“Confessions From the Mother of the Bride”

 “Confessions from the Mother of the Bride.”  Well, here it is, my “Mother of the Bride Dress”.  No, it’s not your conventional dress for such an occasion.  It’s very simple, but I loved it on sight.  It’s my favorite color and I liked how I looked in it.  If you like how it fits, that’s half the battle, right?  I did, however, promise myself that I would never wear a sleeveless dress as a ‘woman of a certain age.’  But I couldn’t resist!

So this much too expensive dress hung covered in my closet.  Because once this sleeveless wonder was altered, there was no returning it — it was mine.  While I had been prompt and organized throughout the wedding  process, three weeks out, I STILL had yet to alter my dress.   I finally bit the bullet, and took the dress to get fitted.  Measurements were taken, pins went in.  I picked it up, the dress was mine. Now it was time to do something about those arms.

Growing up in CA, I always had a tan.  I was a kid, and sadly, we never even wore sunscreen.  Here in New England, I always wear sunscreen, but sit outside a lot at the younger girls’ softball games — so I have a farmers’ tan.

I’ll just use some “sunless tanner,” I thought…Crazy as I have NEVER used the stuff…I generously wiped it over my arms.  “Huh!” I thought.  “Doesn’t work very well.”  —Until the next morning.  I awoke to HUGE patches of tan arms, and huge patches of white!

Soooo…How to remove sunless tanner from your skin?  Apparently there is a product for just that purpose.  I tried to find it locally, and had no luck.  What worked best for me?  Make-up remover facial wipes.  Kind of gives me pause that I must be using a product that has rubbing alcohol in it…  I’m going to be more careful about reading labels from now on.  Other home remedies include hydrogen peroxide, and body scrub such as St Ives.  (Above the lovely bride and groom, daughter Maggie and son-in-law, Robert)

SHOES – When I initially went dress shopping, the male personal stylist picked out navy blue patent leather pumps.  When I went back to the store to have the dress fitted, I had a female stylist help me.  She just shook her head “NO!” when she saw the pumps.  She ran down to the shoe department and came back with the flashy silver ones in the first picture.  I LOVED them!  She brought a 7 1/2, but decided there were too big.  I tried the size 7 and purchased them – being swayed by the stylist.

Then I began to worry.  “I’m going to be on my feet all day and night,” I thought.  Better go with the 7 1/2.  They were out of stock!!  I had just enough time to order and receive them before the wedding, YEA!  Of course I tried them on and walked in them.  Everyone knows to do that…

But what I DIDN’T do… was try them on with the pantie hose I chose to wear to the wedding.  I opted to wear the hose as I was still so pale from the winter.  Enter potential disaster…

The shoes were now too big with my feet slipping around with the lack of friction.  “I’ll just put some fashion tape on my heels and the balls of my feet,” I thought.  I had the tape too, but it never happened – distracted over some small item…  My walk down the isle was great – but when I was a few feet away from my seat, and after I genuflected, I ALMOST walked out of my shoes…rookie mistake to skip the tape.  🙂  But as a side note…my feet never hurt all night…maybe I DID get the right size…   (Below, my walk down the aisle with the groom’s handsome brother, Matt)

The Promised Wedding Blooper


Ah… The Promised Wedding Blooper … I do believe it’s going to become a Karnes Family Tradition… Someone will loose something the day of  wedding.  If you’ll remember, last year at Maggie’s wedding, her passport was lost.  If you would like to read about all the high jinx, click on the following link. The Lost Passport


This year, for Kathleen’s wedding, it was my turn. When you’re planning your wedding, one doesn’t always think of gratuities.  Yes, if you read all the bridal books, advice wedding blogs, etc., you will be forewarned of the “tips.”  But what I was surprised about is the expected percentage.  The recommend percentages were well over 20%.  And if your DJ alone is in excess of $2,000, it adds up.  People to remember: your on-site coordinator, service staff, photo-booth operators, DJ, photographer, limo driver, clergy, hair dresser, manicurist, make-up artist, bus driver…you get the picture.


I meticulously added everything up, tried to be fair and generous, and went to the bank.  With a heavy heart, I get all the cash and divided it into envelopes with the recipients’ names.   I filed the envelopes away, and went about the business of “the day before the wedding” preparations.  The big day finally arrived!!  First stop, the nail salon.  I went to retrieve my gratuity envelopes…and COULDN’T FIND THEM!  No time to look, we went to get our nails done, and I had to tip with other cash.


A quick trip back home before the hair appointment to trash my house trying to find the envelopes.  Now remember, I had extended family staying with us.  Kenny’s family is warm and understanding.  But I didn’t want to appear as crazy as I was feeling.  Maybe their presence calmed me down…???  Had our hair done, (if you’d like to read about our wedding hair experience click on the link Wedding Hair), with no tip envelopes, another mad dash home to look yet AGAIN… And thanks be to God…they were found.  I had changed purses…ladies, you know…

Photo #1 My four girls

Photo #2 KK and Maggie

Photo #3 My four girls again

Photo #4 The wedding party  All photos: Mary P Karnes

More Confessions From the Mother of the Bride


It’s time for… More Confessions From the Mother of the Bride!  The best kind of mistakes to make are those that you can correct before anyone knows about them…unless there is a confession made.  Like mine…Well, the first blunder, was that of the matchboxes.  The picture of the first box is the one with the error.  Do you know why?  Beau-coup.com is an excellent website for personalized items, especially for the wedding themed.  They’ll work with you and fix your mistakes as quickly AND inexpensively as possible.  If you haven’t checked them out yet, and have a need for their products/services, do so.  They fixed my glitch in overnight speed at a VERY reduced cost.


In my defense…July 4th IS my mom’s birthday… but even if I hadn’t been able to fix the matchbox “mistake” no big deal…but the next goof…was HUGE.  Look at both photos of KK and Tyler’s invitation.  Do you notice anything different between them?  Well…if you’re not sure…I’ll tell you.  The town where the wedding reception was located, “The Pavilion of Crystal Lake” is in MiddleTOWN, Connecticut not MiddleTON.  (Guess the Duchess of Cambridge was on my mind…)


And in answer to your next question…YES!  I DID proof the invitation before I signed off to the printer. In fact, I had my daughter, Kathleen – the bride – and my husband, give it a look as well.  I guess it goes to show that the mind sees what it expects to see.  I know that happens to me far too often when I write.  When the invitations arrived, I read them, Kathleen read them, and then my husband, Ken, read them again.  Nope — we didn’t see the error.  Then I showed off the lovely invitations to daughter number three, Tess, and she caught it immediately.  What to do?  There wasn’t much time to reprint.  The original was a lengthy process.  I was JUST GOING TO SEND THEM, as is!  But my husband said, “Mary, you just can’t. You can’t”  So I contacted the graphic designer, (found on Etsy.com – Julie was my contact at gogosnap.com).  She was wonderful.  She said, “Go ahead and start addressing the envelopes


from the incorrectly printed invitations, and I’ll get the new ones to you – printer to your door – in a week.”  And she did.  Problem solved, although invitations were mailed out a week later than my plan.  Good thing we sent out those “Save the Dates”!  🙂  One more blooper to share from “the mother of the bride” but I’ll save that for another time…

Part Three – The Missing Passport

So what to do, but go ahead and enjoy the day, just as Rob said.  And we did.  In the above photo, you see the beautiful Debbie Stauble, mother of the groom, and Bob, father of the groom.  And the next photo, Maggie and Rob cutting their cake (notice the “French Bustle” on Maggie’s gown.  Click on the link if you’d like to read my blog post about “Bustles“) But…

…where was the passport?  Maggie and Robert had plans for both to attend school in Philly.  Robert, Optometry School, and Maggie an accelerated nursing BS/RN program at the University of Philadelphia.  They had moved their possessions to their new home a few weeks before the wedding.  Guess where the passport was?  Yep – it was stored in Maggie’s desk, and the desk moved to Philly…at least that’s what they hoped.

So early Saturday morning, the newlyweds came by the house, grabbed a load of possessions they still had to move, (Debbie, Rob’s mom, and I were prepping for the “Family and Out-Of-Town Brunch” at our home).  Maggie was distraught.  She felt so guilty for putting their honeymoon plans on hold.

As she headed out the side door of the house with a load “stuff” Bob, Rob’s dad, stopped her.  Neither knew I was eavesdropping (I am BAD about that…).  🙂   “Maggie,” Bob said, laying a gentle hand on her forearm.  “This is no big deal.  You will face far bigger obstacles than this in your marriage.  It’s going to be ok.  It really is.”  Maggie nodded. — The kindness—

And guess what?  It was.  The passport WAS in the desk in Philly.  Bob organized all the travel changes, was out a few hundred dollars – expensive – but I guess it could have been worse.  The kids flew out of New York instead of Hartford, and actually had an additional 8 hours of honeymoon time due to non-stop flights.  Below is a photo of Maggie and Rob right before their “get away” from the reception.  Look how happy they are, and in this photo – they still did not know their fate…









The final photo…the newlyweds on their honeymoon in Jamaica.  🙂  Yes, it was a happy ending, and I’m sure will continue to be so.


Tomorrow I will get back on track and report all about Tyler and KK’s wedding.  I have some fun things to tell…  🙂

Photos: Image #1 and #2, Patty Cloherty

Image # 3 Facebook Friend

Image # 4 ?