DEAR MOTHER OF THE BRIDE
7 TIPS FOR EVERY MOTHER OF THE BRIDE
My daughter just got married and it was a gorgeous, wonderful day.
Tori and I bonded really well through the wedding planning. It was an amazing experience for me because I love party planning and she involved me quite a bit.
But it didn’t go without tense moments and hurt feelings here and there. I chalk that up to the reality of “weddings” and everything that surrounds the process. We got through it and so will you.
I made lots of notes along the way to share with friends that will soon be planning weddings for their own daughters and I’m sharing those notes here for you as well.
My biggest tip I can emphasize, and this is something you will read quite a bit out there on the internet, is that this is truly, honestly not your wedding. It’s hers. She’s the star of the day and should be able to make the final choices without being made to feel guilty.
But don’t let that prevent you from embracing your role as the Mother of the Bride. You are very important and she needs you so very much — even if she doesn’t know how to express it.
I had so many emotions during the entire process. I thought I had “let her go” when she left for college and then moved out. But be prepared for yet more emotions because I found this wedding planning + actual wedding day to be the final “empty nest” process. And it was bitter-sweet.
Having said that, I’m going to list some of the biggest points I learned while being the Mother of the Bride. I hope this helps a mama out there somewhere.
01/ IT’S HER WEDDING BUT SHE NEEDS YOU I believe the most important gift you can give her is to acknowledge that it’s her wedding and you want to help her bring her vision to life - only to the extent that she wants you to.
I told Tori that I would love to be involved in the planning of the decor, ideas, and any planning as much or as little as she would like.
I also made myself available to her for anything she needed. But I was careful to let her know that I would wait to hear on how and where she wanted me to be involved.
02/ SHE’S A PINTEREST BRIDE Things have changed. The Brides today are considered “Pinterest” and “Instagram” Brides. They are heavily influenced by what they see online.
Large, tiered cakes with roman-columns and fountains are out. Cute bride + groom toppers are out. Minimal cakes and desert displays are in. So are mis-matched everything.
Don’t force the idea of a receiving line. Out, out, out. Don’t be disappointed if she doesn’t want to keep the traditional cake-top in the freezer for a year either. It’s not a thing anymore.
Your role is to let her decide what she loves and what she wants. Your role is not to tell her you don’t like naked cakes or single layer cakes with side cupcake options.
Remember: this is her day and her vision. She gets to decide and you are there to help bring her dream wedding (within budget, of course) to life.
Become her go-to person. Support her ideas and ask what you can do next to help her most.
03/ DON’T USE FINANCES FOR CONTROL Decide what you’ll contribute and what you are responsible for. But let her work with the vendors and make final decisions. Reminder: she’s the Bride and she’s in charge.
The one and only time Tori and I had an issue was when I broke this rule and called a vendor directly to scold them for their unprofessionalism. She didn’t appreciate it and it created some tension the week before the wedding.
Hindsight, I should never have contacted the vendor directly without her knowing and approving me to do so.
Do yourself a favor and only contact vendors she asks you to contact. Otherwise, she’s an adult and can (and should) get to act like one.
04/ MOVE OVER BECAUSE THREE’S A CROWD Be prepared: cake tasting isn’t like in the movies where Bride and her mom or bestie makes a fun day out of it.
There’s a new sheriff in town and you’ll likely be bumped for his opinion or companionship on wedding planning trips.
Time to get used to the fact that your girl is now a woman and her dependency on you as her parent is changing.
Just remind yourself that you did your job and she’s blossoming into the woman you wanted her to become all along. Allow yourself to grieve during the process but don’t be upset with her.
Tell her to have a wonderful time and let her know that you can’t wait to find out what cake flavor they’ve decide on!
05/ REACH OUT TO THE MOTHER OF THE GROOM This is important for everyone involved. Reach out to her early to make her feel welcomed and included (with approval of your daughter, of course — and trust me, she’ll approve).
This is a big gesture and you may not realize it, but she wants to be included and more than likely doesn’t know how or when to even speak up.
How do I know? Because at the time of writing this, I’m now a Mother of the Groom! And I can’t tell you how much I appreciate my soon to be daughter-in-law and her mom including me in the wedding planning process.
When you reach out, you are initiating the blending of two families and you will make your daughter’s heart leap with joy.
If you aren’t feeling the love for your daughter’s future mother-in-law? Do it anyway. It’s Godly and it’s good.
06/ CONSIDER HOSTING HER BRIDAL SHOWER Before you gasp, hear me out. Time’s have changed and it’s perfectly okay for the MOB to host her daughter’s shower. I did it with one of my friends and it was probably at the top of my list of favorites about the wedding. Here’s why.
By planning the shower, I was able to pour myself into the festivities of all-things-wedding with 100% total control over the decor decisions!
Other than asking my daughter for her guest list and asking her what “shower theme” she would like, I was able to choose everything else right down to the location, menu, decor, invites, etc.
This was huge for me because there were parts of the wedding planning at that point that I really wanted to be a part of but my daughter had a very involved groom. He wanted to be included in many details that a lot of grooms really don’t care about.
By hosting the Bridal Shower, I was able to divert all of my attention and love of wedding-details into a huge party-celebration and it was the perfect solution and diversion for me!
I was able to plan to my heart’s content and I went a bit on the over-board side as far as budget goes. But it was deemed the “most beautiful shower ever attended” by many of the invitees.
That wasn’t my goal…it was just my way of satiating my desire to plan something wedding-y during the wedding planning time!
So if you really love party-planning and want to have some control over details, consider hosting one of the many other wedding parties.
07/ IT’S YOUR DAY TOO Okay so I just contradicted #1. But the truth is you’re celebrating your motherhood and the fact that you did it, Mama! You raised a baby to become a beautiful woman!
It’s your day to take in every moment of this season. It’s a new chapter for you both. Long after the wedding festivities are over and you’ve recuperated from the planning and prep, you’ll look back on this day with a smile. I promise.
EXTRA TIP: Don’t forget to request photos of just the two of you. I’ve heard from so many moms that the biggest regret is that they don’t have any images of themselves with their daughter (or son).
As a professional photographer myself, I can tell you that you need to put the request in with your daughter but also, don’t hesitate to slip a word in with the photographer during Bridal-Prep. You won’t regret it - and, you deserve it.
Check out my daughter’s wedding photos from the wedding day below: