by Eric Montgomery February 19, 2018

Planning a wedding may seem like agreeing to everything your fiancé says, but if you want to get in on the action or you both intend on sharing the wedding planning duties, you’re going to require a little guidance. From choosing your groomsmen to writing your groom's speech, this ultimate groom guide will have you covered – sit back, relax and take note of the all-important details you don’t want to miss!

Groom Guide

The Groom’s Responsibilities

Before delving into specific duties, you probably want to know what a groom is responsible for at the wedding. In this groom guide, you’ll find a range of topics including choosing your groomsmen, planning the wedding rehearsal dinner, and what duties you should consider before the big day. The groom’s responsibilities may differ depending on whether you’re hosting a traditional wedding or a modern-day celebration. However, traditional duties of the groom include the following:

  • Selecting your wedding party – this involves choosing your groomsmen, best man, and ushers.
  • Selecting wedding attire for yourself and your wedding party – it's best to discuss this with your partner beforehand as you may want to think about a color theme and ensure your attire complements the bride's wedding party.
  • Selecting thank you gifts for your bride and wedding party -- particularly your groomsmen gifts and something extra-special for your best man gifts.
  • Compiling a guest list with the help of your bride-to-be.
  • Choosing wedding rings – this is something the bride and groom usually do together.
  • Planning your honeymoon – again, this is normally a joint duty with the bride.
  • Arranging your marriage license.
  • Planning your bachelor party – you may wish to ask your best man to take over if you’re looking for a wild night out.
  • Arranging transportation to your wedding venue for your wedding party.
  • Arranging transportation to your reception venue (if required).
  • Greeting guests at your wedding reception – remember to thank them for their attendance.
  • Making a toast/groom’s speech at the rehearsal dinner and wedding reception.
  • Cutting the cake with your bride.
  • Celebrating your marriage with the first dance with your bride.

Besides these traditional groom responsibilities, consider other big decisions like choosing your wedding and reception venue, entertainment, and catering for the event. You may be able to leave these details to your fiancé, depending on how much input you both desire.


Groom's To Do List

The Groom To Do List

Being a groom means that you need to be organized for all your plans to stay on track. Here is an in-depth look at the pre-wedding duties of a groom and how to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.

Choosing your wedding party – The groom normally starts the selection with their siblings. If you have one or more brothers then you’ll probably want to include them in your wedding party. Similarly, if you have sisters, the bride may want to include them as bridesmaids.

If your siblings are too young to serve as groomsmen or bridesmaids, offering them the chance to be an usher, flower girl, or ring bearer is the perfect way to include them in your celebration.

You’ll also want to consider good friends. Choosing the most reliable people is a good idea as you’ll need assistance with wedding planning, including finding attire and planning the bachelor party.

Choosing groomsmen attire -  Finding your wedding suit can be a fun experience. After all, who doesn’t want to feel like James Bond at least once in their lives? However, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your attire.

First, you don’t want to overshadow your bride-to-be, but you do want to stand out from your groomsmen. Ask your fiancée what type of dress she plans on wearing.

Also, consider what style of wedding you’re hosting. If it’s a formal affair then a tux or a smart black or navy suit may be appropriate. If your wedding is more laid back, then a casual suit in a brown, beige, or grey hue is flattering.

Whatever style you choose, ensure you find a good tailor as a great suit depends on the fit and cut.

Choosing thank you gifts – Giving your groomsmen and bride wedding gifts is the ideal way of saying thank you. Traditionally, gifts are given after the rehearsal dinner, but there's no harm in breaking the rules, so feel free to share gifts at any point of your celebration.

This can even be well in advance of the wedding if you prefer to use your gifts as a way to formally ask friends and family to be part of your wedding -- a "groomsmen proposal" plan may be the right way for you to go if you're looking for a way to pop the all-important question of "Will You Be My Groomsman?"

When choosing your gifts, go for something memorable, practical, and unique. You may decide to opt for something personalized to symbolize your valued relationship or you may want to opt for something a little unique like a hot air balloon ride or tickets to a sports game. It's best to set a budget for your gifts – this is something to discuss with your fiancé. Remember, you’ll both need to purchase gifts for smaller roles like flower girls too.

Choosing wedding rings – When it comes to finding stunning wedding rings you can relax a little. This duty is best completed together so you can both give your input and choose complementary or matching bands. When choosing your wedding rings, think about style – do you prefer embellished or simple bands? What color of metal do you prefer? Remember to choose a timeless style as you’ll be wearing your ring for years to come. Considering the maintenance of your bands will also help you to select the best rings for you and your fiancé.

Planning your bachelor party – There are no rules to planning your bachelor party. If you love surprises and aren’t afraid of the possibility of lap dances or rowdy bars, then leaving the details to your groomsmen is the best way to go. However, if you’ve already got some great ideas in mind, you might want to share these with your wedding party.

Either way, remember to think about your guest list, location, and timing. Having an alcohol-fueled party the night before your wedding may not be the best idea.

The first dance – If you suffer from two left feet, you may be petrified at the thought of your first wedding dance with your bride. Fear not! There are plenty of dancing classes you can attend to brush up on your skills. If you prefer to practice in private, ask a relative or friend to help you.

Finding the perfect honeymoon – Planning your honeymoon will depend on your fiance’s wishes. Perhaps she likes the idea of you planning a surprise or maybe she prefers to share the responsibility of finding the perfect honeymoon destination. Your honeymoon doesn’t have to take place right after your wedding.

Many couples choose to honeymoon weeks or months after their big day, especially if you have a tight budget to consider. It’s common for couples to take a mini-moon after their wedding and their honeymoon later on.

However, plan your honeymoon early to avoid the stress and expense of last-minute arrangements. When choosing your destination, think about what you both enjoy – are there any activities you both love? Do you both enjoy beach vacations or city breaks?

If you’re planning your honeymoon without the help of your fiancée, remember to add some little details to surprise her. Keeping the destination secret or packing a few bags to amaze her with a special trip are just two ideas.


Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

The Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

The wedding rehearsal dinner is traditionally hosted the night before the wedding by the groom’s parents. This is your chance to relax with an informal dinner and get to know the full wedding party.

During your rehearsal dinner, you’ll be able to thank those that have helped with your wedding planning over the past few months. You aren’t required to have a rehearsal dinner but it’s a great way to spend time with your family and friends before the big day.

A rehearsal doesn’t need formal attire – you can throw on your t-shirt and jeans if you like. Be fun or creative, as the choice is completely yours. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning a wedding rehearsal dinner.

  • By tradition, the groom’s parents normally pay for the dinner. However, many couples these days include the cost in their overall budget and make the plans themselves. If you want to include your parents, you could ask both mothers to plan the meal. It’s a great way to ensure they’re both involved in the wedding festivities.
  • The rehearsal dinner gives you chance to give your wedding gifts and toast your families and wedding party.
  • Your wedding rehearsal dinner can be as informal as pizza and drinks. But you may want more of a fine dining experience depending on your preferences and the theme of your special day. Incorporating ice-breaker tasks like quizzes or games is a good idea if you want your wedding party to get to know each other better.
  • Invitations for your dinner are usually sent a couple of days after your wedding invitations. The invites for your rehearsal dinner don’t need to be as formal. Again, this is your personal preference.
  • The dinner usually starts with the hosts welcoming all guests with a short speech. Next, the bride and groom can make a toast to the wedding party and present their gifts. As well as enjoying delicious food, the main activity at your dinner is to visit with your guests – enjoy quality time with your family and friends, encourage them to mingle with others and make sure everyone is prepped with the schedule for the day ahead.

Groom Speech

The Groom’s Speech

The perfect groom’s speech should both entertain and commemorate the very special occasion. If you’re worried about writing a groom’s speech that delivers the perfect balance of fun and sentimental value, take some advice from these tips;

  • Keep your introduction warm – thank your guests for coming and the father of the bride for his speech. Make sure you thank your groomsmen and both families too. Mentioning their first names will make your speech more personal.
  • Keep your speech short. Under ten minutes is the perfect length to prevent your guests from becoming bored.
  • Using subtle humor provides great entertainment. Just remember to avoid any inside jokes or over the top comedy.
  • Be sincere and speak from your heart, especially when talking about your bride. This is the time to let your wife know how much you love her. Mentioning how you first met or little stories about your relationship are good ingredients for a great speech.
  • If you haven’t already given gifts to your groomsmen and bridesmaids, this is an ideal time to do so.
  • Close your speech by again thanking loved ones and your wedding party.
  • Finally, raise a toast to the bridesmaids and your new bride.

While the groom’s speech can be daunting, try to relax! As long as you’re prepared and are sincere in giving your speech, you’ll have nothing to worry about. If you’re feeling nervous, practice in front of a friend or relative beforehand to help ease your mind.


Wedding Vows for The Groom

If you’re writing your own wedding vows, you’re going to need inspiration. You and your bride to be can write similar vows or you can choose to say varying vows to each other. Traditionally, as the groom, you will say your vows first, but some couples decide to say them together or let the bride say her vows first. When writing your wedding vows, sit down with your fiancé to discuss what the tone and sentiment will be. You want your vows to last between one to two minutes so you need to factor this in during the writing process. Writing your own vows can seem challenging but when you see your bride at the altar, it will all be worth it. A few things to remember to include;

  • Research lots of example wedding vows for inspiration.
  • Think about the tone – do you want your vows to incorporate romance, and/or humor?
  • Write down words that represent your fiancé – how did you feel when you first met? What hard times have you been through? How do you envision your future? What qualities do you love about her? How does she inspire you?
  • Incorporate one to two promises in your vows – this could be something like "I promise to support you through good times and bad."
  • Write from the heart – the best vows are often the ones written from your heart. You might want to omit any inside jokes but sharing your innermost feelings about your fiancé will emphasize the personal and romantic nature of your wedding.
  • Write a first draft – once you’ve written down your initial thoughts, go back and read through what you’ve written. Edit your vows to remove any clichés or embarrassing phrases.
  • Practice saying your vows in a mirror – you could get feedback from a friend or family member if you need help.

Who Pays for The Wedding?

If you don’t intend on paying for the wedding yourself, or your family has offered to help financially then you’ll need to know who pays for what in a wedding.

  • Traditionally, the bride’s parents pay for the ceremony while the groom pays for the marriage license.
  • The bride and family pay for the wedding dress, accessories, photographers, floral arrangements and reception.
  • The groom and his family pay for the groom’s attire, brides bouquet, honeymoon and rehearsal dinner.
  • The bride pays for the groom’s ring and the groom pays for the brides wedding ring.

These rules aren’t set in stone – the best way to work out costs is to set a budget and sit down with your families to discuss arrangements.

With this ultimate groom guide, you can take the stress out of planning a wedding and look forward to an incredible day with your bride and loved ones.


ADDITIONAL READING:

WHO PAYS FOR THE WEDDING?

Eric Montgomery
Eric Montgomery

Born and raised in Cary, NC, Eric graduated from the US Naval Academy in 2004. He served as a Marine Corps infantry officer for 7 years before joining Bullets2Bandages in 2012 and launching Groomsmen Central in 2017.


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