10 Rules for Being an Awesome Mother of the Bride
10 Rules for Being an Awesome Mother of the Bride
There’s nothing quite like being the mother of the bride! In my years as a coach and counselor, I’ve heard stories of Momzillas and stories of Mom Heroes. I only have one daughter, so when she married a couple of years ago, I was determined to be more Mom Hero than Momzilla.
Here are 10 rules I learned about being a likable mother of the bride:
1. Be Nice
Be nice, be nice, be nice.
Weddings can be high stress, even if it is positive high stress. Weddings and wedding planning is the best place for learning to manage yourself well. A little fruit of the spirit is needed, so pray a lot. When you need some extra debriefing and support, it’s time to get some coaching. Contact me.
2. It is your daughter’s wedding
Not yours. Let her and her fiancé make decisions about the wedding– even if they want to do something pretty stupid. Fortunately for me, my kids were pretty low key and smart. In fact, I really wasn’t tempted to try to make any of their decisions. My daughter bounced LOTS of ideas off me, but I did my best to be quiet and let her decide. It was fun to watch her choose colors, flowers, announcements, etc.
I’ve heard stories about wedding plans that seemed ridiculous, but when the mother of the bride allowed the bride and groom to *make mistakes* things turned out okay. It is best to back off and be a support.
3. Keep financial boundaries
Some brides forget the budget. If you’re paying it’s fine to say, “I can’t go over our agreed upon amount” and stick to it. My daughter was very good with the budget. There were some extras that she wanted so she and her fiancé footed that bill.
4. Make up your mind to have fun
Weddings are fun. Wedding planning is fun. But only if you make up your mind to have fun. So have fun! Fun, fun, fun!!
5. Treat your son-in-law with respect and friendliness
You’re investing in the future. Throughout the planning and on the wedding day, be sure to be courteous to him. Be friendly.
Think about it. Do you want to be so stubborn or sharp that you leave him with a bad memory of you? Do you want them to think of ways to avoid you when the grandkids come along? Invest in the relationship now.
Fortunately for me, my daughter married a terrific guy who took no effort at all to be friendly with but I’ve heard some mothers of the bride fuss that their son-in-law was *stealing her from us* or *not good enough for her*. Useless frame of mind that makes the future family relationships more difficult.
The day before my daughter’s wedding, a friend bought a manicure party for the bride, bridesmaids, the new mom-in-law, my friend and myself. It was a special bonding time. Even if you don’t have a friend who likes to bless you with special events, it is a good idea to think of something easy and fun to do with the group of ladies involved with the wedding.
7. Food is always needed
There are so many times during the wedding process that food will be needed. You can be a real blessing if you show up with thoughtful snacks to dress fittings, decoration-preparation days, and getting-dressed-for-the-wedding morning.
8. Weddings will have glitches, handle with grace and invention
We got off easy- the worst that happened on the wedding day (I think), is that the dads’ boutonnieres were lost in someone’s shuffle. We improvised with some flowers out of the flower girl’s bouquet. But I have known outdoor weddings blown around by thunderstorms, receptions with the food orders missing, ring bearers who won’t advance down the aisle…
The point is: Shake your fist at the chaos (not each other) and make good things happen for the bride and groom.
9. Weddings will have crashers, plan extras
No matter how carefully you make your guest list, someone will show up uninvited. Keep the boundaries you can and find serenity with the boundaries you can’t keep. If you have extra everything, you can relax.
10. After the wedding: your house will be a mess
Imagine, days of preparation for the wedding, a long wedding day- then you come home with all the leftover wedding paraphernalia and gifts. It took two weeks for me to get the house under control after the wedding. It is a good time to take it slow and include some extra self-care. Do some mindfulness: download a freebie like Progressive Relaxation How-to, or Ignatian Examen How-to, or Summer Mindfulness Coloring Pages.
One of my favorite types of coaching is the supportive coaching I get to share with mothers of the bride. Contact me when it is your turn for that wonderful job!
May all your kids’ weddings be blessed events. May your blood pressure stay healthy while you have fun!
Debbie Phillips says
Great post. I saved it for later.
It’s been a long time since I have seen you. Hope things are good with you and your family.
Vicki Tillman says
Hi Debbie! It HAS been a long time. Things are well here! Hope the same for your family!