Mother of the Bride Etiquette FAQ

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When your daughter gets engaged, a number of questions run through your head. Especially if this is your first child to be married, you might not know exactly what you do during wedding planning, what pre-wedding parties you should attend, or what to wear on the wedding day. This article should shed a little light on some of your questions about your role in your child’s wedding.

What Wedding Costs Am I Responsible for Paying?

The most commonly asked question for most parents is: who pays for what? Tradition dictates that the costs for the wedding and reception fall on the bride’s family, but many couples share the cost between families. In other words, anything goes. So you need to talk about it and find out how you’d like to divvy things up.

What Is My Role in Wedding Planning?

Mother of an LDS bride etiquette
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If you are the mother of the bride, you’ll be helping your daughter choose her wedding dress, draw up the guest list and seating charts, plus help with anything else she asks you to do. Last but not least, you’ll also need to empathize with her through-the-roof stress level while she’s trying to plan the perfect day.

Remember to stay positive, let your daughter make the final decision, and be constructive if you absolutely feel you must criticize. You’ll also need to reserve blocks of hotel rooms for out-of-town relatives, meet the mother of the groom if you haven’t already, and buy your dress.

Do I Plan the Bridal Shower? Do I Attend it?

No planning is required from you – just show up and enjoy. The bridal shower is thrown by the maid of honor or another friend of the bride, and both the mother of the bride and mother of the groom are invited. We know you’re already taking a hit to the pocketbook planning the wedding, but it’s still appropriate to buy the bride a gift for the shower.

Do I Go to the Bachelorette Party?

A bachelorette party is the bride’s “last chance” to just have fun with her friends as a single girl, so it’s more typical for her to celebrate it with her peers only. Inviting mothers is more of an exception to the rule, so don’t be offended if you aren’t invited.

Do LDS Temple Weddings Involve a Rehearsal Dinner?

If the ceremony takes place inside the temple, there will be no rehearsal, but many families choose to go out to dinner together to celebrate the night before the wedding as a nice gesture, anyway. FYI: The groom’s family typically pays for the dinner.

What Is My Role at the Reception?

mother of the LDS bride, Amelia Lyon Photography,
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At the reception, the mothers of the bride and groom are the hostesses. You should make it a point to greet each guest, chatting with the ones you know and introducing yourself to the ones you don’t. Traditionally, you will sit at the designated parents’ table at the reception. Mothers typically aren’t asked to make a toast or speech, but your children may decide that they want you to.

What Do I Wear for an LDS Wedding?

The mother of the bride at a Mormon wedding should choose tasteful dresses appropriate for a formal event. The old policy of temple sealing guests wearing their temple clothes has changed. Now when you attend a temple sealing, you simply wear your Sunday best dress clothes inside.

There are lots of questions for the mother of the bride, especially now that tradition is more of a guideline than a hard-and-fast rule. This article provides a start, but open communication with your daughter and your future son-in-law is the key in knowing exactly where you fit into their wedding plans.

♥ Jenny Evans
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