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A Guy's Guide to the Best Wedding Day Ever

(You only get one shot at this...)

It’s the big day; not game day, but YOUR game day. Your wedding day. Pretty exciting. Really exciting. And all you have to do is show up, do what you’re told, and enjoy it, right?

Wrong.

But you’re in luck. Because you have this handy little guide on how to be a good groom before, during, and…well, not after. The after part is all up to you. Sorry.

Here goes.

You’re Engaged. Now be Engaged!

Let’s start with a quiz.

You’ve agreed to spend the rest of your lives together. The families are all thrilled, the Pinterest boards are filling up, and you’ve even made it public on Facebook, which we all know now means this thing is real, right?

Then one night, while you are watching the (football/baseball/soccer/epic curling) game, she leans over and asks you:

“So, what do you think the colors should be for our wedding?”

Being the attentive and intuitive guy that you are, you recognize this as an important moment, so you hit the mute button, turn to her, and answer:

  1. “Really? During the game?”
  2. “Well, (insert ex’s name here) always said I looked best in blue.”
  3. “Our wedding is a (spring/summer/fall) wedding. Why don’t we look at a palette of colors for that season?”

I highly doubt you are going to really give her answer “c”. And if you really do use that answer, you shouldn’t tell her you got it from me, and you owe me a beer at the end of the reception, because I help set you up.

The grooms who get the most out of their wedding day, I mean really enjoy it, are the ones I have seen who are fully invested in all the months leading up to their wedding.

The more engaged you are in the planning of a wedding—as opposed to letting her and her mother plan it all—the more you’ll both get out of it. You will also be a heck of a lot more informed on the day of the event and less likely to feel like the guy who is just letting it all happen. Bonus tip: if you are clued in to all the details, you can also be the one to deal with vendors that day if any need to arises.

Get Me to the Church On Time

Here is another quiz.

You’re on your way to the venue and your bride is already there. You’re not late for the ceremony, but the photographer is supposed to start in five minutes. Your cell goes off. You look at it, and it is your beloved. Sheepishly, you answer. Yes, answer it.

Your beautiful bride asks:

“Where are you?!”

You’re quick on your feet. You answer right back:

  1. “Why? Do we have something going on today?”
  2. “Chill! We’re leaving the strip club now!”
  3. “I’m really sorry, but I had to make a little detour for another last-minute gift I thought of for you today. I’m moments away.”

Please note that if you resorted to answer “c” in this case, you had better well show up with a very thoughtful surprise gift for her when you finally arrive. And six-packs do not count.

It may seem like a no-brainer to show up on time for your wedding day but being late for any one thing has a ripple effect on the rest of the day. And trust me, brides do not like ripples on their wedding day.

Make the itinerary together. Determine when she and her bridesmaids should be at the salon, when you and your guys should be in your tuxes, when photography begins, when flowers are delivered, when you will eat lunch, etcetera, etcetera.

Here is a little-known secret about weddings: grooms, and their groomsmen, are more frequently the people responsible for things running late than the bride, her bridesmaids, vendors, or venues. Reason: the groom and groomsmen usually assume that they can jump in their tux and be ready in a matter of minutes, and they almost always take longer than that.

Be A Team

Yes, another quiz. You should be catching on by now.

Dinner was great. The toasts, funny. The cake is cut and getting divided into about 200 small pieces, and you survived that first dance. The DJ is killing it and the dance floor is full.

Your bride is standing in the middle of the dance floor and calling and waving to you to join her on the dance floor for fun.

You, in response:

  1. Wave her off and rejoin your buddies at the bar for your fourth, fifth, and sixth shot.
  2. You send in the best man to take care of it.
  3. Motion the crowd between you and her to clear the way, dash to the dance floor, and slide the last twenty feet to her on your knees with arms raised.

Actually, don’t do that last one. You will damage the knees of your suit, or yourself.

Do, however, dance with your bride. I mean, dance. Dance like you’ve never danced before, even if you can’t dance (Disclaimer: I can’t dance). No one is going to care one iota if you can or can’t dance, especially her. In fact, if you can’t dance, and you do anyway…she is going to love you for it that much more.

But dancing is just one thing. If your bride decides you should make the rounds of all the tables to greet or thank guests, join her. If she decides to do shots at the bar, do it. You and your bride don’t have to be joined at the hip all night. Just be sure to priortize your time with the person who is, along with you, part of the most important duo in the room.

Another little secret: I notice that people gravitate toward couples who are having fun together. If you and your bride are either on the dance floor, or off somewhere socializing together, people seek you out. They want to be near you and celebrate with you.

It’s All About Her. Well, And You.

Last quiz, I promise.

It’s the day of the wedding. Do you:

  1. Hope that coffee can work miracles, because you stayed out with the guys all night.
  2. Skip lunch, or better yet, make it a liquid lunch.
  3. Treat yourself and your crew to manicures, pedicures, and massages, because, hey…she and the girls are being pampered at a salon all morning!

Okay, so answer “c” might be a tiny bit over the top for you, but the point is that you need to take care of yourself on your wedding day.

Two most important things: eat lunch, and hydrate. And by hydrate I mean you should at least work a couple of waters in there with any pre-ceremony drinks. This becomes increasingly important during summer, outdoor weddings.

It’s easy to forget or skip lunch because you are dealing with last minute details or issues, or because you just didn’t know or follow the itinerary for the day. Same with keeping hydrated.

Here is something I also tell every couple: plan yourself one hour of downtime right before the ceremony. It will relax you and bring you into the present and help you enjoy and remember your ceremony better. It will also set you up to be more energized for the rest of the evening.

And I’m not about to tell you to not overindulge at the reception, because I doubt you’ll listen to me anyway. Receptions are all about having fun, a few drinks, and dancing really badly, right?

Just remember though, that there is a guy with a camera hanging around the whole time. That would be me.

Click.

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