Here in the deep south we love our mothers. And when it's time to plan a wedding it's customary for the mother-of-the bride to be heavily involved. From their help in choosing dresses and color palettes, to making decisions about budgets and vendors, to drying our eyes when things get stressful - we are so thankful for our mothers! I sure am thankful for mine.
Each mother-of-the-bride has her work cut out for her as she attempts to find the delicate balance of providing enough guidance and support while still allowing the bride to find her voice and forge her own path as she begins life with her new spouse. Being in the wedding industry I have been incredibly fortunate to witness first-hand as mothers navigate this journey with grace and love. I reached out to several past mothers-of-the-bride for their wisdom and experience, and almost all of their advice fell into one of two categories: Be Loving and Be Organized. Sounds like a recipe for success to me!
in their own words...
"Just love on your daughter through all of this planning. This is the last time that she will be just yours! Share in her happiness and make sure this time is one she will remember with love and joy!"
"Remember that this is all about preparing for the marriage and supporting the new couple for life. Begin with the end in mind."
"Be considerate of others: bridesmaids, hostesses, friends, store clerks...everyone you encounter. Let your reputation be one of gracious hospitality and thoughtful appreciation when folks help you."
"Keep a weekly calendar and check things off"
"The best advice I have is to be organized and surround yourself and the bride with the best team possible."
"Have decisions about your jewelry, shoes, purse, hair, etc. all in order weeks before the wedding."
"Selecting gifts for bridesmaids and others can be done well in advance. Wrap and write notes so that they are tucked away and ready when needed."
Additional helpful tips:
"Start on the wedding guest list ASAP! The wedding list was the most challenging for me. Order more invitations than you think you will need. Also know that you will forget to invite someone and that's a terrible feeling but unfortunately it happens." and from another mother-of-the-bride: "...the list will be needed sooner than one might expect!"
"Don't wear a watch...someone will tell you where to be and when, just enjoy the moment."
"Avoid the drive to declare a theme that can make a wedding reminiscent of a senior prom or charity event to be produced."
"Be considerate of bridesmaids' budgets. Be clear with bridesmaids that you appreciate their time and commitment, and that they are not to give additional wedding gifts or feel the need to come to every party or shower to which they will be invited."
"If someone offers to help, let them. I had a hard time with this! I felt like it was my job and I needed to do everything myself."
Sending out a big thank-you and virtual hug to all of you mamas out there who are braving the waters of wedding planning with love and grace! Keep doing what you're doing - you make the world a better place!
Photography by Ashley Upchurch Photography
A special thank you to Jill Gunn, Libby Kendall, and Marita Walton for their words of wisdom and advice.
A big thank you to my own mama who lovingly planned one of the most amazing days of my life!