When I got engaged, my mum was the first person I called. I was a ball of emotions and the only person who I knew would be able to feel somewhat similar was my mum. As the woman who has been in my life since the beginning, she can tell how I feel, and change how I feel, at any given moment. She can cheer me up, make me laugh, and push my buttons like no one else can.
The bond between a mother and daughter is a strong one, and one that can feel extra emotional when planning a wedding; a momentous occasion that signifies a new stage of life. To celebrate this bond and its vast emotions, we asked three mother of the brides (including my own) to write a letter to their daughter on their wedding day.
Sue Burvill, who lives in Australia, to her engaged daughter Lauren, who lives in the UK
My most precious daughter,
It is with mixed emotions that I write to you but like every milestone from when you were a baby I wanted to mark this wonderful event in the best way I know how.
The emotion is mixed because your life has, is and will be a long, long way away from me. My loss. But watching you grow up and experience life and all its aspects: friendships, study, career, travel and boyfriends, I know that George is definitely a life partner. I saw it from day 1 - the respect you have for him, the peace you feel in his company, the humour you share and the plans for your future.
You will one day understand that parents never stop seeing their children as beings they need to protect no matter what the age. Being so far away, I am grateful for the solid, loving nature of your relationship with George and for the attentive, caring and adventurous man that George is (with an amazing tolerance of your brother's and my laugh).
So on the eve of your wedding (big gulp) I reinforce to you what I always have - that I marvel at the woman you have become (despite my shortcomings) continue to be in am in awe of the differences between us and I am grateful for and hold on to with a mother's relentless grasp, the invisible connections we have that will persist no matter the distance.
As always you will make your wedding day your own - not a copy - meaningful for you and George and those who mean most to you. Enjoy this celebration my gorgeous girl!
Every ounce of love
Toni Buckman to her engaged daughter Tessa
To my lovely middle child
You have found your life partner and I am so happy for you. Together you will face the challenges ahead with what I see as your main joint strengths…. Loyalty, Love and Laughter!
Buying your first home, brings lots of challenges including agreeing on furniture, decorating, gardening, deciding who should do what jobs…..like keeping it tidy (not your forte) but luckily it is Adams. Lots of opportunities to have fun and to laugh at mistakes.
Family…endless opportunities for laughter and love…your Dad and I have so very many happy memories and continue to laugh with and love our wonderful expanding family.
There will be amazing times and maybe difficult times but to have these strengths, which you both have, I believe you will have a great partnership and will have many, many happy memories and stories to tell.
Laughter, love and loyalty.
Natalie Davie and her baby daughter Celine
At this moment in time, you've just turned 6 months old. You're too young to feed yourself, clothe yourself, or even move around on your own. It seems like your wedding day could be eons away. Light years. But I know that Time is a trickster, and before I know it, you'll be saying those precious vows, and I'll be wondering where the years have gone.
Your father and I are only in our third year of marriage, but we've been together for over a decade. In that time, we've learned some valuable lessons about what giving yourself wholly to another person means. I'm sure that, at this moment, you'll be thinking of yourself as fully fledged and ready to launch into the next phase of your life. But before you jump, indulge me while I pass on a little advice to you.
In the run up to your wedding, you two have been preparing to go through some serious changes. Change is exciting, but it does sometimes come with a small caveat - it can be hard on a relationship, especially if it comes with a lot of upheaval for either one of you. When new boundaries are drawn, you need to work together to find out how your marriage will fit within them, which can be hard work.
Change is not necessarily a bad thing - but managing it is a case of balance. Sometimes your own changes take priority, and sometimes you have to take the back seat to help the other person achieve their goals. Remember that there is room for the two of you. Be patient, be supportive while you wait, and your turn will come back around. You'll achieve so much more when you're pulling towards the same goal together.
The one thing that surprised us the most about getting married was how it magically made a lot of our bickering disappear. I'm not really sure why, nothing had really changed in our day to day - we had already been living together for several years. We rarely argue now. But if we do, it'll be about something that we've neglected to talk about, something that's built up over time. Usually something that doesn't seem important enough to talk about at the time. In the midst of an argument though, it can become a weapon to throw at the other person. I don't need to tell you this really, I'm sure you've already been there in your relationship. Marriage isn't a magical sticking plaster - communication is still key. It's better to have a sensible chat, than to let feelings fester and come out all wrong in the heat of the moment. You have more at stake now - keep talking to one another.
The last - and best! - lesson I want to pass on is that you never stop learning about one another. On your wedding day, you enter into a solemn covenant with your soulmate, in full knowledge that you know and trust the other person enough to dedicate the rest of your life to them. But there are so many more things you have yet to learn; experiences that you have yet to go through that will give you that little bit more insight into the other person's heart. I hope you'll continue to be surprised by one another.
I love you more than words can express, and we'll always be here for you both, whenever you need us (and even if you don't). The biggest amount of love and luck to the two of you today.
All my love,