Weddings & Celebrations

Wedding Tips for Mother of the Bride

Ah, the whirlwind of emotions and excitement that come with a child’s wedding, especially when you’re the mother of the bride! 

There’s a flurry of plans, essential decisions, dress fittings, cake tastings, and maybe even a tear or two as you navigate through this journey, ensuring that every detail reflects your dreams. 

As Mom, you’re not just a spectator; you’re the anchor, the cheerleader, and sometimes the organizer-in-chief all rolled into one. 

This entire planning process is like embarking on a heartwarming adventure sprinkled with nostalgia, joy, and perhaps bittersweet sentiment.

As you dive into this whirlwind of planning — and emotions — there are a few details to keep in mind that will make the wedding planning process a little bit easier. 

So, grab a cup of tea (or perhaps something stronger), take a deep breath, and get ready to plan your child’s happily ever after with these seven tips for mothers of the bride.

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1. Be upfront about finances from day one 

This subject is the surest path to a smooth wedding planning process. Don’t assume anything. If you plan to pay for the entire wedding, let the engaged couple know — but give them a budget. 

If you intend to give 50%, directly state the dollar amount. If you cannot contribute at all, also make this clear. Communication is key. 

If everyone is financially on the same page on day one, it will eliminate any chances of misunderstanding or resentment.

2. Create a reasonable guest list 

While you’ll want to invite family, close friends, work colleagues, and neighbors, remember that you’re the mother of the bride, not the bride. The engaged couple may have a different vision than yours. Their dream of an intimate gathering of just 75 won’t be able to accommodate your list of 60 sorority sisters. 

So be sure to discuss the number of guests you’ll be inviting right after — or even before — you discuss finances.

3. Offer emotional support — as little or as much as the couple needs 

There’s a fine line between overbearing and apathetic, so navigate this exciting time sensitively. 

Let the couple know you’re there for them and would love to be involved as much as they’d like you to be, whether it be for venue tours, vendor interviews, wedding gown shopping, etc. 

Some couples want to handle everything themselves — and that’s a good thing since it’s their wedding. 

Be supportive but respectful of their wishes, and don’t be offended if they want to arrange it all on their own.

4. Wear what you love — and it doesn’t need to be gray 

Talk to the bride first about her color palette and whether she has any opinions about what you will wear. 

Most brides want their moms to look and feel their best, whether you’re coordinating with the bridal party, wearing your own unique color, matching the groom’s mom, or just choosing whatever your heart desires. 

Of course, you don’t want to wear white, but this is a special day for you, too, and you should look like the honored guest/host that you are.

5. Splurge on hair and makeup 

Even if you don’t usually like to get dressed up, you should consider professional hair and makeup. You don’t need to go full Hollywood glam, but a natural glow will make you look your most beautiful and special. 

6. Facilitate the photo shot list 

Give thought to your guest list and try to envision any special shots that would be meaningful to you. 

Help facilitate the photo shot list, which serves as a guide for the photographer throughout the day. 

If your great-aunt and distant cousins are attending and you’d love a family picture, let the engaged couple know well before the wedding. They will work with their photographer on a list of all desired shots. 

Letting them know about these special people in advance will make the day flow much better without any interruptions from you.

7. Consider hiring a day-of coordinator. 

To truly enjoy the big day as the mother of the bride and not be worried about deliveries, the ballroom setup, or last-minute questions, consider hiring a day-of coordinator so that you don’t need to micromanage every detail. 

A day-of coordinator is precisely that: someone who handles everything on the wedding day. Since the day will go by in the blink of an eye, a coordinator will allow you to focus on the meaningful aspects and truly be present in this momentous milestone.

Happy planning. Happy wedding day!


Molly Gregor

Molly Gregor is the founder and editor of and has been writing about weddings for more than 25 years.

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