What’s expected of the Groom

Written by    Last updated: June 6, 2006

Once upon a time, the groom got to put his feet up while the bride’s relatives got on with organising the wedding. Nowadays, there’s the opportunity to get much more involved…

Being a groom doesn’t always mean being hands‐off

Once upon a time, the groom got to put his feet up while the bride’s relatives got on with organising the wedding. Nowadays, there’s the opportunity to get much more involved in the preparations for the big day ‐‐ if you want to.

A lot depends on who is paying for the wedding. If it’s the bride’s family, it’s really only fair to let them lead the planning. However, if like many couples now, you and the bride are paying for the celebrations, you may want to have more input into what happens.

Whatever the situation, there are areas that are traditionally seen as the groom’s duties.

Picking up some bills

Every family makes their own arrangements when it comes to who pays for what, but generally, the groom covers the cost of:

  • the wedding ring/s
  • the hire/cost of his own clothes
  • all church/register office expenses (excluding the flowers) and in the case of the church including the music (organist, choir, soloists)
  • transport, such as the wedding cars for the bride and bridesmaids
  • the honeymoon
  • the first night hotel
  • the bride’s bouquet
  • the bridesmaids’ flowers
  • buttonholes for himself, the best man and ushers
  • thank you presents for the best man, ushers and bridesmaids

If this seems a lot, have a look at the list of things the bride’s family traditionally pays for! You find this in Father of the bride ‐ Should I pay?

Choosing the best man and attendants

The groom chooses his best man and ushers. Don’t be pressured into choosing someone you don’t want. The best man and ushers are also known as ‘groomsmen’ ‐‐ they are your people!

However, avoid choosing a best man who:

  • used to go out with your future wife
  • is likely to let you down on the day in some way (by getting drunk, making a rude speech, not turning up…)
  • is no good with parents/has little sense of occasion

Ring things

As the groom, it’s your responsibility to pay for the ring(s) ‐‐ and it’s up to you to decide whether you want to have one yourself.

You can find out more about wedding rings and how to choose them, in our confetti ring buying guide.

Thank you gifts

It’s traditional for the groom to pay for the thank you presents for the bridesmaids and to exchange presents with the bride.

Get some gift ideas in our Gift, gift lists and table settings section.

Deciding on outfits

Traditionally, the groom chooses what to wear and the rest of the men in the wedding party follow. However, the bride may well have chosen a theme, or colour scheme which she’d like you to incorporate in some way, perhaps by matching your waistcoats to the bridesmaids’ dresses, or ties to the floral buttonholes. If you choose formal wear, you’ll need to arrange with your best man to hire the outfits. Bear in mind that if you are getting married in peak season (June‐August), you may need to hire the penguin suits well in advance!

From white tie to casual, you can get ideas and advice on what to wear in our Fashion and beauty menswear section or use our Mens Fashion Showcase.

Speech!

Unfortunately, for all those shrinking violets out there, the groom’s speech is compulsory. The good news is that you can go for a short, sincere effort, if speaking in public isn’t your thing. Another popular alternative is to stand up alongside your bride and make a joint speech, which can really be a series of thank‐yous if you prefer.

Nerves can be avoided by preparing in advance and practising. You might find it helpful to have short notes written on small prompt speech cards, or to memorise the opening words of your speech. You don’t have to be funny, but it helps! A compliment to your new wife will usually start everyone blubbing ‐‐ which is traditional for weddings and to be seen as a good sign in this case.

You’ll find a lot of original material, plus wedding speech advice and ideas in our Speech Centre, as well as our great ‘How to Write a Wedding Speech’ book.

Organising the honeymoon

The groom traditionally arranges (and pays for) the honeymoon, sometimes keeping the location a secret, even from the bride.

Be inspired by our extensive Honeymoons section and showcase.

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