Mother of the Groom- Her Role in the Wedding

During the wedding, the bride and the groom are the most important people, and especially in Western weddings, the mother of the bride usually is involve with the majority of the pre-wedding preparations and planning. So, what about the groom’s mother?

The role of the Groom’s Mother

There is an old saying (in traditional Western Weddings) on what the mother of the groom should do—Show up, Shut up and Wear beige. However, in an actual marriage, especially in today’s society where the bride herself is also working, some help from the groom’s mother is most welcomed. And let us not forget that she has her role to play as well, according to the etiquettes of a proper wedding ceremony.

The first rule of etiquette after the news of the wedding is to initial contact between families. The groom’s mother will most likely be the first person responsible in representing the groom’s side of the family.  It can be organized as a brief social gathering or an extravagant dinner, depending on family, social and financial background plus individual preference.

The same applies for a traditional Chinese, where for the initial ‘Betrothal’ ceremony, it is the groom’s mother who will be the representative sending and receiving the gifts to and fro the bride’s family. In other ceremonies, including the most important ceremony—the Tea-serving ceremony, the mother of the groom is one of the VIPs that must be present.

For her part in helping the couple, as in most contemporary weddings, the groom’s mother’s role might be similar to the bride’s mother’s –sending out invitations to guests (the groom’s side usually), footing half of the bill for the banquet dinner, hosting the rehearsal dinner (the dinner held on the night before the actual wedding day) and such.

In the wedding ceremony itself, the mother of the groom will be the one to lit the family candles at the altar, together with the mother of the bride. At the reception, she is also required to stand in the receiving line, greeting guests and introducing family members and friends to each side of the family.

It is important that the groom’s mother discuss with the Maid of Honor regarding each other’s responsibilities, so as to efficiently coordinate with each other while avoiding any unnecessary clashes.

What to Wear

The traditional ‘Wear beige’ doesn’t apply for most contemporary weddings now, and certainly not Chinese weddings. Nevertheless, the groom’s mother should be dressed as the occasion required, as well as in complimentary to the bride’s mother. Thus, if the bride’s mother wears a long gown, the groom’s mother is expected to dress in similar elegance as well, and her dress must not clash with the bride’s or the bridesmaids’ as well.

In Chinese weddings though, this rule is not actually observed, but both mothers of the groom and bride are expected to dress their best for the occasion; usually in cheongsam, or in attire that best represent them as the elder representative or matriarch of the family.


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