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8 etiquette questions for the mother of the bride

Every mother has a vision of how her daughter should look as a bride, and it is no surprise that moms are usually a great help in helping the bride plan her wedding. All the way from being a part of her shopping entourage to supporting her with making vendor decisions and other important details, they are an indispensable presence.

However, it isn’t always smooth sailing. Unless you are a regular society bee, or have had another child get married in the recent past, it may be time to brush up on the etiquette rules you should follow for your daughter’s wedding.

So, this article is dedicated to all mothers of brides out there. Join us to find out all you need to know about your role in your daughter’s lifetime celebration.

Do I have to stick with the tradition of choosing my dress first and tell the mother of the groom what I’ll be wearing?

If you and your family are all about following traditions at your daughter’s wedding—Yes! The original practice was for the mother-of-the bride to first finish her dress shopping, and inform the mother-of-the-groom about what she would be wearing to the wedding. Then, the groom’s mother would choose a dress that would tie together with this choice, even if it wasn’t too similar. Now, times have changed, and not all people are fond of old traditions. You can always conform to the practice, if that is what you like.

Notify the groom’s mother of the outfit you have chosen for the wedding day. However, be realistic with your expectations. If she isn’t keen on following the practice, let her be. If you aren’t sure of whether your daughter’s future mother-in-law would appreciate you informing her, or whether it would seem to pushy instead, check with your daughter. She should be able to advice you on whether it is a good idea. Or, you can ask her to pass on the details to her future mother-in-law herself.

1.Do I have to ask my daughter for her thoughts on what I wear to her wedding?

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Yes! It is your daughter’s day, after all. Although it would be unreasonable of her to dictate your overall look, she may have suggestions on what you could choose to fit the overall wedding party look. Ask your daughter for recommendations on colors and dress styles, and make your pick so that it matches her expectations.

It would be a good idea to choose a color in the wedding palette or one that goes well with the bridesmaids dress colors, though not exactly the same. Either pick a different shade in the same color spectrum as the bridesmaids, or a neutral or complementary color that will work with it. Most couples have a general idea of how their wedding scenery should be, and if you can find an outfit that works well with the theme, you would be doing your bit to make them all the more happier.

2.Are there any styles that I should absolutely avoid?

This again depends on your personal preferences and that of the bride’s. You should be comfortable in what you wear and feel good too. When choosing sexy dresses that are too short, with long slits or ones that expose too much skin, you may first want to get the go-ahead from your daughter. If she is fine with your dress choice, there shouldn’t be a problem.

Instead, if she feels that you should make an elegant and modest choice, or that you may steal her thunder with the way you dress on the day, it is better you rethink your original idea. Remember that you can look glamorous and stylish, but in a way that doesn’t make anyone unhappy with your choice. We think this is the route you should take. The same applies for when your daughter asks you to dress in something that you aren’t comfortable in. Although you should try to meet her expectations when choosing a dress, you should finally wear one that makes you happy too.

3.Should I be offended if the couple won’t take any of my suggestions?

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We understand that you may not be entirely happy about the couple not taking your suggestions seriously, especially if you are footing the expenses for the wedding. However, you should remember that this is their special day, and it is a once-in-a-lifetime affair for them. So, prepare to handle it gracefully if your daughter decides not to go with your suggestions. Accept that you are making suggestions, not decisions! It may not be that she thinks they are bad ideas, it could just be that she has other ideas herself that she thinks are better suited for the situation.

So, before you provide any inputs, you may actually want to ask your daughter about what her own ideas and vision is. This way, you will be able to think of relevant and appropriate suggestions, that they are more likely to accept.

Now, for some humor, we think you should head over to this page on the Knot that lists some really crazy wedding planning comments from moms! You may also like to share it with your daughter, if she thinks your suggestions are weird! She may probably ease up a little, once she sees what other moms have been up to!

4.I am not sure the to-be-weds know about our limits to finance their wedding. Is it alright to discuss this with them directly?

If the couple expect you to pay for their wedding, it is only right that you inform them of the maximum amount you can afford to spend. Have a chat about the wedding finances with the couple, so they can plan expenses accordingly. Get this across right at the start and you can save them from being disappointed after booking everything at rates that you cannot afford.

Now, if the couple intend to pay for their wedding themselves, it is best that you do not interfere with their plans at all. If you will be contributing a specific amount to the wedding budget, you can share the amount with them beforehand, so they can plan it accordingly. Or, if your idea is to sponsor a certain wedding expense, like the wedding dress or entertainment, make sure that you tell them what your limit is. This will help you both be on the same page when the time arises.

5.I think my daughter is turning into a bridezilla. Should I do something about it?

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You know how the excitement and overwhelming planning stress can get to your daughter and turn your level-headed, pleasant girl into a monster! This does happen to many a bride, and such women put all those around her in misery. From straining her relationship with her partner, to making her bridesmaids miserable, this can cause a lot of damage. As her mother, it is essential that you support her whole-heartedly during this trying time.

Nevertheless, it is also your responsibility to put her in her place and tell her when she crosses the limit. Make suggestions to help relieve the stress, and tell her not to freak out over unnecessary details. Also gently remind her that her friends and relatives need to be treated nicely, and she cannot forego behaving well just because she is a soon-to-be bride. You are the best person to put this across to her. So, take this responsibility seriously and make things better for her and all the others involved.

6.Do I have to take the initiative and reach out to her in-laws?

It is not just customary, but sensible as well, to meet your daughter’s soon-to-be in-laws once she is engaged. Ideally, your daughter and her fiance should set this meeting up. So, wait for them to do this. If you get the idea that they will not be taking the initiative, you can take the first step forward. Talk to your daughter’s partner and find out how you can get in touch with them.

Either invite them over to your home, or plan to meet for tea or dinner at a good restaurant or cafe. If you are comfortable in playing host and inviting them to dinner, it would be a good idea to contact them directly and invite them over. Whether you meet at home or outside, make sure that the first meeting is very casual, and the purpose is to get to know them. Be supportive of your daughter’s relationship with their son, and make the most of this first move by fostering a friendly relationship with them.

7.I would love my daughter to wear my wedding gown, but I am worried it looks dated and may not be her taste. Do I offer it?

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Your wedding dress is associated with a lot of fond memories, and it would be a dream come true to see your daughter be wed in the same dress. However, as you have already realized, it may not be the right style or fit for your daughter. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t offer it to her. Just don’t force her into considering it. If you have a great vintage dress, and it is one that matches the theme of the wedding, you may even be doing your daughter a big favor.

Also, there are many talented wedding dress makers who can repurpose a wedding gown into a brand new wedding dress, while keeping the important elements of the original dress alive. This could be by taking the lace from the dress and adding it into a modern silhouette, or simply redesigning the gown to make it modern. If your daughter would like to consider this option, give her full freedom to do what she wants with your gown. You cannot expect her to wear the dress as it is, so don’t feel bad about the dress being taken apart after you agree to let her do what she chooses with it.

There are also options like taking the lace from the wedding dress and adding it to the bridal bouquet. Finally, just remember that whether the bride says yes or no to your dress, accept her decision gracefully and don’t complain about it later.

8.What say do I have in planning the guest list?

If you are sharing the wedding expenses, it is only reasonable to expect that you have a say in who is invited to the wedding. Nonetheless, talk to the couple and find out what type of ceremony they have in mind. Keep that in mind when deciding on who you should ask them to invite. If their idea is a small, intimate wedding, respect their choice and don’t expect to invite all those you want to.

Get a clear idea of how many people you can invite, and then decide upon who goes on the list. If the number is small, make sure that you list those who are most important. As with everything wedding-related, be reasonable with your expectations and nobody will feel hurt.

Weddings are a difficult time, and a bride is lucky if she has a supportive mother to help her meet the various wedding-related challenges. It is a one-time occasion, and she deserves all the support she can have to make it a memorable event in every way. Isn’t this what moms are always there for?

To take a closer look at any of the dresses featured here, and at more mother of the bride dresses available in our collection at Best for Bride. Browse through our extensive dress collections for top-class dress designers to find the dress that is just perfect for your little girl’s big day. We also have a huge inventory of wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses and flower girl dresses. Come visit our one-stop bridal destination for anything and everything you need and make your wedding day a huge success in every way.

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The Groom’s Guide—How involved should you be in wedding planning?

1Congratulations on your engagement! Now that the inevitable’s happened, and your lady love has agreed to share her life with you, what do you do next?

Don’t be surprised if your level-headed and practical fiance has already taken on her new part-time job—wedding planning, and while you are wondering about what colors and flowers she talks about all the time, don’t forget that you too have to be involved in planning your marriage. Well, atleast to a certain extent! If you thought the safest thing to do is to nod “Yes honey”, we have some news for you! Better listen to what’s going on, or you’ll regret it later.

While your bride goes ahead with planning “most” of the wedding, here is information on where you should step in and lend a hand!

Money matters

When a woman becomes a bride, cutting down costs suddenly becomes an alien concept. This is where you enter the show. Be there when she plans the guest list and the venue. This will account for a huge part of the wedding budget, so make sure you help with sorting out who has to be there and who doesn’t.

Similarly, set a maximum amount for booking the venue and decorating it. Women are often taken in by the look of a place, and once they are bowled over, there is no taking it back. So, take the initiative to search out alternate venue locations before going to see her suggestion. Ease her into the idea that she can get what she wants for a lesser price. Make it your responsibility, and not only will your bride remember how considerate you were to help her, you will also save some money.

Often ask about the wedding, and offer to help

There is usually a point in the engagement when the bride bursts out into tears and complains that the groom doesn’t care about the wedding. Well, you do, but not with the obsession that she has! But, for her sake and yours, ask about the plans and progress every now and then. Lend a ear when she pours out her frustrations over which shade of peach goes with the green in the décor. You may not have the slightest idea of what she is talking about, but peace with reign!

Your few responsibilities include finding a good tux, picking your groomsmen and getting in shape for the wedding. So, do these with gusto, and she will be proud of you.

Be involved in things that matter to you

You do not have to touch the invitations, flowers or wedding shopping. Let her handle it. Where the cake is concerned, make suggestions only if you are asked. Nevertheless, go along and enjoy all the tasting sessions she plans.

Instead, concentrate on the wedding music. Be involved in deciding which songs ought to be played, and definitely those that shouldn’t be.

One mistake grooms make is to avoid the wedding registry. It’s your folly. If you want other gifts besides than silver tea cups and pretty home ornaments, you will have to register at places of your choice too. So, make sure you do!

For more wedding related tips and advice both for the bride and the groom, check out our website at Best for Bride.

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How to handle it when others try to take over your wedding

via pixabay
via pixabay

Wedding planning is not an easy feat, with thousands of decisions to make and hundreds of arrangements to complete. To add to all this stress is the fact that every wedding party will have at least one person, if not more, who tries to take over the reins and run your wedding for you. If you are a person who cannot say “NO”, you are in for a tough time when these people begin to run the show.

So, what do you do when you feel things are slowly slipping out of your hands? Do you just bite it down and let it be? Or do you put your foot down, and take back control? Let us look at how you can tackle such situations appropriately.

Tactically saying No

From choosing the wedding colors to fixing the guest list and booking vendors, you will have to listen to hundreds of opinions. Do listen to all of them, but do not commit without thinking it through. The best approach is to thank them for their help, and tell them that you will be in touch if you decide this is the option you want.

Remember that at some point of your wedding, you will have to disagree with someone. So, don’t feel guilty about it. Appreciate their well-intended advice or suggestion, but don’t feel you have to go with it if you aren’t comfortable. This is just how weddings work, realize it and it will be easier for you.

Work together and find middle ground

This is important when the people involved are contributing or very dear to you. For example, it may be your parents or in-laws. The fact that they are contributing may lead them to believe that they are entitled to make certain decisions. They may want to invite more of their guests than you would like to have at the wedding, or they may consider choosing the menu.

Although it is your wedding, in such a scenario you should remember that these people have earned the right to their opinion. An amicable solution is the best approach. Discuss several options where the menu is concerned and find one that both of you are satisfied with. Ask them to drop a few guests, while you too do the same. Compromise on matters that don’t have a huge impact, so that everyone is happy in the end.

Delegate tasks that are not crucial

Hand over few responsibilities to your overly eager friends and relatives, so they don’t feel like you are ignoring them entirely. This may be to follow up on a vendor booking, make a list of entertainment options or to check that the deliveries arrive on time. Even so, keep the bigger decisions to yourself. Make it a point to appreciate their help, and thank them profusely for their involvement. This should keep them happy, but out of your way.

Having a perfect wedding is not only about having a hassle-free day. It is also about the happiness you and your wedding party share. So, let this day be fun for all. Though you can’t please everyone, try to tackle difficult situations and bossy relatives sensibly, so no one is offended.

For more wedding advice and tips, as well as to choose your wedding dress visit us at Best for Bride.