Well you have done it. You have proposed to your dream girl, and she accepted. The two of you have likely decided in what time frame the big day will take place. If the big day is to take place within the next year then it is time to start planning the wedding. But what is your responsibility when it comes to the planning?
Be a Rock
Your first responsibility is to be a rock for your bride. To keep your head together and keep her balanced when she is feeling stressed or over excited by wedding plans. By nature most women have dreamed of their wedding day from the moment they realized that men and women get married, and by nature most men just want to show up, enjoy a bachelor party and have a good time. Do try and realize the importance of this day to your bride. Don’t add to her stress and don’t diminish her excitement.
Sit Down and Discuss With Your Future Bride How Much You Will Be Involved
Some grooms want to be involved with everything about the wedding, some just want to show up. Discuss with your future bride how much involvement you wish to have. If you would rather have her make most of the decisions and just give you an update from time to time then tell her that. If you want to be involved in every bit of the planning then tell her that too.
Decide on the Date
No matter how much you wish to or wish not to be involved in the planning you should be part of the decision of when the wedding will be.
Choosing the Location
If you are having limited involvement then let your bride to be go about searching for the location with her mother or trusted friend. This might be something that she would really like you involved in. If you really do not have the time or the energy for it, tell her to choose 3 places that she likes and go with her to those places. Tell her she is welcome to visit as many as she likes, but you only have time to visit 3 so she will need to narrow it down and the two of you can choose between those 3 favorites of hers.
Decide with your future bride if you will be helping to choose the menu or if you will be trusting her judgment for this. Keep in mind that if the bride’s parents will be paying for the wedding they should have some say so in how much they are willing to spend for each plate.
Choosing Your Wedding Party
Again this is something that even a groom who is only doing the minimum needs to do. You need to choose which ones of your friends and relatives you will be asking to be in your wedding party. Make a list and discuss this with your bride, remember you will likely need to include your bride’s brother, brother’s or sister’s husband or a close cousin, to be one or more of your groomsman. Bring your list to your future bride and compare lists with her potential bride’s maid list. You may need to add or delete people so things are even. Then you will need to ask your friends if they will be willing to stand up for you. If there are groomsmen that are related to the bride you can ask them together, or she can ask them. Basically if either a potential bridesmaid or groomsman is closer to you then you should ask them or ask them together and the same goes for the bride. You should also choose your best man and ask him yourself of course.
This is one area that the groom likes to be involved. Will you have a DJ, a live band, or a string quartet? Express your opinion to your future wife. I once attended a wedding where they had a string quartet, the groom hated it. But he let his future wife choose and did not express how he felt to her before the wedding, so he sat there and complained about it all night, this did not reflect well on either he or his wife. He came off as a complainer and she came off as an overbearing partner who made an important decision about their wedding that her groom clearly disagreed with. Discuss this with your bride to be and if you don’t agree try to reach some compromise. Like her cousin’s string quartet can play through dinner or for the first half hour but then the DJ will take over after that.
The groom usually gets to take a break after the things above are decided and done. The color details and all the small details are usually take care of by the bride and her family. Things like table decorations and things like that are usually things the bride handles or someone else who is good at that kind of thing.
You will of course now need to decide what you will be wearing. Your future bride will likely want to help with this decision. So the two of you will need to go in and pick out what all the guys will be wearing. It will then be your responsibility to go to any fittings, and to make sure your friends and family get in there to get their fittings and to pick up their tuxedos on the day of or the day before the wedding. Having them get everything the day before is usually preferable.
If you like you can allow your bride to choose your photographer, but you will likely need to get in and get some engagement pictures done. Make yourself available to do so.
Planning the Wedding Night and Honeymoon
The two of you will likely plan your honeymoon together, but it is traditionally the responsibility of the groom to set up the wedding night. You will need to pick a nice hotel room somewhere for you and your bride to spend your first night together as a married couple. If money is tight and a hotel room is not affordable then you should at least plan to have your bedroom made in to a romantic suite. If you need to give someone a key and tell them what to do before you get there then do so. Make sure the person is reliable and sober and does not mind, or you can make sure your bride leaves the house before you do or is not in the location you will be spending the night sometime during the day of the wedding and sneak in there and toss rose petals all over the room, and candles, and you place a bottle of champagne or sparkling cider in the fridge for the evening. Don’t light the candles, but place a lighter or pack of matches right next to them so you can easily light them just moments before your bride enters the room.
Planning the Seating Arrangements
There will come a point usually about a month before the wedding when you, your parents, your future bride and her parents will need to sit down and plan who will be at what table at the wedding. This was probably the most stressful thing about my wedding, my husband and his mother couldn’t agree on some people and my mother in law got offended it was not pleasant, but that does not need to happen to you. Basically together you will need to assign people to tables based on who knows who. Obviously all extended family members of one family who get a long should be at the same table. Your parent’s friends, friends of yours who are friends or acquainted, people you work with should all be placed at the same table or at least at nearby tables. Obviously don’t seat people together who do not like each other. It is also nice to set up single people at a table with other single people. Weddings are a nice place for people to meet so mix your bride to be’s single friends with your single friends.
Attending Other Functions Related to the Wedding
Your attendance may be required at the following functions:
An Engagement Party: This is actually kind of an outdated ritual but they still exist. This will be a party that is thrown for you and your bride to be, you should not be expected to do much more than show up and graciously accept congratulations. It would be a nice touch to make a toast thanking your hosts and saying something nice about your bride to be.
Wedding Shower: Some future brides have their future husband attend, and that is up to you and your bride to be. Personally I am not a fan of the guy being there, this is a function for the ladies, and frankly men are quite bored by these. I think it is nice if the groom to be shows up towards the end of the shower to say hello to all the ladies and help the bride to be load up all the gifts and take them will ever they will go until the wedding.
Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner : This usually occurs the night before the wedding. Basically It is just important that you show up for this. Also typically the grooms family pays for the rehearsal dinner. A nice touch would be to give a toast and a bit of thanks to both your parents and your future bride’s parents.
Bachelor Party: Again this is another function where you will just need to show up. This is typically the best man’s thing to plan. You may want to make sure they don’t plan the bachelor party for the night before the wedding. You don’t want to be sick or end up looking awful on your wedding day. Your job at the bachelor party is to have a good time, but not too good of a time. Don’t end up doing anything that would disrespect your bride, that could cause your wedding not to happen. Don’t count on your friends all keeping their mouths shut. Eventually someone will talk and it will get back to your bride, weather it be before the wedding or 2 years after. So have fun, get drunk if you like but make sure there is a designated driver. Enjoy your entertainment but not too much.
These are all the things that you will likely be expected to do as a groom. Of course if you want to get more into the details of the wedding you can, but most grooms typically let the bride to be worry about all of the small details. Just be there to support her through the entire process.