If you’re the mom of the bride or the mother of the groom, you’re probably preparing for this major moment for your child and your family, regardless of whether it’s a first marriage or not. The “Mother Of” has a variety of things to consider after the engagement is announced, but with this guide you’ll be ready for anything.
1. A Parental Meetup
Once you’ve been informed of the engagement, it’s courteous to plan a meetup with your future daughter or son-in-law’s parents. You want to provide support, and the best way to do that before you get into stressful wedding planning is to combine in a united front; this way, both sets of parents can serve as a rock for the newly engaged couple until the wedding day (and beyond).
2. Don’t Skirt the Money Issue
If you’re paying for the wedding, or at least for a good portion of it, you need to have the money talk with the newly betrothed. While it can be easy to go along with any and every expense during such an exciting time, make sure you reel in your son or daughter with a realistic budget setting. This isn’t to say that you should discourage their enthusiasm, but being clear about what you can afford and what can realistically be achieved is essential.
3. Don’t Take the Reins
You’ve likely been to your fair share of weddings, and may have ideas on what works best and what doesn’t. While you may have an upper hand on experience, you can’t let your thoughts and ideas become demands instead of suggestions. Offer your thoughts but don’t push them onto the bride and groom. This is their wedding, and they should be able to plan as they see fit. It’s more a matter of being there for them and helping them through stress than determining exactly what they should do.
4. Choosing Your Dress
It’s not as black and white for the mother of the bride or groom when it comes to choosing the dress. Always correspond to the atmosphere of the affair. If the wedding is going to be a casual shindig, then you won’t want to whip out that evening wear gown. If you’re going to an upscale venue, you can’t sport a sundress. Much of it is common sense, but you also must coordinate with both the other mother of the bride/groom (whatever is applicable) and with the bride herself according to color scheme. One thing you can always count on? Don’t wear white. Check out Mother of the Bride dresses at David’s Bridal for some guidance.
5. Guest List Concerns
While there might be people you love who you want to be at your child’s wedding, your child and their betrothed may be of a different mindset. Again you have to remind yourself that this is their wedding day and they may have a smaller number of guests in mind. Find out how much input you can have with the guest list, and honor their wishes. Once you have an estimated number of people you can bring, write your own guest list and provide it to the bride and groom with plenty of time for them to add your list to their own and to the other future in-laws.
6. Prepare for Waterworks
Keep it neutral, and above all, wear waterproof mascara! The Yves Saint Laurent Everlong brand works wonders. There are bound to be multiple happy tears throughout the entire ceremony and reception, and the last thing you want it is to sport black tear streams down your cheeks in all of those wedding pictures. Also be sure to pack tissues in your bag—they’ll come in handy for you and all those seated around you.
7. Finding the Right Gift
As the parent of the bride or groom, you may be overly worried about what you can give to the newlyweds as a gift. The answer is, you already know best. No matter what you choose, the one rule to be followed above all is to give from the heart. Personalize a gift for a customized touch, put money towards a trip you know they will love, or purchase them something you know they would have never splurged on themselves. Whatever you do, make it heartfelt and thoughtful and you’ll have a grateful pair of newlyweds.
Celebrating the marriage of your son or daughter is a wonderful occasion, and with these tips you’ll be poised to fulfill all the motherly duties that come along with a wedding event.