To the Mother of the Bride
By: Jessi Minneci
The big day is upon us: your baby girl is about to walk down the aisle and say “I do.” And while we know you’ve been by the bride’s side every step of the way – helping to pick and book venues, pick out the perfect dress, and prune various guest lists – we understand that you can’t help but feel nervous, overwhelmed, and overjoyed all at once when it comes to the actual wedding day.
First of all, you’re the mother of the bride. This whirlwind of emotions is completely normal, and should even be expected! Your daughter is about to fly the coup once and for all with the man of her dreams – and while you are ecstatic for her, you can’t help but want to hold on to your little girl forever (you can only imagine how the father of the bride feels!).
Take a deep breath. With this complete guide, you’ll know exactly how to handle the big day as mother of the bride, and you’ll survive it with a smile on your face the entire ceremony and reception!
Wrangle Up the Wedding Party
When it comes to the big day, the last thing your daughter needs is added stress. God forbid someone is forced to step in and mitigate bridesmaids mischief and quarrels, we know that you, as mother of the bride (MOB), will volunteer wholeheartedly.
While most disagreement should be resolved solely among the parties involved – after all, we’re all adults here – as MOB, you can probably offer some composed, objective wisdom. Remember: we’re aiming to keep things calm, cool, and collected here. When something runs awry on the wedding day, try to solve it without the bride’s involvement.
Today, you’re basically Super Mom. Don’t let anyone and/or their antics tell you otherwise!
Act as a Professional Stylist… Sort of
Hours before your daughter walks down the aisle, she will be with her bridal party, getting glammed up and gorgeous! Once you get your fair share of pampering as well, be sure to make sure everyone in the bridal party is staying on schedule.
- Help the bride get into her wedding dress without ruining her hair and makeup. This could be tricky, but no true challenge for the MOB!
- Place the veil (a time-honored tradition)
- Ensure the Maid of Honor and the bridesmaids dress and prepare well before the beginning of the ceremony
- Ensure that each bridesmaids has the correct bouquet, and that the ring bearer and flower girl have are equipped with the rings and flowers/rice, respectively
Play the Maid
We don’t mean the old maid, of course, but the MOB is somewhat of a tissue- and breath mint-wielding Wonder Woman.
A passport was left at home. A crystal fell off of the bride’s cummerbund minutes before the post-ceremony photoshoot. The bride’s stomach is acting up and she needs a Tums NOW. In all of these situations, the MOB should be able to swoop in with some full-force nurturing fixes.
Escort Your Babe Down the Aisle if Necessary
In the event that the father of the bride is not present at the wedding ceremony, be prepared to walk your daughter down the aisle. In Jewish weddings, both parents escort the bride down the aisle, so the MOB will participate regardless.
In a typical Christian wedding, the MOB should be seated in the first row of pews directly before the ceremony begins. She should also be the first to leave the church/chapel following the ceremony.
At the reception, the MOB should sit at the parents’ table (if there is one), but only after greeting all of other guests at the party (see below for guidelines on being the ultimate hostess).
Emulate the Hostess with the Mostest
As soon as guests start arriving in town, and through the end of the reception, the MOB is the official hostess extraordinaire.
Before the big day even comes to fruition, the MOB may want to host an afternoon tea for the ladies of either families to attend, or a lunch for the groom’s family visiting from out of state. Gestures like this can help break the ice ahead of the ceremony, and setup a more comfortable atmosphere on the day-of.
Back in the day, receiving lines were customary when it came to guests arriving at the celebration. If that is the case, the MOB is to lead the pack of the receiving line. If not, the MOB should make it as much of a point as possible to greet each guest, and to make sure that everyone feels welcomed.
Without being too pushy, make sure you remind the bride to greet each of her guests once she is settled, as well!
Bust a Move On the Dance Floor
Cocktail hour is over and everyone is wiping off tears of joy and beauty following your daughter and new son-in-law’s first dance. What might not be happening right now? No one is shaking their own tush on the dance floor.
This is the MOB’s time to shine! After the bride and groom’s first dance, the MOB and father of the bride (or whoever accompanies your fine self for the night) should take over the dance floor and break the ice for other wedding guests to join in and get their groove on.
Be Your Most Important Role… a Mom
As MOB, your most important role of the wedding day/night is to be a mom! Easy, right?!?!
Throughout the entire day, remember to remind the bride of how special she is and that she’s the most beautiful bride in history. Think about it – if you’re overwhelmed by the wedding extravaganza, just think of the whirlwind your daughter is experiencing at this time. A few words of encouragement from the woman that means the most in her world, her mother, goes a long way.
Furthermore, let the bride cry on your shoulder anytime, day or night, even if it’s over something as simple as the shrimp cocktail not being served as chilled as she would like. This is arguably the biggest moment in your daughter’s life thus far. Even if she is married and out of the nest, remember, she will always need her mom.