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 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. I can imagine scenarios where there is wiggle room for this standard, particularly in destination weddings or distance dilemmas, but so far, this is still an official must. For the rule breakers among us, consider it a suggestion. If you can defend your decision to deter from this law, I’m in your corner with your bail money.

  • Joy Marie

    Sometimes the people in the bridal party don’t have the cash or time to host and pay for them. Mom to the rescue. My daughter is getting married this year; her maid of honor is a 21 y.o. student; the sister of the groom is a 21 y.o. student. His mom doesn’t have the cash either. I’m throwing the party. If anyone has a problem with me throwing a small house shower with 20 guests, shame on them.

  • http://www.TheBarefootHeart.com/ whollyjeanne

    I agree that parties hosted by the groom’s family are a good way to lay stones in the foundation you certainly hope will stand for a lifetime. Because my boy’s wedding was so far away, I only hosted a post-wedding drop-by-and-meet – not an official shower, though some friends brought the most marvelous gifts. Knowing that my boy is far away from his home state of Georgia (and knowing how much it breaks my heart), The Tiger Girls (girls I graduated from high school with) gave the couple the cutest dish towel bearing an illustrated map of Georgia. Two other friends (who also know me quite well), gave the bride and groom a set of Peachtree City golf cart insulated mugs. I’m rambling, so I’ll stop, but not before saying Thanks for another good article filled with more good guidance (and suggestions, says the MOG with authority issues).

    • http://TheOtherMother.com/ Joyce Beverly

      I love those post-wedding parties. We’ll talk more about that soon! Thanks for stopping by!