Top Tips For the Mother of the Bride

Photo courtesy of Caneel Bay Resort

Photo courtesy of Caneel Bay Resort

Congratulations, mother of the bride! You have such an exciting time ahead of you, as you help the bride and groom create the day of their dreams.

You’ve probably noticed that things are not quite the same for the mother of the bride as they were when you got married. Today’s planning team isn’t automatically the bride and her mom. You may be part of a larger team that includes the groom’s parents, or the bride and groom will be doing the majority of the planning on their own. So don’t go into this with huge expectations, or have your feelings hurt that you won’t be in charge of the cake, the flowers, the menu, the locations. Just look forward to meeting with the bride and groom to discuss how THEY’D like their team to work together. Here are some top tips to help you enjoy the wedding preparations, and make everything more special for your daughter.

* Make a promise to yourself, as a parent, that you’ll keep the wishes of the bride and groom paramount, no matter what. Since the wedding is such an important and emotional event, it’s easy to get revved up and want more of your ideas included, to ‘make things nice.’ You have no bad intentions, but you’d be surprised at how the bride may interpret your suggestions as bossing her around. So make it clear from the beginning: you want what they want for the wedding, and you’re there to help create it.

* Respond quickly and deliver completely when you’re asked to help with finding family addresses or other tasks. When you set a foundation at the start of being easy to work with, interested in their wishes, and responsible, you’ll likely be asked to do more.

Momental Designs

Momental Designs

* Let them know what you’d like to be involved with. They’re not mind-readers, so they may not know that it’s a dream of yours to go to cake tastings with them. A simple “I’d love to join you” is far better than insisting, or pouting when you hear they went last weekend.

* Let them know what your talents are. Since weddings are so expensive, couples are looking for ways to save money. If you have a talent for art or a flair for calligraphy, Web design or favor-making, they need to know about that. Again, let them make the decision.

mastrad macaron baking set 1

* Find ways to welcome the groom into the family. Get to know him better, if you haven’t already, and show your approval by including him in family dinners where it’s all about social time, not just wedding planning time.

* Be a stress-relief for the bride. Take her out for coffee or lunch, or to a day spa for manicures, and make it no-wedding-talk time to allow her to step away from wedding stress and nurture your relationship.

* Get your look together. A personal shopper at a department store can help you find a terrific gown for the wedding, as well as dresses for the rehearsal dinner and other events, and you get the same royal treatment as the bride. Personal shopper services are free at Bloomingdales and Lord and Taylor, among others…they’ll interview you for your style wishes and colors and sizes, and when you go in for your session, they have all of the outfits and accessories lined up for you.

njb kerry washington oscars dress

* Give meaningful gifts as well as practical ones from the registry. A framed photo of the bride as a little girl, together with a wonderful handwritten letter from you, is a fabulous gift on the morning of the wedding.

* Write a toast. Whether it’s for the rehearsal dinner or the morning-after breakfast, your words make a lasting memory. Or have the bride’s favorite song played for her.

* Keep your fears in line. Don’t be afraid of the change that’s coming to your family, particularly if the bride plans to move after she’s married. Have a plan to stay in touch via e-mail, Skype and visits, and welcome the good things these changes bring. I know, it’s tough to face the huge emotional changes that happen with a wedding, and this is the #1 thing that makes mothers act badly and hurts their relationships with their daughters (which causes the distancing they fear!). Just be honest with the bride and come up with a plan for the future.

* Embrace the in-laws. Find ways to include them in family holidays and dinners — the bride and groom will be sooo relieved if you make that a smooth transition and welcome their loved ones into your circle. You don’t have to be best friends. Just let the bride and groom know they’re welcome as family.

Li-Lac Chocolates

Li-Lac Chocolates

* Never inject your guest list wishes, song wishes, menu wishes, etc. with force. This is not the time for that, even if you’re sure the etiquette rules are on your side. “You have to invite them, since you were a flowergirl at their wedding 20 years ago!” doesn’t fly in today’s wedding rules of the bride and groom choosing their guest list. They know the new etiquette rules, and unless it’s a glaring omission, a must, be gentle with your guidance.

*Don’t forget that you’ll likely get to plan the morning-after breakfast, or perhaps an engagement party of after-party just for your friends, so all of your fantastic ideas can be used for the party you host!

Check out Robert's gorgeous photos!

* Think about renewing your wedding vows months after their wedding if you feel you want to plan a big party of your own. All of your great ideas the bride and groom aren’t open to…they might be better at YOUR party!

motherofthebridelargeimage

Welcome, newly-engaged brides and grooms!

Sharon Naylor is the author of The Mother of the Bride Book and Mother of the Groom, plus 30 additional wedding books, www.sharonnaylor.net .

The Mother of the Bride Book, 2nd Edition is Available Now! And 2 copies are up for Giveaways!

Mother of the Bride Updated cover

I am SO excited! The 2nd edition of my Mother of the Bride Book is available now! And I’m giving away TWO copies on 12/9 for #WeddingWednesday, so post a comment here or use #weddingmoms on Wednesday to be entered for our random, computer-choice giveaway!

It’s been such a long time since my publisher and I began work to update my book, which has long been one of my bestsellers, but badly needed a refreshing. And now, here it is, all shiny and new, and featuring some of my favorite wedding experts’ top tips for the mother of the bride (and step-mother of the bride!)

I’ve added some new features, such as the top trends in what the mothers are working on for the wedding plans, how they’re bringing so much more valuable stuff to the table than moms of decades ago, my favorite apps, and celebrity fashion designer tips for the moms’ wedding day dresses.

Order your Kindle copy here, and if you’d like a paperback version, Barnes and Noble has it here. (Amazon is fixing the link for the paperback right now!)

And if you’re a wedding pro who wants multiple copies or wants to sell the book in your shop, just contact me via Twitter @sharonnaylorwed, and my sales team at Random House will set you up!

Want a signed copy of the paperback for your mom? I’ll soon be able to sign and send your copy to you!

Thank you so much for taking a look at my book’s ‘makeover,’ and for all your great reviews and support of my books over the past *21* years! I’m entirely grateful to you!

Fab Find! Speak Wedding Flashcards by Wedding Expert and Trend-setter Annie Lee

speak wed 1

speak wed 2

In order to create your dream wedding with your wedding professionals, you have to speak their language. They’ve had 30+ years in the bridal industry, and you’re ultra-new to this world that’s far more detailed than you ever imagined. When you learn the lingo, you can share your vision with your wedding pros and understand their comments and questions sent to you.

Grooms? They definitely need Speak Wedding cards to help them communicate with your wedding pros, and with you as you plan the big day.

Helping you speak your wedding pros’ language, is Speak Wedding, the new beginner-level flashcards developed by award-winning, trend-setting wedding expert Annie Lee of Daughter of Design® with artwork from celebrity wedding invitation designer Ceci New York.

Here’s a bit about the cards:

Wedding vernacular seems foreign to those new to nuptials, but with these beginner-level flashcards, anyone can speak Wedding with confidence. Each of these stylish 50 cards developed by wedding expert, Annie Lee of Daughter of Design ® with artwork by Ceci New York, teaches common terminology, abbreviations, and other wedding vocabulary to help familiarize novices with wedding culture and have them sounding like natives in no time. Not only do the cards teach necessary wedding lingo, they also act as a great tool to start conversations on topics like what the Mother of the Groom will wear to the wedding and if the Bride and Groom will want to see each other before the ceremony. Read the wedding term on the front of these two-sided flashcards then flip the card onto its backside for a full explanation, correct usage, pronunciation, and other helpful tips. It’s the perfect gift for a newly engaged couple and a fun new bridal shower trivia game!

Here’s where you can get your Speak Wedding boxed sets: http://www.speakwedding.com/about/

Wedding Pros, Get my ‘Great 8’ Promotional Plan, Including Freebies and Mega-Value Consultation! Inspired by my Dad on Father’s Day!

Photo by Joe Toris

Photo by Joe Toris

Inspired by my Dad’s legacy on Father’s Day to create a fabulous, new Promotions Package filled with amazing promos, freebies, consults, guest posts, social media magic and more!

Starting today and lasting just through June and July, here’s what you can get:

  • An ad on my site www.sharonnaylor.net; it goes up now and stays up for three years! Value $600.
  • An ad on my blog, (see it here: https://sharonnaylorweddingbooks.wordpress.com/) that stays there indefinitely!
  • Three guest posts on my blog, written by you (with my help, if you’d like!) and my social media promotions ongoing!
  • Two signed copies of my recent wedding books, for your bridal show giveaways or contests. Choose from The Bride’s Guide to Freebies, Bridesmaid on a Budget, The Ultimate Bridal Shower Idea Book, and other top titles from my site www.sharonnaylor.net
  • A surprise gift for your bridal show giveaways and contests.
  • 1 –hour phone consultation on your book idea – whether you want to do traditional publishing or self-publishing, I’ll advise on your steps to becoming a published author! Value: $500
  • 20% off my book consultation fees!  Just this year, three of my book publishing clients landed BIG book deals, six landed top literary agents, and two more are about to sign dream-come-true book contracts, one with a movie-of-the-week as a major possibility. I handle wedding books, cook books, craft books, novels, any kind of book you’d like to do! Value: over $1,500. http://www.sharonnaylor.net/bookpub.htm
  • Work with me, and you’ll be on my radar for the many bridal articles and blog posts I do every month! The better I know you and your products and services, the more I’m likely to put you in that big bridal feature!

So there’s my Great 8 summer weddings promotional plan, inspired by my dad, who instilled in me a huge generosity of time and a willingness to help others’ dreams come true. When you do well, your family benefits, and I’d love to help make that happen!

So what do you think I’m charging? Oh, just $100! That’s right…what you likely spend for one little tiny box ad on another site gets you all this, with freebies and valuable book consult!!

Contact me at SLNaylor[at]optonline[dot]net!

The Top NEW Wedding Tips for the Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom

motherofthebridelargestMother_of_the_Groom

 

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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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

http://www.amazon.com/Mother-Of-The-Bride-Book-Daughter-Wonderful-Wedding/dp/0806527188/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1360688069&sr=8-2&keywords=mother+of+the+bride+book

Mother of the Groom

http://www.amazon.com/Mother-Groom-Everything-Enjoy-Wedding/dp/0806526459/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360688100&sr=1-1&keywords=mother+of+the+groom

 

Help Your Bridesmaids Get Budget Savings for your Wedding!

bridesmaidonabudget

Bridesmaids today spend over $1,000 to be in a wedding — that is, to be in each wedding, and they may be in more than one bridal party this year! So be the best bride possible by giving them my new book Bridesmaid on a Budget which I filled with budget-savers and my favorite resources, so that they can cut their spending waaaaaay down!

They’ll find savings ideas on the following top bridesmaid expenses:

* The Dress

* The Shoes

* Hair and Makeup

* Bridal Shower Decor

* Bridal Shower Menus

* Bridal Shower Cakes

* Bridal Shower Drinks

* Bridal Shower Games

* The Bachelorette Party

* Travel and Lodging for the Wedding

* Gifts for You (!)

* Travel and expenses for shopping trips

* And more…

I’ve packed this book with ways they can get FREEBIES as well! And some things YOU can do to get them price breaks.

Bridesmaid on a Budget is available on Kindle as well, so either get copies for your ladies, or tell them to Kindle it up!

Want to Get Your Book Published? I Can Make That Happen for You!

csseniorslifestoryproductivepen

If you’ve ever dreamed of having your book published — whether it’s a wedding tips book, a coffee table book of your wedding designs, a cookbook, a novel, whatever book you’ve got in you, you can get ME as your consultant, ghost-writer or editor! Right now, in less than a year since I started this program, three of my clients have landed their dream book deals with major publishers, two have literary agents competing for them, and two are self-publishing their books — so they can get right to the money-making part of it! One even has a TV network interested in turning her story into a TV movie! I’m SO proud of my clients!

I’ve published 37 books of my own, and it makes me SO happy to help others get their books in print!

I’m working with some of the top names in the wedding industry (and I never reveal who they are!) on all kinds of book projects, both through traditional publishing with major houses, and in e-book projects from 20 pages to 300 pages. It’s a HUGE trend right now to self-publish e-books and extended articles, Top 100 lists, and other smaller projects — you’ll see that top celebrity wedding book authors are doing it, so why not you?

Here’s the description from my site:

Bestselling wedding author Sharon Naylor loves helping wedding experts bring their books to life, and she’s played a valuable role in helping some of the biggest names in the wedding industry land big-money book deals with some of the top publishing houses in the world.

From wedding coordinations to floral designers to décor artists and award-winning wedding bloggers, her clients work directly with her to:

  • Create spectacular book proposals filled with what agents and publishers really want to see in these deal-making selling tools
  • Get their book proposals in front of the top literary agents, including her own [so you may skip the loooong and frustrating process of trying to ‘hook’ a literary agent from the ‘slush pile’ numbering 10,000 submissions per month!]
  • Get her endorsement and connections to top publishers
  • Have  Sharon edit or ghost-write their books entirely
  • Have Sharon guide them all the way through the tricky world of self-publishing

Sharon’s clients have landed book deals and agents, and she features her clients’ books on her many wedding columns, on her blog, and in her syndicated features.

You get an ultra-talented pro as your guide, you get Sharon’s writing help, and she does the heavy lifting with regard to industry research on competitive books, marketing strategies, and illustrating your credits to suit what publishers want to see.

Sharon doesn’t release the names of her celebrity and industry book clients, since they hired her as a ‘ghost-writer’ and consultant known for her loyalty and discretion.

She takes on only three clients at a time, in order to provide full attention to all, and she’s available by phone to talk about your book project. Contact her at SLNaylor@optonline.net to bring your book or e-book to life.

I’ll share my fees with you when we chat about the size and scope of your project. It could be $25 for an article, or $2,000 for a book or e-book project…we’ll talk it over and customize to what you want.

2013 could be the year you get your book out there!