If Change Is Inevitable — Why Does It Sneak Up On Us?

By Cheryl Ryan

Many of the Covid postponed weddings are back on and ours is no exception. So it’s shopping time for this Mother of the Bride. As I’ve made clear before, fashion doesn’t come easy to me.  My preferred attire is basic, boring and comfortable. Yet, there is something about these wedding events that make me want to step up my game. 

The whole Mother of the Bride or Groom thing has proven fraught and I’m not entirely sure why. I think it’s kind of like when our kids were young and in critical sports games or recitals. We want everything to go well for them but in the end, it’s not really up to us. Weddings are something like that. I find myself nervous in wanting the event to be a successful, happy experience for my kids but so much of it is out of my control. 

There is also this weird element of feeling my role shifting and that I’m in new territory. It seems to me that the ritual of marriage further accelerates my children’s trajectory towards independence and I feel unclear where that leaves me. And for some odd reason, I find that it manifests in my outfit selection for the day.

What is my new role? How much should I participate? How much is too much and how much is too little? How long should my dress be?  What should the Mother of a Bride or Groom look like? I’d never been one before. These are the things that go through my mind as I scroll through pages upon pages of Nordstrom and Macy’s dresses searching for the perfect Mother-of-the Whichever attire.

Third Time Around

Have you ever heard the saying ‘wear beige and shut up‘ about being the Mother of the Groom? Or about a stepmother that shows up in a white dress eerily close to the bride? These stories cause anxiety but in all fairness, we’ve already been through two weddings which have proven all of these worries ridiculous. The previous weddings were so exciting that I couldn’t sleep, replaying the day’s events over and over. From traditional farmhouse to tropical destination they were each unique and special. And now I’m preparing for a campsite destination wedding which, as you might imagine, brings about a whole new set of worries.

Maybe my new role is to worry about things that I have no control over. I sure hope not. I will work on making that statement untrue. Things are getting better the third time around though.  This time I ordered ten dresses so that my daughter could help me decide which one was best.  She chose something that I didn’t expect at all.  It’s a sequence number for a camping wedding. Who knew? But my kids always choose something that looks way better on me than I would select for myself, so that concern is now taken out of the equation. 

Change Is Inevitable

Beyond all these worries though I found myself giddy with excitement for each wedding experience and the new people coming into our family. I’m not sure what my new role will evolve into, only that it will.  Just as it has so many times before. Life is ever-changing. This one has just snuck up on me more than some of the others.

What are some unexpected changes that surprised you?

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