Dear Husband to Be,
You are a guy, and it is your wedding day. More than likely, you didn’t spend your childhood envisioning this day in your fantasies. However, your bride probably did and this day is a celebration of the two of you. The bride typically bears the majority of the responsibility in wedding planning decisions, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t partake in some of the duties. After all, it’d be nice to have some idea of the beautiful wedding you are walking into before standing in front of the altar.
So we’ve provided some tips and helpful starting points for getting involved in your wedding planning. This way, you can get the most out of what is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life!
$$$ – Who Pays for What?
Traditionally speaking, there are expenses reserved for the bride’s parents, and expenses reserved for the groom and his family. In the past, the bride’s parents have been responsible for the wedding (we’re talking the venue, music, décor, food, etc). And while that is a huge expense, it leaves all other expenses in the hands of the groom. Things you might not have thought of that the groom typically pays for include:
- Wedding rings (in addition to the engagement ring, of course – consider preferences and the multitude of ring styles out there!)
- Marriage license fees
- Officiate fees (the person actually marrying you two will need to be paid)
- Gifts for the groomsmen (and especially the best man)
- Bridal party bouquets (because even if you don’t have a clue the names of the flowers in said bouquet, you better be ready to dish out a pretty penny for them)
- And the Honeymoon!
By no means are these hard and fast rules, but definitely sit down with your fiancé so you two are on the same page regarding finances – this wedding should be one of the biggest parties you ever throw!
Like I mentioned earlier, few brides expect their groom to know the difference between chevron and paisley; anemones and ranunculus; or chiavari and chameleon (bet you can’t name which one is a type of chair!). However, many brides DO expect their grooms to offer some level of participation in the planning process. Simply being present and offering to take care of overwhelming tasks will speak volumes of your future amazingness as a husband. Chances are, you’re fiancé doesn’t actually care if you have an opinion over place card designs, but being there to support the decision-making process will make her feel less overwhelmed and stressed and the two of you can feel like a united team.
One area grooms become especially complacent is in picking out the gift registry. It’s like grooms hear this word and immediately imagine teakettles, bathroom mats, and every color of food processor imaginable. While I can’t imagine why such items wouldn’t have a man completely engrossed, these are also a fraction of the potential items to be included in a wedding registry. Nowadays, potential gifts encompass far more than kitchen necessities: registry items can include home electronics, power tools, even funds for a new house or the honeymoon. Hopefully the potential of a new flat screen might be incentive enough to get involved!
If you don’t know where to start helping, begin adding input around The Big Three areas – the venue, the date, and the guest list. The venue – or location for the ceremony and reception – can cost a significant amount and will determine the greatness of the party. Consider the dance floor and if it can handle your incredible moves.
You can offer some unique insight into the reasoning for a wedding date too – considering half of the guest list might be male and there are several holidays that are not in the top of mind awareness of most brides (consider playoffs or championship games for essentially any sport). Your bride might be slightly disappointed if the guests are peeking at their phones for a score update instead of staring at her in her wedding dress. Therefore, speak up if you realize your future wedding day might conflict with an important date in a man’s world.
Lastly, selecting the guest list is a daunting task and your bride can’t be expected to know the order of importance of every friend you’d like to attend. Offer to help by providing up-to-date contact info and addresses for your portion of the guest list.
Choosing the Best Man
Besides your bride, this is the second most important selection you will make when getting married. Picking your best man is more that just picking your best friend – he will carry important responsibilities throughout the wedding planning. Such duties can include (but are not limited to):
- Being responsible for the wedding rings on the day of the wedding
- Giving the very first toast at the wedding reception
- Organizing the bachelor party
Therefore, a best man must be the perfect concoction of responsible, witty, and exciting while avoiding any extremes. For example, you want a responsible best man, but perhaps not one who will be dull and monotone during the best man’s toast. And sure, you want a fun best man to plan your bachelor party, but perhaps not so fun that they will also get belligerent at the reception and hit on your bride’s mom. Just some things to consider…
Also, don’t forget to give a nice gift to your best man as a sign of thanks for all the help he’s put into this experience. Try to avoid clichés (such as a flask) and go memorable and unique – perhaps concert tickets or a classy bottle of their favorite liquor.
Keep Sweet to Your Lovely Bride
I hear all the time how grooms are aware of only a fraction of the things required to plan a wedding. Is it a coincidence then that the groom is also typically significantly more relaxed and at ease on the wedding day?
Just try to imagine the stress of putting together the biggest party of your life (a process that often takes over a year of planning). Or try to even fathom 500 ways to arrange a table setting – the sheer scope of possible considerations is overwhelming. Therefore, it is understandable if your bride has one or two breakdowns in the course of this planning. While we are not advocating “bridezillas”, try to humor her when she is completely consumed with this wedding and has her moments.
Consider doing something nice for her or plan a romantic date to help distract and/or relax her.
And remember, that in addition to the rings and that whole life commitment thing you promised one another, on the day of the actual wedding, it’s traditional for the bride and groom to have a gift exchange. This is your opportunity to think of something especially sentimental or memorable to give her.
Lastly, we suggest every groom have deodorant, a razor, and a handkerchief on hand before the ceremony. Sweat, stubble, and tears are all possibilities on your wedding day and these mentioned items can help keep them in check. Who knows the emotions – physiological and emotional – you or your bride are likely to have on this incredibly important day.
More than anything else, this will be one of the most unforgettable days of your life. Make the most of it and enjoy!