There’s a lot of advice available to brides-to-be when it comes to wedding planning. But what about your fiancé? To help them get their head around what they should be thinking about, we’ve created this handy to-do list for grooms.
While you may have talked endlessly to your girlfriends about what you have in mind and what you need to do, your other half may not have had quite the same discussions with his mates. Although we know that most men do like to be involved in the wedding plans, to a certain extent, and feel that they’ve had a hand in the organisation.
The groom’s responsibility this one, although you’ll almost certainly want to choose the styles and designs of your rings together beforehand. The groom is responsible for buying the rings (in the correct size) and putting them safely away until the wedding day (when he hands them over to the Best Man, who keeps them safe until the priest or registrar requests them during the ceremony).
Morning suit or lounge suit?
A wedding suit is really something that absolutely can’t be left until the last minute. Whether the groom is hiring, buying or having something made to measure, the advice is to organise the suit about three months before the wedding day. It should fit perfectly (just think of those photographs) so consider that measurements may change with a weight loss/gym fitness programme. Trousers should be long enough to form a short crease over the shoe and if you’re wearing a waistcoat it should be long enough so that no shirt shows between the waistcoat and waistband.
Take the suit out of its carrying bag the night before and hang it up to air and remove any creases. It’s always a good idea to have two shirts as well, just in case one gets a spill on it just before the ceremony!
These are the final touches that can make an outfit. Tie or cravat? Waistcoat, braces. What colour socks? We think Kate Middleton’s father and brother looked immaculate at the Royal Wedding with neat tie pins – certainly something to consider. Double cuff shirts are beautifully formal so consider cuff links, too – maybe buy something especially for the wedding day. Don’t forget that accessories can complement the colour scheme chosen – so if you’re having a pastel-themed wedding day the groom and his entourage could wear waistcoats and pocket handkerchiefs (even socks) in matching shades.
Don’t leave the speech until the last minute. Make some notes in the weeks beforehand. Gather stories from close friends and family and get some hints from professional speechwriters. Try delivering the speech and don’t make it too long. Better to keep your audience interested for a short while than going to sleep! It’s a good idea to email it to yourself so you have a copy to hand on your mobile or iPad.
As for shoes, the groom should wear them in a bit before the wedding day (much as the bride ‘wears in’ her bridal shoes) so that they are comfortable. And remember to make sure they are polished to perfection – scuffed and dirty shoes could ruin the whole look! Lace-ups are a classic look but if the wedding is a bit more informal then loafers can look smart. If your wedding is a little more boho then shoes can fit the story. Jamie Oliver wore a snakeskin pair on his wedding day teamed with a powder blue suit!
We recommend that the groom (and preferably his best man and ushers) have haircuts a week or so before the wedding day. Even if you wear your hair long, it should be cut into a shape so it looks its best. And if the bride wants to give the groom a gift, why not treat him to a hair cut and professional shave at a high-end barber? Maybe, a manicure too?
Traditionally it’s the groom’s job to book the honeymoon although both halves are likely to club together. Make sure that passports are up to date (some countries require at least six months before renewal for visas) and that documents and visas are in place. If you’re going somewhere particularly exotic check what vaccinations you need and whether you need to take anti-malarial tablets.
Okay, so there’s always your mobile but packing a digital camera with a good lens, charger and extra memory cards is essential – your honeymoon is a one-off holiday and you’re going to want to keep those memories alive forever!
Apart from the obvious like sunglasses, sun lotion, swimming trunks, flip flops, a good book, shorts and T-shirts we suggest that the groom takes a lightweight travel suit so that he can look smart on occasion (like when you’re having a candlelit dinner together). M&S linen miracle suits pack really well and just need a shake on arrival to throw out any creases.
First aid kit
It’s always worth packing a small first aid kit and some over the counter painkillers – paracetamol, ibuprofen and maybe some antibacterial hand gel. Getting sick on a remote island in the Maldives with no paracetamol is not what you want!