My Best Advice to Mothers of the Bride (to Be)


My practical tips and advice to mothers of the bride~from makeup, hair, MOB dress and beyond.

advice mother of bride

Less than a week ago, I was a mother of the bride for the first time. My oldest twin got married, and it was one of the most special weekends we’ve ever experienced as a family. But being a MOB has its challenges, so I want to share some of my best advice on several aspects of this unique role.

Choose a Special Venue

Whether your church, home or special vacation spot, the venue is so important. We chose Pursell Farms, one of our favorite places on earth. It is similar to Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN, but in my opinion, better:-) This is a tiny slice of Heaven. I highly recommend it for vacation or wedding. Not one detail was left unattended, and we and our guests were treated like royalty the entire weekend.

A Wedding Planner is Worth Every Penny

I have a new appreciation for the job of wedding planner. There are myriad details to plan, a timeline to follow, and deadlines to keep. We hired Handley Breaux Designs to help us every step of the way. She and her fab team kept us organized, on task, within deadline, and within our designated budget. Never was she more appreciated than on wedding day, when she and her team managed the family, the wedding party, the vendors, the schedule and the bride/groom. They were amazing.

A Great Photographer and Videographers are Worth Every Penny

We chose Be Light Photography for our photos and couldn’t be more pleased with how kind, yet professional, our photographer Madison was. She had to maneuver family, children, and a schedule that changed midstream (thanks to a husband who decided to go for a “run” LOL), but she did it without batting an eye or getting irritated. I highly recommend Be Light. Resolute Films did our videography; they are outstanding!

You’ll See How Much Your Friends Love You

My friend Deb told me early on, “you’ll really see how much your friends love you when your daughter gets married,” and she was right. Your friends will be the ones who host all the celebrations leading up to the wedding. From teas to showers to bridesmaids’ lunch and beyond~they step in and serve in ways that you won’t believe. You’ll be touched and humbled, for sure.

The Wedding Will Happen Just Before Everyone Kills One Another

HaHa…..This is tongue in cheek but also seriously close to being true. Emotions are high, especially when you have more than one girl/woman in the house. Add a mama in menopause (#truth) and you will have emotions flying high at times. On the morning of the wedding rehearsal, I called my friend Deb at my wit’s end. She told me the same thing happened at her house when her daughter Maggie got married. It is normal. You are fine.  You have to suck it up, love each other, and get through the stress. It is funny when all is said and done.

 Finding the MOB Dress Can Be Hard

It takes time finding the perfect MOB dress. Once you know the color scheme, you will do well to make friends with stylist at your favorite stores . Saks Fifth Avenue is a great place for dresses, and a Saks stylist will be your best friend. How? One way is that she will let you take tons of dresses to try and return the ones you don’t like (even ones that are technically “final sale”).  You will be amazed at how kind, helpful and accommodating the stylists will be to you when you are a MOB. Think about it. You have lots of dresses to buy (besides your own), so she will do her best to help make the process easier.

Amazon is the Place for Robes 

Most brides like to gift their maids with matching robes to wear for MUAH sessions on wedding day. Ellie mailed white floral robes to her friends (with a “will you be a bridesmaid?” note), who were all at college. Ellie ordered her all white with lace robe from amazon, and it simply beautiful (and so reasonably priced).  I ordered my floral robe from amazon, thinking that it was the same one as the maids, but it was an entirely different color scheme LOL. It was fine, though. 

Shop White Party Dresses Early and Often

There are parties and teas leading up to wedding day, and many brides choose to wear all white. And to be clear (because I asked the wedding planner and googled it), only the bride can wear all white to not only the wedding, but to the parties as well. It can be difficult to find all white dresses, especially in fall/winter, so shop early and often. I link to Ellie’s dresses below along with a few that we family members wore. Her rehearsal dinner dress is below, along with some others that are lovely.

Shoes to go with all white dresses are easy. Snake skin which is popular right now looks fab with white. Nude is always a good choice. And for those who love to make a statement, a pair of shoes with a pop of color can look nice. I link to ones we bought and wore below.

Consider Trees for Wedding (then Your Yard)

Wedding florals are not just flowers; trees are a big trend. When our floral designer Mary Cox Brown of Marigold Designs suggested two large crepe myrtles for our wedding, we loved the idea. Our friend Warren Handrahan of Specialist Landscaping made it happen. Better yet, he gave us the option to keep and plant the trees post wedding (as opposed to renting the trees for almost the same price). The trees are now planted in our yard, and we couldn’t be happier to have them as wedding keepsakes. Because taking trees to more than one venue, carefully, is a task, be sure to find someone willing to do it. Warren is simply the best, and I highly recommend him if you want to do this for a wedding or special event. You can see his work and follow him on instagram here.

Consider Hiring a Phone Photographer

We used Be Light Photography for all wedding photos, but I also wanted candids and casual photos of the day for my phone. First, I was able to share snapshots of the weekend on my instagram story for friends and family who couldn’t be there. Second, I chose to save the instagram story permanently on a highlight which I named “wedding.” This means at any time I can go to my instagram and enjoy those sweet, funny, and candid moments. Third, during the reception, I tried to get a snapshot with all my sweet friends who were there. I hired a high school student who actually does photos for me but who was happy to come and do wedding pics and videos.  He came to the wedding; I handed him my iPhone; he took care of all pics and videos from then on. Best decision ever.

Choose a Hairstyle That Will Stay Pretty All Day

My precious and super talented MUAH artist, Katie Hodges, did a fantastic job with everyone’ s hair and makeup. My one regret is that I chose to do a “loose curls” hairstyle, which looked great for a few hours until the curls fell. No matter how much hairspray or how many bobby pins, if you get ready more than a couple hours prior to photos, chances are, your curls will fall out  In hindsight, I wish that I had chosen a smooth, straight style or an updo with curls at the side of the face. Just a thought, because hairspray can only do so much.

Stock Your Purse with These

Carry a small purse stocked with the following: lipstick, glosses, mints/gum, and Lumify eye drops. These will ensure that your lips and eyes are photo ready at all times. You’ll need to apply lips over and over throughout the day because you’ll be sipping water, talking, etc. Eyes will be red because you won’t get much sleep; Lumify is the bomb.  Below are the colors I kept in my purse. My lips were a peachy pink nude. Of course you’ll be in everyone’s face all day and night, so gum and mints galore.

These are just a few tips and tidbits of advice that I have; as I think of more, I’ll add to the post. If you’ve been a MOB, I’d love to hear YOUR favorite advice. We can all share with each other. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing you a joyful, blessed, and savvy day.

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  1. Hi Andrea! Congratulations on your daughter’s wedding!!!For hostess gifts, I did a set of salad serving pieces from Anthropologie for one shower. For the other, I gave a small marble cheese board with a mother-of-pearl cheese knife. I hope this helps!!

  2. My daughter is getting married in November and she has 2 bridal showers coming up. We need help with shower hostess gifts. I would love your suggestions. Thanks!

  3. Beautiful bride and beautiful mama! You must be so proud. Congrats to the happy couple! Thanks for the tips. We are a long way off from a day like this, but I know they grow up fast.

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