Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Behinds the scenes at the wedding and MOG tips Pt. 3

The day before the wedding is a pretty amazing day that just flies by in a blur.

We planned to make ourselves available to help the bride and her parents with any last moment details. As it turned out, the bride's parents had everything under control, and actually opened their home for lunch and treats to all the out-of-town family and guests. It was a lovely way to get to know the bride's extended family and family friends.

MOG tip: If it is an out-of-town wedding, you may not be able to do much to help with the wedding related tasks. Ask if there is any way you can help anyway...and prepare to be gracious if your help is not required. Keep in the loop of the work being done (addressing invitations, making wedding favors etc.) and thank the MOB and her friends for all the work they do to prepare for your son's wedding.

MOG tip: If you secretly really want to add your ideas and thought as to what you think the wedding should include, resist! If you are having a hard time with the idea that you need to resist, (your need to be a "buttinski" is overwhelming) may I suggest you consider remodeling your house during the engagement. Trust me...with a million remodeling decisions being demanded of you, and overseeing the process and budget, you more than likely will be thanking heaven above that you aren't needed in the wedding planning process after all.

The rehearsal may be the first time you see the church or location of the wedding.

MOG tip: Take a good look around...on the wedding day you will be too busy seeing your son and the bride and the wedding party to notice the finer details of the setting.

MOG tip: Be prepared for an emotional jolt at the rehearsal. Seeing your son looking down the aisle at his bride-to-be really hits you hard. This wedding is REALLY going to happen!

It was fun to hum Rachel down the aisle to "Here Comes the Bride."

MOG tip: Privately suggest to the couple that they only attempt to slip the wedding band on to the second digit of the third finger, and let the other person slide the ring on the rest of the way. That is more graceful than a nervous ring wrestling tug-tug scene in front of everyone the day of the wedding.

I was interested in seeing my son's friends, some of whom I had never met. At age 29, Jeff had been out of our house, and several states away for the past ten years. It was nice to meet his "best friends" at last!
MOG tip: Since you have booked the rehearsal dinner venue and therefore know the appropriate dress for the event, be sure that information is passed on well in advance by the bride and groom to their wedding party, and by you to your family as well. It is nice to know if a coat and tie will be needed, or shorts and tee shirts for a beach party instead!
You might also ask the bride or her mom ahead of time if there are any specific wardrobe requirement for the rehearsal, especially if it is in a place of worship different than what you are familiar with. Pass the word along about anything that needs to be known at the same time you suggest rehearsal dinner attire.
Following the rehearsal, we went to a restaurant that the bride's family recommended. They actually gave us a list of venues, and Bernie called each suggested place to scope out price, room availability, menu and location. With 29 people invited to the rehearsal dinner, it was a good sized group and needed booking well in advance.

The chef worked with Bernie to assure a well rounded menu, including a vegetarian dish, and while we weren't exactly sure how the "family style" serving style would work out, actually it was marvelous.

MOG tip: Since it is the groom's parents task to host this meal, be sure to ask everyone in the wedding party ahead of time if they have any known food allergies before planning the menu with the chef. A tiny bit of anchovies in a dish, or a nut can have serious consequences that shouldn't have to be faced right before a wedding!

By the end of the meal, we all really did feel like family, passing plates of ribs and chicken, breads and desserts back and forth down the table on a center table-length board.

(Man oh man...would I like another serving of those ribs RIGHT NOW!)

MOG tip: Eat hearty at the rehearsal dinner. On the wedding day you will likely be much too busy to do more than get a nibble in before the wedding, and too busy chatting with guest to eat much after the wedding either.

Jeff's best man was his high school friend Mark. I hadn't seen Mark since high school graduation, and didn't recognize him without hair! When he was a teen, he never spoke more than two words a day...I was astonished to be complimented graciously by him as "looking just the same as he remembered" and by his heartfelt toast to his friend.

The maid of honor followed with an equally lovely toast.

MOG tip: Since you are hosting this meal, you may wish to encourage the family members to make their toasts to the couple at this dinner...or at least to make the toasts that include sly bits of teasing or humorous family stories. With those out of the way at this semi-private event, the more formal wedding day toasts can be the sort that preserve the couple's dignity on their special day

I was so glad that we could all be seated at one table, there was no sense of "her table" or "his table" but rather pictures were taken back and forth and conversation traveled up and down the row. Dinner finished around 9 pm, the "youngsters" still managed to go out to party more at a hotel/club while the more "seasoned" members retired to their various rooms to catch a good night's sleep.

MOG tip: A detailed area map is a lovely table favor for the rehearsal dinner, at least for the out-of-town guests. While printed directions were given from the church to the restaurant, some guests had a problem figuring out the route from the restaurant back to their lodgings. Wish I had thought of handing out maps sooner!

Next post: The wedding day!


Lin said...

Do you have some really good tips on how to pick out the rehearsal dinner venue? Ours will be here in the Humble/Kingwood area, but I have no idea where to start.

Also, just what are the responsibilities of the MOG and FOG? I am really a newbie at all of this. I haven't been to too many weddings to observe this stuff on my own. Can you tell that I am really nervous and it is still a year and a half away!

I love your descriptions. The photos are wonderful. You are really giving us a big treat by telling us all of your experiences.

Thank you Jill!

Lovella said...

Jill, you hit all the hints perfectly and I would suggest that you write a humours book. There really is not much out there for mother's of the groom.

I think the moment that our sons saw and began to realize what their bride would look like the next day coming down the aisle. . .was my most precious moment.

Pondside said...

Well, I enjoyed those MOG posts!
I wish the tips had been there for me to read six years ago when our son married our sweet DIL - but we just 'winged' it.
I'll be back for more!

Vicki said...

These are marvelous, well-thought-out tips! If my son ever decides to marry, I'll be right back here to pick your experienced brain!

Julie said...

Really good tips, Jill. Your organized mind obviously never stops !
I think the 'check for food allergies' is a really good tip!
I almost killed Romay's ring bearer on the day of the wedding.
The professional photos were all taken at our place and so I had food set out for the wedding party. The little ring bearer was there with his Mom.
Suddenly, I heard my daughter's sil-to-be, Heather, shriek, "there are peanuts in the rice crispies!"
I had had no idea but the ring bearer had a sever peanut allergy.
He had asked his mom if he could have a rice crispy square and she said 'yes'.
He had 'JUST' put it to his mouth when Heather also took a bite and recognized the peanuts!
His mom rushed to his side, made sure he had not swallowed his bite...and all was well, except for my frayed nerves !!!!
I so thanked the Lord for averting that disaster!!!!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Wonderful suggestions...all of them.

And since I'm all done with weedings...I'll just borrow a few ideas from the pictures of the rehearsal dinner. I'm thinking a board the length of my dining table would be perfect for some dinner parties...and serving the main dishes in cast iron skillets is a great idea as well!

I had to do a little research just see how Whistler got it's name. Now I know! I never saw any whistling marmots yesterday.

running wildly said...

What a well versed MOG you are! Such wonderful tips. My could write a book. "100 MOG tips so you don't go insane"
There's your million dollar idea for the day. Like you didn't have enough on the go!