You guys asked so it is only right that I deliver. If you've been following me for quite some time you know I've lost both of my parents at a fairly young age. Today's post is going to hit on the topic of how to plan your wedding after losing your mom, and get into my experience including all the high's and lows. I want to show you guys that no matter what you're feeling it is perfectly ok. It's always ok to not be ok.
I lost my mom in December of 2017 and my husband (boyfriend at the time) proposed to me in February of 2018. He wanted to show me that he would stick by me no matter what and had been planning on proposing to me prior to my mother even getting sick. Wedding planning is supposed to be one of the most exciting times of our lives but for those who've lost parents it's also even more emotional than someone who hasn't. Below is a list I've compiled of big emotional moments in my wedding planning that I hope can help in some way for the girls missing their mom's or even dad too.
1. The Proposal: When he proposed it was so exciting, I could not wait to tell everyone and celebrate. I could not wait to pick up the phone to call my mom until I remembered I couldn't. It's little moments like that, that really hit home. We celebrated with both sides of the family that weekend since he proposed on a Friday but it was missing two very important people in my life. I was missing my Mom and Dad and big moments such as wedding planning make you notice it even more. I was told by many that they were there spiritually but that's not something someone wants to hear. Shit, I don't want to hear that two years later for my mom or even fifteen with my Dad. They should still be here but it was not in the hand of cards I was dealt with called life.
2. Picking out a Wedding Venue: I'm going to be honest with you. This one was not really that hard. I researched on The Knot and Weddingwire on my own and bookmarked a bunch I wanted to check out with my fiance at the time. We did all the tours together as a couple and kind of owned that aspect of our wedding. I chose the venue out of three we visited in one day! I understand for some ladies this may be a hard one. Your Mom may envision your wedding some type of way or you envisioned it one and she would be there for support and to guide you along the way. I know of some of my friends who literally have their parents go with them to look at venues and I say there is nothing wrong with that!
3. Picking out a Wedding Dress: This one was by far the toughest out of all the emotions I felt. I went to a wedding dress store in NJ with all the women on my side of the family and as soon as I walked in I was extremely overwhelmed. I did not even know where to begin! Although I was surrounded by women who loved me literally just being surrounded by the dresses, not even looking yet had me feeling really emotional. I wanted my Mom there so bad. I had people asking me what dress I liked and everyone trying to help so I ended up with at least seven beautiful dresses I had to try on. Most people will have their mom in the fitting room with them (the dresses are super heavy), I went alone. I would walk out after every dress I tried on to look in the full length mirror and show everyone to get their opinions, normal fitting room routines. That is until I tried on the perfect dress, when I say perfect I literally mean perfect. This dress hugged my body in all the right ways, I am super tiny so it did not overpower me. It wasn't too long, it didn't even need to be taken in except the length. I knew this was the dress for me after looking in the mirror and literally bursting into tears. It's even hard for me to think about now, and yes everyone else cried too. We all knew this was the dress, and it's no coincidence it was only the second dress I tried on. My mom was there spiritually just like everyone said she would be.
4. Picking out My Veil & Jewelry: This one was almost as hard as my dress. I could not for the life of me find a veil that would go perfect with my dress. I literally bought it a week before my wedding. (Don't do that!) I didn't want to ask anyone to come with me to the stores since I thought I was burdening them. I figured this was something I needed to do alone. Boy, was I wrong. I remember driving to the store one day, walking in, taking a quick look and literally walking right out. I had so much anxiety and saw all these girls with what looked to be their mom. I simply couldn't do it. I realize now that some of these girls may have been going through the exact thing I was but had brought someone else in their family. It is easy to play the victim card and get lost in your own head. Nonetheless, I walked out that day and didn't go back for another week. This time I brought my mother-in law with me and we found the perfect one.
5. The Bridal Shower: My bridal shower was absolutely beautiful in the most charming spot in town, my bridal party did good. The only thing that got me was when I was opening presents I'd look out in the crowd and see so many faces that knew and loved my mom. It pained me she couldn't have been there that day physically. Some of the women even took me to the side to let me know how happy she would have been for me.
6. Walking down the Aisle: Most of us ladies have our father's walk us down the aisles on our wedding day. For those of us who were not that lucky, you also have your mom. What do you do when you don't have either? I thought of walking myself down the aisle but I didn't want the focus to be that my parents were no longer with us. It's supposed to be a happy day in your life, don't make it about what you don't have. Choose someone close to you such as a sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, even a cousin or friend should you so choose! It's literally your day, and if you want to walk yourself down that aisle because you have a different opinion than me, that's fine too!
7. Father Daughter Dance: For the longest time I had planned to dance with my mom at my future wedding after my father passed to "Dance with my Father Again." I thought it would be an amazing tribute. Fast forward 13 years later and now that suddenly wasn't an option. What was I to do? I planned to dance with my sister but could not for the life of me choose a song. I wanted to split it up and slow dance to "Dance with my Father," and "Supermarket Flowers" by Ed Sheeran to pay tribute to both our parents. Once again though, I did not want the focus to be depressing so we opted for "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga. We had a dance off to that song years ago and it would just be a fun time. Literally on my wedding day both my sister and I decided not to dance and told the DJ an hour before the ceremony. I think we were nervous, but I regret it now. I didn't want the focus to be the fact I was missing parents but not doing a dance at all after my husband's Mother Son dance probably shed light on it anyway. Honestly, no matter what you do you cannot run from it. Someone is always going to notice, you just need to embrace it like the bad ass you are which is what I wish I did.
All that being said, I hope my experience can shed some light and positivity on any of you ladies going through it today. I got married last year so it's only right I share my experience with you beautiful women and hope to help in any way I can. Please know, you're not crazy and you are most definitely not alone.