Weddings have come a long way in the last 15 to 20 years! Some traditions have remained while others are fading out. But what about the responsibilities of the mother of the bride and mother of the groom? What are each of their roles or duties, and how do they fit into your wedding planning timeline?
Traditionally, the mothers have had specific roles throughout the wedding planning process. But now, a lot of it is dictated by your own personal preference. Keep in mind however how excited your mothers are about this day, too! They want to be involved in every step of the process - if you’ll allow it. Let them know right away what you want them to be involved in and what you don’t want them involved in. Establishing some boundaries from the get-go, kindly, is always your best bet!
Duties For The Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom
After getting engaged (yay!), it is proper etiquette to introduce your families if they have not already met. Some traditions state that the mother of the groom should reach out to the bride’s family to organize a get-together. However it is a lot more common for the couple to arrange this. Unless the families have already met before the engagement. It is also said that the mother of the bride should host an engagement party after the groom pops the question. But do you want an engagement party? Some couples are foregoing this get-together in order to put that money towards other areas of the wedding or the honeymoon. Others choose to host one themselves or request that a friend take over the responsibility.
Discussing the Wedding Budget
Next, you should sit down with both of your mothers and discuss the budget. Now-a-days more and more couples are paying for a lot more of their own weddings. It’s not the standard ‘bride’s family pays for everything’ as it used to be. While discussing your wedding budget, this is the perfect time to go over your guest list. Both of your mothers are responsible for coming up with their own list. Providing any family and friends, plus their contact information, who they would like to invite. Help them narrow down their lists if you believe they are too extensive. A spreadsheet is always a good way to organize this information!
At this time you can also discuss how involved you would like each mother to be throughout the planning process. Create your wedding planning timeline and let them know what appointments they will need to attend. This can range from helping find venues, or any other vendor related tasks – there’s a lot to do! It is also a good time to discuss any wedding traditions your mothers would like to be included in your big day. Some families like to include family or cultural traditions. This is the perfect time to check in and be considerate of their opinions.
Who Attends the Bridal Appointments?
Typically the bride will ask her mother to attend her wedding dress try-on appointment and fittings. Along with her bridesmaids and some of her closest friends. It is completely up to you who you want to attend this magical moment. Maybe you feel close enough to invite your future mother-in-law along with you and your mom. Or maybe you just want your friends there; you decide! Just make sure you invite the people you will feel most comfortable with. You want this to be a special moment, so include the people most special to you.
After you’ve selected your dress and your bridesmaid dresses, it’s on to the mothers’ dresses! It is tradition that the mother of the bride picks out her dress first. And then informs the mother of the groom what her dress looks like. This way the mother of the groom can pick out her dress in a complimentary color. Mothers should generally avoid choosing dresses in the same color as the bridesmaid dresses! Their dresses should be similar colors that fit into your color scheme.
Hosting the Bridal Shower
When it comes to hosting showers, traditions have changed a lot. Traditionally it is said that the maid of honor should host the one (and only) shower for the bride. These days, brides often thrown more than one shower. While not necessarily easier, this tends to be practical. If you have a large family, it might be difficult for the maid of honor to host just one shower. This is where your moms can come into play. Moms and aunts are now hosting showers of their own just for relatives. Meanwhile the maid of honor hosts a shower for close friends. One major duty of both the mother of the bride and groom is to spread the word of where the couple is registered. It's considered poor etiquette for this information to be listed on the formal invitations. So it is up to the mothers (and other shower hosts) to spread the word!
How to Organize RSVPs
Once your RSVPs start rolling in, you may have your mother or future mother-in-law help you keep them organized. Depending on the size of your wedding, this might be a more difficult task than you predicted. You’ll definitely want to make sure you’re in contact with both of them about any RSVPs that are still missing. It will be their duty to get into contact with them and relay important information back to you.
It is also said to be a duty of both mothers to ensure that out of town guests are properly hosted. This means assisting them with lodging and finding activities while they are in town. Determine if this is something you would like your mothers to be in charge of. Or if you would like to do the research yourself.
Who Hosts the Rehearsal Dinner?
Probably the biggest mother of the groom duty and tradition to date is hosting the rehearsal dinner. While some families are choosing to host this together, it is typically up to the mother of the groom to plan. Depending on the venue and how difficult it is to secure, it may need to be planned months in advance. She should collect a guest list from the couple well in advance and get invites out approximately 4-6 weeks prior. Tradition says that it should be hosted following the rehearsal, the night before the wedding.
Day-of Wedding Duties
Duties on the big day? That’s also completely up to you as a couple. Maybe you want your parents to organize family photos before the ceremony or at the rehearsal dinner. Have them discuss when they would like these to take place with your photographer. One other duty you could assign to them is ensuring that the tips are all delivered to the vendors. Tack on any little tasks that you can think of which you would like removed from your plate. And that you would feel comfortable with them handling on your big day. Just be sure to discuss it with them in detail ahead of time!
Determining Their Duties - Communication is Key
So what IS the big difference between the mother of the bride and mother of the groom duties? Not much, actually. Traditions are changing and it is up to you which of those you would like to follow. How involved you want your mother and future mother-in-law to be. And what you would like to include them in, is completely up to you. Communicate your decisions with them right away and remember that they are there to help!
Let's Hear From You!
We at Kennedy Blue hope that this list of MOH and MOB duties will help you better approach the wedding planning process. Understanding who is typically responsible for each task, as well as how to approach discussing these tasks, is essential. What duties did you, or are you planning to give to your mom or future mom-in-law? Let us know in the comments below and happy planning!
You May Also Like...
Want to gift your bridal party, including your mother and mother-in-low, some goodies for the big day? Check out our Top 10 Best Bridesmaid Robes and Alternatives, featuring some of our all-time favorite products. Plus tips & tricks for gifting!