What is the Role of the Grandmother of the Bride?

Posted by Rebecca Botter on

What is the Role of the Grandmother of the Bride?

Grandmothers of the bride have truly such a special role on the big day. The bride and mother of the bride have two of the hardest jobs and as the grandmother of the bride you are at a sweet spot of being aware of the chaos without directly being in the eye of the storm. 

We all know the phrase, 

Something old, 

something new, 

something borrowed, 

and something blue.

It’s a saying that most don’t know the origin or actual purpose of, though many brides still take part in the tradition. It dates back to the 19th century in Lancashire and was to help ward off the “evil eye” that could possibly make the bride infertile. It is still a tradition today because everyone loves ceremonies and honestly it is a really great rhyme. As the grandmother of the bride it is traditional to either give the bride “something old” or “something borrowed”. This is where being sentimental is helpful. Little things as simple as a handkerchief or broach can take on a new life when incorporated into a bride’s special day. It’s also common for a small piece of jewelry or even a token of wisdom. 

It’s becoming more and more popular to take the phrase “something old” to the next level with the help of a seamstress. Brides have begun to tailor their mothers or grandmothers dresses for their big day (White Orchid Bridal has some beautiful examples of these transformations). Now that may or may not be your family's style but there are other ways to do something similar.

 A cute way to incorporate the same idea  is to take a small piece of lace or fabric from the original wedding dress and sew it into the bodice or hem of the wedding dress.

Weddings are becoming more and more personal in the past few years. Think out of the box when you think about your “grandmotherly duties”. Ask the family if there is a special way you contribute. Whether that’s giving a toast, having a special dance, or making them something special to eat at breakfast! Don’t get bogged down by the pressures of tradition. Your beautiful grandchild is getting married in the 2020s! Embrace it.

Instead of worrying about the wedding and how you may or may not be able to help, focus on what you do have control over and make it as special as possible. Perhaps write a letter to the bride to tell her the story of your wedding day. Let her know about the highs and lows and what memories still make you smile to this day. It is something she will always cherish and will also be a wonderful way to remember your own wedding day. 

The role of the grandmother of the bride isn’t as set in stone as others. Have fun with that! Bring your special touch to the day by just doing whatever you have always done to assure that your granddaughter has felt loved. Enjoy the day and enjoy the time with your family. As we grow older we realize more and more how precious the memories are that we create here in times like this.


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