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For The Groom

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Welcome to the lead-up to your wedding day! Feeling nervous? A little overwhelmed? Worried about overlooking something that will later turn out to be more important than you thought? Or, have you just discovered that, surprise, surprise, more is expected of you than just turning up in a tux on the day?

Some of the wedding preparations are the joint responsibility of you and your fiancé, other duties are traditionally yours. Firstly, drawing up a guest list is something you should do together. Begin with the names of immediate family, followed by more distant family members. Then move on to close friends and others. You won’t be able to invite everyone (so be prepared for some bruised egos) and you will need to confer with your families. Diplomacy is the key here, as neither of you will want to rock the collective boat.

You’ll no doubt have a best mate in mind for your best man. Confirm his willingness to accept this role as soon as possible, and then ask your closest buddies to be your groomsmen. You will all have to choose outfits for the big day – as well as decide who’s paying for what.

Get the guys together and visit a suit store or hire company (or both if you really want to check out your options). It’s a good idea to include your fiancée in this outing. She’s likely to bring fabric samples from both her gown and her bridesmaids dresses to facilitate some serious colour co-ordination.

While you’re selecting your suits and accessories, keep ‘good fit’ in mind. Overly large pants, straining shirts or bursting buttons will not enhance your appearance, or your comfort. Your outfits should fit perfectly.

Another item on your ‘To Do’ list is arranging the honeymoon. Deal with this as early as possible as popular destinations tend to be booked out well in advance. Many resorts and hotels offer special honeymoon packages and tourist offices are a great source of information. If you have a trusted travel agent, now’s as good a time as any to enlist their help with travel and accommodation arrangements, and to ensure both you and your future wife’s travel documents are in order. Remember, when booking travel for the day after your wedding, arrange your departure time for later in the day if you can. You need to allow yourself some loving time alone when you wake up, and enjoy the first day of married life!

Talking of travel, it’s your responsibility to organise transport to the ceremony for the bridal party, as well as transport to the reception for the bridal party, your immediate families and your guests of honour.

Other traditional duties include booking a celebrant for the ceremony, and paying for the bride and bridesmaids’ bouquets, as well as buttonholes for the boys. You’ll also want to purchase ‘thank you’ gifts for your best man and groomsmen, as well as a very special present for your bride.

At the reception, two of your biggest moments will be making your speech and the bridal waltz. You should prepare for both. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your natural spontaneity will see you through the speech. Write ideas down as they come to you during the lead-up to your wedding. Don’t mention events or issues that might embarrass a member of the wedding party. Do say something wonderful about your new wife. And have an agreement with your best man that you will rescue each other in the event of stage fright.

If you’re the proud owner of two left feet, or don’t know your fandango from a foxtrot, a few lessons from an expert won’t go astray. Remember that after you have danced with your wife, it is considered courteous to then dance with your mother, your mother-in-law and the maid of honour (see what we mean about the dance lessons?).

Choose a going away outfit and ask your best man to bring it to the reception venue. Also arrange with him to return any hired items. And one other thing … don’t forget the rings (yes, it’s been done many times before). Make sure your best man has your wedding bands tucked safely in his pocket before you leave for the ceremony.

A few days before the wedding, get your hair styled and cut, and your nails manicured. Clean, buffed nails (relax, no polish required) will add elegance to your overall look. If you’re renting your outfits, make sure that you, your groomsmen and your father all pick up your garments and accessories the day before the ceremony. And whether you’re hiring or buying, check that all the required elements - jacket, trousers, shirt, tie, vest, cummerbund, shoes, socks, cuff links - are present and are the correct size.

If you are going to dress somewhere other than your home, pack everything you need – including underwear, deodorant, hair products, shaving gear, and watch - the day before. Then check and double check to make sure you have everything.

On the day of the wedding, shower, shave carefully to avoid nicks, and when you’re dressed, ask your mother to pin on your buttonhole (be prepared with a hankie and a hug in case she cries). Then you’re ready to go!


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