Anyone who’s been married knows that weddings are a big ordeal. As the groom, your role might not be as apparent as the bride’s, but there are still things you need to do to make sure your wedding goes off without a hitch.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with so much involved. We put together this groom’s wedding checklist with everything you need to know before the big day. Whether you’re just starting to plan or in the final stages, read on for tips on how to make your wedding go smoothly.
Wedding planning is often seen as a bride’s domain, but as the groom, you should plan on sharing the planning responsibilities and communicating with the wedding planner.
You can start by helping make the guest list. Sit down with your bride and decide how many guests you would like to invite and who will make the cut. Once you have a final guest list, you can start looking at wedding venues and choose a wedding date together.
Choosing a date of at least 12 months in the future is important to give you plenty of time to plan the details. Booking early can get you the best possible rate on a wedding venue (including wedding event insurance) and will provide you with time to select and book vendors and get your marriage license.
Once the major decisions are made, you can focus on the details, like what food you will serve and whether you want to have an open bar at your wedding reception.
Remember to maintain open and honest communication with your partner as you make decisions. If one aspect of planning is especially important to you, offer to take the lead. Your bride will be happy that you’re excited about the planning process.
For the groom, one of the most important decisions leading up to the wedding is choosing the right wedding ring. After all, this is a piece of jewelry you’ll wear for the rest of your life. But with so many styles and options, how do you know which one is right for you?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for wedding rings:
If you’re an active groom who works with his hands, you’ll want a ring that can withstand some wear and tear. For example, if you’re a mechanic, you may want to choose a simple gold band rather than something more elaborate that could get in the way at work.
Wedding rings can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. When creating your wedding budget, remember to incorporate the cost of your wedding rings.
It’s a good idea to try on different rings before purchasing one. Not all rings will look good on your hand, so it’s essential to find one that feels comfortable and looks great.
Your bride will also need both an engagement ring and a wedding band. Most couples these days pick out their wedding bands together, so they can try on options and see firsthand what looks best. You may want to coordinate the material or style of your wedding bands with your future wife, but individual taste preference usually has the final say.
It’s uncommon for the groom to pick out his future wife’s wedding band, but if that’s your plan, make sure you discuss style preferences with your bride before heading to the jewelry store. If your bride-to-be isn’t pleased, thankfully, most jewelers accept returns.
Choosing your groomsmen is one of the groom’s more enjoyable responsibilities, but it shouldn’t be done hastily. Your groomsmen are the men you want to stand next to you on one of the most important days of your life, so take some time to consider your options before you ask.
There’s no set number of groomsmen required, but it’s wise to match the number of groomsmen with the number of bridesmaids for logistical reasons.
It is important to ask your groomsmen long before the wedding day so they have time to acquire any necessary wedding apparel and plan travel and accommodations. It’s also customary to give each groomsman a small gift as a thank-you for being in your wedding party.
Bachelor parties are a time-honored tradition for grooms-to-be and can be a fun way to let off some pre-wedding steam with your buddies.
However, while bachelor parties are an enjoyable rite of passage, they can quickly get out of hand without proper planning. If you’re worried about embarrassing yourself or upsetting your bride at your bachelor party, discuss your party preferences with your best man and bride beforehand to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the plan.
It’s also a good idea to plan your bachelor party for a date far in advance of the wedding night. Doing this will allow you plenty of time to recover and avoid interfering with any important planning tasks during the lead-up to the wedding.
There’s no hard and fast rule about what a groom should wear to his wedding. Tuxedos and suits are the most common choices because they set a tone of formality that fits the occasion’s significance. However, plenty of grooms opt for a more casual look that feels more comfortable and personal.
Whatever you decide to wear, choose a style that complements the overall wedding theme. For example, a classic black tuxedo is a safe bet for a traditional wedding ceremony, but a light-colored suit may be more appropriate if you’re having your wedding in a garden outdoors.
You may want to establish a dress code for aesthetic consistency. Some grooms ask all their groomsmen to wear suits of a specific color or cut for a uniform look at the altar and in your wedding pictures.
It’s crucial to pick your outfit long before the wedding day, so you have time to get it tailored to perfection. If you’ve set a dress code for your groomsmen, check in with them before that date to ensure they have everything they need. Nora Culley, founder of Engaged with Nora, suggests setting out your outfit two days before the wedding and mentions “Make sure that you include all undergarments (socks, underwear, undershirts, etc) and that all items are steamed and/or ironed. Pack them all in a clearly labeled garment bag which you can take to your getting ready location.” The last thing you want on your wedding day is a last-minute panic over a cufflink or boutonniere.
The days leading up to the wedding can be particularly hectic and stressful. Between finalizing details, attending the rehearsal dinner, and dealing with pre-wedding jitters, it’s easy to let self-care fall by the wayside.
Take care of yourself during this time so that you’re feeling your best on your big day. That means getting plenty of rest in the weeks leading up to your wedding, eating balanced meals, exercising regularly, and staying hydrated.
Deep breathing and mindfulness exercises, like practicing gratitude and focusing on the present moment, can also help calm your pre-wedding nerves.
On the day of the wedding, the groom has a few key responsibilities to take care of besides saying “I do.”
On your wedding day, arrive at the ceremony venue early. This will give you time to ensure you and your groomsmen can check on any final details like transportation or flowers.
When the guests start arriving, you don’t have to go stand up at the altar right away. Greet your guests and thank them for coming. Show your guests that you appreciate that they took time out of their day to celebrate with you.
After the ceremony, you will pose for photos with your new wife, wedding party, and family. At the reception, it’s traditional for the groom to give a toast, cut the wedding cake, and share the first dance with the bride.
Amidst all the planning, it can be easy to get lost in the chaos and forget why you’re there in the first place: to marry the love of your life! If problems arise, keep a positive mindset and try not to let minor annoyances frustrate you on your special day.
Preparation, responsibility, and love forever: it all starts at The Groom Club. If you’re wondering how to get more involved in planning your wedding, worried about your budget, or looking for ways to make your ceremony unique, The Groom Club offers wedding planning tips and hacks catered to the groom.
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