Starting the planning

susan_in_ncOctober 6, 2006

DD is now engaged (or will be by Nov.). Technically the ring isn't on the finger, but they set a date.

Originally I was asked to do it all. I sort of hemmed and hawed, then said I will not do the cake. DD still wanted me to do food at reception and the flowers. OK, will some help, it is do able. And, yes, I do know my limits -- one of the reasons I said no to the cake right off.

Now, I've had some time to check around and I might be able to get a caterer for close to what it would cost me to do all the cooking, prep and rentals. I am still planning to do her flowers and since she has selected a very simple design it is not a problem at all. In fact, I'm trying to get her to fancy things up just a bit.

So, if DD had her 'heart' set on mom's cooking, should I do it? I truly feel that by getting the caterer I'll be able to give her more of my attention. But, could she have asked me to cook so I was out of the way? Really, I am half serious with that question. I know that we want the best value for the money and the budget is very tight.

What would you do?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can say without reservation that there is no way I would do the cooking for my own child's wedding. I did something along those lines for my first son's Bar Mitzvah. We had a party at my home Saturday night for 100 people and I did most of the cooking for it. It was mainly hor's doeuvres, I had people who helped my by making desserts and I also ordered a couple of extra dishes. I worked my a$$ off. Not only with all the cooking involved (and I had help!) but also with getting everything ready to serve the day of the party. It was way too much and I was worn out before the party began.

Three years later, for son #2, I did everything exactly the same except that I just ordered all the food. It was still some work to get everything out on the table but so much easier.

And when my kids get married, I'm going with a caterer or restaurant for the rehearsal dinners. It's a ton of work in advance to cook everything, and it's a ton of work on the day of the event to get everything out on the table and to keep replensishing as needed. And it makes it difficult to socialize with the guests since you're pretty much working during the entire party.

If you really are thinking that her motivation is to keep you out of the way, then I think I'd sit down and have a heart to heart with her. I'd say, Look, I'd love to cook but with the excitement and stress of the day, I feel it would be too much for me to deal with. I'd love to help in any other way, or back off if that's what you'd prefer, so please be honest and let me know which tasks you'd like me involved in and which you'd rather I weren't involved in and I'll honor your wishes.

Bottom line: hire a caterer.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 3:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I forgot to say, Congratulations!!!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 3:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Susan, could you perhaps cook a few of your daughters favorite dishes and cater the rest? As MOB you are going to be streched thin as it is. Doing everything seems a bit much. I would definitely cater the majority of the food and the wedding cake to leave you time for other things. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 3:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


No, I don't really believe she wants me out of the way. That is just my over analysising upbringing rearing its ugly head. Fortunately, we have gotten pretty much to the point of total honesty. I do phrase it that way because the other day at lunch she started saying something and all I wanted to do is cover my ears and say "la la la". There are still some things that Mom doesn't need to know!

As for the cooking, I'm probably not going to do it. But, if I did, I even have someone lined up to handle duties for the day.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 4:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My son and his wife planned their entire wedding. I did a few minor things. They day of the wedding I was rested, calm, happy and had a wonderful time, stress-free. I would not want to do it any other way.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 6:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As a wedding coordinator who has seen it all, I strongly recommend that you don't attempt to do the food or the flowers for the wedding. If you do, you will be a nervous wreck and working up to the start of the ceremony and into the reception. This is one time when you want to take it all in and enjoy the day and your family and guests. It is worth the money to hire a caterer and use the services of a florist rather than looking back in hindsight and seeing what you missed by being too involved.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 7:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No, doing the flowers won't be a problem. I've done several weddings and find it a pleasure. Plus, their designs were far more elaborate than what my DD is asking for. We did find a great house locally that if the date is clear will make a beautiful backdrop with extensive gardens that will only need a few touches to personalize. In fact, if the first date is not clear then DD and her FH are willing to change their date just to have the perfect spot.

So, while your advice is appreciated, I'll not be following it! In fact, on my own wedding day I was washing and wiring ivy to decorate the reception site. So, I could claim it is a tradition!

But, I am positive now that I do not want to do the cooking. At least not for the reception. We will be having a tea for the bridesmaids and other special women (MOG, Grandmothers, Aunts etc.) and I'll splurge with my creative cooking indulgences then. In fact I'm looking forward to that so much more than I had doing the reception. DD used to love having teas when she was young and we can use her collection of special teacups. This will likely be the day before the rehersal since some people will be traveling in early to get set up.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 2:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good for you. You want to be enjoying the day, not working. The flowers at least you can do ahead.

Give your family recipes to the caterer to use. I have done that several times, and they are always happy to use them -- our favorite caterer even uses my grandma's soup recipe for other clients. We even put out cards on a buffet that say things like "Aunt Pitty-Pat's banana cake."


    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 3:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Thanks for the reminder. DD had worked in HS in the food industry and knows a lot of people still working in it. Turns out that our leading candidate for catering has several friends working with them now! DD called and I believe the food will be one of the most pleasant, and happy surprise parts of the planning!


    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 10:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The meanest thing I ever did to my MIL was to ask her to have the bridal shower at home instead of in a restaurant. (In my ILs family, here in NYC, the moms, pretty much host it; my folks live in Iowa.)

Instead of basking in the glow of being the MOG, she was running around like a chicken w/ her head cut off, and she did NOT get to enjoy it.

I'm w/ Gellchom--give your recipes to the caterer, so it's still Mom's menu, and enjoy the day.

I will also say that my own mom was majorly stressed on my wedding day. In all the photos, she looks like she's miserable and about to cry. Part of that was her, and part of that may have been that the familiy reception was at her house, and she was stressed getting ready for it--even though she didn't do any cooking. Just cleaning and spiffing up.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 3:34PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
bottles of wine for outdoor wedding on lawn?
What do people think of the idea of offering bottles...
Great wedding ideas!
My son's wedding is finally over! It was wonderful!...
What is your opinion on 'Farewell Sparklers'?
Have you used, are you going to use, or do you know...
Wedding Gift For Parents
I want to give something special to my parents on their...
combined maid of honor/best man speech?
so I'm the maid of honor in my sisters wedding this...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™