Official Rundown of Mother of the Groom Duties

If the mother of the groom wants in on the action, here's a roundup of traditional tasks she can always be helpful with—but feel free to think outside the box too!
Mother of the Groom
Photo by Emily Moseley Photography

In the past, the bride's mother has absorbed most of the prewedding responsibilities, while the groom's family assumed more of a back seat. These days, both moms take on significant roles in the planning process, especially if the two families are sharing the financial burden. No matter what the case, here's what's typically expected of the mother of the groom.

  • When the engagement is announced, call the bride's parents as soon as possible. Express your happiness and invite them over for cocktails or out to dinner.
  • Host a dinner to introduce the bride to the groom's side of the family.
  • Be aware of expenses typically covered by the groom's family and offer financial assistance, if appropriate, to the groom.
  • Offer to help scout out ceremony and wedding reception venues and ask friends for recommendations for caterers, florists, and vendors.
  • Offer to serve as the main contact for wedding professionals—especially if the wedding is taking place in your town and the groom no longer lives there.
  • Draw up the guest list for the groom's family after asking the couple how many guests you are able to invite.
  • Help the groom choose family or ethnic traditions to incorporate into the ceremony or reception.
  • Attend bridal shower and buy a gift.
  • Obtain information on where the couple is registered and spread the word to your side of the family.
  • Consult the bride's mom on her wedding-day outfit. Shop for your own about 4-6 months before the wedding.
  • Keep track of your RSVPs and offer to make calls to obtain last-minute responses for anyone on your side of the list (3-4 weeks before the wedding).
  • Traditionally, plan and host the rehearsal dinner with the groom's dad (plan 6 months before the wedding; host the day before).
  • Stand in the receiving line after the bride and groom (along with the groom's father).
  • Sit at the parents' table (if there is one).
  • Dance with the groom during the mother-son dance.