We wanted to make sure our families had a chance to get to know each other before the wedding. With one set of parents in Maryland and the other set in Illinois, we haven’t had the opportunity to bring them together. I have spent a lot of time with Matt’s family, since his parents and much of the extended family lives in the Maryland/DC/Virginia area. Matt has made a few trips to Illinois with me, but hasn’t had the opportunity to spend much time with my extended family. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about the parents meeting each other, and they all seemed nervous about it, too. My Mom came out to visit earlier in the summer to work on some wedding details and we were able to have dinner with Matt’s parents, which took some of the pressure off. This time, both parents and my sister Bailey were able to make the trip.
We all agreed that it would be a good time to start looking at dresses for the mothers and Bailey. I choseBella Bridesmaid on Fleet Street, mostly because of the location. The shop is just a few doors down from Ale Marys, which is a favorite of Matt and I and which seemed like a good place for him and the dads to hang out while the ladies were trying on dresses. Matt’s mom had also bought a dress from the shop for a wedding earlier this summer, and had nothing but good things to say about the shop and Whitney, the owner.
We had a blast trying on dresses. I know my Mom and sister weren’t looking forward to it and did not expect to find anything they liked. Neither of them would have been comfortable in anything strapless, low cut, or overly clingy. Bailey is my maid of honor and my only bridesmaid, so I thought it would be easy to find a dress for her. I had some ideas of what I thought would look good on her, but wanted her to choose her own dress. I pushed her a little bit out of her comfort zone, but we ended up finding five dresses that looked great on her! My Mom, who was certain she wouldn’t find anything, found one she really liked, too. Of course there were a few duds, and one that we ended up putting my Mom into backwards by mistake, but everyone had a great time. By the end of the appointment all five of us, including Whitney, were pulling dresses for each other, laughing, helping each other try things on.
When we finished, we picked up the boys and went out for dinner at Ze Mean Bean in Fells Point. After several hours of Eastern European food and drinks, the parents were having too much fun to call it a night. Max’s Taphouse was hosting a German beer festival that weekend, and everyone decided that we should move over there for one last drink. By the end of the night, the mothers were walking arm in arm, whispering and giggling about who knows what. They are now Facebook friends, and seem to be building quite the friendship. The dads really seemed to enjoy each other’s company as well, and have also exchanged a few emails over the past month. Bailey, Matt, and I spent most of the evening hanging back, watching everything happen in amazement. We had been so worried about bringing the families together, but everything turned out better than we could have hoped for. The parents are all even more excited for the wedding than before, if that’s possible, and looking forward to spending the weekend with their new friends. –Lindsay Ayers