Mother of the Bride Glossary


Bridal shower: a small pre-wedding party where the bride’s favourite women gather in a home or restaurant to congratulate the bride on her nuptials. In the past, the Maid of Honour was responsible for arranging the bridal shower and hen’s night. However, these days, many Mothers of the Bride arrange the bridal shower or co-host it with the Maid of Honour.

Candle lighting: Some religions include a candle lighting ritual during the ceremony, as the Mother of the Bride takes her seat. She may even be required to light a candle, along with the Father of the Bride.

Fascinator: A decorative head covering, often worn by Mothers of the Bride. A fascinator usually clips in to the hair and may feature feathers, artificial flowers, ribbons and/or jewels.

FILs: Abbreviation of “Future In-Laws”. The parents of the groom are usually the first to initiate a dinner or meeting between the FILs after the engagement party. However, this arrangement is sometimes the responsibility of the Mother of the Bride.

FMIL: Abbreviation of “Future Mother-in-Law”. It is important for the Mother of the Bride to make an effort to connect with her daughter’s future husband, and vice versa. Otherwise, he may have FML moments every time he thinks about his FMIL.

First dance: The first dance number is between the newly-wed couple. After a while, the bride’s father usually cuts in and dances with his daughter while the groom dances with his new mother-in-law (the Mother of the Bride). After this, there may be a sequence of dances between the in-laws and bridal party members.

Hat: Mothers of the Bride have been wearing hats to wedding ceremonies since the beginning of time, just about. They are more commonly worn during outdoor ceremonies but the Mother of the Bride may wear a hat upon her arrival at the venue and then take it off once inside. Mother of the Bride hats are usually rather large and the hatband may be decorated with various embellishments. If decorating a hatband, tradition stipulates that women should always decorate the right hand side of the hat.

MOB: Also referred to as “MOTB”. Abbreviation of Mother of the Bride.

Morning-after breakfast: Some couples choose to have a breakfast or brunch the morning after the wedding for the bridal party and out of town guests, before heading off on their honeymoon. This gives the couple a chance to reflect on the wedding and also spend some time with relatives who they may not have had a chance to talk to at the reception. The Mother of the Bride is often responsible for arranging the morning-after breakfast.

Personal shopper: A person who can be hired to go shopping with the Mother of the Bride to choose her outfit for the wedding. Personal shoppers are fashion-savvy and can usually match suitable outfits to a woman’s body type as well as help her to choose styles which are appropriate for formal wear and will blend with the bridal party’s outfits.

Pin-on corsage: A small arrangement of flowers, worn by the Mothers of the Bride and Groom and other important female relatives. The flowers are attached to a small pin which is fastened to the front of the woman’s outfit, in the same fashion as brooch would be. Some corsages can be pinned onto a clutch or purse rather than her dress.

Statement hair flower: A flower which is pinned in to the hair, in place of a hat or fascinator. A statement hair flower may be artificial or real. It should match the Mother of the Bride’s outfit or the colours of the bridal party’s outfits. A statement hair flower pin could be ordered along with the wedding flowers, if preferred.

Suit dress: A two-piece outfit consisting of a dress and jacket or a three-piece outfit consisting of a skirt, top and jacket. Both suit dress options are commonly worn by Mothers of the Bride at both the wedding ceremony and reception.

Wrist corsage: A wrist corsage is similar to a pin-on corsage. However, rather than pinning the floral arrangement onto the clothes, it is wrapped around the wrist with a ribbon or attached to a bracelet.