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Mother-in-law embracing new son

As a Cape Town based wedding planner I have noticed over the years that many mothers share the same level of excitement as the bride or groom. It is important to make your mom feel special by incorporating extra touches and moments just for her. Couples often ask how to include their moms in the wedding planning process. It is truly heart-warming when parents express their desire to be a part of this special occasion, and it deserves to be honoured and celebrated. However, as a wedding planner, it can sometimes be challenging for me to manage multiple decision-makers. With the couple and both sets of parents involved, it is like having six bosses instead of just two! My approach is to embrace the valuable input of parents, as they bring insights and wisdom gained from their own experiences. Together, I like to say that we form a ‘counsel’ for your wedding, offering advice and guidance. However, it is important to note that the final decisions still rests with the couple.

Let me share a story from my early days as a wedding planner that taught me an important lesson. Picture this: I had meticulously planned every detail of the wedding with a couple, making sure everything matched their vision perfectly. The day before the big day, while the bride and her bridesmaids were off enjoying some pampering, she left her mother in charge. And guess what? She got a little enthusiastic and made some significant changes to the wedding décor and layout. When the bride returned, she was surprised and asked why everything was different from our plans. Well, the simple answer was: your mom got into the spirit of things and had a blast making her mark! This experience highlighted the importance of clear communication and understanding each person's roles and expectations in the planning process. It is all about ensuring everyone is on the same page to create a magical and memorable wedding day.

Just like weddings themselves, the job of a wedding planner has gone through its own journey of evolution. Back in the day, the concept of a wedding planner was not as well-known or widely recognised as it is today. We are talking about a time 30 to 40 years ago when the role did not even exist or was not a well-known term. It is believed that the popularity of wedding planners grew after the world witnessed Princess Diana and Prince Charles' mesmerising fairy-tale wedding.

Now, here is a funny situation I often encounter at weddings. When I meet the grandmother, she sometimes looks at me with a puzzled expression and asks, "Who are you?" Once I explain that I am the wedding planner, she wonders aloud, "But why isn't my daughter planning my granddaughter's wedding?" Traditionally, it was the mother's role to take charge of wedding preparations.

Nowadays, planning a wedding takes a wedding planner around 200 to 250 hours of dedicated work. That is equivalent to about 1.5 months of full-time attention if we consider a 40-hour work week! With modern couples often juggling jobs and other commitments, the role of the wedding planner has become more popular to alleviate unnecessary stress.

However, it is important to note that having a wedding planner does not mean the mother of the bride becomes redundant. Wedding planners are here to lighten the load when it comes to design and logistics, allowing both you and your mom to enjoy the exciting adventure leading up to your special day. It is all about creating a stress-free and joyous experience!

Lastly, I want to express my love and appreciation for mothers and grandmothers. They hold a special place in our lives and have played significant roles in our upbringing. That is why I wrote this to guide and support all of us through this wonderful journey.

Here are my 5 suggestions to include your mom with your wedding:

Acknowledge Your Mom's Unique Perspective

Take the time to explain to your mom the vision and ideas you have for the special day. Although you may not always align on every detail, your mom's perspective can provide valuable insights. It is worth sometimes considering her suggestions and if need be ask your wedding planner and consider them before making final decisions. Remember, her advice can contribute to making your day even more memorable and meaningful.

Allow for some alone time with your mom

Make it a priority to set aside some special time with your mother leading up to your wedding day. Plan an activity like hiking, a relaxing spa day, or simply enjoying a lovely lunch. It is important to allocate alone time for each other, considering that this day holds significance for your mother as well. Do not miss the chance to cherish these precious moments together. Beforehand, communicate with your mom about your desire for this quality time and savour every minute spent together.

Give Your Mom Her Own Special Look

It is important to involve your mom in the hair and makeup process, as it holds significant meaning for her. While you may already plan to provide your bridal party with beautiful attire, do not forget to pamper your mom too. Perhaps allowing her to have a unique look. It is always so touching to see moms in the getting ready pictures, looking relaxed, comfortable, and effortlessly stylish.

Let Your Mom Assist in Dressing You

From the earliest days of your life, your mom was there to help dress you, and as you prepare to walk down the aisle and become a Mrs, it is a beautiful opportunity to cherish this final dressing moment with her. Allow your mom to be by your side, not only for capturing stunning photos but also as a heartfelt way to honour and celebrate this special lady in your life. It is a perfect time to create lasting memories and show your appreciation for all the love and care she has given you.

Celebrate Her Unique Style

Have a conversation with your mom ahead of time to discuss how she would like to be involved in certain special moments. Each mom has her own unique style, and it is important to honour and celebrate it. There are exciting traditions to consider, like having both parents walk you down the aisle, symbolising their significant roles in raising you. Or, why not let your mom add her own touch by doing a reading during the ceremony or offering a l toast during the speeches? Remember that every family is unique, so be sure to honour your mom's wishes and embrace her authentic style.


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