Wedding Tips for the Mother of the Groom
So your son is getting married, and you need some advice as the mother of the groom. I know I did when my son was married. Not knowing what the responsibilities of the groom's parents were, I was in a tizzy about the whole thing. My best advice is to relax and just go with the flow. Weddings should be fun and not stressful. Don't make a big deal of it and it will go just fine.
Don't spend more than you can afford. There is no sense in paying off a loan or charge card for years, just because your son or future daughter-in-law want a fairy tale wedding. If this is the case, let them know in advance what you are able to spend. Be generous though, if you can afford it. This is the biggest day of their lives.
Responsibilities of the Groom's Mother and Father
- It is the responsibility of the groom's family to get to know the bride's parents. Once the groom has announced that they will be married, the groom's family should have some type of get-together with the the other couple. A meal out together, a dinner at your home or just going out to have drinks works fine. This isn't mandatory, but it is a good idea.
- Because the bride's family pays for the wedding meal, they get to decide how many guests will be invited to the wedding. You'll need to find out how many guests from your side of the family will be invited and then make a list and collect the addresses for them. The sooner you can collect the list the better. It will give the bride more time.
- The mother of the bride should let you know about her choice of dress. Photos will be taken and if the bride's mother is planning on wearing a long dress and you wear a short one, it may look odd. If she doesn't let you know, casually ask the bride. Stick to the theme of the wedding. If it is a formal affair, purchase the best clothes you can afford. If it is casual, stick to a less formal dress.
- As you hear the bride and groom's plans for the wedding, keep your opinions to yourself unless they are helpful. If you don't, you may start out on the wrong foot and cause resentment. This is a big day for the couple and what they think are the perfect plans for wedding may not be yours. Let them decide.
- The only exception to this rule is when they have lavish plans about parts of the wedding expenses that you are responsible for providing the payment. If you can't afford them, speak up. Offering helpful ideas is alright too, but don't disagree with their plans.
- The groom's family is responsible for paying for the rehearsal dinner. The bride and groom usually plan the dinner. If they would rather you plan it, that is fine too.
- In some areas of the country, the groom's family pays for certain flowers for the wedding ceremony. This usually includes the boutonnieres for the fathers, grandfathers and men in the wedding. The groom's family also pays for the corsages for the mothers and grandmothers. Some families also expect the groom's family to pay for the bride's bouquet and those of the brides maids.
- It is expected for the groom's family to pay for drinks served at the wedding reception. This can range from an open bar or glasses of wine at the table. It may just involve soda, milk, coffee and tea, depending on the bride's family's feelings about alcohol.
- Do remember that if an open bar is included, you may be responsible for underage drinking. If you are paying an establishment to serve the drinks, they are then responsible. This is an important consideration. If someone has an accident, you can be sued and even jailed if it involves a minor drinking. Many weddings now limit the number of free drinks and the guests pay for anything over that amount. I've been at weddings where you get two tickets for free drinks and after that you pay for any others yourself. Some offer the beer free, but guests pay for mixed drinks.
- You should ask the bride if she'd like any help. This can range from helping with invitations to helping put together some of the decorations for the reception. Volunteer only for what you know you can handle. If she doesn't want help, it is your job to step back.
- After the wedding ceremony, you will be expected to stand in the receiving line. You'll just need to shake hands and say hello as the guests go through the line.
- The bride and groom may elect to have a mother/son dance. You may be asked to choose the music.
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