Advice for When Moms and Weddings Mix

I have gotten out of my blogging habits here on GWADR as I’ve been busy supporting the launch and creation of blog content for the company Joy Photo and Video, an awesome wedding photography and videography company that provides services in Texas and Florida. Catch up on my blogs here and check back weekly. I will get back in the swing of things on here with my personal wedding blog as it brings me a lot of happiness. Thanks for your patience!

As we acknowledge Mother’s Day around the world, I wanted to share my thoughts on the role a mother plays throughout the wedding planning process, along with a few tips for after the wedding.

For The Bride

Recognize that the wedding planning process will shine the spotlight on both your strengths and weaknesses. It will likely also magnify the differences that you have with those closest to you. If you’re the bride who is planning her big day and your mom is involved in this process, it’s important to communicate what matters most to you. Your future mother-in-law will also probably be trying to find the role that she will play so make sure that she feels welcome and heard. With both of them, aim to set clear boundaries and focus more the things that you agree on than those that you disagree on. Have these discussions when you are calm and not in a chaotic frenzy—you should be able to be clear and focused so that emotions aren’t unnecessarily heightened.

What most brides miss out on is taking this time during wedding planning to have deeper dialogue with their parents (if they are able) about the things they learned amidst their love story and all that they would have done differently. These discussions will give you the opportunity to see your mom as a wife more clearly and that may help you both learn and see one another in a new light.

After you recuperate from the wedding and all that went into making it a reality, take your mom to get a meal or a manicure and swap stories about your big day. If there was anything tense that occurred between the two of you during the planning process then this will help you reconnect, smooth things over, and allow you to hit the reset button for the new chapter of your life. Show her your appreciation and find new ways for you and your spouse include her in the redefined version of your family. Do the same with your future mother-in-law to set new and healthy foundations for your future together as a new family.

For The Groom

Your mom likely has a special place in your heart, as does your future spouse. There may be points in the planning process where you have to balance both your mother, her mother, as well as your spouses’ needs. Be intentional about spending time with each of these women to keep your relationships strong. But make sure you stand up for your wife-to-be when the situation may call for it. Work with her privately to define what boundaries may need to look like and then help her draw these lines.

If there are unbalanced powers and drama between the women in your life during this season, you may find that deep wounds begin which are hard to come back from. Do what you can to prevent these hurts and play an active role in healing—because this season will set the standard for a long future together. Don’t just get in the backseat and ignore what’s going on during the planning process; your leadership role in connecting these relationships is critical. And then on the wedding day, take some time to be alone with your mom if you have the chance to. Share your gratitude with her and show her the honor that she deserves. Do the same for your future mother-in-law, too. This will go a long way for your relationship.

For The Mother Of The Bride Or Groom

Remember that you aren’t losing a child; you’re simply getting a new one who will be added to your family. You will need to pay close attention to the moments where you will need to step back and those where you will need to step forward. Pick up on the subtle cues from your child and their future spouse and be open to having transparent discussion about what each of you are experiencing emotionally during this time. Recognize that dynamics will change during the planning process and after the wedding day; they have to.

Change does not mean it will be negative. However, it will take some time for the dust to settle after the wedding. Make sure to allow the new couple to settle in and find their routine and traditions before you find your place in the new normal. You will find it and it will be special, but it’s important to be patient in defining your new role. There was probably a lot of stress that led up to the big day (and maybe even some drama within the family) so allow them space to adjust—and don’t take this personal. You’re entering a new season of your family with new family dynamics so do what you can to be thoughtful, supportive and understanding. Your child and their new spouse will appreciate this more than you know.

Moms play such a special role in our lives. I hope these tips helped.

A shout out to my mom, the most courageous and amazing woman that I know. She was everything I needed during my wedding planning process, on the wedding day, and beyond. One of my best memories from my wedding day: seeing my parents on the dance floor together with the biggest smiles on their faces while relishing in all that their love story created. I love you, Mom, and I’ll step in to be dance partner at any wedding we attend in the future (because I know that’s what Dad would have wanted. You know that he taught me all of the moves I know…)

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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From the Archives: How to Say I Love You All Year Round

img_7482Happy Valentines Day! I’m throwing it back to a post from my archives.

What I’ve found is that the lovey dovey sentiments while in a relationship can sometimes come a little ‘easier’ when you’re dating (as opposed to in marriage.) Being married can be incredibly romantic but you might need to become a little more intentional to keep the spark turned on during some life seasons together.

So what I highly would recommend is that you don’t just do nice things for one another during the annual events like Valentines, anniversaries or birthdays. Year after year that will likely begin to feel forced. And it’s important to remember that it’s the small moments of everyday kindness that can make your spouse feel cherished and loved. Here are a few ways that I think you can say ‘ILY’ all year round, in no particular order.

  • Surprise your spouse by doing a house chore that typically falls outside of your responsibilities.
  • Go to their favorite restaurant or movie of their choice…without complaining
  • Take their car to the car wash or fill it up with gas. While you’re at it, buy their favorite car air freshener.
  • Leave a love note in their car, under their pillow, or on the bathroom mirror.
  • Send a nice text to let them know that they are on your mind during the day. This could be an emoji, a cute photo of the two of you, or a love quote or saying. You could even send a link to a song that reminds you of them.
  • Deliver a bouquet of flowers or chocolate-covered fruit to their work…not on Valentines Day!
  • Surprise them with a gift card to their favorite spa for a pedicure or massage.
  • Bring home their favorite drink from Starbucks with a hand written message on the cup.
  • Plan an entire day to getaway and drive to your favorite romantic spot.
  • Propose an impromptu dinner at the beach or visit to the local park.
  • Bake (or purchase) their favorite dessert for a normal weekday night at home.
  • Plan ahead for date night with a bottle of wine to share, either their favorite kind or one that might remind you of your wedding day or wedding location.
  • Play your favorite romantic song and ask them for a slow dance, in the kitchen.
  • An album of boudoir photos, perhaps?
  • Change up your nighttime routine and serve them in ways that they desire to be served, not the other way around.
  • Check out the app “Hotel Tonight” for an inexpensive hotel stay.
  • If you want to try something completely different, spend some time on the Groupon app for creative+local ideas that could create for a special experience!

These are just examples of small things which can truly add up to a fulfilled life with one another. I hope you can make these personal to your insidiously personalities and relationship-norms. If Valentines becomes ‘less of a big deal’ because you do these things together often; that isn’t a bad thing. Try to put a few of these into action in 2019 and just see how it goes!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Update: I’ll be taking a break from wedding content for a few months to focus on my personal life. To catch up on past content, feel free to check out the links above, and scroll down this page for other posts. If you subscribe to my blog via email then you’ll be notified when I’m back!

What I Didn’t Know About Marriage

6 years ago today, we got engaged! What I knew at that time: I wanted to be with him for the rest of my life and he would be a great husband. He would protect me and make me laugh. He would provide for me and teach me new things. He would take me out on dates and on exotic trips. I didn’t fully know what to expect, but I was right about these things.

What I didn’t know at the time: 

    Marriage is truly a forever-thing, and that means that it’s not like a Hallmark channel movie where romance is layered into every scenario. When you’re dating, there’s enough separation between the two of you to amplify the romantic feelings and situations. Think about it: when you’re dating, you might be planning to go on a date on Friday night. You get through the work day and are excited about what’s to come, thinking about what you will wear. He sends a text message with an emoji saying that he’s excited, too. He picks you up and then pays for dinner at the end of the night. Fast forward to when you’re married; you both wake up together and start your individual morning routines. You probably check in at least once during the day about pets or finances. And then you are home together doing your individual ‘relaxation’ routines post-work, pick up the dirty socks, before you get dressed to go out on a date. You ride there together and pay from your shared bank account before you come home together. While things can still be romantic, it’s in a different (yet still very comforting) way. 
    I always heard that learning to compromise was a big part of marriage but I didn’t fully understand what that meant. This isn’t about who is going to do the dishes or how you will share your groceries. It’s about getting used to each others habits, families, and cultures, and knowing that they come to you with an entire life that was before you. They are shaped by their past, they saw examples of compromise, life and relationship norms, from people around them, and their view on relationships is likely very different from what you once knew.
    News flash: people change! Marriage will change you simply because life changes you. It can be for the best or in negative ways and will happen to you both so it’s important to keep each other accountable. Think about it…if you were the same person 5, 10, 50 years into marriage, does that mean that you are growing? No. As individuals change, so will the relationship, and that’s ok!
    It’s not as much that marriage is hard but that life is hard, and marriage means there are DOUBLE the joys or the challenges. While one might be on the highest high, the other could be in the deepest valley. You then share the load and support each other in the best way you know how.  

Marriage is a beautiful thing and I am thankful for my life partner. I wanted ‘the ring’ so bad and am thankful that he got down on one knee 6 years ago. There was so much hope and anticipation leading up to this day and it then allowed me to have one year and two months planning for the very best day of my life. 

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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