On the day Mother of the Bride Checklist

Written by    Last updated: June 6, 2006

On the big day itself, you’re the best person to take charge of events at home. Make sure the bride remains calm and relaxed, have safety pins on hand for last‐minute…

Take charge, mother of the bride!

On the big day itself, you’re the best person to take charge of events at home. Make sure the bride remains calm and relaxed, have safety pins on hand for last‐minute adjustments, remind everyone what they have to do and keep an eye on the time. You need to be the calm in the storm this morning, but don’t forget to build in some time to get ready yourself!

Getting there

You should leave home ahead of the bride, generally travelling in the car with the chief bridesmaid and any young attendants. If there are no bridesmaids or attendants, you may wish to ask a male relative or family friend to accompany you.

Mother of the bride’s moment

Traditionally, the mother of the bride arrives at the ceremony venue around ten minutes before the bride. This is your moment. You should be escorted proudly up the aisle by the chief usher, to your seat in the front row on the left‐hand side

If your daughter is having a church wedding, after the couple are officially husband and wife, you are traditionally escorted by the groom’s father to the vestry for the signing of the register. If there is no chief bridesmaid you will have taken charge of the bride’s bouquet during the service and you should return it to your daughter in the vestry ready for the final procession from the church.

After the ceremony, when the party process out, your correct position is after the bride and groom and their attendants, on the left‐hand side of the groom’s father. You’ll probably line up for some photos next.

Hostess with the mostest

Although this is your daughter’s day, you are the official hostess (this alters slightly if your daughter and her new husband have paid for the wedding themselves, and sent invitations from them as a couple).

If you’re have a traditional receiving line, your place is at the head of the family line‐up, welcoming the guests one by one as they arrive and, where appropriate, introducing them to the bridegroom’s parents.

The line‐up goes as follows: bride’s mother, bride’s father, groom’s mother, groom’s father, bride and groom, best man and bridesmaids.

Nowadays however, many couples prefer to dispense with the formal line‐up and just receive the guests themselves, while other family members circulate with guests, making introductions between the two sides of the wedding party.

Party politics

To be the best hostess, make sure all your guests are being well looked after and included in the party. Don’t be afraid to delegate duties ‐‐ you can’t be everywhere at once. So if Uncle Ted is known for his alcohol‐fuelled political rows, pick a relative to keep an eye on him during the reception.

You’ll also need to think about older relatives getting tired or wobbly on their feet. They might need to be taken home early or given a room they can rest in, especially if it’s very hot. Appoint someone (not you!) to keep an eye on them.

If you’re making a speech, make sure you have more than one copy of it, just to be on the safe side. Prompt cards with a brief reminder of what you want to say will be very useful, and can easily fit inside a normal sized handbag.

And remember, this is your day too. The guests are more likely to enjoy it if you’re looking happy and relaxed. So even if there’s a minor hiccup, keep your cool, smile and, if necessary, take a moment in the Ladies to compose yourself

It’s all over!

If your daughter and new son‐in‐law intend to formally ‘leave’ their reception, you’ll wave good‐bye to them along with all the other guests, so make your own plans for a private farewell beforehand.

Once the couple have left, you’ll need to settle any outstanding payments, ensure the safe‐keeping of the presents overnight and collect the remainder of the wedding cake, which will usually be packed by the caterers ready to take home.

If the reception has taken place in a hired hall, you might need to check everything has been left clean and tidy and the hall safely locked up. Then go home and put your feet up!

And once it’s all over, many parents take a holiday after the wedding‐‐ a kind of sympathetic honeymoon… worth thinking about, isn’t it?

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