Gather any group of ministers or wedding planners, and you will soon hear stories of services wrecked by disgraceful behavior. Sadly, the culprit too often turns out to be the mother of the bride or the groom. So, if you are in the happy position of having a daughter or son who is soon to be married, make sure that you are not going to be the subject of another shocking or scornful anecdote.
The days are gone when the fathers paid and the mothers called the shots. Today the golden rule is that the wedding belongs to the bride and groom. You may have pictured this day in your imagination many times, and you will have plenty of good suggestions to make. But the final say rests with the couple. So:
- Don’t try to take over the preparations. Ask how you can help, and offer your advice when it is asked for. If you are paying, then you have a right to some input on the cost of things—otherwise, you are a consultant.
- Don’t do anything behind anyone’s back. It may be very tempting to arrange a delightful surprise but you don’t know whom it might offend.
- Don’t criticize. Especially, don’t criticize your child’s fiancé(e) or their family. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that someone else’s way of doing things is unbecoming—just keep it to yourself.
- Don’t compete. Most importantly, don’t compete with your respective opposite. Choices of outfit for the mother of the groom can be made so much easier if she can share plans with her son’s mother-in-law-to-be.
On the Day
Your job on the big day is to help everything go smoothly so that your son or daughter can concentrate on the vows that they are making and what it all means. The best mothers stay in the background. So:
- Don’t be late. It is acceptable for the bride to be a little late, but you need to be at the venue in good time. Out of courtesy, the gathering will probably wait for you, but without much amusement.
- Don’t interrupt the ceremony. If you have expectations that are not being met, the time to mention them was at the rehearsal.
- Don’t attempt to steal the show. However extrovert you may be by nature, this is the occasion for keeping a low profile.
- Don’t drink too much. After all the tension of wanting everything to be perfect for so long, it is very easy to let go and over-indulge at the reception.
Your son or daughter’s wedding should be one of the happiest of your life. In years to come, you should be able to look back on it with contentment. It symbolizes the celebration of a task well done in bringing up a responsible and loving adult. Don’t spoil it by behaving like a child.
Abby Clements has worked in the wedding industry for several years and writes about all aspects of planning, and enjoying, a perfect wedding.