Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Six Tips to (Politely) Pass on to the Mothers of the Bride and Groom

Since your engagement you and your (soon-to-be) spouse have been bombarded with new titles … fiancé, bride, groom, future husband, future wife, (almost) newlyweds. It is a lot to take in.

But you aren’t alone. The important people in your life are taking on new titles, too-mother-in-law, father-in-law, mother(s) of the bride and groom. And believe me, they are just as confused as you.

Here are six tips you can ever so politely pass on to the Mother of the Bride and your fiance’s counterpart, the Mother of the Groom to prepare them for their roles in your upcoming wedding.

Mother of the Bride-It’s Her Time to Shine

Your little girl is all grown up and is getting ready, not only to be a blushing bride, but to be someone’s wife. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Over the years she has likely looked to you for help, advice or a friendly shoulder and that is not likely to change. But, here are a couple of things to remember as Mother of the Bride that will keep you and your daughter on good terms throughout the wedding planning process.

1. It is understandable you are excited about your daughter’s upcoming nuptials, but before you verbally invite all of your neighbors, work colleagues and closest friends, you should talk to your daughter and her fiancé about the size of the wedding and ask how many of your friends you can invite. Remember, this is their wedding and the room should be filled with their friends and colleagues. If the guest list needs trimming, your guests (as well as the groom's family's guests) should be the first to go.

2. Of course you are going to have an opinion on the dress, the cake, the room, the music … and you should. As the mother of the bride, you are one of the most important guests and honored attendants of the day. Just be sure to offer your opinion, then back off. Remember, your daughter is being pulled by the groom, his family, other family members, friends and her personal wishes. Be there to offer your support for her during this stressful time.

3. One of the biggest problems I see that arises between the parents of the bride and the engaged couple is the money issue. Just because you have offered to help your daughter pay for her wedding doesn't entitle you to make demands, control the event or hold your money over their heads. Remember, this is a gift you are giving your daughter-not a nightmare.

Mother of the Groom-This One’s for You

It’s a day you knew would come … one day your little boy would turn into a man, and since he’s the man you reared him to be, you knew a Cinderella-like princess would want him, too. And that makes you happy.

What you aren’t happy about is trying to determine what your newly-appointed mother of the groom status means. What do you do? Where do you start? How can you help? Well, never fear, Mommy Dearest, here are three tips to help you, help them.

1. If you haven’t already met the bride’s parents, call, and if logistically possible, invite them for dinner or drinks. It’s a good way to set the tone for the upcoming months and will ease any tensions your son and future daughter-in-law might have about merging their families.

2. Have a tete-a-tete with your son and ask him what he and his fiancé need and expect from you. When everyone is on the same page, you will have fewer misunderstandings and less hurt feelings. Be honest about anything you would like to be included in, but know the bride’s decision is-and should be-what matters.

3. If something doesn’t go the way you had hoped, bite your tongue and keep your class. Although your son’s wedding is important -it is just one day. Your relationship with your son and his future Mrs. is much more important, so let that be your focus and leave the crème brulee or tiramisu dessert dilemma to the bride.

What other tips would you like to pass on to mothers of the bride and groom? Do you think they'll take you up on them?

Photos courtesy of Deadly Knitshade and Ben McLeod

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