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Most engaged brides tend to moan and groan about their future mother-in-law during wedding planning, but not all. In fact, some, mothers of the groom have proven to be of incredible help and a huge supporter of the bride throughout the process which attributed to a lifelong bond that contributes to a happy marriage.
Sometimes the bride really needs her fiancé's mom's support because her own mother is deceased, or not a part of her life. Occasionally, the mother of the bride just isn't engaged in the process and, even if she's helping pay for the big day, she doesn't want any responsibility in the actual wedding planning.
Most of the time, brides and grooms don't actually need much actual wedding labor from their parents, but it's really great to have somebody to bounce ideas off of and sort through wedding dilemmas with. Sometimes parents offer really easy solutions to problems that seemed huge to the bride and groom.
There are lots of ways you can help your future daughter-in-law, if she's open to it. But the following three suggestions are fail-safe ways to offer support that will for sure make the bride happy.
Volunteering to help gather the proper address and salutation information for the groom's half of the guest list.
Not only does it save the bride a lot of time, but it heads off a potential fight between the engaged couple because the invitations cannot go into the mail until all the information has been collected. This is especially important if the invites have to be sent to a professional calligrapher. There's an added charge if you have to make changes or send in your information piecemeal.
Offering to have them use your address for shipping gifts if you live in the same city as the engaged couple (or live in a safer neighborhood), and you are home more.
You can also offer to keep the record of who sent what (no, you don't open the gifts for them — you write it down when they open them). The list won't be complete if they don't tell you about everything they receive directly, and the envelopes with cash or checks they receive at the wedding, but whatever detailed information you collect will be much appreciated if the bride has expressed interest in your help.
Asking the bride if she has a color or style preference for you to wear to the wedding.
Invite her to shop with you for your mother of the groom dress, but don't make it seem mandatory or you're just adding one more "to do" item to the bride's list. Chances are she trusts your taste. Just make sure you know what length and color the mother of the bride has chosen before you start looking for your own dress so you don't unintentionally cause drama with her mom later on.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional and destination wedding planning company and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms based in the Washington, DC area. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show "Wedding Island," about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques. Sandy's book "How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional," will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.