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mother of bride responsibilities include dress shopping

Mother of The Bride Etiquette: What Does the Mother of the Bride Do?

After learning about your daughter’s engagement, you might be feeling a whirlwind of emotions that may remind you of your own experiences of being a bride. Being the mother of the bride proves to be a rewarding experience, allowing you to express your love and support to your daughter in a completely different way than before.

As the wedding planning process begins, you might not know where to start with your mother of bride responsibilities. Just know that plenty of parents have felt this same confusion during this most important time of their child’s lives.

What does the mother of the bride do for the wedding? What is the proper mother of the bride etiquette when it comes to planning? Find everything you need to know about your role as the bride’s mother!

If this is the first time that any of you children have planned to get married, you might be wondering what does the mother of the bride do to ensure that the wedding planning process goes as smoothly as possible.

mother of the bride etiquette what does the mother of the bride do

While many of the mother of the bride duties have remained the same throughout the years, others have changed as brides and grooms have gained more of a say in how they want to plan their special day. Learn all about mother of the bride etiquette in modern-day wedding planning with our list at YeahWeddings!

 Communicate with the In-Laws

After learning about your daughter’s engagement, mother of the bride etiquette dictates that you should communicate with the parents of her fiancee. These conversations can be as formal or as laid-back as you see fit. 

Make them feel welcome in your family with thoughtful gestures. Double check that the fiancee’s parents feel as if they have enough deciding power in the wedding planning process. 

Discuss the Wedding Budget

counting money budget

Setting clear expectations about the couple’s spending allowance is one of the most important mother of the bride duties because it determines what decisions are eventually made throughout the wedding planning process. 

Use this time to acknowledge who is contributing to the wedding budget and how much money will be allotted to different parts of the romantic celebration. 

Research Wedding Venues

If you live closer to your daughter’s potential wedding venues, she may ask you to help out with finding information about these different places. Don’t shy away from looking for recommendations from married friends and family members. 

wedding venue

Be prepared to call for quotes, attend tours, take photographs, and review contacts as part of your mother of bride responsibilities. 

Contact Vendors

After your daughter has contacted some vendors to hire their services during her special day, give her permission to include your contact information as mother of the bride. 

If the vendors can’t reach your daughter, be aware of what she wants for her romantic celebration and convey those answers to their questions. 

Shop For Bride’s Wedding Attire

Going shopping for gowns and bridal accessories with your daughter is one of the most memorable parts of the wedding planning process. As the mother of the bride, expect to shed a lot of happy tears in these moments! 

the mother of the bride dress shopping

Take this time to provide your best advice, especially if your daughter is stuck between different choices or feels overwhelmed by the selection at the bridal shop. 

Provide Family Heirlooms

If your daughter has expressed interest in using family heirlooms to create a memorable look during her wedding ceremony, you’ll most likely be the first person that she contacts about accessing them. 

Mother of bride etiquette dictates that a ring or any other kind of bridal accessory should be passed down as a sentimental gift that your daughter will give to her own child one day. 

Edit The Guest List

editing the guest list

If the bride and her fiancee are planning to have a larger ceremony for their romantic celebration, mother of bride responsibilities involve giving them a gentle reminder if they’ve forgotten to include a person or two on their guest list.  

For couples who prefer an intimate ceremony and reception, the mother of the bride should provide her guidance about how to limit the amount of people who are invited to their special day. 

Finalize Invitation Wording

The bride may need an extra set of eyes to proofread her invitation wording and make sure that it accurately reflects the expected level of formality during her romantic celebration. 

finalize invitation wording

Your mother of the bride duties becomes especially significant here to ensure that nobody gets offended. The bride may be planning her special day to be adults only or inviting some guests only to the reception.

Add to the Wedding Registry

The bride is more than likely to forget a few notable items on her registry with everything that she needs to consider during the wedding planning process. Mother of the bride etiquette allows you to offer a few recommendations, especially ones that may have appeared on your own wedding registry. 

Agree With the Bride’s Decisions

You may get lost in trying to accomplish all of your motherly responsibilities, so don’t forget to be your daughter’s biggest cheerleader as she’s planning one of the most important days of her life. 

agree with the bride’s decisions

It’s definitely easy to go overboard when providing your suggestions, so take the chance to lay back and let the bride be the ultimate decider for her choices. She’ll always remember the encouragement that you gave to her as mother of the bride. 

Settle Problems Among Bridesmaids

The wedding planning process is full of stressful moments and the last thing that your daughter wants to endure is conflict among her bridal party. Consider dealing with some of the potential drama as part of your mother of the bride duties so she can take a breath of fresh air. 

Give Input to the Ceremony Schedule

Some couples are interested in incorporating cultural and religious traditions into their special day, If this is the case for your daughter and her partner, mother of the bride etiquette mandates that you should look over the schedule to make sure that enough time has been reserved for these practices.

Attend The Bridal Shower

bridal shower props

Although the bridal shower is not usually hosted by the mother of the bride, you will still be expected to attend.

Your daughter’s friends may ask for your assistance with organizing this special event, so don’t think twice about helping out with decorating or making foods. 

Coordinate Your Wedding Attire and Makeup 

Create enough time in your schedule to find a timeless look for your wedding attire that’ll photograph beautifully during your daughter’s romantic celebration without upstaging her own appearance. 


Mother of the bride etiquette requires communicating with the parents of your daughter’s fiancee so your outfits don’t cause any potential awkwardness on her special day. Make sure that your ensemble isn’t exactly the same as the attire chosen by the mother of your daughter’s partner. 

Both of your outfits shouldn’t feel out of place from the wedding’s theme and level of formality. Your clothes should compliment each other, not compete. 

Attend the Rehearsal Dinner

The rehearsal dinner is typically organized by the spouse’s family so you don’t need to worry about planning this event as your mother of bride responsibilities. You are still required to participate as a way of showing your love and support to the couple. 

Help the Bride Get Dressed

help the bride get dressed

Depending on the intricacies of her wedding attire, the bride may ask for your assistance when putting on her gown and bridal accessories. 

This bonding moment proves time and time again to one of the most momentous mother of the bride duties. Your daughter will appreciate your help so she can feel exceptionally gorgeous and confident on her special day. 

Accompany Her Down the Aisle

Although this moment is usually reserved for the bride’s father in Christian and secular ceremonies, Jewish weddings typically involve both of their parents walking their daughter down the aisle.

If the bride and her future spouse have already expressed that they are interested in updating wedding procession traditions, expect to be included as the mother of the bride. 

Provide Emotional Support to the Bride

provide emotional support to the bride

Organizing a wedding is one of the easiest ways for a person to spread himself or herself too thin, so don’t hesitate to give your daughter a shoulder to cry on. Take a break from your mother of bride duties to remind her that she’s loved and supported throughout these stressful times. 

This list of mother of bride responsibilities may seem impossible and overwhelming from the first glance, but don’t forget that your daughter and her partner have deliberately planned their wedding date so you have more than enough time to accomplish these tasks. 

mother of the bride and her daughter

The bride might not even need your help with all of these obligations if other people in the wedding party have already taken the lead. Try your best not to worry about the small details and make sure to have some fun throughout the wedding planning process!

If your mom or future mother-in-law has helped with your wedding planning efforts, don’t forget to thank her with a gift!

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Lauren Peterson

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