Rhode Island Wedding Guide

Wedding Planning

Wedding Roles for Parents

Traditionally, the bride's parents paid for the wedding and did all the planning. Today, however, more and more couples pay for and plan their own weddings. There are no rules etched in stone as for who pays for what. Planning a wedding can be an exciting and stressful time. If you're offered the help, take it. If you need help, ask for it. Giving a role to both sets of parents will make them feel important and may bring you closer. (Even the fathers want to be included!)

Below you will find a list of traditional roles. You may decide on which roles you would like to designate to each person.


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Mother of the Bride

  • May help the bride and groom search for the perfect reception site.
  • Go bridal gown shopping with the bride. (Don't be hurt by her honest opinions!)
  • Create a guest list of all her (and the bride's father) friends and relatives.
  • Get references from her relatives and friends for caterers, florists, photographers, etc.
  • Select her dress and accessories. (Perhaps even going shopping with the groom's mother so that they can coordinate their wedding attire.)
  • Help you to decide on whether or not to include any family traditions.
  • Attend the bridal shower and the rehearsal dinner.
  • If you are not having your father walk you down the aisle, you may consider having your mother walk you down.
  • Greet guests in the receiving line.
  • If you decide on having a parents' table, she will be seated there.
  • Dance a formal first-dance with the bride's father.
  • Dance a formal first-dance with the groom.

Father of the Bride

  • If you're lucky, help you pay for your wedding!
  • Help you create a budget.
  • Can also help you find the perfect reception site.
  • Help the bride's mother with the guest list.
  • Select his wedding attire.
  • Help plan and pay for the rehearsal dinner.
  • Toast the groom at the rehearsal dinner.
  • Ride with the bride to the ceremony.
  • Walk the bride down the aisle.
  • Greet guests in the receiving line.
  • If you decide on having a parents' table, he will be seated there.
  • If he chooses, he may make a toast to the bride and groom.
  • Dance a formal first-dance with the bride's mother.
  • Dance a formal first-dance with the bride.

Mother of the Groom

  • May help the bride and groom search for the perfect reception site.
  • Create a guest list of all her (and the groom's father) friends and relatives.
  • Get references from her relatives and friends for caterers, florists, photographers, etc.
  • Select her dress and accessories. (Perhaps even going shopping with the bride's mother so that they can coordinate their wedding attire.)
  • Help you to decide on whether or not to include any family traditions.
  • Attend the bridal shower and plan the rehearsal dinner.
  • Greet guests in the receiving line.
  • If you decide on having a parents' table, she will be seated there.
  • Dance a formal first-dance with the groom's father.
  • Dance a formal first-dance with the groom.

Father of the Groom

  • Help pay for wedding.
  • Help the groom's mother with the guest list.
  • Plan and pay for the rehearsal dinner.
  • Select his wedding attire.
  • Greet guests in the receiving line.
  • If you decide on having a parents' table, he will be seated there.
  • If he chooses, may give a toast to the bride and groom.
  • Dance a formal first-dance with the mother of the groom.
  • Dance a formal first-dance with the bride.

Find How to dress mothers-of the bride & groom | Find parents' wedding gifts.

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