sweet and ROMANTIC! After she said, "yes!", right on cue, Garth Brooks song "To Make You Feel My Love" came on and they danced under those beautiful stars!!

When they left the building, there was a limo waiting for them. Well, it was supposed to be right out the door but they had to walk around until they found it. (Oh well, one little glitch is okay!) Once they got into the limo they drove to our house where ONE MORE SURPRISE- 20 friends from church and all of Calebs family (who drove in from the Dallas area) were ready to celebrate with the happy couple!

More to come!

One Happy Mother of the Bride(s)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

28 Days and Lindsey will be walking down the aisle!

I woke up this morning with butterflies in my stomach. How can it be...only 28 days and my first born will be walking down the isle towards her groom. OMG! (tears) I'm so excited and if I can be honest...a little frazzled too.

Knowing I needed to take a deep breath I sat silently before my Lord this morning. No words. I just listened and basked in His love. The rest of my morning was spent going through my wedding  notebook (a spiral) to get myself back on track. It seems the past three weeks I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Ha! Funny saying, but the person who made it up must have been feeling just like me!

 As I thought about what I should share today, so much came to mind that I didn't know where to begin. It's been five days since my last post and I can't begin to tell you what all I've done. However,  I thought I'd give you some tips and a glimpse behind the scenes with The Mother of The Bride.

On May 16th, Bryan Oler took Bruce to dinner to say, "I'm in love with your daughter Lindsey and I want her to be my wife." Some people have said, "Seriously? People still do that?" Well, they do if they want to marry our daughters. After "the man to man talk", which went amazingly well and lasted three hours, we knew the proposal was happening and soon. Lindsey was aware that a proposal was eminent but did not know the week, day or moment. Therefore she had been researching venues, dates, and looking at Bridal magazines, especially after she knew Bryan had talked to her dad. Then as you know the proposal happened and like ready, get set, GO-we were off and running!

Now, some brides are fortunate enough to have a Wedding Planner; a person to takes care of every detail. Have you seen Father of the Bride, with Steve Martin? Gotta laugh when you think about that Wedding Planner; talk about over the top! Believe me, it can happen. Other brides however, like Lindsey, have their mom and a wedding coordinator. Remember, every wedding is different; unique to each bride and groom. Some choose a simple wedding, others over the top, while others fall somewhere in between. Try not to compare your wedding to others. I've been to some church weddings with cake and punch receptions that were just as fun and memorable as one of those over the top weddings. In either case, finances are a must to consider. If you are the Bride-to-be, don't make your parents feel terrible if they don't have the money to give you the wedding of your dreams. Work within your budget. Also keep in mind where there is a will, you can usually find a way. If your are creative and want to do the work can make it happen for less, I'm just sayin. If you have 1500.00 or 150,000.00 the most important thing about your wedding is that two people fell in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together being blessed by God and living happily ever after. You don't need fluff to make that happen.

Lindsey and Bryan's Wedding

Getting started-Please note, this is based on the Peele/Oler wedding and helpful tips we have received from other Brides and all those magazines. Our Venue has a wedding coordinator which is a huge plus.  Our florist (who is also a wedding coordinator) will be sure Lindsey walks into the venue and it looks just like we planned. The two coordinators will work together to assure everything looks as planned and that the reception goes according to plan. We should get to celebrate and trust they will keep things running smooth while we celebrate worry free. One more important coordinator- the church. The wedding coordinator at our church has covered every details of the ceremony and will assure everyone is in place, and the order of the service goes according to plan. Whew! Lots of details folks!

With that said here are those tips.
  •  Father and Groom talk.
  • The proposal.
  • Purchase a wedding calendar for the Bride and the Mother of the Bride. Be ORGANIZED!
  •  Plan the budget. Give yourself a buffer because chances are you will go over. 
  •  Have a few dates in mind.
  • Check your church calendar or the place where you want the ceremony to take place. Book it.
  •  Tell your Bridesmaids and groomsmen you would love them to be a part of your special day.
  • Tell the Flower Girls, House Party and any others you want to be a part of the wedding day.
  •  Book your venue. (The place you will have the ceremony and reception.)
  • Sign up for and put the website on your save the dates and face book.
  • Reserve a block of hotel rooms if you have out of town guest coming in town.
  • Reserve the Bride and Groom Honeymoon suite.
  •  Put the Bride and Groom guest list together to determine your numbers.
  •  Find The Dress! The wedding dress can take 3-4 months to order.  
  • Purchase the veil or hairpiece and order your wedding shoes.
  •  Select your Bridesmaid dresses ordered - 3-4 months out
  • Order the Flower girl dress(es)
  • Book Musicians ASAP- (ours for example-soloist, organist, harpist, band)
  • Book Florist- Schedule meetings.
  • Book Photographer for Engagements, Bridal portrait and Wedding Day.
  • Book lighting (if desired or needed)
  • Save the Dates go out 4 months before the Big Day.
  • Be sure to sign up for and put the website on your Save the Date
  • Order the invitations three to four months out.
  • Mail invitations six to eight weeks before the wedding.
  • Request a returned RSVP three weeks before the wedding.
  • Reserve hotel rooms for out of town attendees, parents, etc...
  • Go to several cake tastings and order the wedding cake 3-4 months out.
  • Register for gifts at several locations. (Pottery Barn. Dillard's, Williams-Sonoma, etc...)
  • Choose your menu selection at your venue or with your caterer
  • Coordinate dates and get ready for showers -enjoy!
  • The Bride should write thank you notes after each shower and then after the wedding of course.
  • Plan a Bridal luncheon the day before the wedding. (Someone may host this for you.)
  • Work with Grooms parents for rehearsal dinner. (Hostess by the Grooms parents)
  • Determine if any transportation is needed. Limo, bus, etc...
  • Work with hair stylist for the perfect wedding day look.
  • Determine if someone will do the Brides/Bridesmaids make up  for the wedding.
  • Get gifts for your Bridesmaids and anyone who is in your wedding party. (remind the groom)
  • The Bride will have a gift for the Groom.
  • Prepare for the honeymoon.
  • Mani-pedi day before
  • Day of...don't have anything on your to do list. Ask a friend to be your eye's and hands that day. Share details with her so you don't need to worry. Relax!
Okay- will someone please remind me to RELAX the day of the wedding!!!! I have a feeling this is easier said than done. I have not told you everything however, this is a good idea of life behind the scenes with the Mother of the Bride and the BRIDE of course!

Extra expenses:
Dresses for the showers, luncheon, etc...
Hostess gifts for everyone who host a shower or party in your honor.
Engagement dinner/party.
Shower gifts and of course all those extra things. Again...stay in your budget!
Bridal book and guest registry book. Jewelry. Mother of the Bride dress. Sister of the Bride dress.
Etc. etc. etc. Seriously!

Lindsey and I are thankful  for Bruce who works so hard so we can spend all the money. LOL!'s his joy! And to family and friends who have prayed for us during this time and who have made this precious season of life such a sweet and joyous celebration; we are so very grateful. Most important our Heavenly Father gets all the glory. He designed marriage, brought Lindsey and Bryan together and for this we are so very thankful!

More to come-
The Mother of the Bride