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You put a ring on it. So, now what? Being a groom is hard work and it takes some dedication to be the best one you can be. Sitting idly by, letting her make all the decisions, while easy for you, is not what you want to go for. Groan all you want, but helping out with planning will make your wedding a more special day for you and make your relationship with your bride-to-be even stronger.
We’ve pulled together our best advice for the months and days leading up to your wedding to make sure you do everything right for you and your new fiancé.
First and foremost, don’t forget that this is half your day, too. Pick your battles, but if something is important to you, then you have a right to give your opinion and make compromises. More importantly, if your bride asks for your opinion, that means she is actively seeking it, and ignoring her or saying “I don’t care” on repeat is not the way to go. Agree with her on most things, of course, but make sure you are part of the conversation. Being involved is a great way to make your relationship stronger, rather than strained, during the stressful wedding planning season.
Odds are that the months leading up to your wedding are going to be very stressful for your bride. Taking away some of that stress can be worth its weight in gold. Small things like doing a few extra chores around the house or letting her have a self-care weekend can help both of you survive.
Your bride is going to be tested. She is going to complain about everything—your planner, your vendors, and more likely than not, her family. It’s your job to listen and agree, but not to add fuel to the fire. This isn’t the time to add your own complaints about her family to the mix. It’s one of those protective things. You can make fun of your sister, but the second anyone else does, it’s war. Same principle. Even if you’ve complained about them together before. Everything is different when there’s a wedding involved.
Unless your bride just an absolutely amazing relationship with your mom, then it’s your job to be the liaison between the two of you and your family. If your mom keeps calling your bride about wedding details, then you need to be the one to tell her to back off. As nicely as possible, of course. Yes, your bride will love her mother-in-law without question. No, that doesn’t mean your mom should take over.
Your bride will of course have an opinion of what she wants you to be wearing at the end of the aisle, but your opinion here matters, too. You know what you feel comfortable and look good in. Add in a few color suggestions and you’re golden. Plus, if it’s something you can manage to take care of on your own, then that’s even better.
Picking the guys standing at your side on your big day is completely up to you, but keep in mind that the responsibilities that come with those positions. Surely those drinking buddies of yours have grown up since college. Right? Don’t forget the family, either. If the bride has any brothers or other close male relatives, then it may be a good idea to include them too.
Together you can figure out what common friends you’ll be inviting, but each of you will be in charge of your own friends and family members. It’ll be up to you to get addresses for your family and anyone your parents want to invite. This means it will also be up to you to track down RSVPs, etc. for these people, should you need to.
Another great thing you can be a part of that has the promise of not being boring. While stocking your kitchen may not be high on your list of priorities, you have the opportunity to get other things that you’ve been wanting or not willing to buy for yourself. For example, electronics, tools, hobby equipment, etc. Have you ever actually been in a Bed Bath and Beyond? That place is incredible.
Finding options for the music for your wedding reception is another fun task. While your bride is hunting down the best vendors for everything else, this is a great thing to take off her shoulders. Especially if you’re a music fan. Just be sure to come up with a few options for you two to discuss together and, if possible, see them perform live.
Being present at tastings and having an opinion about the type of food you want at your reception is another great way to be aware during planning. Food is a big part of the wedding reception and is something your guests will remember for years to come. You want to make sure that stuff is fantastic.
If you think you can handle it, finding a venue (restaurants are common) and making reservations for your rehearsal dinner is another task you can take away from the bride. Especially since, traditionally, the groom’s family pays for the dinner. Anything that makes things easier for her, makes things easier for you.
The honeymoon is definitely a decision you can make together. Think about places you’ve always wanted to see and can visit without completely breaking the bank. Plus, working on hotel reservations and flight information is something you can probably take the reins on.
Traditionally, the groom pays for the marriage license, but before taking care of this one, make sure you double-check the laws in the state you’re getting married in. You don’t want to end up getting your license too early or too late.
It’s customary to give gifts to your groomsmen on the day of your wedding as thanks to being there and helping out. If you don’t have a good idea for one, here’s a handy guide on how to go about it, or there’s plenty of ideas on the internet you can look up before bothering your bride with it.
If you and your bride are not great dancers, you may want to plan on taking lessons. Your first dance is very public in front of your friends and family members and you don’t want to look absolutely ridiculous. If you are at least sort of okay, then lessons might not be necessary, but make sure to practice beforehand is a smart idea.
Your bride is likely going to be dieting and working out for months trying to look her best for your big day, it’s only fair that you do the same. Just don’t rub it in if you end up losing more weight than she does, as guys tend to lose weight faster than women.
Make sure to get this one done at least a week or so before the wedding, just in case it gets cut just a bit too short.
There’s a good chance things will pop up that need to be taken care of before the ceremony and reception. If you can take care of them, great, but if there’s a few too many to do with ease, delegate to trusted groomsmen and family members.
The groom will definitely give a thank you toast during the reception, but he may also give one at the rehearsal dinner, so you want to be prepared for that. Be sure to add in responses to the other toasts at the beginning, as well.
Things can get pretty hectic the day before and the day of your wedding, so you definitely want to make sure you don’t forget to eat. Along with that, however, you want to make sure you eat the right foods. Avoid anything that will give you heartburn, indigestion, etc.
It’s important to take a beat every now and then, so you remember to enjoy the moment and so you don’t wear yourself out before the wedding is even over. Make sure your bride does too.
Chances are, you’re going to have some out of town friends and family come in the day before the wedding. Try to spend as much time with them as you can. They came to see you and you won’t have that much time to visit the day of the wedding.
It’s the day before your wedding, of course, you want to have some fun, but you definitely don’t want to be acting belligerent around your bride and family. Moreover, feeling hungover and bloated the morning after is definitely not a good look. Believe us when we say that your bride will notice and your photographer can only work so much magic.
The same goes for getting to sleep on time. Your wedding day will be an all-day event and you want to be sure that you’re up bright and early and ready to conquer the day. Getting enough sleep will make you feel and look your best.
Most importantly, during your wedding day, be as present as you possibly can. Enjoy each moment and soak it in. This is an important day for you, you don’t want to be checked out for even a second. Especially any time you’re spending with your bride. You won’t have a lot of time alone, so enjoy every second you can.
Along those lines, don’t be afraid of the sentimentality of the day. It’s a special moment that you won’t forget for the rest of your life. Embrace your emotions. Getting a little choked up is completely normal and is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
If you are writing your own vows or reciting anything special, make sure you have those written and rehearsed well-ahead of time, so that you’re not scrambling the day of.
It’ll be up to you to have your eyes on both of your wedding bands before the ceremony. At some point, you’ll hand them off to the best man, but until then, you need to make sure they get to where they need to be.
At the reception will be the big thank you toast. Make sure to prepare this well in advance, as well, and include everyone you need to. As with the rehearsal dinner speech, you’ll also want to respond to any toasts given before yours.
You’ll want to have a special gift for your bride for the day of your wedding. Jewelry and a sweet card is a popular option, but this is a good place for that sentimentality we were talking about a second ago. Plus, you don’t want to forget to give your groomsmen their gifts.
Some of your vendors won’t include gratuity in your bill, so you’ll want to make sure you take care of that before the end of the night. Or at least delegate someone to do this for you. Keeping marked envelopes of cash or checks is a good way to keep this organized.
As with the night before, you don’t want to get wasted before or after your wedding. A drink to take the edge off before the ceremony is one thing, but swaying at the end of the aisle is not the best way to go. During the reception, having a few drinks is totally understandable, but you’ll have a lot of people to visit with and other events to be a part of. Wait until grandma goes home and the real party begins before going to hard.
Before everything becomes too real, you want to make sure to have the best honeymoon you can. Enjoy spending time with your new wife, see all the sights and make all the memories.
Even if your handwriting isn’t the best, you can still help your wife keep the thank you notes organized. It is also a good idea to write your own thank you notes to your friends, family members and groomsmen.
Married life officially begins when you get back from your honeymoon. Many things will stay the same, but some things will be very different. Enjoy all the small moments, just as much as the big moments.
If you’re struggling a little bit with getting everything put together, here’s some of our other blog posts on topics ranging from choosing a suit or tux to wear months in advance to what not to forget the day of.
Looking for something different? We have tons more posts to choose from on our blog.
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