Rules for the Mother of the Groom

During wedding preparations, the mother of the groom often sits back waiting for direction. While she can offer her help, traditional wedding rules dictate what she should do on the wedding day.


The mother of the groom usually calls the parents of the bride to arrange a meeting or an introduction once an engagement has been announced. A formal dinner isn't always necessary. The gathering could be cocktails or informal cookout. If it's not possible to meet because of distance, a phone call or letter with family photos might break the ice. Sending a bouquet of flowers also would be welcome.

The mother of the groom does not host an engagement party. According to The Knot, the bride’s parents traditionally host the engagement party. But the mother of the groom and her partner could offer to help financially or the two families could host the party together.

The groom’s parents plan and host the rehearsal dinner. The mother of the groom should pick the venue and menu with help from the bride and groom. Invitations to the dinner should be extended to the wedding party, family members and sometimes out-of-town guests.


The mother of the groom should purchase her dress. Etiquette dictates that after the mother of the bride purchases her dress, she should notify the mother of the groom as to the color and style of the dress. This will help clarify the dress code for the wedding day.

Wedding Day

A groomsman or usher escorts the mother of the groom into the wedding. Sometimes, the bride and groom prefer to have the groom escort his mother to the pew. She sits in the first pew on the right side of the venue. After the ceremony, she should appear in the receiving line. Traditionally, the mother of the groom stands between the bride and her mother to introduce her family and friends to the bride.

At the wedding reception, the mother of the groom dances with her son. She and her son might want to choose a song that has special meaning to them. Usually the mother-son dance should occur before the cutting of the cake and father-daughter dance.