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Posts Tagged ‘mother of the bride’

Warning: This has nothing to do with wedding planning.

Tiziano FerroIt is time to take a little break. The Mother of the Bride and I are driving to Atlantic City to hear Tiziano Ferro, an Italian pop singer.

I heard him a few years ago in Florence, Italy with Wonderful Woman Lisa. We stood on the balcony level and while we were towards the back, we could see him quite clearly. We were the tallest people there aside from the mothers by the wall. The teeny-boppers in front of us didn’t block our view at all. We had a great time laughing, singing and dancing.  

My friend Mario kindly sent me his recent CD, Alla Mia Eta’, from Italy. They seem to only sell it in the USA  in Spanish.  

I’m looking forward to seeing the Atlantic Ocean, singing the wrong words loudly (he’ll probably be singing the Spanish version) and enjoying a night away from wedding planning with the Mother of the Bride.

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Father of the Bride and Bride dancingParents of the Bride dancing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the final days of planning our wedding, I’m amazed by the various things we’ve learned and are learning. 

Like dancing. My fiancé and I had great fun taking dance classes in Ann Arbor.  I encouraged my parents to take dance classes of their own and they kindly invited me to join their class last night at the Union County Dance Centre.

We brought the CD with the Father of the Bride/Bride song on it to the dance class, put on our wedding shoes and started moving… slow, slow, quick, quick… 

It was a great relief after a big day of meeting with the DJ, picking up the marriage license and working on more wedding details.

What will I do after the wedding? Seems like there won’t be a single thing left that needs doing. (Remind me of that while I’m running errands and grading papers…)

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cake tastingToday was a sweet, sweet day. It started off with cake tasting at our venue and ended with chocolate making.  

The Mother of the Bride and I were each given a plate with four different generous slices of cake. The venue made four cakes total and we took home the rest of the four cakes. I had no idea that we would not only taste the cake, but be able to eat it for the rest of the week. That’s what I call preparing for the wedding. 

Our meeting took about an hour, since we discussed many of the final details of the big day (seating, order of the day, etc.) How does time fly by so quickly? It seems just yesterday we were taking off our winter coats and meeting with the same people in January. I’m both overwhelmed by everything that has to be done at the end and amazed by how much we’ve already done. 

I spent the afternoon making the chocolates for the wedding favors. I had planned to make 3 per person, but I ended up making 5 (apparently an odd number is good luck for a bride. I think any amount of chocolate is good luck for anyone!) It was fun, but I could use a massage on my lower back after leaning over for three hours. The Mother of the Bride and I still have to package them in little bags.

Chocolate favor making

To prepare to make the favors, I had experimented with various flavors and techniques for chocolate making in Michigan. I thought that I’d try using squeeze bottles this time, but that proved to be a disaster yesterday. I kept melting the chocolate on low in the microwave and the chocolate wouldn’t melt. When it did, it wouldn’t flow nicely through the very small tip (even after I gave the bottom a good slap.) Finally, I microwaved the bottle some more and it imploded. The bottom was sucked inward and the chocolate was mixed with the melted plastic. That is not something you want to serve to your most beloved family and friends. I threw out the dreaded bottles and bought a new double-broiler on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond yesterday. So today, I knew what I was getting myself into and was ready. 

If you plan to be a DIY bride like I am, I recommend practicing making the items ahead of time (especially if it is food!) I was able to practice in Michigan and then order everything that I needed to have it ready for me at my parents’ house when I arrived last week. I did overdo it a little; there were twice as many bags of chocolate than I needed and I even made more chocolates than I thought I would (see how important math is?) Anyone need a bag? Or seven?

Yesterday was a busy day, too. I finished packaging the hotel welcome bags and wrapped the presents for the Wonderful Women. (More on that after the wedding. Can’t ruin any surprises!) After shopping for the double-broiler (called a “bagno Maria” in Italian – literally, Maria’s Bath?), I bought some special wines to share with our guests at a wine pairing station. We’ve made sure that my fiancé’s home state and our current state (Michigan) are represented. A friend told me that there is New Jersey Exit Wine. Perhaps I’ll look for that. Am I allowed to make the joke about what exit I take for the store? I didn’t think so. 

Tomorrow I’m off to pick up the wedding license, meet with the DJ and visit with my great aunt before going to a dance class with my parents. Somewhere in between then, I might have a slice of cake and a chocolate or two that went awry and wasn’t counting. Luckily, there are more than a few.

Chocolate favors

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I renamed the bridesmaids the “Wonderful Women of the Wedding,” since they are not “maids.” We could simply call these women, “WOW” for short. And that is exactly the word I kept saying during the shower.

The Mother of the Bride, The Chief Wonderful Woman and two other Wonderful Women went above and beyond, as did the guests with their thoughtful gifts. 

A few highlights… 

The Chief arranged for a platter to be made that everyone could sign:

 Wedding shower signed plate 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chief also arranged for a recipe box. Not just any recipe box, this one has a picture on the top that I took (the joys of sharing with Facebook!) and is filled with various family recipes, some of which match the wishing well items. Recipe box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wishing Well wasn’t your usual Well. Instead, it is a great reusable container. Here is a pic of it along with the great gift from Italy from Lisa, another Wonderful Woman:

 Wishing Well and present from Italia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mother of the Bride made the favors: candles wrapped in flowers that look like our invitations and flowers for the reception. Light one and make a wish for yourself and the couple, if you like.

Wedding shower favors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mother of the Bride scanned a part of the invitation and used it as the labels for the Greek food. The Shower had a Greek theme, as we are planning on going to Greece next summer for our honeymoon.

 Wedding shower food with labels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My cousin Peggy made this beautiful blanket for me. I cannot wait to snuggle under it during the quickly approaching Michigan winter:

Peggy's blanket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the Wonderful Women, Robin, knit this blanket entitled, “The Tree of Life” (by Nicky Epstein.) She wrote, “The Tree of Life is knit from the bottom up – as each tree has a solid foundation – they intertwine and join as one. Filled with flower gardens and joy – may you and Hans – the two strong trees – share a joyful, intertwined life ahead.”

Robin's blanket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Bachelorette gang. What a great tiara! Missing: pink boa was removed for better eating.Shower Day is here! I joked to the Mother of the Bride that I should show up with wet hair to help with the “shower effect.” Needless to say, I plan on drying it nicely. 

I look forward to it – and discovering what has been hidden in the dining room and refrigerator that I was banned from seeing before today.

A few things will be hidden from the guests – like my “dress of color” which I hand-carried on the airplane the other day from Michigan. The bridal salon, B. Ella,  said that they could fold it into a little package (wrapped in ribbons, of course) and I could have it pressed in New Jersey. It fit in a duffle bag and is now hanging up in my parents’ house waiting to be pressed at a local bridal gown store. 

I have also been gathering together a number of gifts – from the presents for the bridesmaids to favors for the hotel welcome bags. Phew! Lots of planning and lots of my parents hauling boxes up to my old room. They have been good sports about everything. It is not easy to coordinate a wedding from another state.

Last night was the Bachelorette Party! What a wonderful dinner of tapas, sangria and laughs… just amazing. See how much fun you can have without strippers and penis straws? Thank you, Chief, for spearheading all of the planning.

I keep being surprised by how special all of these pre-wedding festivities have been (from a facial with my step-mother-in-law-to-be to last night.) As anyone less cynical than me would have realized more quickly, it feels good to be surrounded by loved ones, even for a historically traditional celebration which I might have shunned in the past. 

Thanks again to so many people – the Chief, Wonderful Women and Mother of the Bride – for helping with the festivities. We each live in a modern community that we’ve constructed (one that goes beyond family and an office) and I feel so loved in this very generous one.

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Melabee photographing in Puerto Rico, January 2009We probably won’t do formal introductions at the wedding (no one is invited who doesn’t know us…) I would like to take this opportunity introduce you to my mother, Melabee M. Miller.  An artist, she’s inspired me since I used to borrow her Sharpie pens and draw under her desk in a NYC industrial design firm as a child.

A few quick facts…

She is an architectural photographer who was recently the principal photographer for the book, Can’t Fail Window Treatments. Some of you in New Jersey might have attended her book signing at Barnes & Noble in Springfield.

Her botanical images have found their way onto art cubes and floorcloths. We have an art cube of every color and three floorcloths in our house. I love standing on the one by the sink.  

I bet you are wondering if Melabee is involved in the wedding industry. She recently joined Weddings by Artists,  a group I founded for like-minded artists involved in the wedding industry. Her white cubes would make perfect favors.

She recently started blogging and you can see monthly pictures (replacing her once-bi-monthly calendars). My favorite is the artichoke she is growing in her backyard in a Manhattan suburb – from a seed packet I brought back from Italia!

Keeping with the art theme, my mom and I have collaborated on a number of projects. We created a manuscript of paired photographs and poems that narrate our family’s emigration from the small town of Sala Consilina in southern Italy to New Jersey in the 1800’s. We have published a number of poems and been invited to present the project at a number of academic conferences, but we are still looking for a publisher for the manuscript as a whole. 

She is also the photographer for the personalized wedding poem roses, if you choose to have your poem printed with flowers. Look up to the top of the page to see one of her roses (again, grown in her garden.)

If that isn’t enough, she is also the most helpful MOB (Mother of the Bride) ever. Considering how far away I live, she has had many things to do locally. Tomorrow, she is off to visit with the florist.

Our next adventure? A mother-daughter trip to Santa Fe next week before I start a weeklong residency at the Ghost Ranch through the wonderful organization for women writers, A Room of Her Own. Stay tuned.

Mom and I having drinks before the Sex in the City Premiere in NYC

Thank you for everything, Mamma Mia!

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