Groom's countdown
Groom's countdown

As soon as possible / 12 months to go

  • Tell friends and family - and make newspaper announcements.
  • Find your venue and book a celebrant - but get written confirmation of both before announcing a date.
  • Find out what you are responsible for. The groom generally looks after the costs for the ceremony, the music, the bride's ring, transport, the first night hotel and the honeymoon - and set a realistic budget for everything.
  • Decide on the guest list.
  • Choose your best man - he needs to be supportive and organised.

9 months to go

  • Help your fiancée organise the engagement party.
  • If you're worried about looking good, start a fitness regime.

5 months to go

  • Choose your ushers
  • Discuss with the best man what kind of stag night you would like and who you want to invite.

4 months to go

  • Choose your outfits and hire any that need to be hired to allow enough time for alterations to be carried out.
  • Confirm transport arrangements with your best man.

3 months to go

  • Arrange a second meeting with your minister, priest or rabbi to discuss the service and agree a date for the publication of banns or give notice of the marriage to the superintendent registrar.
  • Book your first night hotel and honeymoon.
  • Check passports and inoculations if necessary.
  • Organise your gift list.
  • Choose the wedding rings.
  • If you're having one book a DJ or band
  • Check with your bride that she is coping with everything and, if she's not, help her! There's still the cake, photographer and the florist to arrange...

2 months

  • Post invites
  • Reconfirm all bookings.
  • Choose presents for attendants.

4 weeks to go

  • Make sure everyone involved in the wedding knows what's happening when.
  • Write and practise your speech.
  • Mentally prepare yourself for the stag night...

3 weeks to go

  • Pack for your honeymoon and order travellers cheques.
  • Confirm the number of guests with your caterer.

1 week to go

  • Arrange a rehearsal.
  • Confirm all arrangements in writing.
  • Practise your speech
  • Learn your vows so you can look at your wife-to-be and not the celebrant as you say them.
  • Collect hired outfits.
  • Make sure your best man and ushers have tried on outfits, as well as accessories such as cufflinks.

1 day to go

  • Help decorate venue if necessary.
  • Have honeymoon luggage - including documents, tickets, passports - sent to reception venue.
  • In the evening relax over a beer with your best man - not too many though.

The big day

  • Make your way to the ceremony and leave plenty of time.
  • Make sure you have
  • Your buttonhole
  • A change of clothes for the next day
  • Emergency spare change
  • Your speech notes
  • Thank you gifts
  • Your going-away car keys if you're driving

The rest of the day...

  • Groom - The important bit's finished with and after your speech you can sit back and let your best man take charge.
  • Keep your speech short and simple and remember to thank the bride's parents for their lovely daughter and also to thank your parents, the guests, the best man and the bridesmaids. Give out presents to both sets of parents and all the attendants. Remember to say something exclusively to the bride about how happy you are today.
  • Relax... Your main job is done. Enjoy yourself and look after your new wife. Let the best man look after any minor problems - that's what he's there for.
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Who does what at your wedding: the bridesmaids

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