Mother of the Bride Duties Explained

If you are a mother of the bride and not sure what is expected of you during the wedding planning then our useful guide is here to help!


The mother of the bride role is a proud and happy one - watching your daughter get married will be a wonderful experience and is going to leave you with so many happy memories.

The father of the bride has a clear role, thanks to the tradition of a father of the bride speech, but as mother of the bride you may be left feeling unsure about what is expected of you. 

You're likely to be very involved in the wedding planning, wedding dress shopping and on the big day, but it is always a great idea to have a chat with your daughter to decide what makes you both happy.

READ MORE: The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Roles

Mother of the bride duties

Image: John Charles

Typical Mother of the Bride Duties

If you’re not sure where to start with helping your daughter in the run up to her big day then take a look at some of the typical mother of the bride duties that she may want you to be involved in.

Offer Some Wedding Planning Advice

If you have planned a wedding before then you will be in the perfect position to give advice on where to get started. The first thing you will probably do is to give your daughter calm advice on where to start and let her know that you are there to help when she needs.

Talk About Financial Support

Traditionally it used to be expected that the bride’s parents paid for the wedding in full but - thankfully for your bank balance - times have moved on and the majority of couples are footing the bill for their big day. However if you do want to contribute financially to the wedding then let your daughter know early on in her wedding planning so she can factor this money into her budget.

READ MORE: Parents Paying for the Wedding - Etiquette and Advice

If you are offering financial support then you will also want to discuss what this means - are you giving the money as a gift and transferring the full amount to them? Do you want the couple to send you the invoices to pay? Do you expect to have a say in the wedding or the guest list in return for footing part of the bill? These are all things that would be helpful to discuss early on to avoid any confusion or miscommunication and to manage expectations.

Go Wedding Dress Shopping

One of the most exciting things about being the mother of the bride is that you get to go wedding dress shopping with your daughter. This will be a fun and emotional experience that you are always going to remember so be on hand to offer advice, support and to keep your daughter calm throughout the process.

READ MORE: 43 Mistakes Brides Make When Choosing Their Wedding Dress

Help the Bride Get Ready

Mother of the bride duties

Image: Slawa Walczak Photography

Helping the bride get ready in the morning will be a special time - your daughter will be feeling exciting and nervous and the number one thing she probably wants that morning is her mum. So whether you are there to help her get into her dress, wipe her tears away or pour the champagne, just make sure you are present on the morning of the wedding. Aim to get ready early so that in the hour or two before the ceremony you are there to help in any way that you can.

Play Host on the Big Day

The happy couple will be the main focus of the day but they might struggle to mingle and chat with absolutely everyone and this is where their parents can really help. Take the time to chat to guests, thank them for coming, ensure everything is running smoothly and just generally make sure the day is running smoothly.

Mother of the Bride FAQs

Mother of the bride FAQs

Image: Damien Mower Photography

There are lots of questions around being the mother of the bride, although there are no fixed answers and every family is different, our FAQs are here to help.

What should the mother of the bride pay for?

Traditionally the mother of the bride paid for the wedding dress, although these days there is no obligation to pay for anything. As mentioned earlier, the best way to tackle any financial questions is to be upfront and honest at the start.

What should the mother of the bride wear?

The wedding day will be a long day so the most important thing is that you wear something you feel comfortable and happy in. There are no rules to say you have to wear a dress or that you have to match the colour scheme. If you are feeling unsure then speak to your daughter, she may want you to wear something in a similar shade to the wedding colours so you look part of the bridal party or she may want you to choose whatever you want! Why not go shopping with your daughter so you have someone to offer their opinion and help you feel your most fabulous for the wedding day.

READ MORE: Stylish Mother of the Bride Dresses

Should the couple buy the mother of the bride a gift?

Mother of the bride card

Image: Slice of Pie Designs

It’s totally up to the couple but if the mother of the bride has been amazing in the run up to the big day then you may want to buy a mother of the bride gift to say thank you such as a bouquet of flowers, a special framed photo or a personalised card with some special words inside.

Does the mother of the bride go to the hen party?

This is a common question - it may depend on the type of hen party the bride plans on having and the mother of the bride might not want a weekend of clubbing in Ibiza. If the hen party is a little more low key then the mother of the bride might want to attend the day activity of the hen do and then make a move before the party starts. Alternatively many brides have a “family hen do” as well as a friends one, the family hen is usually something like afternoon tea or a relaxed dinner with the bridesmaids, mums and siblings of the couple.

READ MORE: 47 Hen Party Ideas You Will Love

If you are looking for even more ideas and inspiration then start browsing some of the best mother of the bride wedding outfits.


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