The Mother of the Bride Duties: A Full Breakdown

There's a lot of wedding planning must-dos for the mother of the bride. Read on to learn the mother of the bride duties you need to know for the big day

By Deanna deBara

As the mother of the bride, you have plenty of to-do’s to check off your list in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the wedding, from taking your daughter wedding dress shopping to helping scout wedding venues to planning the wedding shower.

So, it shouldn’t surprise you that mother of the bride duties don’t stop once the wedding day arrives—in fact they tend to multiply. You want things to go off without a hitch and you also don’t want to overstep boundaries or take on too many responsibilities. Let’s take a look at all the mother of the bride duties you should plan to tackle on your daughter’s wedding day:

INLINE OneLovePhotography 1080x720 Fallon&Jeremy Photo Credit // One Love Photography

Before The Ceremony

  • Make sure the bride eats. There’s a lot of excitement (and nerves!) the day of the wedding—and in the midst of all that excitement, it can be easy for the bride to forget to eat breakfast. As the mother of the bride, it’s your responsibility to make sure your daughter eats enough to sustain her energy throughout the day.
  • Help the bride get dressed. Perhaps the most classic of the mother of the bride duties is helping the bride get dressed. Not only is this helpful for the bride (wedding dresses can be hard to get into), but it’s also a great opportunity for you and your daughter to have a special moment before the ceremony begins—not to mention a great photo op.
  • Keep the schedule moving along and on track. There are a lot of moving parts on the wedding day. In order for the ceremony to start on time, all of those moving parts need to happen right on schedule. If you have a wedding coordinator, it’s their job to keep things on track—but as the mother of the bride, you’ll also want to keep an eye on timing and make sure that everything is happening when/where/how it needs to.
  • Help keep the bride cool, calm, and relaxed. Again, the bride will probably be feeling a mixture of excitement and nerves in the hours leading up to the wedding. As her mom, it’s your job to make sure she stays as chill as possible. Keep the mood happy and light and try to solve any issues that arise without the bride even realizing it.

During The Ceremony

  • Participate in any planned ceremony events. If there are any parts of the ceremony your daughter has asked you to be a part of (for example, walking her down the aisle, doing a ceremony reading, or participating in some sort of unity ceremony), obviously, that will fall under your day-of mother of the bride duties.
  • Sit back and enjoy. If there isn’t anything for you to do during the ceremony, your only responsibility as the mother of the bride is to sit back and enjoy. This is a huge moment in your daughter’s life, so make sure to be present and soak up every second.

Between Ceremony And Reception

  • Help the bride bustle her dress or navigate any outfit changes. Depending on the complexity of the design, bustling a dress can take at least a few people. So, if your bride’s dress needs to be bustled, make sure you’re on hand to help it get done. And if your bride has an outfit change between the ceremony and reception, make sure you’re there to help her get changed quickly and easily (and don’t forget to stash her ceremony attire somewhere safe!).
  • Make yourself available for photos. The wedding photographer might want to snap family photos between the ceremony and reception. Make sure you’re available to track down any necessary family members and pose with the newly married couple.
  • Greet the guests at cocktail hour. Traditionally, the parents of the bride are considered the hosts of the wedding. If this is the case for your family, it’s important to carve out time to greet guests and thank them for coming. If you were busy helping the bride get ready before the ceremony, the cocktail hour is a great opportunity to connect with guests.
INLINE Kivus&Camera 1080x720 Sarah&Monty Photo Credit // Kivus & Camera

At The Reception

  • Give a welcome speech. Again, the parents of the bride are typically viewed as the hosts of the wedding—and part of your mother of the bride duties as the wedding host is to give a speech or wedding toast to welcome guests.
  • Get out on the dance floor. The newly married couple will have the first dance of the night. Once their dance is wrapped up, though, it’s traditional for the couple’s parents to take a spin on the dance floor and encourage the other guests to get up and dancing.

After The Reception

  • Make sure everything is taken care of before you leave. Chances are, you’re going to be tired by the end of the wedding. Before you head out, make sure that anything that needs to be wrapped up or taken care of (like packing up any wedding decor or tipping vendors) is all settled.

As the mother of the bride, you want to make sure your daughter’s wedding is as happy, memorable, and stress-free as possible. And now that you know the mother of the bride duties you’ll need to manage on the big day, you have everything you need to make that happen!

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