Can the mother of the groom host a bridal shower? Yes!

Can the mother of the groom host a bridal shower? Yes!

Traditionally, it has been considered poor form for family members of either the bride or the groom to host a bridal shower since, as one mother of the bride friend points out, it is essentially asking for gifts. Even more traditionally, “back in the day,” there was only one shower, bridesmaids hosted it, and only women who were also invited to the wedding were on the guest list.

Lifestyles and trends have changed, however, and the corresponding protocols have loosened considerably.  Consequently, the groom and his family may be much more involved in these occasions. Rather than ask you to take my word for it, though, let’s consult the authorities. Here are the expert answers to the question “can the mother of the groom host a shower?”

“The traditional hosts are friends of the bride, the couple, or their parents.” Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette, p. 177

“A bridal shower is a much smaller event (than an engagement party), but it’s one you can also plan, particularly if the bride and her family are far away and many of your friends will not be able to attend the wedding.” Sydell Rabin, author of The Complete Mother of the Groom, p. 96

“MOGS may get to co-host bridal showers with bridesmaids.” Sharon Naylor, author of Mother of the Groom, in a Feb. 12, 2013 post “The Top NEW wedding tips for the Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom” on her blog, sharonnaylorweddingbooks.wordpress.com

“… It’s actually okay (and pretty common) for a bride to be feted by the groom’s family in addition to the ‘original’ (bride’s attendants) shower.” Amy Elliott, answering questions on TheKnot.com’s “Mother of the Groom: Basic Etiquette Q&A” page. Amy goes on to advise the mother of the groom to be in touch with the person hosting the primary shower to explain why you may want to host one as well (distance being the main reason in the question in this post) and to be sure your event occurs after the main shower.

“It’s perfectly acceptable for a family member to host a shower these days.” Martha Stewart Etiquette Advisor, in a post on marthastewartweddings.com, “The Etiquette of Bridal Showers”

These are among the biggest names in either wedding or MOG protocol. Therefore, I think we can definitively say that is IS okay for the mother of the groom to host a shower.  So, if this is feasible and something you want to do, go for it. It is a wonderful opportunity to have fun while laying another block in the  the foundation for the future.

I was unaware of the evolution of this tradition when my son’s wedding was on the horizon. I wish I had known. Parties are one of my family’s love languages. We’d have had a blast with this.  I hope to remedy the situation with a housewarming when the kids buy their first home.

One important note: The rules of etiquette still require that anyone you invite to a shower is also invited to the wedding. Even if it’s a destination wedding and few can attend, even if family and friends live across the continent or globe from the wedding, even if [fill in the blank], this is still an official must. Are people breaking this rule? Yes. Should you be one of this people? No. Leave the rule-breaking to people who have less at stake.

If there are important people you want to introduce to the bride but who are not invited to the wedding, consider hosting a party for the couple after the wedding. This is a wonderful way to have a fun time with family and friends and still accomplish the goal of having people meet the new couple.