During all of the pre-wedding hoopla, the mother of the groom can feel left out of the fun. Traditionally, she doesn't have many responsibilities on the big day, but you don't have to make her feel like she has to wear beige and be silent!
After your man pops the question, invite his mother to lunch with you and your mom, and share in the excitement of your upcoming nuptials. Include her in various events during wedding planning, and ask her to attend every bridal shower -- even the bachelorette party, if you dare! Your engagement is the perfect time to encourage a loving and positive relationship with your man's mother, so use this time wisely to get in your future mother-in-law's good graces.
There are several ways you can honor the groom's mother in the months leading up to your wedding. Here are five tried and true tips for getting your guy's mom involved with the wedding.
5: Include Her in the Planning
Usually, the mother of the bride assists her daughter with most of the wedding planning, but there are no rules when it comes to who can help you choose your wedding gown or the perfect invitation suite. When you invite your maid of honor and mother along on these momentous occasions, ask the groom's mother to join you. Use this time to discuss the style of dress your mother and the groom's mother plan to wear so there are no surprises on the big day.
Certain details of wedding planning can be laborious and time-intensive, so an extra pair of hands and eyes is helpful when tackling a difficult task on your to-do list. If you find yourself pulling your hair out due to stress, lean on the groom's mother for a little support! The sight of a large stack of unfinished wedding invitations and an unopened book of stamps would give even the most level-headed bride an anxiety attack. If you're feeling overwhelmed about a project, invite your mother, the groom's mother and your bridesmaids over to help you get the job done. Be sure to provide everyone with a lot of pizza and Merlot!
Organizing the seating chart is another wedding project that can be a major headache for the bride and her mother. Not sure if your groom's stuffy great aunt should sit at the same table with her free-spirited nieces and nephews? Call on your guy's mother for her thoughts; she's likely to lend you some valuable advice.
4: Utilize Her Talents
Odds are the groom's mother has a few useful tricks up her sleeve to benefit you when it's time to plan your wedding, so don't underestimate any talents she might have to offer. If your fiancé is always raving about his mother's homemade treats, ask her if she'd be interested in jarring tiny samples of her famous strawberry jam as wedding favors. Is your future mother-in-law handy with a pair of scissors and a tube of glue? Request her assistance with DIY wedding projects, like designing the table numbers or assembling ceremony programs.
Even if your mother-in-law-to-be isn't a culinary or artistic genius, she may be savvy in other ways. Does she have a knack for scoring deals at great prices because she isn't afraid to haggle with a salesperson? If you're on a tight budget, she might be a great bargain-hunting companion when shopping for big-ticket wedding items, like floral arrangements or the cake. If she has neat handwriting, ask her to address your wedding invitations with an elegant script or calligraphy. If her greatest talent is tying a perfect bow, ask her to tie the sash at the waist of your gown before you walk down the aisle!
3: Request Her Help with Out-of-Town Guests
As the bride, your days leading up to the wedding are going to be filled with vendor meetings, bridal showers and dress fittings. Out-of-town guests are going to be busy making travel arrangements during this time, and it's the groom's mother's responsibility to organize hotel accommodations for them. Research hotels nearby, and block off rooms at discounted rates for guests. Appoint the mother of the groom as the go-to person for guests' questions regarding travel arrangements and wedding weekend itinerary information.
Since these out-of-town guests have more than likely jumped through hoops to be with you and your fiancé on your wedding day, think of thoughtful ways to keep them entertained during downtime. Organize an afternoon golf tournament for guests before the ceremony, or give them discounted tickets to a local attraction or show. The groom's mother can also help you choose the best items for hotel welcome bags, like bottled waters, snacks and aspirin for guests who have a little too much fun at the wedding after-party. Designate a time in the days before the wedding to help your guy's mom put the bags together and drop them off at the hotels where guests will be staying. Finally, if any of her friends or family members missed the invitation RSVP deadline, have her follow up with them for you.
2: Assist With Rehearsal Dinner Details
The rehearsal dinner is the perfect occasion for the families of the bride and groom to become acquainted, so create a comfortable atmosphere for the event to encourage casual conversation. Traditionally, the groom's parents host the rehearsal dinner, but there's nothing wrong with offering your assistance to make planning a little easier on your future in-laws. Work together on the guest list, and remember that while you should invite the key players of the wedding -- your immediate family members, the wedding party and their spouses -- it's completely up to you, the groom and his parents whether to include dates for single wedding party members and any out-of-town guests. Be sensitive to budget constraints, and if you need to, politely negotiate where the event takes place.
The rehearsal dinner is the first party to kick off the weekend's festivities, so don't neglect any personalized details of the evening! Offer your florist's number to the groom's mother to assist with centerpieces, or lend her some of your favorite framed engagement photos to decorate an entry table. A slideshow featuring childhood pictures of the bride and groom is a memorable end to the rehearsal dinner. Make it easy on the mother of the groom, and delegate the slideshow as your maid of honor's responsibility.
Finally, remember that the rehearsal dinner doesn't have to match the formality of your wedding. The groom's parents might choose to throw a less formal party, like a barbecue bash in their backyard or a low country boil complete with smoked sausage links, red potatoes and fresh shrimp.
1: Recognize the Mother-son Dance Tradition
The father of the bride isn't the only parent who gets to enjoy the spotlight with a dance during the wedding reception. The traditional mother-son dance is a great way for the groom to honor his mother on his wedding day. To get the pair excited about their dance, invite your man and his mom over for a home-cooked meal to discuss song choices. Have your music collection nearby in case they want to read lyrics or listen to songs over dinner, and consider music that resonates with your fiancé and his mother. Arrange private dancing lessons for them as a surprise -- and it's OK to giggle if your guy has two left feet!
There are no rules when choosing a song for the dance, so feel free to think outside the box. Maybe the groom wants to sway with his mom to the classic sound of Louis Armstrong, but if an upbeat swing dance is more their style, encourage them to go for it! As long as the song reflects their special mother-son relationship, the dance will be a sweet memory for years to come.
Lots More Information
- 10 Mother-son Dance Songs for Your Wedding
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- Notorious MOG: Breaking a Bad Rap
- Diva of Discretion: How to Be the Best MOG
- Elliott, Amy. "Mother of the Groom: Basic Etiquette Q&A." The Knot. (April 27, 2011).http://wedding.theknot.com/bridesmaids-mother-of-the-bride/mother-of-the-bride/articles/mother-of-the-groom-etiquette.aspx
- Gerstner, Leah. "What Would You Pay for an Invite to the Royal Wedding?" American Express. April 18, 2011. (April 28, 2011).http://about.americanexpress.com/news/pr/2011/aesst.aspx
- Rabin, Sydell. "The Complete Mother of the Groom: How to be Graceful, Helpful and Happy During This Special Time." Adams Media. 2009.