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A Mom's Eye View 

Wedding Planning from a Mother's Perspective

Empowered with her own experience as a bride and a healthy dose of motherly enthusiasm, Mary Ellen sometimes found this to be a bit of a challenge. However, she always rose to the occasion by reminding herself that her role in the wedding was to make sure that Lauren's dreams for her special day came true. To accomplish this, Mary Ellen sat down with Lauren and brainstormed with her about what was important to the couple about the wedding. Based on this open discussion, Mary Ellen knew that the couple wanted a traditional, timeless ceremony that was profound and special to all in attendance.

"Fortunately Lauren and I have the type of relationship where we felt confident working together on this," says Mary Ellen, a Senior Account Executive for Style Weekly. "She outlined what she wanted me to do and then trusted my judgment on it. She also felt comfortable letting me know when she'd rather that things be done differently."

As plans for the wedding got underway, Mary Ellen soon found that her forte was in the details. "I wanted to make sure there were plenty of charming touches to help make the wedding really special for everyone," she says. Mary Ellen accomplished this by:

Using Snooks, Lauren's beloved childhood teddy bear, as the ring pillow. Many in Lauren's extended family were familiar with the bear, which made its presence in the ceremony all the more meaningful.

Weaving Lauren's childhood knack for finding four-leaf clovers into various aspects of the wedding. "We were thrilled that the wedding would take place at Clover Forest Plantation," says Mary Ellen of the site's coincidental name. Mary Ellen also found a green garter at Kiss & Make Up and added a four-leaf clover pin from Lewis Ginter Botannical Garden Gift Shop for Lauren to wear on her wedding day.

Finding a Celtic band to perform during the ceremony; and Creating personalized gift bags for out-of-town guests that included a photograph of Lauren, her two younger sisters, and her fiancée along with apple butter made in Virginia.

As Lauren's wedding day drew closer, Mary Ellen saw her role shift from that of assistant to one of protector. "I tried to shelter her from some of the normal anxieties that come with being a bride," she says, referring to a few bumps in the road that occurred on the way to the altar. "For example, when the band's car broke down on the way to the wedding, my husband and I were in the midst of switching to Plan B when the musicians arrived just in time for the ceremony. When the gift bags weren't delivered to the guests' rooms as planned, I followed up with the hotel to ensure that they eventually made their way to their rightful owners. As Lauren's mother, I was honored to be able to shield her from stresses like these on her wedding
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