As the mother of the bride, your role is to help your daughter shine on her special day. Acting as hostess, wedding consultant and sometimes counselor are duties assumed by a mother of the bride. Working with members of the bridal party and the wedding planner to ensure the bride’s wishes are fulfilled, it is easy to say a mother has several duties leading up to her daughter’s special day.
Once you’ve received the happy news from your daughter and her fiancé, you might feel as if you are living in a tornado of appointments, planning and details. Whether you choose to divide financial responsibility or keep it traditional, getting the wedding budget worked out at the beginning will help prevent headaches in the future.
As the mother of the bride, one of your most important jobs is to assist the bride with invitations, guest lists and revisions to these lists. It’s common for parents to invite their friends and close co-workers to their children’s weddings, even if the bride doesn’t know them very well. As one of the people hosting the wedding, you’re entitled to share the day with those close to you too. Also, you may need to help the bride with any extended family questions, as she may not be as clear on who’s who.
Make contact with the parents of the groom and stay in touch with them. Coordinate with the mother of the groom to include their guest list requests for invitations, and also work out sleeping arrangements for any out-of-town relatives.
Many mothers of the bride help work out the details for the rehearsal dinner with the wedding planner and bride. Or for less traditional weddings, maybe a family outing so both the brides family and grooms family can meet each other. Just follow your daughter’s lead on how she wants things to go for the pre-wedding festivities.
Beyond the nitty-gritty of wedding prep are the fun tasks for the mother of the bride. Most brides ask their mothers to accompany them to look for a wedding gown and veil. You may also be asked your opinion on a variety of wedding subjects, from flowers and favors to a DJ or a venue. Be helpful and honest, but try not to overstep your role as mother of the bride.
Another job for the mother of the bride is to work with the maid of honor on a wedding shower. While it’s considered a breach of etiquette for the mother of the bride to throw a wedding shower for her daughter, it’s perfectly acceptable to volunteer your home for the event and accept certain duties from the maid of honor in pulling it all together.
Finally, choose your own dress for the wedding. Generally, the dresses for the mother of the bride are ones that complement the bridesmaids’ dresses, whether in color, style or fabric. General etiquette rules regarding dresses for the mother of the bride include not wearing white, cream or black, and the dress should match the level of formality of the venue. Talk to your daughter about what she envisions, and try to choose a dress that closely matches it.
If your daughter’s reception includes a receiving line, normally of the mother of the bride is first in line, due to her role as hostess. Make sure you greet everyone with a smile and identify yourself to guests whom you are not familiar with, such as relatives of the groom. At this stage, your primary role is to enjoy yourself and be proud of your daughter.