What is role of the father of the groom?

QuestionMy son is getting married. As the father of the groom,

are there certain responsibilities that I should fulfill?

AnswerThe role of the groom’s father is much more general than the father of the bride. Here is a general list of traditional responsibilities for the groom’s parents:

The groom’s parents:

  • Co-host the wedding. This applies regardless of whether or not the groom’s parents have contributed financially to the wedding budget. As hosts, expect that you will do a fair bit of mingling with the wedding guests both at the ceremony and at the wedding reception.
  • Meet the bride’s parents before the wedding day. The bride’s family may have already contacted you. Consider having a small get together at your home or at a restaurant. That way, both sides of the family won’t feel like strangers on the actual day of the wedding!
  • Can host an engagement party for the newly engaged couple. This would take place after the bride’s family has already hosted one. Note that this engagement party does not have to be an elaborate affair. It can be as simple as a brunch or BBQ. The idea is to introduce the soon-to-be bride to your friends and family.
  • Provide a list of wedding guests with their full addresses and proper titles. Stay within the limits of the designated budget for the groom’s side of the family.
  • Let your son and his bride know of any specific cultural or family customs you’d like to see happen on the day of the wedding.
  • Pays for some of the expenses (ie. engagement and wedding rings, marriage license, officiant fees, flowers, honeymoon, liquor, music). Having said that, this list is by no means a “MUST PAY” list. Many couples opt to pay for their own weddings or may divide expenses differently.
  • May give the newlyweds a special wedding gift.
  • Are invited to all pre-wedding parties. As father of the groom, you will be invited more specifically, to those parties that involve the men, such as the groom’s bachelor party.
  • Attend the wedding rehearsal.
  • Host the rehearsal dinner.
  • Mingle with the wedding guests and may be part of the receiving line at the reception.
  • Sits at the parent’s table with the bride’s parents.
  • Dance with the bride sometime during the wedding reception.

Remember, these are traditional ideas of what the groom’s parents do. Take your lead from your son. Have a good chat with him about what he’d like to see happen at the wedding. How can dad be of help? The answer may surprise you! It may be something as profound as, “Dad, I’m going to need you to keep me sane on that day.” or “Dad, please make sure we don’t lose track of time.” Neither requests are in the list of traditional responsibilities but would mean more to him than anything else on that list.