Yes, indeedy there is a wedding. Our eldest daughter, Michelle is getting married to her cutie pututie guy Jordan at 6pm on Saturday, at The National Gallery of Canada, in front of 165 of our family and closest friends.

There has been a year of planning.

...and this is what I know...

1.... planning and executing a wedding can be stressful.....many opinions are sometimes asked for, many more are given when not asked for.

2. ... that being attuned to my eldest daughter,  ensured that I could allow her to lead the way....in other words, she is an adult, has her own very strong opinions about her wedding, as she should.  I LISTENED to her, really listened and heard what she envisioned for the day.

3. ....that a wedding budget is a necessity. After I did some searching on line of reasonably priced weddings (oxymoron).... we decided as the Bride's parents, that we would offer a set budget....anything above and beyond would have to be accommodated by the Bride and Groom...this worked.

3..... there will always be compromises. Should we have a smaller wedding at our cottage in the summer? Or, a winter wedding in the city?  The venue and date are typically the first items to strike off the vast TO DO LIST.....Jordan and Michelle looked at many venues, but having a winter wedding has it's own special issues and requirements.....in the end, we all agreed on The National Gallery of Canada....The Great Hall is a spectacular glass enclosed room with views of Parliament Hill and the Gatineau Hills. ...and hopefully the light snowfall that I've personally been wishing for. The room can accommodate our guests for the ceremony and the reception and it is very close to the hotels that our out of town guests are staying at...DONE.

4..... that the Guest List bites the big one. This single item can cause the most stable of relationships to falter. We decided as a group... both sets of parents and the Bride and Groom, that invitations would go to our closest (in our hearts) family and friends...the people who had a strong, meaningful impact on Michelle's and Jordan's lives. Yes, there are many more people we would have enjoyed at the wedding, but the guest list line must be drawn in the sand early in the game.

5. ....THE DRESS....is another biggy. When she tried on wedding gowns, I waited for Michelle's reaction, I read her body language, facial expressions and LISTENED.... 100% of the time, before I gave her my opinion. This is key....remember, my Bride has very strong opinions, likes and dislikes.
She is wearing the most perfect wedding gown for HER, on Saturday...It is truly lovely.

6. .... vendors are key to the success of a wedding as expressed in this post,  A WEDDING ...AND... TWITTER. Together we found our awesome vendors that will add 'the icing on the cake'.

 7. .... no matter how much spending, planning, stressing....it is essential to enjoy the experience full on,  especially on the days leading up to the wedding. About 6 weeks ago, Michelle and I chatted about how she wanted to have fun and enjoy her wedding. All too often the Bride later views the few days before, and during her wedding day as if in a haze, not cherishing the moments, worried about the next item on the agenda.  We were determined this would not happen. How? ... LET GO AND LET BE  became our mantra. We are now leaving the details so carefully formulated by the experts, entirely up to them...we have let go.

8. ....that someone early on in the planning process mentioned that the wedding is 'theatre', and I cannot disagree. We love fabulous 'entertaining'. We will be wearing our wedding 'costumes', there will be the 'performers' and the 'audience' and the 'stage' will be set..... 

9 ... but throughout the process, you must remind yourself, that the big expensive wedding, the grand PARTAY, so to speak, pales in comparison to the actual MARRIAGE....the true reason we will all be gathered on Saturday at 6pm.

10. .... at the end of the day, when Michelle and Jordan are MARRIED, we will have accomplished what we set out to do!

...now I need a tissue!
...think I'll watch "Father of the Bride"