Wedding planning - guide for grooms

One thing is true of absolutely every wedding – ever.  It takes two of you!  And that’s an issue when it comes to planning the big day.  Traditionally it’s the bride who tends to take the lead…but times are changing.  These days the groom may want, or be expected, to get more involved.  In this post we share some advice for brides, and grooms, that will hopefully come in handy as you work out who does what.

Strike a balance

It’s important, right from the start, to work out between you the groom’s involvement in the decision making.  The three biggest issues that need to be properly discussed are the guest list, the date and the venue – these are definitely joint decisions. Smaller things, like choosing the wines, deciding on a photographer or picking the band, will probably be areas where he wants to be involved.  However, there are others, like deciding on table linens, talking to florists and designing the invitations where it’s likely he’ll more than happy to leave the details to the bride.  

The key thing is to be sensitive.  Don’t overwhelm your partner with too much information if they are reluctant to engage with certain aspects of the planning.  By the same token if he is showing interest welcome his input and make sure his opinion is valued.  If you ask for his thoughts and continually shoot his ideas down in flames, he will soon lose interest in contributing to the planning process. Make sure you encourage his ideas and find ways that they can be included in your wedding.  Play to his strengths.  If your husband to be is business-minded then he might be the best one to handle negotiations with suppliers.  If he is into music, then let him choose the band or DJ.  If he’s creative, then encourage him to come up with ideas for styling and decorations.  If he’s a big foodie, you might want to let him take the lead with this aspect of things.

 Photo by  Han-Hsing Tu  on  Unsplash

Photo by Han-Hsing Tu on Unsplash

Where grooms need to take the lead

There are some things the groom should take responsibility for.  Picking the best man and ushers is certainly his department.  The best man’s duties are quite important so the groom is well advised to choose someone sensible, reliable and well organised.  Some grooms also buy a gift for the best man so this needs sorting. 

Deciding what to wear is another decision for the groom, but this does need to be discussed with the bride well in advance.  This is particularly important for any areas where colour is involved, such as the choice of a bright tie or waistcoat – it’s important to make sure it fits with the overall design scheme of the wedding.

A groom who leaves most of the planning and organising to his partner can help by realising that she is probably on wedding overload.  He can help by cooking her dinner, doing the dishes, renting her favourite movie and reminding her why the wedding planning is worth all the stress!

Some grooms also buy a gift for the bride to open on the morning of the wedding. This is a sweet idea but it’s not advisable to buy her an item of jewellery to wear on the day as she will already have made this choice and you are just putting her in an awkward spot!  Flowers, or a romantic note to read while she’s getting ready, will definitely be appreciated.  Another lovely touch is for the groom to take a moment with the videographer at the reception and record a special message for his new wife.

One thing for grooms to bear in mind is that this is going to be a day of photographs – a lot of them!  So it’s not a bad idea to make the effort in the months leading up to the wedding to get in shape, and stay in shape.  Then there’s the first dance.  This is seldom the part of the proceedings men most look forward to – but with a bit of preparation it can be fun.  The smart thing to do is approach it positively, take lessons with your fiancée and ENJOY it!

As the big day approaches there are lots of little things the groom can help with.   Ensuring name cards and decorations get to the venue, picking up last minute items that have been hired and sorting out any issues that pop up unexpectedly. 

The groom’s speech

Only the groom can do this and it’s important to get it right.  The speech doesn’t have to be hilariously funny, but it does have to tick a few crucial boxes.  The most important thing with the speech is to formally thank all those who have played a part in making the day so special - the bridesmaids, the ushers, the best man, the maid of honour, both sets of parents for their support and the guests for sharing the day with you.  If some people have travelled from a long distance, the groom should single them out and thank them.  Finally he must not, on any account, forget to say how beautiful the bride looks!

To lighten it up a bit, and make it more personal, the groom can include some stories about how he and the bride met as well as some of the events leading up to this great day.  A word of warning, however – it’s not big, clever or funny to tell anecdotes he finds hilarious but which may embarrass the bride or make others feel uncomfortable.

As there’s quite a lot for the speech to cover, and all eyes are on the groom, he should prepare properly.  The speech should be finalised at least a week ahead of the big day and the groom should practice delivering it more than just once!

The honeymoon

Traditionally this is the groom’s responsibility and in the past the destination, and the details, often came as a surprise to the bride.  These days it’s more likely to be something a couple will want to discuss and plan together.  However, if the groom decides he’s going to sort it he needs to use his common sense and arrange something his wife will love – if she can’t live without her hair straighteners and is expecting something chilled and romantic by the sea she won’t be thrilled to find herself camping in the Serengeti or on a mountain biking tour of central Italy!

If the bride says “surprise me” and the groom is worried about getting it wrong he can ask her to draw up a list of 10 ‘dream’ and 10 ‘nightmare’ destinations to get a better idea of what kind of things she’d prefer.

Whoever is taking charge here it’s important to book early – leaving it late can increase the cost and there’s more risk of being disappointed.  Another smart tip is to include the honeymoon in the overall wedding budget and pick an option where it’s easy to control the cost.  All-inclusive resorts are a great option and many offer airport transfers, water sports equipment and various activities. 

 Photo by  Wes Hicks  on  Unsplash

Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

Another thing to bear in mind is seasonality.  A beach holiday won’t be fun if the weather is cold and wet.  Don’t forget to factor in flights and jetlag too - if you’ve only got a week Australia and Asia aren’t ideal.  Finally, make sure the hotel is aware you’re on honeymoon as they’re sure to make the experience extra special.  But one thing the groom must do is arrange some special touches to wow his new wife – whether it’s a private candlelit dinner or a bubble bath with petals and champagne he must show his romantic side.  

We're here to help if you need it

Even if you're working well together to get things sorted for your big day it's useful to have an experienced person to turn to for advice and suggestions.  The team here at Clevedon Hall have organised countless wonderful weddings - so if you've got any questions don't hesitate to ask us.   

Jim O'ConnorComment