Mom of the Bride: Support-Group Meeting in Room 14

Amanda searches for a go-to source for wedding information.

I nervously introduced myself: “Hi. My name is Amanda, and I’m a mother of a bride.” A chorus of sympathetic voices answered, “Hi, Amanda.” Okay, so it hasn’t come to that, but if I don’t find some consistent, practical advice soon, I’ll be the founding member of Mother of the Bride Support (MOBS).

The sources for wedding advice are endless, including magazines, Web sites, TV shows, books, and of course, the trusty family and friends. The volume and breadth of advice is not an issue. My problem has been that I keep finding contradictory advice. Are weddings the Wild West of event planning?

The business of weddings is an industry of its own. Never mind the actual vendors, services, and hospitality industries available—consider the advertising, Web sites, and publications selling the dream to the brides. It’s overwhelming! Off the top of my head, I can think of four movies that have come out in the last decade that are centered around weddings. The Friends TV series had at least three weddings that I can recall. We love weddings—they’re life-affirming celebrations of love and hope. What better event to build an industry around?

The sources of information are endless. What I need is a single source I can trust. I searched online and found three different answers to the question of whether the shower guests should be invited to the wedding. Miss Manners says absolutely, yes. I tend to let Miss Manners break ties. Finding the wide variance in answers and approaches has left me wondering how much deference needs to be paid to tradition and to what degree today’s brides can do whatever they want.

Whether to invite shower guests to the wedding is not really the immediate issue at hand—we’re a long way off from planning a shower. But I’ve never planned a wedding before. What I really want to do is nail down my go-to source for information. Or I guess I could just use whatever source suits my taste and continue to ask Judith Martin to decide the tough ones for me.

I went to the bookstore and found a few wedding-planning books geared toward moms. One of them started with stories of crazy moms, and it really scared me. I do not want to be that person. I finally settled on a book that has solid practical advice and took it home. I hope this book, along with an occasional consult with Miss Manners, will be enough to keep me from needing to attend the MOBS meetings. This wedding is my daughter’s day, and my goal is for it to be everything she wants it to be.

Oh, and we shouldn’t forget her fiancé or we’ll soon be hearing about his support group, Fiancé of the Bride Support (FOBS)!


Amanda, a local mother of the bride, writes occasionally about helping to plan her daughter's wedding, which will be in the spring. To follow her journey from the beginning, click here.

To read the latest Bridal Party blog posts, click here.