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The Role of the Mother of the Groom

Are You Really Just Supposed to Show Up, Shut Up, and Wear Beige?

Your little boy is all grown up and is getting married. Now you're not just mom, you're the Mother of the Groom. There's a traditional saying about what the mother of the groom is supposed to do – Show Up, Shut Up and Wear Beige. But is that still true in this day and age? Here's a guide to the duties of the mother of the groom, along with ideas on what to wear.

While customs vary from region to region and even from family to family, these are generally the things expected of the mother of the groom (and often the father of the groom as well):

  • Plan and host the rehearsal dinner
  • Pay for the items below and offer any other financial assistance that you can reasonably offer without overtaxing yourself
  • Draw up the guest list for the groom's side, after finding out how many guests you are allowed to invite
  • Call any of your guests who are late in responding
  • Attend the bridal shower, and bring a gift
  • Help the father of the groom make a toast at the rehearsal dinner
  • If there's a mother/son dance, help choose a song for it, and dance with your son at the wedding
Other nice things you can do:
  • Offer to help research wedding vendors, sites, and resources
  • Introduce yourself to the bride's family, and help introduce the rest of the families to each other.
  • Help your son with any family traditions
  • Offer to help with such things as craft projects, making welcome bags for the guests, and arranging seating charts. These more time intensive projects can often use an extra pair of hands, as long as they are supportive and nonjudgmental.
  • Help spread the word about where the couple is registered.

What the Groom's Parents Traditionally Pay For

  • The rehearsal dinner
  • Their own clothes and transportation
  • A wedding present.
They may also help the groom with details he is responsible for, such as:
  • The honeymoon
  • The bride's engagement ring and wedding ring
  • The bride's bouquet, and boutonnieres for the mothers and grandmothers
  • The marriage license and fee for the officiant.

Finding a Mother of the Groom Dress

Start off by finding out what the bride's mother plans to wear, and take your clues from her. After all, you won't want to be in a casual suit if she's in a ball gown. You'll also need to know what color she is planning to buy, as you'll want to coordinate, but not match.

You won't want to upstage the bride by wearing some loud color, or white, but there's no reason you can't look like yourself. Hopefully, you'll find a dress that you'll be able to wear again.

Look at department stores, bridal salons, and really anywhere you shop for evening clothes. While you may find stores that sell specific mother of the groom dresses, make sure you check that price tag – some places think they can charge more for a dress for a wedding.

What Happens if You Don't Like the Music/Food/Décor/Apparel at Your Son's Wedding

While mothers of the groom don't really need to wear beige anymore, they still need to shut up. You may have some helpful advice to share, make sure you stop giving it before it becomes intrusive or nagging. Like it or not, this isn't your wedding to plan and your relationship with your son and your future daughter-in-law is far more important than what color the napkins are. The last thing you want is for the bride to feel squished between what her mother wants and what you want! The Role of the Mother of the Groom

Christopher Norris Photographers

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