Some mothers of the bride are very active in helping their daughters plan their wedding, while others take a much less-involved role, and only step in when asked. In the past, the mother of the bride made a lot of the final decisions since she was viewed as the official hostess of the wedding and given the fact that the bride’s parents were footing the bill. However, since more brides and grooms are paying for their own weddings and both sets of parents are contributing to the budget, the roles have changed significantly for the mother of the bride. Here are ten new duties that the mother of the bride is responsible for.
Mother of the Bride Duties
- Help Create the Guest List-You should be able to provide your daughter with a list of all the family members and friends you would like invited to the celebration and combine them with the groom’s family’s list. Your duty is to keep the master list and manage the task of limiting guests should that become an issue. Of course, the bride- and groom-to-be have the final say. However, they should take into account all the reasons you have suggested these people attend the wedding and reception.
- Advise of Family Traditions and Find Family Heirlooms-You should be able to advise your daughter and future son-in-law of any religious or cultural/ethnic traditions that are normally carried out at your family’s weddings. If the groom-to-be’s family is religious or practices cultural traditions of their own, you should also be the one to consult with his family in case any of those traditions are to be incorporated into the wedding. As far as family heirlooms, this could be the “something old” or “something borrowed.” It could also be neither. It could simply be an armoire that’s been in the family for 100 years and placed near the entrance of the venue—used to hold photographs, wedding programs or wedding favors.
- Being a Gracious Host-You will need to play the host at bridal showers, wedding showers, couples showers, the rehearsal dinner and reception. Your duty is not to actually host all these events (with exception to one wedding shower). It is to greet all the guests by standing in front of the receiving line. Make sure to introduce key family members to the groom’s mother if they have not yet already met.
- Point of Contact-Unless the bride would like to do this herself (and list you as the backup), you should be listed as the point of contact to all the wedding day creatives (florist, cake designer, photographer, etc.). If you are heading up this responsibility, make sure you have detailed conversations about these aspects of the day so it is easier for you to answer questions when they arise. This way, you only have to trouble the bride when you don’t know the answer.
- Shopping Buddy-You get to accompany your daughter to all the appointments to buy things! I hope you’re a shopper!! This includes the venue, caterer, florist, cake designer, and the dress boutique. Wear comfortable shoes, stay fed and keep an open mind to your daughter’s wishes. This will make all these shopping days much less dreadful and much easier to provide valuable input.
- Picking Her own Dress-The mother of the bride should consult with your daughter to see what she wants you to wear on the big day. She should have an idea of how formal/informal she wants you to appear. The dress color should correlate with the wedding color(s). After you have chosen your dress, it’s your duty to consult with the groom’s mom about her dress. This way, you two don’t show up wearing the same thing, but your style, grace and elegance is definitely in sync. (Neither should wear white.)
- Dressing Assistance-You should be the one to help you get that dress over your daughter’s head without messing her fresh hair do. The bridesmaids may help if the bride-to-be would like them to. It’s always a good idea to give this a practice run before the big day! Lacing up that corset is no joke! Also, make sure you know how to bustle the dress properly. I’ve seen plenty of questions, confusion, fumbling, and tag team efforts made to accomplish these two dress issues. Don’t let the corset or the bustle become a fiasco!
- Walk Her Down the Aisle/Second Dance-If her father is unable or unavailable for any reason to perform these duties, it is your responsibility to step in unless the bride picks another man (brother, uncle, grandfather) to perform this task.
- Provide Emotional Support-You should always provide a shoulder to cry on, and always remind the bride how beautiful she is. It’s not often that a wedding is planned and carried out without any emotional disruptions. There are usually a few. It’s commonplace. But don’t let that deter anyone from thinking, believing or knowing why you are putting forth all this effort in the first place. Love—the love the bride- and groom-to-be has for each other, the love the family has for the bride, the love the family has for all their family and friends, and the love the two uniting families have for each other. Love. This love is what will be the foundation for a successful and long lasting marriage.
- DO NOT BE A MOMZILLA-Lastly, and most importantly, do not be that mom! No matter how OCD and controlling you are, let the bride have her day. Let her have it the way she wants it. Let her make all the decisions. If you think she’s making a bad decision, gently explain why you believe it’s the wrong choice, step back and let her have the final say. If the bride-to-be ever asks for your opinion, be honest and frank but also kind. Remember, this day is not about you. It’s about your beautiful daughter! Put aside any ill feelings and let her have your day!
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