I Do Times Two

Bernadette Pry helped plan her two daughter’s weddings, which were a quick 10 months apart. Hear her firsthand account of the process, and learn a few tips on surviving your own role as Mother of the Bride.

By Bernadette Pry as told to Savannah Waszczuk | Photos by Kisa Conrad Photography, Scott Cotton Photography

Dec 2016

I Do Times Two
A Mother's Love: Even though Bernadette Pry's daughter Aimee lives in Colorado, Pry was still able to help plan her dream wedding.

The Planning

At first I was really nervous about it—planning two weddings at the same time. First of all, you think about the money that goes out for a wedding, and then when you think about the money that’s going to go out for two weddings in the near future, it’s like “Whoa!” But planning them both at once actually turned out to not be so bad. I did plenty of shopping and plenty of Pinteresting—and you have to do a lot of that, but you can get ideas for both at the same time. So it really worked out okay. 

Anna was very much like, “Let’s get this done. What do we do next?” and that’s more of what I’m like, too. I am not one to sit around. So during that time of planning Anna’s wedding, if I had free time, it was like, “Okay, what do I need to work on?” because I made a lot of the decorations. And Anna was always there helping. So we were together three to four nights a week, making things, working on stuff, talking about the plans and getting things done. 

Now, that’s not to say we didn’t get things done for Aimee. But she was always more like, “Oh, I don’t know,” and she would put it off. Because she’s in Denver, I’d call her and say, “Okay, now it’s time for you to start working on this!” It all ended up getting done anyway, and I wouldn’t say that for either wedding we were extremely stressed trying to get things done at the last minute. They really weren’t that stressful to plan.

We reused very little from one wedding to the next. One of the things that comes to mind is the veil—they shopped for dresses and veils pretty close to each other in time, and they really both ended up liking the same style of veil, and that’s what we did reuse. So that was Aimee’s “something borrowed”—she used
Anna’s veil. Also in Anna’s wedding, Mark [Pry’s husband] and I made a 16-foot-wide pipe and drape that sat behind the head table. In
Aimee’s wedding, we cut it down to 8 feet and used it for a backdrop for a photo booth. Other than that, we reused a chalkboard and a couple of signs and votive candle holders, but not much else.

The Proposals

We had gone on vacation for my 50th birthday and had taken all the girls [Editor’s Note: Pry and her husband, Mark, have three daughters, Aimee, Anna and Alicia]. We got back from the trip, and Derek, Aimee’s boyfriend, happened to be at the house. Mark, Derek, Aimee and I were sitting in the kitchen, and all of the sudden, Aimee says, “I’m going to go get my pajamas on.” And no quicker than when she left the room, Derek said, “I need to talk to you guys. I want to ask Aimee to marry me in the next few months.” We were so excited! 

Once he chose the ring, he said, “Okay, I’m going to take her to the mountains because we love the mountains, and that’s where I’m going to propose.” Well, then he would take her to the mountains, and she’d invite a friend. Then the next weekend they couldn’t go because the weather would be too bad. So every weekend Mark and I were just like, “Oh, my gosh! When’s it going to happen? When’s it going to happen?” Then he invited her to the mountains again, and she invited another friend, so he could never do it!

In the meantime, we took Anna out to dinner for her birthday, and Adam, her boyfriend, went with us because they were very serious and he was becoming part of the family. So we were sitting at dinner, and then Anna announced that they were engaged! Mark and I were very excited for them. We finished dinner, and we talked to them, and then we went to the house, and we opened gifts and had birthday cake. Then three hours later they left, and we’re like, “Oh, my gosh. What are we going to do?” We were still waiting for the other one to get engaged! Then 12 days later, Derek finally takes Aimee to the mountains, and he proposes. 

The Big Day

Anna and Adam were married on November 1, 2015, at the Savoy Ballroom. Their wedding colors were black and white, and then we also threw in some silver. It was closer to wintertime, and the wedding had a little bit more of a winter feel. We used big white feathers in some of the centerpieces, and we used white
Christmas lights.

Dancing Duo: Bernadette Pry dances with her husband, Mark, at their daughter Anna’s reception.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Bernadette Pry and her daughter Anna celebrate a successful reception, which Pry helped plan.

Like Mother Like Daughters: Bernadette Pry (second from left) and daughters Aimee, Anna and Alicia partied at the Savoy Ballroom for Anna’s reception.

Enjoying the Moment: Thanks to lots of organization, Bernadette Pry was able to enjoy her daughter Aimee’s big day with no stress.

A Manor for Matrimony: Aimee’s ceremony was held at The Manor House in Littleton, Colorado.

Dining Details: Bernadette Pry used Pinterest to help design and gather ideas for her daughter Anna’s tablescapes.

Local Love: Anna and Adam Fite got married in Springfield, which made planning much easier for Anna’s mom, Bernadette Pry.

Banner Beauty: Bernadette Pry and her daughter Aimee got crafty and made a banner saying “You are my favorite.”

Wedding Round Two: Aimee and Derek Ball got married just 10 months after Aimee’s sister Anna did.

Pinterest Pretty: Bernadette Pry and Anna Fite  sourced Pinterest and did a lot of shopping to create tablescapes for the reception.

Aimee’s wedding was on September 12, 2016. It was outdoors—she got married on the property of a mansion that was built in 1914. It’s at the base of the mountains in Littleton, Colorado. It was very important to Aimee and Derek to have a view of the mountains because they both love the mountains so much. 

Both weddings were beautiful, and I do have to say that I know they both loved their own the best. At Anna’s wedding, we were done with the ceremony, and we were standing in the Savoy, and it was just Anna and me standing there together for a minute. We were looking out over the reception area, and she said, “Mom, you nailed this,” and I said, “No, we nailed this.” That made everything worth it. It was so rewarding.

Aimee made a comment at her wedding—she thanked her dad and me, and then she said, “Thank you for giving me the perfect wedding.” That’s what you want—you just want them to just love what we’ve done.

How to Survive as the Mother of the Bride: Bernadette Pry shares tips on surviving the role of Mother of the Bride twice in a 10-month period.

Track Your Spending

“Both girls had the same budget, and we were pretty determined to stick to those,” Pry says. “I kept a very detailed spreadsheet of purchases and also a file with receipts in case I didn’t use something I could get a refund on. All of the purchases and little details really add up quickly.”

Shop Smart

Because she made a lot of the decor herself, Pry was spending lots of money on supplies. “I signed up for craft store mailing lists so I would receive coupons for them,” Pry says. “I very rarely made a non-discounted purchase. Plan ahead and watch for bargains.”

Get Creative

Each of Pry’s daughters has her own distinct personality, and their personalities were reflected in their wedding decor. Although the weddings had completely different looks, Pry found creative ways to repurpose certain items. “After the first wedding, we repainted the chalkboard easel and recustomized it for the second wedding,” Pry says.

Make a Timeline

Both of Pry’s girls used timelines from The Knot ( to help keep on track. “Get started early,” Pry says.

Trust the Pros

Planning Anna’s wedding came easily because Pry lives in Springfield and the wedding was local, but when it was time to plan Aimee’s wedding in Denver, Pry asked for help. “Hiring a wedding coordinator for Aimee and Derek’s wedding was one of the best decisions we made,” Pry says. “[Aimee] was new to and pretty unfamiliar with Denver, and it was overwhelming in the beginning. I couldn’t just run to Denver at the drop of a hat. Very early on we decided to hire Elizabeth Restauri of Total Imagination Events in Denver, and she was able to guide us through the entire process, keep us on track with schedule and budget and help keep us both calm, which was worth every penny.”