While the bride and groom are obviously the stars of their wedding day, the third most visible role belongs to the father of the bride: he often escorts the bride down the aisle, gives a speech at the reception, and shares a dance with his daughter while everyone looks on. The irony? In the lead-up to the wedding, it’s often the mother of the bride who has helped with planning, ironed out the details, and served behind the scenes!
So how can you ensure your mom feels honored on your wedding day? I posed this question to our Ask a Real Bride Instagram followers. Read on for their ideas (and a few of my own) that could work for any mom, whether she likes the spotlight or not!
Help Her Look and Feel Great
In the months leading up to the wedding, help your mom find a dress she loves and feels beautiful wearing. If you’re hiring a hair and make-up team for the morning of, include your mom in the schedule and make sure she feels pampered!
“My mom got ready with us. She loved seeing the process and being around my bridesmaids!”
Do you have to pay for your mom’s services? It’s not a requirement. But offering to cover the costs or the tip is a nice touch!
Let Her Help You Into Your Dress
“Only my mom is helping with getting me in my dress, shoes, and any final touches.”
I love this idea because it will provide a moment of calm in the rush of getting ready. Sharing this special moment with just your mom will also make the “reveal” to your bridesmaids super special!
Give Her a Gift
Symbolize your love and appreciation for her in the form of a gift accompanied by a handwritten, heartfelt note. Carve out some private time before the ceremony to give your mom this gift!
A few mother-of-the-bride gift ideas:
“I had a handkerchief made with lyrics from a song my mom used to sing to me.”
“I gave my mom a bracelet to wear on the wedding day that matched mine.”
“We had frames engraved for our moms and included a note promising to fill them with a picture from the wedding.”
Arrange a Photo Op
“My mom asked me to add her and me only to the photographer shot list. They forget this photo a lot!”
Whether photographers often forget this one or if moms are just camera shy, I can’t tell you how many brides (myself included) say they don’t have a great picture with their mom! If your photographer asks for a shot list, include your mom! Be sure to get pictures of her helping you into your dress and opening your gift and letter. You’ll also want a few posed pictures too!
Ask Her to Walk You Down the Aisle…
Whether she accompanies your dad or walks you down alone, this is one tradition you might want to break!
…OR Ask Her to Stand First
Though many officiants now ask guests to stand for the entrance of the bride, did you know that traditionally, this kind of announcement wasn’t necessary? That’s because the mother of the bride would be the first to rise when her daughter enters the ceremony, signaling that everyone else should also stand.
You could mention this tradition to your officiant and let your mom know you’d like her to do this. Practice it at your rehearsal. She’ll feel honored!
Include Her in the Ceremony
Your mom could do a reading at your ceremony or perform any of the roles listed here:
“We are doing a mother’s rose ceremony where we each give a rose to our moms to unite our families.”
“Our moms are serving as our witnesses. During the ceremony, they’ll come up and sign our marriage certificate.”
“The mothers are going to bring the wedding rings up to the officiant!”
Announce Her at the Reception
Even if you’re skipping bridal party introductions, have your master of ceremonies announce your parents’ entrance at the reception. She deserves to be welcomed with applause!
Dedicate a Dance
While it’s usually the mother of the groom who takes a spin in the spotlight, feel free to mix things up and invite your mom to join you for a song, or dedicate one to her!
“We did a mother-daughter dance to ABBA’s ‘Slipping Through My Fingers.’ It’s one of my favorite wedding memories!”
“We had the DJ play a song special to us as a dedication to my mom and sister during dancing.”
“We dedicated a song to each of our moms and we danced with them. It wasn’t formal–everyone else was dancing too.”
Mention Her in Your Speech…
The couples’ speech is becoming increasingly popular. If you or your groom take to the mic, mention your mom and thank her for the special role she’s played in your life!
“I’m doing a little shoutout to both parents, thanking them for everything they’ve done leading up to the wedding.”
“I’m announcing my gratitude for her while giving her my bouquet instead of doing a bouquet toss.”
…or ask if she’d like to say a few words!
“My parents are giving a speech together!”
Say a Special Goodbye
Before you make your exit, make your way over to your mom for a final hug.
After the Wedding
Consider enlarging and framing a photo as a wedding keepsake, or make a photo book with a personal message printed inside. She’ll treasure it forever!
Let me know what topic you’d like us to tackle next! And if you’re interested in learning more about etiquette, gift-giving, and celebrating in style, be sure to subscribe to the RegistryFinder GiveIt blog for weekly posts on wedding etiquette, bridal showers, wedding trends, and of course, wedding registry guidelines and tips!