With so much focus on the parents of the bride during the planning process (especially if they’re paying for the celebration and serving as hosts), it can seem like the parents of the groom don’t have much to do as the big day approaches. But their child will be walking down the aisle, too, so there are a few responsibilities that fall squarely on their shoulders. So, what goes on their to-do list? Is there such thing as wedding etiquette for the parents of the groom? Ahead we outline their roles.
Host the Rehearsal Dinner
Traditionally, the groom’s parents are the ones to plan and host (read: pay for) the rehearsal dinner, as well as any coinciding welcome parties for the rest of the guests. They may opt to employ the couple’s wedding planner to help with the event, or can plan it on their own. The rehearsal dinner itself can be as formal or casual as the groom’s parents would like it to be but should tie in with the wedding’s theme in some way.
When it comes to invitations, they should come from the parents of the groom, signifying that they’re hosting the event.
Help with the Guest List
There are a lot of family members and friends to organize as the guest list comes together, and the groom’s parents should be a part of the process. This rings especially true if they're paying for or helping to pay for the wedding, in which case, traditionally, they're usually allowed to invite a certain number of guests (within reason and with your approval, of course). They should provide the bride and groom with the mailing addresses for any relatives or friends who are being invited to the celebration, and should assist with following up with guests who don’t RSVP on time.
Arrange Family Photos
On the day of the wedding, the parents of the groom should make sure their relatives know where to be for any family pictures and should help make sure everyone is present. Since the bride may not know everyone included in each shot, the groom’s parents should step in to keep track of who goes where.
Walk Down the Aisle
In a Christian ceremony, the parents of the groom walk down the aisle together immediately after the seating of the grandparents. In a Jewish ceremony, the groom’s parents escort the groom to the chuppah.
Cover expenses (Only if they want to)
While these expenses are not always covered separately from the rest of the wedding budget, there are a few items that are traditionally paid for by the groom’s parents: The marriage license, the officiant fees, the bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres and corsages for immediate family members, the evening’s liquor, entertainment, and the honeymoon. Of course, budgets these days are handled in many different ways, so the breakdown of expenses can vary widely, and the bride and groom may pay for all of the above themselves.