The Coast News Group
Small Talk

Too much to do before kids say ‘I do’

Both my children have set dates for weddings in the coming year. My tummy already hurts.

I have eight full months until time for Mother-of-the-Groom activity, and 13 months before my daughter’s day. That has to be way too soon to panic, and yet I am hyperventilating just a bit.

I thought, back when, that being a parent of the groom would be a piece of cake — set up the rehearsal dinner, pitch in a bit for some other bit of the event, and there you are. But, bless their little hearts; they are being married in Philadelphia.

The rehearsal dinner site has changed twice and required a cash deposit. What does it mean when a restaurant won’t take a credit card? It can’t be good.

I truly hope the place is still there by next April.

However, working from the West Coast, I need to just trust the bride. Sounds easy, but it’s a real challenge for a slightly OCD, marginal control freak like me.

I am the one in our family who always plans things.

So it will be me choosing plane tickets, me making the hotel reservations, me figuring out what everyone should wear and me getting us to the airport on time. I may break out in hives before we even land.

Once there, I will need to wrangle friends and family members to be in the right spots at the right time. And that’s another thing. I didn’t think anyone I knew/invited would actually make the trek to Philly. I underestimated my loving friends who have already blocked out the weekend.

Lest this event be the most fuss 2015 would hold for me, my daughter then announced that she, too, wanted to set a date. My daughter’s fiancé proposed two years ago, with a long-time engagement in mind — to get financially settled. Everything was happily on hold until my son proposed to his girl and set their date. You just never know when sibling rivalry will rear its annoying head.

Hopefully, I can wear whatever frock I choose to both events. But that requires choosing a frock, which I am stalling on. Yes, I know, and remind myself regularly that no one is going to be looking at me. But at some point, I will be making a first impression on a yet-unseen flock on new in-laws. Yep, here come the hives.

If anyone would like to volunteer to be my personal shopper, hair stylist and make-up artist, I might just fly you to Philly. Maybe I can draft my future daughter-in-law to shop with me at Christmas.

Meanwhile, my girl-child has filled my computer with a zillion Pinterest items and has me searching for the perfect venue. At least she will be local, but unlike her brother, she has chosen a theme. She wants an enchanted forest … in San Diego, where there are only beaches. Of course.

And in case I didn’t feel like I had enough to do, she wants her reception in our roomy but currently ratty backyard. She is artistic and wants to make all the decorations and set it all up. I am tired and want it to set itself up. Guess who wins?

There is much joy in anticipating both events and I will hopefully be able to gird my loins and screw my courage to the sticking place sometime in the next six months, or maybe the week before each event. I do my best work on deadline.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer smiling but breathing into a paper bag. Contact her at