Mother of the Bride vs Mother of the Groom: How Their Roles Differ

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One of the biggest challenges mothers today face — other than finding that perfect dress and matching shoes for their children’s big day — is the changing times. Wedding trends vary and change year after year — and along with that the etiquette surrounding weddings, and people’s roles also change. Many moms are caught between what they thought their roles are versus what is expected of them. And then there’s the tiptoeing around whether such role should be the bride’s mother’s or the groom’s mother’s.

Mom vs Mom: The Roles

Mothers today are able to experience their children’s wedding in a completely different way, compared to how things was ten years ago. For example, the mother of the groom’s role is no longer limited to just planning and hosting the rehearsal dinner.

But the truth is, both mothers should pitch in. Part of the wedding experience is the planning phase. When its all said and done, the memories of dress shopping, food tasting, ocular visits and supplier meetings will be part of what you will look back to about your wedding. This is an experience that everyone can share, enjoy and cherish.

The division of labor

Here’s how the division of labor can be:

For the mother of the groom:

  • If desired, offer to pay for the things that are traditionally shouldered  by the groom’s family. Some examples are the rehearsal dinner and the mother of the groom’s bouquet. The key word here is to offer. Do not get offended if the couple turns you down. Most couples today pay for their weddings on their own. The bride might also have things planned out on certain details such as the flowers. They typically get one florist who will do all the flowers, and it might not be practical for the mother of the groom to pay for hers separately.
  • Attend the bridal shower. If there are multiple bridal showers, attend the one with the most relatives going. Bring an appropriate gift, and be in good spirits.
  • Check with the your mom, grandmother of the groom, and see if she needs help with her dress and other things she will need on the big day. Help her with shopping and make sure the dress and shoes compliment the wedding colors.
  • Organize and host the wedding rehearsal dinner. Plan the food, venue, decorations, guest list and entertainment. Don’t forget to check with the bride and groom to make sure they agree with the details.
  • Dance with your son at the wedding reception!

For the mother of the bride:

  • Discuss with the wedding budget with the your daughter and see how you and your husband can contribute. This is also a good opportunity to impart some good financial and budgeting advice to the future wife and mom.
  • Be the back up contact for wedding suppliers such as the wedding planner, caterer, florist, photographer, and stylist. Be involved enough in the planning so that you can step in on the big day when the suppliers have questions.
  • Help the bride choose her wedding gown. No tears required here, but this will be a great and memorable experience for any mother and daughter.
  • Seek your daughter’s opinion about your dress. Ask her help to go shopping too.
  • Attend the bridal shower. Depending on the situation, you can also organize one.
  • Be on call on the big day for any crisis and moments the bride will be having.

For both moms:

  • Help look for wedding suppliers and professionals that can be trusted with your children’s big day.
  • Help family and friends by showing where the bridal registry is, the ceremony venue, the reception, etc.
  • Be the go- to experts on wedding traditions and rituals for the wedding. You can even be the source of their something old or something borrowed.
  • Bring positive spirits on the big day. Lots of love and smiles will be appreciated.

Weddings are a happy celebration and should be the source of laughters and good memories. Although the days leading up to the big day can get stressful especially for the bride, groom and the people close to them, remember that its important to communicate. If you’re not sure whether you should own a specific wedding role, don’t hesitate to ask your son or daughter (or in law!). Surely, they will appreciate you asking rather than having miscommunication or misunderstanding that will only add to their stress.

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