With regard to the duties of the groom, I am speaking to the men here!
Contrary to what some men think, being a groom isn't just about having a stag do and arriving on time for the marriage ceremony!
There are traditions to uphold, groom's duties to fulfil and, above all, support to give.
The engagement ring is on her finger and now you have to be the supportive, caring partner she wants to spend the rest of her life with. Traditionally the women take over most of the wedding planning but you should offer help in whatever capacity needed.
As the big day approaches and pressure mounts, you will also be highly appreciated if you can organise an evening or two when she can put her feet up and maybe something extra special too, like a spa day.
Consult with your bride-to-be about choosing these; it might be nice to match the number of bridesmaids to the number of groomsmen. One of them will be your best man of course and the others can also act as ushers.
Obviously choose men you like and don't pick someone your girlfriend dislikes! You can choose from both your families and/or close friends. If you have to decide between two, ask the one who you think would remain the calmest and/or who is the most charming!
Traditionally the groom pays for (or the hire of) matching outfits for his groomsmen and also a gift for each. It is also part of the groom's duties to purchase and present gifts to the mothers of the bride and groom as well as the bridesmaids. Here again you can ask for advice from your betrothed.
You and your groomsmen should all wear buttonholes on your left lapels. Yours can be a little more elaborate than the others but they are usually chosen when ordering all the wedding flowers so that the colours co-ordinate.
You will most likely be expected to wear a suit to your wedding, as will your groomsmen. Again, talk to your bride-to-be about this and choose something that matches the theme/colours of the wedding.
Start looking at suits at least 6 months before the event and arrange for final fittings a couple of weeks before. There are many suit options, from traditional morning suit, to a tuxedo or a more relaxed day suit. Find something that you will be comfortable wearing all day.
As you will most likely be hiring all the suits, make sure you look after them so that you get your deposit back!
As one of the duties of the groom, you may be expected to arrange and pay for the wedding cars. How will the wedding party get to the ceremony and then to the wedding reception?
Usually the bride will travel with her father in one car, the mother of the bride and bridesmaids in one/two cars, and the groom and his best man/groomsmen in another one/two vehicles.
You and your groomsmen should be the first to arrive for the ceremony so that you can ensure everything is ready and your ushers can welcome the guests.
This is probably the most feared of the duties of the groom! However, my guess is that the best man is much more scared than you!
Traditionally the groom speaks after the father of the bride and before the best man. You should speak sincerely for about 10 minutes and with some heartfelt emotion, especially when talking about your new wife.
Remember to say "my wife and I" and "we" where appropriate!
Thank your new family, your best man and ushers, the bridesmaids and both mothers. The bride's mother and family are first, but thank yours too. Tell the bridesmaids how beautiful they look and raise a toast to them. Name everyone else who helped make the occasion special as well..
Leave the jokes and funny stories to your best man but you can hand over to him with a bit of banter if you like.
You and your fiancée should chose the song for your first dance at the reception. Come up with a song you both love and which is appropriate for the occasion.
I would certainly advise having a rehearsal - even think about having a few lessons - so that you avoid making a fool of yourself on the dance floor in front of all your guests. Personally it's such a photo opportunity that no one is really watching your fancy foot work.
Apart from that the duties of the groom must be to take your new bride by the hand to the dance floor.
Your best man arranges your stag do but the duties of the groom should be to certainly set some boundaries. Tell him exactly what is off limits and give him a budget, bearing in mind the financial situations of your friends.
Remember no groom photos well without his eyebrows.
The stag do should be a celebration for you, not something to endure or be full of remorse about afterwards.
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You can obtain gifts for your groomsmen from Zazzle UK or see the banner on the left showing my international shops.