Here's Our Rundown of Mother of the Groom Duties

Not sure where the mother of the groom fits in? If you want in on the action, there are plenty of mother of the groom responsibilities that will let you be a part of your son's wedding.
The Knot
Updated Apr 28, 2020

In the past, the bride's mother has taken on most of the prewedding responsibilities, while the groom's family assumed more of a backseat. These days, both moms take on significant roles in the planning process, especially if the two families are splitting wedding finances. If you want to participate in your son's wedding and help make it an even more special day for him, here is a full list of mother of the groom duties that you can perform. Feel free to use this as a mother of the groom checklist when you sit down with the happy couple to discuss your role in the wedding.

Host an engagement party.

After calling your son's fiance's parents to congratulate them and express your happiness, you can offer to host an engagement party. While the purpose of the party is to celebrate the couple's engagement, it's also a wonderful opportunity for you to meet your son's fiance's family and their closest friends. Start to get to know the people who could become a big presence in your life. Just make sure you follow these engagement party planning basics.

Help with the vendor search.

Searching for venues and vendors can be stressful for a busy couple. If you have the time, you can help scout out ceremony and wedding reception venues and ask friends for recommendations for caterers, florists and other vendors.
Before you do this, however, meet with the couple to learn more about their vision for their wedding. You'll want to understand their budget, the type of venue they want, the wedding's theme and more so that you can make the best recommendations.
You can also volunteer to serve as a contact for the pros—especially if the wedding is taking place where you live. It's nice to offer to take some of the planning burden off the shoulders of the couple.

Manage your son's side of the family.

Ask how many guests you're able to invite, and then draw up a guest list for your side of the family. Be respectful of the guest limit. Keep track of your family's RSVPs and follow up with any late RSVPs. Make sure you also spread the word on the couple's wedding registry. Your future son- or daughter-in-law will almost certainly love your help here.

Offer financial assistance

Weddings are expensive, and though the majority of the wedding costs are traditionally covered by the bride's family, there are some expenses that the father and mother of the groom are expected to pay for. This can include:

  • Engagement and wedding rings
  • Marriage license
  • Officiant fee
  • Bouquet
  • Your son's wedding suit
  • Boutonnieres and corsages
  • The rehearsal dinner
  • DJ, band or other reception music
  • Alcohol at the reception
  • The couple's honeymoon

Before you take your checkbook, however, talk to your son and his fiance to discuss what they feel comfortable asking you to cover and what you can afford

Keep family tradition alive

If your son wants to honor any family or ethnic traditions at his wedding, one mother of the groom duty is to help him figure out how to incorporate these traditions. Sit down with your son and future son- or daughter-in-law and discuss your ideas and suggestions. Be careful not to step on toes. Make sure you are sensitive to what your son and his fiancée want, not what you wish for them

Attend the shower.

If possible, attend the shower and buy a gift. Offer to come early to help the family members prepare for the party. This is a great opportunity to spend more time with the family before the wedding.

Figure out day-of fashion with the mother of the bride.

Contact the mother of the bride and consult with her on her wedding day outfit to make sure there's no clashing. The old joke is that the mother of the groom is supposed to fade into the background at the wedding, but that doesn't have to be true for you. Just make sure you honor the theme of the wedding and any clothing styles/colors the bride requests. You'll want to start shopping for your mother of the groom dress about four to six months before the wedding.

Offer to help with wedding day preparations

Most weddings include at least some DIY chores. If you live near your son, offer up your time and your hands to help stuff welcome bags, make crafty table decorations or put together wedding programs. Just make sure to be supportive. This isn't the time to announce your opinion on the couple's wedding choices.

Plan and host the rehearsal dinner.

Traditionally speaking, the mother of the groom is responsible for planning and hosting the rehearsal dinner with the grooms' father (typically) the night before the wedding. This is one of the biggest mother of the groom responsibilities, so make sure you start planning the dinner about six months in advance. Ask the mother of the bride if you need help contacting and coordinating roles with the bride's side of the family.

Be on deck during the wedding.

If the couple is planning to have a receiving line, the mother of the groom (along with the father of the groom) should stand in it after the couple.

Plan the mother-son dance.

Probably the most popular mother of the groom duty is to perform the mother-son dance at your son's wedding reception. There's nothing quite like dancing with your son and seeing the wonderful man he's become. Before you can have that magic moment, however, help get the dance right by working with your son to pick a song you both love. You may even want to practice a few moves beforehand to make sure you feel comfortable on the dance floor.

Not sure where to begin with your wedding planning? Take our Style Quiz and we'll pull together a custom wedding vision just for you.

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