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Mother-of-the-Bride: What Is Her Role?

We’ve all heard of the term “Bridezilla”…especially if you’re a fan of WE tv! But while there are a number of brides who rule the wedding party with an iron fist (and a foul mouth!), there are also brides who are stressed out from dealing with a difficult relative — in other words, a Momzilla! (Spoiler Alert: On this new season of My Fair Wedding: Unveiled, host David Tutera is faced with an outrageous mother-of-the-bride who is a full-time job all by herself!) And this experience raises an important question: What really is the role of the mother-of-the-bride? David offers the top four responsibilities every mom should know before her daughter’s wedding day arrives.

Responsibility #1: Play a supporting role: “My number one piece of advice is to support your daughter since she is, after all, the bride,” says David. However, that doesn’t mean that each and every pick must solely be made by the bride and her husband-to-be. “The bride and groom need to understand that whoever pays for the wedding has the final decision.”

Responsibility #2: Be all ears: “Listen, really listen, to what your daughter wants,” states David. “At the same time, a bride should make her mom a little happy—because she is her mom. I always remind people that they need to remind themselves that when the wedding is over and the dress has been put on the hanger and the pictures are in the photo album that you need to ‘live’ with this woman for the rest of your life!”

Responsibility #3: Tread lightly with opinions: “Or as I like to say, ‘give guidance with love.’ Don’t over-express what you think you want your daughter to have. Ultimately it’s your daughter’s wedding, not yours.”

And when reacting to your daughter’s ideas, avoid using that nasty four-letter word: hate. “Here’s something that my grandmother said to me when I was very young: ‘Never use the word ‘hate.’ She told me I should never say ‘I hate you’ or ‘I hate this’ or ‘I hate…’ something. ‘Hate,’ she explained, is a very strong, very negative, very damaging word to use. It’s just like that old saying: You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. A smile, a please and thank you are such easy things to do and say, and they get you so much in return.”

Responsibility #4: Let go of the reigns: “Please do yourself and your daughter a favor and be the mother of the bride and not a vendor or a wedding planner,” advises David. “Stay out of her business! Let the vendors and professionals do what they do best so you can do your ‘job’—being the mother of the bride and, ultimately, a guest at the wedding.”