Tips for the Mother of the Bride

11752544_10154083830341040_4093527192806219828_nI don’t have all the answers. Every wedding, bride, and the dynamics of the families involved are different, but maybe you can find a few tips that help you.

  1. It’s not your wedding. Repeat if necessary. It is not your wedding. It’s not your engagement, your reception, your bridal shower, your photographs, your cake, and so on.
  2. Just because you’ve been married doesn’t make you an expert on weddings.
  3. Just because you’re on Pinterest doesn’t make you an expert on weddings.
  4. Just because every detail isn’t how you’d do it doesn’t mean it’s not a fantastic idea.
  5. Cheer your daughter on with all the gusto you have.
  6. Cheer your son-in-law on with all the gusto you have.
  7. Use common sense when pinning and choosing Pinterest projects. Not all do-it-yourself projects are money-savors, and definitely not time-savors.
  8. Encourage your daughter and son-in-law to make decisions together. Every decision about the wedding they’re able to work through together without your help, whether you agree or not, is good practice for their marriage.
  9. Focus more on the marriage than the wedding.
  10. Help your daughter and son-in-law focus more on the marriage than the wedding.
  11. Pray often.
  12. Refrain from building up the wedding day as something out of a fairy tale. It might be, but weddings can be imperfect and still be fantastic.
  13. Laugh as often as you can.
  14. Take cues from your daughter. Give her space when needed. Be available when needed.
  15. Remember there is more than one family involved. Welcome them.
  16. Communicate about expectations and roles, especially about who is responsibility for paying and planning what and when.
  17. Be realistic. Work within the budget and the style, even if it’s within your means and preference to go above and beyond.
  18. Have an emergency kit on hand the day of the wedding. Include the obvious items of safety pins and bobby pins. If the dress is white, have a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide to clean up anything that gets on the dress. Have plenty of sewing options. You never know when you’ll need to sew someone into a dress.
  19. If you don’t sew, have someone who does ready and willing to help.
  20. Think through your day. Have a game plan, even for yourself.
  21. Be flexible.
  22. Be prepared to get ready in stages throughout the day. You might be needed for unexpected miscellaneous duties at a moment’s notice.
  23. Take deep breaths every now and then and savor the moments, even when it’s hectic.
  24. Show respect. To your daughter. And your son-in-law. To family and the wedding party. To people who help.
  25. Ask a friend to be your back-up the day before and day of the wedding. You’re going to need someone who is one step removed from the “inner circle” of the wedding to keep you sane with reality checks, smiles, and Starbucks. (Thanks, Shannon!)
  26. Wear waterproof mascara, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.
  27. Wear comfortable shoes, or plan to go barefoot at the reception.
  28. Help override the stereotype of the domineering mother-of-the-bride. No more Momzillas.
  29. Have a plan for the week after the wedding. Know what is best for you. Do you need to stay busy, get everything reorganized, or escape on a mini-vacation?
  30. Write a note of encouragement to your daughter and son-in-law shortly after the wedding. Encourage them every chance you get.

Enjoy the process. Enjoy the day. Enjoy your daughter…and son-in-law. You are about to expand your family. Love them well.

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