Congratulations! You’ve popped the question, she’s said yes and you’re probably wondering… what’s next?! As your other half frantically gets stuck into Pinterest, bridal magazines and wedding apps galore, you may be tempted to sit back and watch your wedding day magically unfold. However, today’s modern groom is expected to do a little more than simply propose and show up in a sharp new suit. But don’t panic. We’ve done the heavy wedding lifting for you, thanks to our handy Groom’s Guide, containing EVERYTHING you need do know about wedding planning.
THE GROOM’S 12-MONTH ESSENTIAL CHECKLIST
Typically, the majority of couples will take two years to plan their wedding, but it’s at the 12-month mark when things really start to get serious. So with this in mind, here’s your handy 12-month checklist, containing your most essential to-dos.
12 months before
Talk numbers: At this stage, your venue should already be booked and plans for your ceremony and reception will be falling into place. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to sit down with your partner and decide on numbers. Get critical about who your real friends are and decide whether you actually need to invite the entire football team you played a match with, that one time, two years ago.
Choose your groomsmen: If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to ask for support in the form of your best man and groomsmen. Typically, (although definitely not necessary), most wedding parties have an equal number of groomsmen and bridesmaids.
9 months before
Book the officiant: Whether it’s a priest, rabbi, minister, registrar or officially sanctioned Elvis impersonator (the choice is yours), now is the time to secure your ceremony officiant.
Book the talent: By this, we mean entertainment! The groom is usually heavily involved in the music proportion of the wedding so decide whether you want a band, Dj, singer, instrumentalist. Get references and most importantly, listen to their music beforehand. You’ll need your bride’s sign off on this one too.
6 months before
Plan your honeymoon: Traditionally, this was left to the groom but couples typically do this together these days. However, with the bride doing so much, this is a good one to take control of, because surprises are always great. Choose a destination and check that your passports and still in date.
Arrange transportation: You’ll need to get yourself and your groomsmen to both the ceremony and reception. Decide whether you’re driving or hiring cars. Again, liaise with the bride as she may not be on board with your dreams of hiring a Ferrari for the big day.
3 months before:
Accommodation woes: Those out-of-town guests will need somewhere to stay, and unless you’ve got a dozen spare bedrooms, a hotel or B&B is the perfect option. Typically, your venue will block out a set number of rooms for guests so just double check everyone is sorted for somewhere to stay.
Send the invites: Your numbers should be solid at this stage and signed off by the bride, groom and parents so pop these in the post.
Sort your suits: Again, bridal approval is needed here (are you seeing a pattern yet?). Decide whether you’re renting or buying, what style and colour you’re after and arrange a time that suits all your groomsmen to meet for a fitting (have fun with this one). We’ve dug a little deeper into choosing wedding suits below.
Put a ring on it: Take a trip to the jeweller and choose your wedding bands.
6-8 weeks before:
Purchase a gift for the bride: You’d think the wedding would be enough, but in reality, giving your bride a gift on the morning of the wedding is a tradition that definitely isn’t going away anytime soon. Give it some thought, make it memorable and personal and she’ll never forget the moment.
Gifts for the groomsmen: They
definitely haven’t done very much (and they got a free suit into the bargain) but now is the time to pick out gifts for your groomsmen. Be as sentimental or as silly as you like here.
Set off on your stag-do: Hopefully, you won’t have had to do very much planning, (thanks to your best man), so just turn up and have fun!
1-2 weeks before:
Pick up your marriage license: Yup, it’s another menial, but essential one. And for goodness sake, don’t lose it.
Same goes for the rings: Better still, if you trust the best man, give them to him. They’re his problem responsibility now.
Bills, bills, bills: All those suppliers, officiants etc will need paid so cross that off your list this week.
Double check reservations: Check everything for your honeymoon is in order, pick up currency and pack your bags.
Write your speech: The BIG moment has arrived. If you find yourself in a bit of a tizzy, check out our guide on how to deliver an epic wedding speech, nerve-free, here.
Who, what, where, why & when: Make sure your groomsmen are aware of timings, transportation and travel arrangements.
Deliveries: Take (several) trips to the reception, delivering any favours etc for the big day.
Collect your suits: If you can’t assign this to anyone else, it’s all on you. If you’re all getting ready in the same location, drop the suits off there.
Get a hair cut: If you haven’t done so already, hit the barbers for the full works.
Relax: If there’s any time left, pop your feet up!
SUITS YOU: THE GROOM’S GUIDE TO WEDDING SUIT SHOPPING
It’ll come as no surprise (hopefully) that one of the biggest tasks faced by the groom is suit shopping. While (thankfully) the bride will lend a helping hand, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an idea of what you want.
Whether you see yourself as somewhat fashion forward, or just fancy being as involved as possible so that you choose as suit that matches your personal style, here we share some questions to ask yourself in order to help decide which suit best suits you and the style of your wedding day best.
Formal or casual?
The first thing to determine is the style of your wedding, as this will help give you a better idea of what to choose for your day. If your wedding falls on the more formal side, typically your options include:
The morning dress/suit: The traditional choice of groomswear, this consists of a tailcoat and striped trousers (Think Prince William and Harry).
The tux: The classic black-tie evening wear, is usually reserved for formal occasions and consists of trousers with a satin stripe down the side and bow-tie, both of which are usually black.
In recent years, there has been a sway from traditional/more formal attire, with men (thankfully) choosing to do things their own way. Nowadays, the groom is choosing a more laid-back look, which is every bit as smart. The casual corner includes:
Modern day suit: Usually slim fit and more tailored, this simple yet elegant option is favoured by many grooms, and affords the chance to evoke your own personal style thanks to the addition of a colourful tie which coordinates with the bridal party.
3-piece suit: Again, this is usually more slimline in its silhouette, this time with the addition of a waistcoat. The perfect alternative for the man who wants to perfectly balance modernity with a touch of formality, the detail is all in the accessories here.
No-jacket: More popular for a summer wedding, or wedding abroad, this relaxed and informal look comprises of a waistcoat and tie or bowtie. Often after the photos, many grooms will ditch their jackets and adopt this look anyway.
Do I match my surroundings?
In a way, yes. Rather than trying to match your surroundings, your aim is to complement them. For example, if you’re hosting a black-tie dress code in a stately home, a tweed suit may be less appropriate than a tux. Likewise, a 100% wool suit during the height of summer isn’t ideal. Take the venue, style of your wedding, time and year and colours into consideration. If, for instance, the bride’s bouquet contains lilac flowers, a nice way to draw on this is to choose a tie in a similar hue.
How do I determine my style?
If you don’t have a clear-cut vision of what you want, just like the bride would do when deciding on her dress, look to magazines or websites for inspiration. In a nutshell, this is the most important suit you’ll ever wear, you’ll be wearing it all day, be photographed in it and therefore you should love it.
How should it fit?
It should be snug, yet comfortable. There’s nothing worse than an ill-fitting suit and whether it’s too big or too small, it’ll be obvious that you’re uncomfortable wearing it. When walking, standing and sitting, you should feel at ease.
Should I get measured?
Yes! Whether you’re buying from a high-street store, a specialist suit shop or a tailor, having proper measurements taken by a professional will go a long way in ensuring your suit fits perfectly.
Do my groomsmen wear the same as me?
Generally, this differs. Most grooms choose to have their groomsmen wearing the same suits, with perhaps a different coloured tie for themselves, while some opt for a suit of one style for themselves, with their groomsmen in differentiated styles. It’s all about your personal style and what you and your bride-to-be envision for your wedding day.
Should I hire, buy or go bespoke
Essentially, this all depends on your budget. For years, hiring suits was the most popular option as it kept spending down. But with grooms (deservedly) choosing to evoke their own sense of style, more are choosing to buy or have a suit made. If this option is best for you, remember to opt for a suit that is timeless so that you will wear it more than once.
ACCESSORIES FOR THE GROOM
If the suit makes the man, then it’s definitely the finishing touches that make the groom! Ensure your wedding day attire carries oodles of personality thanks to the perfect accessories.
Here’s what you need to know…
Neckwear: Silk, satin, wool or knit… bowtie, tie or cravat… whichever style of suit you choose, compliment it with your favourite style of neckwear. This affords you an easy opportunity to add your own stamp to your wedding attire.
Cufflinks: This small but mighty accessory definitely packs a fashionable punch. Cufflinks have evolved over the years to offer both form and function. One of our favourite things is to see what grooms have come up with next. Whether it’s a chosen hobby or tribute to your favourite sporting event, we say the quirkier the better. Plus, that way, you’ll definitely get guests talking.
Pocket squares: An unexpected pop of colour or pattern peeking from the breast pocket of a groom’s jacket makes a subtle style statement. Whether you choose plain, patterned, bold or subdued, just make sure it’s folded to perfection or risk it looking awkward and out of place.
Shoes: Put your best foot forward in shoes which not only complement your suit, but evoke a sense of your personal style. From classic black and brown lace ups, to patent-and-calf leather oxfords, and even Converse for the groom who dares to be different, shoes serve as the pièce de résistance.
Others: Colourful socks, braces and pocket watches have all been known to make an appearance at weddings.
And so you have it – your wedding day duties and dress code are sorted! Happy planning.
Want more? Check out part 1 and part 2 of our Grooms’ Guide series.
- Part 1: How to overcome nerves & deliver a killer wedding speech, click here
- Part 2: Interview with Red Groomswear, click here
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