There's a good chance your mom is almost as excited about your wedding as you are—and with good reason! She's been dreaming about this day since you were born, after all. Whether you've designed every detail with her by your side, taken her with you to go dress shopping, or want her to be as surprised as your guests when she walks into your reception, it's a big day for her, too. And while moments like walking down the aisle and father-daughter dances are usually designed with dad in mind, we think mom deserves some special recognition, too.
Here are our 14 favorite ways to honor your mom at your wedding.
Have a First Look
Even if your mom is the only one who really knows how to help you put on your wedding dress and finagle all those buttons, make sure to take a moment once you're dressed and fully accessorized to show her the completed product. Grab your photographer (and some tissues!) and document the smiles and happy tears, as well as some sweet mother-daughter portraits that will look perfect framed in her living room.
Surprise Her With a Special Gift
A little token of your love along with a heartfelt note is a great way to acknowledge everything she's done for you while commemorating the day. You could pick out an accessory to go with her MOB gown or something you know she'll wear every day. You could even treat her to a mother-daughter spa day so the two of you can recover together after all the excitement winds down.
Plan a Mother-Daughter Dance
Pick a song the two of you love, like that Rolling Stones classic you grew up dancing around the kitchen to, or something more poignant like Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance." Start off just the two of you, then invite the rest of the mothers and daughters at your reception to join.
Borrow Something From Her Wedding Day
Carrying something of your mom's with you down the aisle is a sweet way to show that you'll always have her close to you. Wear her veil, use the same pin to fasten the ribbons on your bouquet, tuck her handkerchief in near your heart, or slip her wedding band onto your right hand.
Use Her Favorite Blooms
Does your mom love calla lilies? Is her garden full of peonies? Whatever her favorite flower is, include a few blossoms in your bouquet, or, better yet, throughout your wedding décor. Be sure to use them in her corsage, too!
Thank Her in a Speech
It's customary for brides to give a speech or toast at their reception. Be sure to shout out your mom upfront, thanking her for all she's done throughout your life and for bringing your dream wedding to fruition. This is the perfect time to recall touching anecdotes and express gratitude for her guidance and support. Plan to include this as part of your newlywed speech, which typically takes place at the beginning of the reception once everyone is seated and waiting for their meals.
If you prefer not to address your mom in front of a crowd, write out a few words to say to her in private while you're getting ready on the day of your wedding or during a part of the reception when everyone else is distracted.
Include a Photo Display at Your Reception
There's nothing more heartwarming than a photo display commemorating a loving mother-daughter relationship. Include some of the best pictures of you and your mom from childhood through adulthood to honor how she's guided you into the person you are today. You can keep the photo spread on a designated table by the bar or reception entrance so guests are sure to get a good look.
Incorporate Her Skills Into Your Wedding
Flatter you're mom by leaning into her skills when planning your wedding. If she's crafty, have her assemble wedding favors or welcome bags, or save money on décor by having her create some DIY arrangements. If she's an organizer, ask her to create a planner or spreadsheet to help you keep track of wedding-related tasks. If she's a fashionista, pick out rehearsal dinner/welcome party/reception dresses together. Whatever her niche, she'll be glad you asked for her help.
Make Time for Her Cherished Traditions
Even as modern weddings take increasingly non-traditional routes, odds are, your mom has at least one or two traditions she'd love to see you incorporate into your wedding. If there's a particular wedding tradition customary to your culture, consider including it in your ceremony or pre-ceremony festivities. Whatever your background, integrating your mom's cherished traditions is a great way to show her respect on your wedding day.
Get Ready With Her
Getting ready with your mom is one of the best ways to bond with her on your wedding day. She can help you in to your dress, wipe away any emotional tears, and get dressed and beautified herself while you and your 'maids are being pampered. This is a great time to grab some adorable photos for your wedding album.
Walk Down the Aisle Together
While it's traditional for brides to have their dads walk them down the aisle, there's no rule that says you can't have your mom join or walk alongside you by herself. Perhaps she raised you alone, your father passed away, your parents are divorced, you have two moms (in which case, have them both walk on either side of you!), or you simply want her to join your father in the walk. Whatever your situation, having your mom walk you down the aisle to meet your soon-to-be spouse is a great way to honor her.
Wear Her Jewelry
Maybe your mom has a necklace or set of earrings she wore on her wedding day that she'd love to gift to you. Perhaps she has an antique piece that's been passed down through the generations. Or, maybe there's a certain necklace or bracelet she has that would look perfect with your dress. Whatever the item, she'll be glad you incorporated a little piece of her into your ensemble.
Wearing your mom's jewelry is a perfect way to incorporate "something borrowed" while honoring her on your big day.
Complete the Rose Ceremony
The Rose Ceremony is such a sweet way to honor both your and your partner's mom on your wedding day. At the beginning of your wedding ceremony, before you say your vows, you and your partner present your respective future mothers-in-law with a rose while the officiant says a prepared speech. Not only is it a great way to show some love to your moms, it's also a beautiful representation of two families joining together.
Skip the Bouquet Toss and Present Her With Your Bouquet
While the bouquet toss tradition can be a fun one to uphold, we also love the idea of mixing it up and presenting your mom with your bouquet instead. Offer it to her during your speech at the reception, or at the time when you'd typically do the bouquet toss (hint: it often takes place after the cake-cutting). Whenever you choose to present her your bouquet, she'll be sure to appreciate your gesture. She can even take the blooms home and preserve them as a way of remembering your special day.