What the groom needs to know
What the groom needs to know

  1. Who pays for what?

    Traditionally the groom and his family are responsible for the bride’s wedding and engagement rings, the hire and cost of your own clothes, the marriage licence, the officiant’s fee, the bridal party’s bouquets, corsages and buttonholes, gifts for the ushers and bridesmaids and the honeymoon – although these days there should be plenty of give and take on who pays for what.

  2. Choosing a best man

    More than anything else, asking someone to be your best man is a real compliment so pick your best friend or favourite brother but do think about who will handle the responsibility best.

  3. Ring the changes

    One of the first things to do is choose the rings with your bride-to-be. Whether you want to wear a ring is a question of your own personal preference – and that of your bride.

  4. Get involved

    It’s your wedding too so don’t get railroaded into things that just aren’t to your style or taste. If you have some definite ideas about what you want say early on which specific things you’d like to take responsibility for.

  5. Suits you, sir

    Whether you’re buying your suit off-the-peg or having one made there are a few things to look out for. “The most important feature of a suit is the shoulder line. It should be just wide enough to allow the sleeve to fall without being broken by the tricep,” says Christopher Modoo, the tailoring buyer at Ede & Ravenscroft (020-7734 5450). “A genuine bespoke suit is made to a unique pattern so expect to pay upwards of £2000. A made-to-measure suit is made on a stock pattern that is adjusted to your requirements. Prices are generally 30% higher than ready to wear.”

  6. Get groomed

    Vanessa Stepto, co-founder of Air Skincare, responsible for the cool men’s range pur:phuel (available at Boots and at www.mankind.co.uk), suggests that novice groomers start with a simple three-step plan as soon as possible before the wedding. “Use a gentle soap-free facial wash that doesn’t dry out the skin,” says Vanessa. “Then use vitamin-enriched shaving gel that counteracts any inflammation and finish with an oil-free moisturiser.”

  7. Learn to shave

    If you don’t do this now when will you ever learn – and there’s nothing like a good shave to make you feel great.

  8. A sporty little number

    If you’ve always wanted to drive a Lotus Elise, then this is your chance. Hire one to get you and your best man to the church on time and enjoy yourselves. Just don’t be late.

  9. Get your best man a great present.

    He’ll have looked after you through thick and thin – hopefully – so get him the coolest present ever to show you care.

  10. Look after your fiancée.

    This can be a stressful time for both of you but make sure you don’t lose sight of the reason for it all. Spend some quality time together – away from all the wedding planning.

  11. A stag night on the tiles
    This is your best man’s responsibility but make sure he’s clear on what you want, spell it out for him if you have to. And under no circumstances have it the night before the wedding, recovery time is essential.
  12. Wedding vows

    She won’t promise to “obey you”. Don’t ask.

  13. Booking the honeymoon

    By all means surprise her but make sure you have a very good idea of what she’s after so there’s no disappointment.

  14. The gift list

    If new china doesn’t set your heart racing just use a bit of imagination. There are loads of gift list companies that offer everything from wine, holidays, driving weekends and money towards your honeymoon.

  15. Speaking out

    The bridegroom’s speech is supposed to convey your thanks to the bride’s parents for both their daughter and the wedding, and also to thank your parents and the guests. Say a few words about the best man and address something exclusively to your bride about how happy you are today. You should finish by thanking the bridesmaids and by toasting them and your new wife.

  16. The gift list (part two)

    It’s traditional for the bride and groom to exchange gifts with each other on their wedding day and you should put some real thought into it. A piece of jewellery is traditional but it can be any kind of meaningful memento.

  17. Hire baby

    Double-check all the hire suits for your ushers at least a week before the wedding so that any missing items/wrong sizes can be rectified. Also check that they all have cufflinks.

  18. Wedding morning checklist:


    Wedding rings?

    Speech notes?

    Thank-you gifts?

    First night luggage?

    Going away outfit?

    Car keys?

  19. It’s been emotional

    Carry a handkerchief during the ceremony. You never know, you both might need one and wedding dresses don’t have pockets.

  20. Just enjoy yourself

    It’s likely that some things on your wedding day won’t go to plan but if you do have bad weather or one of your ushers doesn’t have the right suit nobody will really care. Try not to worry, look after your new wife and revel in all the attention on what should be one of the happiest days of your life.

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