The Mother of The Bride – Every Wedding’s Unsung Hero

Mother of the bride tips! As we head towards Mother’s Day I felt the need to sing the praises of every wedding’s unsung hero; the mother-of-the-bride (or groom!). Over the many years of photographing weddings it has not gone unnoticed that the main planner of the wedding is the brides mum. It’s not just attending the wedding dress fittings, (the photography meetings) the brides mum seem to guide my brides through the whole process from managing the bookings, helping with the guest lists, making floral displays, helping set up, supporting the father-of-the-bride (I had one that even wrote the speech!) and on the day it’s self she is a shoulder to cry on, someone to manage family politics and look after the children!

This blog is from the mums to you!  Tips from the experts on wedding day planning.


Please meet the mums, Vikki Freestone, Anne Goadby, Karen Davidson and Rhonda Beneke.. all wonderful mums of brides I have photographed who have offered to contribute to this special blog.

Pitfalls to Prepare for

Planning a wedding day is a huge task and it’s so easy to become overwhelmed by the apparent limitless options from save-the-dates to bridesmaids dress colour. Mums are always just a phone call away to give advice. I asked my mothers what pitfalls they would advise a future bride to prepare for.

  • Ensure that replies for invitations are confirmed within the time date stated and having a back-up list is essential to fill any late cancellations.
  • Keep an eye on the costs of the little extras, they all add up!
  • Don’t get wound up about the little details. It’s the couple themselves and people that matter most.
  • Do things well in advance. It was a real surprise how early you had to order and book certain things such as the brides and bridesmaids dresses.
I love the adoration in this image. As mum looks on at her son as he reads his speech!


“Don’t bow to pressure, make sure you keep in mind what you want, rather than being swayed as there can be a lot of added pressure at times” Rhonda Benke

A Lot to Worry About?

With so much at stake, there is a great deal of pressure on mums to give the right advice and get things right for their daughters and sons. I asked what worries my mums had about the pending wedding and whether on the day, they were realised. I chat to many mums at weddings and on the day, and they are all so relieved that the wedding has gone so well and to plan. They also have such admiration for their sons and daughters, it is wonderful to see!

  • The main concern was with the timing of things throughout the day/ ceremony, food, entertainment. We wanted to make sure the day flowed, no long waits but also no rushing around. In the end we had a hiccup getting our daughter to church on time and things did run behind. Better to allow a bit extra time to be safe!
  • I was worried about my husbands father of the bride speech, in the end it was wonderful and felt very proud of him as he is not a public speaker!
  • Good communication between a named person for the venue and bridal couple is paramount. Any changes from either party get in writing. Unfortunately our original venue let us down badly and caused a lot of anguish. Fortunately the new venue was perfect and the communication was excellent.  (I have to add here that the new venue was the wonderful Hothorpe Hall)
Mums do so much more than just the traditional roles. Enjoy your moment getting your daughter into her dress, it is a memory that will last a lifetime!

Mums List of Essential Items!

I could have called this ‘Whats in the handbag?’ There is always at least one wedding a year when a steady hand, a needle and thread, a packet of tissues, the key to the room is needed in an emergency! There are tens if not hundreds of purchasing decisions to make. I asked the mums what purchases they would recommend to future mums-of-brides.

  •  I had a small handbag with safety pins, tissues and few of my daughters essentials like lipstick.
  •  Comfortable shoes! and shoes to change into for the evening.
  •  I felt we had most things covered although one thing that would have been nice as an addition would to have the day videoed so we could watch things back in years to come.

Top Tip from Rhonda Benke

“We enjoyed doing things ourselves in some cases, not only to save money but to add a personal touch to the day. Be aware of the costs of little things. You have expected costs of the big things like the venue, dress, food, photography, but it’s the little things not previously thought of that can add up. Expect a little tension while organising the big day but just remember it will be all be worth it and on the day it will be a distant memory” Rhonda Benke


Wedding Highlights

Weddings are a celebration and it’s so easy to lose sight of this when you are in the middle of planning. I asked my mums, what were the highlights of planning. Once the wedding is over and months have passed, it is important to realise that even the most stressful moments will be remembered with fondness.

  •  I looked forward to seeing family and friends coming together and meeting new family. This was one of the planning highlights.
  • Simply spending time planning the event with my daughter especially trying on the wedding dresses.
  •  I enjoyed being part of the planning and bouncing ideas around then letting my daughter and fiancé decide what to choose. I also enjoyed making the over 45 meters of bunting over the winter when there wasn’t anything useful we could do.
  • It was such a privilege to be able to come with my daughter to find her dress. The excitement when she found ‘the one’ was wonderful to be a part of.


“The best piece of advice we were given was to the bride, if you relax and enjoy your day, your guests will do too.” Vikki Freestone

Hypothetically Doing It All Again!

This is of course hypothetical, but interesting to know after all the pre-wedding stress, the planning, the hiccups, the zips that wouldn’t zip and the speech that didn’t go to plan, whether my mums would do anything differently if they could do it all again!

  • Nothing! I would love to do it all over again and I wouldn’t change a thing!
  • I would have loved an audio recording of the wedding ceremony, hindsight is a good thing.
  • We managed the financial side of things to avoid costs running away with themselves and because we wanted to be involved but in hindsight we should have given a lump sum, as at times it would have not only been a lot easier, but would have avoided a few arguments.
  • I would not change anything on the day, it was one of the happiest days of my life. I also have some beautiful photographs that I am always looking at. (courtesy of Firetree of course)

Top Tip

“Enjoy every moment of the day, choose an excellent photographer, I definitely recommend Firetree” Anne Goadby

Of course!  Make sure you choose a good photographer and don’t forget Firetree can also create beautiful keepsake films of your wedding day. For information about my wedding photography and video please find out more here.

Thanks again to the wonderful mums who dedicated time to help with this blog and a big hug to future mums reading this, about to embark on the wedding journey. You are all one-in-a-million and all my brides thank you for all the childcare, the emergency pins, the tissue for tears, the advice and future marital support!

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