Required Responsibilities: What to do as mother of the groom

by epi on January 11, 2012

Q: What are the responsibilities of the mother of the groom in planning a wedding?

A: If the bride’s parents or the couple is paying for the wedding and reception, traditionally the mother of the groom and the grooms family are responsible for purchasing her dress and planning the rehearsal dinner.  Of course, depending on the circumstances, she may offer to help out in other areas but isn’t obligated to do so.

However, below is a list of the traditional expenses for the groom and/or his family, which may be helpful.

  • Bride’s engagement and wedding rings
  • Groom’s gift to his bride
  • Groom’s gifts to his groom’s attendants
  • Marriage license fee
  • Officiant’s fee or donation
  • All costs of the rehearsal dinner
  • Expenses of the honeymoon
  • Ties and gloves for groom’s attendants, if not part of their clothing rental package
  • Flowers:
    • Bride’s bouquet (only in those regions where it is a local custom for the groom to pay for it)
    • Boutonnieres for groom’s attendants
    • Bride’s going away corsage
    • Corsages for immediate family members, unless the bride has included them in her floral order
  • Lodging and transportation for:
    • Officiant, if from out of town and invited to officiate by the groom’s family
    • Groom’s immediate family
    • Groom’s attendants
  • Transportation for groom and best man to the ceremony and reception site
  • Bachelor dinner, if the groom wishes to host one

It should be noted that these are traditional expenses — not written in granite. Any number of arrangements can be made, and often the bride and groom cover a great deal of their own wedding expenses these days. Open and continuous communication about wedding responsibilities will go far in easing tensions throughout the entire process.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Janet Kidder January 30, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Re: Rehearsal Dinner
Question from Mother of the Groom
We will send invitations to the Rehearsal Dinner and include a response card, asking if the invitee(s) will attend. Is it permissable to also include on that card the following: ______ fish, ______meat or ______vegetarian?
We need to know if it is a couple, which choice they are selecting. Therefore, how should it be worded? In fact, if it is permissable to have all (names and selections on one card), how should the entire card be worded? Thanks so much (I have checked several volumes regarding wedding etiquette, but have been unable to find an answer).


Alicia January 31, 2012 at 8:58 am

Well you have two options either say . Please initial your choice Beef , Fish, vegitarian. Or just let them put numbers and take a guess. The couples will trade meals if there is a tiny mistake like that.


Carole Epstein February 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm

My soon to be daughter in law wants to include invitations to the after rehearsal dinner (with a response card) and an invitation to the brunch (with a response card) with her formal wedding invitation.
I think this is highly inappropriate…what do you say?


KT Peters February 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm

My daughter’s future mother-in-law wants to invite every woman on her side of the wedding list to the bridal shower even though they are out of state and probably won’t attend or they have never met the bride. The MOTG suggested all be invited so they would receive more gifts. My daughter feels uncomfortable doing this. To whom should bridal shower invitations be sent?


Country Girl February 8, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Your daughter should kindly let her future mother in law know that she would feel more comfortable with a smaller shower. Your daughter and/or the host of the shower are the ones who come up with the guest list for the bridal shower anyway. Mother in Law doesn’t get a say, unless for some strange reason she is throwing the shower (which she shouldn’t really be, because she is immediate family to the couple). Her reasoning behind inviting out of town guests she knows won’t be able to come = more gifts is both absurd and rude. Shower invitees who aren’t able to make it to the shower are not required to send a gift in the first place, and it very likely word will spread that this shower is coming across as a gift grab. I would encourage your daughter to stand her ground, she seems to have a level head and good heart. It would be a shame for future MIL to turn your daughter’s happy shower into a greedy, offensive event.


Carolyn February 27, 2012 at 1:05 pm

A large portion of the people who will attend my son and soon-to-be daughter in law’s wedding are relatives of the bride and live about 3 hours away. My question is about my responsibility (or not) to attend bridal showers in their towns. I want to do the right thing. Please let me know what the tradition is. Thank you!


Alicia February 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm

You must RSVP promptly if invited. You are not required to attend but may attend if you wish. So RSVP promptly either way whichever you prefer.


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