Off to the Ceremony!
To your amazement, you will eventually leave your home and find yourself traveling to your daughter's wedding. You may ride with her, or she may be in a separate car. If the two of you are side-by-side, try not to overload her with a lot of details. She'll probably be feeling nervous, and any last-minute instructions (“Don't forget to smile,” “Make sure you aren't slouching when you're kneeling,” or “Remember to speak loudly”) are bound to cause her more anxiety than she can comfortably handle. Don't torment her with the specifics of the wedding, either — that's your job at this point.Details, Details
The bride can't very well go traipsing through the church to make sure that everything is in its place prior to the ceremony, so this job will fall to you. Take a good look at the groomsmen: Are their boutonnieres on correctly? Are they all ready to go, or does that guy need to straighten his tie?
Take a look at the church: Have the correct flowers been delivered? Are there flowers from the last wedding that clash horribly with the baskets you've paid for? (Get rid of them, pronto. They'll ruin the pictures.) Have the ushers seated the guests according to their affiliations (bride's side to the left; groom's to the right), or are they weighing down one side of the church with anyone who walks through the door? (Not that you should reseat people, but you can instruct the ushers on how to seat guests.)
You can see it now: Your daughter's going to weep through her vows. Just in case, have one of the ushers place a package of tissues where she'll be standing for the ceremony. She can discreetly pull them out as needed.
Take a look at the bridesmaids; make sure they all have their bouquets in hand and that none have been left behind in the limo. Does the flower girl have her basket? Has she been properly instructed on where she's going, and where she will sit? If the maid of honor has a huge lipstick smear on her cheek from a well-wisher's kiss, wipe it off for her. (You want to make sure that the wedding pictures — and everyone in them — look as good as possible.)
Your last duty before taking your seat is to check on the bride and to make sure she's all right. She will be, deep down, of course, but she'll want to know that you care, so no matter how stressed-out you're feeling, be nice.
Calmly check these last-minute details. There's a difference between being an organized, concerned MOB and being an obsessive-compulsive control fiend. You can actually be of great help to the bride and to the attendants if you can stay in control of your own emotions; if you're rushing around, barking out orders, everyone will avoid you, and you won't be able to accomplish anything.During the Ceremony
Once you've given the attendants the final once-over, and after you've checked on the bride, you'll be seated for the ceremony. The MOB is the last person to be escorted into the church before the march of the bridesmaids begins. If one of your sons is standing up for the groom, he might walk you to your seat; if not, you'll be seen safely to your pew by one of the ushers. If you and the bride's dad are married to each other, you'll sit together in the front row on the left-hand side of the church (as you enter from the rear).
When the ceremony ends, the bride and groom exit first, followed by their attendants, and then their parents. Don't try to sneak out before the maid of honor parades past you. Wait your turn.
Unless they've been tapped by the bride to read during the ceremony or to bring up the gifts, the parents of the bride and groom usually watch the proceedings from their seats. You are not responsible for adjusting the bride's dress or veil during the ceremony, nor should you step up to grab her bouquet while the couple exchanges rings. These tasks fall to the maid of honor, and she knows what to do — so don't embarrass her by whispering loudly to her as she passes you, “Don't forget to poof the train!” Sit back and enjoy the beauty of this event, which you worked so hard to help create.