Some mothers of the bride are extremely involved in helping to plan their daughter’s wedding day, while others prefer to take a back seat. But no matter which category your mom falls into, there are certain duties the mother of the bride is traditionally responsible for handling, and most of the time, some wedding planning tasks just become considerably easier when mom is involved.
We consulted some top wedding planners to put together a list of some of the mother-of-the-bride responsibilities, plus, asked them about some sweet non-traditional ways moms can lend a hand.
1. Supporting the shopping
Traditionally, mothers accompany their daughters in their search for a wedding dress, and they’re there to share in the joy of finding the right fit. Mom is definitely one of the most helpful people to have look at different styles with you, and chances are, she’ll be the one with the most honest feedback.
2. Wrangling bridesmaids
God forbid someone is forced to step in and run interference when it comes to bridesmaid mischief, but your mama will likely volunteer as tribute. While most disagreements should be resolved solely among the involved parties—we’re all adults here—perhaps mom can offer to take the less-direct bullets. Is there a last minute issue with a bridesmaid’s dress? Ask mom to help handle it! Or is someone getting a little out of hand at the reception? Your mother can be the one to suggest your guest refill their glass with some lovely non-alcoholic punch the next go-around. Never underestimate the value of a mother’s self-sacrificing and unconditional love when it comes to awkward and difficult conversations.
3. Researching traditions and
finding family heirlooms
It typically falls on your mom to uncover religious or cultural traditions you—or your partner’s family—might want to incorporate into the ceremony. She will also help you find the something-old or something-borrowed, such as a stunning piece of jewellery that’s been in your family for generations.
4. Perfecting the invitation wording
If you’re opting for a traditional wedding invitation, those technically come addressed from your parents. Since her name is literally in print, it’s nice to have mom’s opinion on the wording. She may also offer to chip in and help you afford a nicer style than you had originally planned on. When the invites are coming from her, she’ll want people to know she has excellent taste.
5. Pruning the guest list
If your budget or venue simply doesn’t have the room, your mom is a great resource to help you trim down your list. She may also offer to have RSVPs routed her way, which she can then catalogue on an online spreadsheet shared between the two of you.
6. Accepting designation
as the go-to contact
Your mom should be the one whose name you give to the caterers, florist, planners, entertainers, and venue as your backup to field questions and assist in coordinating. As celeb wedding planner Colin Cowie suggests, “Set your mom up for success with a list of creative contacts and a message book solely for your wedding day.” She’ll most likely be the designated point of communication between the bride, the bride’s father, and your partner’s parents on all things wedding-planning related.
7. Tagging important items
for your registry
Mom has been around the home goods sections of department stores, for just a little longer than you. She’s an excellent source to tap about what you really need and what you don’t. What’s the one thing she treasures the most from her registry? Which item does she wish she’d had the foresight to include? Another tip: some couples who plan on moving immediately after the wedding often request that gifts from the registry go to the bride’s mother’s home to avoid any missed packages during the tricky interim time between addresses.
8. Providing a Second Set of Eyes
Whether you need someone to look over the fine print of vendor contracts, affirming your venue choice, or watching over a hundred other minor details in order to notice and fix problems before you’ve even become aware of them, mom is there to help.
9. Communicating outfit choice
with your partner’s mom
“Etiquette dictates that your mother follows your lead as to the colour and formality of the dress she picks,” says Cowie. Traditionally, the bride’s mom buys her gown before the mother of the groom, and, once chosen, calls the groom’s mother to describe her dress.
10. Playing hostess
From the moment guests begin to arrive in town through the end of the ceremony, the mother of the bride is the official hostess, helping each guest feel welcome. According to Diann Valentine, event maven who has planned weddings for Usher and Toni Braxton, “Receiving lines are not as customary, so making a point to greet or visit with each guest is important.” In addition, Valentine suggests that the mother of the bride host a dinner party for the groom’s family or an afternoon tea for just the ladies of both families. This will go a long way in welcoming the groom and his family into her family. —brides.com