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Wedding Ideas

See The Knot Editors’ Moms on Their Wedding Days

As wedding editors and propagators of love and joy, we pull inspiration from all over the place—but nowhere more so than from our fabulous mothers and grandmothers. Wise, generous, talented and down-to-earth (and don’t forget gorgeous), these ladies have inspired and encouraged us from the beginning. Below, read the best wedding stories and life advice from The Knot editors’ moms and grandmas—and don’t miss their amazing wedding photos. Happy Mother’s Day!

Avery Hutchinson, Editorial Assistant, Fashion & Beauty

Mother’s Name: Julia O’Neil

Wedding Date: June 23, 1984

Wedding Location: United Church of Christ, Bath, Maine

Memorable Wedding Moments: “The necklace in my wedding photo was my great-grandmother’s, and my dress style was very similar to her early 1900s gown. My wedding cake was the only thing that wasn’t perfect the day of the wedding. It was beautiful and delicious, but it was placed near a large glass window hours before the wedding, and by the time the guests arrived, it was leaning to one side from being in the sun.”

Julia’s best piece of advice to Avery: “Be yourself.”

Ivy Jacobson, News & Planning Editor

Mother’s Name: Ellen Holcomb

Wedding Location: Woodmont Clubhouse (ceremony), Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club (reception), Temple Terrace, Florida

Memorable Wedding Moments: Ellen’s mother attached the tulle to the hat for a train, and her brother decorated their golf cart to ride in from the ceremony to the reception. Her florist also called on Saturday wondering why nobody was setting up yet. She had to remind them the wedding was on Sunday and they had to redeliver the flowers the next day—thankfully, they still looked good!

Best advice Ellen received from her mother: “Always follow the Golden Rule, and don’t borrow trouble.”

Ellen’s best piece of to Ivy: “My mom and I laugh over her signature phrase now, because I always know it’s coming to me before she even says it. When she tells me to ‘keep the control,’ she’s not telling me to hide the remote or be selfish. It’s a subtle but impactful reminder to always be the person in charge of your own life and the things you can control, since so much of life is adapting to the things you can’t.”

Katelyn Baker, Senior Designer

Mother’s Name: Jean Baker

Wedding Date: August 31, 1985

Wedding Location: Chapel of the Transfiguration at Grand Teton National Park (ceremony) and The Granary Restaurant, Spring Creek Ranch (reception)

Memorable Wedding Moments: “From my first visit to Grand Teton National Park as a young girl, I dreamed of getting married in the little log church known as the Chapel of the Transfiguration. On the day of our wedding there was an earthquake and a forest fire! In fact, Grand Teton was closed except for those attending our wedding at the chapel. Fortunately, the winds were kind to us and smoke was not visible in our photographs. Better yet, the fire helped create a spectacular sunset for our reception.”

Best advice Jean received from her mother: “She’s always said that I could do anything and achieve anything, if I put my mind to it.”

Jean’s best piece of advice to Katelyn: “My mom has always reminded me that everything happens for a reason and we don’t always know that reason, so it’s best to just go with things as they come rather than fight things that might not be panning out exactly as you had planned. Everything will work out exactly as it should in the end.”

Katie Kortebein, Assistant Editor, Research

Mother’s Name: Betsy Kortebein


Wedding Date: December 29, 1990

Wedding Location: Pasadena, CA

Memorable Wedding Moments: “Being UCLA grads, we had the UCLA marching band play the fight song as we exited the reception. But our wedding planner didn’t show up to the wedding or, more importantly, the reception. I remember my mother was a bit frazzled but I was oblivious to the inconvenience. My focus was that I was now married to the love of my life and there was cake.”

Best advice Betsy received from her mother: To encourage Betsy to ask her now-husband out on a first date the week before he moved across the country. Her mother told her: “Just go for it, don’t wait around— you’ll never know unless you try.”

Betsy’s best piece of advice to Katie: “Don’t worry about everyone else. There’s always going to be someone who seems better, but focus on yourself and what you can do. That’s when you’ll shine.”

Katie Ragan, Designer

Mother’s Name: Margaret Ragan

Wedding Date: July 10, 1988

Wedding Location: Fairfield, New Jersey

Memorable Wedding Moments: “It was 102 degrees with no air-conditioning in the church and I wore long sleeves. (Don’t pick a long-sleeve dress for a summer wedding!) I planned on having pictures taken in a park and it didn’t rain for two weeks prior to the wedding, which is why the grass is burnt in the pictures.”

Best advice Margaret received from her mother: “Treat people how you would like to be treated.”

Margaret’s best piece of advice to Katie: “Just be yourself and everything will turn out fine.”

Kristen Maxwell Cooper, Executive Editor

Mother’s Name: Pam Freiberg

Memorable Wedding Moment: “I had already had one wedding—the traditional one to my college boyfriend. That didn’t work out too well and I was left with three children to raise. Most choices were made fairly quickly as I didn’t have the time to pore over magazines making the perfect decision. I did carefully choose a ring—something you wear forever—and I still love it.We did have a receiving line, and all of a sudden one of the ‘cute flower girls’ (Kristen!) was clinging to the back of my dress crying. As we talked to her to find out the problem, we learned she’d taken a little swipe of frosting from the cake and that my aunt had yelled at her. She still doesn’t like that aunt!”

Best piece of advice Pam received from her mother: “One quote from mom that I always remember is, ‘Yes, you can! The end of American is -ICAN, and you can!'”

Pam’s best piece of advice to Kristen: “My mom is a treasure trove of great advice. But if I had to pinpoint the best, it’s probably something my mom says over and over: ‘Above all, trust your gut. If your gut is telling you something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.'”

Lauren Kay, Senior Style Editor

Mother’s Name: Kris Kay

Wedding date: August 13, 1977

Wedding Location: Grace Episcopal Church in Kirkwood, Missouri (ceremony) and Westport Plaza and Chalet. in St. Louis, Missouri (reception)

Memorable Wedding Moment: “As a joke, due to my husband stating, ‘Everything doesn’t have to be perfect,’ I gave him a surprise. When he was reaching for my garter he felt athletic socks, then saw that I was also wearing his brothers converse shoes. It was difficult pulling this off since I had to lift my dress to walk and I didn’t want to give away the surprise. It was well worth it to see his expression!”

Best piece of advice Kris received from her mother: “Follow the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Kris’s best piece of advice to Lauren: “She taught me to always be kind and to do my very best. And now, as a mom, I appreciate the many sacrifices she’s made for me over the years even more.”

Maggie Seaver, Editorial Assistant, News & Planning

Mother’s Name: Christine Seaver

Wedding Date: June 21, 1986

Wedding Location: Basilica of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Southampton, New York (ceremony) and Westhampton Country Club, Westhampton Beach, New York (reception)

Memorable Wedding Moments: “Our wedding date was both the Summer Solstice (the longest day of the year) and a full moon, so a very auspicious day. We’re a dancing family and no holiday or celebration is complete without plenty of time on the dance floor. For our reception, we hired an all-female swing band, and my older brother gave me and my three sisters each a pair of pink Converse Chuck Taylor high-top sneakers. They were the hit of the party—I still have them.”

Best advice Christine received from her mother: “You should marry someone who adores you completely. You deserve that kind of love and will respond in kind all your life.”

My mom’s best piece of advice to me: My mom has always encouraged me to practice empathy and be as helpful as possible. There’s no such thing as “that’s not my job,” or “that’s not my mess.” Life is an all-hands-on-deck affair.

Maria Bouselli, Senior Copy Editor

Grandmother’s Name: Rose Marie Zuba

Wedding Date: December 31, 1955

Wedding Location: Scranton, PA

Memorable Wedding Moments: “Since it was a Polish wedding, we got married at 9 a.m. An accordion player came to the house and played outside as I got into the car on my way to the ceremony. We had breakfast at the hall for the bridal party and ceremony attendants, went to the studio for photos, then went back to the hall for the reception at 5 p.m. At the reception, we were greeted with bread, salt and wine. Bread: so we never go hungry; salt: to give flavor to our marriage and help cope with any difficult times in our life; and wine: so we never go thirsty, and to toast to good health and the company of many great friends.”

Best piece of advice Rose Marie received from her mother: “My mother told me always to be on the same page as your husband. You have to come first to your husband, and your husband has to come first to you.”

Rose Marie’s best piece of advice to Maria: “My nana always says that you should have lots of things to look forward to; she and my grandpa did so much together—traveling and hosting holidays at their house. So I’m always planning fun trips and get-togethers with my friends and family. She also says, ‘Every pot has its lid’—and now that I’m older, I’ve seen that definitely proves to be true.”

Rachel Sylvester, Associate Editor, Real Weddings

Mother’s Name: Eva Griffin

Wedding Date: December 6, 1979

Wedding Location: Roma Hall, Madison Heights, Michigan

Memorable Wedding Moments: “We were young and didn’t have any money, but we paid for the wedding ourselves. I borrowed my dress, and my bridesmaids wore electric-blue gowns with a removable tier for dancing. It was the end of the disco era, so Gary (Rachel’s dad) was right on trend in his baby-blue tux. One of my favorite memories was watching him throughout the evening. We literally danced the entire night until the owner of the hall had to shut it down in the early morning hours.”

*Note from the groom, Gary Sylvester: “I remember telling [Rachel’s] mom, ‘Enjoy the night because it’ll go by quickly.’ But I kept thinking to myself, ‘Marry that girl before she gets away.'”

**Note from Rachel: “I’m convinced that a baby-blue tux is the key to a successful marriage. They’ve been going strong since they first met more than 40 years ago.”

Shelley Brown, Associate Editor, Fashion & Beauty

Mother’s Name: Marlene Brown

Wedding Location: Long Beach, California

Memorable Wedding Moments

Shelley: “My parents originally planned to have a big wedding, but when planning proved too stressful, they decided to elope. They got married at the courthouse in Long Beach and my mom wore a simple wrap dress she bought off-the-rack, accessorized with a flower crown she had made on the spur of the moment on the way to the courthouse—how cool is that?”

Marlene: “We told the florist, ‘We’re getting married in 20 minutes. What can you do for us?’ They made me a flower crown. I just love that headpiece. There were all these people lined up at the judge’s office taking care of their traffic tickets or whatever business at the courthouse. When we walked in all dressed up, everyone realized we were there to get married and started cheering for us and wishing us luck. It was a really neat moment.”

Marlene’s best piece of advice to Shelley: “If you’re dating someone who doesn’t treat you well, don’t waste time trying to figure out why. They are a loser. It’s not you. If someone can’t treat you the way you should be treated, they aren’t worth your time.”

Stephanie Cain, Real Weddings Editor

Mother’s Name: Sharon Genetti Cain

Wedding Date: August 21, 1977

Wedding Location: Five Wounds Portuguese National Church, San Jose, California

Memorable Wedding Moments: “My youngest brother, just 8 years old, gave my fiancé grumpy looks throughout the wedding and we couldn’t figure out why. But later at the reception, we realized he thought he would never see me again because I was getting married! And one of my favorite memories was dancing with my grandfather Stephen. I was so happy to see him and hug him! It was so special to have everyone there together.”

Best piece advice Sharon received from her mother: “Take one step at a time and keep going.”

Sharon’s best piece of advice to Stephanie: “Be kind, be strong, be genuine and be fearless. Also, always write a thank-you note and basically everything else from the etiquette book.”