Moms are an integral part of the wedding planning process. Often times they are the ones doing most of the work! However, not all brides get to plan their weddings with their moms by their sides. Whether some moms live across the country, or sadly, their moms have passed away, there will undoubtedly be an ache in your heart on your special day knowing she can’t be there. For me, this blog post has been a long time coming because it is painful to write about. I didn’t get to be one of those girls that had their mom help them plan their special day. My mom passed away suddenly when I was nineteen from an alcohol addiction. It was a very hard and scary time for my family but we were thankful that she didn’t have to struggle with temptation anymore.
From a very young age, I had to learn how to be independent. Life growing up was kind of a roller coaster. When my mom was healthy and sober, she was the perfect mom, wife, sister and daughter. She was quite the hostess, absolutely gorgeous, woman of the Lord and SO funny! Life would be great for a while, maybe even a few months. But eventually, she would relapse and stay “sick” for at least a week or longer. This is the time when I felt like I really needed to be an adult and take care of myself. For years my mom was in and out of different rehabs. All the while I would just cross my fingers and HOPE that she would be sober on the day of my homecoming dance or graduation.
I don’t mean for this to turn into a sob story… I just tell all that to say, planning my own wedding wasn’t some huge accomplishment or incredibly difficult, but I do wish she was there to share in that special time in my life. You always dream of your mom zipping up your wedding dress, coming to your bridal pictures and helping you get your veil in. Yes, there was a void in my heart on my wedding day. Was it still a fantastic and special day? Absolutely! But I found myself actively trying to push her out of my mind so I didn’t start crying. When I start crying, I cannot stop! And on such a momentous day with so many emotions as is, I tried hard to just think of the positive things that day!
First of all, if you are in this boat, please let me say how truly sorry I am. I know the pain and the ACHE. I don’t wish anyone to be in this position. But you aren’t alone. Always find someone to talk to. Even me! I would love to be your shoulder to cry on or just listen to whatever you need to talk about. Sometimes it is comforting knowing you’re talking to someone who’s been there.
So now, to the point of the post! Here are a few tips for planning your wedding without your mom.
- Enlist HELP during the wedding planning process! You are not super woman and NO ONE expects you to be. I planned most of my wedding by myself, but on the things I didn’t want to do alone, I invited my aunt, cousin or grandma to come with me. Like wedding dress shopping, for example! Yes its another thing you want your mom to be there for. But appreciate the women in your life that ARE there loving and supporting you through this.
- Do NOT do a lot of DIY projects. Trust me, there will be MANY other things with wedding planning you are going to need to be doing and tasking yourself with doing the flower arrangements and other crafts on top of that will only stress you out. Either ask a friend to do some crafts for you or just buy it done already!
- Incorporate a few things throughout the wedding that will remind you of your mom. For me, I hung a picture of her on my flower arrangement and I will always have that sweet photo to remind me that she was right next to me all day, I have also seen some brides reserve a front chair at the reception with a framed photo of their mom and a bouquet of flowers next to their dad.
- Get supportive bridesmaids! I think all of my bridesmaids knew that my wedding day was going to be hard and emotional and they were so sensitive to that the whole day. Right before I walked down the aisle, all of the special women in my life surrounded me in prayer and it was everything I could do to not absolutely fall apart crying! But it was so sweet and I have never felt more loved.
- And lastly, whenever you feel the time is right. Write to her and tell her about your wedding. And make sure your are alone because you will most likely wind up crying! But it was so healing for me and felt like I was just filling her in over the phone.
I hope these tips helped you. Just remember, don’t try to push her memory away so you don’t get sad. Embrace the emotion and work through that healing process! Know that your mom is watching down over you and would give absolutely anything to be with you on your special day. And if you do have your mom with you on your day and I am photographing it, you better bet you will be getting SO many photos with her! And I will be beaming behind the camera so happy that you two get to make these memories together!!
Love you, Momma!