If you’re lucky enough to have a mother figure in your life, you’ll know just how amazing they are. And when planning a wedding, they can be invaluable.
They’re that shoulder to cry on, the helping hand in times of strife, and the one you can trust to just get the job done. Whether the mother of the bride is super involved in your big day or taking more of a backseat role, it’s good to know what’s expected from one another.
This is why we thought we’d collate the ultimate Mother of the Bride Wedding Planning Checklist, in the hope of unifying the efforts of both mom and daughter.
However, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to assigning roles during the wedding planning process, as often you’ll need to select certain individuals for particular tasks that match their personalities. For moms, it’s no different.
Does your mom like to orchestrate? Organize things with a fine-toothed comb? You should probably let her look after logistics and after chasing up vendors.
Or maybe your mother of the bride is more into crafts, and has a designer’s eye? Why not create your wedding stationery together? Lean into what she is good at, and you’ll find the planning process will be a lot more harmonious.
With the above in mind, the list we’re sharing is a wedding planning checklist for a traditional mother of the bride.
Your mom may not be suited to all of these duties, and that’s ok! What we want you to do is just go through the items, and simply pick out the tasks that suit her best…and not just hand her the to-do list and tell her to get on with it!
Your Mother of the Bride Wedding Planning Checklist
Here are the ways your mom can help get your wedding over the line, and hopefully create a wonderful celebration.
Scout Out an Amazing Venue
It’s a typical task for a mother of the bride to use her vast wealth of experience within the local area in order to help the happy couple find their dream wedding venue.
This a project that must be ticked off very early in the wedding checklist, as it affects every other subsequent vendor booking.
Your mom may not be attending the viewings with you, but she can certainly research and contact a reception venue for you, and then brief you before your visit.
Your mother of the bride may also have many friends and relatives who married in the area, and their recommendations will be invaluable.
‘Help’ with the Guest List
Sometimes mom and dad’s assistance when planning a guest list can be more of a hindrance than a help. You’ll know what we mean when you start to see more of your dad’s golf buddies, and your mom’s entire family tree on the guest list, than your actual friends!
It’s easily done, especially when they’re paying…!
It’s important your parents feel like they can invite their VIPs to your big day, but just make sure they remember it is your wedding day!
Aside from that, chasing up RSVPs and physically sending out wedding invitations in the first place is a chore. But it’s a job a well-organized mom would love to take care of!
Go Wedding Dress Shopping
Choosing a crew to take wedding dress shopping is no easy task. The individuals you pick need to be trustworthy, honest, and yet delicate with their words.
Traditionally, the mother of the bride would be a part of this team. Guiding the group with her experience, and sharing the kind of feedback you need the most.
Chase up Vendors
If you’re marrying in your hometown, and you no longer live around there, certain vendors are going to be hard to chase. Step up, the mother of the bride!
Who better to demand answers from the caterer because they don’t have any vegan options that aren’t just salad? What greater individual could bend the ear of your baker to make sure your 4 tiers are delivered on time?
Leave a few critical vendors for your mom to chase, and we’re sure you’ll get the service you require.
Become Best Friends with the Mother of the Groom
If mom isn’t already acquainted with your other half’s mom, it is nice if she reaches out. Even if it’s just to discuss outfits, and the colors they’re both considering.
Traditionally, the mother of the bride can choose her color first, but really, all that’s important is that they don’t clash.
Hopefully, both sets of parents really get on, and together they can help guide your wedding timeline.
Help Throw/Attend the Bridal Shower
Depending on how traditional your mom is, or how your bridal shower is being thrown, the mother of the bride is expected to at least attend.
Tradition dictates that she shouldn’t arrange the actual party, as it’s considered greedy to ask for presents. But these days that’s usually forgotten about, in favor of a more inclusive planning style, with mom often planning festivities as part of the bridal party.
If your mom is helping to arrange the shower, then maybe she could assist in creating decorations, making food, favor bags, or simply contributing to the shower.
Find that Something Old
You can trust mom to find something adorable to gift you as your ‘something old’. In fact, we wouldn’t put it past her to find ‘something blue and borrowed‘ too!
Possibly a family heirloom from grandma, or a piece of embroidered lace handed down from bride to bride.
One of those little familial touches that can make your big day feel even more special and intimate.
Get Help with the Wedding Gift Registry
Your mom knows how to make a house a home, and she remembers what items from her registry she still cherishes today. Take her guidance, and let her help you create your dream first home as a married couple.
Assist with Dressing on the Day
One of the good things about having mom present during bridal boutique visits is that she can learn how to lace up your wedding dress and correctly place your veil, or any other accessory you’ve chosen as part of your bridal look.
Not only that, but she can help your bridal party get ready in the morning, by organizing the artists looking after hair and makeup.
Your mother of the bride could also make herself available to look after any errands that may need to be run. Someone will have to receive your bouquets from the florist, for example, and check in on the wedding reception venue, to make sure everything is running smoothly.
Mom is the perfect person for these kinds of jobs. And anyway, she’s been up since 5 am, so she’s raring to go already!
Play Her Part in Your Wedding Ceremony
Depending on the relationship you have with your father, or the religion you may follow, the mother of the bride role differs during ceremony events.
For a traditional Christian wedding ceremony, mom would normally be seated at the front, while dad leads the bride down the aisle. Whereas during a Jewish wedding, both parents take their daughter down the aisle.
Religion aside, it’s totally up to you, and your mom, when it comes to her involvement in proceedings. As long as you both feel happy, that’s all that matters.
Give a Speech at the Reception
As one of the major figures in the wedding party, the mother of the bride is expected to give a short speech.
If the parents of the bride are hosting the wedding, then they will typically speak first. Introducing the newlyweds, and welcoming all to the reception.
If this isn’t the case, then tradition dictates that they speak last, which means your mother of the bride has the unenviable task of sitting through all the wedding toasts, waiting her turn!
Heat Up the Dance Floor
Once you and your partner have had your first dance moment, it is usually time for mom to hit the dancefloor. And these days that means dancing with her son-in-law, an often very sweet celebration of their new family bond.
If you decide this is not for you, the mother of the bride could also dance with the father of the bride, or the groom – whoever takes her fancy really!