A Simply Southern Mother of the Groom

A Downhome Perspective on All Things Southern

Home About Us Blog Genealogy Recipes Gardening Manners and Etiquette Real Estate Destinations History ArtHunting and Fishing
Photojournalism Southern Furniture Maker Inspiration Write Life Education Contact-


Simply Southern: Mother-of-the-Groom 

Brittany and Drew

Engagement pictures were taken at Wakefield the plantation home once owned by the groom's great grandparents
that is now owned by uncle Col. Thomas Rushing and aunt Dr. Sylvia Burson Rushing.

Part I:  Simply Southern Wedding
Simply Southern Wedding Part II
Part II:  Parties and Showers
Part III: The Wedding Raising:  Planning Ahead
Part IV:  The Wedding Raising:  Implementation
Part IV:  A Simply Southern Wedding
Blog with us, contribute comments, ideas, and pictures
Part V:  Simply Southern Wedding Mother-of- the-Groom
Brittany's Showers

This should be fun. 

We're getting a daughter, and we're delighted.  Brittany is all we could have hoped for as a wife for our son.  They seem to complement one another just as intended.  Where
he is weak, she is strong.  And where she is strong, she is exactly what he needs.  And she fits into our family so well.  The wedding will be May 9, 2009, in Birmingham, Alabama
That means my job as the Mother-of-the-Groom has just begun.

I.  The first question one asks after being informed of the impending marriage of one's son is, now what are our responsibilities as the parents of the groom?  For Southerners, money is a
delicate topic to discuss.  Financial circumstances differ.  Southerners are tactful and respectful of this delicate topic and make the most of whatever the circumstance creatively and with
style (Remember Scarlet O'Hara's drapery dress?)  Customs are different in different parts of the country, but for a Simply Southern Mother- of-the-Groom traditional customs for our
part of the South apply. 

The Wedding Reception is the Bride’s Family's party.  My husband and I have “thrown” two weddings for our daughters and everything, except that listed, was provided by us.  Our
daughters had a “vision” for the wedding and that included flowers and beverages.  We did not request anything of the Groom’s family to do anything but show up at those events and  provide
the “Groom’s cake".  It would seem to be improper for us when we had our own vision regarding flowers and beverages (two extremely expensive items) to require the Groom’s family to foot
the bill for that vision.  Event though the Groom’s cake is also very expensive, and traditionally would have been at the After Rehearsal party, the custom has become that the Groom’s cake is
just that  the Grooms cake (at our weddings it was chocolate and delicious) and provided according to what the Groom and his Bride wanted and he could afford.  

sharman and joe grooms cakeThe After Rehearsal Party is the Groom’s party.   I remember when I married,  my mother-in-law had a lovely Groom’s cake served at the after-rehearsal party.  Traditions change and it
is logical that the Groom provide the “Groom’s” cake for the Wedding Reception instead, if that is what the Bride and Groom want.  Quite a change in grooms cakes in 38 years. 

In visiting websites I have encountered other "responsibilities" for the Groom's family.  I think they are also considered as "optional".  But, it has always been my understanding that the following
were the responsibilities for the Groom’s family. 

The Groom typically:

  •  Pays for the Bride's rings including the Engagement ring
    The rule of thumb here is two months salary.  Personally, I think that is ridiculous.  The bride is not marrying the groom for a ring,
    and if she is, she is not worth having.  The size of the ring is not the measure of the man, his commitment, nor his capacity to love and be devoted to a woman and their
    A nice gold band and a recognition that the two will work together to make a family and build a life together makes more sense.  That money would make a
    great down payment on a home.  With finances being the number one issue causing divorce, it would behoove two people in love to set priorities.  A diamond can come
    down  the road. However, I speak as one who married at 19 while still in college, whose fianceŽ bought a beautiful ring that he let me select, knowing what he could
    afford, using  the money he had saved with his paper route as a little boy and then working in his parent's restaurant.  He paid cash and we did not go into debt for a
    ring.  We bought what he could afford.  We're still married.  (That was before credit card companies lured college students into debt and Advertising Agencies and Bridal Websites supported
    by businesses benefiting from convincing young people that love is a diamond were so prevalent.) 

  • Pays for the honeymoon  
    Our son is very fortunate.  His future father-in-law travels frequently and is giving the newly weds a trip to his favorite vacation spot. 
    motherDonna Ballard, Brittany's mom, is here with Drew and Brittany when Drew received his Masters in Process Management.Suzanne and Monty

Suzanne and Monty Ballard (Brittany's stepmom and father are pictured here at the party after the Graduation.)

Pays for a wedding gift for the Bride

Pays for the marriage license

  • Pays for the Groom's men gifts

  • Arranges for accommodation for out-of-town Groom's men
    Pays the fee  for clergyperson or judge

  • Father of the Groom
  • Purchases or rents wedding attire.

  • Pays for and hosts the rehearsal dinner.

  • Proposes the first toast at the rehearsal dinner.

  • Arrives dressed 1 hour before the wedding.

  • Stands to the left of the Mother-of-the-Groom in the receiving line

Groom’s Mother

·         Initiates contact with the Bride’s family

·         Provides a guest list for the wedding invitations
1.  Of course, the number of invited guests is left up to the bride's family because theirs is the major financial burden. 
2.  I use an Excel file for my lists because it is easy to manipulate the data.  I learned this trick when preparing for Brooke's wedding. 
Cecily married long enough ago that I was not so computer literate.  Brooke and Cecily are our daughters, both of whom are married.
 If the list is culled in any way, those who thought we were special enough to entertain, should not be cut. 

Gave Brooke/Cecily a party Identifying Group Title Name Spouse Children's names Known Date Last Address City State Zip

Groomsmen Esquire                  

Immediate Ramsey Family The Honourable                  

Bridesmaids Doctor                  

Mother's OTL Group The Doctors                  

Mother's Panama City Friends                    

Burson Family                    

Immediate Ballard Family                    
  Ramsey aunts, uncles and cousins                    

By using identifying groups and the bridal party by color, it helps both families know the relationships of those who have been invited.  These are the names that will go on the place
cards at a party and relationships should be clear.  This will also help with pictures.  I have included the titles that should go on the invitations.  Known Dates (or significant others)
are the guests that will be  included on the invitation to attend the wedding with the invited individual

·         Makes hotel reservations for any out-of-town guests of the Groom’s family
It is July 26th at Rucker Place in Birmingham, Alabama.     

·         Waits to choose her dress for the wedding until after the Mother-of-the-Bride has made her selection. Then, the Mother-of-the-Groom should

choose a dress that is similar in style and formality. In other words, if the Mother-of-the-Bride chooses a floor length dress, so should the Mother-of-the-Groom.

·         Throws the rehearsal dinner, which the Groom’s family plans, hosts and pays for. All persons participating in the wedding are invited to the rehearsal dinner, along with their spouses
or significant others.

Establishment Contact Person Telephone Email Menu Cost per Adult Cost per child Tip Tax Capacity Liquor cost Liquor Set up arrangement Linens Flowers Sound System        

It just so happens our son's wedding party consists of 9 bridesmaids and 12 groomsmen plus the bride and groom.  Here you have at least 42 guests.  We understand etiquette dictates including
the parents of those participating in the wedding and our out of town family and you are looking at a party of from 60 to 100 individuals.  Finding a place that will handle that many people is
 a challenge. With our wedding being out of town,  the logistics of "checking out" those places is also challenging.  Then, find one in our price range.  The job of the Mother-of-the-Groom
should never be underrated, I have discovered. 

Just so you will have some idea of the potential cost of this event here are some menus in Birmingham I have acquired. 

I have attended many After Rehearsal Parties.  They have been held in the community room of a Firehouse (the family all brought covered dishes.  It was one of my favorites.),
the Fellowship Hall of a Church (a dear friend fixed the groom's favorite meal, breakfast in the evening, for everyone), around the pool with a band at the Grand Hotel, in the ballroom at the
Houston Hotel (our own), various country clubs and in hotel and motel restaurants. 
They were all unique and special in their own way.  Each spoke of the groom's origins and interests and were lots of fun.  So, there's no one way to have the After-Rehearsal Party.  I learned
 from all of the above to just do it with love and welcome for all who attend and that is what matters.

It is September 27th.  My husband grumbles, but all of us girls know how important it is to book a venue early.  Some I called have already been reserved.  We made appointments at
three establishments in Birmingham:  Wynfrey, Five Points Grill, and Silvertron.  Taking into consideration our budget and the number of guests we anticipate having at the
After Rehearsal Party, we decided on the Silvertron Cafe' mother
The Silvertron Cafe' is a landmark in Birmingham.  But, it is under new ownership with Marco Morosini, who was formerly the chef for 30° Blue in Bay Point
in Panama City Beach, Florida.  30° Blue is one of the finest restaurants in the Panama City area.  Marco enjoyed working with that restaurant, but
wanted his own place where he had total control.  The Cafe' is located at  3813 Clairmont Av., Birmingham, Al 35222. 
I am so relieved to have made this decision.  This facility can handle the number of people we are to entertain.   I am confident the chef will do a beautiful job.  Now I can work on
invitations, seating chart and floral arrangements.

Marco Marisi Intrior at Silvertron Bar at Silvertron menu discussions at Silvertron  
Marco Morisini Interior of Silvertron Bar at the Silvertron Menu discussions at Silvertron  

The Silvertron Cafe' is about a mile from the Rucker House where Brittany and Drew will get married and have the wedding reception.

  • Attends the bridal showers and gives a gift.

    ·         Contacts any friends or relatives of the Groom’s family who have not responded to the wedding invitation.

    ·         Helps spread the word about where the couple has registered their wedding gift wishes.

    ·         Arrives dressed 1 hour before the wedding

    ·         Is escorted to the first row on the right hand side. Often, the head usher, a Groomsman who is part of the family, or even the Groom himself, escorts the Mother-of-the-Groom to her seat.

    ·         Lights the family candle, if included in the ceremony

    ·         Stands between the Bride and her mother In the receiving line, so that she can introduce the Bride to friends and relatives of the Groom.

    ·         Pays for the Groom’s cake at the reception
    Roll Tide!!!!!