Being the mother of the groom is not quite like being the mother of the bride. Your role will typically be more ceremonial and less hands on when your child is the groom rather than the bride. It can be a bit of a balancing act to be sure that you come across as interested without being pushy or overbearing. These are some tips for the mother of the groom on how to get through your son’s wedding and get off to a great start with his new wife.
If there is one piece of advice that every mother of the groom needs to hear it is to learn to let go of her son. It can be hard to accept that another woman is taking over your role as the primary female influence in your son’s life, but when he gets married, that is exactly what is happening. Fighting to remain top dog will only put your son in a terrible position of being torn between his wife and mother, and your relationship with him will inevitably suffer. The more you push, the harder his new wife is likely to pull him in the opposite direction.
Another thing that all mothers of the groom should do is to make their future daughters-in-law feel welcome in their new family. All those old terrible stereotypes about overbearing mothers-in-law aside, there is no reason at all why the groom’s mom and his wife cannot become good friends. No matter how confident she may appear, the chances are that your son’s fiancee is nervous about winning your approval. Give it to her clearly and frequently.
When it comes to planning the wedding, the mother of the groom often ends up feeling like a second fiddle. Most of the time the bride and her mother will handle the majority of the wedding planning, which can leave the groom’s mom out in the cold. This is a situation which should be handled delicately; things can only get ugly if the groom’s mom tries to take over the control of the wedding, but at the same time, there is no reason to hide your genuine enthusiasm for the event. Try to strike a middle ground by expressing interest without being pushy.
There are plenty of ways that the mother of the groom can become involved in the wedding. You might offer your home as a place for some of her bridesmaids to stay when they come to town for the big event. If finances permit, it would be very gracious to offer to pick up the tab for the florist or the bar bill at the reception. Sometimes mothers of the groom like to welcome their daughters-in-law to the family with special gifts of wedding jewelry. If you are unsure of her taste, ask the bride’s maid of honor what type of wedding jewelry gifts would be most appealing.
One last piece of advice to the mother of the groom is to always look appropriate for the wedding…but not so fabulous you will upstage the bride or her mother. Always ask the bride what type of attire she would like you to wear for her wedding. The mothers of the bride and groom do not need to wear the same color, but it is customary for the bride’s mom to select her dress first so that the mother of the groom can choose a dress which will look attractive next to hers. Be sensitive to matters of finances as well; if the mother of the bride has little money, don’t upstage her with huge diamonds or a couture gown. Being considerate of family feelings is an excellent idea for all members of the bride and groom’s families, including the mother of the groom.