How to handle 2 mothers of the brides
If you’re lucky enough to have two happy, engaged mothers supporting you and your fiancée as you plan your wedding, congrats! But, while it’s sometimes preferable to plan a wedding with the emotional and financial support of parents, it can be tricky when there are two mothers of the brides. Traditionally, the MOB is the second most important lady of the hour at a wedding, with her own set of rituals and time in the spotlight at an opposite-sex wedding. For queer couples with two brides, it can be an awkward tightrope exercise to make sure both mums feel celebrated and important during the wedding planning and on the big day. It can also be pretty much the same for two mothers of the grooms, however, mothers of brides might be a bit trickier.
Here’s what you need to remember when there are two Mothers Of The Brides (or Grooms).
Get everyone on the same page.
This is a must for everyone who will be involved in the wedding planning, particularly for those who might be making financial contributions. For the mothers of the brides specifically, you’ll want to be sure they are comfortable communicating with each other and that everyone is clear about what the couple expects from the MOBs (and vice-versa). If your folks haven’t met your future in-laws yet, use this as an opportunity to have a friendly, working lunch or dinner, so there isn’t a ton of pressure during the first meeting. Also, take this time to suss out the personalities in the room and how they might relate to lesbian wedding planning. For example, an extroverted, joke-cracking MOB might be more comfortable with duties like making a speech at a rehearsal dinner or drinks the night before the wedding if you’re having some and at the wedding while a more industrious, shy MOB might want her contribution to be behind the scenes or more intimate.
Break up traditional MOB duties.
Some areas of wedding planning fall under the domain of “Mum duties,” so what happens when there are two mums and two brides? This is when really clear expectations can be set about who’s going to do what. If you’re planning to have one joint bridal shower, make sure the mums are aware if one or both of them will be on planning duty, along with the maid of honour and bridesmaids. Other responsibilities, like helping the brides select their wedding attire, will be easier to decipher since your mum will help you and your girlfriend’s mum will help her.
Additionally, the groom’s family usually hosts the rehearsal dinner or drinks the night before in opposite-sex weddings (because the bride's family traditionally hosts the wedding reception), so chat with both mothers early on to decide if either is up for the gig if you’re doing it. If both of you are paying for the wedding then maybe they can go halves in any drinks the night before. This could be a great way to make sure both mothers have a pre-wedding event they can own.
Treat both mums equally.
Many mothers dream of their daughter’s wedding from the moment she’s born, and have expectations for what that day will be like. Having two mothers who have these heightened expectations can be a recipe for drama, but avoid potential snafus by being sensitive to both your mother and your future mother in law. Be careful to evenly split things, for example, if your mum invites 10 of her friends, then your mother in law should also be able to invite 10 of her friends.
Also, be aware of how the mothers are feeling about being honoured. For example, if your fiancée decides to wear her mother’s veil with her wedding dress, your mother might start to feel pangs of jealousy if you don’t also wear something of hers. Maybe a veil isn’t your style, but ask her for a ring, watch, scarf or something else that has meaning that you might want to incorporate into your wedding attire. Beyond attire, maybe you’ll make a bouquet or boutonniere of her favourite flowers. These may seem like small details, but they go a long way to being sure your mothers feels included.
Coordinate mother of the bride look.
If you and your fiancée are probably searching for wedding attire separately, it can be challenging to secure two mother of the bride dresses or suits that match the wedding colour palette, but don’t clash with either of your dress choices. If you’re working with a bridal shop, let your stylist know that you’re also on the lookout for coordinating and complimentary dress options for your mothers. If you feel comfortable allowing your future MIL to know what you’ll be wearing on your wedding day, have the mothers of the brides get together, review the dresses both of you will be wearing and then coordinate their outfits from there.
Give them both a moment to shine.
On your wedding day, your mother will expect to be acknowledged in some way. Traditionally, the mother of the bride is escorted down the aisle before the processional as well as given some time to make a speech (along with other parents) during the reception. With two mothers of the brides, be sure that both of them are given these honours, so neither feels put out. You can also designate their seats at the ceremony with sweet signs or decorate them with their favourite flowers. Your photographer can also suggest some special photos you can take with your mother (and grandmother!) to commemorate the day for both of you. Lastly, don’t rule out a mother-daughter dance! While you may be anxious to take a twirl with your dad, lots of brides are also choosing to do the same with their mum.
Show your appreciation to both mothers of the brides.
Mothers are a big part of your lesbian wedding planning support team, so don’t forget to thank your mothers (new and old!) for their help. Write a thoughtful note to both mothers for them to read on your wedding day; there are some great card options at 101cards.com in the wedding party section that say things like “today a bride, tomorrow a wife, always your daughter” and guys there’s one for you too to give your mums that says “today a groom, tomorrow a husband, forever your son”, so jump online and check them out at 101cards.com. Or you could order two beautiful floral arrangements for them, or just publicly thank them at your reception. You can also give your mother and your mother in law your wedding bouquets at the end of the night as a sweet parting gift.
Steve Mummery is a celebrant based in Perth. You can find him online at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook at smcelebrant, Instagram @smcelebrant or you can find lots of wedding inspiration on his Pinterest page @smcelebrant including wedding & engagement rings, dresses, shoes, groom's attire, flowers, arbours, the lot.
Call Steve to chat about your wedding ceremony today on 0418 897 215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org