The Essential Guide for the Modern Groom

What the Hell do I need to do?
Here are Your Responsibilities.

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Complete Groom Responsibilities
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?


2i. 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 love connection!

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 "afterthought invitee".

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.

Save cash 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.


3i. 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 her desire.

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


5i. 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 assistants.

5iii. Meet with your Best Man to give him this website and go over his responsibilities and discuss bachelor party dates and ideas.

5iv. Send this website to your Best Man and Groomsmen ASAP.

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.


6i. 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 Tie Lesson.

6v. Tails are for conductors. Not Cool. But to each his own.

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 her dress.

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 RINGS)

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.
(ADS-Dance Studios)

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.


11i. 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 your honeymoon.

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 forms.

14ii. Some have a waiting period after a license is issued.

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.

15. 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 "TOASTS"

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 reception.

20. You may wish to write your own vows, but unless you’re poet at heart, the standard ones seem to work pretty well.

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.

Engagement:Groom Duties:Best Man:Grooming:Bachelor Party:Honeymoon:Health & Fitness
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