How to include your mum on your wedding day
Sometimes couples which a special recognition to their mothers - such as giving them a rose each on the exit. They also may read something special, light the unity candles at the beginning - or at the time of the unity candles (lighting the other candle - see below). In some ceremonies with step-parents this may not be appropriate.
Use your mums as your witnesses when it comes to signing your marriage certificate. Your witnesses do not have to be your attendants. They can be anyone over the age of eighteen. This is a nice way to involve them in the ceremony and a great memento forever after having their signatures on your wedding certificate. This is also something that can be done as a surprise on the day without warning to either of them if you wish, as there is no preparation required on their behalf. You will also get a nice set of photos of the partners and their mothers during the signing by your photographer to mark the occasion.
If mum is a good speaker, get her to do a reading during the ceremony. You could even let her select the reading (or maybe select a few and then you choose the final one you're happy with.
UNITY CANDLES - Mothers of Partners:
If the outer unity candles are first lit by the mother of the Bride and of the Groom (when each is first escorted forward), it may be appropriate to add: "The outer candles represent the light of your separate lives before today. It is appropriate that the mother of the Bride and the mother of the Groom each lit these candles as it is from these from which the light of your life first shown forth..."
ROSE CEREMONY - Roses for the mothers:
If adding the Rose ceremony to the marriage ceremony, couples will often stop on their exit and hand the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom each their Rose, whispering "I love you" before proceeding with their exit.
There are lots of nice ways to include mum in your ceremony if you want to. Talk to your celebrant about the different ways they have included mums into ceremonies before that have worked well. My favourite above is getting both mums to be witnesses on the day.
MOTHER OF THE BRIDE CHECKLIST
Mothers of the Bride are expected to be the calm in the storm on the morning of your daughter’s big day. But don’t forget how important you also are, and that goes for the Mother of the Groom too. Here’s what to remember on the big day.
The Mother of the Bride is the best person to take charge of events at home helping to make sure the bride remains calm and relaxed.
GETTING TO THE CEREMONY
Mums should leave home ahead of the bride, generally travelling in the car with the chief bridesmaid and any young attendants. If there are no bridesmaids or attendants, you may wish to ask a male relative or family friend to accompany you.
MOTHER OF THE BRIDE ARRIVAL
Traditionally, the mother of the bride arrives at the ceremony venue around ten minutes before the bride. This is your moment. You should be escorted proudly up the aisle by the chief usher, to your seat in the front row on the left‐hand side.
AFTER THE CEREMONY
After the ceremony, when the party proceed back down the aisle, your correct position is after the bride and groom and their attendants, on the left‐hand side of the groom’s father. Congratulate the married couple straight after their bridal party does and then mingle with friends and family as everyone else congratulates the happy couple. Stay close as you’ll probably be required for some photos next.
AT THE RECEPTION
If you’re making a speech, make sure you have more than one copy of it, just to be on the safe side. Prompt cards with a brief reminder of what you want to say will be very useful, and can easily fit inside a normal sized handbag.
And remember, this is your day too. The guests are more likely to enjoy it if you’re looking happy and relaxed. So even if there’s a minor hiccup, keep your cool, smile and, if necessary, take a moment in the Ladies to compose yourself.
AFTER THE RECEPTION
If your daughter and new son‐in‐law intend to formally ‘leave’ their reception, you’ll wave good‐bye to them along with all the other guests, so make your own plans for a private farewell beforehand.
Once the couple have left, you may need to ensure the safe‐keeping of the presents overnight and collect the remainder of the wedding cake, which will usually be packed by the caterers ready to take home. And of course you'll need to start to get the guests to leave if the time allocated in the venue is up. Then go home and put your feet up and "glow" with pride!
Steve Mummery has been authorised by the Attorney General to officiate marriages according to Australian law. For reviews of his ceremonies, check his website at smcelebrant.com.au or facebook.com/smcelebrant/reviews.