The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Etiquette for Grooms

By  The Groom Club Editors 
Updated on 12/27/22
Wedding

Part of the Wedding

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Etiquette for Grooms

By  The Groom Club Editors 
Updated on 12/27/22

There’s nothing like a wedding to bring out the etiquette police. Whether deciding who sits where or what fork to use, weddings are rife with opportunities to make a social blunder. Follow these wedding etiquette tips so you can focus on enjoying your special day with your future wife.  

Request the Father of the Bride’s Blessing

Father and Daughter in heart hands

Asking for the father of the bride’s blessing before getting married is a time-honored tradition, dating back to medieval times when a man needed his future father-in-law’s permission to marry. While it may seem like an old-fashioned custom, there are still some good reasons to ask for the father of the bride’s blessing before marriage.

For one, it shows respect for the father’s role in his daughter’s life. Asking for his blessing shows that you value his opinion and want his approval. It also gives your future wife’s father a chance to get to know you better and feel involved in wedding planning.

If they have any reservations about you marrying their daughter, it provides you with an opportunity to address any concerns they may have. If you’re looking to get off on the right foot with your in-laws, asking for the father of the bride’s blessing is a good place to start.

 

 

Engagement Announcements

Man shouting into megaphone

Most couples send out engagement announcements after a proposal is accepted. Before you send your announcements, it’s a nice gesture to let your close friends and family members know about your engagement. They’ll likely want to be the first to spread the news, and you’ll want to give them a heads up so they can do so confidently.

Once you’ve given your inner circle a heads up, you can start thinking about how you want to make the announcement. If you’re more traditional, you may wish to place an announcement in the newspaper, but you could also post something on social media or send out e-announcements or save-the-dates.

No matter how you choose to announce your engagement, include a photo. Your engagement announcement is an excellent opportunity to show who you are as a couple, so make it count!

 

Guest List and Invitations

opening a letter in front of a desk

Once you send out your engagement announcements, you and your bride can begin narrowing down your guest list and drafting formal invitations. Always discuss and set your wedding budget with your partner before making your guest list, so you know roughly how many people you can invite. The venue you select will also depend on your number of guests. 

Although it is generally considered proper etiquette to offer each guest a plus one for smaller weddings and destination weddings, this may not be possible. 

You will not be able to finalize your headcount until your guests RSVP and let you know if they are bringing a guest. It is, therefore, crucial to send out invitations at least six weeks in advance, preferably much earlier, so your guests have time to make arrangements. Be sure to use formal titles and full names on your invitations to show your guests respect.

 

Attire Etiquette

Red suited man standing in spotlight

When it comes to wedding attire, grooms have it pretty easy. Unlike brides, who have an endless array of dress styles to choose from, grooms can stick to the classic tuxedo.  However, there are still a few things to keep in mind regarding tuxedo etiquette. 

First, make sure your tuxedo fits you well. An ill-fitting tux will not only be uncomfortable, but it will also look sloppy. Make sure you work with a tailor before your wedding who can ensure a perfect fit. 

When choosing what tuxedo to wear, consider the formality, style, and theme of your wedding. A traditional ceremony typically calls for a more formal tuxedo in classic black. If you’re going for a less conventional wedding, feel free to experiment with different tuxedo colors and styles. Even something small like a colorful tie or boutonniere in your lapel can make your look unique. 

Don’t forget the little details, like making sure your shirt is pressed, and your shoes are polished. Whatever you choose to wear will be in all your wedding photos forever, so it’s not the right time to wear something unflattering.

 

Manners and Social Decorum

Crossed out party man

It’s no secret that weddings can be a minefield of social etiquette, even for the most well-mannered groom. When it comes to the wedding day, there are a few key things that every groom should keep in mind to maintain decorum.

A subtle yet important factor to be aware of is your body language. Standing up straight, making eye contact, and avoiding fidgeting are all essential for giving the right impression. 

Don’t abandon basic manners just because it is your wedding day. Thanking your parents, grandparents, and everyone in attendance is essential (they will remember if you snub them), but don’t forget to thank your bride. A simple “thank you” can go a long way toward making her feel appreciated on what is sure to be a stressful day.

Josephine Li, founder and CEO of Cicinia, has a crucial tip for grooms trying to make the best of impressions and that is, stay sober and be present. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, be sure to be present, physically and mentally. It is not the day to celebrate by drinking past your limit. Showing up to your wedding drunk and late is a poor reflection of manners and good sense.

 

 

Make a Toast

At most weddings, it falls to the best man to deliver a speech honoring the newlyweds, but it is common for the groom to deliver a toast. 

If you end up giving a speech, keep it short and sweet. Maintain a serious but thankful demeanor and avoid inside jokes and anything that might be construed as offensive.

The main goal of your speech should be to properly thank everyone who made your wedding possible, from the parents to the wedding planner. By focusing on thanking the attendees, you can give a respectful toast without straying into more dangerous territory.

 

 

First Dance

Newlyweds enjoying their first dance

The first dance is a cherished wedding tradition and a real crowd pleaser, but it can be daunting if you’re not much of a dancer or not used to dancing in front of an audience. 

Start by selecting a song that is meaningful to you and your bride and suits the dance style you’d like to do. You and your bride may want to work with a choreographer who can compose a dance that corresponds to your experience level. Many couples meet with a choreographer in the weeks before their wedding to practice, so they feel more confident when they get up in front of their guests. 

Traditionally, wedding dances follow an order. The first dance goes to the bride and groom. This is typically followed by the bride dancing with her father while the groom dances with the mother of the bride. Then the mother and father of the bride share a dance, while the groom dances with his mother.

 

Officiant and Vendor Fees

Hand coming out of money bag holding a coin

One of the groom’s most important responsibilities is to ensure that the officiant and vendors receive appropriate compensation for their part in your wedding. 

An officiant fee is a way to show appreciation for the person performing the ceremony. It can also help ensure that the officiant is available for the rehearsal dinner and wedding day. 

Tips for vendors are also important, as they help ensure that the professionals helping make your wedding day special are adequately compensated for their time and effort. You may be reluctant to shell out more cash, but weddings are expensive, and ensuring that the officiant and vendors are taken care of is integral to being a gracious groom.

 

Enjoy Your Big Day

Weddings are a time for families to come together and celebrate a couple’s love, but they are not regular parties, and their etiquette rules should be respected to the best of your ability. By sticking to the tips outlined in this guide, any groom can be sure to make his bride happy on her big day.

For all the latest on how to be your best groom, visit The Groom Club and browse our tips that can help with everything from your proposal to your bachelor party.