Friday, May 08, 2009

The Wedding: Behind the Scenes and Tips for MOGS

(To see the wedding I am discussing...see the previous post!)

Doesn't every wedding have some behind the scene dramas and some extra special moments?
Those unplanned happenings that will later become part of the wedding story forevermore?
And in retrospect, wouldn't it have been nice if someone had taken a moment to fill you in on how to either avoid those dramas or assure those extra special moments?

You bet it would!

For months before my son's wedding I searched the Internet for advice and guidance for my upcoming duties as Mother of the Groom (hereafter abbreviated MOG.)

The advice was sparce:

Call the bride's parents after the engagement happens.

Try to coordinate with (and not upstage) the Bride's mother's event dress.

Keep your opinions to yourself about the wedding plans. (Advice classical spoken of as "Shut up, show up, and wear beige!)

Beyond that...I was pretty much on my own. I chatted with a few MOGs about their experiences and they clued me in a bit about the role of the MOG at a son's wedding.

Enjoy the moment, I was told, and remember, all eyes are on the couple and the Bride's mother.

You are free to relax and have fun!

Well, experience taught me a few other things. I realize that while I am still considered a newbie on this subject, nevertheless, I did learn a few things, and have decided to pass them along while I share some of the behind the scenes elements of our son's wedding day.

Tip #1: Shop early and often for a MOG outfit. Don't wait until your son is engaged; just make a point to check out clearances for dressy outfits that work on you.

I purchased what I called my "emergency mother of the bride or groom" outfit a few years back. It was a steal, marked down from a dizzying price. The floor length skirt was miraculously long enough on me, and the arm lengths were right as well. I had noted that long sleeved event outfits are few and far between, while strapless and sleeveless gowns are in abundance.

If you are old enough to be a MOG, and no longer have Barbie doll like upper arms, then sleeves are a really blessing!

Once I knew I was to wear a shade of blue to my son's wedding, I did go shopping for a "new" outfit. Truthfully, I had forgotten about my emergency outfit, as it was still in storage with the rest of our belongings due to our recent relocation.
As I went from store to store my heart sank: event dresses were brown, gold, gray, red or black.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing suitable could be found in blue.

And worse yet, most of the dresses were decidely evening gowns, totally unsuitable for a morning wedding.

A strapless gown ablaze with rhinestone detail just wasn't right for a 10 am church wedding!

Thank heaven I had had the foresight to have an "emergency" outfit already! In fact, I actually had two...another one in a soft pastel green, and also a back up dress with no zippers or buttons in case of last second fastening failure!

Tip #2: If you need to have your outfit altered, and decide to have that done professionally, first of all tell the seamstress that you will need your outfit back on a date at least a full week before the wedding.

DO NOT disclose when the wedding actually is.

Tip #3: Take your MOG outfit to a bridal gown alterations shop where they know how to keep outfits spotless while they work.

Behind the Scenes: I took my outfit in for alterations a month before the wedding. It needed to be shortened to street length for the morning wedding, and the thigh area of the pencil skirt let out a tad. (OK...a lot....) I had read up and found an alterations shop that had good reviews.

Now I should have thought twice about leaving my outfit at that particular shop when I noticed that all the outfits hung up in the shop were blue jeans...and that the seamstress smelled of tobacco and wore a ratty flannel shirt. I tried not to be judgemental and left the dress in what I hoped were capable hands.

Three weeks later I was called in for a second fitting. I was thrilled at how she had fit the outfit to me, and she just needed to re-attach the waist band and hem it according to my high heels.

I was just a bit nervous... we would leave for the wedding in less than a week. I was assured the dress would be done "in no time!"

THREE DAYS (!!!!) before we left for the wedding I got the call to come get the outfit. I knew I needed to try it on to make sure everything was as it should be.

As I slipped the protective bag from the dress I saw what looked like a water spot on the bodice of my jacket.

As I put on the outfit, I noticed another spot on the sleeve, and one the jacket's back. Those spots DEFINITELY were not there when I brought the never worn outfit in, nor were they there when I had my first and second fitting.

Oh boy....this didn't look good...

The seamstress assured me that the spots were tailoring chalk and would come out with a poof of steam. I shouldn't worry...the outfit would be ready by tomorrow morning.

I was pretty sure those spot weren't tailoring chalk, but what else could I do but leave the outfit with her.

The next day I called the shop at noon. The outfit wasn't done. I called again at 4...and was told I could come get it at six pm. Wondering what was up, I drove to the shop and again slipped the clear protective bag from the dress, only to see MORE spots, spots worst than the ones before, including one that was like a bull's eye centered over my left breast.

Obviously I couldn't possibly wear the suit like this! And we were to fly out at one the very next day for the wedding!

The seamstress begged for me to allow the dry cleaners to put the outfit through one more time
Since the outfit was unwearable as it was anyway, I told her to go ahead, but that I would need the outfit back by 10 AM the next day.

I left the shop with my mind racing....where could I possibly get an outfit at the last minute?

I headed out...found one so-so blue dress, and a PERFECT purse for my original outfit! It matched the jacket's beadwork, and only cost $16!

I snagged both items, and headed home. I glumly resigned myself to either wear the green outfit, (not a color related to the wedding at all) or the short sleeve blue dress, which I knew I would freeze in. Laura also made a mad dash around San Diego and scored me a silver gray suit; I would need something to wear under the suit's jacket however.

A few close friends were asked to pray for a miracle...but still, a tear or two of doubt were shed into my pillow that night.
The next morning the call came in at 9:45. The outfit was done. The seamstress sounded very tired, and I relectantly headed over to the shop.

I walked in...and there it was: in perfectly stainless condition. The seamstress told me to just take it and enjoy the wedding. I gave her a hug and told her I was so sorry that both of us had had to go through this trauma. She hugged me back hard, and I danced out of the shop and shortly thereafter was on my way to the wedding.

More behind the scenes stories and MOG tips soon to come...stay tuned!


Vicki said...

Since I still have a bachelor son, I'm following your experience and advice very closely.

I still smile when I think how it all turned out perfectly - just as if Someone heard all the prayers! (wink)

running wildly said...

You are stunning. So glad the outfit came out spick and span. This is the same color my MIL wore on our wedding day. And she looked lovely too.

Sara said...

Wow, talk about a last minute drama! But it really is stunning. I love that detail around the bottom of the jacket too.

Lin said...

Keep the hints coming. Derrick's date is 10/23/10, so I am really pinned to your blog now! I am so inexperienced at weddings!

By the way, who did the cake? It is beautiful!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Oh...not a fun thing to go though! So glad it all turned out...and no one knew the drama behind the lovely outfit.

Diane said...

Also- If the jacket isn't being altered- Don't leave it with the seamstress!! :D

Lovella said...

Jill, that suit really is perfect on you. .you really wear it well.
I think that you need to put every tip possible on this blog. .while it is fresh in your mind. .and if you run out of ideas. .I'm sure I can remind you of a few .. .snicker.(my own experiences of course)