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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Write in the HUMOR genre (04/12/07)

TITLE: Ten Things the Mother of the Bride Needs to Know
By Jan Ackerson


I have been the mother of the bride at two weddings in as many years. To be honest—mistakes were made. As a public service, I offer the following advice to anyone about to step into my shoes (ivory stilettos that hurt like the dickens).

1. The first dress you buy won’t quite fit, notwithstanding the fact that you bought it because it looked really cute in the catalog. (Here’s a hint—the last time you weighed the same as that model, you were just learning cursive writing.) The second dress won’t fit either, so you’ll start dieting in hopes of wearing the first one (you liked that one better, anyway). But you won’t be able to lose all the pounds, so you’ll purchase dress #3. It’ll be a tad snug, too, so you’ll buy industrial-strength undergarments. Total investment: a bajillion dollars.

2. No one really likes that bridal shower game where they have to remember twenty household items on a tray. They don’t like the one where they have to wear a blindfold and find safety pins in a bowl of rice, either. (If you do decide to play that one, don’t make the mistake that I—I mean someone made. The rice is not supposed to be cooked.) And “Dress the Bride in a Toilet Paper Gown” sort of redefines “tacky,” don’t you think? Here’s a formula for a great bridal shower: cake, presents, outta there.

3. It’s not the end of the world that you printed two hundred programs reading “The Wedding Ceremony of Joy Anderson and Boob Carter.” Yes, his name is “Bob.” Perhaps a few people—notably, your daughter’s future in-laws—will notice. They may even be slightly miffed. But not to the extent that you need to spend another bajillion dollars having corrected programs printed.

4. You know the hall closet that the cat has figured out how to open? Not really the best place to hang the veil. Cost of replacement veil: a bajillion dollars.

5. Ten minutes before the ceremony begins, take the flower girl to the potty. She won’t go. Five minutes before the ceremony begins, take the flower girl to the potty. She won’t go. One minute before the ceremony begins, take the flower girl to the potty. She won’t go. Sixty seconds later, however, she will clutch her taffeta dress and scrunch her precious face all the way down the aisle, causing the guests to either (a) laugh uproariously, or (b) gasp in horror. If (a) happens, your daughter will blame you. If (b) happens, the guests will blame you.

6. Dabbing at a tear or two during the exchange of vows is sweet, and to be expected. Loudly wailing, “My baby, my BAAAAAAAABY” is discouraged.

7. A fun trend for the “green” bride who doesn’t want guests throwing rice (bad for Tweety’s digestion) is the Butterfly Release. Each guest is given a little box, and as the bride and groom exit the church, the guests slide open their boxes and liberate a flock of fluttering insects. Just be sure to order from a reputable company. It is reported that at one wedding, the butterflies were all—shall we say reluctant—to leave their boxes. Well, most of them were dead. Or dying. The area outside the church was littered with insect corpses and butterflies gasping their last, feeble breaths. Not an auspicious beginning for a marriage.

8. Lovely table decorations for the reception can be hand-made; consider origami doves. It only takes ninety-seven folds to complete each one. Let’s see: ninety-seven folds times two hundred guests—you should be done with them about the time you welcome your first grandchild. In the meantime, go out and buy some pretty candles.

9. Speaking of the reception—it’s best not to flit from table to table, snatching silverware and glasses from guests lest they attempt to do the “clink for a kiss” maneuver. Some of them are still eating. Tell you what: you’ll feel a lot happier if you excuse yourself and lose some of those industrial-strength undergarments.

10. Your daughter will be annoyed at you when you call her during the honeymoon. Several times.

A few final words: everything costs a bajillion dollars. But once the butterflies have been swept off the sidewalk and the origami doves have been gathered up with the used napkins—your daughter will be married, and she will have begun a wonderful new phase of life. With Boob. Try not to call him that.

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This article has been read 2079 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Malley04/19/07
I could see it now! I'm saving already! So very entertaining and fun. Great job! Jo
Lynda Schultz 04/19/07
Hilarious - makes you almost wish the kids would elope!
Teri Wilson04/19/07
This is great. I LOVE your last line. Hilarious!
TJ Nickel04/19/07
This is great. Perfect for humor week. The piece was exceptional because of the pace. I laughed with the article for a bit. At the flower-girl section, I stopped for 2 minutes laughing at one of my own memories. Then back to more reading and more laughing.
Sara Harricharan 04/19/07
LOL! I just had to show my mom this and she loved it! We both couldn't stop laughing. I love the 1-10 things and especially the phrase with a 'bajillion' dollars and poor bob. ^_^
Anita Neuman04/19/07
Five Things Every Reader Needs to Know:

Go to the bathroom beforehand.

Don't read it while your husband is sitting on the couch beside you. He doesn't appreciate the shaking.

Don't try to stifle your laughter for your husband's sake. You'll choke on your own spit.

Don't try to re-read it while your eyes are still streaming. You won't be able to see much.

Do forward the link to everyone you know.
Betty Castleberry04/19/07
Hilarious. Erma Bombeck would be proud.
Helen Paynter04/19/07
Great! I laughed out loud - as so often when I read your work. Poor Boob! And poor butterflies!
terri tiffany04/19/07
Nice job! Just married my daughter off last year and can relate to some of them! Good pace and voice:)
Tabiatha Tallent04/19/07
Oh my goodness, that was too funny! Great job.
Cheri Hardaway 04/19/07
I'm still laughing too hard to type. This was funny! Can't quit breaking into that kind of laughter that makes my eyes stream with tears. I'll sleep good tonight! Blessings, Cheri
James Wood04/20/07
Probably funny, but I could never get into the Seinfeld-esque "maddness by minutiae" sort of gags. Well thought out and written.
Pat Guy 04/20/07
'bajillion' is now my favorite word! I haven't 'been there, done that' yet (with a daughter)but I have a feeling there are many grains of truth throught this hilarious list! The last paragraph is a favorite too.

Oh my! A second and third read is even funnier! The reader reads in anticipation, knows what's coming and begins to laugh before reaching their favorite parts.

Many chuckles to the writer!
Julie Arduini04/20/07
I LOVE this. Amen on #2 but this brought back great memories of my wedding and some loving reminders to keep in my memory box for when my kids marry. This is humor and you absolutely aced it.
Cheryl Johnson04/20/07
I LOVED this! Hilarious. Great job. A family member is getting married soon so I could relate. Found this so funny. Great job. You made my day. :-)
Joyce Samuel04/21/07
This is absolutely hilarious! I especially liked the bit about the safety pins in rice...that is 'not supposed to be cooked'. I can just imagine what a sticky mistake it must've been! I really liked
this. Well done.

Verna Cole Mitchell 04/21/07
This is a great piece of hilarity all the way through!
Val Clark04/22/07
A fun read. Fast paced. Very stand up comedyish. yeggy
Joanne Sher 04/23/07
Oh, did I laugh and laugh and laugh. I just adore your humor. This was so vivid.
Bryan Coomes04/23/07
Your advice is priceless. This was great and took me back to the general insanity of my wedding day. Of course I was playing golf in another state while my bride was dealing with the various fires caused by family and friends...lol And she still wound up marrying me in spite of my being terribly sunburned and not being able to contain my laughter throughout much of the ceremony. And yes my mother was sobbing almost uncontrollably which you can clearly hear on the video. Good times...
Rita Garcia04/23/07
ROFL!! Mother of the bride three times and one more to go...this is hilarious!
Marc Smith04/24/07
This is absolutely HILARIOUS! Definitely my kind of humor. It is by far my favorite. Great job!
Sandra Petersen 04/24/07
This was funny, and I'll try to remember them when our three girls tie the knot. Please tell me all of this didn't really happen?

I think my favorite was #7 about the butterflies.
Shari Armstrong 04/25/07
This had me laughing a LOT. I'm nowhere near ready to fill those shows, thankfully lol. You should consider a compainion piece - for the Mother of the Groom -my sister would be a good resource of material lol
Shari Armstrong 04/25/07
PS - the only butterflies at our wedding were the ones I embroidered on my dress and the silk ones on my flowers LOL
Donna Powers 04/25/07
excellent, Jan! I loved it and laughed. I especially loved calling your son-in-law "Boob."
Jacquelyn Horne04/25/07
This is really cute! Good advice.
Dara Sorensen04/25/07
I love this! I need to show it to my mom since she's in this position with me now ^_^

Jacqueline Zerres04/25/07
You forgot the "HELP ME" written on the bottom of the grooms shoes as he kneels at the altar! Great fun.You deserve the prize!
Myrna Noyes04/25/07
As if you need yet another person to say how hilarious, well-written, and true-to-life this is! :D
Debbie OConnor04/25/07
Great job! The title was irresistible and the story didn't disappoint. Fun...and too true.
Loren T. Lowery04/26/07
Why are true life events so hilarious after the fact. This was great. Thanks for the laugh (which I needed) and congratulations on your win!
Julie Arduini04/26/07
Congratulations on your win. I absolutely loved, loved, loved this one. Congrats again!
Leigh MacKelvey04/26/07
Jan, I just had to excuse myself and run to the bathroom, this was so funny! I really related to it! Congrats!
Sally Hanan04/26/07
Jan, this was brilliant. My favorite part was the gasping butterflies :D ana close second was the origami doves.
Marilee Alvey04/26/07
Great story, Jan! So very well done! My favorite line was: "and she will have begun a wonderful new phase of life. With Boob. Try not to call him that." It was excellent the way you separated those sentences for effect. Your talent really showed on this piece!
Lynda Lee Schab 04/27/07
Jan, it's been way too long since I've read your work! There's nothing I can say that someone else already hasn't. So I'll just say hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!! Loved every hilarious word. Congrats on taking 2nd!
Patricia Casey04/29/07
This was great. You are a funny writer.
In Jesus' Name,
Janice Fitzpatrick05/04/07
Toooooooooooooo funny Jan.You had me in stitches. Everyone is sleeping and I had to cover my mouth and try not to guffaw out loud.(GRIN) You have such a way with this type of writing hon. Colorful and down to earth. Way to go! Keep up the great work. Congrats.:0)Janice+-