What Are The Groom’s Parents Duties Before and During a Wedding?

Learn about the different father of the groom duties with this helpful guide. Read on to discover more.

By Janina Villanueva

Father of the Groom
Photo by Civic Photos

Having a child get married is one of the most exciting days of any parent's life—and if your son is getting married, you may be wondering what part, exactly, you play in your son's big day.

If your son is getting hitched to a bride, you're in luck; the groom’s parents are often on the more relaxed side of the wedding party—as, at most weddings, there’s typically a bigger spotlight on the bride's parents on the wedding day. But, this doesn’t mean that the mother or father of the groom’s role is less important. The groom’s parents can make a lot of contributions to help make the wedding fun, successful, and memorable.

If your son is marrying the groom of his dreams, you can expect to take on more of the spotlight—and more of the responsibilities that go along with it.

Whatever the situation, the groom's parents (whether that's the groom's mother and groom's father, groom's two fathers, groom's two mothers, or a two sets of parents, with a combination of biological and stepparents) get to enjoy witnessing the best day of their son’s life as he marries the love of his life.

If you’re a parent whose son is getting married, we have listed the things that are expected of you, from the moment he gets engaged up until his wedding day.

What Should the Father of the Bride Wear? Photo Credit // Unsplash

Before the Wedding

Don’t know what mother or father of the groom duties you'll have before the big day? Here are a few ways you can prep for your son’s wedding day.

Get to Know Your Future In-laws

If you have not been formally introduced to your future son or daughter-in-law’s parents, reach out to them soon, and invite them for lunch or dinner with the entire family to celebrate the couple’s engagement. Getting to know the groom's family or bride’s family before the big day is a great way to merge the two sides.

Offer Financial Help

Gone are the days when the parents of the bride (or groom) are the ones footing the entire bill. Nowadays, when it comes to who pays for the wedding, wedding costs are mostly covered by the couple getting married—or, if you have the resources, you can offer to help your son and his soon-to-be-spouse cover some of their wedding-related financial responsibilities.

What Do The Groom’s Parents Traditionally Pay For?

If you do decide to help your son financially, depending on your wedding budget, there are a few wedding expenses that, traditionally, the groom's family pays, including:

  • Wedding rings
  • The groom's wedding attire
  • Flowers (for example, the bride's bouquet or boutonnieres for the groomsmen)
  • The wedding officiant's fee
  • Gifts for the best man and groomsmen
  • Entertainment (for example, the wedding band or DJ)
  • Alcohol for the wedding
  • Honeymoon costs for the newlyweds

If you're not sure what to contribute, sit down with your son and his fiancée so that you can figure out what kind of help they need—and what it makes sense for you to pay for.

Offer Support to Your Son

Be available to your son, especially during the wedding planning process. Getting married is such a big step, and wedding planning can sometimes be chaotic. Be there to give him practical marriage advice and calm his nerves during the planning stage (which he’ll need). You can also offer to help him with wedding planning duties, like researching what he needs to do to obtain his marriage license or helping him narrow down the guest list. (Just make sure not to overstep your boundaries.)

Aside from this, you can also use your strengths to help. Are you a builder? You can help with some DIY projects such as building yard games if they’re having the wedding outdoors or creating wedding favors. Do you whip up legendary cocktails? You can help the couple plan their bar menu and develop their signature cocktail. Spending time with the happy couple will give you an idea of what they need and which areas you can be of the most help.

Host the Engagement Party and/or Rehearsal Dinner

Traditionally, the groom's parents host the rehearsal dinner, which is typically held the evening before the wedding day. It's attended by the wedding party (including bridesmaids and groomsmen) and close family members—especially those who have traveled for the wedding.

It's also appropriate for the groom's parents to host the engagement party. If your son and his partner choose to host the engagement party themselves (which has become increasingly common), you'll at least want to show up with a thoughtful gift, ready to welcome your future daughter-in-law or son-in-law into your family.

Share Family Traditions

Traditionally, the groom's parents host the rehearsal dinner, which is typically held the evening before the wedding day. It's attended by the wedding party (including bridesmaids and groomsmen) and close family members—especially those who have traveled for the wedding.

It's also appropriate for the groom's parents to host the engagement party. If your son and his partner choose to host the engagement party themselves (which has become increasingly common), you'll at least want to show up with a thoughtful gift, ready to welcome your future daughter-in-law or son-in-law into your family.

Duties of the Father of the Groom Photo Credit // Taylor Cotilla Photography

During the Wedding

The mother and/or father of the groom's duties isn’t over just yet. As the groom's parent, there's plenty for you to do on your son's big day, including:

Get Ready With the Groom and Groomsmen

If you're the groom's father, you'll want to get ready with your son during the morning of the wedding. Make sure that your son eats in the morning and is prepped and ready on time. (If you're the groom's mother, you won't be getting ready with your son and his groomsmen—but feel free to stop by with breakfast and some words of encouragement before you go get ready yourself.)

Be Present for Photos

Family portraits are done while getting ready and immediately after the wedding ceremony. Make sure you're ready to go for photos—and, if the wedding photographer needs help, offer to go and gather other family members as necessary.

Walk Down the Aisle

Both parents of the groom have a significant role at the ceremony, and they can either walk down the aisle together or with the groom before sitting in the very front of the venue, on the right side. (If you and your son's other parent are separated, you may opt to walk down the aisle separately.)

Say a Few Words

As the groom's parents, you might be asked by the couple to give a wedding toast at the reception. This is your time to “introduce” your son to their new spouse's family by sharing some of his amazing traits, as well as a little bit about his childhood. Your wedding speech will also include thanking the guests for coming and welcoming your son or daughter-in-law into the family.

Dance With the Bride

Many weddings have parent dances—and that includes dances for the groom's parents. Traditionally, the mother of the groom does a son dance with the groom.

But the dancing doesn't end there! Once the party gets underway, make sure that each parent spends some time dancing with your son and his new spouse (for example, if your son married a woman, the father of the groom might ask the bride for a dance).

As the groom's parents, the best thing that you can do is to be there to support your son. Welcoming wedding guests and making sure that everyone is comfortable is always a good idea for the big day. As long as you’re there helping the happy couple where they need it most, everyone will appreciate the extra effort.

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