Have a daughter
Wait for her to get engaged
Until earlier this year I thought that was pretty much it but since Caity has started planning her wedding in earnest over the past six months I have had more of an insight into what the role of Mother of the Bride actually entails. Or doesn’t.
The temptation is to get heavily involved in everything and “help organise” the wedding. I would suggest you don’t do that as this is not your wedding, but your daughter’s. Half the fun of the wedding is the organising and there is nothing worse than somebody else coming along with their ideas and dismissing everything else. Remember, when it comes to wedding, mother doesn’t always know best!
Offers of help though are always appreciated so if there is something that has already been decided upon that you can offer to help with, I am sure that will always be appreciated.
As will reminders if friends have a company that might be able to help. Everybody loves a personal connection so if a close friend or relative is a florist or seamstress, then by all means remind the happy couple that you have those connections and happy to make the introductions. Especially if that means there might be a discount. Let’s face it, weddings costs thousands and nobody should be ashamed of saving a few Pounds here and there.
Be wary of asking for people to be added to the guest list. Suggesting that great aunts and family friends of the family come along means bums on seats that cannot be filled by work colleagues or friends of the bride and groom, so don’t insist they come unless asked if you would like to invite one or two people. Typically it costs around £100 a head at the venue per person so if the bride and groom haven’t seen great aunt Maud for 25 years it is unlikely they will want to spend that on her coming along to the wedding, as much as you might love her.
Get your outfit as early as possible so it is done. And in stock. There is nothing worse than finding something and then discovering three months later it is out of stock in your size, or discontinued. If you see the perfect dress, snap it up. I bought mine months ago as I saw it on line and thought it looked perfect. Stylish, a dress I could wear again, and comfortable. There is nothing worse that having a dress that looks amazing but is impossible to sit down in / photograph / will show every crease etc.
And as mother of the bride I would really encourage the wearing of a hat. Hats are so overlooked these days (and yes, looked over if they are on the huge side) but if you can’t wear a hat to your daughter’s wedding, when can you?
I was all set to get my hat from Debenhams but somebody mentioned on Twitter that I should look at a local milliner, Beverley Edmondson in Farnham, who would match the colours in my dress perfectly with a hat, and also advise on styles that suited the dress, and my face shape. Beverley booked an appointment for me so I could go in with the dress and look at the overall outfit. No surprise that the final hat Mr B bought for me bore no resemblance to the one I would have chosen! Certainly not the cheapest option for hats but if the budget allows, I can highly recommend it.
Ditto shoes. Do think about the fact you will be standing up ALL day and need to think about comfort and practicality as well as the style. When I wrote my post about Buckingham Palace Garden parties my main tip was about not wearing stilettos as you would be standing on grass all afternoon, something many people don’t think about (but I am all about the practicalities). For that event I wore Hotter shoes as they are always the comfiest shoes on the high street, a great price and come in a whole range of colours. They came up trumps this time for me too with their Cecilia court shoe in a soft biege, it is almost nude and would work perfectly with pretty much any outfit.
Pack all those things that people expect organised mums to have, plasters, a safety pin (my dad’s jacket button popped off as we got out of the car at my wedding. A member of staff at the venue said “that won’t be a problem, Sir”, opened his own jacket and produced a sewing kit to reattach it right there in the hallway as the bridesmaids straightened my train), spare hair grips, mints. And tissues. I am expecting to be in floods of tears the moment the music starts on Saturday morning so have made sure I have huge amounts of tissues.
Finally take a moment mid afternoon to stand back and take it all in. This might be the bride and groom’s big day but people tell me it is a big day for mother’s of the bride too. Something we should all be proud of and take a moment to savour.
Maybe with a small glass of something cold.