Wedding planning is hectic. If it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be things like crappy comedies with Kristen Wiig, headache-saving eloping, or hipsters who say they don’t need a sheet a paper to tell a woman how much they don’t want to make a lifetime commitment to her.
I’m a pretty traditional guy. I fell in love with a traditional girl, proposed, and we planned a big ol’ boda. Everything’s running smoothly and, in spite of getting writer’s cramps from writing checks to everyone and their mother, I’m happy. But now and then I’ll have a quiet headache caused by the absence of one person, my late mother.
As groom, you might figure “wedding planning is the woman’s job. My issues aren’t important, and regardless, my fiancée knows best.” But read the magazines and books that your prometida has been submerged in and you’ll see that none of them have standard etiquette suggestions for conducting a traditional ceremony when one parent is deceased. So, I’ve provided some examples of issues that came up regarding the absence of my late mother, and how I solved these problems
Invitation wording: Traditionally, the invite names the parents of the bride and the groom. What should you do? Leave your dad’s name alone? That might make people think he’s divorced. Leave both on? That would lead to in-laws asking where your mother is. Write the word “late” next to her name? That would remind people of death while they’re supposed to be reading a wedding invite.
Solution: Leave out your parents’ names altogether. Nobody will criticize you or notice it. Most people will be too busy figuring out how to get to your wedding to care if someone’s parents are listed.
Parent dance: Your wife gets to have one dance alone with her dad. What about you? Dance with your sister or mother-in-law?
Solution: You don’t need a substitute dance. Dancing with a substitute for your mother will remind you of her absence. Just sit back, relax, and let your new wife do her “daddy-daughter dance” as you check her out proudly.
Theme music parent introductions: When you pay a DJ, special intros are included for everyone, usually to cheesy 90s techno. (Sigh). So what about your widower father? Should he come out alone, making it glaringly obvious that he’s a widower?
Solution: Have him come out right before your new in-laws are introduced. The widower thing won’t be obvious, even if you’re the only person conscious of it..
Sentimental photo montage: If you’re missing your loved one, should you include a special shout-out to her in the photo montage of your childhood? Or maybe encourage donations to a particular charity?
Solution: No. People don’t need to be reminded of death at a wedding. Your wedding is about your new union, not about cancer, heart disease, or death. Your guests will be interested in dancing, getting fat, and maybe getting liquored up, not being moved to tears. A shout-out at the church ceremony or on the back of the wedding program will suffice..
Your fiancée has all sorts of issues to fret about, and you’ve done your job and listened to her. You have sensitivities, too. Many guys who lose their mothers at an early age become emotional around wedding season. Remembering the little things today can help you avoid some serious heartache on your wedding day.