Wedding Etiquette for the Groom's Mother

What role do you play in your son's wedding?

You've just found out your son is getting married. After the thrill of the engagement announcement, you may realise that you play a special role in the wedding process. As the groom's mother, you have the option to uphold specific duties and responsibilities guided by tradition. Learn how to prepare for your son's wedding- the proper way.

General Duties

Call the bride's parents soon after the engagement is announced, according to the wedding website The Knot. Traditionally, the groom's parents initiate contact with the bride's parents. So, invite them for cocktails or dinner.

Host a dinner in order to introduce the bride to the groom's family.

Be aware of the traditional expenses of the groom and his family. The Emily Post Institute, created by the institute's namesake authority in etiquette, lists various traditional expenditures that the groom and his family are responsible for. Among these expenditures are the bride's engagement and wedding rings, groom's gift to the bride, the gifts for the groom's attendants, ties and gloves for the groom's attendants, bride's going away corsage, boutonnières for the groom's attendants, the marriage license, honeymoon expenses, all rehearsal dinner costs, and more.

According to The Knot, after receiving the number of guests you are allowed to invite from the couple, create a guest list for the groom's side of the family. Also, obtain information on where the couple is registered and inform your side of the family. Keep track of your family's RSVPs and offer to call in order to obtain last-minute responses from your list approximately three to four weeks before wedding day.

Attend the bridal shower and buy a gift.

With the groom's father, plan and host the rehearsal dinner the day before the wedding. Stay safe and start planning six months before the couple's wedding day.

After the wedding, show your gratitude and greet the guests by standing in the receiving line after the bride and groom with the groom's father. At the wedding reception, sit at the parent's table, if there is one available. During the mother/son dance, dance with the groom.

Ask Permission

According to the Emily Post Institute, "the mother of the groom should defer to the mother of the bride." The Knot also reveals that it's customary for the mother of the bride to buy her dress first. Traditionally, the mother of the bride notifies the mother of the groom what dress she has chosen as a courtesy to prevent a fashion faux pas from occurring, such as clashing colours or overdressing for the occasion. The Knot also notes that, according to tradition, the mother of the groom avoids dresses that can rival the bride (i.e. white, ivory and champagne), colours of mourning (i.e. black), and flashy shades (i.e. red). If you do believe you've found an exception to the rule, talk to the bride.

Offer help to the bride during the wedding planning process. According to Emily Post, avoid nagging and offer guidance without being pushy. No matter what, follow the lead of the bride and groom. If you disagree with a decision that they have made, remain supportive.

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