A Groom’s Guide to Weddings

When it comes to planning a wedding, most grooms think their bride will handle all the details, and all they have to do is show up and say, “I do.” The wedding ceremony is a public affirmation of a couple’s intentions to spend their lives together. The ceremony usually incorporates the customs and traditions of the couple based on their religion, country of origin, and ethnicity. While many brides handle most of the wedding planning details, here’s what the groom should know.

Bride and groom decisions include:

  • Choosing a date, theme, and venue
  • Making a guest list
  • Setting the budget and making necessary deposits
  • Choosing invitations, flowers, and wedding entertainment
  • Greeting guests at the reception and dancing the first dance
  • Writing thank-you notes

The couple has individual decisions to make, including their choices of attendants, their wedding attire, and gifts for each other and their wedding party.

Bride and Groom’s Parents

Traditionally, the bride’s parents paid for the wedding. Today, the cost is often shared between the bride and groom’s parents. The parents help with the guest list and attend the pre-wedding events, including the rehearsal and dinner. The bride’s father usually escorts her to the church and walks her down the aisle. Some families continue the tradition of a bridesmaid’s luncheon, hosted by the bride and her mother. Guests usually include close female relatives and friends of the bride and groom’s families. The luncheon usually takes place after the final wedding dress fitting or the day before the wedding.

Maid of Honor

Traditionally, the maid of honor is a sister or other relative of the bride or a close friend. The maid of honor assists the bride in planning the wedding and helps the bride with all the details of the big day. The list of maid of honor duties includes:

  • Coordinates plans for the bridal shower and bachelorette party
  • Helps the bride get dressed and stay relaxed on her wedding day
  • Makes a toast or a speech at the rehearsal dinner or the reception

Bridesmaids

According to wedding etiquette experts, bridesmaids are usually immediate family members or cousins. If the bride doesn’t have sisters or close family nearby, she may ask friends to be bridesmaids. The bride may ask young family members to be flower girls. The list of bridesmaid’s duties includes:

  • Assist the maid of honor in planning and paying for the bridal shower and bachelorette party
  • Attend all pre-wedding events, including the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • Help with the cost of pre-wedding events, if possible
  • Shop for the wedding dress with the bride. maid of honor and other bridesmaids
  • Buy a wedding gift

Some bridesmaids and maid of honor split the cost of the pre-wedding events they host, so the responsibility doesn’t fall on one person.

Best Man

The best man is usually a family member or close friend of the groom. The best man may help the groom choose his fiance’s engagement ring, plan the bachelor party, and organize pre-wedding events. The list of best man duties includes:

  • Introduce the groomsmen at an informal get-together
  • Coordinate the groomsmen’s formalwear
  • Be supportive of the groom through the engagement and wedding
  • If you’re traveling to the wedding, coordinate travel and accommodations for the groomsmen
  • Plan the bachelor party
  • Attend all pre-wedding events, especially the rehearsal and dinner
  • Hold the rings until the ring exchange
  • Act as host at the reception
  • Deliver the best man speech

Groomsmen

Groomsmen traditionally are relatives and close friends of the groom. Duties of groomsmen include:

  • Escorting guests to their seats for the ceremony
  • Escorting one of the bridesmaids down the aisle in the procession
  • Assisting guests at the reception

For example, a guest may not know where the cocktail hour is being held. Groomsmen may dance with ladies at the reception, socialize with guests that are alone, and decorate the couple’s car. They may even offer to transport guests to the airport after the reception.