Have you been concerned about bridal showers, the mother and son dance, the wedding rehearsal dinner, and also other potential mother-of-the groom responsibilities? Here is our top rated questions and answers frequently asked by a mother of the groom:
Q: My spouse and I had heard we are supposed to ask the bride’s parents over for drinks as soon as the engagement is announced. Are these claims true?
A: Well, usually, it happens before the engagement is officially announced. Tradition says you make the invitation when your son informs you that he intends to get married. You can send them a informal note or just call them on the phone to invite them. It can be as simple as meeting for drinks, or inviting them to your home, or out for dinner. This tradition does have some flexibility, so it’s also okay for the bride’s parents to call you first.
Q: As the Mother of the Groom, is there a specific way I should dress for the wedding?
A: Usually, the mother of the bride buys her dress first, and then notifies the Mother of the Groom with an informal note or phone call. The note or phone call is meant to let the Mother of the Groom know the color, length, style and formality level of the dress she’s chosen. If you don’t hear from her once the wedding is three months away, you might considering asking the bride-to-be for some guidance.
Q. What are the typical tasks and responsibilities for a Mother of the Groom?
A. Most often, the bride assigns the tasks. This is a great opportunity for you to engage her early and let her know that you are interesting in helping. If the two of you have a good rapport, she will be more likely to ask you for help, and you’ll have more leeway to make suggestions.
For an quick overview of traditional Mother of the Groom duties, see our article, Mother of the Groom Duties and Responsibilities.
Q: What should the father of the groom do to help?
A: While tradition doesn’t call for more than writing a few checks, the father of the groom can certainly help you out. Be sure to engage him to help in any way that you see fit.
Q: We live far away from the bride’s hometown. Can the Mother of the Groom throw her own, separate shower for the bride?
A: While there’s traditionally only one shower for the bride, things have become more flexible and relaxed in the last ten years or so. Many brides already choose to have several, separate showers, perhaps one for work friends, one for close friends, as well as one in her hometown with her parents, etc. This opens the door for you to throw her a shower hosted by the groom’s family in addition to her “original” shower.Be sure to talk with maid of honor and let her know that the “extra shower” is needed because of the distance. It’s also better to host your shower after her official shower and not before.
Q: Is the Mother of the Groom usually invited to the bachelorette party?
A: For both bachelor and bachelorette parties, it’s usually a good idea to exclude the bride’s and groom’s parents. After all, the bride should be able to “cut loose” a little bit, tell jokes, and other activities that might not work well with the Mother of the Groom nearby. A good strategy might be to counter-offer to meet for drinks with the bride on another day, after mentioning that you already have plans on her party night.
Q: Should the Mother of the Groom be in the receiving line?
A: Not every wedding has a receiving line, but the more traditional the wedding, the more likely to be one. Traditionally, both the groom’s parents and bride’s parents stand on either side of the newlyweds immediately following the ceremony. Don’t be too concerning about brushing up on your small talk, as the receiving line usually moves quickly, with just enough time for the guests to shake your hand or give a small hug and a short offer of congratulations.
Q: Can the mother of the groom plan and host the engagement party?
A: Technically, anyone can plan and host the engagement party, but traditionally, the bride’s parents have “right of first refusal” on the responsibility. You can, of course, host an additional party, or offer to join and host a single event together. That said,the rehearsal dinner is the traditionally hosted by the groom’s parents, so you already have at least one event to plan.
Q: Since the groom’s family usually pays for the rehearsal dinner, do they also head up the planning as well?
A: A good approach is to sit down with the bride and groom and outline a plan. Perhaps the bride and groom can be responsible for the guest list, and you can handle turning that guest list into mailed invitations. Also, be sure to get a bead on their expectations. Are they expecting something simple at a local, inexpensive restaurant, or a full-fledged event at the country club?