What I Learned About Being a Good M.O.B.

All opinions are mine and mine alone.

What I Learned About Being a Good MOB 


If there’s one thing I’ll always remember about my wedding — besides the look on my groom’s face as I walked down the aisle, of course — it will be how my mom functioned as the mother of the bride (MOB). Just as it seems impossible for weddings to occur without at least one catastrophe, it seems that a well-behaved MOB is a creature of fantasy. Usually, my mom is cool: She is adventurous in food, travel, and fashion; she is unafraid of expressing her emotions, be they good or bad; and she lets me find my own path through life. Yet, as soon as I showed her my shiny new ring, she transformed into an unfamiliar and frightening beast, dictating what I had to do and when, how to handle everything, and why I simply couldn’t have the wedding of my dreams. 

For now, I’m happy just being a recent bride, but in a couple decades, I will probably step into comfortable (yet, ideally, fashionable) shoes of the mother of the bride. Though I do expect to have some motherly urges, I hope these lessons I learned from my monster MOB will keep me and my daughter sane when she dons the white dress. 

Be Available (Not Authoritative) 

Most MOBs are not wedding planners, but most MOBs act like them. Just because a MOB has been involved in one or two weddings — one of which was her own — she is not an expert at executing a gorgeous and meaningful event. MOBs should never act like wedding authorities; mandating brides take certain actions. Instead, MOBs should act more like support staff, answering calls for help. 

Best MOB Behavior: Be at-the-ready to assist your daughter, but avoid taking action when it is not explicitly requested. 

Respect the Budget 

Many modern brides strive to pay for most of their nuptial celebrations with their own dime, but some simply can’t afford any sort of event without help from the MOB. According to one survey, 12 percent of couples pay for the whole wedding themselves, while most enjoy some contributions from the bride’s and groom’s families. Still, even MOBs who are footing a large portion of the bill shouldn’t feel entitled to dictating allocation of funds. Brides following a budget don’t need anyone spending wantonly, especially not the MOB 

Best MOB Behavior: Avoid advocating for purchases outside of the bride’s budget or payment potential. 

Respect the Style 

Some moms and daughters are blessed with an identical sense of taste; most aren’t. Yet, even those MOBs who simply cannot understand their daughter’s style should bend to the bride’s fashion choices for the wedding. Primarily, that means recognizing when the bride is excited about a gown and accepting bridal party cuts and colors — especially when the MOB would choose something completely different. It also means searching through complementary mother of the bride dresses instead of opting for something that clashes. 

Best MOB Behavior: Bite your tongue when the bride is enthusiastic about a particular style, even when it doesn’t suit your taste. 

Pick Your Priorities 

Fighting the bride on every detail is a sure-fire way to get closed out of the wedding decision-making process. Therefore, MOBs who have important requests of their daughters must limit their priorities to two or three issues to ensure a receptive audience. For example, a MOB who wants her daughter to wear her wedding shoes should avoid causing a fuss about flowers and music selection. 

Best MOB Behavior: Pick your battles wisely if you want to be included in the planning process.  

Be the Mom 

MOBs can claim to be best friends with their daughters, but that doesn’t excuse immature behavior. If a bride appears more grown-up than her mother, something has gone seriously wrong. Still, there is a fine line between acting like a mother and giving a bride enough space and respect to plan her own event. MOBs must find that line and walk it carefully. 

Best MOB Behavior: Be calm, especially when your daughter feels overwhelmed by planning, but don’t seize the opportunity to control the wedding.  

Follow Her Lead 

As fun as it is to be the bride, MOBs must remember that it is not their wedding. They are there to support the bride, not live through her. Therefore, instead of taking a lead on the wedding planning, MOBs should be followers, listening carefully to the daughter’s wishes and proffering advice and opinions only when they are requested.  

Best MOB Behavior: Repeat this mantra: “It is not my wedding. It is not my wedding. It is not my wedding.” 



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