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.


It is the groom's responsibility to purchase the rings. My son and his wife chose them together, but he paid for them.
It is the groom's responsibility to purchase the rings. My son and his wife chose them together, but he paid for them. | Source

Responsibilities of the Groom's Mother and Father

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. The bride and groom may elect to have a mother/son dance. You may be asked to choose the music.

Lets hope the Bride doesn't have to drag the groom.
Lets hope the Bride doesn't have to drag the groom. | Source

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Comments 18 comments

ambercita04 profile image

ambercita04 3 years ago from Winter Park

I liked your article. My ex-mother-in-law was a bear when I was getting married. She acted like it was her wedding and she was the bride. She was mad that her son and I had decided to have cake reception with punch and some light finger food. She told him in front of me that she was going to plan a huge reception party with alcohol (which her son was a recovering alcoholic and his father was an alcoholic and we had both said we wanted a dry wedding) since so many family members were coming out of state. Then she said that she was going to make the reception party a dual party to celebrate her 50th birthday on ur wedding day. It made both her son and I mad. We ended up going on our honeymoon instead of going to the party as she wanted us to. We had sought counsel at our church about it and our church leaders said we had to put our foot down now or she would always try to rule in our marriage.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

ambercita04, That is exactly why I added that part. My son is getting married this fall and I am keeping my mouth quiet. It is a shame that she ruined your wedding that way.


ambercita04 profile image

ambercita04 3 years ago from Winter Park

I don't think you need to keep your mouth shut completely, but I think the wedding say so should really be left to the bride and groom (I think sometimes the mother of the bride can become a little much). My step-mother was helpful. She asked questions and then made suggestions based on what she gleaned from me. by handling it that way, she was able to she what my to be husband and I were envisioning and then help in a way that wasn't offensive or overbearing.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

ambercita04, I agree. Thanks for reading and commenting.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Good information my friend. I don't think my son is ever going to get married. I've almost given up on grandkids. LOL Since I'm a single parent I don't know where I fit in this article. :)


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

billybuc, I never thought my son would get married either. He's almost 40, but he's finally tying the knot. Thankfully I have 3 grandkids from my daughter. Thanks for your comments.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

Hi Barbara, Congratulations on your son's upcoming nuptials. When my daughters were planning their weddings I couldn't keep my mouth closed, I offered some fun suggestions. They told me all I have to do is show up and behave. Oh my! Anyway both weddings were beautiful, we had a fantastic time! :) Best of luck to your family!


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

Sunshine625, My son and his future bride keep changing the plans. I can't wait until they finally decide where the will have the wedding and if it will be big or small. Thanks for reading and commenting.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

My first wedding to my ex was very small--immediate family only; cake only at my parent's home. That's what we could afford.

When I married my current hubby, we were both mid-life, and planned and paid for it all ourselves; my parents were both already deceased; and his mother lived too far to be able to attend. But it was more of a fairytale wedding than my first--nice dress, on a bluff overlooking the beach...and we still had the reception at the house I inherited from my parents, with my daughters as the caterers.

A friend of the family had such an overly-busy stressful time with her daughter's wedding, that she announced, "When my son gets married, the only thing I'm going to do is make sure his shoes are shined!"

You've made some excellent points, and I agree--it is the COUPLE'S wedding, not that of either set of parents! My advice to victims of meddlesome parents or in-laws is this: Tell them where to get off, and elope instead.

Voted up, interesting and useful.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

DzyMsLizzy, I don't think it matters if my son and his wife to be have a simple wedding. The weddings I enjoyed attending myself, were the simple ones. It depends on her parents, what they want. I hope they keep it simple. Thanks for reading and for all of your comments.


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

This would have been good info to have when I got married 12 years ago although we paid for most things ourselves. Useful hub!


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

Glimmer Twin Fan, I didn't realize that the groom's family traditionally paid for so much. When I got married years ago, the bride's family paid for most of it. I paid for my own dress and my husband paid for the drinks.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

Such great advice for the mother of the groom. I really could have used this years ago when my son married. It is always nice to be in sync with the event, especially when it comes to weddings. Voted up+++


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

teaches12345, Thanks for reading. My son is getting married soon and I am hoping they keep the wedding small so I don't have to worry about all of this. Thanks for reading and voting it up.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

I agree with everything you said. Good advice. Voted up.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

moonlake, Thanks for reading and voting up.


AmandaJon profile image

AmandaJon 3 years ago

Excellent tips and excellent Hub! I believe these tips will help a lot of Mothers of the Groom in the wedding preparations.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

AmandaJon, Thanks for reading. I hope it does help someone.

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