It’s finally happening. Your son is about to become a husband! That statement alone is jam packed with emotions, but add in the stress of planning a wedding and you have more than enough to push a newly engaged couple’s parents over the edge. Though the bride’s family definitely needs to brace themselves for impact, parents of the groom who want to play a part can feel the pressure, too.
We’ll be honest, as the mother of the groom, you’re stuck in an odd spot. On one hand, you don’t have a ton of traditional duties compared to the bride and her mother. On the other hand, you want to feel a part of the process, and a lack of defined responsibilities can leave you wondering how much your help is needed. Though every mother of the groom’s duties will vary based on the bride’s planning process and how involved you actually want to be (if you get the feeling bridezilla’s coming out of the closet, you may rethink your role), it’s important to set expectations and understand where you fit into the puzzle.
If the bride and her mother are in the driver’s seat, there are a few non-overbearing ways to be along for the ride while following the appropriate wedding etiquette. Here are five ways to play your mother of the groom role perfectly.
1. Reach out to the mother of the bride.
Connecting with the mother of the bride right after the engagement to share your excitement is key. A phone call or hand written note shows your willingness to participate and establishes open communication before wedding planning even begins. If you’re interested in playing an active role, let her know you’ll go ahead and get started on rehearsal dinner planning, but you’re also here to help in any way you can.
2. Understand financial responsibilities early on.
First, familiarize yourself with the usual financial roles both sides play. Then, have a conversation about how both parties will tackle the budget together. If you’re contributing to parts of the wedding day, be clear about what you expect in return. Do you think it would be fun to help with the decision-making or need to be consulted on exactly how the money is spent? Establishing this clearly in the beginning will help avoid arguments and hurt feelings.
3. Be available.
Make yourself available to participate whenever possible. If the bride invites you to go dress shopping or to join her for a paper appointment, try your very best to attend. If you want a role, this is your chance.
4. Let the bride and her mother lead the way.
It’s easier than you think to accidently overstep and create unnecessary drama. Letting the bride’s side lead means deferring to them on all major wedding decisions and guest questions. It means consulting the bride on the final guest list before mentioning anything to potential attendees too soon. It means letting the mother of the bride pick her dress first so you don’t accidently outdo her. Most importantly, it means learning to practice discretion. Unless you feel an embarrassingly tacky mistake is about to be made, aim to be supportive, not challenging. Pick your battles and let the little things go.
5. Be on top of your traditional responsibilities.
Take tender control of the rehearsal dinner and prepare the guest list for the groom’s side. By tackling your responsibilities with ease and asking for the bride’s input where appropriate, you’ll make it clear you’re not overwhelmed and set stage for the bride to feel comfortable asking for your input and help on other areas as well.
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6. Take care of yourself.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in wanting to play a role in the planning process that you forget about how much time may need to go into your own pre-wedding beauty routine and stress relief. After the mother of the bride picks her dress, decide what you’ll wear and work on any alterations. Talk with your hairdresser about a style for the occasion and schedule pre-wedding cuts and colors. Hit the gym if you’re worried about losing a few pounds or looking for a stress reliever. Plan to press pause on your everyday routine before and after the wedding to give yourself time for last minute planning and post-wedding reminiscing and detoxing.