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The Modern Roles of Mothers in Today's Weddings

Ah, the mothers of the bride and mothers of the groom! Two pillars of love and support, navigating the whirlwind of wedding planning with a mix of excitement, anticipation, and perhaps a touch of nerves. Their roles extend far beyond choosing the perfect dress (though, let's be honest, that's pretty important also!). 

From the joyous tears during the first dress fitting to the heartfelt toast that brings the room to silence, their every gesture is woven into the wedding day. But beneath the smiles and sentimental speeches, there's a whole lot of behind-the-scenes organizing, coordinating, and emotions happening. 

We will explore on expectations for the mother of the bride and mother of the groom before the wedding, after the wedding, and of course share a few examples of stunning mother of the bride and mother of the groom dresses, offering some inspiration!

Responsibilities Before the Wedding

Mother of the Bride

Some mothers are completely on deck, and ready to plan and be a part of their daughters special day, while others prefer to sit in the sidelines, and cheer their daughter on. Traditionally, there are certain "etiquettes" that the mother of the bride have partaken in when it comes to helping plan, and organize in preparation for the upcoming big day!

Attend wedding dress fittings and help with choosing the perfect dress

Depending on your level of closeness with your mother, involve her in all aspects related to wedding attire. If you can't imagine making a dress decision without her input, then don't. Ensure to accompany her to bridal shows, bridal salons, and fittings, benefiting from her expert eye, sound judgment, and the reassuring nod of approval only a mother can provide.

Help plan and attend pre-wedding events

If your mother expresses a desire to organize a bridal shower (and the bridal party is on board), she should certainly go ahead!

Look at venues with the couple, and help to chose one

The mother of the bride frequently assists the couple in exploring potential ceremony and reception venues. Whether she joins you on site tours, contributes to research efforts, makes calls for quotes, or seeks recommendations from friends and family, the level of her involvement in the venue search is entirely at your discretion.

Mother of the Groom

In today's modern day of wedding planning, mothers of the groom are no longer taking the backseat when it comes to helping prepare for the big day. The mother of the bride and mother of the groom can also team up together, to really get stuff done!

Host an engagement party

Tradition has it that the brides family has planned the engagement party, but who's to say the mother of the groom can't partake in this celebration. Allow for her to organize, and host the engagement party.

Incorporate family tradition

One responsibility for the mother of the groom is to assist him in finding ways to incorporate family traditions into his wedding. Mothers of the groom can connect with their son and his partner, attentively listen to their ideas, and suggest options that align with their preferences. If the couple plans on including these customs in wedding programs, the mother of the groom can offer to draft the first version to ease the couples workload, especially if she has a deeper understanding of the tradition. Similarly, if any props are required for that moment, the mother of the groom can offer to curate the materials, and set everything up.

Offer financial assistance

Tradition has it that the brides family pays for the majority of the wedding expenses, however, if the grooms family is able to financially contribute, a few costs they can offer contribution towards are:

  • The couple's honeymoon

  • The rehearsal dinner

  • DJ or live band

  • Officiant fee

  • Marriage license

  • Wedding decor

  • Wedding flowers

What About the Dress?

Typically, the mother-of-the-bride selects her dress first, and then the mother of the groom picks her dress. Ultimately, it's up to the mother of the groom to chose her dress, as it's what she'll be wearing during the wedding, however, there should be open dialogue between the couple, mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom.

Check out these beautiful dresses for mothers of the bride as well as mothers of the groom for some great inspo for your wedding day!

Responsibilities During the Wedding

During the wedding day, the responsibilities of the mother of the bride and mother of the groom may overlap, as they offer guidance, support, and a calming presence as they make sure the wedding day is filled with love, joy and happy memories.

Mother of the Bride

Get ready with the girls

During the morning of the wedding, the mother of the bride typically gets her hair and makeup done with the bridesmaids, and of course, her daughter, the bride! Not only will the mother of the bride be there to help the bride get her dress on, but she will also be there as a support, during the emotional moments leading up to the ceremony. It's also a great time for the photographer to capture some candid mother-daughter photos.

Welcome guests

The responsibility of the mother of the bride includes welcoming familiar guests and introducing herself to those she hasn't met. If there's a receiving line, the mother of the bride should be a part of it; if not, she should personally visit each table to greet guests and express gratitude for their presence.

Be a steady well of affection

The mother of the bride typically provides the love and support crucial during this significant and emotion-laden day. With the heightened emotions of a wedding day, having someone to rely on can ease the transition into this major life change for a thrilled bride.

Mother of the Groom

Assist in gathering guests before the reception:

On the wedding day itself, a significant role for the mother of the groom is ensuring that familiar faces (family and friends) are seated promptly at the ceremony, well-prepared for transportation to and from the venue, and navigated through multiple event locations if necessary. Post-ceremony, during group photo sessions, her assistance becomes valuable in ensuring that the groom's side of the family is readily available for seamless participation in family photos.

Pin the boutonniere:

Securing the boutonniere is a meaningful task. If the mother of the groom wishes to pin it on the groom during his wedding day, ask so well in advance. Once everyone agrees, the mother of the groom should coordinate with the florist and wedding director to determine the specific time and location for this special moment.

Participate in the mother son dance

The involvement of the mother of the groom in choosing music (as well. as dancing to it) for the mother-son dance is crucial. This special moment is her opportunity to shine alongside her son, and she should play a role in selecting the perfect song for the occasion. Collaborating with the groom, she can find a tune that not only complements the wedding atmosphere but also resonates with the essence of their relationship.

For the mothers of the bride and groom, the wedding day is not just the culmination of months of planning, it's a testament to the enduring power of love and family. It's not only a celebration of two lives joining, but it's also a reminder that the journey isn't taken alone!

Happy Planning!

The Wedding Talk Team



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I'm Lynea, founder of The Wedding Talk. Our mission is to inspire, education, and simplify the wedding industry for those of you getting married and wedding vendors in the industry. Pop over to my socials to get all the tips and tricks you'll need.

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