Yes, you have to more than just show up for the wedding!
Start your marriage off on the right foot and have some fun getting involved in wedding planning. Believe it or not, there are plenty of tasks that are perfectly cut out for you!
Just think about planning a wedding. Let your mind lock onto the first image that pops into your head. If you're like most guys, you're picturing your fiancée happily picking out floral arrangements and place settings with her best friend or her mother at her side. You may not even be in the picture at all. That's okay- that's often how it is. Your bride-to-be has probably been dreaming of her wedding since she was a little girl. She may have a much clearer picture in her head of what she wants the wedding to be like than you do. This production, however, is no one-woman show. You've got to do more than just "pitch in" because you can help alleviate her stress and earn some points in the process by stepping up. The wedding is something your bride will be talking about for a long time to come.
Planning a wedding is a massive undertaking. It requires patience, dedication, and plenty of hard work. If you're not the most aesthetically minded guy, it's okay to leave things like the flowers, wedding favors, and decorations to her. There's no shortage of other things you can do with her.
Major decisions like the budget and size of the wedding, or key elements, such as figuring out a date and location are things that should not be decided by just one person. Sit down with your fiancée and talk these things through to see what you both have in mind. Trust us, if you have these conversations right up front, it will save you both a lot of headaches down the road.
Another big issue is whether or not you're planning to have a religious service. Again, be sure to take the time to work this out with your fiancée from the start. Don't make the mistake of assuming she'll know what you want or vice versa. It is not uncommon for people who haven't even been inside a house or worship in years to insist on getting married in one. If you're in a mixed-faith couple and you both want a religious wedding, you may have to get creative. It gets particularly tricky when trying to find a clergyman to officiate the ceremony. Some clergymen won't perform mixed-faith weddings, others have no problem with it. Choosing - and, if possible, meeting - the officiant together is critical to ensuring that you will have a wedding that you are both comfortable with. Religion can be a sensitive issue for a lot of people, so be sure to talk openly and honestly with your fiancée from day one.
A Groom's Specific Tasks
With us so far? Good. There are also a number of jobs that are specific to you. Just as it's important to work together on the above items, it's equally important to show initiative and handle your groom-ly responsibilities in advance. Here's a quick list of responsibilities that will almost certainly fall on your shoulders:
- Choose your wedding attendants (best man and groomsmen)
- Select wedding attire for the men in the wedding party (she may want to help)
- Arrange transportation to the ceremony for the bride, the father of the bride, the bridal party, the best man, the groomsman, and yourself
- Arrange transportation for the entire wedding party from the ceremony to the reception (Why two types of transportation? You'll be arriving separately, but leaving as a couple. While you can take a taxi or hitch a ride to your wedding, try to find something nice for afterwards)
- Purchase gift for your bride-to-be
- Purchase gifts for your groomsmen
- Obtain marriage license
- Plan rehearsal dinner with your parents, usually.
- Prepare a toast for the rehearsal dinner
- Prepare a speech for the reception
Some of these tasks, such as obtaining a marriage license or planning the rehearsal dinner, can be done with your fiancée, but you should seriously consider (and offer) to handle them yourself. They are fairly painless ways to arrange major parts of the wedding experience and avoid putting all the pressure on your fiancée. That's one way Bridezillas are born!
To Do, Together
There's a whole host of things that you and your fiancée can do together. You should always feel free to do more - it's your wedding, too, after all, and seeing how involved you are in this event is sure to make your fiancée glad she picked you - but if nothing else, work with her to do the following:
- Set wedding budget and size (put your excel spreadsheet powers to work!)
- Finalize a date, time and location and book it (sounds simple, but think again)
- Select the officiant, if you are not having a religious wedding
- Book reception site
- Settle on a wedding theme and style for your reception
- Research entertainment
- Draft a guest list (this will take lots of time)
- Select and order invitations
- Mail out invitations
- Plan the reception menu
- Hire a photographer
- Create a gift registry
- Plan the honeymoon
Being a groom can be nerve-wracking. There's a lot expected of you, and a multitude of tasks to check off the list. However, if you only had one job throughout this entire process, it would be this: no matter how crazy things get, never forget that you love each other and that the hectic preparation period is just one stop on the road to your life together. Get involved, give your say on the floral arrangements, and get your marriage started on the right foot!
Grooms Wedding Day Itinerary
Some Advice for the Best Man