Whitney Daniels of Whit Photography

So...You're Officially a Mother of the Bride!

Also referred to as MOTBs: moms, dads and other parental guardians are tasked with a lot of to-dos before the big day! Whether you're planning for a big or intimate wedding celebration, the months leading up to the big day are going to be stressful...but fear not! We asked our very own Circulation Director, Dana Wade, what it was like being a MOTB in 2022. 

Questions like "What now?" and "Where do I even begin?" are normal and valid. Oftentimes, couples are planning their weddings for the very first time and mothers are stepping into the role of MOTB for the first time, too. What we're trying to say is...it's okay! No one knows what they're doing, but we have amazing resources to help. 

Whitney Daniels of Whit Photography

Dana Wade

Mother of the Bride | October 1, 2022 | Rehearsal Dinner: 21C Museum Hotel | Wedding Venue: Crystal Bridges Museum 

What do you wish you had known before wedding planning?

"Our biggest challenge was not having a better idea of the number of guests we would invite before we looked at venues," Dana said. "We thought we were solid on the invitation list when we started touring locations, but when it came time to order invitations, we all remembered family, friends, and co-workers [that were] not on the original working list, and although it was only a few extra people, suddenly we had outgrown our venue. We spent a lot of hours trying to decide how to seat everyone and still have room for dancing, cake service, etc. Fortunately, our location had a larger room that we could bump up to (At an additional price, of course!), so it worked out, but we would have saved ourselves a lot of stress to have had the actual invitation list upfront."

Arkansas Bride: Want to avoid dealing with venues and other vendors on top of planning the rest of the wedding? We have a list of incredibly talented Wedding Planners available to you right here. Check out the wedding vendors we love! 

What advice do you have for MOTBs who have no idea what they are doing? 

"Take those wedding countdown schedules for 'what to do when' and actually add the dates to your calendar so you don’t lose track of time," Dana said. "Do the same with any 'due by' dates you receive from your vendors and add reminders to ping you at around two weeks prior to each. Also, this is a great time to take your talented friends up on any offers of help! A friend offered to set up a wedding day spread for our bridal party to snack on as they were dressing, and it was gorgeous! So much nicer than the boxed lunches I was planning to provide, lol. I was very happy we accepted her sweet offer instead of feeling like I had to do everything myself."

Arkansas Bride: We have the perfect guide to planning your own wedding and a checklist of what you need to get done, month by month, right here!  

What was your favorite part about the wedding planning process?

"I really enjoyed touring the different venues," Dana said. "I had no idea what all was available, and it was fun going to each location and then after 'brainstorming' over the details and talking through how we could make each one work for our event."

Arkansas Bride: Looking through vendor lists can be so much fun at the start of your wedding planning journey! Get inspired by our Arkansas Real Weddings submitted to us each year here. 

What resources did you use for the wedding planning?

"Arkansas Bride, of course," Dana said. "Arkansas Bride was a really big help in being able to immediately see the size and available amenities of local venues. It really helped us quickly narrow down our list and saved a lot of time. My daughter used The Knot for helping with their wedding invitations. They skipped printed response cards and included a QR code for RSVPs and the real-time responses were great. She also put together Pinterest boards to help remind her of ideas she found and liked, as well as help direct her florist and photographer. She was in school in Little Rock and the vendors were in Bentonville, so she relied on a lot of phone calls and Zoom meetings to plan and being able to share Pinterest boards helped close that distance gap."

Arkansas Bride: Did you know we have Pinterest? We love to post our most recent real wedding submissions, Instagram posts (follow us @arkansasbride!) and more! 

For more resources you don't want to miss, go to our Arkansas Wedding Vendors list here.