9 tips on how Mums can be the Greatest Wedding Co-Planner Ever

In today’s weddings, parents might not be paying for the big day, but they’re often invited into the planning circle as co-planners. So that means you might be sharing the task of designing centrepieces with the other mum, some step-mums, dads and maybe some siblings and bridesmaids.

A lot has changed since the days when the mother-of-the-bride went to planning appointments with the bride, minus the groom, and the two of them made every booking and decided on every detail.

Now, you’re part of a team.

A mum being a great Wedding Co-Planner

So to help you enjoy your season as a wedding co-planner, here are some of the top tips for being a team player, and thus making the bride and groom very happy they asked you to share in the fun:

  1. Bring your list of what the bride and groom want. When you meet with others, you could wind up being the couple’s champion to keep things the way they want them!
  2. Allow everyone their say. Even if you think their ideas are old-fashioned, tacky or just plain wrong. And have a diplomatic script for shooting down no-go ideas: “That’s a clever idea, and maybe you might want to save it for the rehearsal dinner you’re hosting. I know the bride and groom want [fill in the blank], so let’s look more toward that kind of thing.”
  3. No middleman. Don’t be one. Don’t put someone else in that position. If you have a suggestion for the other mum, call her yourself and have a discussion. Don’t tell the bride or groom to do it as they have enough to worry about. If you don’t want to call, either send an e-mail or a text.
  4. Practice good e-mail etiquette. Since a lot of planning will be done from a distance, be extra careful not to make the No. 1 e-mail etiquette mistake: forwarding people’s e-mails without their permission, even accidentally. If someone’s less-than-polite reaction to something is in the e-mail chain and you send it on to another co-planner, feelings may get hurt. Always use a fresh e-mail in which you’ve cut and pasted messages you’re referring to.
  5. Accept No yourself. If the team doesn’t like your idea, use it in some other wedding weekend event, or for an upcoming birthday party, anniversary or other celebration. Remember to put your ego aside and remember that the day is for the bride and groom.
  6. Report the positives to the bride and groom. Tell them what’s going well and what you like about the in-laws, rather than focusing on any simmering power struggles or budget battles. Positives vibes only during the whole wedding planning process.
  7. Establish a growing relationship. This person, or these people, will be family, so as you’re working together on your tasks, find some common ground on things you like: hobbies, favourite vacation destinations, favourite movies and cultural events, and pets.
  8. Meet your deadlines. If the group wants your share of the cost by Friday, send it so that they have it on time. If you have been asked to have labels done and shipped to someone, make sure you’re on schedule. As a planning partner, respecting the schedule shows respect for the group — and for the couple who put that group together.
  9. Show enthusiasm. You’d be surprised by how many mums get overly focused on what needs to be planned, and they rush forward from task to task, not taking a minute to enjoy the journey. So sit back and breathe, admire those favours you’re making and smile at the bride and groom to lighten the vibe in the room and let them enjoy this too!

How do you involve your mum in the wedding plans?
  • Communicate your ideas with your mum so that you can get a second opinion.
  • Update her on all your decisions throughout the planning stages.
  • Invite her to your appointments for additional support.
  • Ask her for any help that you need with wedding planning.
  • Ask her if she wants to make a speech at the wedding reception.
  • Help them establish a relationship with the wedding party and other family members and friends of the bride and groom.
What should the mother of the bride pay for?
Traditionally, the bride’s family pay for the bulk of the wedding (wedding venue and reception, flowers, entertainment etc.) and so the mother of the bride will be more involved in the wedding plans than the mother of the groom.
What are the responsibilities of the mother of the bride and mother of the groom?
Responsibilities of the mother of the bride:

  • Research and scout venues for the couple.
  • Help the bride choose a wedding dress she loves.
  • Take some control of the guest list.
  • Help to plan or attend pre-wedding events.
  • Give advice on the ceremony program.

Responsibilities of the mother of the groom:

  • Host an engagement party.
  • Manage the son’s side of the family.
  • Help with searching for a wedding vendor or service.
  • Help with wedding day preparations.
  • Offer financial help if needed.
What should the mother of the groom pay for?
It is not set in stone but traditionally the groom’s mother will pay for the corsages and boutonnieres for both family members. They will also cover the accommodation for the grooms wedding party (if they have asked to cover those costs) and occasionally the rehearsal dinner.

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