There's probably no one more excited for your wedding, besides you and your fiancé, than your mom. She's likely been dreaming of this day even longer than you have, and wants to help you plan the perfect celebration – actually many moms would be perfectly willing to take over the reins if their children let them! But while mothers can be lifesavers throughout the process for some brides, others can place more stress on their daughters as they attempt to help with tasks the bride already has under control.
Still, there's no need to make your mom feel left out, and you'll enjoy a more peaceful planning process if your mom is excited and happy. Beth Bernstein of Chicago wedding planning company SQN Events told Inside Weddings that the key to keeping your mom happy is to make her feel wanted, and to spend quality time with her during the busy year of wedding planning.
"As a mom myself, I can tell you what we like most is to feel needed," Bernstein says. "No matter how old our children are, there is nothing sweeter than the words, 'Mom, can you help me with this?'"
Bernstein says the best task for moms is to help with dress shopping. Even if she is the kind of person who hates shopping, she definitely wants to see you in your dress for the first time and give her opinion.
"If you're nervous that she will have too much of an opinion, do some pre-shopping to narrow down your selection and invite her when it's time to make the final decision," Bernstein suggests. "This is also a great opportunity to invite your future mother-in-law."
Even if she can't be present when you shop for your dress, make sure to be there while she shops for hers. Bernstein recommends having a true "Mommy and Me" weekend with shopping, tea, and manicures. This is also a great way for grooms to help their moms feel special, especially since mothers of the groom can often feel even more left out than mothers of the bride.
To satisfy your mom's desire to feel needed and to contribute in a more tangible way ("Moms always like to be 'doing' something," Bernstein explains), ask her to help stuff and mail invitations. You can even turn this into another pre-wedding bonding experience.
"Bring over a bottle of wine and some sweets (just don't get them too close to the pretty paper), and spend a night reminiscing together as you assemble your invitations," Bernstein says.
As long as you are sensitive to your mom's desire to help and make an effort to find manageable tasks she and you will enjoy doing together, the process of planning your wedding will be full of happy memories.
Opening photo by Jon & Joseph Photography