Being a mother of a bride is an exciting time. You get an opportunity to help your daughter in her journey to not only plan a big party, but also start the next chapter of her life. However, as the Oscar-nominated film Lady Bird reminded us, mother-daughter relationships can be fraught. Of course there are plenty of cases where tension between the mother and the bride is cause by a sense of entitlement and "bridezilla" behavior from the woman getting married. That said, there are also ways a mother may unintentionally cause stress when they are only trying to help. Every relationship is different, but the below suggestions can help you be the best mother of the bride ever, instead of one that ends up in the horror stories that go viral on the internet.
Photo by Lauren Ross Photography & Nancy Cohn Photography; Planning & Design by Posh Parties; Venue: The Breakers
- Stay up to date. Whether or not you had a big wedding when you got married, times have changed. It’s not just the style that’s different, but etiquette and priorities that have been adjusted as well. Keep up by reading bridal blogs like Inside Weddings in order to have a better understanding of modern celebrations.
- Be up-front about your financial contributions and expectations. You are by no means required to help pay for the wedding, but if you choose to, make that clear right away. One of the first things a bride needs to do is figure out a budget, so let your daughter know what she and her future spouse have to work with. If this contribution means you expect to invite friends of yours or have a say in the design, say so. Your daughter may choose not to accept money with strings attached, and getting that information out in the open right away will prevent tension and resentment developing later.
- Understand her style. You and your daughter may not have the same taste, which in theory could make it hard to agree on flowers, linens, invitations, and especially the dress. However, try your best to view everything through her eyes. If it seems true to her style and makes her happy – say yes. Some aspects may allow for compromise, but a bridal gown is incredibly personal and the most important thing is that the woman wearing it loves it.
- Remember there is another family involved. It’s not your day, nor is it the bride’s day. The wedding is about two people – and their families – coming together. The couple will be dealing with opinions, cultures, and traditions from both sides and trying to blend everything to keep people happy. Maybe you’ve imagined your daughter marrying a man in a classic tuxedo, but he has his heart set on a navy suit. That’s not a hill to die on, so do your best to be supportive.