The bride's guide to keeping mother on side
In our previous post we offered up some words of advice for the Mother of the Bride on how to play a difficult role to perfection. In this one we cover the same ground, but from a different angle – the bride’s perspective. How to keep your mum sweet, without letting her take over completely!
Set the ground rules early on
Make it clear how much help you want, and where. Likewise, tell her where you don’t want input and advice. It’s probably a good idea to give her responsibility for certain aspects of organising your big day, like the flowers, the cake or the RSVPs. That way she’ll feel special and involved, but you’ll keep her busy enough so she doesn’t start taking charge of more major issues. Here’s a list of things that you may want her help with:
· Announcing the engagement to the press, locally and nationally
· Working with the bride and groom to draw up the guest list
· Ordering the stationery and chasing it up
· Sending out the invites and keeping an eye on acceptances and regrets
· Supplying the wedding gift details to anyone who asks for them
· Helping to organise the seating plan
· Help you to choose your wedding dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses
· Ordering the wedding cake
· Arranging table decorations
· Making sure all of the guests have got somewhere to stay that night
· Help you to get dressed and ready on the morning of the wedding
· Give the order of service sheets to the ushers
· Organising the buttonholes for key members of the wedding party, including the ushers, best man, the bridegroom, and the two dads
· Look after the gifts during and after the wedding. This includes finding a safe place to store them during the day
· Collect the photo proofs from the photographer while you are away on your honeymoon!
Don’t ask her to do too much
Of course your mum is happy to help – but don’t take that help for granted. Ask her nicely, and don’t give her too much work. She’s your mum, not your slave!
Dress shopping – together
Your mum will almost certainly want to be involved when you start buying your dress. She’ll probably be offended if you don’t at least give her the opportunity to get involved. You should also go shopping with her to help choose a mother of the bride dress and hat. It’s your day, but her day too – she’ll want to look and feel her best.
Don’t assume your mum will only feel comfortable in a classic mother of the bride outfit – a trouser suit or non-traditional dress is a great option, too.
Get the conversation going between your mum and your fiancé's mother. Suggest going out for a meal together so they can get to know each other a little better. Also be sure they talk to each other about their wedding outfits so they don't clash or look the same!
Invite your mum to the hen party?
That rather depends of what kind of party you have planned and whether you think it’s appropriate to have her there. Maybe just have her there for a few drinks at the start. Or perhaps you can organise two events – a mum-friendly one and a racier one that she doesn’t attend.
If you are planning a relatively civilized affair then she’d probably love to come along and meet your friends. If you are hell-bent on a boozy weekend in Dublin or Prague, with male strippers and raunchy fun and games, then including your mum is probably not the best idea.
On the day
Enlist her as your extra bridesmaid on the morning of the wedding. Don’t leave her feeling left out as you sip bubbles and get pampered. You could maybe get the hair stylist and make up artist to fit her in too. She should be the one who does the back of your dress up and hands you to your father for the trip down the aisle.
Don’t forget to have some photos with just you and your mum. Let your wedding photographer know in advance that this is an important shot to take. It will make for the perfect keepsake or present for your mum once the day is over.
Don’t forget to thank her
If you plan to make a speech be sure to say a few words about your mum. Likewise, she might want the opportunity to say a few words herself - in which case invite her to do so (but give her plenty of warning!).
It’s also a nice touch to give her a present as a token of appreciation for all the hard work and emotional support she provided (not just in planning your wedding but from the day you were born!). You can give her this on the eve of the wedding, in the speeches or the day afterwards – just make sure you make the effort.
You can pick our brains any time you’d like
Planning a wedding can be a bit of a minefield for brides and mums. While we’re not trained relationship counsellors the team at Clevedon Hall do have a lot of useful tips and ideas when it comes to making things run smoothly – all you have to do is ask!