Mother Of The Bride: Help Or Hindrance?


  • Author Joanna Macleod
  • Published April 7, 2012
  • Word count 957

Family is the springboard from where you launch yourself on the world and mother/daughter relationships are key. It practically goes without saying that relations between you and your Mum are going to have an impact on your life and whether the relationship is positive or a bit of a challenge, this can come to the fore when you are planning your wedding day. So what are the blessings and what are the things to work around when you're engaged and ready to start planning?!

1.Family politics

No matter what size your family, there are always politics and weddings seem, somehow to bring these out into full view. I think the key here is your Mum is an ally, she knows the family history and should be able to steer you through the potential pitfalls when talking about seating plans (don't sit Uncle Jack next to Granny Thompson etc) and invitations. She's likely to know who will come, and who won't, who needs to sit close to the front and who will be perfectly happy to just be there. With a bit of luck your Mum is as excited as you and will hopefully be a massive help in navigating the way through the fun of family politics!

2.Inviting who?

Invitations and seating plans are the tricky bit if you ask me and no matter how understanding your Mum is about this being you and your fiancé’s day, she will have opinions on the guest list. So, at the risk of offending and upsetting your dear Mama and telling her she can't help or running away to elope, you will need to take her thoughts into account. And I don't mean everything, her friends from work don't have to be invited unless you have a particularly strong desire for them to be there. Use the evening reception as a bargaining option and especially if numbers are tight for the day time you can suggest that your Mum's friends could come along after the ceremony. Your Mum is not actually trying to take over, she's just going to be proud of her daughter and will want to show off how fab you look.

3.Who's paying?

This can have a major impact on wedding planning from picking the perfect wedding venue to the level of expense you can justify on your dress and all the trimmings. If your parents have a big involvement in the cost, and unless they have specifically said you can spend on whatever you like (lucky!), then you need to ask and involve them in the decision making.

4.Over involvement

Has the phone been ringing off the hook with suggestions and ideas from your Mum ever since the ring went on your finger? Do you get randomly signed up for events and catalogues you never planned to see. Is your Mum behind a new level of taking-over-the-planning that you are not quite sure how to recover from? Relax, she's excited and you are suffering from Mother-of-the-bride syndrome! The best thing to do in a case of a seriously over-involved wedding planning Mum is to allocate the areas you do want her involved in and give her jobs so she feels included. This sounds terribly patronising but if you give her lots of wee jobs, she'll get caught up and involved in them to the extent that hopefully a few other things you want to do yourself will go under her Mum-radar!

5.Under involvement

Oh, this is the exact opposite of the scenario above, you are excitedly planning your big day and so far, your Mum has shown absolutely no interest at all. Despite your best attempts to get her involved, for some reason you are hitting a brick wall. Well, just remember wedding days can stir up a lot of emotion and possibly your Mum is dealing with her own issues – the best thing might be to sit down and have a frank chat with her about how much you'd like her help to arrange the day and how much support she could give you. Hopefully being open and honest about it, you'll get to the bottom of the problem and can move forward with the wedding planning together.


Planning a wedding is a hard job – yes, it can be easy enough in some ways but there are lots of things to organise, people to contact and preparations to be made. All of these can be soothed by the presence of your Mum. Usually mothers can be relied on for their own unique ability to tell you to snap out of it when you're down and to pick up the pace if you're flagging. She's there as a shoulder to cry on and can hopefully help you get through some of the pitfalls of planning the day of your dreams.

7.It's her day too

One thing it may sometimes be easy to forget – and I'm writing this one for all the Mum's out there – your wedding day is incredibly exciting for you so imagine how it is for the woman who has cared for you and loved you every day you've been on this earth. This is a big deal for her too! So whether your mother is driving you potty with suggestions on lime green bridesmaids dresses or if she has been your rock throughout the wedding plans, remember she's going to be delighted and proud however the day goes, which ever wedding venue you picked and however fluffy your dress isn't. The best way to thank her is to let her know, to tell her how lovely she is and give her her place with the biggest brightest bouquet of flowers to say thank you you and your groom can find.

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