How to be a *good* Groom 101: The 7 Areas your Input is Needed
Written by: Alex Kesner
So, you’ve just proposed to your lady, and she said yes. Congrats! To be honest, the hard parts over for you. You celebrate with family and friends, maybe pop a few bottles of champagne here and there, life is great right? The answer here is yes, but get ready, here comes a curveball you may or may not have been expecting.
The buzz dies down a little and maybe a week or so goes by. Then all the sudden over dinner, your new fiancé looks up at you during dinner and says something to the tune of, “let’s start picking out vendors tonight”. You drop your fork. Everything goes quiet. Everything in the world disappears except you, your lady, and that spaghetti you were just shoveling into your mouth in between remarks about how college football is only months away. You just realized that there are MONTHS ahead of you and your betrothed of diligent planning, big decisions, and that credit card screaming for mercy. But it’s not all bad. Actually, most of it isn’t bad, except deciding how you will keep that aunt who hates that grandma away from each other on the seating chart.
Gentlemen, long gone are the days where you can sit idly by and just, “show up on time in your tux”. Even though you probably haven’t been dreaming about this day since you were five as much as you dreamt about your MLB career, but a wedding day is just as much your day as it is your brides (60/40, but you get it). Not only is the planning just as much on you as it is on her, but a good bit of it is actually fun to do. Let’s break this down a little bit.
Important Areas of Groom Influence
In a wedding, there are generally SEVEN areas where you’ll want to have some influence, and we’ll hit on each one:
- the venue
- the food
- the booze (if you’re into that sort of thing)
- the music
- the seating chart & guest list
- what YOU and your groomsmen wear (tux? suit? all denim?)
- your ring (gold? silver? chunk off a meteorite? (yeah that’s a thing))
Picking out a wedding venue is arguably one of the areas where you’ll be the most involved, mostly because you and your bride-to-be will have to go tour a bunch of different places. Honestly, your fiancé will have her vision of what she wants everything to look like, and already have a general theme in mind (rustic, modern, simple, etc.), BUT, this vision can sometimes be blinding (ironic, right?). Here are some things you should be on the lookout for while your bride gushes over the intricacies of the ceremony area:
- How’s the parking situation? Will people get to park right at the venue, or will it be a walk to get there from the parking lot?
- Is the venue close to anything? Yes, barns are cool for weddings, but if they are in the middle of nowhere your guests will have little choice of what to do after the wedding ends. Try and pick somewhere near or just outside of some bars or a cool downtown scene.
- Is there an inside AND outside option? As we all know, when it shouldn’t rain, it usually does, so make sure the venue can accommodate for inclement weather.
- Is your fiancé 150,000,000% happy with everything she wants for the big day (this one is a little obvious)?
This is not to say your lovely lady won’t be thinking about these things, but she will undoubtedly be distracted here, so make sure to have these things on your mind.
In my experience attending and coordinating weddings with my amazing wife, the food is one of those things that people will talk about for months following the wedding. Next to the music and dancing portion of the reception, the food is the most important part of your guests overall experience. Let’s talk about why you should ABSOLUTELY help pick the food, and some secrets to success.
- Free tastings. That’s right, you will get to sample the actual meals that will be served at your wedding. What’s better than food? Free food.
- Pick a food that generally everybody likes. BBQ has consistently been a home run in the weddings I have been involved in. “Salmon Balls”? Not so much.
- Simple is better. This goes in tandem with the last point, but honestly you can stick to the basics here. Meats? Stick to your chicken, beef, pork. Veggies? Green beans, broccoli, asparagus, potatoes. You get the point.
- Go local. Not only will this add some individualistic flair to your wedding and pay homage to where it’s all happening, but supporting local business is awesome.
- Apps? If the caterer has those options, go for it! People will definitely get at least a little hungry during pictures after the ceremony, so let ’em satiate that hunger and avoid, “hangry”, guests.
- Desserts? Yes. Cookies, cupcakes, brownies. Do it.
Let me get this out there: you absolutely do not HAVE to have alcohol at your wedding. Completely fine. It’s the people that make a wedding fun, not the alcohol. However if you do want to have a little liquid courage on your big day, here’s my advice.
- Always buy more than you think you’ll need. Once you’ve done that, buy more. The last thing you want to happen is to run out of alcohol, and have someone run out to get more. You’ve swiped your credit card enough when you get to wedding day, let’s over-prepare here, and just worry about having fun.
- Beer. Michelob Ultra is usually a hit and I have seen it at literally every wedding I’ve ever been to. Outside of that, you can go economical (Bud Light, Miller Lite, etc.) or you could throw some local ambers or lagers in there. Best to stay away from IPAs.
- Wine. Pick a red, pick a white. Or just pick one. Most people will go for the beer after dinner.
- Specialty Cocktails. This depends entirely on your budget, BUT if you can swing it, Bride & Groom cocktails are an awesome way to add some more personal touches to the big day. I went with an Old Fashioned, and my better half did a Moscow Mule. People loved it.
This goes without saying, but the music is an integral part of not just the reception, but the entire day. Let me explain.
- The Recession Song. This will play once you have been announced as a newly married couple at the end of the ceremony. Pick something that you both love, or a song that represents your story.
- The Bridal Party and Your Entrance Song. Pick a banger. This song needs to get people on their feet. They’re all here to see you get down with your new wife, act like it! I recommend Let Me Clear My Throat by DJ Kool.
- Mother-Son Dance Song. Talk to mom about this one. Pick a song you sang together when you were a kid, or one that you both love now. Either way, mom needs to approve.
- The rest of the night. Keep a healthy mixture of throwbacks, oldies, new jams and group dance songs. With a variety like that, you’ll be just fine and everyone will have a great time. Maybe stay away from that song you and your roommates used to listen to and spray beer everywhere though.
The Seating Chart & Guest List
This one’s simple.
- Make sure you are present when your fiancé is organizing these. Take ownership of your side of the family, and keep arguing relatives or divorced parents away from each other if need be.
What To Wear (Groom & Groomsmen)
A tuxedo is a classic and timeless look. Guys have been wearing tuxes to weddings for hundreds of years (or something like that). Suits are a great option too and allow for a little more personal touch (a cool tie or bow tie).
- Get all your guys on the same page with getting fitted for tuxedos. Plan way ahead, you know how we can be. Entice your group with wings and beer afterwards if they are on time to the fitting.
- One of your groomsmen says he already has a tux? Great, still need to get fitted for one. It’s important for everyone to look uniform up at the altar (unless you’re going for non-uniformity of course).
- Throw some flair in there. Get your group crazy socks or suspenders unique to each of them. It’s a way of saying you appreciate them and the role they played in helping you get to where you are now.
- Buy, don’t rent, whatever YOU will be wearing. This is a big day that you will never forget, do you really want to return your suit so someone else can have their big day in it too? Cement the memories of what has taken place on wedding day forever in your tuxedo.
- Look good, feel good. Get it tailored. No matter what, you should be pumped to throw that tuxedo or suit on, so make sure you like how you look in it.
- Getting new shoes for the wedding? Break them in WAY beforehand.
That’s right, in case you forgot, you have to go ring shopping for your wedding band too! Have an idea of what you want before you go, but be open-minded as well. This will be your ring for the next 5-10 years (until you upgrade rings), so make sure it’s what you want. Try on a bunch of different styles and pick your favorite.
One more piece of advice and we’ll wrap up. Stay on your groomsmen and make sure they know exactly what will be going on at every point of the day until after dinner when their duties are over. Make sure they know what they’re wearing, when to be where, where to stand, what bridesmaid to line up with and what time the ceremony starts. Don’t put this all on your bride-to-be, she’ll be busy wrangling the bridesmaids. One the reception starts, it’s all gravy.
Gentlemen, that’s really all there is to it. A wedding is about two people, bride and groom becoming one, and you are responsible for putting your personal mark on it just as much as your bride is. People may remember great weddings, but they never forget bad ones. Make it the best day of your life with no detail forgotten. After all, you only do this once.
If you are ever unsure during the planning process, refer to your fiancé. She generally knows best. Happy wife, happy life.
A note from Sammy:
And there ya have it guys, advice learned and practiced by the greatest groom himself. My advice for grooms (in addition to the awesomeness listed above) when your bride is feeling stressed from planning, hug her and remind her of the whole point of planning this wedding: to CELEBRATE your love with your favorite people.
Happy Wedding Planning!
Interested in having the Jackson & June team coordinate, plan, or design your big day? Find out more info here!