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Mother of the Bride

  • 28-04-2021 10:50pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭


    Hello all, long time member of Boards but Im not comfortable posting this under my own username.

    My daughter is due to get married this Summer and Ive a serious lack of knowledge of wedding etiquette. The only wedding Ive been to was my own and that was over 35 years ago. My daughter and her to be are paying for their own wedding and were all happy families.

    I am lost as to what I should be doing, especially the day of the wedding. I dont know what I should do the morning of the wedding, should I invite the grooms family for breakfast? Should there be a rehearsal dinner? I dont know what questions to ask here as I dont know whats expected of a Mother of the Bride and I dont want my daughter to be embarrassed by my lack of experience. Its a church wedding if that makes any difference.

    My other embarrassment is, Ive no idea what is a fitting wedding gift, should it be money and what value a wedding gift should be. Im sorry for my naivety and if this all sounds silly but Im very unsure and would appreciate advice.

    Im sorry if this all sounds trivial but it is causing me anxiety and Id like to make them proud and do the right things.


Comments

  • Administrators Posts: 13,437 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips


    The mother of the bride really has nothing to do, except tell the bride she looks beautiful and you're proud of her!

    There is absolute no need for rehearsal dinners or inviting his family the morning of the wedding!! Your daughter wouldn't appreciate that when you're all trying to get ready, have hair and makeup done etc

    Ask your daughter if she wants help with anything. And do that.

    As regards a gift, a cash donation might be appreciated, whatever you can afford. Or something nice and personal from yourself to the couple.

    Just to let you know, my parents gave me €5000, my husband's parents gave us €200... It doesn't matter. Your daughter doesn't expect anything from you. Talk to her. Ask her does she need your help with anything. Couples these days tend to do all the organising themselves, you just need to turn up. Looking fabulous ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,098 ✭✭✭wildwillow


    Ask your daughter if she needs you to do anything. You have obviously done a great job with her upbringing if they are being responsible for their own finances and you are happy families. Weddings so often bring out the worst.

    Most brides would be delighted with you, as the mother is so often intent on running the show in her way.

    Arrive at the church in plenty time, greet everyone with a smile and just enjoy the day.

    The photographer will arrange the groups for photos.

    Have a little stash of tissues in your bag!!! Happy tears need to be wiped away too.

    At the reception, be friendly to everyone and try to have a word with most of the guests during the day.

    Complement the married couple on a great day.

    As for a gift, work out what you can afford and ask her what she would like. But you know her best and maybe there is something very personal that you know they would like.

    There is no formula. Enjoy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,321 ✭✭✭Loveinapril


    I really thought this post was going to be so different! OP, you sound so lovely and caring. Just ask your daughter if she needs or wants anything from you before or on the day. To be honest, I think you sound great! Some mothers lose the run of themselves getting involved so you are doing the best thing already by not annoying them! Check with her before you do anything, just to make sure you check with her before doing anything too drastic. My mother invited all my siblings to the house the morning of the wedding, which annoyed me! In fairness, it was her house but I have loads of siblings and they have partners. But she also decorated my bedroom with balloons and banners and got me new pj's which was adorable. On the day of my wedding, my parents got me a bracelet with myself and my husband's names and date engraved on it, which was lovely. A necklace would not have gone with my dress and my mother knew this. I had another bracelet for the day but wore this one too. Some brides can be very fussy about what they wear on the day so suss this out first. My mam brought me for afternoon tea a few weeks before my wedding which was lovely too.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,651 ✭✭✭✭beauf


    I would follow the wishes of the couple.

    Not everyone wants to follow the traditional wedding exactly. They might just want you to enjoy the day. Just ask them. Same with gifts.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,213 ✭✭✭jellybear


    All you need to do is enjoy the day!!:)

    Regarding a gift, my parents very kindly bought my wedding dress, which meant so much to me. Depending on your budget, you could offer to pay for something such as her shoes, veil or jewelry etc.

    The idea of Afternoon tea is also lovely!! You could perhaps organise it in the venue she's getting married in, if they do it there, or maybe a hotel that has some significance to you both.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,029 ✭✭✭✭iamwhoiam


    You sound like a lovely mum . We had quite a few in the house that morning . My family , bridesmaid , hair dresser and make up lady
    I asked my daughter about breakfast for them all and she didn’t want a fry in case the smell of rashers got in her dress !

    So i laid out a buffet of croissants , rolls , cheese and ham , fruit salad and yogurts
    Every helped themselves as they had time and as they were hungry
    It worked really well for us and might be an idea for you
    I also organised shower times for everyone as we only have one bathroom and made a list of times . I left out towels etc for everyone .


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,032 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken


    You sound like a wonderful parent.
    Ask your daughter if they’ve a particular gift in mind. If not then cash is never wasted:)

    Turn up looking fabulous and have a wonderful day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,930 ✭✭✭spaceHopper


    Sit down with your daughter and ask here is there anything she needs or wants how can you help her, tell her to think about it and to come back to you at any time. My wifes mother bought her the dress if that makes a difference.

    The groom and his family won't be involved the morning of the wedding. Depending on how well you know his family you could invite them over a few weeks before to wish them well.

    Is your daughter getting ready in your house or having friends over the day before. Give her the space to do but also do her a favour of kicking most of them out by 10:30 so she can get some sleep. I was so tired the morning of the wedding.

    You could also get the garden into good shape for photo. You could have food and drinks for the morning of. Champagne and some Prosecco, but don't let them get hammered. Buy some new dressing gowns for them. Extra soft towels.


  • Administrators Posts: 13,437 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips


    Buy some new dressing gowns for them. Extra soft towels.

    Be careful of doing this without double checking it with your daughter. These days the bride and bridesmaids tend to do all that stuff! So if you were to go off and buy these as a nice surprise, you might find there's 2 of everything, for everyone!!

    Simplest thing is to ask your daughter.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,080 ✭✭✭MissShihTzu


    Waterproof make-up is a must! :D

    My MiL and my Mum didn't need to do much. All they did was to bring up the gifts to the altar and look good! Although My MiL did ask what colour my Mum would be wearing as she didn't want to clash. My Mum wore pink, the MiL a brown and white suit. Both looked fabulous.

    We didn't ask for anything, but my in-laws gave money. My parents gave vouchers and had the cakes made (Barbadian rum cake with so much alcohol, anyone eating them would've been done for drink driving :D). Most couples have their own place these days, so money/vouchers are always appreciated. Ask your daughter and her intended what they would like.

    Then - Plan your outfit, book treatments if you want, and enjoy the day, which I am sure will be memorable...

    Good luck! :)


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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 10,427 Mod ✭✭✭✭xzanti


    Just let your daughter know that you're ready and willing to help in any way you can.

    I think it's very kind of you to worry about inviting people to the house the morning of the wedding but in reality, the less people mulling around the place the better when the Bridal party are getting ready.

    Your daughter will probably have the morning planned to the minute and will be a ball of nerves. Best to just keep things simple in my experience.

    Hope it's a great day for you all.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭JustAThought


    Personally I wouldn’t give money as it will be easily frittered away or lost in the glug of wedding cash. A piece of jewellery to your daughter will be lovely and last forever - not necessarily to wear on her wedding day as she probably has that long chosen, but something she can hand down and say my mother gave that to me on my wedding day. Old fashioned but easily bought a locket with a picture of you both in it and one of her new husband or them together - could be a lovely keepsake & plenty of good quality gold or silver ones can be ordered via Irish online jewellers or the likes of Argos who do v good quality ones surprisingly.

    Breakfasts and rehearsal dinners are American traditions and just make the real event harder for conversation & small talk as it is all already used up the night before/ that morning.

    I’d think of the girls dresses and stresses and maybe have some fruit or a cheese board around - crackers and different kinds of cheese for nibbles and to keep them going with something that won’t stain white dresses or silk like white grapes.

    At this stage many shops, and restaurants might be struggling or just no reopen or reopen long after the lockdown - for this reason I’d say away from afternoon teas and vouchers.

    I’d +1 for waterproof mascara - and buy and test it in advance! Many the mother of the bride photos are ruined because of red eyes and scrubbed off streaky makeup!! Your job is to be proud of your daughter and supportive of the love of her life and the choices she has made and to be happy, diplomatic and pleasant to everyone the whole day in honour of her/ their big event!! !


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 10,427 Mod ✭✭✭✭xzanti


    Also, when I was getting married I found great tips and ideas from looking at other people's weddings.

    You'll find a great list of photographers in the Wedding forum on Boards.

    I spent a lot of time looking through and seeing how other Bride's big days faired out and the rhythm of how their day went. A lot of couples are happy for their photographers to blog their big day.

    You'll get a good idea of how "modern" weddings generally "flow". :)

    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=670

    https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2056115264


  • Administrators Posts: 13,437 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips


    Op, if you wanted you could pay for a certain item for her.
    Like the photographer, or the flowers, or the hair and make up? Something like that, and something that would be within your budget. (Do not put yourself in debt in any way shape or form for you daughter's wedding. She would not want that)

    A girl I know draws handmade personalised cards. They are so beautiful and so simple. I have gotten some from her for various people and they are always amazed at the personal detail included in them. She will personalise them to suit the couple. She will include a personalised message. They really are worth a look.
    https://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/HandmadebyJenMx. Something like that costs a few euro and will be so appreciated.

    You honestly sound like a lovely mother, and I'm sure your daughter doesn't expect anything from you. Keep it simple, and enjoy the time.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Politics Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 12,108 CMod ✭✭✭✭Dizzyblonde


    I've been mother of the bride once before and will be again later this year - it's such a happy day and I can understand you wanting to have everything straightened out so you'll know what to do. Mostly you just have to show up and enjoy your daughter's day.

    I wouldn't be inviting anyone for breakfast on the day - your house will be bedlam, especially if your daughter is getting married from home. If there are going to be a few of you in the house it's a good idea to order what you want for breakfast from a local supermarket, maybe a mix of hot food and pastries. It saves a lot of bother and arguing in the kitchen on the day ;)

    If you're going to be helping your daughter into her dress, either at the venue or at home, make sure you plan to have enough time to get into your own outfit without rushing too. The morning flies by and it's lovely to have those few minutes together.

    For the ceremony, it's nice to have someone to walk in with you rather than going alone. We're a small family, and my other daughter was bridesmaid so her OH walked in with me.

    With regard to a present, unless you've discussed something in particular with your daughter money is probably best although it's nice to chip in with something too, as others have said. If you're giving money, in my opinion it should be an amount that you can afford, and that's different for everyone. I've heard of parents taking a loan for wedding presents for their children and I wouldn't recommend it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    Your post is so lovely, thoughtful and consideration.

    Many brides would be delighted to have a mother with your approach....all you want is for her to be happy. No interfering or anything. I love it.

    Maybe have a chat with your daughter. Remind her that you haven't been to a wedding in years and ask her if there is anything she would like or need you to do. That way you are both happy.

    Regarding a gift, a lot of parents do chip in with cash as it is an expensive time but no daughter would ever want anything more than you can afford.

    Enjoy the day. Give your nature & the relationship you seem to have with your daughter, I'm sure it will be fantastic day & as someone else already said. Have a few tissues in the handbag just in case.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭JustAThought


    Everybody here with the hand out to
    give away the mothers money - sign of
    the times. Another forum where over & over posters say it is tacky & impersonal. The
    mother has said that her daughter and to be son-in-law have organised and paid for everything - maybe the daughter did this as she didn’t want to put her mother under a compliment to pay for wedding services & utilities or want her to be handing over envelopes of tacky cash. Not everyones mother worked like we do - not spends money like we do - not has the ability to earn and save a nestegg again. Borrowed bread is soon forgotten.

    I’d be mortified if my mother handed me a thousand euro or e500 for a wedding - let alone the eyewatering assumed costs people assume
    to impose on her from this thread. She has earned her day from years of love and hard work and sacrifice - nobody is expecting her to
    do anything as coercive and tacky as hand over cash or pay for random overpriced bits and pieeces. Her job is to be proud of her daughter and have a wonderful diplomatic afternoon enjoying celebrating her daughters new life and love. Not a hand out ATM machine for services and overheads.


  • Administrators Posts: 13,437 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips


    OP, I really hope you don't feel as the previous poster has said that posters are advising you wrong by way of gift to your daughter. You are obviously going to give her SOME sort of gift, and you have been given lots of ideas. The one thing people have repeated is to not go beyond what you can afford. As I said, my parents gave us a substantial contribution, that pretty much paid for the hotel. My in-laws gave us €200. It was what they could afford and we never expected anything from them, or anyone.

    Your daughter does not expect anything from you. At all. If she expected something substantial you would already know about it by now!! I hope you have a lovely day at your daughter's wedding. As the mother of the bride you really don't have to do a whole lot except enjoy the day with your family and friends. Do not, under any circumstances put yourself in financial difficulty or under strain to provide something for your daughter. As a daughter, I can promise you, I would hate to feel my mother was upset or stressed over my wedding, and especially by what gift to give me. I'd just hope she'd be happy to be there to enjoy the day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭JustAThought


    OP, I really hope you don't feel as the previous poster has said that posters are advising you wrong by way of gift to your daughter. You are obviously going to give her SOME sort of gift, and you have been given lots of ideas. The one thing people have repeated is to not go beyond what you can afford. As I said, my parents gave us a substantial contribution, that pretty much paid for the hotel. My in-laws gave us €200. It was what they could afford and we never expected anything from them, or anyone.

    Your daughter does not expect anything from you. At all. If she expected something substantial you would already know about it by now!! I hope you have a lovely day at your daughter's wedding. As the mother of the bride you really don't have to do a whole lot except enjoy the day with your family and friends. Do not, under any circumstances put yourself in financial difficulty or under strain to provide something for your daughter. As a daughter, I can promise you, I would hate to feel my mother was upset or stressed over my wedding, and especially by what gift to give me. I'd just hope she'd be happy to be there to enjoy the day.

    That’s probably why the daughter said she was going to pay for the wedding and not discuss or involve her mother, this lovely lady, in any of the money or financials around it. Which the money hungry handout wanters in this thread have just ruined by repeatedly telling her to line up to give her a cash handout or pay for something that has already been budgeted for and paid for.
    All she had to do was turn up and enjoy the beautiful day but now it hs been put in her head by strangers that she has to become a walking ATM and all the daughters work and financial planning for her components is undone and undermined by greedy strangers feeling she has to hand her money .

    It really boils my blood - especially some of the innuendo and suggestions made. Most peoples mothers did not work in offices or earn 70k salaries and many are living on state pensions and savings with no way of getting lumpsums in the future or getting that senior management role and salary. The daughter has already ensured that all she has to do is enjoy the wedding and the day - and now this. Financial pressure and other peoples significant cash expectations. Its really annoying.


  • Administrators Posts: 13,437 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips


    JustAThought, you are gone on quite a rant there. You know nothing of this lady, or her circumstances. It is safe to assume, seeing as she asked, that she is going to give her daughter a gift. Most guests who show up to a wedding give gifts. These days, usually cash.


    People have offered suggestions, that the poster asked for on what she could do. Most, if not everyone, said to discuss it with he daughter and see if there's anything particular she would like. Again most, if not everyone, advised her to only give what she can afford.

    OP, I really did not get the impression that JustAThought seems to have gotten from the thread. I don't think anyone is money hungry or encouraging you to spend anything that you haven't got. My husbands grandmother gave us €20 in a card. She wanted to give us something, and that's what she could afford on her pension. It was one of the gifts on the day that I remember getting me in the heart! And even now thinking about it, and her (RIP) it gives me a lovely feeling.

    Talk to your daughter. Think of something personal from you to her, or from you to them both. She doesn't expect anything from you.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,032 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken


    What I've gotten from the posts is advice to enjoy the day and give what the Op can afford and/or something her daughter would like.

    The Op sounds like a wonderful parent with only her daughter's day mind:)


  • Registered Users Posts: 539 ✭✭✭Teach30


    You sound like a lovely mother to have and I could only wish mine was like you, keeping it all stress free and not about yourself. I’m very envious of your relationship. I’m getting married in a Few weeks and my mother has no interest in any of it. I know she will give money to us as thats all she knows, she wouldn’t have the first clue about jewellery or sentimental stuff. so to the poster Saying that money is not appropriate it is in some situations.

    I hope ye both have a lovely day and enjoy the lead up to it!


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