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Mother Of The Bride Duties Explained


When your daughter is getting married, you’re going to feel all sorts of emotions.  It’s a busy time and you’ll be full of love and pride for her. But do you know what your mother of the bride duties are?  

What should you be helping with when it comes to the wedding planning?   Let’s look at some of the traditional roles for mother of the bride to make sure you’re able to give your daughter the help she needs. Mother of the Bride Duties Explained



 I’m always banging on about budgets but I can’t stress enough how important it is for couples to set a wedding budget before they do anything else. 

Traditionally, as the daughters parents, you would have been expected to pay for the majority of the wedding. Times have changed a lot though with many couples funding the whole wedding themselves. 

However, if you are in a position to help with the budget, you should tell your daughter upfront how much you can contribute. Your contribution can make a huge difference to the choices they make when booking their venue and suppliers. 

During the planning, you might need to help your daughter to manage the budget but never interfere and tell her what she should and shouldn’t be spending. 


Guest List

 You may be called upon to review the guest list and make sure that important family members are included.  But please don’t insist that all your friends are included on the guest list. 

If you are paying for the wedding, then it’s reasonable to include some of your friends but remember this isn’t your day. There’s usually a compromise needed – maybe you can invite more of your friends to the evening reception. 



Traditionally invitations were from the bride’s parents – this ties in with who is paying for the wedding.  So if you are funding the wedding, then you should expect for the invitations to be from you. 

However, if this isn’t the case, then the invitation will be from your daughter and her fiancé.  Offer your help in choosing the invitations and in checking all the details and spelling before they are printed. 

Bride with her dog & mum

Dress Shopping

This is usually a very special day for you and your daughter.  Make sure that you have appointments booked at boutiques – you can’t usually just walk in and be seen. 

Book out plenty of time for shopping, you don’t want to feel rushed.  And make sure your daughter starts looking for her dress with enough time for it to be ordered in.  Typically I would advise you start the search with 9 -12 months to go.  Many designers take 6 – 9 months to dispatch a dress after ordering and then you need to allow time for any alterations. 

When you do go shopping, be honest with your daughter but don’t be cruel.  Your daughter values your opinion on how she looks in the dress but don’t try to force your preference onto her. 

Remember it’s her day and she has to be confident and comfortable in her dress.   


Your Outfit

Usually this is another great excuse for a mother and daughter day out.  Ask your daughter if there are any colours she doesn’t want you to wear and respect this. 

Remember you’ll have a lot of eyes on you as mother of the bride so make sure you choose something appropriate for the occasion. Your daughter isn’t going to thank you if you rock up in your jeans or in something too showy. 

Once you have chosen your dress, it’s a good idea to liaise with the groom’s mum to make sure you don’t clash or even worse, turn up in the same outfit! 

Bride's mum

Getting Ready

Typically the girls in the wedding party will all get ready together.  So you, the groom’s mum, the bridesmaids and flower girls will be there to help your daughter. 

Many people book hair and make up artists for the bridal party.  And then you and the bridesmaids will help your daughter into her dress and make sure everything is just right. 

It’s a good idea for you to have a bit of an emergency kit with you containing things like a sewing kit, some painkillers, wet wipes, tissues etc. 


Your Place at the Ceremony

If the bride’s father isn’t able to walk her down the aisle for whatever reason, your daughter might ask you to do this instead. This is a lovely idea and a very special moment for you both. 

During the ceremony you will sit on the front row. One of the ushers should accompany you to your seat.  Traditionally, the brides family sit on the left (as you look towards the alter or registrar’s table from the back of the room)

Bride's mum in church

The Seating Plan

 Traditionally the brides mum sits at the top table, between the groom and the groom’s dad. 

However, many couples now opt for a sweetheart table where it’s just the two of them.  This works well for families who have divorced parents as parents can be seated with other members of their families. 

There aren’t any hard and fast rules now for seating plans but you can get my tips for this here. 



Most couples still have a first dance at the start of the evening reception.  Once they invite people to join them on the dance floor you should be one of the first people to join them, usually with the bride’s father but obviously this isn’t always possible. 

In this case, you might dance with your new husband, your son or a friend but you should lead the way and encourage guests to join you. 

bride's mum holding bouquets

General Support

Throughout the planning of the wedding, you should be providing support and advice to your daughter when she needs it.  But be careful not to try to force your opinions onto her. 

Planning a wedding together can be a fantastic experience for mother and daughter and can really cement your relationship. 

Enjoy every minute of it and be proud of your daughter as she embarks on the next stage of her life. 

If you need more help with planning the wedding or managing the day so you can all relax, then why not have a look at my planning services. They can all be tailored to meet your needs.  Or you can contact me to chat more about how I can help you.  



Louise Wearmouth, Founder of Your Fabulous Wedding