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Who Traditionally Makes Which Wedding Decisions

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Your wedding day is one of the most important in your life, but it’s infinitely more important to your bride. Doubt this? Answer the following questions:

  • How much did your ring cost compared to the set your bride will wear?

  • Which is more difficult and expensive: renting your tux from this website, or shopping for, getting fitted for and buying a wedding dress at a brick and mortar store?

  • Will you be changing into a separate outfit for the reception?

  • Have you purchased a subscription to Modern Groom magazine?

  • Some brides wear tiaras during the ceremony, but how many grooms have you seen rocking a crown?

There are literally hundreds of decisions that need to be made when planning a wedding and, yes, a few dozen that pop up on the wedding day. Knowing when to take charge, when to negotiate and when to retire to another room is a critical skill that all grooms need to master. Immediately. The following is a list of decision areas, grouped by who is responsible for making them.

engaged couple looking at generation tux online

Groom’s decisions:

  • Best man and groomsmen

  • Booze for the rehearsal dinner and reception

  • Groomsmen gifts

  • Song for the groom’s dance with his mother

  • Seating at the reception for the groom’s family and friends

  • Bachelor Party

Bride’s decisions:

  • Bridal Showers and Bachelorette Party

  • Bride’s dance tune with father

  • Bridesmaids and bridesmaid dresses

  • Seating at the reception for her friends and family

  • Wedding dress

Joint decisions

Every other decision can be made together. This includes your venues for the rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception; menu; ceremony details; music; etc.

Our advice is to speak up when it’s your decision, share your opinion when it’s a joint decision and shut up when it’s her decision. But whatever the decision area, if your bride takes an opposing view after you’ve given your input, be gentlemanly enough to let her have the last word, unless it’s a deal-breaker. Remember, two days after the wedding you won’t remember how much people liked the groomsmen’s boutonnieres. But your bride will likely remember—and reminisce about—every detail of the day. After all, she has probably been looking forward to this day for far longer than you have.

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