Mother of the Groom: Etiquette FAQ

Mother of an LDS groom with her son
Photo Courtesy of Whitney Lewis Photography

When your son gets engaged, a number of questions run through your head. Especially if this is your first child to be married, you might not know exactly what you do during wedding planning, what pre-wedding parties you should attend, or what to wear on the wedding day. This article should shed a little light on some of your questions about your role in your child’s wedding.

What Wedding Costs Am I Responsible for Paying?

The question asked by most parents is: Who pays for what? Tradition dictates that the costs for the wedding and reception fall on the bride’s family, but many couples share the cost between families. In other words, anything goes. So you need to talk about it and find out how you’d like to divvy things up.

What Is My Role in Wedding Planning?

If you are the mother of the groom you can largely take it easy during wedding planning. Just be there for your son and let him know you’re there to help. Traditionally, the groom is responsible for arranging wedding transportation and planning the honeymoon – so he might ask you to help in those areas. You will also be in charge of reserving hotel rooms for out-of-town family members coming in for the wedding, speaking with the mother of the bride, and buying a dress for yourself. 

Do I Plan the Bridal Shower?
Do I Attend the Bridal Shower?

Mother of an LDS groom
Photo Courtesy of Whitney Lewis photography

No planning is required from you – just show up and enjoy. The bridal shower is thrown by the maid of honor or another friend of the bride, and both the mother of the bride and mother of the groom are invited.

Do I Go to the Bachelorette Party?

A bachelorette party is the bride’s “last chance” to just have fun with her friends as a single girl, so it’s more typical for her to celebrate it with her peers only. Inviting mothers is more of an exception to the rule, so don’t be offended if you aren’t invited.

Mother of the LDS groom, photo by April Smith photography.
Photo Courtesy of April Smith Photography

Do LDS Temple Weddings Involve a Rehearsal Dinner?

If the ceremony takes place inside the temple, there will be no rehearsal, but many families choose to go out to dinner together to celebrate the night before the wedding as a nice gesture, anyway. The groom’s family typically pays for the dinner.

What Is My Role at the Reception?

At the reception, the mothers of the bride and groom are the hostesses. You should make it a point to greet each guest, chatting with the ones you know and introducing yourself to the ones you don’t. Traditionally, you will sit at the designated parents’ table at the reception. Mothers typically aren’t asked to make a toast or speech, but your children may decide that they want you to. Some receptions involve a mother-son dance, but not all do.

Mother of an LDS groom
Photo Courtesy of Misty Alger Photography,

What Do I Wear for an LDS Wedding?

The mother of the groom at a Mormon wedding should choose tasteful dresses appropriate for a formal event. The old policy of temple sealing guests wearing their temple clothes has changed. Now when you attend a temple sealing, you simply wear your Sunday best dress clothes inside.

There are lots of questions for the mother of the groom, especially now that tradition is more of a guideline than a hard-and-fast rule. This article provides a start, but open communication with your son and your future daughter-in-law is the key in knowing exactly where you fit into their wedding plans.

♥ Jenny Evans
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LDS weddings, LDS mother of the groom

LDS weddings, LDS parents

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