This is not a title to be taken lightly, in fact, I’m honored to have the most wedding experience and all my fellow photographers agree with this claim. This helps me pass along some great information to grooms - and the bride - that could elevate your day from great to incredible. This post will touch on the groom’s responsibilities because, after so many weddings, I’m getting tired of the joke regarding the importance of his part during the wedding planning.
It’s Your Day
Traditionally, the groom’s duties are varied and specific when it comes to wedding planning and the day’s events. These range from selecting the engagement ring, arranging reception toasts to carry the bride across the threshold. While many of these have been modernized with the changing times, there are a few that the groom needs to step up to take ownership. I hope you are viewing the relationship with that significant other as a partnership versus the standard “ball & chain” analogy. Be involved in the planning stages of this public display of affection and be more than just another party decoration at the reception. Grooms matter on the wedding day.
The Top Five
These days you are not sending your groomsmen to kidnap a suitable virgin bride from the neighboring village so you can produce an heir to your kingdom. Lucky, modern weddings are not arranged by the families and you are not shocked seeing the bride for the first time on the altar while lifting the veil. I’m sure that brought more shock than happiness to many grooms.
I want to set the record straight, the marriage is a “part-nership” meaning you each play a part and share responsibility in the success or failure. However, before you get to that point, I believe the groom needs to select the ring for the proposal. I’m not saying you can’t “inquire” and choose a ring based on your partner’s desires, but let’s not give hints that might spoil the proposal. I’m sure you can find a professional jeweler that will assist you in choosing wisely, but you should be versed in the Five Cs of a diamond. It’s normal to spend 2.5 times your monthly salary on the ring, so not be sticker shocked. She will be wearing this “gift” and showing it off to her family, friends, and anyone within earshot of the wedding plans.
It seems that everything these days requires some type of license or permit from our friends in government offices. It’s your duty to research and acquire the needed marriage license. I would also suggest you are positive the officiant or minister is registered to perform legal ceremonies. Most of the important paperwork research and gathering should take more than a day of your time. It’s important to ensure the signed document gets filed in a timely matter with the state after the wedding. I’m not sure that trusting the mail system with such vital paperwork is a good idea, so hand-carry to the courthouse is always the best method. Here is a link to get you started in Oklahoma.
The Groom’s Men
So many people will question the proper spelling of this section title, but I wanted to emphasize that this group of people “belong” to the groom. You are ultimately responsible for selecting, directing, dressing and attitude of your group. This is your wedding day, your groomsmen are there to support you in creating the best experience possible. There are some things that can (and will) be delegated to the best-man, basically your “Number One” if you are a StarTrek fan. You can pass along the job of arranging transportation, holding the wedding gifts, carrying the wedding band and being your direct support system. I think one of their most important roles is keeping your party on schedule, sober and present for during the day.
The groom should choose appropriate gratitude gifts for his party, select the right attire for ceremony/reception and set boundaries of conduct. Then again if you are having to “lay down the law” to the groomsmen, then maybe you chose poorly, so benching someone days before your wedding may be an option. It’s your day, so keep the drama to a minimum if not completely stress-free.
The best gift possible for your mate will be your personal involvement in the different planning stages of the wedding. Don’t pop the question and then coast on impulse drives, while she handles on the details. Take some time in choosing a personal gift for your bride-2-be, delivered by your best man an hour before the ceremony. Your bride has spent months planning, balancing her wishes with families demands and hopefully staying within budget, so she will love a token of love, dedication, and appreciation from you. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, will be to remind her of the importance played in your heart, so basically to make her cry with joy. Trust me on the value of this “deposit” into your emotional bank account. You will make a “withdraw” and don’t ever want to be in the negative. Emotional bank account penalties are much higher than financial institutions.
This is the place to shine! While many couples plan the honeymoon together, this is a great opportunity to be in charge and make some awesome memories. Seriously, everyone remembers a great wedding but it’s hard to forget a horrible honeymoon experience. Let’s keep it real here if you wait a few weeks or months after the wedding to take the honeymoon trip…well, it’s not a honeymoon, it’s a vacation with your spouse. I’ve seen wedding dates planned based on cruise departure, best European flight months or even permits for mountain accents. This is the trip to recharge from months of planning, refocus on each other and remember the reasons you chose to spend the rest of life loving.
You have the Power
I hope this post has helped someone realize the value of the groom during the wedding day, from planning stages to the honeymoon arrangements. Remember, grooms have the power to choose how involved to be and make a difference. How will your wedding be remembered?
I have the Experience
Oh, I forgot to explain the title of this post and my claim to fame. I mentioned that I’m the most experienced wedding photographer in Oklahoma, and possibly the world. I should clarify that statement in two sentences.
- I am a wedding photographer
- I’ve been married SIX times. No, I didn’t remarry the same person.
So, while a “little” misleading - I am the most experienced wedding photographer you will ever meet. I’ve been a groom 6 times. Somehow, I believe that makes me the expert in “groomsmanship”. Trust me, I’ve been in your shoes, boots, sandals and occasionally, a wedding dress!
I hope you hang around reading the other blog posts and checking out our fabulous work. When you are ready to meet for coffee and chat on how we can make your day extra special - Head over to the contact page and let's get the ball rolling.