Advice from one groom to another

Go to any wedding website and you’ll see dozens of articles about wedding advice from women who have been there, planned it, and are ready to coach other brides-to-be. Rarer is the groom who wants to share his experience and advice. Here, a recent groom tells all: 

A Groom’s Perspective

Our wedding was a very large and formal event.  My head got so cluttered with traditions, planning, tuxedos, flowers, guest lists, seating arrangements, catering, music, and rehearsal dinners that it was difficult to stay focused on the reason behind all the commotion. It was a little overwhelming.  

All I knew was I had proposed to the woman of my dreams, and suddenly the process of planning was overshadowing the event itself.  How many married people couldn’t tell you what the food tasted like at their reception? We had a hard enough time remembering who got us which gift.

I wish I could have actually spent time with everyone at the wedding reception, instead of just shaking their hands in the receiving line.  I had many people travelling large distances to attend my wedding and wanted to catch up with all of them, but there didn’t ever seem to be enough time.

Here are some things I would do differently

First, make sure that you have someone you can trust, who has responsibility to make decisions so you don’t have to. This is one of the biggest selling points for a wedding coordinator, but even if you have a tight budget, you can still do this. You can ask a close friend, a sibling, or even a parent.

Make sure they are on the same page with you about what you want from your wedding, and make sure everyone knows to go to them for questions. This leaves you free to enjoy your big day!

Second, build more time into your schedule than you think you will need.  We tried to plan our wedding day to the minute, and we were so focused on details, we forgot to sit back and just enjoy.  Specifically, make sure that your reception is held somewhere that doesn’t have a tight time frame.  

Ask if your wedding will be the venue’s only wedding that day. It never fails that something will start late, and if you have a hard time limit, your reception will be cut short.  So make sure when you’re looking for a venue that you find one that will allow you as much time as you really need.

Third, consider holding a post-reception get-together, so family and close friends can adjourn to another location and spend quality time together.  If you hold your wedding fairly early in the day, this allows a few hours for your reception and still gives time for a third, private event.  You can take this post-reception party fairly late into the evening and still have the wedding night you planned.

If your wedding day is anything like mine, it requires a lot of planning time, costs more than you expect, and will be over before you know it.  So do yourself a favor: make it last.  There is time for the honeymoon and all that happens after.  Really savor the day.  After all, it is a celebration of the two people coming together as a couple.  It’s YOUR day!  Take the time to really enjoy it.