- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Mikki Viereck had been planning weddings for 18 years until she realized something was consistently missing from wedding receptions.
There was no song for the mother of the groom.
For years, "Daddy's Little Girl" had been crooned at wedding festivities, but no one ever put the words to a song for the mother of the groom to dance to with her son.
"I kind of knew how moms were feeling," the Massachusetts mother of two sons says. "They wanted a special song with a message of love for their son."
In 1991, she jotted down the words to "A Song For My Son" at her kitchen table, thinking about how she would feel if her own sons were getting married. Two friends composed music for the ballad.
In 1992, she founded New Traditions, a small wedding-music company. In 1993, Mrs. Viereck sang the song on NBC's "Today" show.
"To finally have a special song to relay what's in your heart to your son on his wedding day; that's all moms wanted," she says. "Which is to give them a hug and say 'I love you' and have a special way to express that love."
She first sang the song at a wedding reception at a Massachusetts college.
Afterward, the mother of the groom hugged her, saying how much the song meant to her.
"It made me realize that if there was just some way that I could get the word out to moms to let them know that there was finally a song for them and their sons, it might make them happy," she says. "I can't think of a better way to express feelings than with a song."
Once word got around her hometown of Springfield, Mass., about "A Song for My Son," she started receiving calls from people asking her to write a song for others in the wedding party.
She has since written "A Wedding Thank You," a song from the bride and groom to their parents, plus a song for fathers to dedicate to their sons called "A Father's Song."
"My goal is to hopefully have our music touch some hearts and have people express what is in their heart on their wedding day," she says.
Mrs. Viereck and local musician Steven Moser run New Traditions from their homes, managing the Web site (www.new-wedding-traditions.com) and handling requests for music. They provide a CD with the words, in addition to accompaniment tracks and sheet music in case a member of the wedding party wants to sing one of their 11 original wedding songs.
New Traditions has sold more than 170,000 CDs. The TV game show "Jeopardy!" used "A Song For My Son" as an Audio Daily Double in 1998.
Anecdotes have poured in from grateful listeners. A nurse, Susan Greenberg, heard "A Song for My Son" as she was walking past a room in the cardiology office where she works in Cape Coral, Fla. She popped her head in to see what the women in the room were teary-eyed about. She liked the song so much she ordered it, along with Mrs. Viereck's "A Song for My Daughter," for her daughter to use at her wedding in April.
Lorie Debosik, owner of Evaline's Bridal Shop in Warren, Ohio, explains how "A Song for My Son" can play an important role in receptions, since the mother of the groom tends to get overlooked.
"The tradition has always been for the mother of the groom to wear beige, stand in the corner and say nothing," she says.
Mrs. Debosik promotes the song at the shop's wedding shows, and the CD is one of her best-selling items.
"It's so hard to find something for a mother and son. That's part of a market that's been passed over," says Lynn Mrozek, who danced to "A Song For My Son" at the receptions of her two sons' weddings in the summer of 1998.
The Pennsylvania educator says the dances with her sons were the two proudest moments of her life.
"Her song just moved me so much and although I played it so many times beforehand, I still cried dancing with my son," she says.
Now Mrs. Viereck is helping her oldest son plan his June marriage.
"It's lovely to think that this whole thing started because of the love I have for my sons," she says. "That is something that is so overwhelming to me to be able to know that for always a song inspired by them will continue to make people happy."


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