May 13th is Mothers’ Day this year! So to kick the month off, I thought it would be fitting to do an article all about MOB ‘s! I decided to interview my mom for this article all about her experiences with being the Mother of the Bride because she’s been lucky enough to do it more than once! Hopefully this article will show you some interesting insights, but it’s also a great thing to share with your mom, especially if she hasn’t been an MOB before! How many times have you been mother of the bride? Do you have any advice for first-time mothers of the bride? I could write a book! First, I would say it’s best to allow your daughter the freedom to design her wedding according to her own taste and preferences. Be there to help, to offer an opinion, but don’t push your preferences on her. She will thank you for it later! I made it a priority to give my girls the same dress budget and let them choose their dream dress without any interference or pushing them toward dresses I preferred. As it turned out, we pretty much knew the right dress at the same moment–it was always the one that made mom tear up! Second, choose your dress early. The mother of the groom is waiting for you to choose a dress so she can use it as a guideline for the length, style and color of her own dress. Be sure to show her a picture as soon as you’ve bought your dress. If you can, meet with the groom’s parents in person so you can get to know them, discuss the wedding plans, establish a budget together (if they are helping to pay for the wedding), and just to enjoy this special time in your children’ lives. It’s not a good idea to rely on your daughter as a go-between to make sure everyone is on the same page. Finally, enjoy every minute of the planning, preparations, ceremony and reception–this moment in your life will be precious!

What advice do you have for brides whose MOB is not showing enough interest in the wedding?

The bride should ask her why she’s backing off. It’s possible she is worried about being too pushy, so she hangs back. An invitation from you might be all she needs. On the other hand, it’s possible that she isn’t a big fan of your fiance, or she’s not crazy about the type of wedding you’re planning. For instance, I would not have been a big fan of a Jamaican beach wedding simply because my elderly parents would not have been able to attend. So you really never know until you ask. But if she just isn’t into the planning part, just accept her decision.

Any advice for brides whose MOB is way over-involved and overstepping her bounds?

Try to have a heart-to-heart talk with your mom about her own wedding. You might find out that her own mother got too involved in her wedding and she didn’t get her way, or that she didn’t have the wedding of her dreams for whatever reason. Once she admits this, she might realize that she has been trying to re-live that time in her own life, and maybe she will back off. Another suggestion is to give her one or two areas she can control or where you are willing to take her advice. For instance, let her choose to wear a dress in a color that’s not your first choice, wear a corsage even if you don’t like them, or choose your guest book or card box for you. Limiting her choices to small things might be enough to satisfy her.

Do you have advice for brides who have lost their mothers?

I can’t imagine how hard it would be to face this situation. Mothers are a huge source of support for brides. Try finding someone else who can stand in, as much as possible, when you need her–such as your sister, future mother-in-law, or favorite aunt–and don’t be afraid to confide in them about how much you miss your mom. I would also try to find a way to show that she is with you in spirit. You could honor her with a photo, poem, prayer, flowers, or other memento on a reserved chair at the ceremony and/or reception. You could use your mom’s favorite color as your wedding color, or wear her wedding dress. Another way is to incorporate something of hers (maybe a favorite piece of jewelry) in your bouquet.

What was your favorite part of being the MOB?

I was lucky that both of my daughters wanted me to be involved in the wedding planning. I loved helping with DIY projects, dress shopping, going to bridal shows, talking to florists and rental companies, and even getting ready with the bridesmaids! Also, I was both MOB and maid of honor at one of the weddings, and that was way more fun than I imagined it would be! But my favorite part was how proud I was of my girls, watching them walk down the aisle to their sweet husbands!

What was your least favorite part of being MOB?

Nerves. I’m shy, so being “on display” as MOB was uncomfortable for me. I think I pulled it off, though! I kept telling myself to enjoy every moment and not over-think it. Having a couple of mimosas while getting ready didn’t hurt either, I have to say. But don’t overdo it–pace yourself!

What’s the difference between being mother of the bride versus mother of the groom?

I’ve never been a mother of the groom, but I think that the bride’s mother is often more involved in planning than the groom’s mom. The MOB also traditionally chooses her dress first, and the groom’s mom coordinates with her choices. The groom’s mom usually dances with her son at the reception, but the bride’s mom doesn’t have a special dance. The MOB is traditionally the last person seated by the usher at the ceremony and the first to be escorted out (after the wedding party).

Is there anything you wish you had done differently in your role as MOB?

I should have spent more time at the receptions making the rounds and talking to all the guests. I spent too much time dancing and having fun with my nieces! But I think that, after all the planning and worry, I’m glad I let loose of all that stress and had fun, too!

What advice do you have for brides-to-be?

Communicate as much as possible with everyone–mom and dad, in-laws, photographer, guests, planner, ushers, etc. You cannot over-communicate when it comes to a wedding. And try to step back from all the stress and just enjoy the whole planning process. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect, and your stress will get in the way of all the happy memories you could be creating instead!  

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