In all the pandemonium of the lead-up to the big day, the groom tends to get somewhat forgotten about. Yet, he has some key roles that are crucial to the nuptials. Here are some invaluable tips to help him along his way. Not the really obvious stuff like ‘Don’t lose the ring’, ‘Get to the church on time’ or ‘Don’t sleep with the maid of honour’, rather the useful advice to get him through the day without major upset. In all the pandemonium of the lead-up to the big day, the groom tends to get somewhat forgotten about. Yet, he has some key roles that are crucial to the nuptials. Here are some invaluable tips to help him along his way. Not the really obvious stuff like ‘Don’t lose the ring’, ‘Get to the church on time’ or ‘Don’t sleep with the maid of honour’, rather the useful advice to get him through the day without major upset.
Best man doesn’t have to be your best friend
Sometimes organisational skills are more important than a shared childhood. If you’re worried your best friend is going to make shambles of his duties then appoint another close friend instead. Or you could always opt for two best men: one to do the leg work, the other so he doesn’t get offended at being left out.
How to survive stag night stunts
Different stag parties pose different risks. Depending on how much your friends love you, you may get shaved or stripped. You’ll certainly be forced to consume ridiculous amounts of alcohol. You could end up half-naked, penniless, in a remote field. What you need is a secret supply of cash. Here’s one way to guarantee that: tell all the other stags that you recently injured your thigh playing football. Strap a bandage around the thigh and underneath it secrete a £50 note. That will cover a new pair of trousers and your taxi ride back to the hotel.
Try to sound interested in the wedding reception
“Darling, should we have napkins in fuchsia pink or burnt orange?” This, and questions about the flowers, the caterers, the cake etc will bamboozle any groom. But to keep your future wife happy, pretend that you’re interested. And agree with whatever she wants.
Choose a classic suit
Whether you opt for morning suit, Prince Edward jacket, evening suit, lounge suit or linen suit, be sure it’s a classic one. Sure, it can be trendy, just not too trendy or you risk looking silly in the photos ten years down the line. The same goes for your haircut. Top hats can be cool with a morning suit. Avoid white gloves and a cane at all costs.
Choose a band that everyone will like
It’s often the groom’s duty to book the entertainment for the wedding reception. Now, you may have a strong penchant for Swedish death metal or Ukrainian folk music. That doesn’t mean everyone else will. When booking the band, while you don’t have to pander to the lowest common denominator, it’s best not to go too far off-piste.
Writing the speech
Start writing your speech at least three weeks before the wedding. Fortunately you’re not the main act (that pleasure goes to the best man) but you want your material to be fairly entertaining all the same. Remember to flatter your wife and the bridesmaids.
Don’t try to memorise your speech
On the day you get married there are dozens of things to remember. (The ring being the most important one.) Don’t add to your stress by trying to memorise your speech. Instead, remember the gist of your words, transcribe them onto small cards, and use these cards as prompts while you deliver the speech.
Keep your speech concise
The best man is the headline act. Your speech can be shorter. For less formal weddings you can keep it down to around five minutes. For more formal affairs you may want to stretch that somewhat.
Practise your speech
If you get nervous about public speaking, it’s a good idea to practise your speech in advance. Perhaps deliver it to a member of your family and ask for constructive criticism. Or video it on your mobile phone and watch yourself going through the motions. Are you speaking clearly and loudly? Are you standing upright and confidently with feet shoulder’s width apart?
Speak towards your bride
Nervous speakers tend to bury themselves in their speech notes. Good speakers will look around the room and get eye contact with different members of the audience. You, more than any of the other speakers, need to deliver much of your speech directly to your new bride, so be sure to look at her often while you talk.
Tradition dictates that the bride and groom should not see each other the night before the wedding. So why not organise a dinner with your best man, ushers and your side of the family? It’s often called ‘The Last Supper’. Just go easy on the booze.
Give the photographer a foolproof photo list
With guests moving between the wedding venue and the reception, it can be bedlam trying to marshal all the VIPs together for the photos. Give the photographer a precise list of which photos you want taken, and who exactly should be in each one.
Nothing wrong with a small brandy to calm your nerves before the actual wedding ceremony. It’s traditional for the groom to have a swift drink with his best man and ushers just before he walks down the aisle. Have some mints handy so the vicar (and your wife, for that matter) doesn’t smell alcohol on your breath.
In an ideal world, a groom’s favourite and most meaningful song will be the same as his bride’s. But in reality, your taste in music may differ vehemently from hers. While you may be convinced Ace of Spades by Motor-head perfectly demonstrates the loving feelings you have towards your wife, she may err more on the side of Mariah Carey. Some compromise is needed.
At traditional weddings younger guests are often required to share tables with older guests. Really? It’s a preposterous tradition. Why on earth would your mates from college want to spend two hours chit-chatting with your great-aunt? Be practical when it comes to the seating plan, and place guests on tables with people they know and get on with. You can always have a couple of tables set aside for the random guests.
Don’t scrimp on the hotel room
Few couples nowadays head straight off on their honeymoon the evening of the reception. It’s likely you’ll be staying in a nearby hotel. Whatever you do, make sure you’ve booked the best room – the presidential suite if there is one – and damn the expense. Flowers, champagne, room service… order the lot.
Our grandparents used to honeymoon in Bournemouth or Blackpool. We are NOT our grandparents. Even if we are skint, we should push the boat out a bit. You can get package deals for two to the Caribbean for well under a grand nowadays. Besides, you have the rest of your life to fly Ryanair.
About Author: John Lewis
The Wedding Directory lists the best wedding venues and will help you find the right venue for your special day. The Wedding Directory is a magazine and website specialising in promoting Wedding Venues and wedding suppliers across the UK since 1998. To help you with your wedding planning, there are many popular categories like wedding venues and also civil ceremony venues.