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MOB vs. MOG Duties - What's the Difference?

Kennedy Blue Mother of the Bride and Groom Dresses
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 the couple's personal preference. Keep in mind, however, how excited your mothers are about this day! They want to be included in the process - if you’ll allow it. Establish early on what you want them to be and not to be involved in. Setting some boundaries from the get-go, kindly, is always your best bet!

Bride and her Mother

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's a lot more common for the couple to arrange this.

1) Decide If There Will be An Engagement Party (& Plan If So!)

 It is tradition for the mother of the bride to host an engagement party after the proposal. However, some couples choose to host one themselves or request that a friend take over the responsibility. But before you start planning, consider if you even want an engagement party. Many couples decide not to have one for a multitude of reasons, so don't feel pressured! You may feel inclined to put that money towards the wedding or the honeymoon instead.

2) Discuss the Wedding Budget & Guest List

Next, sit down with both mothers and discuss the budget. Many couples today are paying for more of their weddings than in the past - 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. (The couple has to approve of any guests, of course!) Have the moms provide a list of family and friends, along with their contact information, of who they'd 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!
Bride and Her Mother on the Wedding Day
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.

3) Decide Who to Invite Wedding Dress Shopping

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.

Wedding Dress Shopping

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. To get started, check out Kennedy Blue's collection of Mother's Dresses.

4) Create Plan for Hosting the Bridal Shower

When it comes to hosting showers, traditions have changed a lot. In the past, the maid of honor should host the one (and only) shower for the bride. Now, brides often thrown more than one shower. While not necessarily easier, this tends to be practical. If you have a large family, it's difficult to host just one shower. This is where the moms can come into play. Moms and aunts are now hosting bridal showers of their own! These can include predominantly family, but friends as well.

Bridal Shower Picture of Guests and Bride

One major duty of both the mother of the bride and groom is to spread the word of where the couple is registeredIt'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!

5) Determine How to Organize Wedding 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.
Wedding with Mother of the Bride
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.

6) 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 for the Mothers of Bride & Groom

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!

bride and mother of the bride

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!

Stunning Mother of the Bride Dresses

Looking for the perfect mother of the bride or groom dress? We've got you covered! Here are some of our favorite style for the upcoming season.

1) One Shoulder Mother of the Bride Dress in Mahogany

Blake Mothers Dress

Blake Mother's Dress in Mahogany

For an elegant mother of the bride dress, consider this one shoulder look! With a gorgeous slit and stunning sleeve, Blake is a favorite across mothers. Plus, this style comes in several colors to cater towards each season.

2) Satin Mother's Dress with Sleeves

Tabitha Mother's Dress in Gold

Tabitha Mother's Dress in Taupe

For a sleek, modern look, consider satin mother's dresses! Tabitha is a flattering look, complete with flutter sleeves and a v neckline. Find this dress in a variety of colors, including: black, navy, and gold!

3) Beaded V Neck Mother of the Bride Dress

Betsy Beaded Mother of the Bride Dress

Betsy Mother's Dress in Navy Blue

For a more casual and fun look, Betsy is the perfect option! This chiffon mother of the bride or groom dress has delicate embroidery and beading, adding the perfect amount of detail. This style is perfect for warmer weather weddings, and is available in many more colors.

3) Sequin Mother of the Bride Dress with Cowl Back

 Sequin Mother's Dress in Bronze

Jamie Mother's Dress in Bronze

 Sequin mother's dresses bring an extra level of glamour! Jamie features darling cap sleeves and a high coverage neckline, while the back has a stunning cowl. This is a perfect option for a fancier wedding!

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!
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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!
best bridesmaid robes and alternatives

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Leave a comment

February 27, 2024 08:48

What about the GOB (Grandma) of Bride or Groom?

November 13, 2023 12:02

I am seeing a LOT more young couples abandon tradition and celebrate their own ideas. It’s refreshing to see the emergence of their personalities on their big day. Makes it more memorable for them and the it families and guests.

November 13, 2023 12:02

What about mother of the groom dress?

Myrna Green
November 13, 2023 12:09

would you consider addressing concerns when both MOB, MOG live out of the area/state of the wedding and the couple?

September 02, 2022 17:34

It is so important to include the mother of the groom, especially if she does not have a daughter. This will go a long way with having a good relationship in the years to come.

August 09, 2022 04:48

I feel so blessed that my daughter and my soon-to-be son-in-law want both parents to be involved in their wedding planning. I am praising God for how He is involved in the planning process as well.

June 15, 2021 09:31

I feel blessed that my future daughter in law values & appreciates my ideas. She’s including me in all of the planning along with her Mom. 💕

November 11, 2020 12:59

I love what Jennifer is doing for her future daughter-in-law. How kind. My son is popping the question next weekend then surprising his future bride with a surprise engagement party. I feel anxious about the whole wedding thing. I just hope they want me to be involved. Wish me luck~!

October 06, 2020 10:16

I’ve been helping my future daughter in law plan everything. Her mom has not cared one bit wich is so sad and she will regret not having this time back with her daughter. She was so miserable that her daughter invited me along for dress fittings. She has not been happy one bit.

October 30, 2019 13:55

Some of the reply’s have been so generous to my post. It has brought me to tears. Thank you. I hope my future daughter in law knew this. I don’t want to burden her with requests.

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