[Words by Dawn Geddes]
In days gone by, mums were an integral part of the wedding planning process, helping the bride and groom arrange every aspect of the day. This used to be the done thing because weddings were normally funded by the bride’s parents, and so it made sense for them to play a big part in the decision-making process.
These days, though, more than half of Scottish couples self-fund their weddings, so the idea of putting the parents in charge of, say, picking the venue or choosing the flowers is alien to many. But assuming you have a good relationship with your mum, it’s a nice gesture to include your mum in your wedding plans.
1. Take her expert advice
While you may have firm ideas about what you want for your wedding and don’t want your parents weighing in on the big, fundamental decisions, there may be some small aspects of the day that you could do with a bit of help with.
“As a full-time travel writer, I loved being asked for honeymoon suggestions,” says recent mother-of-the-groom Katie Wood, whose son tied the knot in Edinburgh in April.
“I thought about the most romantic and special places I’d ever been to and suggested Venice, Florence and Portofino, with a ride on the Orient Express train back from Venice to London. I added in a few little extra treats such as a gondola ride, a night at the opera and a few lovely dinners. It meant the world to me to be involved with this and other aspects of their special day. This is the passing over of my son to my future daughter-in-law – it’s a massive step for me too!”
2. Involve her in your pre-wedding plans
When it comes to planning your hen do with your bridesmaids, it’s easy to get carried away with wild plans for your last night of freedom, but make sure you include both mothers too. Organise something tamer for during the day such as sightseeing, some pampering, or a trip to a karaoke bar followed by a meal and cocktails for the early evening.
That way your mother and MIL-to-be can leave before any excursions to the local nightclub (although you never know, they may just surprise you and tag along!).
3. Let her help you pick The One
We’ve learned from films that wedding dress shopping involves hitting the shops with a gaggle of your pals, but the reality is that taking loads of people shopping with you – especially for the first time – can be pretty stressful, with lots of opinions flying around. Include your mum in your wedding plans by taking her with you instead; you can rely on her to be totally honest with you.
And why not offer to return the favour by going shopping with the mums for their outfits too? That way, you can help co-ordinate colours (neither mum will want to clash, or – worse – end up in the same outfit) and make a day of it, stopping for afternoon tea along the way.
4. Don’t be too proud to ask for help
The run-up to the big day can be stressful, especially if you are planning a DIY wedding with lots of details. While you may have done all the planning solo, making sure that everything runs smoothly on the day can be very hard work, so the more hands on deck – the better! Include your mum in your wedding plans by making a wedding scrap book for her (and your MIL-to-be too!).
Not only will this keep them in the loop, it will also make a lovely memento for them to keep. Now that they know your vision for the day, you can ask them to help out with some of the tasks that need done like handing out the buttonholes or setting out the favours!
5. Throw traditional roles out
Many of the most traditional and memorable tasks of a wedding are reserved for the men of the family, but there’s no reason why these jobs can’t be given to the women in your life instead. Let your mum know just how special she is by asking her to walk you down the aisle or to give a mother-of-the-bride speech. Make sure your mother-in-law is included too by involving her in your preparations on the morning of the wedding or by asking her to read a poem at the service.
6. Don’t forget to say thanks!
However you involve your mum and future mother-in-law in your wedding, don’t forget to give them a great big thank you on the day. Make sure that both mothers are mentioned in the speeches and that you present them with a gift to cherish too.
Your mum is so special – she deserves some pampering! Why not enter her into our Real Mums Catwalk, taking place at Girls Night In events in Aberdeen and Inverness in August?
Not only will she be looked after with a hair and make-up makeover, but she’ll strut her stuff in the latest MOB and MOG fashion on our catwalk!
Enter your mum into our Real Mums Catwalk now! Entries close on Friday 29th July.