Wedding party duties: Mother and Father of the Groom
As we mentioned in our previous post, traditionally their roles are small but certainly today they can be involved as much as the bride desires as she is the only one who can assign tasks during the wedding planning and organisation.
So we’ve made a list following tradition and the rest of it’s up to you as a bride.
For the mother of the groom the list of duties is a little more than for father:
– When the engagement is announced, call the bride’s parents as soon as possible. Express your happiness and invite them over for cocktails or out to dinner.
– Host a dinner to introduce the bride to the groom’s side of the family.
– Offer to help scout out ceremony and wedding reception sites and ask friends for recommendations for caterers, florists, and vendors.
– Offer to serve as the main contact for wedding professionals — especially if the wedding is taking place in your town and the groom no longer lives there.
– Draw up the guest list for the groom’s family after asking the couple how many guests you are able to invite.
– Help the groom choose family or ethnic traditions to incorporate into the ceremony or reception.
– Attend the bridal shower and buy a gift.
– Obtain information on where the couple are registered and spread the word to your side of the family.
– Consult the bride’s mum on her wedding-day outfit. Shop for your own about 4-6 months before the wedding.
– Keep track of your RSVPs and offer to make calls to obtain last-minute responses for anyone on your side of the list (3-4 weeks before the wedding).
– Traditionally, plan and host the rehearsal dinner with the groom’s dad (plan 6 months before the wedding; host the day before).
– Stand in the receiving line after the bride and groom (along with the groom’s father).
– Sit at the parents’ table (if there is one).
– Dance with the groom during the mother/son dance.
And for the father of the groom the most important detail is:
Support your son. First and foremost, your job is to support your son. As you may know from personal experience, getting married is a big step in any man’s life, and you should be a source of advice and help where needed. You can also help your son with any nerves on the big day.
And the rest is much easier:
– At the ceremony. On the day itself, your son’s best man should be looking after him, but you can do the same. At the ceremony the best man sits next to the groom, but you should be on the same row, or the row behind. If he’s nervous, reassure him.
– In the receiving line. At the reception, there may be a receiving line. The order for this is usually mother of the bride, father of the bride, mother of the groom, father of the groom, bride, groom. Do your bit to greet the guests, and make a special effort to remember names of people you haven’t met before.
And less traditionally and more in modern manners is to give a speech. After the meal, the speeches will take place. The traditional speeches are the father of the bride, the groom, and then the best man. The father of the groom is not supposed to make a speech – it’s the best man’s job to speak about your son and to “introduce him” to the bride’s family. However, fathers of the groom do sometimes break with convention, particularly if they are paying for part of the wedding and therefore effectively a “co-host”. If you want to do this it is a good idea to check with you son and future daughter-in-law that they don’t mind.
In the end remember that whatever role you are taking on in the wedding planning process, proper etiquette and manners dictates that the bride and groom are in charge of all major decisions unless they say otherwise. Offer opinions when asked, but do not be upset if they choose not to follow your advice, even if it is an area you are all ready helping in.