Top 5 Wedding Planning Tips for Moms
1. Stay in Your Lane
Whether you are an expert wedding planner or disorganized, it’s important to “stay in your lane”. This doesn’t mean you can’t give your opinion, it simply means to pick the timing well. My experience in this area is to be there for when I’m asked for my opinion and to provide it but to keep my mouth shut, if I’m not asked.
This advice enabled me to be a supportive parent and an important part of the wedding without causing my daughter more stress during an already stressful time. In other words, like raising teens, pick your battle or in this case delivering advice.
2. Dress for the Occasion
Pay attention to what the bride and groom wants in terms of color. There are typical “rules” on what to wear such as not wearing the same color as the other mom and not wearing white. These days, even those rules can be broken, but be clear — this is the decision of the bride. This wedding is for the bride and the groom and not for you mom.
Here’s an example – if the bride wants you to wear banana yellow and you look deathly ill wearing that color. Have a calm conversation with the bride explaining that you are open to wearing whatever color she truly wants you to wear but express (or even show her) how horrible that color looks and how it will impact the overall look of the wedding and the pictures that will be taken. I’ve never heard of a bride that wouldn’t change her mind, knowing this information. Just don’t make it about you and how YOU will look – bring it back around to her and how it will affect HER and the look of the wedding.
Always wear a silhouette that looks good on the shape and size of your body. You can find different silhouettes and looks in a billion different colors, so you’ll find something that you look and feel beautiful in. Likewise, look around and try on a number of different styles and locations so you can pick something affordable for your budget. Be weary of buying something online. I’ve heard too many horror stories of dressing not arriving in time for the wedding and the fall out of that is not pretty.
3. Guest List Conversations
Be sure to talk to the bride and groom about their expectations for the guest list. They may want a large affair with a ton of family and friends or they may want a very intimate small wedding with just a handful of people. Have the conversation and ASK them if you are able to have input on the guest list. Most Brides and Grooms will be open to hearing your opinion but some may not. Unless you are paying for the whole wedding, don’t expect to have input on the list.
Also keep in mind that there is another mom who will be asking this same question or worst, being pushy about who they want to come and you want to be the mom that was the easiest to work with and the one who is considered “supportive”. What you say and do will be a memory for this couple for a very long time to come.
4. Meet the Parents
It’s best if you’ve met the parents PRIOR to an engagement, but if that didn’t happen consider asking (versus demanding) that there be a lunch/dinner or picnic or outing where both sides of the new family are invited. I have four kids and my son invited his three siblings and his fiance’s 4 siblings to go bowling. It was a great easy going way to meet each other and start those relationships.
The caution is to be thoughtful and non-demanding about a way to meet the future in-laws. Some families live hundres of miles away. Consider having a dinner (separately) but making a Facetime or Skype call introducing everyone and enabling both families to at least meet and chat briefly prior to the wedding.
5. Be on Their Side
Wedding can be very stressful to plan and pull off. Consider being on their side in the wedding planning process and that can be just listening and giving support over how hard it can be. Additionally during the wedding be the person that helps the bride and groom to stay in the moment during the reception by “saving” them when a guest is monopolizing their time, being the voice of reason when something potentially upsetting happens at the reception, or tapping them on the shoulder each hour and whisper in their ear for them to take a second and take in the moment.
When they look back on the planning process or their wedding, they will remember only your support and how helpful you were. This can start a habit of them turning to you in trying times in the future knowing you won’t judge or give input but simply provide help.