And you thought all you had to do was pay for it!
Not every wedding is the same, and not all families have traditional hierarchies. You may not have a ‘mother or father of the bride’, and that’s ok, you know that. You may only have one parent, two dads, or parents who won’t talk to each other. Whatever your family set-up is, know that when we talk about parents of the bride responsibilities, we are aware that this term will not apply perfectly to all. But it is a good, general term to describe whoever cared, or cares, for you.
Traditionally, the bride’s parents’ position was reception host and hostess, and this was typically the extent of their responsibilities. This distinction was theirs because they customarily pay for a portion, if not the entirety, of the celebrations. As a result, their names have traditionally appeared at the top of wedding invitations, and they perform a specific role during the reception in making visitors feel welcome, ensuring that everything runs smoothly.
However, these days, the list of responsibilities for the parents of the bride might include everything from researching suppliers and family customs, to planning engagement parties and making a toast at the reception. But how can you know which wedding-planning tasks to delegate to your parents?
Parents of the Bride Responsibilities
Welcome the In-laws
Whether the in-laws have met or not, inviting them to dinner or drinks with the grandparents and other children is a wonderful and friendly gesture that’ll allow both families to get to know each other better. The bride’s father and mother could host the dinner at their house, or maybe take them to a reliable restaurant, and it can be as formal or as casual as they choose. The gathering should ideally take place four to six weeks after the couple’s engagement.
Plan an Engagement Party
If the happy couples wants one, the bride’s parents could organise an engagement party for them. As the host, they’d be responsible for hiring the venue and suppliers, arranging the guest list, ordering the invitations, and monitoring all other aspects of the party. Plus they’ll be expected to provide a speech or toast during the party, welcoming attendees, and probably pay for everything…
Set the Wedding Budget
Before making any wedding planning selections, the bride’s parents should decide on how much they intend/can/want to spend on their daughter’s wedding. Will they hand over a wad of cash for the couple to manage? Will they pay for particular items?
Once the budget has been set, and the amount the groom’s parents will contribute has been decided, suppliers can be explored and booked. This is also a good time to set up a wedding budget spreadsheet or planner to help keep track of all spending, deposits, and balance due dates.
Be the Wedding Planner
If the bride or couple do not live in their hometown, but they’re coming back for the wedding, it may be up to the parents to look after a few planning responsibilities. Conducting research to discover a local location, meeting potential suppliers for the couple to review when they visit. There are many ways that, as parents, they can be helpful in bridging the location gap.
Help with the Guest list
One of the major responsibilities for the parents of the bride, is making a list of all the relatives and friends they wish to invite to the wedding. If they’re paying for the majority of the celebration, their guest list may be longer than the in-laws’. However, confirm with the couple how many guests can be added to the list. Once you’ve determined who will be invited, begin collecting mailing addresses for save-the-date cards and wedding invitations.
Go Wedding Dress Shopping!
Mum should be encouraging yet honest when in the bridal shop. And if she can’t make it to the appointment because you live far apart, ask if the shop can FaceTime in to view her daughter try on gowns, or have photos forwarded to her. Once she’s found the one, it’s nice if the mother of the bride, plus wedding party, goes on a fun-filled weekend of breakfast, shopping, and celebratory drinks.
Supporting the bride throughout her engagement is one of the most essential responsibilities parents have. Be more than simply an open wallet. Let her know she can come to you with any problem, whether it’s a planning choice, a relationship problem or just to vent. Sometimes that’s the only thing a bride needs for their parents!