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Do weddings bring mothers and daughters closer together – or drive them apart?


Article by Ceri Wheeldon

mother of the bride marisota image

Weddings in theory should be a joyous occasion . I helped a friend on her stand at the National Wedding Show a while ago – I was amazed at just what a huge business weddings had become- and the planning and stress associated with the build up to the event. I chatted to one Mother of the Bride who told me that when her daughter had announced that she was getting married they discussed keeping the wedding small- and manageable -and not get caught up in the circus. However once the venue had been booked she said that they had got caught up in the pre-wedding spectacle – attending wedding fairs most weekends for ideas and contacts. Costs were spiralling and she felt her relationship with her daughter was suffering as a result.

Another emotional bride to be confided that she booked her wedding date only for her mother to be told 2 days later that she had terminal cancer . They were bringing the date forward to make it special for her mother – and to make sure that her mother would be there on what was going to be an incredibly emotional day.

Is the wedding the bride’s day or the mother’s?

Two very different scenarios. Do weddings bring the mother and daughter closer together- or further apart? It seems as much effort and discussion goes into the Mother of the Bride looking and feeling good on the day as it does the Bride. Both are under the spotlight. I have been to weddings where it has seemed to be been far more the mother’s day than the bride’s!  There can be arguments over choice of bridesmaids, choice of colours for the bridesmaid’s dresses, number of guests, seating plans. Are these topics that both mother and daughter happily agree on – or do emotions run high leading to tears?

I know that in the case of my own (first) wedding the planning was very much a battle of wills between myself and my mother – I may be one of the few brides not to have attended her own evening ‘do’ – mostly because I knew none of the guests invited  (and I was limited to inviting only 2 of my own friends) !

My reaction may have been a little extreme, but weddings can bring out the best and worst in people – and mother/daughter relationships can fly or flounder as a result.

I’d love to know more about your own  mother/daughter wedding experiences.

mother of the bride survey imageMarisota are running a Mother of the Bride a survey on their Facebook page at the moment  asking about just that – I’m not sure if my own experience will fit into any of their questions – but for those that participate there is a chance of £100 voucher to spend on their website in a prize draw. I’ve popped in a link to the survey here

Just in case you were wondering 30 years after that wedding- my mother is now speaking to me. All’s well that ends well 🙂



Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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  1. Anne Mackle

    May 19, 2014

    Fascinating! I didn’t realise all this went on between bride and mother. My daughter is getting married in Nov and although she has asked my opinion about things she has rarely changed her mind from what she likes. As for guests,it’s her wedding I want her friends there. She said I could invite friends but as she doesn’t know my friends I don’t think this is appropriate. My wedding reception was like yours lots of family I didn’t know. I wanted to invite all my friends from work but as we couldn’t afford a big wedding family no matter how distant came first and I swore I would never do that to my daughter. We’ve not argued yet but then we haven’t been for my outfit. It is my daughter’s wedding not mine and I could never upstage her even if I wanted to which I certainly don’t.

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