You’ve done the hard bit and asked her to marry you – you even got down on one knee and she’s over the moon. And so are you, of course – over the moon and slightly worried that this is feeling like a bigger step than you’d actually thought it was going to be. Confetti wedding expert Kate Thompson and long-time married man, writer and editor Joseph O’Halloran tell it like it is.
Image courtesy of JK Photography
Now as politicians are fond of telling us, with rights come responsibilities. The following is our sound advice which should ensure that the day goes well, or at least help you to avoid potential disaster or – ahem – divorce.
The key point is that it’s your day as well. That’s right lads: despite what you may have been led to believe by others, despite conversations about doilies and napkins being weird and not the most pressing things in life, especially during the footy season; it is Y-O-U-R day as well, and that means you need to do your bit too.
Setting the date
Set the date for your wedding for a time that is out of season of anything you may be distracted by. For instance, if you’re a footy fan, getting married on a Saturday when a big match is on – listening to said game, or even worse, watching it on a clever portable device is not on. Even during the photos. Even if you attempt to hide the TV aerial behind the tallest guest… You’ve been warned.
Planning the wedding
Getting engaged is just the start of what should be a long and fruitful journey towards getting married to the woman of your dreams. And it’s the wedding planning and the big day that are just the start of your life together as a married couple. Your role as groom begins the moment you put that engagement ring on her finger – and don’t worry, she won’t let you forget it!
If you can help with the wedding planning, even if all you do is book the DJ and the honeymoon, then she’ll be happy that you’ve taken an interest and not left it all to her (even though she may secretly rather want to do it all herself.) It’s this teamwork that will stand you in good stead as a married couple, so show willingness to go along to food tastings and wine tastings as it all helps. You might enjoy it (great free food – who wouldn’t!)
Deciding what you’re going to wear will really come down to whether you feel more comfortable in a traditional morning suit or a modern suit, though you may want to go for an outfit that you feel says something more about you, such as a kilt, forces uniform or something a bit more rock ‘n’ roll!
Joseph says, “Rule one is make sure your suit is ready a week before at least, giving you time to do last minute alterations. Otherwise a lifetime of photos of you in an ill-fitting suit potentially awaits. Keep on looking the part. That is, you’ve paid good money for a decent suit, try to wear it for the whole day. Try not to get food on it; avoid pissed relatives trying to dance and drink Guinness at the same time. Watch out for flying beer and cake and take special care in the toilets late at night. Try not to hug a friend who’s vomited. Think deposit!”
Choose your wedding song with care. Even if your favourite song is ‘Tainted Love’ or you met in a club while Prodigy was playing – avoid, avoid, avoid. You’re going to be dancing round the room with your girl in front of at least 100 people, it should be easy to move to with great lyrics. Have dance lessons before your big day if you want to make an impact.
Your best man, ushers and the stag do
Your ushers are the people who welcome your guests into the church or venue before the ceremony so it’s a good idea to choose reliable sorts who you know will definitely turn up. Most couples pay for their ushers to be kitted out in the same style as the groom (ie. morning suits if you’re going traditional) but they’ll be fine in matching suits and ties if you’re in a modern suit. Order them a buttonhole so the guests know they are your ushers.
You’ll probably want to choose either a good friend or your brother as your best man and only you can decide who fits the bill best. It’s in your interests, don’t forget, to choose whoever you think will plan the best stag do on your behalf, and not leave you tied naked or dressed as a school girl to a lamppost…
Speaking of the stag do… here is where you don’t want to find out that people who are the closest to you actually don’t know you at all… if you have some specific ideas on what you’d like to do (for example, strippers are not your thing, but some classy gambling definitely is), then tell the person in charge the general idea, and then leave them to plan the rest. Ideally, you don’t want to be looking at the mayhem around you on your stag evening, asking your best man “have we met?”
The groom’s speech
The groom’s speech is your opportunity to have your say and let the woman you love know how much she means to you (in front of everyone!) You’ll also let your parents and hers know how grateful you are to them for everything they have ever done for you and, course, it’s your chance to become a stand-up comic with an audience who already love you – so, relax, you can’t go wrong! If you’re nervous, arm yourself with props and prepare some funny anecdotes to get everyone laughing and you’ll enjoy it. Yes, really.
And on your wedding day
Remember it’s your day too, remember to show up, remember the rings, remember your speech, remember why you are doing this, and most of all – enjoy… Do it right and you’ll never have to do it again…
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.