Wedding Bells: Key Duties of the Mother of the Bride and the Mother of the Groom

It’s an exciting time in any parent’s life to see their child grow up and finally begin to start a family all their own. But, it can be a bit confusing for both the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom to figure out how to help out in preparation for the big day.

Both moms traditionally have their own set of duties in preparation for the big day, as well as a considerable amount of overlap. Here’s what you can expect no matter whose side of the aisle you’re on:

Mother of the Groom Duties

  • Plan and host the rehearsal dinner — This is usually planned out six months in advance by the groom’s parents.
  • Attend the bridal shower (and bring a gift) — no need to plan the party, just show up and have a good time.
  • Offer to help scout and secure venues for the wedding.
  • Share any family or cultural traditions with your son and his bride-to-be.
  • Offer recommendations for florists, caterers and more, if you’re feeling generous, offer to act as the point of contact for vendors.

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Mother of the Bride Duties

  • Offer your schedule — Let your daughter know what your availability is, and when she can count on your help with wedding planning and more.
  • Supportive shopper — provide some non-judgmental assistance during the dress shopping experience, and potentially selecting centerpieces and more.
  • Help plan the bridal shower — Bridesmaids usually host this event, but they probably could use some input from you as far as inviting guests and setting up.
  • Greet guests the day of the wedding, both before the ceremony, as well as at the reception.

Both Moms’ Additional Duties

Here’s a quick look at what both moms are expected to help out with:

  • Let people know the couple is registered—This cuts down on duplicate gifts or off-registry items. Coming from a family member comes off better than from the bride or groom.
  • Coordinate outfits with the other mother — have a quick phone call with your fellow mom, or get together and discuss fashion. Places like preowneddresses.com will have some great options that won’t break the bank.
  • Only offer advice where needed — You may have a certain vision of what you think your son or daughter’s special day might look like, but it’s best to keep your mouth shut if your visions differ greatly.
  • Make a List of Family Members — Your adult child may choose to keep things small and invite only their closest friends and family, but they may also appreciate a document referencing all the family on their side, in order to ensure they didn’t forget anyone. Bonus points if you’ve got addresses on hand.
  • Field RSVPs — While the couple in question should also be aware of this, it’s good to have an extra set of hands on deck when keeping track of who’s going and who’s not.

Your son or daughter and their spouse-to-be may not even want to adhere to traditional wedding roles, and a lot depends on whether the family is paying for certain parts of the wedding. If you’re looking for a breakdown of who traditionally pays for what, here’s a piece that lays things out. Otherwise, help out where you can, and enjoy the party — you earned it.

Liam Pearson shares his wedding tips with an online audience covering all the must-know topics. He works as a wedding planner and has several years of experience he can share with you.

How did you dictate duties during your wedding?

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