It is traditionally the mother-of-the-bride who makes the selection for a dress first. However, shopping together could be a great way for the two mothers to bond.
By: Carol Tyson
A wedding isn’t only a dream come true for the happy couple, it is also a celebratory day for the parents. After all, not only do we get to be all dolled up for the special day, but we have the joy of seeing our children beam ear-to-ear as they exchange vows with someone who truly loves them. Below are tips on how to best navigate the time leading up to the big day.
* In the olden days, the parents of the couple had very specific parameters about what they were expected to pay. However, these archaic rules no longer endure, making the amount you contribute a personal choice rather than a predetermined obligation. While it is very generous to volunteer to financially provide for elements like the dress or the flowers, you are saving yourself from potential drama by giving a set amount instead. This way, you know exactly how much you are giving and don’t have to be worried about any surprises like the catering costing double what you anticipated.
* You love your child and of course you want to be a part of his/her big day; during the planning stages, you can be helpful by making the couple aware of any contacts you may have. Moreover, let them know that you are available to help in whichever scenario you are the most needed, though remember that you always have the right to decline if the requested task seems too big. Don’t take it personally if you find that your assistance isn’t often invited. Additionally, hold off on the surprises, no matter how heart-felt they may be. Planning a surprise engagement party is incredibly sweet, but be aware that you may be unknowingly treading on the toes of the couple’s own plans.
* You and your child might not always see eye-to-eye on the various components of the planning process but, instead of trying to convince him or her to see things your way, you can do your part to sooth and comfort the stressed-out bride or groom as the big day approaches. However, if you see your child becoming overworked or over demanding, you have the know-how to calmly provide a balanced outlook through your own experiences.
* It’s common for the parents of the couple to invite friends and family to the ceremony and reception, especially if you are contributing financially. Before providing an extensive invite list, it is advisable to ask them their overall vision for the nuptials (intimate vs. grand) and for a ballpark figure of what sort of headcount you can provide.
* Find a dress that is stylish and flattering and consider upholding the common practice of dressing similarly (though not identical) to the other mother for fluidity in photographs. The bride often has requests of your outfit, and you might be expected to wear a shade or design that is similar to the bridesmaid’s dresses. If you are given little or no guidelines, remember to avoid white (as to not compete with the bride) and black (as to not seem too somber). Wear simple jewelry that won’t distract in photographs, and avoid bright colors or bold patterns that can clash with the picture’s surroundings. And keep in mind, though it is traditionally the mother-of-the-bride who makes the selection first, shopping together could be a great way for the two mothers to bond.
Come the wedding day, don’t forget to have a camera and some tissues ready as you witness your child take the monumental leap! Have fun, dance and be merry, as this is certainly a joyous occasion.