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Mum’s the Word

Carnivale Chicago, Photo Courtesy of sweetchicevents.com

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Carnivale Chicago, Photo Courtesy of sweetchicevents.com

Marvin and I picked Carnivale Chicago for our wedding reception. We are so excited to get our party on in the most colorful, festive atmosphere ever.

The only person who was seemingly not excited was my mother, who claimed to have a conflict with her church picnic on that day. She threatened not to come to the wedding…something that seemed both unfathomable and highly unlikely. Yet as the days progressed, she held her ground. By her reasoning, the mother of the bride was just about as important as the bride and groom themselves, so we should be able to reschedule around her. By my reasoning, the mother of the bride was so important that she should be changing her schedule to attend the wedding. We were at a stand-still.

The thing I learned most over this period of time was how many people have been through the same scenario. Not days after mentioning my crisis to friends and the social networking world, I received an outpouring of support. Some women emailed me telling me their mothers threatened not to come for months, weeks, even days before their weddings. My maid of honor shared that her aunt had refused to attend her other aunt’s wedding, then showed up the day of to everyone’s surprise. The more I learn of these stories, the more I believe it’s true: weddings sure do bring out the worst in people.

I think it’s mainly because everyone wants the wedding to be perfect, and everyone has a different perspective of what that “perfect” is–to the point that sometimes they forget who the wedding is actually FOR. Ho hum.

Weddings are particularly stressful for divorced parents, especially parents who are not remarried. For them, the idea of marriage has been blemished. They are at conflict with if they should give their kiddos the best wedding imaginable, or try to convince them not to get caught up in the hype. I can imagine that this holds true for my parents, and especially my mom. When she thinks of her own wedding, she worries more than she smiles. With an astronomical divorce rate in the USA these days, I think it would be stressful for any parent.

As in love as I am with my fiance and as confident as I am in our relationship, these things sure do make you wonder. It’s hard to ignore the evidence swirling around you. Even Kim Kardashian’s divorce has saddened me when others have laughed it off. I can’t imagine that divorce, now matter how long the marriage lasted, can be anything but painful. Are other people not taking marriage as seriously? Or is everyone going into this as even-headed as we are, only to find out that marriage isn’t what they thought it would be? When you think about it enough, it drives you nuts. Another good reason why it’s important to focus on your own marriage, and not everyone else’s.

In my mom’s defense, she has pulled through and will be attending the wedding after all (not the reception, though, but you can’t get everything) and will even be coming out to visit us a few days beforehand to help pull everything together. At the end of the day, she’s still my mom and I know she trusts us, despite her own nervousness. And that’s all I can ask for.

Beth Santos
Founder and CEO of Wanderful, creator of the Women in Travel Summit, enthusiastic lover of ice cream, picnics and art.

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