A Guide To Mother Of The Bride Duties

You’ve just received that special phone call to say that your daughter is going to become a beautiful bride, so now it’s time to find out what the most important Mother of the Bride duties are. We’ve got you covered with this complete guide explaining what will be expected of you during the planning process and on the big day.
From helping the bride pick her stunning dress and finding treasured family heirlooms, to giving her emotional support and helping her get ready, there are many essential responsibilities you’ll need to know.

As you help plan your daughter’s wedding, follow our tips below to make sure you carry out your Mother of The Bride duties to perfection!

Go Shopping

One of the first Mother of the Bride duties you’ll have to carry out is shopping. The bride will need you to help her find her dream dress. So make sure she feels beautiful, and give her honest but constructive feedback while she’s trying on different styles. It’s a special time for both the mother and the bride. You’ll also need to think about your dress! Talk to the Mother of the Groom to make sure you don’t clash and ask the bride for her opinion too.

Help with the Guestlist

Sometimes it can be tricky to cut down the guest list, or the bride and groom might even forget some names. That’s where the Mother of the Bride’s can make sure the guest list doesn’t get out of hand. The happy couple might need some help sending out invitations too! It’s likely the bride will come to you for phone numbers and addresses of family members. You’ll also need to be on hand to chase up on any RSVPs. We recommend creating a spreadsheet so that you can keep track of who has and hasn’t replied.

Discuss Budget

Traditionally, the bride’s parents pay for the wedding. If you’re choosing to do this or to help with costs, make sure that you spend some time discussing your budget. Keep expectations clear for everyone. This way the bride knows how much she can allot to each part of the wedding and will avoid any surprises.

bride and mother
Photography: Jessica Blex

Engagement Party

Typically, the bride’s parents will announce the couple’s engagement to their family and friends. After this, they’ll also host an engagement party to celebrate the upcoming nuptials. As the host, the Mother of the Bride will be in charge of finding a venue, organizing vendors, choosing the guest list, sending out invitations, greeting guests and even giving a speech.

Liaise Between Families

It’ll really help the bride and groom if their families get along and are both communicating behind the scenes. So as the Mother of the Bride, consider setting up a meeting with your daughter’s in-laws. We recommend making this meet-up casual and informal to make sure that everyone is relaxed and getting to know each other. Note down some wedding topics you want to talk about just in case there are any awkward silences.

Mediate the Bridesmaids

As a mom, you’re probably very used to being the mediator. So if you spot any disagreements between bridesmaids, it’s your duty to make sure the bride doesn’t have to intervene. You’ll have the experience to give the bridesmaids advice to help resolve any issues. Or look out for a bridesmaid that’s celebrating too hard and needs someone to grab her a glass of water or cup of coffee!

getting ready wedding day
Photography: Aislinn Kate | Wedding Dress: Pallas Couture

Support Big Decisions

How involved you are with the main wedding planning decisions will depend on the bride and groom. But sometimes they might ask for your help and a second set of eyes. So be ready to scout out venues, talk to vendors, and even attend some menu tastings. Remember, if they’ve asked for your help, it’s because they value your opinion. So be honest, give constructive advice and make sure that you’re thinking of the bride’s vision.

Help with Small Details

The smallest details can be the easiest to forget, but sometimes they’re the most important! The bride and groom will be thinking of hundreds of things at once, so they’ll need a cool head to help out with the smaller tasks. Your daughter will appreciate everything you do, especially if you’re available to remember whatever she doesn’t.

Find Family Heirlooms

The bride will probably come to you for her ‘something old’ or ‘something borrowed’. So look around for any family heirlooms that you’ve hidden away. Or one of your own pieces of jewelry that you would love your daughter to wear on her special day. Also, make sure to tell the bride about any family traditions that she might want to incorporate too.

mother of the bride duties
Photography: Gayle Brooker

Bridal Shower

Usually, the Mother of the Bride doesn’t host the bridal shower but she does attend. It’s typically the Maid of Honor’s responsibility to organize the event. However, both the Maid of Honor and the bride will appreciate it if you lend a helping hand. Ask to contribute to planning and decorations wherever you can!

Rehearsal Dinner

The bride and groom will need everyone’s attention and concentration for the rehearsal. So make sure to be on hand to help the bride explain important details. Then once the rehearsal is over, it’ll be time to enjoy dinner and talk to everyone about the excitement for the celebrations ahead. Also, make sure that the bride is calm and ready for the day to come!

Run Last-Minute Errands

One of the essential Mother of the Bride duties will be to run last-minute errands. There will always be a few things that need to be done during the week leading up to the special day. So help the couple tick off tasks by asking about what needs to be done. It might be wedding related such as collecting the cake. Or it might be everyday things that the bride and groom need you to help them with to free up time, such as making dinner.

wedding day responsibilities
Photography: Jenny Haas

Be the Go-To Person

When the big day arrives, one of the essential Mother of the Bride duties is to be the go-to contact. Every couple will need one, for example in case vendors have last-minute questions or issues. No one really wants to bother the bride or groom just before they say, ‘I do’. So, who better to trust than your mom? This might also involve directing people where they need to be, helping guests with any issues, and knowing where the gifts need to be kept.

Keep the Bride Calm

The most important responsibility will be keeping the bride calm. This is the day your daughter has probably spent a long time dreaming about and planning. You’ll be just as excited too! But it’s normal for her to have a few nervous moments leading up to the nuptials and on the big day. So make sure you’re available when the bride needs you for wise words of advice, emotional support, and the problem-solving that moms excel at.

Getting Ready

A popular tradition is for the Mother of the Bride to have a special moment with the bride as she puts on her beautiful dress. Make the most of these minutes alone to calm any nerves and tell the bride how stunning she looks. Also, ensure that you’re ready early. It also helps to have a ‘mom bag’ prepared for any emergencies. Include band-aids, tweezers, fashion tape, sewing kit, travel hairspray, nail file, nail polish, q-tips, small mirror, lint roller, lipstick, a small brush, and any other emergency items you think your daughter might need!

mother of the bride duties
Photography: Sophie Epton | Planning: Highland Avenue Events | Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige Bridal

Take Your Place at the Ceremony

Typically, the Father of the Bride will walk the bride down the aisle so make sure to take your place before the ceremony begins. On some occasions, the bride walks down the aisle with their mom. For example, in Jewish ceremonies, the bride walks with both of her parents. When the ceremony ends, you might be needed for the witness signing. Then you should leave the ceremony after the couple.

Work the Room

When you get to the reception, one of your duties will be to greet guests, and make sure that everyone feels welcome. Then you can take your seat at the parent’s table. During the evening celebrations, continue mingling with friends and family and work the room. Depending on the size of the event, the bride won’t be able to spend a lot of time with her guests so she’ll appreciate you making her guests feel welcome. Don’t forget to warm up the dance floor too!

Be Present

Above all, the Mother of the Bride should be present! This is a special day for you too, so take every little detail in and have fun! Cherish the beautiful memories you’ll make during this once-in-a-lifetime day.

mother of the bride duties
Photography: Sarah Noel | Wedding Dress: Brock Collection

This guide to Mother of the Bride duties will make sure that both you and the bride have an unforgettable day! And for more helpful wedding advice, you can head over to WedBoard. You’ll find tips and tricks for every part of the special day including, The Complete Guide to Maid of Honor Duties, The Perfect Wedding Day Timeline, and How To Save Money On A Wedding.

Featured image: Christian Oth

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