Groom 101

Martha Stewart Weddings, Volume 9 1999

You've proposed. Now you're probably wondering, "What next?" Here are some guidelines that will help you feel less anxious and more like the informed, helpful guy you really are. After you've made all the required arrangements, your fiance will appreciate your assistance with the myriad tasks that are necessary to plan and produce a wedding, as well as your general support as the big day draws near.

Attendants
A groom should choose his best man and groomsmen as soon as possible after announcing the engagement. Choose your best man carefully, because he usually organizes the bachelor party, helps you dress and stay composed on the day of the wedding, briefs the groomsmen before the ceremony, holds the ring and payment for the officiant, and offers a toast to the bride and groom at the reception. The primary job of the groomsmen is to serve as ushers at the wedding, though they can do much more. How many groomsmen you'll need will depend on the formality and size of the wedding: Plan on one usher for every 50 guests.

After the best man and groomsmen are chosen you should select their attire. Bridesmaids and groomsmen should match in formality. Each attendant is responsible for renting or buying his own clothing, unless you are willing to pay for it as a gift.

To thank the groomsmen for their support, you'll want to give each a gift at the rehearsal dinner. Fountain pens and monogrammed flasks are perennial favorites, but anything thoughtful and personalized is appropriate.

A Groom's Tasks
These are the groom's traditional responsibilities, but each couple should determine appropriate additions and omissions.

The Guest List: The groom is responsible for compiling his side of the guest list. It is best for the groom to make a longer list first and then trim it later with the bride to work within the budget.

Wedding Bands: Choosing the wedding bands is something the bride and groom should do together. Wedding bands can be matching or have a matching engraving. Some couples have their initials engraved with the wedding date inside the ring, while others choose a phrase from a favorite poem.

Marriage License and Blood Test: The groom is traditionally responsible for making the appointment to get the marriage license, arranging for the blood test (if required), and calling the marriage-license bureau of the local government where the marriage will take place to find out what must be done and how far in advance.

Transportation: The groom is responsible for arranging transportation to and from the ceremony and away from the reception. This search should begin at least four months before the wedding. All contracts should state the cost, length of service, and the driver's attire.

Toasts: The groom often gives a toast toward the end of the rehearsal dinner in response to the best man's toast. It is customary for the groom to express his good fortune at marrying his bride, as well as thank his parents, in-laws, and the guests for coming.

Wedding Night Accommodations: If the couple is not leaving directly after the wedding for their honeymoon, the groom should arrange for accommodations for the wedding night.

Honeymoon: Today, couples usually decide together where to go for the honeymoon, but tradition still makes the groom responsible for much of the planning. The groom then has the opportunity to work in some surprises, such as flight upgrades or special excursions and activities.

 

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