So, you’re taking the plunge. Good for you! Most of the articles online—and all of the magazines—are aimed at the bride. How can you get the most out of your day? We’ve got seven ways.
Whether or not you were a Boy Scout, it’s time to be prepared.
Set a goal to have everything on your to-do list done three weeks ahead of the big day. This will give you time to handle those last-minute annoyances that pop up. And believe us, they will pop up.
Pack an extra shirt.
Check everything three times including limo pickups and florist details.
Being prepared will also help you sleep the night before and actually enjoy your wedding. Rushing at the last minute will just make you want it to be over so you can ditch your responsibilities for a while.
On the be prepared front: make sure to bring sunscreen. Outdoor pictures take their toll and you’d be amazed how many couples end up with unexpected sunburn!
If you’re leaving for your honeymoon in the morning make sure your tickets are ready on your phone and your passports are ready to go. More about this at the end!
2. Work Smarter, Not Harder and Offer To Handle Things
What depends on you? Writing your vows, going to tux fittings and getting gifts for your groomsmen amongst several other things. There are amazing sites out there that can help you save time and still do a great job. Be resourceful with your responsibilities and find guides and tools online to get things right the first time.
- Personalized groomsmen gifts from GroomsmenGiftSource.com
- Vows templates from TailoredFitPhotography.com
- Online tux measurements from TuxedoFit.com
See how else you can help. Go to every non-dress appointment, taste every possible wedding cake flavor combination and look at venues you know you’ll never book.
There’s so much that many grooms never see that goes into a wedding so here is just one example. When it comes to invites alone these are just some of the decision that have to be made:
- E- or paper
- Handwritten or printed
- Save the dates or no
3. Make Like a Cowboy and Wrangle
One of the worst things about wedding prep is navigating complicated relationships. Come up with a list of the people that are going to be a pain in the neck beforehand and check in with them.
You know your cousin Bruce is always late, make sure you tell him everything is 15 to 20 minutes earlier than it is and that you’ll text him when ten minutes before you’re leaving to pick him up.
If your mom is likely to be difficult about the color of her dress, have a chat with her one on one over her favorite beverage.
And if you’ve got relatives holding out on the RSVPs, pick up the phone. Taking these things on behind the scenes will pay off on the big day.
4. Take it Easy
The rehearsal dinner is going to be fun and going out after even more fun, but chill. There’s a way the night-before-the-wedding bachelor parties of the 80s are a thing of the past.
The last thing you want during your wedding is a hangover.
Communicate to your boys ahead of time that you’re not going crazy the night before and make sure to hydrate.
Many wedding photographers swear that drinking water the day before is better for your pictures. Believe them and us. Don’t believe this photographer.
5. Make and Follow Your Budget
Ask any married couple and they’ll tell you that money is the biggest stressor in a marriage. So be sure that you’re both realistic about your budget and that you stick to it. The last thing you want is to start your marriage fighting.
It can be hard to say no to a woman who is excitedly planning her wedding but in the long run it’s setting you up for financial success and developing your ability to talk about finances as a couple in the future.
6. Prepare for the Meltdown
Even the chillest bride experiences the worst wedding rite of passage: the mid-planning meltdown. There’s a lot of pressure and stress that comes with planning a wedding, and every bride has a freakout.
The first thing to know is: it’s going to happen. The second is that it’s not about the thing that set her off.
As the groom you’ll want to be prepared for this and have strategies at the ready to help her get through it. You can also try doing some of these things during the planning process to mitigate the meltdown.
But it’s still going to happen.
7. Know Who Does What and Discuss Your Parents
Whether you and your bride choose to follow tradition or not, it’s important to start your planning by agreeing to a few simple things.
Choose the things you will decide as individuals and as a couple.
And then pour a few drinks and have a conversation about what you will allow your respective parents to do.
Traditionally the groom’s parents pay for the wedding license and officiant’s fee, the liquor, the bride’s bouquet and boutonnieres and corsages for family.
Have an honest discussion about what you want your parents involved in and remember the five things parents should never have a say in: like seating arrangements.
A Word on Passports
A bride and groom recently told me the story of their honeymoon mishap. After the after party, on the elevator back to their suite he went to check into their flight and couldn’t. They figured they’d just do it at the airport.
She got nervous and called the airline. Turns out his passport had an expiration date four months after their return date but the requirement for that country was six months.
Your passport expiration date matters. Be sure to check the rules for the country you’re visiting to make sure you have enough time between your slated return and expiration. Otherwise most airlines won’t let you on the plane and, even if they do, some countries won’t allow you in once you land.