They’ve announced their engagement. Friends have ogled the ring. And it’s finally Facebook official. Now, no longer just a mother. You’re the mother of the bride. Every bride has different expectations about what part her mother should play in the wedding planning process, and every mother wants to be a good mother of the bride. You can use our handy checklist for mother of the bride duties, but there are also a few things the mother of the bride should never do.
These tips will help keep moms everywhere from being labeled “the crazy mother of the bride.”
1. Never Assume You’ll Be Involved in Every Decision
Even if you and your daughter have a very close relationship, a wedding is special. As early as possible, take initiative and sit down for a straightforward conversation with your daughter. Ask her questions like:
- What wedding planning decisions does she want you to participate in?
- What does the mother of the bride do during the reception?
- What does she think mothers give their daughters on the wedding day?
As hard as it may be, if your daughter says she does not want your help with the wedding planning, consider it a hands-off area.
2. Always Consider Their Budget
When you decide what particular parts of the wedding you – and maybe her dad – are paying for, give an exact dollar amount you are willing to spend. Creating a budget checklist is a good idea to avoid unwelcome surprises. It also lets the bride and groom rule out what is and isn’t in their price range. Do a little investigating online to figure out what a fair price would be.
3. Remember that Pitching in Money Doesn’t Give You Control
Even if you’re footing most of the bill, be content with knowing your money may not purchase what you had in mind. Offering financial help doesn’t mean you’re an investor in the wedding. That’s not one of the mother-of-the-bride duties. Ask your daughter what she wants and offer to pay for whichever pieces you like.
4. Don’t Leave Out the Mother of the Groom
After all, her baby is getting married on the wedding day, too. Proper mother of the bride etiquette means including your daughter’s future mother-in-law in the planning. Working together can be a wonderful opportunity for your families to get to know one another.
5. Keep Wedding Complaints to Yourself
A wedding is a beautiful day of uniting two people and their families. Words of encouragement can be a blessing to your daughter and the whole family as the new marriage relationship begins. You don’t want your daughter to remember all of your criticisms from her wedding day. Be joyful and enthusiastic about this special time in your daughter’s life.
Confide in a close friend or relative if you really need to get something off of your chest about the wedding. Avoid mentioning it to the bride and groom until long after the ceremony.
6. Get Permission Before Inviting Guests
The bride and groom make the guest list as well as deciding who not to invite to the wedding. Inviting your own co-workers or an extended family member who hasn’t been in touch in years is a bad look. That said, a lot of brides may fondly remember a distant relative but be uncomfortable about inviting them. Mother-of-the-bride duties could include following up with relatives that your daughter may not know very well.
7. Don’t Live Vicariously Through Your Daughter’s Wedding
Maybe you wish that you would have done things differently for your own wedding. Your daughter’s big day isn’t a second chance to redo yours. Resist that temptation. That said, feel free to kindly share the wisdom you gathered from your wedding experience.
8. Avoid Comparing Your Daughter’s Wedding to Others
You may simply mean to say how nice someone else’s wedding was, but this simple statement can be misinterpreted as a judgement on your daughter’s wedding. Wedding planning is already stressful – full of checklists, decisions, and the occasional disappointment. Don’t add to the stress by making your daughter feel like she needs to measure up to someone else’s wedding.
9. Never Change the Bride’s Plans
It’s not just bad mother-of-the-bride etiquette. Your daughter may see it as mischief-making. It can destroy her trust in you, resulting in strained relationships for years to come. No wedding faux pas is worth that.
It’s fine to suggest an alternative plan with the bride and groom, but let them come to a decision on their own.
10. Refrain from Wearing White
You don’t need to match the bridesmaids either. You have your own unique role at the wedding so let your outfit stand out. Make sure your dress looks good for your body type and your skin tone, but also choose a comfortable dress so you can be focused on the moment.
Planning a wedding together can be an amazing bonding experience for a bride and her mother. Be clear about what you expect then enjoy the time together planning an unforgettable day.