Mona’s mother, Cathy, has dreamed of her daughter’s wedding since before Mona was born. Through the years, Cathy has shared her wedding magazines with Mona, as a means of encouraging her to have the same dreams of grandeur and elegance. Mona came to believe that Cathy’s way was the only correct manner in which to wed the love of your life.
Because she always felt sorry that her mother had not been able to have the wedding of her dreams, Mona impulsively promised her mother that when she was ready to “tie the knot,” she would abide by Cathy’s wishes. She agreed to have the kind of wedding that would bring joy to her mother’s heart.
This promise has become one Mona regrets with her whole heart. She and David, her fiancé, have decided against such an elaborate ceremony, wanting to use the money instead for a six-month honeymoon trip around the world. But, she can’t find the courage to tell her mother, for she did not want to break her mother’s heart or lose her mother’s respect! What a dilemma!
David advised Mona to just tell Cathy their plans, believing that her mother would want what made Mona happy, but Mona knew her mother was not known for her understanding ways. Cathy had become a high-powered senior partner in a leading law firm after her young husband died unexpectedly, raising Mona alone. She was strong-willed and she expected people to keep their promises, and that included her daughter.
Indeed, Cathy was constantly asking Mona when they were going to go shopping for wedding gowns, and so far, Mona had been able to forestall her by saying that David and she were not sure of the date. But, as always happens when people allow bad news to percolate rather than attack the problem head-on, the day finally came when Cathy would accept no more excuses.
As the two women walked into the Wedding Emporium, Mona was frowning and her mother was deliriously happy, for, finally Mona’s dream was coming true. After trying on one amazingly beautiful gown after the other with ivory luster, Mona finally understood that she had to speak up, or forever hold her peace and miss the trip of a lifetime. While wearing the latest creation of lace and frosted pearls, Mona looked at her mother and said, “Mama, we need to talk!”
As they sat in a restaurant, Mona explained to her mother the type of wedding she and David wanted to have, one that was very inexpensive, so that the money that had been saved for her wedding might help her pay her share of the extended honeymoon. She apologized profusely, but explained to Cathy that she believed that it was not the cost of the wedding or the grandeur that was important, but it was the commitment that she and David had made to each other that was more important to the success of their union.
To her utter surprise, her mother agreed with her. Taking Mona’s hands in her own, Cathy told her daughter that what was most important to her was that Mona was certain that David was someone she could spend her life with, a man who would support her dreams and share her sorrows and griefs. For years, Cathy had planned to allow Mona to rescind the promise, but she thought that Mona had her heart set on a big, fancy wedding.
They looked at each other and started to laugh. Then, they planned a wonderful simple ceremony by the ocean, with Mona wearing a plain white suit and carrying flowers from her mother’s extensive garden. Afterwards at dinner with Mona and a very happy David, Cathy wrote Mona a check for the monies needed for the trip.
After the beautiful wedding, Mona, with a catch in her throat, told the young couple to cherish every moment of their times together, because you never know if you will have 40 years together or just the fourteen years that she was blessed to share with Mona’s father. As Mona kissed her mother goodbye, she realized that she had learned a great lesson that would help make her marriage successful: Always tackle the hard problems head-on.