Wedding planning is all about picking your battles. As anyone who’s done it knows, it can be a labour-intensive process, especially if you’re wanting a unique experience. Vendors must be interviewed, spreadsheets created, menus curated, centrepieces designed – the list goes on. At InStitchu, we think the key is knowing when to have an opinion, when to help and when to walk away.
Once you seal the deal with an engagement ring, it’s important to set a game plan. Having a game plan and being prepared will keep you from losing perspective and freaking out over the little things. This time should be fun and exciting, not filled with debates or teary meltdowns.
The saying goes, ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’– and this is never more clear than when the planets are preparing to fall into alignment forever. You may share the view of George Banks of ‘Father of the Bride’ when he says “Boy and girl meet; they fall in love; he buys a ring; she buys a dress; they say I do.” But to your fiance, a wedding might be so much more than this. It’s the result of countless hours of planning, dreaming, crafting and creating. It’s a day that will be remembered forever.
So what can you do to nurture this? What can you do to ensure your bride-to-be gets the day she deserves? You can start by ticking off this checklist….
1. Establish a date
Until you have a date set, there’s little point in planning your wedding. Besides, the time of year in which you get married will impact many other aspects of your big day. Things you’ll want to consider when choosing a date include:
- What’s our budget?
- How long do we want to be engaged?
- What’s my favourite season?
- Does it have to be a weekend?
- Are there any dates of significance?
- Are there any conflicting events?
- What’s available?
- Who do we want to invite?
Once you’ve agreed on your date, you’ll want to start spreading the news. Start with the people closest to you and send out ‘Save the Date’ cards. Some guests may need to work out travel arrangements and book time off work, so the more notice you offer, the easier it is for your guests.
2. Choose your best man, groomsmen and ushers
The best man has an assortment of responsibilities both before and during your wedding, so you want to choose someone you can rely on. He should be ready to run last-minute-errands, be happy to handle the unexpected, and not be the wildest one at your buck’s party. If you’re lucky enough to have two men you want to be best man, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask both. Just be sure to clearly define individual responsibilities early on. If you can’t decide between your best friends, consider asking a family member, such as your brother.
Your groomsmen will be expected to attend all pre-wedding festivities and help the best man prepare for your buck’s party. Depending on the number of bridesmaids your wife-to-be has chosen, they may be required to escort bridesmaids in and out of the ceremony and be by their side in photographs.
If you have a large number of guests attending, ushers are a great idea, as they can help guests be seated and be the source of information on your special day. For this reason they should be responsible and trustworthy. As a general rule, it’s great to have one usher for every 30-40 guests.
3. Arrange a visit with minister/wedding officiant
Wedding officiants can get booked up early, so allow plenty of time to start interviewing. Don’t just settle on the first one you meet, as the officiant you choose can enrich your overall wedding experience. If you’re holding a religious ceremony, your minister may want to get to know you as a couple and may require several meetings with you to discuss marriage as a whole and what it means to you. For a civil ceremony, you may want to discuss vow options or the possibility of writing your own.
4. Organise your wedding attire
By now you will have decided on the style and overall feel for the wedding, meaning you should have a good idea about the kind of suit you and your groomsmen should wear. For a traditional, more formal event, a classic tuxedo with a notch, shawl or peak label is ideal. Slim-fit silhouettes are on-trend, as are shades of grey. Destination or beach weddings may call for more relaxed attire and lighter colours.
Your wedding suit is your chance to shine, so make it a good one. It needs to differ from the suits you wear to work and all the normal rules of ‘finding a suit to match your day-to-day life’ go out the window. You suit needs to fit beautifully, photograph well and offer unique detail.
You should also chat with your fiance to subtly match your attire – think a pocket square made out of the same fabric as your bride’s dress, or matching your groomsmen’s ties to the bridesmaids’ dresses. Accessories can make all the difference.
5. Arrange transportation
Many brides are happy to let their men choose how they arrive and leave their wedding. Formal vehicles are in high demand, so you’ll want to book early. Your transportation should match the wedding theme, so if you’re planning a vintage wedding, look beyond the white stretch limo. Your ride, your bride’s ride, and your bridesmaids’ ride should fit in with the overall vision.
6. Order wedding rings
Your wedding ring is on YOUR finger, so it doesn’t have to match your wife’s. Many women choose to have their wedding band in the same metal as their engagement ring, but what you wear is up to you. Your ring should match your lifestyle, so consider if work or your hobbies pose potential risk of damage. If so, durability is a must and you should refrain from including any precious stones. Lower-karat gold is more durable than higher-karat gold and silver because it’s alloyed with stronger metals. If you were hoping for a platinum band, palladium could be a good option because it’s durable yet light.
7. Pick the music
The music can make or break your wedding, so make sure it’s good. If you have a band, take a look through their playlist and highlight your favourites and least favourites. If you have a request or two, there’s no harm in asking them to learn a new song, as long as you give them time. If you’re creating a playlist yourself, start with what you know and your existing music collection. Break it up into parts of the day i.e. pre-ceremony, the aisle, cocktail hour, dinner and dance party. Ask around for suggestions, but never feel obliged to include them.
8. Order boutonnieres and a corsage for Mum
To tie your groomsmen in with the bridesmaids, you’ll want a boutonniere for each. A boutonniere is a floral decoration worn by men, typically a single flower or bud. Giving a corsage to your mother is seen as a gesture of appreciation. If you’re not sure what colour your mother is wearing, opt for something neutral.
9. Choose gifts for your attendants
A gift for your best man and groomsmen is tradition, but just what you get them is open for discussion. Try to make it unique and personal. Ideas include an engraved flask, a set of cufflinks, a watch to match their suit, or personalised socks or boxers.
10. Have fun
The most important part of your wedding is to enjoy the process – be it the planning, the bucks, or the day itself. If you’re not a big fan of planning then talk to your wife-to-be and ask her about what she expects from you.
If you feel like you’d like to take on more wedding duties, talk to her about that too. There are tons of other things to get involved in – like cake tasting, flower picking, honeymoon planning, gift registering, menu planning, invitation and thank you card writing, and more. Take on what you are willing – she’ll probably be happy to get something off her plate!
Ms Chinoiserie Says: The most important thing about preparing for your wedding is to have fun as a couple; enjoy these special planning moments together!
About Institchu: We believe that every man should be able to afford high quality tailored suits and shirts. Our customers order by designing their own tailored suit or shirt from scratch or can use an existing design from our collections page. With a guaranteed fit policy, we have strict quality control procedures to ensure our tailored suits and shirts meet the highest quality standards expected by our customers.