Honoring Mom

Q: My dad will walk me down the aisle and share a dance with me, but what about my mom? I would love to do something special for her on our wedding day. Any suggestions?

Traditionally, there are several ways to honor the mother of the bride during a wedding ceremony and reception. Just before the bridal party procession, the mothers and grandmothers are ushered to their seat. The mother of the bride is the last to be seated, indicating the highest honor. Other traditions include having the mothers light ceremony candles and sometimes participating in hand tying, pouring sand or giving a special blessing. A less traditional, but increasingly popular way to honor your bridal party, family and other special friends is to thank them directly in the ceremony program.

One of the great things about living and celebrating in Alaska, is that Alaskans are not as particular about sticking to tradition, as say people on the east coast. Feel free to include your mom in a role that is usually reserved for someone else. Some bridal couples have had shot bars dedicated to loved ones, rang bells in their honor, had special cakes made and served to special guests, had special songs during dancing time dedicated to special people and even had photographs from their parents’ wedding included in the decorations.

Personally, I am very close to my mother. So in my own wedding, my dad walked me down the aisle, and then when the minister asked “Who gives this bride away?” I asked my mother to also stand and reply “Her family does.” My mother was thrilled to be included in this way and it was a great way to honor both of my parents. During the reception, I also danced with my mom and later I had a special bottle of champagne, which I shared with just my mom and sisters while the guests were occupied with other things.

Lastly, many older Catholic traditions include significant parental involvement, which modern ceremonies have edited out in order to keep the ceremony brief. Talk to your minister or officiate about ways that your religious or cultural traditions include honoring the mother of the bride.

Rebecca Kopperud is the owner of La Boum Events, an event management and design firm specializing in weddings, corporate and private events.