With a great many details to address and etiquette to follow prior to a wedding, the mother of the groom may wonder what her duties are in the process, particularly in regard to the wedding rehearsal. Since, traditionally, the bride’s family hosts the wedding, it is a common custom that the groom’s parents host the rehearsal dinner.
Typically the mother of the groom is not responsible for specific duties during the wedding ceremony, meaning that the same applies for the ceremony rehearsal. The church or venue will instruct the wedding party on where to stand prior to the ceremony and when to walk down the aisle. The mother of the groom is customarily escorted to her seat by her son. It is best for the mother of the groom to work with the couple prior to the rehearsal to discuss any non-traditional duties they may ask her to assume for the rehearsal or ceremony.
Plan the Rehearsal Dinner
Customarily, the parents of the groom will host the rehearsal dinner. The mother of the groom should confer with the bride and groom to devise a plan for the time following the rehearsal ceremony. The groom’s mother and father should set a budget and work with the bride and groom to determine a venue for the dinner. The bride and groom should provide the rehearsal dinner guest list, but the mother of the groom should send the invitations.
Host the Dinner
The day of the event, the mother of the groom should work closely with the dinner venue to confirm the reservations and any special requests that have been made by her or by the bride and groom. If there is any AV-equipment being used for a slideshow or any other form of entertainment, it is important to ensure that the arrangements are secured prior to the party's arrival. If the dinner is a formal event, the mother of the groom may create table cards for arranged seating and centerpieces for the table. If the dinner is to be hosted at her home, she can either work with a caterer or choose to cook. She will be responsible for both the dinner's set-up and clean-up in this case.
The mother of the groom will be expected to greet and entertain the guests. It is important for her to introduce herself to all of the bridal party as well as any members of the bride’s family whom she may not have met, and thank them for their attendance and participation in the wedding. The mother of the groom should also ensure that all guests have what they need, such as condiments or utensils. She should also instruct the guests as to where they can get a drink or offer to get them one.
The mother and father of the groom should prepare a speech prior to eating. This is their chance to thank everyone for the support shown their son and his soon-to-be wife. The speech can be prewritten or a brief announcement, but it should be spoken in a tone that is mostly directed at the bride and groom. The day of the rehearsal is the final day of celebration of their lives before the marriage and their journey as a couple should be recognized.