As the mother of the bride, you’d want to be able to support your daughter in every way possible, from finding the perfect dress to helping her plan the big day. In fact, your presence and support, in general, will be essential during this joyous but also stressful time.
But what exactly are the duties and responsibilities of the bride’s mother? When does helping out become interfering? Well, that depends on the bride in question but there are certainly some really obvious roles and duties you can and should take on.
Here then we have compiled the ultimate checklist to help you sort them out.
Before the Wedding
1. Be her number one source of comfort and support
Wedding planning is not only physically tasking but also emotionally overwhelming. Make sure you’ll always be there to give her a helping hand with ironing out the details or be willing to listen in case she needs someone to talk to. She may have her bridesmaids by her side, but there’s nothing like motherly support to calm her down and assure her that everything will be alright.
2. Keep all the important elements of the wedding in check
If the bride wants to stick to a specific theme or has certain kinds of flowers in mind for the wedding, it is your job to ensure to have these implemented. Likewise, if you have family traditions or heirlooms that the bride wants to be incorporated to her wedding, you should communicate that to the relevant parties so they can arrange the day and/or service accordingly.
3. Coordinate with the mother of the groom
The groom’s mother has her own set of duties and responsibilities to fulfil as well. It is your duty to connect with her and find out how you can work together or help out each other with your individual roles. Likewise, you should also align with each other to make sure your outfits for the wedding won’t clash with each other.
4. Take part in the bridal shower
While it may not be your duty to set up the bridal shower, you will likely be expected to attend, as well as help out. So show your love for your girl and be there if requested. This is a time to stop worrying about the wedding planning and preparation and revel in the glow of your daughter’s happiness as she makes merry with friends.
On the day of the Wedding
5. Assist with the bridal preparations
Help her slip into her wedding dress and make sure her makeup is on point. Help her maintain her composure. It’s easy for the bride to forget to take care of herself in the whirlwind of events during the wedding so remind her to put herself first and relax. Take charge of the venue to make sure everything is in order, from the food down to the decor. Your daughter will appreciate all the help she can get.
6. Get to the ceremony venue ahead of time
Arrive at the ceremony venue before everyone else so that you can oversee how the service preparations are going. Ride with the bridesmaids to the venue if you must or go at the same time. If you and the bride’s father were chosen to stand as witnesses at the signing of the register, be prepared to do that as well.
7. Make the guests feel comfortable
It’s highly likely that your daughter will be too busy to attend to each and every guest at her wedding. Help her out a bit by welcoming the guests for her and making sure everyone’s needs are attended to. You might also want to help out with receiving wedding gifts and distributing favours to everyone at the event to ensure everything’s in place.
8. Make sure the cake is properly distributed
Often overlooked, it is your duty as the mother of the bride to save the top tier of the cake and distribute the rest to prevent what’s left from going to waste.
9. Lead the guests out of the event
After the newly wedded couple and the bridal party have left, you and the father of the groom can go out the back door. This will signal the other guests that the ceremony has formally ended and they too can leave.
Important Things that the Mother of the Bride Should Know
- Traditionally, parents of the bride shoulder a larger amount of the expenses. In fact, 62% of couples who got married in 2018 received a donation from the bride’s parents, compared to 45% from parents of the groom, according to Bridebook’s National Wedding Survey. Of course, contributing financially to the wedding is not obligatory, so it’s important to talk to the couple and groom’s parents early on to set the right expectations. Just because you’re not donating financially, doesn’t mean you can’t be a huge help in planning the wedding (which will be worth its weight in gold anyway).
- Wear what you like but keep your daughter in mind. There are no set guidelines regarding what the attire of the mother of the bride should be for the wedding. However, it is best that you ask your daughter if she has a particular colour or style in mind for the mother of the bride attire. This way you can effectively reach a compromise wherein you’ll look and feel your most beautiful without stirring up unnecessary conflict with your daughter.
- You may or may not receive a gift from the newlyweds and that’s okay. For some people, it has become customary to pick out a gift for their parents as a sign of gratitude for raising them well. However, not receiving a gift from your daughter and your son-in-law does not mean that they think of you less. They may just not be the type to show affection through gifts or budget constraints may be preventing them from spending more (the wedding itself will be a huge financial commitment).
- You may have to do menial tasks on the day of the wedding. There’s no doubt that you’ll be looking absolutely stunning on your daughter’s wedding day. However, there’s no telling if mishaps could happen. So be prepared to roll up your sleeves just in case the zipper on the bride’s gown suddenly breaks off or the bridal bouquet needs a bit of tweaking. If a crisis happens, you can bet you’ll be the first port of call.
While it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the many things you must keep in mind as the mother of the bride, don’t let these things consume you. What’s important is that you enjoy the event as well. After all, your daughter’s wedding is as much your celebration as it is hers.