Traditional dress and etiquette for the mother of the groom

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Traditionally, the mother of the groom and the mother of the bride have different roles, and thus different claims on dress for the big day. Though all families are different in their methods and preferences, it doesn’t hurt to stick to traditional etiquette with the intention of joining the two families together in a mutually respectful manner.

Rehearsal dinner

Firstly, the groom’s parents have the joy of hosting the rehearsal dinner. Traditionally, this means the groom’s parents fund the party; but traditions are shifting in this area, with couples paying for their own weddings or splitting costs more evenly between families. So, this is up to everyone involved, if negotiation is possible.

Mother of the groom dresses

So where do you start when it comes to dresses for the mother of the groom? Martha Stewart Weddings gives the following advice:

“because the mother of the groom isn’t part of the bridal party, she should avoid choosing a dress in the same color as the bridesmaids’ attire, the mother of the bride’s dress, or the wedding gown. Instead, she should pick a shade that both flatters her and won’t clash with the other women’s clothing in the photographs.”

Some say the mother of the bride and mother of the groom should coordinate their dresses from the beginning. Others say the mother of the groom should wait until the mother of the bride picks out a dress, and allow the mother of the bride to kindly and politely inform the mother of the groom of the color, degree of formality, and length. This can be used as a guideline for choosing a dress along the same vein.

Mother and son dance

The mother of the groom plays a beautiful role in a traditional wedding. The Knot writes: “The mother/son dance is an especially touching tradition and a wonderful way for the groom to honor his mom.” Mother of the groom, this is your moment to shower adoration and blessings on your son before he ventures into life with his bride.

After all, the mother of the groom raised him to be the man the bride loves!

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