May 10, 2016

{A Mother's Rite-of-Passage}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
In my 30 or so years working with brides and their families while planning a wedding, I have been around many mother-daughter relationships. And if I was ever asked for a bit of coaching by the bride, I may have said something like: “Remember, your wedding is also a rite-of-passage—a time of deep personal change—for your mother as well as for you.” And if the mother asked for a bit of advice, perhaps I’d say: “Remember, your daughter is a grown-up now; it’s time to listen and be a friend.”

I write a lot about this relationship, dedicating a chapter to mothers and daughters in my book The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride, even quoting designers Vera Wang and the late Oscar de la Renta—who both dressed thousands of brides. This from Oscar: “The wedding is almost as important to the mother as it is to the bride.” And from Vera:

The most challenging relationship is often that of mother and daughter. A wedding can unleash torrents of emotion, and a bride must balance her own needs for control with her mother’s sense of involvement.

The theme running through this “mothers and daughters” chapter, however, is ‘being grateful’...opening with the Jean Baptiste Massieu quote: “Gratitude is the memory of the heart.”  So no matter how fraught with tension a situation or relationship becomes, take a deep breath, listen for that “still, small voice of gratitude” and open your heart.

Love. Listen. Let go.
….with love from Cornelia 

ps: Read more about mothers and daughters and gratitude with your own copy of The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride {Volume One} For Better or Worse, How Princess Diana Rescued the Great White Wedding.

[Photo courtesy of BHLN]