You’ve popped the question to your partner. She couldn’t be any happier, the sex is good, your father-in-law is actually smiling and now all you’ve got to do is turn up to wedding right? Wrong.
As appealing as the idea of a one-woman production may seem, the truth is that your fiancé might actually want you to be involved in the planning process.
If you’d rather eat cardboard than choose flower arrangements and seat covers, I’m with you, but chances are you won’t even have to do that anyway (it’s called negotiation).
Think of it like planning one big party.
Along with organising a few bits and pieces like the budget and your outfit, you’ll get to do some not so awful things too like food and wine tasting, riding in cool cars and spending time with your mates who will be your groomsmen.
Who knows, with a bit of wit and creativity, you could actually have some fun.
So where do you start? Here are three important discussions that you should have with your fiancé before you start your groom specific duties:
1. Money matters.
About 12 months before the wedding, sit down and decide who’s paying for what.
Once that is established, you can begin planning the wedding budget together.
Here you will discuss what areas of the wedding are most important to you, and based on this, how much money you are prepared to allocate for each area i.e. the reception.
If you have these conversations right up front, it will save you both a lot of headaches later on.
2. Date, location and people.
Discuss together an ideal wedding date and location that you may have in mind.
Another major issue for discussion is whether or not you are planning to have a religious service, and if so what and where?
This is also the time to discuss how many guests you plan to invite and to begin drafting your guest list.
3. The who does what discussion.
The purpose of this is to negotiate what duties you will do separately and together. And if you don’t want to help pick out those flowers, this is the time to ‘break it gently.’
As a rough guide I have devised two lists below: one is a list of things the bride and groom usually do together, and below that is a list of traditionally groom specific duties, although be prepared that she may ask you to do things that are not on this list.
- Book ceremony and reception sites.
- Book entertainment (MC, DJ/band).
- Plan the reception menu.
- Select your wedding rings.
- Create a gift registry.
- Hire a photographer and/or videographer.
- Undertake dance lessons.
- Plan the wedding night accommodation and honeymoon, and pack.
Groom specific duties
12 months to go
Choose your best man and groomsmen.
6 months to go
• Arrange transportation to the ceremony for the bride, father of the bride, bridal party, best man, groomsman and yourself. You also need to arrange transportation for the entire wedding party from the ceremony to the reception. If you’re a cars man, this will be an opportunity to go for a decent ride in that Ferrari, Mercedes, Lamborghini, or Maserati that you’ve always wanted.
3 months to go
• Select wedding attire for you and your groomsmen. You can either purchase suits straight off the rack, hire one (not recommended) or have it tailor-made. This means that it is designed according to your taste, will be individually handmade and a perfect fit.
1-2 months to go
- Purchase the bride’s wedding ring and keep safe until the day of the wedding when you pass it on to your best man.
- Complete the legal paperwork required and give to your celebrant/priest.
6-8 weeks to go
- Purchase a gift for your bride-to-be. This is optional but it is a good idea to present her with something that will always remind her of your union, whether it is as simple as a bunch of flowers, or a personalised piece of jewellery.
- Purchase groomsman gifts.Cuff links, dress shirts, or a dress watch are good options.
- Prepare a speech for the reception. Keep it short and sweet by thanking your guests for coming, and tell your bride’s family how happy you are to be part of their family. Thank your family, then turn to your bride and tell her how proud you are to be her husband and how much you love her.
- Attend your Bachelor party! Your best man is in charge of organising your Buck’s night but unless you want to wake up handcuffed to some pole naked and trashed, or do something you might regret, it’s best to discuss the tone of your night and your invites beforehand.
One week to go
- Do something really romantic with your wife-to-be. But before you do, ensure your legal paperwork is finalised and organise payment to your celebrant/priest when requested. Double-check the honeymoon reservations and start packing your bags.
- Don’t forget to get a haircut!
- Turn up to the wedding rehearsal, and deliver your wedding toast.
On the day
Arrive at the ceremony site and wait with your best man in a private room about 15 minutes prior to the ceremony commencing.
Tip: Offer to be the primary reception food taste tester. Many brides to be will gladly defer this task because they will be hell bent on getting into that dress. This means that you will get to visit of restaurants and reception centres and eat fancy foods.