Erin and I have been as busy as bees these past few days taking the next step on the wedding planning ladder. I’ve spent countless hours on the internet searching for DJ’s and photographers. We found a DJ and I think we are narrowing down our choices of photographers. John seems a little bemused by the whole process. Every now and then I try to explain to him that these service providers get booked months in advance, that it is possible that the ones we want won’t be available on April 6th. Something that has also kind of stunned the both of us is the prices attached to some of these things. We actually looked at one photographer whose fees started at $6500. Yes, that’s right, I said started! Then, of course, there was the traveling fee – so much per mile to and from the venue. Thankfully, after further searching, I have found several other very good photographers that aren’t looking to retire on Erin and TJ’s wedding!
When Erin and I first started this process I truly understood what it meant to try to do this with my being in Kinston, Erin in Wisconsin, and the venue in Birmingham. Thankfully, Haley (our patient, kind wedding planner) has answered my emails with professional tolerance. I’m sure that she has dealt with mothers worse than I, all of us believing that we are the first to come up against a wall in the planning process. Actually, I’ve only sent one email, the purpose being to introduce myself and give her contact information for me. I also asked what I needed to be doing right now and expressed my concern over this long-distance planning process. Her prompt reply turned me in the right direction and eased my concerns. Thank you, Haley!
If I sometimes feel out of the loop, I can only imagine how TJ’s mother feels. This is a big day for him, too! I’m sure that at some point in his life, she has thought about the woman TJ would eventually marry and she probably had some sort of vision in mind of what the wedding would be like. But, being the mother of a boy, she may have actually felt a little relief knowing the bulk of the process would be up to the bride’s family. Can’t say I would blame her.
Anyway, with that on my mind, I asked Erin for TJ’s mom’s mailing address. It took her a couple of days, but she finally came through. Then I took a couple of days carefully wording a letter to TJ’s mother. Do you know how hard it is to write a letter to someone you don’t even know? The fact that this first contact would give her an impression of TJ’s future in-laws only added to the pressure. I didn’t want her to read my letter then wonder just what kind of crazy woman Erin’s mother is! There were several purposes for this letter: to introduce myself to TJ’s mother, to express our gratitude for her welcoming Erin as she has, to tell her how much we have come to like TJ, and to tell her that she is welcome to participate in the wedding planning to whatever extent she would like. As those of you who follow me regularly have realized from the beginning, I’m a bit verbose. I could have handled all of this through email or Facebook, but I wanted to be able to let the words I had chosen rest a bit before I rushed them to Nebraska. Let’s be realistic. TJ’s mother will have more influence over their day-to-day life than I will simply because of logistics. She’ll be closer. Also, intruding mothers-in-law with opinions on everything can be hard on a marriage. So far, TJ’s mom has done nothing to indicate that she is anything but happy over the two of them. She has made Erin comfortable and treats her as she does her own children. Since all three of her children seem to be bright, healthy, and well-adjusted then how she treats them must be a good thing.
So, I trusted myself to read the final draft then forced myself to sign it, put a stamp on it, and walk it out to the mailbox. Hopefully when she reads it she will know that we want TJ to feel as welcome and loved in our home as Erin does in hers. Either that, or she’ll wonder just what kind of nut Erin’s mother is and assume that is the reason she has moved so very, very far away and is so happy with her decision. I guess I’ll know one way or the other in a few days. Surely Erin will let me know if TJ’s mother says anything about it either to her or to TJ. Then again, maybe she won’t.