How involved should the mother of the bride be with the wedding? If you’re worried your mum is in danger of taking over, here’s a guide to mother of the bride etiquette for the big day…

Mother of the Bride Etiquette

Mother of the Bride Etiquette: Everything you Need to Know

How involved should the mother of the bride or groom be?

With their children getting married, both sets of mothers are bound to get excited. Your diary will probably be filling up with lunch dates with you and your mother, and your soon-to-be mother-in-law can’t seem to stop bringing up the wedding at every opportunity.

It can always alleviate a bit of stress when you accept help from someone else when it comes to planning your big day, but that doesn’t mean they’re allowed to take over. Mothers of the bride or groom do have a tendency to go overboard, so be warned!

If you want something done a particular way, don’t let your mother’s words sway you. Your day, your way – and that’s that.

Don’t let her take on too much

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By no means should you refuse all the help on offer, but when delegating wedding duties to your friends and family members, make sure that both you and they are realistic in the amount they are taking on.

No matter how keen your mother-in-law may be to take on the 20 jobs you have on your to-do list, remember that her eager excitement for the wedding plans may wear out before she’s even finished her second task of writing out all the place cards.

At that point, you won’t even dare to mention the handmade favours she agreed to do…

Don’t let her opinions affect you

It may be the case that your mother or mother-in-law disapproves of how you are planning your wedding, from the dress you’ve chosen to the venue you’ve booked.

Taking her along to your wedding dress fitting can quickly turn from a lovely and thoughtful idea, to maybe changing the aim of the shopping trip to buying an axe, and a shovel.

Mother of the Bride Etiquette: What not to do

And her constant comments about your husband-to-be not making enough effort? Not what you need right now. If this is happening to you, calmly let her know what she is saying is upsetting you, and most importantly, don’t let it affect you.

Don’t allow her to dress like the bride or bridesmaids

Under no circumstances should your mother be wearing white on your wedding day, unless you’ve chosen not to. We’re almost certain your mum would think this one through, but make sure you ask her what she’s wearing before the big day actually arrives.

On a similar note, unless you’ve suggested she does so, make sure your mother isn’t deliberately matching her outfit to your bridesmaids.

If she does want to make some kind of link to the bridal party, suggest she wears a corsage in the same colour as the bridesmaid dresses. It would be a really nice touch for the photographs, and make your mum a little bit happier. Remember to include the groom’s mother in this too, so she doesn’t feel left out.

Don’t let her be late

From offering advice and knowing exactly how to calm you down, to readjusting that strand of hair that’s a little out of place after you’ve finished getting ready, your mum should be there for you on your wedding morning!

That goes for the rest of the wedding planning process, too – all the arranged appointments, lunch-time meet ups to talk about table plans, and so on. You should never underestimate the usefulness of a mum around your wedding time, and neither should she!

Don’t let her steal the show

Wearing white on the day is one thing, but taking complete control of everything that’s going on, pointing out every little detail she helped with, and not letting the bride or groom get a word on their wedding day is on another level!

Either the excitement of the wedding has got a little too much for her, or her glass is getting topped up a little too often; either way, there comes a point when it’s acceptable to just say “stop”. I mean, she didn’t even help with that bunting!


Mother of the Bride Dos and Don’ts

And if you are the mother of the bride – congratulations! The long awaited role of mother of the bride is firmly in your grasp and the excitement of this announcement is hard to contain.

But tread cautiously, being the mother of the bride can come with some big responsibilities! And although you’re going to have a number of jobs to help out with during the wedding planning process, there are some things you should probably leave for the bride and groom to decide themselves.

Here’s the key mother of the bride dos and don’ts…

Congratulations! The long awaited (perhaps) role of mother of the bride is firmly in your grasp, just be wary not to do any of these 7 things...

Don’t spill news of the engagement

Yes, you may be super duper excited, but unless your daughter and groom have asked you otherwise, it’s their job to tell everyone the good news so try to keep it under wraps before then!

Don’t invite guests without asking the couple beforehand

Although there might be friends of yours and long lost family members that you think have to be at the wedding don’t storm ahead and invite them without consulting the bride and groom first.

They might be sticking to a budget so have a limited amount of guests, and they might feel too embarrassed to say otherwise!

Offer your help

This is a tricky one, as you might not want to get in the way, but it’s just as bad to not offer help at all. Your daughter will be able to tell you if you’re doing too much or too little.

Don’t over-promise and under-deliver

When it comes to money, time, advice and resources don’t offer anything unless you know you can do it! You don’t want to leave the bride and groom panicking about anything in the lead-up to the big day so make sure you know yourself first, how much you are able to help and manage the bride and groom’s expectations from the off.

Don’t compare it to other weddings

Ever. The bride will not appreciate hearing about how “Ellen from secondary school had the most expensive, lavish wedding in the world”, when they could be planning a wedding on a tight budget!

Don’t look to ‘out-do’ the mother of the groom 

It’s easy to get carried away but it’s not a competition! There’s no need to get the most elaborate, expensive outfit or the biggest hat – this isn’t anymore about the bride’s family as it is the groom’s.

Enjoy the wedding planning process with your daughter and think of it as an opportunity to bring both families closer together!

Don’t be pushy

It’s good to offer your opinions, but there’s a time and place. If the bride and groom don’t want to use pink silk chair covers, then they don’t have to, even if you really do think it’s for the best.

Your job is to be supportive of both the bride and groom during the wedding planning process, and to enjoy their wedding day! If you’re struggling on finding the perfect mother of the bride outfit, we have just the thing for you!

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Jennifer Read-Dominguez is the Digital Editor of Wedding Ideas magazine, heading up the website and covering all things lifestyle and beauty – from the best hen weekend destinations and luxury honeymoon hotspots, to the perfect hair extensions for your wedding day. When not on her soapbox about her home renovations and commuting troubles, she's known around the office for her love of Millwall FC and MasterChef. Despite telling the world she was about to get engaged underneath a spectacular show of the Northern Lights in Finland last year, Jennifer is still waiting for her boyfriend Ashton to propose...