Moms, you have it good these days when it comes to the wedding! So much has changed in the past few years, giving you more opportunities to join in the fun of planning the big day…and lots of other fabulously fun events surrounding it.
Today’s magnificent mom isn’t being left out in the cold while the bride and groom plan and pay for their wedding (as we saw for a few years there.) She’s a welcome member of the bridesmaid circle, helping to plan and co-hosting the bridal shower, attending dress shopping trips with the bride, going to cake tastings and site tours. And she gets to dazzle in her wedding day dress, not to mention hosting a number of great parties.
So here are some top tips for you, moms of the wedding:
- Engagement parties are back! Parents are once again throwing parties to celebrate the big news, and these at-home or restaurant parties are impressive even on a budget. They can be casual backyard cookouts, or champagne cocktail parties, even family-style dinners with just the family present. You get to plan a chic or simple party of your own styling, using your choice of colors and themes, picking the menu and even designing the cake!
- You get to wear an amazing dress. The bride isn’t telling the moms what color to wear. She does get to say whether she wants you in a long or short dress to coordinate with the bridal party and match the formality, but your dress trying-on excursion with the bride has you making all the calls about the color you’d love to wear, the amount of sparkle you want on your dress, and the style that you feel best in. Gown designers offer the most stylish dresses for moms that we’ve ever seen, so you’re ultra-lucky to be the mom of the wedding now with so many fashionable choices open to you.
- You may get to co-host the shower. With bridesmaids spending over $1,000 for each wedding they’re in, they need an extra planner to share the work and the cost, so moms are often welcomed into the circle to make that great bridal shower possible for the bride. You’re not the lead planner – that’s the Maid of Honor – but you are a part of the circle, with your ideas likely included in the celebration.
- Connect with the other mom, or moms. It’s old-world etiquette for the parents of the bride to invite the parents of the groom for a meeting. You might already know each other, but if you don’t, and even if a get-together isn’t possible due to your locations, it’s now a Must for the mother of the bride to reach out to the mother of the groom to share her excitement and say she’s looking forward to working with her on the big day for the bride and groom, and to being an extended family after the big day.
- You’ll work with the other mom, and step-mom. You might think that certain tasks are yours, according to etiquette – like the rehearsal dinner being the mother of the groom’s to plan, and the morning-after breakfast being for the mother of the bride. But now, the wedding couple might ask you both to pair up to work on one of these parties, or on other elements of the wedding preparations.
- Your skills come into play. You may have a talent or a craft that can save the bride and groom a ton of money, so you might be asked to graphic design their save the dates, or make a cake for the bridal shower, sew the table runners, or make any DIY favors or décor items.
- Your contacts come into play. If you know someone who owns a floral shop, your contact can get the couple a great Friends and Family discount. So look through your contacts list and check with friends to see who they might be able to connect you with. Your network can get a fabulous wedding location, flowers, food, décor, a classic car…you never know.
- They get to create the guest list. You may want all of your best friends and colleagues at the wedding, but the bride and groom get to decide how big a wedding they want, and that they want to personally know everyone there. So expect that you might only be ‘given’ a few extra invites, and skip the big drama that so many other moms experience when they forget whose day it is and want more of their own friends there than the couple has of their own.
- Be there for the bride. Planning a wedding is stressful, so make sure you take the bride out of wedding world every now and then for a girls’ day out or for coffee, with no wedding talk allowed. Just let her have time with her mom.
- If your ideas aren’t accepted for the wedding, save them for your own parties! You can also plan your own after-party with your close friends and relatives, or a welcome soiree for your circle at the start of the wedding weekend, or you might even save your brilliant plans for your wedding vow renewal, or some other party you’ll plan in the future.
- Here’s the big one, the best for last: don’t offer to pay for everything, or for anything big, at the start of the engagement. The bride and groom will count on that when they start booking their sites and pros, and if something happens along the way that takes a chunk out of your funds, you don’t want to crush them and feel horrible if you have to cancel your offer. Just hang tight, and wait a little bit before you make any huge financial promises, and it’s a smart idea to stash the money needed for your promise into an untouchable savings account so that you can deliver on that promised element.
I have tons more tips for you in my books, so get them here:
The Mother of the Bride Book
Mother of the Groom