Get your lovely mums to read these top tips and handy hints from one mother of the bride who remembers…
With all the focus on the happy couple (ok, let’s face it, on the bride), one woman’s absolutely central supporting role is often overlooked… the mother of the bride. As nerve-wracking and discombobulating as it is to be a bride on her own big day, spare a thought for the mother of the bride who experiences a rollercoaster of emotions. We ask Jan Bird – my gorgeous mum and mother of the bride 14 years ago – to share with us her top tips for tackling the tears and the tantrums (hers were the tears… mine were the tantrums…)
“Everyone asks about the hat! What colour/size/style/material. I didn’t really want to wear one but felt I was disappointing everyone so my rather nifty fascinator had to suffice. I ‘bigged’ it up, describing it in the most fulsome terms to anyone who asked in the build-up to the big day. The hat really did strike me as something absolutely expected of a mother of the bride, which is a tradition that has endured remarkably.”
“After the bride, your outfit is keenly anticipated. I was anxious to colour co-ordinate with the bridesmaids so there were no sartorial clashes in the photos. Liaising with the groom’s mum is a good idea, too. Imagine if you both wore similar outfits!”
“Many older or second-time around brides take control of much of the planning for the wedding. If you play the more ‘traditional’ role of organising the event, discretion and a ‘cool head’ are key when getting involved. It’s easy to assume your ideas for everything will be listened to. And the fact that you [and the Bride’s father] may be footing a large chunk of the bill can complicate ‘ownership’ of the day. The skills involved may seem daunting: financial wizardry, project management, complete unflappability, high-level diplomacy and unlimited patience [in fact, after you pull off the wedding day, you are over-qualified to run a small country], but it’s worth taking lots of deep breaths and having a broad repertoire of conciliatory remarks to ensure there are no big falling-outs on the day. Remember your daughter may have been planning her wedding day for years and have a fixed idea about EVERYTHING. You are there to facilitate her dream.”
“You hold your breath as she walks down the aisle – where have the years gone? Through misty eyes, you can watch your daughter move forwards into the next phase of her life… You keep your fingers crossed during the speeches – hoping for mirth and merriment, not smut and cringing embarrassment from the best man…You finally relax when everyone has been fed – phew! there was enough to go round.”
My top tips:
- My daughter had a vanilla sponge tiered wedding cake decorated with a white chocolate ganache – so we served it with strawberries and cream for dessert.
- Friends were really happy to get involved decorating the church and venue – saving a fortune.
- Weddings are such a whirlwind; find some mother-daughter time before the big day to spend time together. She’s your little girl – all grown up now and time together in the future may be at a premium.
Thanks Jan! LOVE YOU MUM! x