While traditions evolve and obligations shift over time, the parents of the bride still have certain responsibilities. Knowing who does what can get a little confusing. Keep in mind that every family is different, and not all the duties will be balanced the same for everyone. This small list should clarify some of the responsibilities of the parents of the bride, and help you create your own list that is unique to you.
Parents of the Bride Announce the Engagement
The parents of the bride make the big announcement. Traditionally, engagement announcements were printed in the newspaper. They can also be decorative print announcements that are mailed to friends and family or digital announcements sent by email.
Parents of the Bride Host the Engagement Party
Traditionally, the parents of the bride host an engagement party to bring family together and announce the big event. The main function of the engagement party is to get to know the groom’s parents and family. It is a way to bring the two families together. Many couples choose to date longer and have longer engagements, which usually provides years of opportunity for the families to come together on different occasions. Nonetheless, the engagement party is still very much an important celebration. Some parents of the bride host a small dinner in a restaurant or even their own backyard to celebrate the moment. This event usually takes place within two months of the engagement.
Create a Wedding Budget
Planning a wedding begins with a budget. While more and more couples are paying for all or most of their own weddings these days, the parents of the bride are responsible for paying for the wedding by tradition. If they are paying for the entire wedding, they will create the entire wedding budget. If they are only paying for part of the wedding, they will create a budget for the portion they will cover.
Plan the Wedding
The parents of the bride will either hire a wedding planner or take on the entire responsibility of scouting out venues and vendors. This is done with the couple involved in the decision making. The parents of the bride arrange for the couple to meet with vendors, tour wedding venues and participate in food and cake tasting.
Parents of the Bride Shop for the Dress
Shopping for the wedding dress is probably one of the most exciting parts of planning a wedding, right next to touring the wedding venue. Traditionally, the mother takes the bride on a dress shopping date. Sometimes the bride narrows down her options on her own, and then brings the mother in for a final dress appointment. Either way the parents of the bride are usually responsible for the wedding dress.
The bride and groom will travel in separate vehicles to the ceremony with their side of the wedding party. The brides parents are responsible for the brides transportation with her wedding party. Couples will often choose a limo or a party bus for each side, depending on the size of their party. When the ceremony and reception take place at different locations, the couple is swept away in a limo ride to the reception hall. Some of the out of town guests and those that require special assistance might need transportation as well. The dramatic wedding exit might also include a limo. The parents of the bride are traditionally responsible for all transportation, with the exception of the groom's transportation.
At the Wedding Venue
The parents of the bride arrange for a day of event coordinator to make sure everything is in place on the big day. The bride’s mother will usually greet and receive guests as they arrive. The parents of the bride will have special seating on the front row at the ceremony, and have a dedicated table at the reception. The father will have the honor of escorting the bride down the aisle. When the father is not available, the mother of the bride can take his place. The father of the bride traditionally makes a toast at the reception, and has a very special dance with his daughter. This dance can be choreographed in advance.
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