With Mother's Day just around the corner, all of the duties, privileges and sacrifices of maternal duty are in the spotlight. And one of the greatest moments, should you get to experience it, is being a mother of the bride. Watching your child get married is a hugely special experience - not least because it brings with it the promise of much-wanted grandkids! How do you best support and guide without accidentally overdoing it and being an annoyance?
- Respect Their Taste
Usually, you will have been a bride yourself at one point, but it's very important to understand that your own tastes, desires and vision for the day may not be the same as your daughters. She may ask you to help with the planning and in this situation it can be easy to get carried away in the excitement and overstep boundaries by imposing your taste and opinions. Make sure that while you offer suggestions and experience, they are based on what she and her partner love. If they want to hire gospel choirs in London or release doves into the air or follow a theme, it's their special day.
2. Address The Money Issue
With modern weddings, the finances can be confusing. Of course many couples choose to save and budget for their big day themselves, but some may be expecting a financial contribution from parents. Either way, talking about the money can be awkward - so don't make your daughter ask. Be the one to bring it up first. Spell out what you want to contribute, be specific about the amount and whether you consider it a loan or a gift, and also let them know when the money will be available, as a wedding involves a fair amount of upfront expense.
3. Get To Know Her Partner's Family
Although marriage is firstly about the couple making the commitment, it's also about two families coming together. No one is saying you have to be best friends (although that would be a nice state of affairs), but you will be connected through your children and even more so if grandchildren arrive on the scene. Reach out to the family of your daughter's partner and invite them out to lunch, somewhere neutral. It's a friendly gesture that your daughter is bound to appreciate and will be useful for your own peace of mind as you can then understand what her in-laws are like.
4. Don't Panic!
It's a rare wedding that doesn't have a few hiccups on the journey to the altar, so be prepared to offer a voice of reason, a calm oasis or a shoulder to cry on as your daughter needs. Organising such a big event, which may well be the first time the happy couple have done anything on such a scale, is stressful. It's quite natural for her to have wobbles over organising the seating plan, choosing a wedding dress or agreeing with her fiance on aspects of the day. Don't pass any judgements, just be a listening ear for her. It will all be worth it on the day!
This is a Collaborative Post.