Spring brings thoughts of sunshine, flowers, warm days…and weddings! June is the month that sees the most weddings in the United States, with May as third on the list. For the bride, it’s a busy time.
While the focus is on the couple, as it should be, many others have important roles to play in the planning of a wedding…especially the moms. But thanks to a book by Cheryl Barker, a member of Kansas City’s Heart of America Christian Writers Network (www.HACWN.org), moms don’t have to travel the mother-of-the-bride journey alone.
Tell us about your book. What are some of the different elements it covers?
Mother of the Bride will help women who have suddenly been thrust into the delightful but demanding new role of Mother of the Bride. My book will offer them refreshment, wisdom, encouragement, practical tips, and the feminine beauty of a book designed just for them.
It’s filled with essays featuring relevant quotes or Scriptures, personal stories, nuggets of wisdom, suggestions for personal pampering, journaling opportunities, communication aids, and practical tips for wedding planning. Some of the topics covered include navigating the changing family dynamics, working outside your comfort zone, bonding with the groom and his family, handling differences of opinion, asking for God’s help, having a support team, helping the Father of the Bride feel included, managing daily life while wedding planning, coming down the homestretch, and troubleshooting. Vendor worksheets are also included at the back of the book.
Why did you decide to write a book for mothers of the bride?
After being a mother of the bride myself, I realized just how much mothers of the bride could benefit from an encouraging voice. I wanted to share from my own experience and become a friend for the journey so to speak. I also knew a book like this would fit me perfectly as a writer since my brand is Refreshing Spirits, Nourishing Souls.
I’m hoping Mother of the Bride will make its way into the hands of mothers of the bride for years to come and that it will be a real blessing to them. Hopefully as people discover my book, they’ll make it their go-to gift for MOBs they know.
What is the most important thing that MOBs need to consider or remember?
From a practical standpoint, the most important thing MOBs need to remember is to write everything down or document it with photos, business cards, or flyers. This will save untold grief, frustration, and extra work.
But from an emotional standpoint, the most important thing to remember is to live the moments and enjoy the journey. It’s easy for MOBs to get consumed by all the tasks and details and end up missing the special joys of wedding planning with their daughters. And even on the big day itself, MOBs need to stay focused on celebrating the moments or they could miss some of them.
What has been the most unexpected thing about this publishing journey?
The most unexpected thing was when my first contract for the book fell through. During a financial crisis, the publisher had to withdraw their new contract offers and mine was among them. You can imagine how disappointed I was. But I’d always said I wanted only God’s will for this book so I really had to put feet to my faith and continue trusting God. Of course, He proved totally trustworthy. The publisher God eventually provided—BroadStreet Publishing—has been able to fulfill the vision for my book in ways that the other publisher couldn’t. God’s plan and timing are always best.
DON’T MISS THESE OTHER GREAT AUTHOR INTERVIEWS
What do you hope readers get out of your book?
I hope they’ll gain wisdom, practical help, and encouragement while also feeling refreshed, nurtured, and understood in the midst of a demanding season of their lives. Hopefully, they’ll glean MOB life lessons from someone who’s already lived the journey.
Also, they’ll find great take-away value in the five special features at the end of each chapter. Those are called A Gem for the Journey, Treat Yourself, Talk It Over, A Bonus Wedding-Planning Tip, and MOB Musings (a journaling feature.) In addition, the vendor worksheets at the back at the book are invaluable.
Readers will also find they’ve discovered the perfect gift and resource to give to other mothers of the bride—now or in the future.
How can an MOB’s friends and family bless her during this time in her life (besides buying her a copy of the book)?
There are several ways they can do this: They can:
- Pray for her. She is probably planning the biggest event she’ll ever plan in her life.
- Offer to help with practical tasks—research, errands, help with making things, etc.
- Gift her with a listening ear. Ask how things are going and how she is doing.
- Treat her to a fun outing—dinner, dessert, a movie, shopping, etc.
- Buy her a little gift to pamper her or send her an encouraging note.
- Go with her on one or more of her wedding-planning shopping trips. She’ll appreciate the company as well as the help of another opinion.
- Don’t add to her load by asking her to do more than she’s already doing.
- If you tell her you will take care of a task, be dependable and do it on time.
What have been some of the responses you’ve received to your book on weddings?
Nearly everyone who sees it comments on how gorgeous the cover is. Reviews on Amazon have mentioned how helpful it is, the wisdom and humor included, how it makes a great gift, that it’s a wonderful keepsake, and that it’s like having a friend walk you through the process.
One reviewer said that the MOB she gave the book to keeps telling her over and over how much she loves it, and a Goodreads bride-to-be mentioned how her mom said the author was “right on and knew exactly how it felt to have your daughter getting married.” A couple of women have pointed out how good it is for moms whose daughters aren’t even ready to get married yet, and one bride-to-be got it for her fiancé’s mom to help build their bond. The mom loved it and doesn’t even have daughters—probably because much of the insight shared can be applied in different situations. Of course, I love hearing these reports of how the book is blessing people. That in turn blesses me!
What words would you have for others who are considering writing on an unusual, creative topic?
If they’re writing a book and their audience will be a niche audience like mine, they should first do some research and see if there are already books on the market filling that niche. If so, they need to put a twist on their approach and make it unique in some way or they could have a hard time finding a publisher. Once they have a good approach, I say go after the dream because books do indeed get published for niche markets. Book publication is not for the faint of heart, though, so my advice is to put on your work boots, make sure you have a quality product, and just keep taking one step after another. With unwavering perseverance and God’s help, it can happen!
How can readers connect with you and where can they find your book?
The easiest way to find the book is online. They can go to MotheroftheBridebook.com/ and find buy-links to Amazon, B&N, and Christianbook.com. Those links can also be found on my website at cherylbarker.net. Readers will also find my inspirational blog and my Mother of the Bride Blog on my website, and they can connect with me on social media via Facebook , Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, and LinkedIn.
Also, while visiting my website they can sign up for my free inspirational Life Notes newsletter that includes a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue. Sign-up is on the sidebar—or if on a mobile device, just scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it. I would love to connect with readers in any or all of these ways!
–Jeanette Gardner Littleton is a Kansas City writer and editor and co-director of HACWN.