Groom’s Guide

Table of Contents

The Groom’s Guide to Helping with Wedding Planning
Meet the Parents – Parental Permission

The Groom’s Guide to Helping with Wedding Planning

Photo by Sonya Cogan Photography

The responsibilities of today’s groom have definitely changed. This is particularly true when it comes to who pays for the wedding. Traditionally, the groom would pay only for his tuxedo, the wedding rings, the officiant and, often, his bride’s bouquet. His other expenses included groomsmen’s gifts, corsages for his mother and hers, and the honeymoon. Meanwhile, his family paid for the rehearsal dinner, while the bride’s family carried the rest of the financial burden.

But the average cost of today’s wedding has soared, with some estimates placing the cost of the “average” wedding at $20,000 or more. It just isn’t always practical to follow tradition. This has led to a sea change in attitudes among engaged couples.

More couples pay for all their wedding expenses or expect smaller contributions from their families. And when families do help, a greater burden tends to fall on the groom’s. In some cases, the groom’s family handles not only the traditional rehearsal dinner expenses, it covers the cost of specific wedding services. These often include music at the reception, liquor costs at the reception, wedding party vehicles or photography and videography.

For most grooms, it’s no longer an option to just show up to the church ready to wed. Although it’s still typical for brides to oversee wedding plans, more and more men dig into their wallets, handle a range of wedding-related responsibilities and make important decisions.

After all, it only makes sense to have both of you involved in decisions like:

  • How much can be spent on the event and by whom
  • Where the ceremony and reception will occur
  • The size and division of the guest list
  • The degree of formality for both the ceremony and reception
  • The number of attendants each of you will have, and who you will ask
  • Which stores and specific items should be part of your gift registry
  • Where your honeymoon will occur and for how long

These, of course, are just a few of the areas where your involvement could be helpful. You can tailor your involvement to match your interests. For example, if you’re interested in cars, handle the transportation arrangements. But remember, you still have two very important responsibilities at your wedding ceremony:

You should work closely with the best man and attendants to keep things moving smoothly, including assuring that guests are properly seated, the wedding rings are there and everyone understands the schedule of events and roles.

You should recognize that, despite the many distractions, you’re there to marry you. The day is hers, and mental and emotional preparation is key to its success.

Whatever expanded role your you play in planning and holding your wedding, it will be memorable. And yet another reason for her to lover you.

Meet the Parents – Parental Permission

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Many guys are a little apprehensive about asking their future father-in-law for permission to marry their daughter. However, it is still proper etiquette to do so. No matter how comfortable you are with her father, the moment of truth is always somewhat awkward. But remember, he went through the same thing. Unless you are on bad terms with her father, it should go okay. The longer you dwell on it, the harder the moment becomes.

Today, it is becoming more common and somewhat “PC” to ask both parents. This will definitely impress her parents. If you need someone on your side, her mother is usually the one to give the first blessing. In special situations for instance, you may want to ask whichever parent she most recently lived with, or whom she is on better terms with. With divorced or separated parents, it is appropriate to talk to both parents separately.

Most guys want to ask the parents secretly before they actually propose. Not only is it a tradition to do so, but it may also be beneficial to talk with her mom (or sister) about rings and a plan for the proposal. They can be your best allies when it comes to rings and proposals. If the parents live near you, you may wish to contact them and inform them that you would like to meet privately. This usually gives them a little heads up to what may go down. Some guys choose to just spring it in the car, or when the have a moment alone with the parents. A classy suggestion would be to take them out to dinner when your girlfriend is on a girls-night-out.

The principle behind asking her parents is to convey your sincere love for their daughter, and your intention to have her hand in marriage. (Along with their approval and blessing.) Tell them you appreciate them for creating the most wonderful person in the world. Let them know that you promise to care for her with all your heart and that you will cherish her with the utmost respect. You may also want to add how you plan to actually care for her financially if that is an issue. It will help her Dad feel somewhat more at ease, because for some reason they always tend to bring that up. So try to bring it up for his sake before he does. Good Luck! We’re all counting on you!


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