Mother of the Bride Duties and Etiquette

mother and daughter image by Gina Smith from

In addition to ensuring that you do not wear a white dress on your daughter's wedding day, you have many more responsibilities as the mother of the bride. Providing emotional support, coordinating wedding activities, extending hospitality to her new family and helping your daughter keep the many details of the wedding organized are only a few of your responsibilities.

Financial Support

According to etiquette expert Emily Post, the financial contribution from the bride's family can vary from one situation to another. Your traditional expenses include the bride's wedding attire, invitations, the reception, flowers, photography, entertainment and transportation. Inform your daughter of how much you can afford to contribute.


Be sure that you avoid wearing white, ivory, black or bright colors that will cause attention to be taken away from the bride. After purchasing your dress, contact the groom's mother so that she can coordinate her outfit with yours. If asked, go dress shopping with your daughter and help her make her final decision on the dress.

Guest List

Help your daughter develop a guest list that encompasses her side of the family and friends, as well as your business and personal contacts. Narrow down the number of guests as needed and delicately discuss the issue with the groom's family so that they can also reduce the guest count if necessary. Provide addresses for the invitations, and help address and mail the invitations.


In addition to attendance at the ceremony and reception, attend the engagement party, bridal shower, the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Organize a bridesmaids' luncheon so that your daughter can formally thank her bridesmaids for their help and present them with thank-you gifts.


It is traditionally your responsibility to make lodging arrangements for any out-of-town guests that are on your side of the family. Secure a block of hotel rooms, and provide the facility's contact information to your guests.

Vendor Relations

Serve as a liaison between the bride and her vendors. Go with her to meet with potential vendors, supply your contact information as requested and help her make the arrangements she wants. Do not be over-involved in the process; help her as much as she has asked, but do not make decisions without her consent. Talk to the minister about any special readings or traditions she wants to use and help prepare a seating arrangement for the ceremony.

Day of the Event

On the wedding day, give your daughter something old, new, borrowed or blue as necessary. Be dressed ahead of time as you will likely need to take pictures with your daughter. Help her put on her jewelry and straighten her veil. Tend to any last-minute details or problems that may arise. Give the ceremony and reception site a thorough review to ensure that everything is in order. If asked to, light one taper candle on the unity candle to signify your side of the family. Act as hostess during the festivities, greeting guests and providing your blessing to the newly married couple.

Anything Else

Provide any other help your daughter needs. Help with wedding planning, arrange flowers, make centerpieces or assemble favors. Repair any buttons that pop on her wedding dress. Help the photographer find individuals for pictures. Inform the guests where the couple is registered upon request. Provide a significant gift to the couple. Remember important items that may be misplaced, such as the marriage certificate or wedding rings.