There are few events more exciting than a wedding, but sometimes, emotions run high and can have a negative impact on people’s behavior. Planning a wedding, especially that of a grown child, can be a bittersweet experience for a mother, who may be torn between the joy of seeing her daughter as she walks down the aisle and the pain of letting go of her baby girl.
Offer support. Brides are often stressed. Between budget concerns, a long list of to-do’s, and worries about trying to please everyone, many brides-to-be find that planning their weddings is more work than pleasure. Whenever possible, offer both emotional support and hands-on help every step of the way, from initial planning to the big day.
Be honest. Some parents are in a position to provide financial and/or hands-on help with their children’s weddings, but others are not. If you can and would like to help pay for your daughter’s wedding, it is likely to be appreciated, but it is certainly not required. The important thing is that you are upfront about your willingness to help so that your daughter isn’t operating under any false assumptions.
Listen more than you speak. While this can be hard to do, remember that this is your daughter’s wedding, not yours. In the end, it really doesn’t matter if you don’t like her dress, flower selections, or reception location. Heck, it really doesn’t matter if you don’t approve of the guy she has chosen to marry. This is HER day, so do your best to listen to what it is that she wants and then do all that you can to help make your daughter’s dream wedding a reality.
Go with the flow. Things are bound to go wrong, but as the mother of the bride, you can help to keep things running as smoothly as possible by being flexible and maintaining a good attitude. Last minute changes are commonplace, as are little mix-ups, but if you are able to keep your wits about you, your daughter will be more able to focus on the big picture and not get overwhelmed when things don’t go exactly according to plan.
Be the bigger person. Family relationships are often complicated and good or bad, emotions can quickly get out of hand if everyone isn’t mindful of their behavior. When you are tempted to let your temper flare or feel that you need to speak up, remember that your actions will have an impact on one of the most important days in your daughter’s life.
Remember when she was a little girl and looked up to you with those trusting eyes? Picturing that face should help you to rein in any thoughts of tainting this experience by allowing yourself to behave in a less than ideal way.
Create happy memories. Many little girls dream about their wedding day, picturing everything from the perfect dress to an idyllic honeymoon location. While few grow up to have the princess style, fairy tale weddings of their childhood dreams, the memory of their wedding day stays with women for the rest of their lives, so making sure those memories are happy ones is a gift in itself. Taking the time to share special moments and infusing the experience with light and laughter will make your daughter’s wedding a day she’ll treasure forever.
Express your love. Most people freely express their love to their young children, but some hold back a little once their kids are grown. All of us, no matter our age, benefit from knowing that we matter to those around us, so mothers should be open and expressive about the love that they feel for their children. Telling your daughter that you love her and are proud of her will certainly help her to remember her wedding day with warmth and happiness.