From the moment a mom gets the call that her daughter is engaged, she is going to be navigating a tricky and exciting time in their relationship. A wedding is an exciting event to plan, but can also be incredibly stressful -- and mothers are often involved in the planning process from the start. Here are some common pitfalls the mother of the bride should avoid to make sure the wedding is a success ... and she keeps her strong relationship with her daughter. istockphoto.com
Avoiding the money talk
Conversations about money can be awkward, but it's best to get everyone on the same page with family contributions to the big day. Whether that means the parents will be paying for all of it, contributing a portion or not contributing at all, it helps to manage expectations by having an honest dialogue. istockphoto.com
Not checking expectations at the door
If you've been dreaming of a beach wedding but your daughter has been dreaming of a black tie affair, someone is going to be disappointed. A parent trying to force their ideas into a daughter's big day is just going to cause a headache for everyone.
Assuming you already know the guest list
You might assume you know who will be getting an invite to the nuptials, but it's best to hold off talking about the big day with too many people. While you may want to shout it from the rooftops, implying to someone that they will be included when they may not make the final guest list could cause hurt feelings. Staying tight-lipped could save you from an awkward conversation later. istockphoto.com
Being negative or critical of the plans
Your daughter will most likely lean on you for help because you have years of good advice already on your track record. That means there will be many calls for a second opinion. A mother of the bride should be gentle in offering advice - don't be too critical of things you know are important to your daughter.
Starting a beauty or fitness regimen too late
Growing out hair because everyone else is going to wear an updo takes time, as does losing 10 pounds to wear that dream dress. These things don't just happen magically, so long term goals need to be started early to be realistically achieved. Be realistic about your goals and start working towards them accordingly. istockphoto.com
Going rogue with the dress
The last thing you want to do on your daughter's special day is cause dress drama. Seek her input from the start about what you'll wear. Make plans for a day of shopping together to make memories and avoid an argument. Even if the dress isn't exactly what you envisioned, as long as you are comfortable, her vision is what really matters. istockphoto.com
Buying their dress too early -- or late
A mother of the bride's dress should probably not be an impulse buy, and it also shouldn't be a last minute decision. It's best to shop around and keep the feel of the event in mind. Buying a dress too early may only cause regret, but it's always possible to circle back to an original favorite. istockphoto.com
Being too matchy-matchy
A mother of the bride is not a bridesmaid. Choosing the same color dress as the bridesmaids may be confusing and may not translate well in photos. Choose a color or cut that is complementary to the colors of the bridal party. istockphoto.com
Not consulting with the future mother-in-law
What will she be wearing? Or what does she anticipate shopping for? Obviously, the mother of the bride and mother of the groom don't want to look like twins, but it will look better if you and she are on the same page when it comes to the formality of the day and the aesthetics for the wedding.
Not consulting with the future mother-in-law (part 2)
Having a casual conversation about family traditions with the other parents is a must; it will help you navigate the day better and also help you give your daughter the best advice. And just like you, the mother of the groom is excitedly navigating her own set of expectations, so any conversation about the ceremony can be a great chance to bond. After all, this is two families coming together. istockphoto.com
Not being specific about how you can help
As the mother of the bride, you're going to want to help in any way you can - but that's not realistic. Just saying that you can help in general may get you in over your head, saddled with more tasks than you can handle. Likewise, if you're too vague, your daughter may assign a task you really wanted to someone else.
Taking on a task you aren't good at
If you know you are a terrible speller, someone else should probably proofread the invitations. Even if your daughter really needs help making paper flowers, it's still not a good idea to take that on if you're a terrible crafter. Find a way to take something else off her plate that is more within your skill set. It will keep stress low for both of you. istockphoto.com
Each wedding day is different, so it's best if you don't spend too much thought comparing the ceremony to anyone else's - a friend's, a family member's or even your own. What's important is that your daughter gets to have exactly the special day she envisioned. istockphoto.com
Blabbing too much about the details
Of course you are excited and want to talk about the wedding, but maybe your daughter wants some of the special details to be a surprise for her guests. The best course of action is to be on the same page with your daughter about what you are allowed to share. istockphoto.com
Showing off the dress
The dress may be the biggest wedding detail to your daughter, and she may want to keep it a secret. If you have photos from a fitting on your phone, keep them to yourself unless given explicit permission to share them with others. istockphoto.com
Passing on hair and makeup
Look good, feel good, right? Many times the mom is in on the bridal party glam squad. If you are concerned you will not look like yourself on the big day, just be transparent with your makeup artist and bring in pictures of looks you would feel comfortable with. istockphoto.com
Taking on too many day-of tasks
Even though it's not your day, you are still one of the stars of the show. If you take on a task to complete on the day of the ceremony, you need to keep it simple and make sure it isn't going to cause too much stress for you. istockphoto.com
Getting too lost on the details on the day
This day is a big deal and it should be enjoyed. Let go of last-minute anxieties about things that could go wrong and realize you've done all you can to make the day go right.
Not keeping their nerves in check
Of course, it is a big day for you too - but this is the biggest event your daughter will ever throw. If you get wedding day jitters, it's best to keep your nerves out of the spotlight and instead be a calming force in the moment for your daughter's sake. istockphoto.com
Thinking this won't impact your relationship
Little tiffs can become big blowups, and big blowups can cause lasting problems. Weddings can be stressful, but it is important to keep any problems in perspective so that they don't permanently damage your precious relationship with your daughter. It is, after all, one of the 10 most important relationships to cultivate in your lifetime. istockphoto.com