Ask any man what was the most stressful day of his life, and a good many of them will tell you it was their wedding day. Consider what faced them: family pressures, silk and chiffon, emotional roller coasters before, during and after the Big Day, not to mention publicly declaring one’s love in front of friends and relatives!
Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. Many men tell me they enjoyed the process more than they expected, but only when they understood their role and got involved. Here are some suggestions that will help ease the stress and make the wedding day more meaningful for any groom.
Get involved with the ceremony preparation: Work together with your bride to select readings, music and rituals to include. If you’ve spent time making the ceremony personally meaningful, you’ll be less likely to feel like an outsider at your own wedding.
Rely on your groomsmen: Select people who will pitch in when necessary and who have been with you during other stressful occasions, so that you know that they will help you keep your cool.
Take pressure off of the bride: The bride may think she is a superwoman, planning every last detail, but she will certainly appreciate your interest and your help. Ask her to give you tasks and perform them well, like arranging for activities for out-of-town guests, booking hotels and cars, coordinating airport runs, and giving directions to the officiant, photographer and other wedding professionals.
Know what’s going on: Because the bride may be in hiding on the day of the wedding, people will be relying on you for information or to make last-minute decisions. Take the time in advance to familiarize yourself with the preparations so that you can fulfill this role with ease.
Don’t worry about the “perfect wedding:” There’s no such thing. Most guests won’t even notice “mistakes,” and even if they do, often such gaffes add charm, humor, and authenticity to the event.
Be present in the moment: Look at your bride during the vows. Listen carefully to the ceremony. Reflect on the meaning of the symbols. Remember this moment in time.
If you’ve come to the end of the column and you’re not the groom, just go ahead and print or email it to him. Grooms, if you’ve read this – congratulations and have a great time at your wedding!