Being the mother of the bride or groom comes with many responsibilities, excitement, and memorable moments to share. Moms are often relied upon to help choose the perfect wedding dress, aid in selecting the venue, caterer, and cake designer, then there are the bridal showers and most importantly to serve as a sounding board for key decisions...all of this and you are expected to deal with relatives who won't stop pestering you with questions. Pairing these tasks with the heightened emotions that weddings inevitably bring can moments of joy and well....moments of stress. We've complied a list of "what not to do" tips to ensure this season of your life is filled with happiness and that you are able to enjoy each and every aspect with your family.
>> Avoid Making Changes
We're serious... don't make changes to your child's wedding plans! We've had disastrous moments where moms have requested changes to the details of their daughter or son's wedding day....as impossible as it sounds...it happens! We get it, you want this day to be PERFECT; however; you don't want alter any details—from the flavor of cake to the linen selections—without the approval from your daughter/son and their fiance.
>> Insert Your Opinions
If your daughter asked you to handle a specific aspect of planning or truly has no opinion on an element, then by all means, go for it! (Although we still stay it never hurts to make sure she's okay with your choices.) The alternative is also true...unless you've been given express approval to do so, don't reach out to wedding vendors, and when you do make sure your conversation is an extension of what your child wants as opposed to your own opinion. This can be a hard line to walk down as you will likely be asked for advice on many topics, the key here is knowing when and where to interject your feedback and opinion.
>> Wedding Re-do
Have you ever thought "if I could get married again I would..." most people have, especially with the growth of the wedding industry and the options available to couples today. It's totally normal; however; this is NOT the time for your do-over day. You've had your moment in the spotlight, this is your daughter/son's moment.
>> Upstage The Bride's Dress
It is totally fine to be proud of how hard you've worked to have a healthy and fit figure or to really love your Jennifer Anniston-esque leg's and want to show them off with a drop dead wardrobe....but you want to be certain that the brides dress is the most talked about one in the room. We aren't saying you need a matronly dress; however; you should opt for modesty. Find something that complements you, is appropriate for the overall design/tone of the wedding, and that shows you forth the effort to actually look like the mother and a bridesmaid.
>> Invite your entire social circle
Yes, this day is one of celebration for you as well, and yes you have the right to be surrounded by your loved ones...especially if you are paying for the wedding. We agree you should absolutely be able to include your nearest and dearest in the day; however; don't use the occasion to show off to your entire office. The key to balancing this important (and often stressful point in planning) is asking yourself a few questions when considering an invitee. Has your office manager heard you talk so much about your child and their fiance that they are truly excited to share in their day? Does the neighbor that your son/daughter grew up next to still send them birthday cards even thought they moved our years ago? Is your bible study group part of the extended family and know as much about your child as you do? Have you seen this person in the last year? You truly want to fill the guest list with people who are there to celebrate with you but most importantly to celebrate the couple.
>> Argue with Ex or Your future in-laws.
One of the keys to keeping stress out of a wedding is keeping the peace...sounds so simple when you just type the words. Weddings are full of emotion, there are certainly highs and lows that can come into the months leading up to the big day. We've seen countless couples caught in the cross fire of bitter ex spouses or soon to be in-laws that don't see eye to eye and while yes, this is somewhat to be expected, you do not have to let it interfere with your child's wedding planning experience. No, you don't have to be besties with your ex-husbands new fiance, and no you don't have to go to lunch weekly with your daughter's soon to be mother in law....but it's key to walk the high road and keep your intention and eyes on the joy for the couple.
>> Treat your child... like a child.
Once your son or daughter was a tiny human learning to navigate the world and needed your permission to do just about anything and sure, you will always be their parent but now they are grown and planning one of the most special days of their lives So, if he/she throws out an ideas (like a first look, or having their ceremony in a parking garage rather than the church you grew up in), take a pause before sharing your disapproval. Avoiding conflict in front of vendors is an important key to remember when going through the planning process. If you have concerns, share them, but do so in private and with respect.