It’s tempting for families of the bride and groom to jump in with their own ideas and expectations in the months before a wedding. As mother of the bride or groom, you have responsibilities but there are also pitfalls to avoid, especially as weddings can involve family politics.
There’s a natural urge to share the exciting news of an engagement but it’s the couple’s right to tell everyone, so don’t spoil the occasion by beating them to it.
Once the wedding date is decided, wait for the guest list to be completed before calling relatives and friends. There may be people you would like to join the celebrations, but you must ask the bride and groom before adding more guests to the list – it’s their day. Most venues limit guest numbers and there’s also a budget to consider.
It’s fine to have some input into the preparations but too much can create stress and sometimes lead to a dispute. You should be giving support and constructive advice, and diplomacy is the key – so keep strong opinions to yourself.
Showing disapproval or being pushy isn’t a good idea; choose the right time to offer your opinion. If there is something you would love to incorporate in the big day, make a request and, hopefully, your suggestion will be considered.
There’s so much to do when organising a wedding that offering to help the bride or groom and ease the pressure will definitely earn you brownie points. Be realistic about how much you take on, for the repercussions of over-promising and under-delivering won’t be welcome at the crucial planning stage.
A family welcome
Giving a sentimental gift such an heirloom to your future son or daughter-in-law is a lovely way to welcome them into the family.
If the two sets of parents have never met, it’s good to get together for a meal well before the day. This gets over the formalities before the big day and gives everyone the chance to talk about the wedding plans.
All brides and grooms want their weddings to be special and the day is all about them, regardless of budgets and constraints. The last thing they want is to be compared to another wedding. And if you aren’t happy about any element of the wedding, keep it to yourself.
You want the big day to be harmonious. Don’t try and out-do the other mother as it’s not a competition but is about compromise.
Make sure your outfit co-ordinates with the wedding colour scheme. Traditionally, the mother of the bride chooses her outfit first, but either way both mums should be aware of what colour each one is wearing so there’s no overlap. It’s best to avoid turning up in something white and lacy as it could be seen as competing with the bride.
Ideally, the mother of the bride shouldn’t be in the same colour as the bridesmaids or maid of honour so you should not aim to look like an addition to that group. The colour palette is about toning in which looks great for wedding photos. You don’t want to look at the wedding album and regret the clashing prints in your outfit.
Enjoy the day!
Planning a wedding is emotional and stressful, so your role is to help ease the pressure and be very supportive to the couple. Seek out the fun in those shopping trips and turn decision-making into a good experience.
Finally, when the big day arrives, relax, smile and, above all, enjoy it all.