THE MOTHER OF THE BRIDE

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About the Mother of the Bride

The bride’s mother often plays a significant role in pre-wedding planning particularly if she and the bride’s father are hosting the wedding. She traditionally escorts the bride in the selection of her wedding gown and attendants gowns and is often the main wedding coordinator. This is a delicate position as she must act as a tempering agent guiding the bride in many decisions, particularly those of tradition and etiquette while allowing the couple’s personalities to shine through the festivities. She consults with the bride about her attire then has first choice of color for her own gown, which she provides, then shares that information with the groom’s mother who may choose to compliment or coordinate.

 

She gathers her portion of the guest list, helps with invitations, and keeps the bride’s father apprised of all wedding functions. She attends showers or parties given in the bride’s honor. The bride’s mother is last to be seated at the ceremony and is a mandatory participant in the reception line. The bride’s mother is traditionally the hostess of the reception, sitting in a place of honor with the bride’s father. She dances with the groom after he has danced with his own mother. 

Below are some traditional duties of the Mother of the Bride. Be sure to defer to your bride, for direction.

Before the Wedding:
• May host an engagement party.

• Joins the bride in selection of her bridal gown.

• May join the bride in selection of attendant attire.

• Consults with bride when selecting her own wedding attire and .

• Assists bride in wedding decisions, planning and coordination.

• Help bride put together family’s guest list.

• Contribute to wedding budget and finances.

• Inform couple of family ethnic and religious traditions.

• May work with bridesmaids in planning and hosting shower.

• Attend ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.


Ceremony:
• May assist the bride in dressing for the ceremony.

• May travel to ceremony with bride and bride’s father.

• Last to be seated for ceremony.

• Walk in recessional as rehearsed.


Reception:
•  First person in receiving line.

•  Be introduced at reception.

•  Sit at parents’ table.

•  Dances with her husband then the groom during the wedding party dance.

•  Generally, acts as the hostess of the reception.

•  Helps coordinate reception vendors. 

•  May host a post wedding brunch.

Find more wedding terms defined in the Wedcyclopedia
 

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About the Father of the Bride

The bride’s father, depending on arrangements, finances and hosts the wedding. He wears apparel which coordinates with the groom and male attendants and escorts the bride in the processional sometimes accompanied by the bride’s mother. He participates in the reception line and sits in a place of honor at the reception. The father of the bride proposes a toast to the bride and groom and dances with the bride after the couple’s first dance. He typically delivers final payments to caterers, musicians and others, as arranged, at the end of the reception and is generally the last to leave.

Below are some traditional duties of the Father of the Bride. Defer to your discretion and the bride, for direction.

Before the Wedding:
• May host an engagement party. 

• Contribute to wedding budget and finances. 

• Help couple with larger decisions, planning and coordination. 

• Consult with bride before selecting coordinating formalwear. 

• May research and plan accommodations for out of town guests 

• Attend ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner


Ceremony:
• Travels to ceremony with bride. 

• Escorts bride into ceremony as rehearsed. 

• Walk in recessional as rehearsed.


Reception:
• Participate in receiving line

• Be introduced at reception

• Sit at parents’ table

• Welcome guests formally and propose a toast after the best

• Dances with bride, then wife during wedding party dance

• Host of reception

• Deliver final payments to vendors

• May host a post wedding brunch

Find more wedding terms defined in the Wedcyclopedia

The Reception "Toast"

By genetics, choice, or designation (or some combination!) you are the father of the bride and/or host of the wedding. This calls for a toast!   

 

Send the bride and groom off to their new life with words of wisdom, warmth and hope. By all means, jot down some ideas and don’t feel bad about taking an index card – or even a written speech for that matter. 

 

It’s understandable that you’ll be a bit nervous or emotional and you’ll likely only have one chance to verbalize your feelings, so take some time to get your thoughts in order. Below is a short outline to fuel the thought process. 

  • OPENING LINES: Welcome, Humor, observation about weather or season.

  • BE GRATEFUL: Thank guests, helpers, mother of bride.

  • COMMENTS ON THE WEDDING: Preparation, ceremony, humorous event.

  • TALK ABOUT BEING “THE DAD”: Thoughts on - raising the bride, seeing her marry.

  • TALK ABOUT THE BRIDE: Childhood stories, pride, show the love, beautiful bride.

  • SHARE SOMETHING ABOUT THE COUPLE: How you knew “this was it”, why they are good for each other, story about their courtship.

  • TALK ABOUT THE GROOM: Welcome him, praise, poke fun, meeting his family.

  • SHARE SOME WORDS OF WISDOM: Marriage experience and advice, life advice.

  • HOPE FOR THE FUTURE: Wishes for their relationship, family, future.

  • THE TOAST: Blessings, more wisdom, quote, closing lines, upbeat and hopeful. 

 
 
Parents of the Groom

The Groom’s parents typically host the rehearsal dinner and provide help and support to their son during the pre-wedding period and on the wedding day itself.  The groom’s mother consults with the bride and bride’s mother regarding choice of her own gown color and style.  She gathers her portion of the guest list and may offer her assistance with pre-wedding tasks.  The groom’s parents may stand in the receiving line.  

Below are some traditional duties of the Parents of the Groom. Defer to your discretion and the couple, for direction.

Before the Wedding:

•   Arrange dinner with bride’s parents to get acquainted

•   Attend engagement party

•   May host an engagement party

•   Consult with bride and bride’s mother when selecting wedding attire 

•   Assist groom in his wedding decisions and responsibilities

•   Help groom put together family’s guest list

•   May contribute to wedding budget and finances

•   Inform couple of family ethnic and religious traditions

•   May work with bridesmaids in planning and hosting shower

•   Attend ceremony rehearsal

•   Plan and host rehearsal dinner

 

Ceremony:

•   May travel to ceremony with groom and best man

•   Groom’s mother is seated just before bride’s mother

•   Walk in recessional as rehearsed or directed

 

Reception:

•   May participate in receiving line

•   Be introduced at reception

•   Sit at parents’ table

•   May toast the couple

•   Dance with bride and groom and spouse during wedding party dance

•   May deliver final vendor payments which they finance

•   Attend or host a post wedding brunch

Find more wedding terms defined in the Wedcyclopedia

Helpful Information

You will likely be asked by the couple to offer of list of guests that you would like to invite to share in the wedding festivities. 

The couple will need to count on you to not just provide names, and both street and email addresses, but define relationships (they may not remember great aunt Millie) and an order of priority in your eyes.

 

Of course, your son may have different ideas about which friends or relatives, to whom he feels closest, and wants to include, which should be respected and/or discussed.

 

Additionally, there will clearly be restrictions on the number of guests. Keep in mind that not only do the bride's parents have friends and family to include, but the bride and groom will have friends from school or career as well. 

 

The following is a downloadable form that you can use to compile and prioritize your guest list. It is offered to print or in excel spreadsheet format (which will probably be preferred as it facilitates accurate copy of addresses).  

PDF Guest Workbook to Print - (Requires "Legal Size" paper)

Excel Guest Workbook to Download 

 

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