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remain) the one who loves her uncondition- ally. Therefore, do your best to support your daughter wholeheartedly once she has made her decisions and wishes known.
Provide strong support for your daugh- ter throughout the engagement. Planning a wedding inevitably puts your daughter in the front seat of an emotional roller coaster. She may have days when she feels over- whelmed. Her mind will be bombarded with thoughts and questions, ranging from major issues to minor details – all of which take on equal importance some days.
“Is this really the man I want to spend the rest of my life with? Am I making a huge mistake with this color for the bridesmaids’ shoes? Will I like his family and get along with his mother? What will we do if the flower girl refuses to go down the aisle?” ... Worried Bride
As the mother of the bride, you are probably the one person who knows how to bring out the very best in your daughter. You may discover that even if your daugh- ter normally takes life’s challenges, annoy- ances, and changes in stride, she could still “lose it” under these unusual circum- stances. You may also be the one who best knows when to offer help and when to take a step back and let her find her own way. Listen to your intuition here. It can be a valuable resource.
Also, when the task of planning the wedding becomes overwhelming, try to provide a sense of perspective and a calm- ing influence. More than anything else, your daughter needs the love, reassurance and encouragement that only a mother can give. Be patient with her and, above all, be a good listener.
Keep the lines of communication open, especially where financial issues are con- cerned. Once you have determined how much you wish to spend for your daugh- ter’s wedding, share this information with her in a supportive, yet straightforward
way. Place this money in a separate account, and sit down together on a regu- lar basis to see where you stand financial- ly. Incidentally, don’t keep the father of the bride in the dark on this – he’s the one who will take that long walk with her down that aisle toward her new life. Sharing the responsibility for keeping the special event on budget will prevent the added burden of financially induced stress – and will keep everyone from pointing fingers if costs do get out of control. One sure way to ensure that things go smoothly while plan- ning for the big day is to delegate many of the details to someone who has a wide range of experience in the whole process. Tap into the resources and expertise of a professional bridal consultant. They are an excellent resource, both in the planning of a wedding and in helping you find the best value for your money. Their job is to know
and stay abreast of the “who’s who” of wed- ding services and suppliers in your area.
In a nutshell, wedding consultants have the knowledge and the experience to fit all the pieces of the wedding planning puzzle into a well-organized, enjoyable event. This allows you and your daughter to concentrate on the enjoyable aspects of wedding planning, like searching for the perfect wedding gown or tasting samples of wedding cakes from local bakers. Many bridal consultants are surprisingly afford- able, and new brides and their mothers consistently claim that hiring one was the smartest investment they made.
Your role as mother-of-the-bride is an exciting one – a role you can enhance by following these simple guidelines. Even if you’re halfway through the planning pnrocess, it’s never too late to start. You both could reap the benefits for years to come. AC
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