1. Suggest writing an engagement announcement. But save
some cash and email it. Once a date is set, “Save-the-Dates”
can be emailed too. Actual invitations however, should
be mailed and addressed by hand. So, ask to help with
addressing them, but then tell her that her handwriting
is so much more presentable than yours. You will be
off the hook! There is a good chance that her writing
will be better then yours (especially if you are a doctor)
2. Make a list of family, friends and co-workers
you would like to invite. Get an idea of how many
people you would like to invite and how many people
your reception location can hold. The “He invited
me so I’ll invite him” works sometimes.
It is hard not to invite everyone in your poker league,
but attempts should be made to limit your numbers
for budget concerns.
Who to invite?
If you think someone will be hurt by not being invited,
they probably will be, so keep it in mind. And remember,
sending them an invitation doesn’t automatically
mean they will come.
2ii. It is not always expected that the person you
invite bring a guest. Addressing the invitation just
to the person and not adding “and guest”
means just that.
2iii. Invite single people and seat them with other
single people at the reception. They could make a
2iv. If one girlfriend is invited then everyone’s
should be, or go with inviting only married or engaged
couples and the rest just single people.
2v. Send all invitations out at the same time. No
one wants to be on the “B” list or the
2vi. Start an Excel Spreadsheet with names and addresses
of guests. You can create sections for gifts so that
when you write thank you notes you will know what
to thank them for. Once people start sending you gifts,
handwrite the thank-you note as they come and record
what they got you on a list. Then you can send your
thank-you notes as soon as you get back from your
honeymoon and it won’t be a huge project.
on the cards.
Check these sites out:
3. Help work out a wedding budget. Be prepared that
hers will be much higher than yours. Yes, you could
have purchased a used Ferrari instead, but you only
do this once. The average American wedding cost between
15K-25K and is increasing annually. So, suggest having
a dinner with both families where everyone can discuss
what costs can be covered. Wedding budgets are kind
of like the National Budget, its gonna cost a lot
more then you expect.
Traditionally, the bride’s family pays for the
wedding and the groom’s pays for the rehearsal
dinner. However, different cultures may vary from this
American tradition. Likewise, with the increases in
wedding costs it has become more common to split the
costs between the families as much as possible. Dividing
the responsibilities between moms can be dangerous if
the bride wants to be the deciding force. Example: You
may want to send the photographer bill to your parents
once the bride has chosen the vendor and package of
4. Offer to call vendors to set up appointments.
Have a calendar designated for recording meeting times
so that you don’t double book. You should read
and understand all agreements and contracts with your
vendor. Have all changes and additions confirmed in
writing. Volunteer to confirm all services and vendors
the week or two before the wedding.
5. Choose a Best Man and Groomsmen
Your best friend is and always will be your best friend.
Your brother is your Best Man. Lesson over.
5ii. Groomsmen are usually a combination of best
friends from high school, college and the present.
But don’t forget about your fiancé’s
brother or close family, i.e. cousins. These people
are great for being appointed as ushers and ceremony
5iii. Meet with your Best
Man to give him this website and go over
his responsibilities and discuss bachelor
dates and ideas.
5iv. Send this website to your Best Man and Groomsmen
5v. Ask a groomsmen to be in charge of the wedding
day gifts and cards. He should ensure that none of
the gifts walk off before the end of the night. At
some point he may what to take them out to his car,
so later he can deliver them to your home or one of
your parents home.
5vi. Keep the groomsmen in the loop for the rehearsal,
wedding day events and times.
5vii. Designate a groomsmen to pick up and return
all formal wear.
5viii. Give your wedding party gifts at the rehearsal
dinner (see gift ideas)
Thank them individually.
5ix. Your boys can help set the tone for the evening.
Make sure they know to dance with guests and get people
excited to ensure that everyone is having a good time.
6. Consider whether to rent or buy your formalwear.
If you are having a formal wedding, consider buying
a tuxedo. Most rental tuxedos are of moderate quality.
Purchasing a tux now will save you money in the long
run for future weddings of other friends and family
and for formal events. You will also have a better
fitting, tailored tux.
Gray or white tuxedos are strictly wedding attire,
whereas black tuxedos can be used for multiple events.
6ii. Comber buns are a fashion policia no-no. Go
with a vest.
6iii. Either bow ties or long ties can be done.
6iv. Collared shirts are in now with either tie type.
If you go with a real bow tie, make sure you know
how to tie it or have some one who knows how to be
at your wedding. Click here for our How To Tie a Bow
6v. Tails are for conductors. Not Cool. But to each
6vi. Ask your lady to come to several suit and
tux shops for a try-on session in order to get her
opinion on the style of tuxedo that best compliments
6vii. Give your guys a break and choose a standard
black tux with or without a certain vest and tie for
them. That way they can wear their own tux if they
own one. If you go with matching vests and ties, they
can be rented separately. Set yours apart from
your groomsmen and chose a different color tie and/or
vest from the rest of your groomsmen.
6viii. Set up a time to fit formalwear. Choosing
a national chain may make this easier for your boys.
Some chains offer websites that allow your guys to
enter in their sizes.
6ix. For a less formal wedding, a nice suit can still
be classy. A black pinstripe suit will really look
sharp next to your beautiful bride with or without
a tie! Again, take it a notch (or two) higher than
the typical suit you would buy.
6x. Beach weddings can be extremely causal. Linen
pants, a fine white pressed suit and barefoot. Stylin’!
7. Help choose boutonniere style
You will need one for you, your Best Man, all your groomsmen,
ushers, the officant, and both dads. Always order an extra
just in case. Put a groomsmen in charge of distributing
them on the big day.
8. Choose wedding bands.
You may want to have your bride's rings engraved (See
9. Plan Honeymoon
10. Suggest taking dance lessons and thinking about
a first dance song. Some grooms take the dance lessons
secretively and surprise the bride at the wedding,
others choreograph the first dance song and some just
do the basics and do the high school prom dance technique.
11. If you are having a wedding in a hotel, they
often include the suite for couples, which is convenient.
However, you may want to book a different hotel or
one closer to the airport if you are leaving the next
morning. Regardless, make sure you have something
planned for that evening.
Several Chicago hotels offer romantic settings.
Be very careful with whom you tell of the wedding night
plans as disclosing this location has lead to many
groomsmen practical jokes. (Leaving the packed suitcases
to show up at your tropical destination without underwear.)
11ii. We suggest giving the other room key to a bridesmaid
who can show up to the room an hour or so before to
decorate the room with candles & rose petals that
you have previously purchased. It adds a nice touch
when entering the room. Have a bottle of wine or champagne
in the room for a nightcap. However, after a very
long day and the possibility of being too exhausted
to perform well is likely. You may just want a place
to crash and look forward to enjoying each other once
you get to your honeymoon destination.
12. Moving in can be a big change. Arrange for a
moving company or have friends and family move your
stuff into your new home while you are on your honeymoon.
It will be a nice treat when you return home from
13. Find city maps and airport transportation information
to assist your guests with their plans.
14. Set up a time when you and your bride can obtain and
pay for the marriage license. The marriage license often
needs to be acquired in the county that your ceremony
will take place. Research these requirements in advance.
Don’t leave it until the day before. There may
be a waiting period! Most officiants will not perform
(and are require by law) a wedding without a marriage
license. The officant will sign the document after
the ceremony along with 2 witnesses and then will
send it to the state making it official.
14i. In most states you and your fiancé must
apply together in person and fill out the appropriate
14ii. Some have a waiting period after a license
14iii. You will need to bring a document with Proof
of Age for the both of you (The bride and groom must
be 18, with special restrictions for persons who are
16 or 17). License fees range from $26 or more; payment
methods vary, usually cash.
14iv. Blood Test Results: If they are required, they must
be no more than 30 days old.
Make wedding day transportation for you, your bride,
and wedding party. Keep in mind that the bride may
not want to see you prior to walking down the aisle,
so ask your friend with the SUV (so not to wrinkle
the dress) to pick her up at the appropriate time
and take her to the ceremony site. Also, you will
need transportation to the wedding night location.
It is not unreasonable to ask the Best Man to drive
you, however consider a limo service or a late night
carriage ride so the Best Man doesn’t need to
be the “designated driver.”
16. Organize the purchase of liqueur and wine for the
rehearsal, wedding and after-party if the hall or
caterer is not providing it.
17. Begin to write a Toast and/or thank you speech
18. Write down a list of people you would like to
thank publicly before or after the toast. Her parents
should be at the top of the list, then your bride,
your parents, Best Man, groomsmen.
19. Review seating arrangements for the ceremony and the
20. You may wish to write your own vows, but unless you’re
poet at heart, the standard ones seem to work pretty
21. Meet with your officiant or interview officiants.
Discuss options and requirements. Make sure you have
satisfied with the plan.
22. Find a location suitable for outdoor photos
in between the Ceremony and the Reception
23. Pay for and arrange payment (via Best Man) of the
officiant’s fee, the musician and tips.
24. Thank everyone and meet everyone at the wedding.
25. Music: Some grooms make a list of songs they
want their band or DJ to play. Others may do a do-not-play
list, which is sometimes more useful. A good DJ or
Band really can make or break the wedding, so make
an informed decision. Get recommendations.