Lately friends, family and perfect strangers have been giving me advice. Not that unwarranted advice that you smile and toss aside, but that rare authentic good stuff you clench onto with your fists and carry around in your heart.
On Tuesday, after doing my weekly buff-up on my half century-old machine, my Pilates reformer partner Gail Little reminded me to “stay in the moment” at Chloe and Michael’s wedding this weekend. She also gave me the sage advice, “Don’t put cameras for the guests on the tables; they just take pictures of their tongues.”
Teresa Theis, our Pilates reformer instructor advised, “When in doubt — breathe.” Theis also suggested wine. For the week prior to the wedding, she recommended chanting the following mantra throughout the day: “Wallet, keys, phone, wallet, keys, phone.” (It did seem to help and cut back on the number of times I haphazardly put down my keys in a department store and had to wait in line for 20 minutes at the service department because some caring Good Samaritan found them and turned them in.)
This advice business was good stuff … and addicting. I wanted more. So I flat-out asked some friends and family for more wedding words-of-wisdom — the best they’ve received or shared.
My cousin Donna Muller, who is an experienced mother-of-the-groom, sent me this note: “Remember most people are there to celebrate with you and show their love to you, no perfection needed — just happiness and blessings.”
My Aunt Janet Olivo shared, “Janet, Just try to enjoy the day for what it is. No one knows if things don’t go as planned, and by the way, they usually do not. The guests are there to celebrate with love and support, not to judge. Try to enjoy the day as a guest and you will have a more relaxed perspective.”
Donna’s new daughter-in-law, Caitie Muller, added the advice she took to heart, “Even if some things don’t go as planned, the bride and groom will still be married.”
Center Grove family friend Amy Walker shared this encouraging note: “Deuteronomy 6:7, ‘Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.’ Janet, you and Steve have done this with Chloe and Rick, and Denise has done the same with Michael! Relax and enjoy the joyous day and watch expectantly to see how God honors and blesses them! Love to you and keeping you and the couple in our prayers.”
Denise Tillman, mother of the groom, summed it up with these words shared with me, the mother of the bride (MOTB): “Be in the moment. Things will not go as expected but it won’t matter. Enjoy the union of two families joining together. I know I am. Praying for God to be their center.”
When in doubt — breathe.
Janet Hommel Mangas, the third of seven children, grew up on the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove area resident and her husband are the parents of three daughters. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.