Our middle child, our only daughter, married a fine young man this summer. It was a beautiful wedding followed by a wonderful reception. Our sons are already married, so I had never before experienced the preparations for a daughter’s wedding. I’d like to share some things that I learned.
The three main characters of this saga are: Bride to Be (BTB), Mother of the Bride (MOTB) and finally, Father of the Bride (FOTB) — that’s me. Please understand that just because I have listed these participants in this order, by no means does that place me in third place in order of importance.
In fact, I learned that my importance in the planning and execution of the event was somewhere below the Maid of Honor, the Bridesmaids, the Groom, the Groomsmen, the Pastor, the Ringbearer, the Flower Girls, the Sound Booth Operators, the Guests, the Guests who couldn’t make it, the Caterer, the DJ, the Emcee, the UPS driver, and anyone else who even remotely had a part or even knew about the wedding.
One evening, several weeks before the blessed event, BTB and MOTB were at the kitchen table planning. I was in the living room multi-tasking, well, reading the newspaper and watching the Royals on television. This particular evening’s business was centered upon music for the reception. Here was my chance to offer input on the choice of the song for the celebrated Father-Daughter dance. I suggested, politely, that any song in the world was satisfactory, except Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle. Don’t misunderstand — I like the song just fine. I just didn’t want to dance with my daughter in front of everyone to those lyrics.
Before the words were completely out of my mouth, BTB was between the newspaper and the television, hands on hips, setting me straight. I had seen that look and stance before. She was about 5 years old, explaining why we were going to watch her VHS of Adventures in Babysitting for the 3,432nd time instead of a live MU basketball game.
So, while the bride and FOTB were dancing to Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle at the reception, I remembered the best advice I had ever received, and thought carefully about what I had learned. If you have the opportunity to be the FOTB, here’s the best advice I can offer: Wear what you’re told without fussing, show up on time for pictures, keep your wallet open and your mouth shut.
David Coffelt is a Harrisonville resident and is CEO of Coffelt Land Title, Inc.