When you think weddings, you probably think first of the bride. And while it’s true that much of the planning does fall to the bride and her family, the groom’s family still has an important role in the process, which often isn’t given much attention. We reached out to a current mother of the groom who actually has two sons getting married; who better to provide us with some insight! One of her sons will be getting married through us at the Temple Theatre this summer!
Tasks and Responsibilities
To begin, we asked Melissa about the main duties of the groom’s parents.
“Traditionally, the groom’s parents handle the rehearsal dinner and drinks/bar at the reception. Lately, we’ve seen a tendency for grooms to be more involved in wedding planning and the groom’s parents taking a more active role.”
Melissa and her husband decided to give a flat amount of money to each of their sons to use as they saw fit, in addition to the planning the rehearsal dinner. Speaking of the rehearsal dinner, most parents of the groom know about this responsibility … but where do you begin? Melissa shares her advice:
“Ask the couple what kind of rehearsal they want. We gave more money to my son who wanted a simple rehearsal, and less money for the son who wanted an elaborate one. Make sure to budget for this, since an elaborate rehearsal dinner can cost as much per plate as the wedding dinner, but for fewer people.”
It is also important to compile a guest list for the groom’s side of the family. First, ask the couple how many people you are allowed to invite, and start building from there. A helpful tip is to create this list in a spreadsheet and include mailing addresses, which will save time later.
Parents of the groom may choose to cover reception music (DJ or live band), the bride’s bouquet, and/or honeymoon expenses as well. If possible, it is beneficial for both the bride’s and groom’s families to discuss finances early on in the engagement so everyone is on the same page.
As mentioned above, many mothers (and fathers) of the groom want to be more involved beyond the traditional duties. However, it can be tough to navigate these waters. How involved is too involved? Will I step on the mother of the bride’s toes? Will I not be involved enough? Our mother of the groom says that just being there for support is key.
“Any time I have been invited to go dress shopping/menu tasting/flower arranging, etc., I arranged my schedule so I would be available. I realize that this is a special time for the bride and her mom, so I try not to give advice or impose. I definitely offer my help and let them know I am available.”
And when two families join together to plan this monumental event, there is bound to be some awkwardness or tension. Melissa suggests overcoming this by focusing on the big picture and what a wedding is all about: cherishing time with each other.
“The more opinions in wedding planning, the more contention can develop. I make sure to offer my help, but am just grateful for any time spent getting to know my future daughter-in-law and her family. I limit my opinions and give advice only when asked.”
Advice All Around
Advice-giving goes hand in hand with being a mother; Melissa advises her sons to let their fiancées do the dreaming and planning. Just as she is available and excited to help when needed, she encourages her sons to do the same. Instead, she suggests that her sons take the lead in planning the honeymoon–to take a little of the stress and research off the bride’s shoulders and make it special.
As for other parents of the groom, Melissa offers some financial advice:
“Start early; don’t wait until they are engaged. We have three boys and our wedding fund has run dry.”
After being the mother of the groom twice in a year, she shares one last thing she wants other mothers to know:
“This is not our wedding. There may be decisions that you disagree with, but remember this is their special day. Help make it happy by supporting their choices, no matter how strongly you may disagree.”
Thank you for sharing your insights with us, Melissa!
All photos were taken at HORIZONS and the Temple Theatre.