So much about weddings focuses on the bride, but today I want to talk to and about the groom. Many men report feeling incredible stress around this day, or feeling they are not a part of what is happening, that its not about them, or they don’t know how to be involved. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few tips to help the groom, because it is, after all, your big day, too.
Get involved with the ceremony preparation: It’s easy to get caught up in the details surrounding the wedding itself, but the words that will be spoken on your wedding day will take you across a threshold of life. Work together with your partner 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.
Stay calm: Even if you have to fake it – remain calm. A bride may think she is a superwoman, planning every last detail, but she will certainly appreciate your interest and your help. Ask to be given 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.
Speak from the heart: If you are writing your own vows, when the time comes – speak to your partner as if you two are all alone. Practice your vows. And to calm your nerves on the day of the wedding, focus only on the one you love, and let the guests melt away as you pledge your love.
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 partner and listen carefully to your officiant and any readers. Reflect on the meaning of the symbols you have chosen to include in your ceremony, whether wine, candles, flowers or rings. 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!