In the lead-up to the wedding, so much attention is heaped on the bride and her portion of the wedding party that it is easy to feel like you have been forgotten if you are the mother of the groom. While the bride is usually the center of attention – and your son is likely fine with that -- there are some responsibilities that you are expected to take on as the mother of the groom. Since this may be your first experience in this position, you can follow a few standard etiquette tips to help you through this exciting time.

Connecting Families

Although the parents of the bride seem to be the busiest as the big day approaches, the groom’s mother gets busy early on in the process. In fact, the first duty of the groom’s mother comes shortly after the engagement is announced. After receiving the news of the couple’s engagement and wedding plans, it is traditionally the mother of the groom that initiates contact with the bride’s parents and arranges a meeting of the two families. This usually takes the form of a dinner at the groom’s parents home or at a restaurant if preferred. It can also be as simple as a phone call to share the excitement of the latest news. If there is a dinner planned, the couple may be included, but they do not have to be.

Guest List and Reservations

The mother of the groom should figure out who will be invited to the wedding on the groom’s side. She then provides the bride’s parents an accurate guest list as soon as possible, complete with full mailing addresses for invitation purposes. If there are people attending the wedding from the groom’s side who are traveling from out of town, the groom’s mother is responsible for planning their accommodations. It’s best to put everyone in the same block of rooms in a hotel near the home or wedding venue to make it as simple as possible.

Rehearsal Dinner

The groom’s parents typically host the rehearsal dinner, which often takes place a night or two before the wedding. The mother of the groom typically makes the arrangements. This can be as simple as a potluck dinner in the groom’s parents' backyard, or it can be an elaborate event in an upscale restaurant, with live music and dancing. All of the people who are included in the ceremony in any way are invited to the rehearsal dinner and typically the spouses, girlfriends or boyfriends are also included in the invitation.

Dresses

If you are the mother of the groom, then etiquette suggests that you wait until the mother of the bride has selected her dress before selecting your own. The idea is to wear a dress that complements, without upstaging, the dresses that the mother of the bride and bridesmaids wear.