16 Loving Ways to Include Your Mother at the Wedding


Sure, it's your day, but honoring generations of women, from your mother to your mother-in-law and grandmothers, at your wedding will add that extra-special touch. Here, inspiration from our brides on how to embrace them within your festivities.

01 of 16

Acknowledge Traditions Important to Her

Leo Patrone Photography

Ally and her groom, Adam, incorporated their family heritage into their celebration. During a Vietnamese tea ceremony, it is traditional for the mother-in-law to gift her future daughter-in-law something special. Adam's mother gave Ally a keepsake necklace at theirs, which was held six months before the wedding.

02 of 16

Work As a Team

Belathée Photography

Together, Jolene and her mom bonded before the wedding as they assembled tiny sachets of lavender (one of the bride's favorite scents) for guests to toss as the newlyweds walked back up the aisle.

03 of 16

Celebrate Her Hidden Talents

Jen Fariello Photography

This bride invited her mom to knit nine handbags from a Jane Austen pattern, one for each bridesmaid at this vintage DIY wedding on a Virginia farm. The mother then personalized the pouches by cross-stitching tags with her daughter's new initials and wedding date inside.

04 of 16

Get Inspired by Her Style

KT Merry

"When it comes to fashion, I look up to my mom," Annie says. Her mother wore a traditional hanbok to her daughter's nuptials and found Annie's jeweled headpiece in a South Korea boutique. The mother-daughter duo later designed the bride's beaded ivory dress for the reception.

05 of 16

Curate a Photo Display

Millie Holloman Photography

Abigail and Michael's nuptials in Wilmington, North Carolina, were all about family. Using Polaroids and tags, the two hung old photographs of relatives to create a real-life ancestral tree, remembering those who came before them, including mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers.

06 of 16

Take a First Look Photo With Her

Elizabeth Messina Photography

Bride JoJo and her mother, Rita Cohen, stole an embrace on the big day, acknowledging the power of sneaking in a hug amid a celebration bustling with activity.

07 of 16

Never Forget Her

Harwell Photography

Fate played a hand in this couple's romance. The duo's mothers were best friends in high school, but the groom's mother, Mimi, passed away before Lizzy got to meet her. However, this bride believes "It was all fate…Mimi brought us together." The pair held their first look at the cemetery where Mimi was laid to rest. "I could feel the warmth of Mimi's presence and knew she was dancing in heaven when we were all there together," the bride says of one of her favorite parts of the day. Lizzy also donned her grandmother's aquamarine necklace as her "something blue."

08 of 16

Don an Heirloom

Rylee Hitchner

This bride's gown was a given. Carrie, an interior designer and stylist, came across the silk Jane Wilson-Marquis dress that her mom, Roseanne Cash, wore at her wedding to Carrie's stepfather in 1995. "I said right then I would wear it one day," she recalls, upholding her love for "the tradition of generations of women in the same wedding gown."

09 of 16

Carry Her With You

Abby Jiu Photography

Bride Sally adorned her bouquet of jasmine vines, silvery dusty miller, white lisianthus, tulips, freesia, roses, and dahlias with her great-grandmother's brooch to remember her as she walked down the aisle.

10 of 16

Hold Her Close

Jen Fariello Photography

Dickie Morris of Just a Little Ditty incorporated fabric from the groom's late mother's clothing into a clutch for the bride, keeping the mom's memory in hand as the duo created new memories.

11 of 16

Keep the Gang Together

Elizabeth Messina Photography

This bride included her entire family for her aisle walk: She began on her father's arm, met her mother halfway for a kiss, then joined her future stepchildren for the final steps to the altar.

12 of 16

Leave Her a Sweet Note

Belathée Photography

To keep tears at bay, Jolene gave her mom a handkerchief embroidered by EmbroiderybyLinda, complete with a special message from daughter to mother.

13 of 16

Send Them a Message

Gertrude & Mabel Photography

At this destination wedding, the bride and groom sent photographed notes to their grandmothers who were unable to attend the festivities to include them in a one-of-a-kind way.

14 of 16

Share Her Beloved Recipes

Landon Jacob

Irby's grandmother, known as Happy, is famous for her chocolate chip cookies and makes them for everyone. When the bride was thinking of what the wedding favor would be, she could think of no better token of thanks than some of the noteworthy cookies. Grandma was happy to bake the sweets, which were packaged in custom baggies.

15 of 16

Let Love Bloom

Susan Jackson

At Zooey and David's green-and-white wedding in Missouri, centerpieces of potted dusty miller added a verdant note to tables. The husband-and-wife team later planted the flowers in the mother-of-the-bride's garden as a thank you for all of her love and support.

16 of 16

Say Thank You


Annie Meyers-Shyer's parents may have co-written the Father of the Bride remake, but for their daughter's wedding, her mom, then an official mother of the bride, took the reigns as sole director. Annie thanked her for the cinema-worthy day with an accordion card of family photos as a token of gratitude.

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