The Respectful and Diplomatic Mother of the Bride

Congratulations, Mother of the Bride! This is an exciting time for a mother and daughter to share. There are also many dynamics going on. It is a good time to reflect on the role of the mother of the bride and the important new role she will soon assume, mother-in-law!

Author Janice VanDyke compared the nine months before the wedding to a pregnancy. With a pregnancy, a woman prepares to become a mother; with a wedding, a mother prepares to become a mother-in-law. She offered this advice for mothers of the bride:

  • Let the couple take responsibility. It is important for them to plan, make choices, handle a budget, and take responsibility for the event. These are adult responsibilities and their decisions should be treated respectfully.
  • Remember, it’s their wedding. This is the couple’s chance to define who they are. Allow them the opportunity for self-expression and be helpful with whatever tasks they assign.
  • Don’t control, show support. Remember this event will help establish how the couple sees your relationship in the future.
  • Learn the new rules for weddings. Times change and it is a good idea to be flexible when new ideas arise.
  • Stay out of the way unless asked. The mother of the bride probably has a lot more experience planning these events, but unless the couple asks for help, don’t offer too much advice. It’s a good idea to be seen as a problem solver and not the problem!

Some offered suggestions for parents of bride:

  • Be up front about finances. Parents are not responsible for the wedding anymore. If parents would like to contribute, or can contribute be honest about what you can offer. Make it clear if the money is a gift or a loan. If parents can’t contribute money to the wedding, be honest. There are other ways you can participate.
  • Offer to help. Regularly. Check in with the couple often. Keep your offer general and let them suggest what they need most.
  • Avoid family politics. Let the couple make the decisions. Example: “If your daughter has asked her birth father to give her away rather than her step-father, respect that decision — she would have already given this a lot of thought before arriving at her decision.”
  • Be friendly to the new family. Make this transition as smooth as possible and bring these two families together. The reality is that the families see each other on holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, for years to come.
  • Don’t embarrass them. Be on your best behavior. This is a celebration, but don’t avoid distracting attention away from the bride and groom. Remember everything will be caught on somebody’s I-phone, don’t end up on YouTube!
  • Get outfit approval. Make sure that the outfit and color that the mother of the bride selects works well with what the couple has planned. Father of the bride should consult on tie color and dress code as well. Be sure to communicate with the groom’s parents about the choices, too.

It is wise for the mother of the bride to anticipate her new role, but this is also a time for celebration! The mother of the bride should find a dress that makes her feel confident and joyful. Vicky Mar specialises in dresses and gowns that are elegant and feminine for women size 8-24. The quality and style of Vicky Mar are available in a wide range of fabrics, colors, and styles– a perfect choice for every mother of the bride.