While the best man's and the maid of honor's roles are pretty straightforward, sometimes the mother of the groom may feel a little lost in the shuffle. What exactly is her role, and how much input, if any, should she have in the planning and execution of the wedding?
Responsibilities of the Groom's Mother
While some mothers want an active role in the planning of the wedding, others may hover in the background, unsure of what their duties and responsibilities really are. Check out the following responsibility tips for the mother of the groom.
Initiate Contact with the Bride's Family
While in many cases, the groom's and bride's parents may have already met at some other family engagement, there are occasions where they haven't yet been introduced. If this is the case, it is the groom's mother who should initiate contact by phoning the bride's parents and inviting them to dinner at her home or asking them to meet at a local restaurant. For those families who live far apart, she should send a nice letter introducing her family and telling a little about everyone, including a few family pictures if possible.
The groom's mother is responsible for creating an up-to-date and accurate guest list for her side of the family. The guest list should include current and complete addresses, as well as how the invitations should be addressed. The number of guests should be equally divided between the bride's and groom's side of the family, and the groom's mom is responsible for ensuring that her numbers do not exceed that total.
The mother of the groom is also responsible for obtaining hotel reservations for any of her family's out-of-town guests. It's always a good idea to reserve a block of rooms at a particular hotel as soon as possible.
The parents of the groom are responsible for hosting the rehearsal dinner. The dinner party can be formal or informal, and it can be held at the groom's parent's home, a local restaurant, or a local hall. The parents of the bride and groom, the bridal party, and the bridal party member's spouses or partners should also be invited.
In some ceremonies, both the bride and groom's mothers will participate in lighting a candle, representing the joining of the two families.
Tradition says that the groom's mother stands between the bride and her mother. No matter where she stands, however, she should be part of the receiving line at the reception. Her duty is to introduce her friends and relatives to the bride and the bride's parents.
Now that you are familiar with the responsibilities of the mother of the groom, it's time to heed a few important tips. While some of these tips may not apply to your situation, others may just answer some of the lingering questions you have regarding the duties and etiquette for the groom's mother.
- Dress - The mother of the groom needs to follow the bride's mother's lead on the length of the dress. The bride's mother should choose the dress first, deciding between a short or long style. Then, the groom's mother follows suit.
- RSVP-While there should always be an RSVP number for guests to call, the groom's mother can also call those of her guests that she has not heard from about attendance to the wedding.
- Bridal Shower-The mother of the groom should attend the bride's wedding shower and give a gift.
- Dance-If there will be a mother/song dance, the groom's mother should help the groom choose a song.
- Offer Help-Offer to search for caterers, flowers, etc., or offer to help with decorations, seating charts, etc.
- Watch Out!-Finally, don't overstep the couple's wishes and plans. This is their wedding, after all, and they should have the final say!