Many brides mothers' are not aware of the magnitude of work involved in planning a wedding. Of course, a few of us learned the hard way.
The duties of the mother of the bride, in a way, begins from the day her daughter announces her plans to get married. After the happy tears and hugs, a bride-to-be’s mom’s first question is “what type of wedding do you want to have?”
Mother of the bride roles before and during the special occasion varies and this depends on a few factors like geographical/regional location, culture, and status, but generally, their responsibilities are similar in many ways.
What is the Role of a Mother of the Bride Before the Wedding?
Planning weddings can, many times, be an onerous task. It doesn’t matter if it’s going to be a small event or not, someone has to plan thoughtfully and pay special attention to the finer details that are required to make the ceremony a huge success.
Get a good (if possible, leather-bound) wedding planning and organizing book. Note down every plan in detail as per discussions between mother and daughter to help keep the wedding plans on track. The most important decisions to be made (in no particular order) are:
- Planner book
- Wedding theme
- Colours preferences
- Scouting for planners
- Dress/gown styles (bride, mother of the bride, and bridal train)
- Tasks and assignments
- Venues for all events
- Wedding invitation and program
- Wedding cake
- Wedding favours
- Out-of-town guest lodgings
- Bridal Shower
- Photographer and videographer
- Music and entertainment
- Wedding vendors
- Floral arrangements
- Plan pre-wedding events
Wedding planner book
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is best to have a wedding planner/organiser book and to take notes of ideas, preferences, and other things that come to mind at the initial stage. A good reference book for subsequent family weddings. The notes can be edited, re-edited, and then written and saved in a more organized way on a notebook, iPad, or laptop.
What theme and setting does the bride and groom-to-be desire; traditional or modern? A casual garden wedding, a quirky beach wedding, a glamourous one with hundreds of guests, some elements of rustic soiree cum bohemian combo, or a classic vintage-style theme?
Choosing the colours of the day is a very important aspect of planning a wedding. The venues – chapel or cathedral, reception hall and the after-party venues require colour schemes that coordinate well with bridal wear, bridesmaid dresses, and mother of the bride attire. Flowers, table-settings, decorations, etc... must all fit within a chosen scheme.
Scouting for event planners
For a medium to a large wedding, the services of event planners may be required because not all weddings can be fully and solely planned by mothers of the bride. Planning a wedding without a wedding event planner is hard and if the mother of the bride has to take this role, she'll be worn out; almost going 'out of her mind' as the day draws closer.
The mother of the bride plays a very important role in helping to choose the bridal wear, bridesmaids dresses, and bridal accessories. She should be on hand to attend dress fittings with them all when the need arises. Choosing attires dress for herself and possibly for the mother of the groom too is part of the roles expected.
Tasks and assignments
List out all jobs, tasks and duties that are usually associated with weddings. These include anything from arranging for the photographer and videographer to deciding what the party favours should be, who does the flowers, and who to choose as the make-up artist.
The bride’s mother creates the guest list with input from the parents of the groom since their guests must be included in the list too. This is the best time to both decide on who to invite and who not to invite. Add as many people as you wish because it is better to narrow down a list than just add names to build a guest list up. This situation occurs almost always.
The choice of venues may or may not rest on the MOB, but she has to talk to the vicar, rabbi, imam, pandit, or whichever officiant will conduct the marriage. Weddings are mostly conducted in churches, synagogues, mosques, banquet halls, hotels, or other places preferred by the bride and groom. The wedding reception and after-party usually hold in halls, grand ballrooms, resorts, restaurants, cruise ships, or outdoors.
Wedding invitations and programs
Because the wedding invitations must be sent out to the printers in good time, designs, colours, and themes must be decided on early on in the planning stage. Wedding notices must be sent out a few weeks before the proper invitations are ready, and it is the mother of the bride’s duty to ensure every guest expected receives one. Wedding programs should be drawn up around this time too. Nothing must be left to close to the day.
Traditionally, the wedding cake is to be provided by the bride’s family but in some cultures, the groom’s family is responsible for the cake. However, choosing the cake design, its colour, recipe, number of tiers, and the bakers is the bride and her mother’s responsibility.
Planning for transportation is a duty that must not be overlooked, especially for out of town guests who at some point on the wedding day will need to travel. Bridal transportation must also be planned for in good time. Will it be the family car, a limousine, a wedding bus, or horse-drawn carriage?
Wedding without party favours? No mother of the bride must overlook this. She must give output on the choice of wedding favours, their packaging, and presentation. This is her way of saying “Thank you” to all invited guests for sharing your special day with you and appreciation of gracing the occasion with their presence. Wedding favours can be placed by each table setting or handed to guests as they leave.
Out-of-town guest lodgings
The mother of the bride will research wedding accommodations (hotels or lodgings) at affordable prices for out-of-town for guests. Getting room blocks saves time, money, and ensures that they are all accommodated in one location through the duration of the ceremonies. Out-of-town invitees must pay their accommodation bills.
The bride’s mother can help in planning for the bridal shower event, but this depends. The bride-to-be and her friends may have their own plans, but the mother of the bride can help pick a date, choose a theme (including invitation designs, colours, decorations, and centre-pieces), compile the guest list, and prepare activities.
Photographer and videographer
The role of getting a professional photographer and a well-recommended videographer falls on the shoulder of the bride’s mother but the father of the bride can take over this duty as well. The photographer in charge of pre-wedding photo-shoots is best employed for all the ceremonies.
Music and entertainment
Music and entertainment is an integral part of wedding plans and another mother of the bride role. If it’s a small wedding, is a one-man-band just fine? Is it best to get a DJ or a full live band? Plans for this must be concluded at the early stages of wedding planning.
A mother of the bride will have to decide whether to work with individual vendors and personally co-ordinate them or employ the services of a wedding planner who’ll take care of it all. Numerous vendors are required for weddings – photographers, videographers, caterers, hair and makeup stylists, lighting designers, bakers, florists, favours vendors, transporters, etc... Many mothers of the bride find that it is best to hire wedding planners to help keep things organized and on schedule.
Mothers of the bride are majorly responsible for all floral arrangements required for the events. She also chooses and pays for bouquets and corsages of the bridesmaids and flower girls. The groom's family pays for the bride's bouquet and boutonnieres for the ring-bearer and the groomsmen.
Plan pre-wedding events
Asides helping to plan the bridal shower or bachelorette party, planning other pre-wedding events like engagement parties, couples’ parties, and rehearsal dinners are duties of a mother of the bride. If there is going to be a post-wedding party, she must arrange for, and hold this too. This event can be a casual affair held at her home, a restaurant, or in a garden.
Mothers of the Bride Duties on the Wedding Day
The mother of the bride’s duty doesn’t stop at planning and implementing a fabulous wedding. On the wedding day, she must have her eyes on everything to ensure every plan works well and on time. The first task starts as early as she wakes up and extends throughout the day until nightfall. Some of her responsibilities on the wedding day are:
- Dressing the bride
- Walk down the aisle
- Receiving guests
- Hostess duties
- Introductory speech
Dressing the bride
It is time to put on her bridal gown, but she can't do it alone. Buttons have to be buttoned and zippers need to be zipped. The bride’s mother should be around to help and because she was most probably there when the gown was chosen, and attended at least one dress fitting, she will be familiar with the intricacies of wearing the wedding dress and its accessories.
Walking the bride down the aisle
This major responsibility only applies if the bride's father is deceased, not a part of her life (if raised by a single mother), or if her father is ill or challenged and cannot be at the wedding. Otherwise, this responsibility is traditionally set aside for the bride's father, brother, or a paternal male relation. Many mothers walk their daughters down the aisle along with her father. While she walks on the right side of the bride, the father walks on the left.
On the wedding day, the father and mother of the bride must leave the nuptials a little bit early (at least 30mins earlier) whether they are held in a church, mosque, synagogue, temple, or the registry. As the host and hostess of the occasion, both of them must be in the receiving line to welcome all invitees as they all walk into the reception venue.
The bride's mom must act the perfect hostess by making sure guests are comfortably seated in their designated places, well-fed and attended to, and must ensure they all have a wonderful time. Her role also includes making sure that all service providers, including the wedding planner, are doing what they have been employed to do.
The mother of the bride doesn't usually give an introductory speech but on occasions where the bride’s father is absent, the honour is given to the mother. Many of today’s mothers will rather pay for this duty to be performed by a master-of-ceremony.
The mother of the bride must make sure the bride goes around to greet all her guests. Many guests like to take photos or selfies with the bride at this time, so, she has to make sure this is done as smoothly as is possible.
Make This the Best Mother to a Soon-to-be-Wed Daughter Gift
The best gift to give the bride-to-be is your time, thoughtful plans, and a smooth-sailing and near-perfect organization. From the day she announced she is getting married to the special day, your daughter needs informed opinions, enormous support, and extra hands to help. How you handle events will be a confidence boost for your soon-to-be-wed daughter because she needs to stay calm and focus on the good things happening for her.
As the mother of the bride, the most important thing you can do for your daughter on her wedding day is to be there for her wholeheartedly, selflessly, and completely.
© 2010 viryabo
viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on October 07, 2010:
Hello saira, i'm glad you find this hub informative.
Thank you for visiting and for your comments.
saira khan from pakistan on October 07, 2010:
very useful infirmation. thanks for share.
viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on January 19, 2010:
Thanks again F4L. When i first started almost a year ago, i didn't have a clue as to how to do anything. You will learn fast along the way, just as i did.
Yes i am a christian (but not fanatical!LOL), but you wont find me in the christian forums. It's so volatile in there. LOOOOL!
Fashion4Live on January 18, 2010:
aww! thank you so much for the exceptionally helpful advise! im glad as well that i have met someone who shares the same interests as me! i know that im not very experienced in this type of 'blogging' stuff, but from my perspective, i think that what you right is awe-inspiring and stunning! thx so much once again! btw, r u a christian ? i kinda maybe picked that up from the 'GodBless' ...? if you are then i think that's great cause i am too! type 2 ya later!
viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on January 18, 2010:
Hello Fashion4live, Thanks for your visit and your comments. its so wonderful when i meet people who share the same interests as i do.
I'm off to check your profile out and will give you feedback. I can't profess to be full of great ideas, but i've learnt quite a lot along the line from great hubbers here at HP especially at the forums where there's a wealth of info, and i'm very willing to share with you as well. Welcome to HP, a great community of writers. You will so enjoy it here, i promise.
Fashion4Live on January 18, 2010:
hey there Viryabo ! I am new on here (not sure exactly what I'm doing lol) and i read something on ur profile...not exactly sure what it was but it said something like your into designing and u love dogs. and guess what?!?!? I just love to design fashions and interior things and....I LOVE DOGS! i have loved dogs ever since i was 3 ! i was wondering if u could check out my profile and see if im doing things right...? thx !
viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on January 04, 2010:
Thanks so much G. Happy new year. I'm sure you had a great christmas. Thanks for your visit.
So glad to hear that the blog is still on. That's Great. Wish you the best G.
GPAGE from California on January 03, 2010:
viryabo.....VERY NICE HUB! Funny, when I lived in the UK and my kids called me "mum" for a while.......ANYWAY, nice hubs with details to encourage moms/mums!!!!!! Happy New Year to you too! Still working on that "blog." Will keep you posted........G
viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on January 02, 2010:
Keira, hi! Missed you. how's it been going with you? hope you had a wonderful Xmas celebration. Thank you so much for your visit and nice views.
Happy new year! I wish you all the very best in this new year - 2010.
Take care and GodBless.
Keira 7 on January 02, 2010:
Hello my dear Viryabo, Happy New Year to you, may 2010 be perfect for you. Plenty of Happiness, and specially a very good health. I did miss you, and your hubs. This one is brilliant as always and thanks for the good info. Have a lovely weekend my good friend. Bless you.:)
PS : I like the video too. :D