By Danny Anderson
“Father of the Groom” – well, that is a new one for me. I have served as Chair, Co-Chair, Committee Member and Worker Bee for many events — some large and some small — but never a Father of the Groom. I just experienced this very role, as my son just got married! But, what exactly was I expected to do?
Over the years, my wife and I have attended many wonderful and fun weddings. So far, all the “Fathers of the Grooms” did about the same thing. They showed up, looked dapper, mingled with the guests and did what they were asked to do. I am sure they did a lot more than that, but they all looked calm and collected on the surface. So, when I found myself in that role, I wanted to find out just what the duties of the Father of the Groom were, so I went to my wisest friend — Google.
I found out that my number one role was to support my son and be a calming influence. That one I knew I could do with pleasure. Secondly, be involved in wedding festivities as much (or as little) as the bride and groom wanted me to be. Those who know me well know that the “as little” part was challenging for me to pull off. However, all of the articles I read said that the Father of the Groom should try not to interfere and not get too involved unless the bride and groom ask for input. OK, I gave it a good try!
According to the articles that my friend Google pulled up for me, today’s wedding arrangements can be much more flexible than the traditional wedding I experienced. The groom’s parents may take on a more active role in the wedding planning and the wedding itself. It all goes back to what the bride and groom want.
While the responsibilities of the Father of the Groom are not high profile, they are important. The below are traditional ideas of what the groom’s parents do, but keep in mind that you take the lead from your son.
- Support your son and be a calming influence.
- Contact the bride’s parents to arrange a meeting and offer congratulations.
- Review financial responsibilities and how you will be involved.
- Provide the bride and groom a list of wedding guests with their complete addresses.
- Host the rehearsal dinner and work on your toast to the Bride and Groom.
- Mingle with wedding guests.
- Have fun and enjoy every minute of this special time.
Wedding etiquette for parents of the groom has often been neglected. However, changing attitudes in modern society have opened new doors for the groom’s parents to take on a more significant role. Navigating the gray areas of wedding etiquette is often difficult, but being polite, kind and helpful always makes the process easier.
The one thing I know for sure is that I was proud to be a Father of the Groom. My wife and I are so proud of the person that our son has become and are so very excited about having his beautiful wife as a loving member of our family. Weddings come in all shapes and sizes, and no matter which they may be, for me, they are all a time of celebration and a sacred commitment of the heart.
For future Fathers of the Groom who may want to know their role, I suggest that you do what I did – Google it! If nothing else, it is an interesting read.