The mother of the bride has a key role to play in the proceedings.
Watching your daughter get married is going to leave you with so many happy memories.
But there are a few duties that every mother of the bride would want to take part in.
For some weddings, the mother of the bride is still at the head of the planning, and for others, she may take a back-seat approach.
Your role will vary depending on your relationship with your child and your involvement in your daughter’s special day.
But, either way, being the mother of the bride is a huge responsibility and it’s not something that comes around often, so it’s important that you get it right.
So, if you are not sure what is expected of you during the wedding process, here's a rundown of her traditional responsibilities of the mother of the bride.
Before the Wedding Day
Host an Engagement Party for The Couple
Although it is not a requirement, this party serves as a wonderful way to get everyone together before the wedding festivities.
Be a Helping Hand Throughout the Process
Most brides still want their mother’s input in the planning process.
But even though planning a wedding is a wonderful experience, it can also be stressful at times.
From finding the right wedding venue to the perfect wedding dress, your daughter will need your help and motherly advice throughout the wedding planning.
So, listen to her when she needs you, comfort her, reassure her, and support her.
Be Available When She Needs
Make yourself available to participate whenever possible.
This way you can accompany the bride for location viewings, wedding fairs or even wedding shopping.
If the bride invites you then try your very best to attend, so try and keep certain days free when she asks.
Meet the Groom’s Parents
If you haven’t already, now would be the time to meet the groom’s parents.
After all, it’s best not to leave that until the wedding day.
It’s a nice and welcoming gesture to invite them to dinner, along with the grandparents and other children so both families can get to know one another better.
They might also have some ideas about the big day or be able to share some of the responsibilities.
Working together can be another wonderful way for your families to get to know one another a little better.
Draw a Guest List
Creating and editing the guest list can be one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning.
The invitations must be ordered as soon as possible, and the guest list will be critical in making your invitation order.
So, you need to draft a guest list of relatives and their friends they want to invite to the wedding.
Narrow down the number of guests as needed and delicately discuss the issue with the groom's family so that they can also reduce the guest count if necessary.
Help with the Budget
Creating a budget checklist is a good idea to avoid unwelcome surprises.
While many wedding traditions have been updated, sometimes the father and mother of the bride to pay for some or most of the wedding.
If you do want to contribute financially to the wedding, then let your daughter know early on in her wedding planning so she can factor this money into her budget.
Discuss the wedding budget with your daughter and her fiancé, including what you are willing to pay for.
However, if you are not contributing to the wedding, you can still help the couple to budget and decide how much to spend on what on their big day.
Help Her Scout for Locations and Venues
The mother of the bride often helps the couple check out ceremony and reception sites.
Whether you actually accompany the bride on site tours or pitches in doing research, it will be extremely helpful for you to take part in the venue hunt.
Seek out Family Heirlooms
Traditionally, finding the bride 'something old, something new' is the responsibility of the mother of the bride.
So, let the bride know if there is a veil, garter or jewellery she may want to wear as her something old or something borrowed, such as a grandmother’s veil or the wedding dress you wore to your wedding if it's available.
The bride may want to consider wearing it or incorporating part of it into her wedding-day look.
Go With Your Daughter to Get the Bridal Gown
One of the most memorable mothers of the bride duties is shopping for the bridal gown.
This can be one of the most unforgettable moments in the wedding-planning process.
Depending on the bride’s wishes, she may ask you to accompany her on dress-shopping appointments to help narrow down the choices until she finds that one perfect gown.
This is an intimate time for you and your daughter and though you may not agree with her style choices, tell her that she will be a beautiful bride and always offer positive feedback.
Your job is celebrating in this joyful experience and offering your honest opinions.
But, if you live far away, you can always participate by sending her photos of dresses you think she’ll like.
Also, if you're invited, help your daughter go on venue visits and choose a venue, select flowers, and even choose a menu too.
Purchase Your Own Gown
Don’t forget your own outfit and make sure you plan it well.
The goal is to find a dress or outfit you love and feel comfortable in, that also matches your daughter’s vision for the wedding.
Think carefully when making your choice as it is important not to overshadow the bride.
You want to pick attire that fits the venue, season and formality of the wedding.
So, make appointments to try on dresses for yourself and to see what is in style and what style will be appropriate for the type of wedding and the weather you'll expect on the big day.
Make sure you do not choose a dress in either black or white unless previously been discussed with your daughter.
Although not required, the groom's mother may appreciate you letting her know what colour and style of dress you'll be wearing to the wedding.
This way both mothers can ensure their outfits are in sync and avoid any clashing colours.
Wedding photos will turn out much better if the two of you do not wear gowns that clash.
Attend the Bridal Shower
Traditionally, the mother of the bride doesn’t host the bridal shower, however, your daughter will likely want you to be a part of the celebration.
So, try and attend or even organize the bridal shower depending on what you decide with the bridesmaids.
Act as a Point Person for Vendors
It can be helpful to the bride if you to serve as either the main contact or just an extra point person during the wedding process.
Mothers of the bride can be an alternate contact if the bride isn’t reachable.
So, make sure all the vendors know that they can contact you if they have any questions
Any last-minute changes or problems on the day of the wedding shouldn’t reach the attention of the bride.
The mother of the bride is the go-to contact instead during this time.
To ensure it goes smoothly, make sure you get all of the contact details from your daughter as soon as possible.
There may be a few hands-on jobs that you can help the couple tackle.
This may include stuffing the wedding invitations and stamping them, assembling wedding programs and putting favours together.
Support the Bride
One of the most important mothers of the bride duties is supporting the bride throughout.
During the wedding planning process, there may be times when your daughter may end up feeling stressed, overwhelmed.
Let her know that you are there to help when she needs and remind her that you will be on hand to offer advice, support and to keep her calm throughout the process.
On the Morning of The Wedding
Help Her Get Ready
Make sure you are present on the morning of the wedding to help in any way that you can.
The mother of the bride should get ready and dressed for the wedding with her daughter.
This will be a special moment that you won’t want to miss and also is a great time to get some photos with the bride.
This is also an opportunity for you to help her into her dress and keep her calm if she has any pre-wedding jitters.
Greet the Guests
In most cases, the bride usually doesn't appear until the ceremony has begun.
However, you can stay in the lobby or entrance of the ceremony location and greet guests as they arrive.
During the Wedding Reception
As the mother of the bride, it is one of your responsibilities to act as a hostess at the wedding and reception to make sure the guests are comfortable.
So, on the day, make sure you welcome guests, ensure everyone is looked after.
Give A Speech
The mother of the bride isn't required to give speeches, but feel free to say a few brief words if you'd like to.
This is a great way to let your daughter know how proud you are of her to make her feel even more special on her big day.
Remember to keep the speech short and sweet.
Look After the Wedding Gifts
Another important task for the mother of the bride is to look after the gifts at the wedding reception.
Make sure they’re safely stashed away after the party so the couple can pick them up whenever they’re ready to.
But, if you can’t look after then, you should ensure that someone is in charge of the gift table and safeguards the gifts.
The newlyweds will be sending out wedding thank you cards after their big day, so your help with keeping gifts and cards organized will be more helpful than ever.
If the newlyweds are spending the night somewhere after the big day or going off on their honeymoon, then offer to take any wedding presents home after the reception for the couple to pick up later.
After the Wedding
Be the Last to Leave the Wedding
As the wedding’s hosts, the father of the bride and mother of the bride should be the last to leave the reception.
This is so you can oversee the closing of the party and make sure the wedding gifts are taken to the newlywed’s home.
So, make sure you stay until the very end to make sure everything goes smoothly.
What Should You Avoid Doing?
Don’t Take Over
Emotions can sometimes run high when planning a wedding, so you should provide general support and advice throughout the wedding process.
But, remember not to dictate what should and should not happen.
It can be really difficult to not interfere but resist any temptation to do so.
Although your daughter wants your assistance, she most likely does not want you to take over planning the entire event.
So, try to alleviate the stress of wedding preparations, not add to it.
Instead of telling her everything you think she should do, listen to what she has in mind and respect that her happiness is most important.
Just remember to follow the couple’s lead, and remember, it’s not about your expectations for their wedding.
Don’t Steal the Limelight
The wedding, of course, is all about the bride and groom and so the focus of attention should be on them.
So, try not to do anything that may upstage or upset the bride.
Don’t Try to Invite Extra Guests
This can be tough, especially if the happy couple is opting for a more intimate gathering.
But, make sure you always ask before inviting extra guests.
Try and fight the urge to request more invites and try your best to pick the ones that matter most.
Don’t Make Any Changes
You don't want to modify any details without consulting from your daughter and her fiancé first.
So, make sure they approve of any changes before you decide to make them.
Finally, don’t forget to take a moment to celebrate this special moment with your daughter.
Planning a wedding together can be an amazing bonding experience for a bride and her mother.
It’s an important time for both of you, so don’t forget to enjoy it and cherish the memories to make the most of the special day.