How to Include Your Mother in Your Wedding Day

From bridezillas, to overbearing mothers and unreasonable mother-in-laws, there are plenty of insidious clichés about women and wedding planning

And let’s not forget that a wedding was once an exchange of property: a daughter handed over, for a fee, from father to husband; It was a transaction.   

In the modern wedding, the mother watches from the side lines. It's the father who'll lead his daughter down the aisle, who’ll sing her praises during the speech and who’ll, later in the night, get to dance with her.  

Mother's have a smaller role. They get to buy a hat, and their name won't even be registered on the wedding certificate. 

For those of us fortunate enough to have close relationships with these extraordinary women, mum is a simple world that feels like home.  In the spirit of Mother’s Day, therefore, we think we can do better, and this is where same-sex marriage makes tradition ripe for reinvention.

Spend quality time with your mum away from seating charts and clothes fittings.

With all the planning going on, it’s important to protect quality time with friends and family, and it’s no different with your mum. Take her out for lunch, have a night at the theatre, an afternoon at a spa or invite her round for a coffee and a chat.  A wedding is a big deal for a parent, and this will give you both time to savour the run-up to the big day without the stress of shopping, planning or crafting for it. 

Walk down the aisle with your mother, or walk down it with both your mother and father.

Traditionally a bride is ‘given away’ by her father, but what happens when two men are getting married?  We’ve seen same-sex weddings where the couple walk down the aisle with both parents. If it’s taken two people to raise you, then it’s a lovely way to honour them.  

And who says mother figures have to be biological? If there’s been a special auntie or grandmother or friend in your life, then walk with them, too.

Get mum on the dancefloor

A father-daughter or father-son dance is lovely and all that, but it’s a shame to keep mum at arm’s length.  What about a mother-daughter or mother-son dance, too?

Something borrowed something blue, something old and something new.

We’ve seen a big trend towards vintage in recent years, and if your parents were happily married, then it’s a lovely touch to incorporate something of their day into yours.

Of course, we’re not suggesting that you pull out the meringue wedding dress and put that on but taking some lacework from mum’s dress for a veil or, for the gentlemen, a handkerchief or material added to the corsage would look fab.

Give mum an important job

This could be acting as a witness for the marriage, but that’s not terribly exciting, so you could give mum a speaking role. Maybe there’s a poem or reading that you love, or give mum a chance to say a few words at the reception.

If mum’s a bit stage shy, then encourage your partner or father to reference her in their own speech.  Be sure to acknowledge a close relationship with your mum or reference her as an inspiration and guiding force in the marriage.

Being a mum can be a thankless task, so however you do it, or whenever you do it, make sure she’s got a place in your big day. 

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