When discussing a groom’s wedding duties, the old-school way of thinking is that the groom is only responsible for showing up to the wedding on time. In actuality, grooms have a few responsibilities to carry out, and men today are taking an even more active role in helping prepare for this most special occasion.
Besides selecting a best man and groomsmen, present-day grooms may decide on the tuxedo style and complementary boutonnieres. Men are also helping their brides-to-be arrange for vendors, transportation, and lodging for out-of-town guests as well as handling the specifics for the honeymoon.
For those guys who want to take part and assist their fiancée in getting things done, here are some tasks grooms often handle.
Select Your Wedding Party, Their Attire, and Thank You Gifts
When thinking of whom you would like for your groomsmen and best man, you want to keep both good friends and family members in mind, including those related to the bride. One unwritten rule states that your best friend is a great groomsman, but your brother is your best man. Whomever you choose, you’re sure to stand with a supportive group.
You may also be responsible for picking out and purchasing your groomsmen gifts. Don’t fret on it too much, just buy them something you would want – an engraved flask, some nice cigars, whatever you think they might enjoy.
Some unique and fun ideas:
- Sporting event tickets–Relive the old days by going to see your hometown favorites and tailgate beforehand. Maybe the guys want to put a little money down on the game and you can win some cash for the honeymoon!
- Concert tickets–Whether your idea of awesome is rocking out to Guns n’ Roses or grooving to some Jack Johnson, concert tickets for your party are almost sure to guarantee a good time.
- Paid open tee-time–Venture off to the links in your local city (or go visit one of your buddies who lives in a warmer clime) and practice your swing.
Once you have the men in order, set up a time for all of you to meet to go tuxedo shopping. Whether renting or buying, think about the overall style of the wedding when selecting the look. If unsure, take your bride along as a consultant.
Wedding Party Lodging
Typically, lodging for any out-of-town groomsmen is arranged, and sometimes paid for, by the groom. Try and secure a hotel close to the wedding and reception sites for easy accessiblity. Depending on the number of rooms, you may be able to get a discounted room rate. When inquiring, include all of your out-of-town guests in the count for the overall best deal.
You might also want to find out if the hotel will provide transportation. This is a great perk for your guests as it saves them from renting a car or paying for taxis. This also eliminates any drinking-and-driving concerns following your reception.
This gift-exchange tradition between the bride and groom traditionally happens the night before, or morning of, the wedding, but can come after the event.
Whether you want to exchange gifts or not is something you and your bride can decide together, or you can always surprise her with one.
No-fail gifts for the bride include jewelry or a photo frame. Jewelry is always a favorite. Get her something she can wear at the wedding or on the honeymoon, such as a necklace or tennis bracelet. Photo frames are timeless, and a beautiful picture frame gives her a special place to keep one of your wedding pictures. Have it engraved for an extra special touch. If in doubt on what to get, call up her maid of honor, sister, or mom for advice.
Gathering Your Family’s Side of the Guest List
Your list of invites should include family, friends, and co-workers along with guests of your parents. Your first draft will tell you whether you can add or subtract names to meet your location’s capacity and budget.
Planning the Bachelor Party
If your best man is fulfilling his duties, you won’t have to do much when it comes to these arrangements. Just give him some ideas of what you’d like to do–and what you wouldn’t want to do–and help schedule the date.
Other Groom Duties
The groom usually takes the lead in:
- Purchasing the marriage license–Each state has its own requirements and limitations on marriage licenses, so be sure to find out the specifics.
- Coordinating transportation–Your primary concern is ensuring your wedding party can get to the ceremony, the reception site, and back to their respective homes or hotels.
- Paying and tipping the officiate and other service personnel–Grooms often pass these monies to the best man to settle these fees since the transactions usually take place on the wedding day.
The Bridal Association of America finds an average wedding reception totals $14,179, whereas a rehearsal dinner comes in at $1,269. Traditionally, the groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner, but in this day and age, many couples are dividing the final bill. This is definitely a topic for discussion with your bride and both families.
In terms of tuxedos, rentals may come in between $50 and $300, while purchases start at about $300, with the average price paid for a groom's tuxedo or suit at around $197.
All in all, grooms have the option of taking on more responsibilities and your bride-to-be will probably be more than happy to pass on a few. Just remember what this event is really about and you’ll all come out smiling in the end.