Ceremonies and Budgets: What’s a Mother-of-the-Bride to Do?

Welcome to another edition of MOB Monday, wherein our intrepid expert, Leslie Milk, author of “It’s Her Wedding but I’ll Cry if I Want to: A Survival Guide for the Mother of the Bride,” answers questions, soothes fears, and tells it like it is.

I always dreamed my daughter would get married in our church. Now she tells me a friend is getting ordained online and will conduct the wedding ceremony. I just feel terrible. What can I do?

Welcome to the club. My son got married on a jogging path in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. He did agree to honor our Jewish heritage by breaking a glass at the end of the ceremony—but he neglected to tell us that he would be wearing flip-flops. Thank goodness the glass was well wrapped and we didn’t have to go straight from the wedding to the emergency room! Hard as it is to accept our children’s choices sometimes, maintaining our relationship with them is more important than any wedding venue.

My wedding budget is really tight. Do we have to entertain out-of-town guests for the entire wedding weekend?

Many weddings now seem to last as long and have as many events as coronations. But there is no requirement that you plan multiple activities—particularly if you are getting married here in the Washington area. I don’t mean to sound self-serving, but I’d suggest getting each out-of-town guest a copy of the Washingtonian Welcome Guide (to order, call 202-331-0715), or directing them to our one-, two-, three-, and four-day itineraries online, and letting them loose on the city. With so many free museums and monuments to visit, they should find plenty to do without you. And you’ll have more time to relax and prepare for your big day without the added pressure and expense of planning and attending multiple get-togethers.