You’ve popped the question. She said yes. Firstly… a mighty congratulations, sir! Now it’s time to get down to business, roll up your sleeves and join the ever-growing ranks of grooms ready and willing to pick up the slack and take on their own fair share of the pre-nuptial marital madness. It’s also the time you’re likely to discover whether or not your previously mild-mannered fiancée will suddenly become the ruddy terrifying bridezilla you laughed so hard about at your mate’s nuptials last year. But we won’t mention that. So, wedding planning? While it’s by no means set in stone – and as a general rule the earlier you get started the better – having some sort of a wedding checklist to hand can make for an extremely useful tool along the way. With that in mind, we’ve put together a rough timeline of wedding essentials to get you ahead of the game.
Traditional groom duties
So what exactly is expected of the groom?
Well historically speaking…. not a lot. Harsh? Maybe. But considering recent studies have confirmed what the majority of mankind has known since first walking back into his cave with a ‘Honey I’m home’ only to find ‘er indoors rocking the latest veil on the flintstone block before anyone had even mentioned the ‘M’ word – namely that yes, women really are all very slightly mad (but officially that a whopping 50% of them have already meticulously planned their big day before they’ve even found a willing groom) – it’s easy to see why the fairer sex reign supreme in pre-nuptial planning. But the men folk of the hour have been trusted with a handful of tasks over the years.
Tradition dictates the groom takes responsibility for:
- Choosing his Best Man and ushers
- Sorting his wedding attire
- Buying the wedding rings
- Planning the honeymoon
- Preparing a top notch groom’s speech
- Finding gifts for his groomsmen and bride
BUT with time (and a distinct lack of loincloths) comes change, and nowadays couples tend to share the bulk of their pre-nuptial planning, with a commendable 60% of grooms taking charge and playing a hands-on role in everything from legalities and logistics to floral arrangements.
As ever it pays to be fully clued-up as early on in the game as possible, so we’ve put together that most masculine of pre-nuptial tools to get you started.
Gentlemen, we give you – a list.
Wedding planning checklist
GET RIGHT ON IT…
- Announce engagement – Let’s be honest, once you’ve pulled out that sparkler and wowed with a top notch proposal, this one’s probably going to be taken out of your hands. Much like your phone. For the next few hours. Bring supplies.
- Pick potential wedding dates – Bear in mind possible clashes, seasonal demand and implications, public holidays, birthdays and other events, prior engagements of any of your key VIPs, crucial match dates (we’d assess your lovely lady’s temperament here but possibly best to check this one on the sly) etc.
- Set a wedding budget – Check out our guide to getting it right.
- Draw up a rough guestlist – You’ll need an idea on numbers before you can get cracking on venue selection.
- Research potential wedding venues – Does what it says on the tin.
- Pop the question to ‘Team Groom’ – Every hero needs his brothers-in-arms. Pick your Best Man and ushers early on in the game so you’ve got a solid support network from the off. Also gives your right-hand man more time to plan and prepare one first class stag do.
- Engagement party! – We don’t need to explain this one…. do we?
- Team Groom ‘emergency’ meeting – Pint or three to a) celebrate, b) commiserate (mass ribbing from mates), and c) Team Groom helpline: why you shouldn’t have hesitated over nod of approval on hairstyle number 43.
12 MONTHS TO GO…
In a nutshell:
Wedding planning at this stage is mostly about your research and securing the day’s main players (and nodding approvingly at any remaining suggestions of all things hair-y).
- Wedding date confirmation – Should be firmly circled on the calendar by now (pretty hearts and stars optional… we’re not here to judge)
- Visit and book ceremony and reception venues – Check any and all small print without fail.
- Consider your entertainment options – Who? What? When?
- Research and book wedding services and suppliers – Without doubt your key players here are the photographer, videographer, entertainment, catering and transport crews. Top flight teams can get booked-up well over a year in advance, so early preparation really is vital on this one.
- Wedding insurance? – Read the small print.
- Book your wedding ceremony official (vicar, registrar etc.) – Check and arrange through your chosen church, registry office or council.
- Team Groom ‘emergency’ meeting – Why? Colour schemes. That’s why.
8–10 MONTHS TO GO…
In a nutshell:
With the big guys ticked off your wedding checklist it’s on to securing any remaining suppliers and services, getting cracking on Team Groom’s wedding day threads and planning that all-important post-wedding jaunt.
- Send Save The Date announcements – Cards, emails, snail mail, social media, Oscar worthy performances of a multi-media kind… the choice, gents, is yours. Well, and your bride’s. Probably mostly hers.
- Start looking at Team Groom attire – Probably with a swift shove in the right direction from your clued-up bride-to-be.
- Research and reserve accommodation for guests – Be aware some venues require a minimum number of guests to block book.
- Discuss and book honeymoon
- Team Groom ‘emergency’ meeting – Flowers. They’re mauve. There was a lecture. Liquid refreshment required.
6 – 8 MONTHS TO GO…
In a nutshell:
Music, marital bling and menswear…. the rugged macho world of wedding planning.
- Honeymoon essentials – Make sure passport, travel jabs etc. are all in order.
- Ceremony and reception playlist – Check out GoGroom’s guide to the soundtrack essentials.
- Finalise decisions on formalwear – Hire vs buy? Off-the-peg or bespoke? Decision time, chaps.
- Wedding rings – Welcome to the baffling world of marital bling. But fear not, daunted grooms, we’re willing to bet your fiancée will take the lead on this one.
- Team Groom ‘emergency’ meeting – Fashion and jewellery? Just who in the hell’s idea was this?
4 – 6 MONTHS TO GO…
In a nutshell:
With the majority of pre-nuptial decisions made, it’s time to place final orders, work on ceremony content and bring your mad spreadsheet skills back into play.
- Wedding rings, Team Groom attire and invitations – Order them.
- Choose ceremony readings
- Create gift list – If your good lady lets you have a say in this one, now’s the time to put that embossed, rippled, cream sixteen piece dinner set with mauve (purple) detail you’ve always wanted on the registry.
- Send official invites to guests
- Spreadsheet for RSVPs – If Excel made weddings…
- Wedding night accommodation – Get it booked.
- Team Groom ‘emer…. you know the score by now – pub – Why? Embossed, rippled, cream sixteen piece dinner sets with ruddy purple detail. That’s why.
2 – 3 MONTHS TO GO…
In a nutshell:
The legal bits, cake, presents and your all-important vows.
- Ceremony legalities – Inform your local council of your intention to wed (for a civil ceremony). If it’s a church affair, the banns need to be read on three occasions during this period.
- Order wedding cake
- Choose gifts for parents, wedding attendants and your bride – Stuck for ideas? Check these out.
- Start writing your vows – Afew tips to get you started.
- Confirm honeymoon arrangements
- Team groom suit fitting – Numerous fittings if you’ve opted for bespoke threads.
- Meet and confirm arrangements with wedding suppliers/services
- Team Groom. Pub. ‘Nuff said
From here on in, you’re more or less looking at the straightforward nuts and bolts wedding planning of ‘last minute collections and things to double check before the big day’.
1 MONTH TO GO…
- Collect wedding rings
- Make any last minute adjustments, and confirm final payment amounts with suppliers/services
- Confirm wedding vows with ceremony official
- Start seating plan
- Give up seating plan
- Throw away seating plan and suggest a free-for-all
- Buy fiancée well-chosen gift to apologise, start seating plan again
- Seating plan finished
- TEAM GROOM – STAG DO!
2 – 3 WEEKS TO GO…
- Confirm delivery times and locations with all wedding suppliers and services
- Give a shout to any mates who haven’t yet RSVP’d
- Agree the ‘must have’ shots with your photographer/videographer
- Groom’s speech
IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN…
(Ok, 1 WEEK TO GO…)
- Make sure venues are fully clued-up on supplier arrangements for the day
- Pack for honeymoon – Let’s be honest, you probably won’t be the one doing this.
- Last minute suit fittings
2 – 3 DAYS TO GO…
- Final suit fitting, collect wedding day threads
- Confirm pick-up times with wedding transport supplier
- Organise any and all monies to be paid to suppliers on the day – Traditionally your best man will deal with the cash during the main event
- Service rehearsal, if necessary
- Lean on your best pal for a few last words of moral support
- Mildly panic anyway
THE MAIN EVENT
In a nutshell:
With the big day finally upon you, you’ve probably had enough of ruddy lists, spreadsheets and being ordered around by every female of the species within ten yards. You’ve researched and planned with military precision, so step back, breathe and enjoy the day, chaps.