50 Tips for the Mother of the Bride (and Groom)

50 Tips for the Mother of the Bride (and Groom)

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1. Be the point person for the family

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Before guests start bombarding the bride and the groom with handfuls of who, what, where, and whens, take the lead and answer these questions before they travel to the bride. Send out a FAQ list with answers a month or so before the wedding so that everyone is on the same page and can devour all of the must-have details.

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2. Don't spill the news of the engagement

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Even if you know he's popping the question soon, try not to act too obvious and whisper to your friends and even other family members that it is happening - long before it happens.

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3. Don't invite guests too soon

Amy and Stuart Photography

Right after you get the "We're engaged" phone call, be careful not to bust out your rolodex of contacts and invite everyone under the sun. Let the bride and groom pick a date and give you the OK to send them over a guest list first.

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4. Get buddy-buddy with the other set of parents

Kate Webber Photography

There will be a lot of pictures to pose for and wedding budget conversations to be had. So before the deep dive into wedding planning and partying begins, get to know them over a delicious dinner or a bottle of bubbly.

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5. Put your money where your mouth is

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Before the wedding planning starts, be very open and honest with the amount of money you're willing to contribute. That way, the bride and groom can factor this into their overall budget when they are starting to pick and choose vendors.

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6. Be specific with how you'd like to help

Jack Jeffries for Christian Oth Studio

In addition to just saying the comforting line of, 'I'm there if you need me," also offer in a handful of very specific ways. Tap into what you're good at, whether that be working with color pallets, or organizing decorations, even helping to plan the honeymoon.

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7. Volunteer to help out with the nitty gritty

Abby Jiu

Offer to be hands on with the dirty work. Do they need someone to help them stuff envelopes? What about put together the welcome bags? How about pack and organize boxes for the day of? Make yourself available to help out with some of the less glamorous tasks.

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8. Don't overpromise and under-deliver

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Whether that's offering too much time, money, help, advice, resources and then not being around when it's needed. Be sure to figure out how hands on you want to be before the wedding adventure gets rolling.

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9. Don't compare and contrast

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Even if a friend of yours throw the most extravagant wedding for her daughter or you recently saw something gorgeous at another wedding you went too, it doesn't mean that this wedding has to be an over the top show stopper or party topper.

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10. Be willing to shed the guest list

Kristina Lorraine Photography

If the bride and groom notice that the guest list is way over the headcount they wanted to invite, offer to cut some of your friends or distant relatives first. That way, they can have more wiggle room to invite the people closest to them in their everyday life.

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11. Turn the chores into an unexpected party

Universal Pictures/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

If there's a part of the wedding adventure that the bride and the groom are dreading, turn it into a party! Bring a few bottles of champagne and some food spreads and offer to help them dive in and tackle those dreaded wedding to-do list tasks.

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12. Don't refer to this as "our wedding"

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While marriage is really the joining of two worlds' together, remember that only two people will be up at the altar saying "I Do." So in order to avoid a round of eye rolls and verbal sighs, refer to the wedding as "their wedding" and not "our wedding."

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13. Refrain from the family t-shirts or souvenirs

Twentieth Century Fox/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

Weddings often become planned family reunions and while that's a lot of fun, avoid making tacky t-shirts or koozies with wedding slogans on them - unless of course the bride wants this!

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14. Take on the role as the family peacekeeper

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If this person doesn't talk to that person, be the person who makes sure they get along and don't get rowdy at the wedding. The last thing the bride needs to experience is Uncle Bill tossing a shoe at Uncle Jimmy, who is sitting three tables to the left.

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15. Wait for the bride and bridesmaids to choose their dress before you choose yours

Matt Blum Photography

That way, you can see the color scheme that the rest of the bridal party is going to wear before selecting your dress. You don't want to stand out too much from the other members of the bridal party - unless the bride and groom want that.

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16. Approach the bride and the groom in a sweet tone

Kate Rose Photography

Know that they will often find themselves more stressed out than usual during the wedding planning period, so always approach them slowly and with open arms.

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17. Plan how your hair and makeup will be on the wedding day

Lane Dittoe Fine Art Wedding Photography

Put together a folder of photos and looks that you love and share them with the bride and groom before the wedding. That way, you can get glammed up perfectly on the wedding day and not have to first get the bride's approval then.

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18. Don't strive to out-do the "other mother"

Rochelle Cheever

Instead of making this a mom verse mom experience, make sure both of you are on the same team. It'll make the bride and groom feel more confident knowing that their moms are standing strong behind them throughout the whole process.

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19. Don't be passive-aggressive

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Try to be straightforward and honest with your opinions. Avoid any kind of guilt trip that often comes along with phrases like "Well, if you want to do that. But I don't know if I would, if this were my wedding."

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20. Don't be pushy

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If you can tell the bride and the groom don't like something that you love, let it go. Don't attempt to push them into a decision that they are not comfortable or in love with. At the end of the day, it's most important that they are happy.

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21. Don't obsess over every little detail

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Chances are the bride and the groom are already going to be eyeing their to-do list on an hourly basis. There may not be a need to chirp in with daily reminders. Keep them weekly, if you must!

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22. Pick your battles

New Line/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

Prioritize what you think the most important thing to remind the bride and groom of is and bring that to their attention. If you don't agree with them on everything, that's okay. Only hold on to the things you know are the most important.

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23. Tame the bridezilla or groomzilla

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You've known the bride or the groom the longest, so try to be the positive force in the room who can bring them back down to earth when they get a little bit out of control or lose focus of what's truly important.

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24. If you have nothing nice to say…

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You know how this one goes. Keep the negativity at home. Don't bring it with you or hand it off to other members of the family or friends of yours when it comes to details of the wedding.

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25. Be honest

Christian Oth

If the bride asks your opinion on how something looks - like a potential wedding dress - don t be scared to share your honest opinion. Chances are, she trusts what you say more than anyone else in the room and she's relying on you to bring that honesty front and center.

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26. Carry around a mini-survival kit


Put together a tote bag of items you think the bride, groom, and wedding party may need and keep that close to you during the bridal shower, the rehearsal dinner, and on the day of the wedding. Be sure to add an extra pack of tissues, Band-Aids, and even a bag of snacks (just in case!)

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27. Remember that no means no

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So if the bride and groom veto a certain wedding decoration or decision, don't become sneaky and make sure it happens anyway. Listen to what they want.

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28. Get to know the wedding planner

Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

Whether the couple has a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator, get to know them and assure them that you can be the point of contact if any challenges happen on the day of the wedding.

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29. Don't become a momzilla

New Line Cinema/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

Keep calm, cool, and collected! Because once you start walking toward the dark side of wedding crazy, everyone else may follow.

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30. Give sentimental gifts along the way

Alison Conklin Photography

If there's a part of your wedding, the bride or groom's childhood, or even items from ancestors, be sure to gift those along the way. It'll be a more thoughtful gift than anything else during the wedding process and remind the couple how much their family is behind them.

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31. Ask your bride for advice on your overall look

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See what kind of dress and glammed up look she'd like you to go for on the day of the wedding. Ask her out on a girl's shopping trip so she can help you pick out your stylish dress.

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32. Don't be late

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Try to show up to the wedding event as early as you can. You can help out before the event and lend another pair of hands.

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33. Avoid having one too many cocktails

Simply Bloom Photography

Don't overdo it on the glasses of champagne or gulp down too much at the open bar. You may be needed as a sober voice of reason throughout the wedding process, so keep the drinking to a minimum.

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34. Don't be a tearjerker

Anne Liles Photography

Carry a lot of tissues around with you and when you feel those tears coming, try to keep them under control. Tears of joy at weddings happen to be very contagious!

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35. Plan a relaxing afternoon

Chantal Anderson

Treat the bride and groom to a relaxing afternoon before the wedding happens. They'll need something to de-stress and keep them afloat when things get hectic. Offer to take them to lunch or book them a couple's massage the month before the wedding.

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36. Learn to love the soon-to-be couple

Asya Photography

If you're not entirely sold on the bride or the groom, try to figure out what bothers you about that person and work those kinks out before the wedding. Try not to hold any grudges or negative thoughts toward them during the wedding planning process. Perhaps have a conversation with them early on to fix up your relationship.

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37. Don't forget you're a parent - not one of the kids

Christian Oth

So be sure to act like the adult in the room. Always. No matter what. No matter when.

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38. Help collect the gifts

Diana Lupa

Lots of people at weddings have wedding gifts on them (in their suit jacket or their purse), but forget to hand them to the bride or groom or don't know where to place them. You can offer to collect gifts and then hand them over to the bride and the groom after the wedding is over.

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39. Remember your relationship means more than anything else

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No matter how stressful or crazy the wedding planning gets, it should never damage your relationship. When the wedding is over, you will still have each other and nothing should interfere with that.

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40. Remind them why they're getting married

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When the stress and the to-do list starts to suffocate them, remind them why they are getting married and that their love for each other truly trumps everything else. That's the most important thing here!

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41. Enjoy yourself

Readyluck Photography

This is the party of their lifetime! Enjoy yourself. Have a good time with all the guests and remember every single moment of the whole wedding adventure. It'll be over before you know it.

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42. Be the life of the party

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To an extent! Help get other families out of their seat and onto the dance floor. Even if you're not the best dancer in the room, encourage others to get up and have a good time.

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43. Don't try to micromanage the vendors

Shaun Menary Photography

Let the photographer, DJ, florist, and other vendors do their job! They are the experts - so unless they ask for help, let them direct themselves.

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44. Remember whose wedding it is

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Try not to use this event as a way to relive your wedding or as a way to do things differently than you did at yours. Remember that this is their thing and their time to shine.

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45. Give a speech

Gia Canali

Ask the bride and the groom if you can give a speech at the engagement party, the bridal shower, the rehearsal dinner, or even at the wedding reception. Perhaps give it with your spouse and remember to keep it short and sweet.

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46. Ask to help with the thank-you notes

Cathy Crawford

Put the pen to the paper and offer to help out with the thank-you notes - especially the ones to your immediate family or friends. That'll be an easy and great way to help out the newlywed couple.

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47. The party isn't over after the "I Do"

Aura Marzouk Photographyy

After the wedding is over, the couple may need a lot of help organizing gifts and sorting through decorations. Make yourself available for a couple of days after the wedding to help the couple settle in and make sure their new home isn't covered in wrapping paper or shredded envelopes.

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48. Get to know the entire wedding party

Troy Grover Photographers

Open your arms to the rest of the wedding party - whether it's the bridesmaids or the groomsmen. You can step in and take on the role of a group leader if any of the members of the wedding party have questions or need direction of where to be and when.

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49. Help with a backup plan

Emily Steffen Photograph

In case of bad weather or a no-show vendor, help the bride and groom plot out a back-up plan for certain potential challenges before the wedding day. Have a plan B mapped out as soon as possible.

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50. Enjoy a special moment with your child

James Michael Photography

Through the chaos and the last-minute challenges, make sure to take a couple of minutes with your child and remind them how happy, proud, and excited you are of them. In the end, this is the most special and unforgettable day of their lives.