Grooms: It takes two

Make sure the man of the match pulls his planning weight

There’s a time that comes in most men’s lives when they may have to turn down a pint in the pub for… (sharp intake of breath) an appointment with the florist. Yep fellas, we’re talking wedding planning.

From debating the finer points of flower arrangements to the pros and cons of soup as a starter – it’s probably the type of chat you would once have scoffed at, but in the run-up to the big day, you need to show some support.

Where once upon a time, the groom’s main responsibilities stopped at choosing a best man and buying the rings; these days, a more hands-on approach is generally appreciated. While every wedding varies in the amount of detail and input your bride-to-be will expect, many of the central aspects are decisions you probably wouldn’t want to miss out on anyway and it’s a chance to put your stamp on the event too.

Unless you’ve got a good excuse that stands in the way, choosing venues, caterers and entertainment are key decisions which need to be made together. This might mean missing out on a football game to soundcheck a band but we promise it’ll be worth it when the wedding comes around.

It doesn’t just stop with the big decisions – there’s a multitude of finishing touches such as cakes and favours to organise too. However, in many cases, your bride-to-be will need nothing more than a sympathetic ear or words of comfort – so bear that in mind if she’s up-to-her-eyes in wedding prep. It’s easy to get carried away with non-stop event planning and in many ways it will temporarily take over your life. A few treats such as a joint last-minute spa break or some festival fun will distract you both from months of big day domination.

On a final note, while no-one likes to talk about money, it’s important to establish who’s paying for what. Remember these days it’s now usual for both families to contribute, alongside the couple.

Even the most charismatic and confident bloke can feel daunted when you’re in the spotlight in front of a roomful of people. Whether you’re the best man, father-of-the-bride or even the bride, go online for handy hints on how to deliver a crowdpleasing speech. Practice, practice, practice – preferably in front of a pal and keep the content concise.

On the big day, it’s reassuring to have the speech with you, but avoid reading it like a script. Keep it natural and highlight key points instead. Remember the audience is your friend so don’t just whizz through your masterpiece.

If you’re expecting a laugh then pause, and cast your eyes over the room as you speak – it’s a powerful trick in maintaining attention. When it’s all over, you’ll probably be able to teach the Queen a thing or two about public speaking.

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