Planning a wedding is, needless to say, a tremendous amount of work.  Lucky for you, every groom-to-be has a very manageable to-do list.  You might be feeling overwhelmed, but don’t forget to keep it all in perspective.  In the grand scheme of things, you can TOTALLY do this.

As you prepare for your upcoming nuptials, keep this list of duties for the groom handy.  Once you get each item checked off, you’ll be that much closer to “I do.”  Even better—your bride will be delighted.

Be There For Your Bride: Above all else, make yourself emotionally available to your bride-to-be.  She has a lot on her mind and she’ll likely be asking for your opinion on all kinds of wedding-day minutia.  Even if you instinctually have no preference when it comes to cake flavors and reception centerpieces, be supportive, offer an opinion, and reassure your fiancée in her decision-making process.  Most importantly of all, make sure you (or your parents) are pitching in financially.  No family of the bride should ever have to shoulder the wedding bills alone.  Grooms traditionally cover (at minimum) the expense of the flowers, the rings, and the honeymoon.

Organize Your Groomsmen: This should be easy—start by selecting your groomsmen.  Once you’ve decided on your wedding attendants, select everyone’s wedding attire (including your own).  If everyone lives locally and you feel like you need some help making decisions, take the guys along with you and let them give some input.  Make sure everyone is fitted and that they’ve submitted their measurements to the tailor.  While you’re there, make sure you decide on the details like boutonnieres, ties, etc. Don’t forget, accessories like cufflinks can also double as groomsmen gifts and, to go that extra mile, have them engraved by companies like Groomstand.

Help Create a Guest List: Put your future mother-in-law at ease by providing a realistic guest list for your side of the family (preferably 3 months before the wedding date).  Be mindful of the wedding venue and the total guest count that’s been defined by both families.

Wedding Rings: If you haven’t done so already, select your fiancée’s engagement ring and wedding band.  Consider getting the wedding band personalized with something meaningful like your wedding date.  But don’t be surprised if your bride-to-be takes a playful jab at you when she gets your ring engraved.  There have been plenty of grooms that have found themselves wearing bands that say something clever like “PUT IT BACK ON.”  It is what it is!

Marriage License: With as many details as your bride will be worrying about, she may not have the marriage license anywhere on her radar.  Take charge and make sure you work on this ahead of time.  Never leave this checklist item to the last minute.  And above all else… bring the license with you on the day of the wedding!

Vows: Are you writing your own vows?  If so, get an early start.  Think about all the reasons you fell in love with your bride-to-be and all the reasons you never want to let her go.  You’ll also want to incorporate a well-thought-out list of promises.  What is it that you want to pledge to her more than anything else?

Wedding Toast: Now that you’ve dusted off your writing cap, keep it on!  You’ll likely need to make a wedding toast.  Feel free to integrate some humor (especially if referring to members of the wedding party), but keep it classy when referring to your new wife.  All eyes (and ears) will be on you.

Transportation: How do you see yourself whisking your bride away after the party’s over?  Whatever it is—make it happen! And don’t forget that you’ll have to help your wedding party travel from the ceremony to the reception, so why not treat them to a limo?

Honeymoon: This… you can have fun with!  A lot of grooms get free reign when it comes to the honeymoon details, many even keeping the location as a surprise for their bride.  You can even chalk it up as a wedding gift for your wife.  It doesn’t always have to be exotic or over-the-top expensive.  Just make it special and memorable; something the two of you can always look back on with fond memories.  If, however, you are planning on traveling out of the country you’ll need to make sure you cover all your bases.  Arrange for traveler’s checks and official documents that may be required (passports, etc.).

Feeling overwhelmed?

Don’t let your checklist set you in a panic.  Take it a piece at a time.  Dedicate a week or two to focus on each individual item.  You’ll be prepped and ready for the altar in no time.

Photo by Craig Photography of Pittsburgh