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Groom’s Guide to the Perfect Wedding

By Sara Abrams


Brides have a myriad of tasks to complete prior to the wedding, but the groom does too. In reality, before the bride takes credit for all the hard work involved in the wedding planning, let’s not forget our fearless groom. The truth is, if we look at a traditional wedding, the groom is the one and only factor that determines whether there will be a wedding! Without the engagement proposal, there would not be a marriage, and according to tradition, the man is the one that gets the ball rolling because of his request for his fiancée’s hand in marriage.


Once the proposal has happened, and hopefully accepted, it is time to hunker down and see what needs to be done to make the wedding exceptionally beautiful, memorable and perfect. This may certainly be the moment when many couples’ personality compatibility is put to the test. Many brides will have fixed notions of the type of wedding they have always imagined and it would be very easy to steamroll over the groom without taking into consideration his expectations for the wedding. The smart bride will include her husband-to-be in the planning and together they can break down the responsibilities that each one will need to accomplish.


The very first obstacle is the budget. In the past it was the norm for the bride’s family to pay for most of the wedding. In our modern times this has changed as to where the families and the couple can determine how to split the costs. Many couples are getting married later in life and will also be able to contribute to the wedding expenses.


Once everyone has agreed on the basic expenses involved in the festivities, it is time to divvy up responsibilities. The groom, or his family, may be accountable for the bride’s wedding ring, wedding gift, bouquet, groomsmen and usher gifts, the ushers and groomsmen’ boutonnieres, the marriage license, the rehearsal dinner, gloves/ties/ascots for attendants, limo service, and honeymoon arrangements! But, once again, in our modern day, if any task seems too daunting or too expensive, a family meeting and discussion should lead to reasonable resolutions. The one drastic mistake not to be made, would be slacking off on some of the important duties rather than admitting that you may need some help. Because of the complexities of producing a fairytale-like wedding, duties must be planned and timelines must be adhered to!


Here is a broad example of some groom’s duties that fall into certain timeframes based on a wedding planned about a year down the road.


The very next step after deciding on the budget, is to pick a date, time and location for the wedding ceremony and reception. With that done you can announce your engagement to friends and family, and send the announcement to the local newspaper. It is also a good time to discus the writing of the vows and set the honeymoon budget.


Half a year before the wedding date you should have your first meeting with the clergy who will be conducting the ceremony, begin to write your vows, choose your best man and usher, begin to pick out formal wear for yourself, the groomsmen, ushers and father, decide on the location for the rehearsal dinner and begin reviewing the invitation list with your families. It is also time to finalize the honeymoon destination and travel arrangements, and make sure you have passports and any visas that might be needed.


Four months before the wedding make the limousine arrangements, begin to buy wedding attire accessories, get measurements for the men’s tuxedos, order the wedding bands and order the groom’s cake, if you have chosen to have one. Begin to narrow down the invitation list. If you are making a groom’s speech, you will want to be working on that.


As you get closer to the wedding, things are heating up. Go over your checklist and make sure you’re on target. Finalize the guest list and the rehearsal dinner arrangements. Make sure a date is set for you and your fiancée to get the marriage license. It’s time to get blood tests and/or physicals if needed for the marriage certificate and any immunizations you may need for the honeymoon travel.


Pick up the marriage certificate and get wedding bands inscribed. Make sure you have honeymoon clothes ready and an outfit for the rehearsal dinner. Have one last meeting with the wedding official. If your tux is to be rented, make sure someone will return it the day after the wedding.


One month before the wedding, prepare all gifts for the bride, the groomsmen, ushers, etc. Pick up the wedding bands. If you have life insurance and a will, add your fiancée as the beneficiary, if that is your intention.


Go over rehearsal dinner preparations to make sure everything is finalized at the restaurant or with the caterer. Confirm the hotel reservations for the wedding night for your family members and the attendants. Schedule an itinerary for the wedding day so that you have time for preparations and the drive to the church, or ceremony venue, without being in crunch mode. The day before the wedding pick up your tux and attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.


The morning of the wedding, give the groom’s wedding band to the Maid of Honor and the bride’s wedding band to the Best Man.


And remember, if you go to Vegas for your bachelor party, as noted in the movie The Hangover, "Tigers love pepper. They hate cinnamon."


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