- Who pays for what?
Traditionally the groom and his family are responsible for the brides wedding and engagement rings, the hire and cost of your own clothes, the marriage licence, the officiants fee, the bridal partys 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Get involved
Its your wedding too so dont get railroaded into things that just arent to your style or taste. If you have some definite ideas about what you want say early on which specific things youd like to take responsibility for.
- Suits you, sir
Whether youre 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.
- Get groomed
Vanessa Stepto, co-founder of Air Skincare, responsible for the cool mens 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 doesnt dry out the skin, says Vanessa. Then use vitamin-enriched shaving gel that counteracts any inflammation and finish with an oil-free moisturiser.
- Learn to shave
If you dont do this now when will you ever learn and theres nothing like a good shave to make you feel great.
- A sporty little number
If youve 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 dont be late.
- Get your best man a great present.
Hell have looked after you through thick and thin hopefully so get him the coolest present ever to show you care.
- Look after your fiancée.
This can be a stressful time for both of you but make sure you dont lose sight of the reason for it all. Spend some quality time together away from all the wedding planning.
- A stag night on the tiles
This is your best mans responsibility but make sure hes 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.
- Wedding vows
She wont promise to obey you. Dont ask.
- Booking the honeymoon
By all means surprise her but make sure you have a very good idea of what shes after so theres no disappointment.
- The gift list
If new china doesnt 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.
- Speaking out
The bridegrooms speech is supposed to convey your thanks to the brides 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.
- The gift list (part two)
Its 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.
- 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.
- Wedding morning checklist:
First night luggage?
Going away outfit?
- Its been emotional
Carry a handkerchief during the ceremony. You never know, you both might need one and wedding dresses dont have pockets.
- Just enjoy yourself
Its likely that some things on your wedding day wont go to plan but if you do have bad weather or one of your ushers doesnt 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.