#TastefulTips: Mother of the Bride & Groom Etiquette

Introducing #TastefulTips, a segment around wedding day etiquette, questions and expert advice. This May, we introduce our pointers for Mother of the Bride & Groom in celebration of Mother’s Day. What should a mother of the groom wear on your wedding day? What type of gift should a mother give? These tips will provide your mother and grandmother with useful advice so the day is both seamless and special. As we all know, mother’s often take time to focus on their children and spend less time attending to themselves, so let us honor mom this weekend & on your wedding day, to assure she is prepared and supported throughout the planning process.

Get to know the in laws:  Once you announce your engagement, traditionally the mother of the groom initiates a call to express the excitement to the mother of the bride.  If a few weeks have gone by without hearing from the groom’s mother, then the mother of the bride should reach out a call.  When distance presents a challenge to meet in person, the mothers should become acquainted by phone, and plan a later date to officially meet. 

Budget/Planning the Guestlist:  In the early stages of planning, it is important for the bride’s family to sit down with their daughter and future son in law to discuss the budget, and set clear expectations and contributions. Both mothers should give a list of guests they would like to invite to their son and daughter's wedding, but respectively await an official invite, until the guest list has been finalized to avoid any potential embarrassment.  Traditionally, the groom's parents may offer to help pay for the rehearsal dinner.  In today’s modern world, many choose to pay for their own weddings, so setting expectations in the beginning of discussing budget contributions will be an excellent guideline in creating and sticking to your budget.  

Style: Who wears what? It is an important question on both sides. The mother of the bride is first to decide what style and color she plans to wear on their wedding day.  Once planned, she would then notify the mother of the groom to coordinate. Both mother's dresses should be the same length and formality, and complement one another not competes. The mother of the groom, the grandmothers, and the stepmothers should choose a different color as the bride’s mother. However, both mothers should steer away from wearing the same color as the bridesmaids, but should blend with the wedding colors.

Hair/Makeup: A mother of the bride or groom should remember that this is their day too! Having waited this day for years, it is a memorable day, with timeless photos and video that capture the special moments. It is important for a mother to complete her look with soft, subtle makeup for a flawless finish. Brides.com recommends a mother focus on defined eyes (but not harsh), a freshened smile with blush (if too rose-y, it can always be tamed), satin-finish lipstick instead of gloss (less is more) and ultimately to look like the best version of themselves.

Give a sentimental gift:  Ah yes, the old English rhyme; “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”, this saying is an important part of a bride’s attire, the saying is superstitious in that wearing these items could provide you with a long and happy marriage. "Something old" traditionally comes from the mother of the bride. This gifting includes family heirlooms like jewelry or a locket and it is a lovely sentiment to add on your wedding day. One of my brides included pieces of her grandmother’s lace and brooches in her dress, and hairpieces she made for her 1920’s themed wedding! "Something borrowed" may be from the mother of the groom’s side such as a veil or bracelet. "Something new" is often the bride’s wedding dress or a gift from her groom and "something blue" may be a garter for the garter toss or even light blue wedding shoes!

Flowers: A question via WeddingBee.com asked, “Should the mother of the bride and groom have corsages or boutonnieres?” Great question! Traditionally, a corsage is used from beautiful orchids to roses. A sweet gesture is to recreate miniature versions of the bridal bouquets, so the mom’s can walk down the aisle with them. Lastly, there is a Rose ceremony that your pastor or efficient can recite at the beginning of the wedding – honor both mothers and handing each a single rose. 

Dance:  The mother son dance is a beautiful way to honor your mom on your wedding day. Choose a song that is meaningful to the two of you, this is your moment to reflect back on childhood, endearing memories and to share an intimate time together, even if all eyes are watching.

Be there:  At last, this is such a special time filled with moment’s that will be remembered for a lifetime.  Mother’s of the bride, help your daughter find that perfect wedding gown. You know she secretly wants your approval, and you being present means the world. Be there to support her through the planning process even through any pre-wedding breakdowns and moments of just pure joy! Both mothers should attend bridal showers. The mother of the bride can even offer to help plan with their bridesmaids depending on what they decide. You may also choose to be a backup contact to your daughter or son's wedding professionals. Additionallu, you may offer to take home any wedding gifts, and personal items home after the wedding. Every little bit counts! But most of all enjoy yourself and child's special day with love!