Mother Of The Groom Etiquette & Responsibilities

April 27th, 2022 Wedding Ideas, Tips and Inspiration


You have been waiting and wondering when this day will come, the day your son will become a married man. You are overjoyed with the excitement and looking forward to the festivities that surround this upcoming wedding. As a mother, you want to help as much as possible to ensure everything goes smoothly. So where do you start? What can you do?

The first tip we have is good communication. Talk to the couple to see what it is they would like assistance with and what level of involvement they would like you to have. Some couples want the bride’s mother and groom’s mother to both be extremely involved, while others may not want as much help. The level of involvement is totally up to them, so communication is key! 

We have compiled a list of other ideas along with do’s and don’ts for the mother of the groom, tips on etiquette, and more.

Mother of the Groom Roles and Responsibilities

The role to play in your child’s wedding will depend on where they want help. We put together eight common responsibilities that may fall onto your plate. 

1. Plan the Rehearsal Dinner

The rehearsal dinner is typically planned and hosted by the groom’s parents a day or two before the wedding day. The planning for this event should start about 5 to 6 months beforehand. The rehearsal dinner is a more intimate event and a great way for the bride’s family and groom’s family to meet and mingle before the big day, if they haven’t already. This can range from a formal dinner to an afternoon picnic, depending on what the couple wants.

2. Provide a List of Guests from the Groom's Side 

As the mother of the groom, you may need to provide the list of the groom’s family and friends to invite. Before you start telling everyone you know, make sure you ask the couple how many wedding guests you can invite. For smaller, more intimate weddings, the couple may only want immediate family and close friends, while larger weddings may include the entire family on both sides. Double check with the couple in regards to the number of guests before providing them with the list.

3. Following-up on Late RSVPs

You may be asked to call any of your guests who are late in RSVPing for the wedding day. It can be tedious for the wedding couple to follow up with everyone on the guest list along with doing everything else involved in the planning process. Taking this responsibility off their plate may be extremely helpful. 

4. Help Guests with the Wedding Registry

After the couple sends out invitations to their guests, you can help by spreading word of the couple’s wedding registry. Some family members may not be tech-savvy and will need help finding the information they need on the couples wedding website, including the registry. Others may want to give cash or checks, therefore, you can help guests locate the best way to do this. 

5. Help With Any Family Traditions

There may be wedding traditions that have been in your family for decades. Let the couple know about what they are and if they’d like, help them incorporate the traditions throughout the entire process. If certain materials are needed for the ceremony, make sure they are at the venue on the day of the wedding and help set them up. 

6. Offer Help with Venues, Vendors and Resources

Wedding planning is a long, time-consuming and detailed process. If the couple is open to suggestions, you can offer help with venues, vendors and other resources you know of. You don’t want to overstep your boundaries and role as the mother of the groom, so be sure to present any help as a suggestion rather than a plan. The couple may also appreciate help with making sure all of the vendors receive their tips at the end of the night. 

7. Stand in Receiving Line

Depending on the formality of the wedding, you may be asked to stand in the receiving line along with your spouse. Standing in the receiving line usually entails smiling and shaking guests’ hands as they congratulate you and the happy couple on their big day. Some couples may also decide to have the wedding party formally announced at the reception, so your name will be announced as you make your way into the reception area. This is a chance for your son and daughter-in-law to shine the spotlight on you and give recognition.

8. Mother-son Dance 

At some point during the reception, there is typically a mother-son dance. This, along with the father-daughter dance, are heart-felt traditions to honor special people in the couple’s lives. Some grooms let their moms pick out the song, while others choose the song together. Dig deep into all the wonderful memories with your son and choose a song that represents the both of you. Wedding etiquette dictates the mother-son dance comes first before the father-daughter dance.

Mother of the Groom Dress Etiquette

As the mother of the groom, you want to look your best without outshining your future daughter-in-law. There are amazing mother of the groom dresses available that are sophisticated, modern and absolutely beautiful. The mother of the bride usually buys her dress first then will let you know the color, length and formality of her dress. 

As a general rule of etiquette, the mother of the groom can ask the bride if they have a dress color or style in mind. Depending on the answer, the dress may not have to be the same length or color as the mother of the bride’s dress. It can be similar shades of colors or colors that complement each other. 

Ask about any dress details the couple prefers like length, style, colors, fabrics, embellishments, and more. Communication and coordination is key here so you don’t stand out in a not ideal way.

Bridal Shower Etiquette

Bridal showers are typically thrown by the bride’s side of the family or the bridal party. The mother of the groom, along with the groom’s side of the family, are typically also invited to the bridal shower. Couples showers are becoming more popular, though it’s also common for the groom to not attend these events.

Typically, as per tradition, the mother of the groom will bring a gift for the bride to the bridal shower. It can be something small and thoughtful. However, if she cannot attend the shower the bride’s side of the family hosts, maybe because of distance, she can host her own. Just run it by the bride to see if she’ll be okay with this.

Final Takeaway

Remember, as the mother of the groom, the best way to help your loving son on his big day is to ask how you can be the most helpful. 

If you are ready to start shopping for a mother of the groom dress, visit your local Val Stefani authorized retailer and pick out the perfect dress for this special occasion.

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