Without a doubt, your wedding day is one of the most significant events in your life. Getting there requires a lot of forethought and planning between you and your fiancé. Love, understanding, and compromise should go hand-in-hand (pun intended) into your joint decisions. Don’t think of wedding planning as daunting; view it as a way of working together as a couple, honing your compromise and togetherness skills. But always remember, no matter how hectic, harried, and stressed you both get, the primary objective is to support and love each other during this process of creating your event.
Here are some of the traditional Groom responsibilities:
Groom Suit & Apparel
Groom’s Entourage and Apparel
Obtaining the Marriage License
Ordering the Wedding Bands
Organizing the Rehearsal Dinner
Transportation for the Wedding Party
Hiring the Officiant
As you’ve probably seen, many contemporary grooms are getting increasingly involved in wedding planning to help share the load of the event planning and to have their personality reflected as a part of the event. However, modern marriage is a true partnership, and it begins with the wedding.
Besides the above, these are also critical specific duties for the groom:
Plan out the guest list with your bride
In providing a list of the friends and family you want at the wedding, the groom is also responsible for finding out whom your parents would like to invite (with correct salutations and addresses). Additionally, you need to obtain all of your own friends’ addresses that your bride wouldn’t have in her contact list.
Tracking down missing RSVPs
It’s also your responsibility to track down missing RSVPs from your side of the guest list (and get their dinner orders, if applicable, while you’re at it). You and your bride should each do the follow-ups for your half of the list.
Selecting and overseeing your best man and groomsmen
While you as the groom choose your groomsmen, you also need to make sure to officially invite them, keep them on track for suit fittings, or, if casual, coordinate the attire style and colors, and notify them of all details about wedding activities and schedules. Of course, you can ask your best man to help coordinate, but it’s definitely on you to make sure things are checked off when it comes to your half of the bridal party.
Include your future Father-in-Law
More than likely, this day is an emotional moment for the bride’s father. As a groom, you should be sensitive to this and include him in the conversation and behind-the-scenes activity. Ask your groomsmen to keep the jokes and guy-talk to a minimum and respect the fact that your soon-to-be father-in-law may be experiencing mixed emotions.
Dealing with your family
Any family drama on the groom’s side is to be dealt with by you, Mr. Groom, before it escalates into something significant. For example, suppose your sisters overstep about the bridesmaids’ dresses, or your mother or father is driving the bride crazy. In that case, it’s you to be the one to shut down the issue and protect your bride from the stress. You’re the one to solve these problems, just as your bride does the same if need be, with her side of the family.
Learning to dance—and practicing
Many couples want to learn a choreographed dance for their wedding. Sign up for dance lessons at least six months in advance and make your weekly dance lesson a fun night out. Suppose you feel out of your element in a dance studio. In that case, the most important thing is to bring a good attitude and not take yourself too seriously. Put in the work, and you’ll be “dancing with the stars” before you know it. Your bride will appreciate your sweat and effort, and you’re making another memory with her.
Staying on top of the rehearsal dinner
Check-in with the officiate and make sure both sets of parents and all wedding-party members know when and where to show up. Taking the whole rehearsal dinner off your bride’s plate is a huge gesture, and you will significantly reduce her stress.
Writing and practicing your vows
If you, as a couple, decide to write your vows, you should take the time to write heartfelt, meaningful vows well before the day of the wedding. Put the feelings that make her unique to you on paper: why do you love her so much? Why do you want to spend the rest of your life with her? How is your life better with her? This is not a last-minute kind of task. And whether the vows are traditional or you wrote them yourself, you should practice reading or reciting them aloud beforehand.
Getting a haircut
Getting a trim is vital, but make sure it’s not the day before; if you get your haircut that close to the wedding, there’s no time for the trim to grow out if it’s too close. Aim for two weeks before.
Styling your wedding-day look
Not only do you need to pick out your suit/outfit, but you also need to make sure it fits the overall style of the wedding. The most important thing for you, as a couple, to consider when planning your attire is the style and feel of the wedding. A classic tuxedo with a notch, shawl, or peak lapel is ideal for a traditional, more formal event. Slim-fit silhouettes have been most popular lately. For a less conventional option, shades of gray are trendy. Destination or beach weddings call for a lighter gray, tan, or even a jacket-less tuxedo. You’ll also need to put the finishing touches on your look with a perfectly folded pocket square, cuff links, a wild cummerbund, or fun socks for an extra pop of color. Accessories make all the difference!
Making a toast
As the groom, you should be prepared to make toasts (and respond to toasts) at the rehearsal dinner and the reception. Typically the groom makes a thank-you toast for all of the wedding guests at the reception after the wedding ceremony. Your speech should be heartfelt yet short and sweet, making it memorable. It will set the tone for the rest of the festivities.
Giving your bride a thoughtful gift the day of the wedding
Traditionally, the groom gives the bride a wedding gift of some kind (and vice versa). You’re responsible for getting your bride something special, making sure it’s wrapped and has a heartfelt note attached to it. You two can exchange gifts the night before the wedding, or you can have a gift delivered to the bride while she’s getting ready on the actual wedding day. It doesn’t have to be lavish, but something thoughtful like a letter and champagne will help make a special day even more magical.
Dancing with the mothers and bridesmaids
In addition to your first dance with the bride, you should ask your mother for a dance and your new mother-in-law, too. It would be best if you also danced with the bridesmaids, as well as the maid/matron of honor.
Planning the honeymoon
Traditional wedding etiquette holds that one of the groom’s responsibilities is planning the honeymoon to surprise his bride. Some couples, of course, want to take on the honeymoon planning together. So whether it’s a joint effort or you’re on your own, honeymoon planning is one of your duties. And even if your bride is involved, you can still go out of your way to plan fun excursions and dates she won’t know about until you get there. So be her Prince of Romance! Saying “I love you”—often. All through this anxiety-filled phase of your relationship, leave little notes everywhere for your bride. Post-its, chalkboard doodles, slips of paper under fridge magnets. This is the time to be romantic (and, yes, even cheesy)! Simple “I love you will keep your bride smiling no matter how stressful wedding planning gets!
One last significant reminder
Show up timely and sober (and not hungover) to each of the events of your pre-wedding and wedding. Your role as the groom is one of graciousness, love, and support for yourself, your bride, your families, and your friends. Celebration and festivities are grand for all, but recognize your limitations for the benefit of all who are depending on you. Overall, your wedding planning experience as the groom can be a fun and adventurous challenge. However, the main thing you can take away from this experience is that pulling your weight and offering a wealth of love and support will help you with wedding planning and creating a lasting and beautiful marriage. You two made it through this stressful phase, now sliding into marital bliss should be smooth! ♥
Top feature photo by Pullen Weddings