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Mother of the Groom Duties Explained

If your son is getting married but you're unsure how to help, take a look at our guide to the main mother of the groom duties for the planning and big day itself.

We all know the role of the father of the bride, and we recently shared with you the father of the groom’s responsibilities. But what about the mother of the groom?

It may often feel like the bride’s mum gets all the attention, but the mother of the groom duties should not be underestimated.

If you are a mother of the groom and want to know how best to lend a helping hand, then make sure you keep reading.

We’ve got some top tips for carrying out your special role, as well as suggestions for the best ways to get involved. It’s time to get excited!

READ MORE: Mother of the Groom Outfit Tips and Inspiration

Before the Wedding

Get to Know the Bride and Her Family

Mother of the Groom Duties

Image: Sally Rawlins Photography

First thing’s first: if you want to play a leading role in the planning of your son’s big day, it’s crucial that you go above and beyond to get to know his partner and their family.

There are lots of ways that you can do this, with one of the easiest being to attend the hen party. It’s the perfect chance for you to mingle with the bride’s family and closest friends ahead of the big day.

You might also like to invite the bride’s parents out for dinner or liaise with the mother of the bride about your outfits. There are so many ways that you can make an effort that don’t require you being new BFFs (if you don’t want to be).

READ MORE: 17 Loving Mother of the Groom Gifts

Help Pay for the Wedding

Mother of the Groom Duties

Image: Josie Hooper Photography

Alongside the father of the groom, it is tradition for the groom’s parents to work alongside the happy couple to decide who will pay for what at the wedding.

The average cost of a UK wedding now stands at £32,273 (*gulp*), and such a large sum isn’t something you can avoid discussing.

It’s best to be clear about what you can afford right from the outset as it will avoid any unwanted surprises. You could also play a leading role in helping the couple finalise their wedding budget.

Of course, it isn’t compulsory that you help to pay for the wedding. Perhaps the groom’s family and bride’s family might choose to split the costs 50/50.

In 2019, the only strict rule is that everyone is comfortable with what they’re contributing.

READ MORE: Parents Paying for the Wedding: Etiquette and Advice

Host a Rehearsal Dinner or Engagement Party

Mother of the Groom Duties

Image: Slawa Walcza Photography

Do you love to entertain? Why not play your part by hosting an engagement or rehearsal dinner? Or how about a bride-to-be breakfast for the day before the wedding?

Even if your son and his partner don’t want you to organise the entirety of one of these events, you could offer to be in charge of the food and catering.

Ask the pair which of the above occasions they’d most like you to plan, grab a guest list from them and get planning!

READ MORE: Engagement Party Ideas and Tips

Offer Emotional Support

Mother of the Groom Duties

Image: Slawa Walcza Photography

Putting to one side all of the practical tips we’ve got to give, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of being an emotional support to your son throughout all aspects of planning.

Be sure not to cause your son any unnecessary stress (planning the biggest day of his life is already stressful enough) by refraining from giving any opinions unless you’re asked. Be there as a shoulder to cry on when the pressure is mounting, and be there to go out for a walk or lunch to take his mind off all the wedmin.

READ MORE: 7 Things That Will Probably Go Wrong on Your Wedding Day

Offer to Research Wedding Suppliers

Mother of the Groom Duties

Image: Laura May Photography

If your son is having trouble selecting wedding suppliers, whether that be the dream photographer or the perfect florist, offer to draw up a couple of suggestions.

Spend your evening doing a spot of research, then send over a list of your favourite finds to the couple via email. They’re sure to be thankful for your help.

READ MORE: How to Negotiate with Wedding Venues and Suppliers

Advise on the Guest List and Seating Plan

Mother of the Groom Duties

Image: Sally Rawlins Photography

If the groom is a bit of a typical man and can’t remember the names of all the aunties and uncles he needs to invite to the big day, you’ll be worth your weight in gold when it comes to drawing up the guest list.

Just remember, don’t be forceful about who you think should be invited. Ultimately, it is the bride and groom’s decision, and you should simply be offering an indication.

This ties in nicely with helping to draw up the seating plan. You’ll be able to help seat the groom’s side of the family swiftly – super helpful when the bride might not know them all so well.

READ MORE: Check Out Our Hitched Table Planner!

Receiving RSVPs

Mother of the Groom Duties

Image: Made by Wood

Traditionally, wedding invitations are sent out under the groom’s parents’ names. If this is the case, your address is likely to appear as the one to RSVP to.

With this in mind, once the invitations have been sent, you’ll need to keep track of the replies which come rolling in, and chase any guests who haven’t RSVP’d.

READ MORE: How and When to Send Your Wedding Invitations

Ask the Bride to Help You Choose a Dress

Mother of the Groom Duties

Image: Jordanna Marston Photography

Still feeling a little out of the circle? Ask the bride to accompany you when you go shopping for your mother of the groom outfit.

Not only is it a lovely bonding exercise, but she’ll be able to advise you on what might complement what the other members of the bridal party are wearing. Just remember – white is strictly off limits.

READ MORE: 53 of the Best Wedding Guest Dresses For Summer

Attend the Hen Party

Mother of the Groom Duties

Image: Folega Photography

We’ve already touched on this, but attending the hen party is so important (if you do get invited, of course).

Lots of brides like to invite their mum and mother-in-law to the festivities, so if your son’s bride-to-be is one of them, it’s only polite to attend. You don’t have to stay out until 3am drinking Prosecco with her, but at least go along for a while.

If the bride is planning a bridal shower instead of a hen do (or as well as), this might be a more mother of the groom appropriate occasion.

READ MORE: How to Plan a Bridal Shower

On the Wedding Day

Help Greet the Guests

Mother of the Groom Duties

Image: Folega Photography

If the bride and groom are going to have a receiving line on the way into their reception, it is tradition for the mother of the groom to stand and greet the guests as they take their seats for the wedding breakfast.

On top of this, make sure you mingle with as many people as possible throughout the celebrations. The happy couple might struggle to meet every single person at their wedding, so give as many people your time as you can. You’re basically a wedding celeb!

READ MORE: The Ultimate Guide to Father of the Groom Duties

Sit at the Top Table

Mother of the Groom Duties

Image: John Chapman Photography

Though the arrangements might be slightly different if the couple are having to seat divorced or separated parents, the groom’s mother will almost always sit at the top table (if there is one). This role is an easy one.

READ MORE: 47 Fun Table Name Ideas

Take Part in the Mother-and-Son Dance

Mother of the Groom Duties

Image: Getty / Roberto Westbrook

It’s time to dust off your dancing shoes! Once the happy couple have enjoyed their first dance together, it’s tradition for the bride to dance with her dad and the groom to dance with his mum.

Take centre stage, enjoy the limelight and make the most of this special moment with your son! Just remember – this can be emotional, so make sure you’ve got some tissues in your clutch bag.

READ MORE: The Best Waterproof Mascaras

Top Tips for the Mother of the Groom

Mother of the Groom Duties

Image: Folega Photography

  • If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all! Don’t be the person with too many opinions and don’t be passive aggressive.
  • Be friendly and warm with the other set of parents. Trying to out-do the “other mother” is not cool.
  • Be a shoulder to cry on at all times.
  • Be prepared to help with the nitty-gritty.
  • Be clear with the jobs you’d like to be in charge of.
  • Don’t invite guests without liaising with the couple!
  • Carry around a mini survival kit for the bride, with safety pins, tissue, paracetamol and anything else she might need at the last minute.

READ MORE: Things a Mother of the Bride Should Never Say

Now you know what all of your mother of the groom duties are, you’d better find something to wear for the occasion! Take a look at our round-up of the best mother of the groom outfits, along with some styling tips from the experts.