It's true: While mothers are integral behind the scenes of your big day, they don't get as much face time during your ceremony or reception. Often, fathers are the ones to walk brides down the aisle, join you in the spotlight for the father-daughter dance, and give a toast in your honor. While mothers of the bride will say that simple moments, like being side-by-side with you in the morning of your wedding, and helping you get ready to say "I do" will fill her with all the joy she needs, it doesn't mean you can't take an extra step to publicly show her how much you care in front of friends and family.
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Surprise her with a special favor
Lisa Costin, owner of event planning company A Charming Fete, says including a special message or poem dedicated to her in the program will do just the trick. Another way to provide something unexpected and sentimental? "Restore old photos of [your] mom on her wedding day—or even grandparents or great-grandparents' wedding days—and place them on a table in the reception space," Costin says. Or take a moment during rehearsal dinner or cocktail hour to "surprise mom with a photo slideshow set to sentimental music, photos of growing up and thanking her for all she's done," Costin suggests. Then prepare for waterworks.
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Offer what she likes
Speaking of cocktail hour, another way to give your mom a special shout out is to serve a signature drink in her honor, Costin says. "Or [serve] something to honor heritage or culture, like a small package of biscotti or baklava or homemade limoncello favors in petite bottles." Costin also suggests that treats like these can be packaged up beautifully with a small note inside or hang tang for personalization.
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Have her join in on your dad's roles
Both parents can also be included in the first dances at your reception. "Why not have two dances where a bride can dance with her mother, and then father?" Costin says. "This can easily be worked into the reception timeline," she adds.
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Here comes the bride (and her mom and dad)
Your mother and father can both walk you down the aisle—in fact, it's customary for Jewish weddings. "We have had brother of the bride walk the bride down the aisle, and also two fathers (one biological and one stepfather) both walk the bride down the aisle. So I don't see this being an issue, depending on religious affiliation and ceremony restrictions," she says. "We are definitely seeing many couples bending tradition and customizing their ceremony when possible."
Give Mom some face time
"On one occasion, we saw a mom serve as matron of honor, which may be a wonderful idea, depending on the circumstance," Costin says. She adds that Mom can receive and welcome guests into the reception as a modified receiving line, too. "Most often, guests wish to congratulate the mother (and father) of the bride."