Maria Shriver is a formidable force in many arenas: as a journalist, an author and the former First Lady of California. But when it comes to her latest role–as mother-in-law to actor Chris Pratt, who married her daughter Katherine Schwarzenegger in a stunning Montecito, Calif. wedding earlier this month–Shriver can’t help feeling all the feels.
“As a mother, you go through many emotions, right, so you’re trying to be both excited, you get a new member of your family, you’re kind of losing your child as they were,” she said while sitting in as a co-host on the Today show earlier this week. “So you’re kind of excited and everybody’s like, ‘Well, isn’t this great?’ You’re like, ‘Yeah, it’s great,’ but it’s also kind of sad and it’s kind of strange and so you’re learning, as I said, to hold all of these multiple emotions simultaneously.”
Shriver, 63, was actually the one who set Pratt, 40, up with Schwarzenegger 29, back in early 2018, and has been an enthusiastic fan of their relationship ever since. Not that watching the two lovebirds exchange vows didn’t make her reckon with a lot of different feelings.
Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger Wedding, San Ysidro, California, June 2019. (Credit: John & Joseph Photography Inc.)
“Love is this great unifier,” she said. “Everybody looks at love and goes, ‘You know what, I want that.’ It’s so great. So that’s the kind of big takeaway, how incredible love is, how it can change your life, how it can make you feel on top of the world. And that if you don’t have it, it can make you feel l ike ‘Ugh’ or it can make you feel just really happy for the other person. Everybody’s having their own experience and I had all of that.”
Shriver, who shares three other children with ex-husband Arnold Schwarzenegger, added that weddings in general really help people to reevaluate their own place within the spectrum of love and relationships, and said that she thought about that especially in relation to her other children: Christina, 28, Patrick, 25, and Christopher, 21.
“I found it so interesting to talk to people about how everybody, when they watch a couple devote themselves to each other, they’re going through their own life experience with that,” she said. “You know, my 21-year-old’s like, ‘I’m so far from that,’ right? My 28-year-old daughter, her friends are like, ‘I think I want that, I don’t know if I want that. Am I in that? Oh, better not. Better break up, better find something.’ There’s all of this going on.”
At the couple’s wedding reception, Shriver said, she definitely teared up while giving a toast to the newlyweds, and she’s been trying to adjust to her altered role now as the mother of a married child.
“I’m a mother-in-law now,” she added. “I started the year kind of just myself, and I became ‘Mother of the Bride,’ everyone started MOB-ing me. And now I’m actually a mother-in-law. It feels different. It feels great!”
Some things, though, never change. According to Shriver, before she went on the Today show, her daughter warned her not to talk too much about her wedding. “She’s like, ‘Don’t say anything. Don’t say where I am. Don’t say what it was like. Don’t speak,’” Shriver said. “I was like, ‘I actually am a person, too. I actually had an experience as well, and can speak about my own experience.’”