Now that you have proposed and are planning the wedding to the girl of your dreams, you may be wondering what’s next. At Al’s Formal Wear we want to make planning your big day go as smooth as possible. So we have composed some of the basic questions that every groom wants answered, but doesn’t know how to ask.
Guide to Getting Married
Who Pays for All This?
Let’s start with what’s on everyone’s minds, who pays for what? Below is a breakdown of the traditional rules of who is in charge of paying for each item. However, these rules can always be broken.
- Engagement Party
If there is more than one engagement party, the bride’s family hosts the first one.
If there is only one engagement party either family can host the party.
- Rehearsal Dinner
The groom’s family is responsible for planning and hosting the rehearsal dinner.
- Bridesmaids’ Lunch and the Groomsmen’s Dinner
The bride and groom show their thanks for all that their attendants have done by hosting a get-together.
- Shower/Bachelorette Party
The bridesmaids and maid of honor host the shower and bachelorette party.
- Bachelor Party
The best man, groomsmen and ushers host the bachelor party.
The bride and her family pay for the groom’s ring.
The groom and his family pay for both of the bride’s rings- the engagement ring and accompanying wedding band.
The bride and her family pay for all of the flowers in the church and at the reception, as well as the bouquets for the bridesmaids and flower girls.
The groom and his family pay for the bride’s bouquet, the boutonnieres for the men as well as the corsages for the mothers and grandmothers.
The bride and her family pay for all wedding photography and video, including engagement pictures.
- Invitations, Save the Dates & Announcements
The bride and her family pay for all of the invitations, announcements, save the dates, and programs.
The bride and her family pay for the church or synagogue as well as the organist and anyone else involved at the church.
The groom and his family pay for the officiant’s fee as well as the marriage license. Make sure that the best man has the officiant’s fee in his pocket to pay him after the ceremony concludes.
The bride and her family pay for the entire reception, including all food, drink, decorations and music.
The bride and her family are responsible for all of the transportation to and from the ceremony and reception.
The groom and his family are responsible for the entire honeymoon. (Don’t forget to book the airline tickets in the bride’s maiden name as her new last name will not yet be on any official documents.)
Coping with Wedding Stress
Once you are engaged, you might have a few days of engaged bliss before wedding planning ensues and stress takes over. With so many details to attend to, your fiancée may become a ‘bridezilla!’ Here are some tips on relieving stress in the months leading up to the wedding.
- Have a no-wedding weekend
For an entire weekend from Friday afternoon to Monday morning, do not talk about the wedding. Instead, spend time together and remember why you love each other and want to spend your lives together. Just have a relaxing weekend of the two of you enjoying each other. You might even want to get away to another city for a romantic getaway. It doesn’t have to be far, just far enough to have a break from wedding planning!
- Host a movie marathon
Have a weekend night set aside for just the two of you, to cuddle up on the couch and lose yourselves in the magic of movies. Rent a bunch of movies, pick both of your favorites or some that you have been meaning to see. You can even make it a theme night of romantic movies, comedies or horror flicks. So turn off your cell phones, pop some popcorn and grab your seat on the couch for a night away from deciding which flowers look better with which dress.
- Have a game night
Relieve the stress of planning your wedding by reverting back to childhood for a night. Get a bunch of your favorite board games (Life, Monopoly, Pictionary, etc.) or even a deck of cards and challenge your fiancé to a night of game play! Or play a game on your Wii or PS2. If you need to get out of the house, head over to a bowling alley or a go-kart track and let off some steam.
- Go on a nice date
You have most likely been saving money for the past few months to help supplement the wedding costs, so take a night off from saving and reward yourselves. Make reservations at a nice restaurant, dress up and go out and enjoy each other’s company for a night. Or if you both like working in the kitchen, have a romantic night in. Go to the grocery store and get all of the ingredients you need for a spectacular meal, and make sure to cook it together. Don’t forget flowers for the table. Get out a tablecloth, some candles, dim the lights and enjoy!
- Go on a picnic
If the weather permits, grab a blanket some good food and good wine and go to a local park and enjoy a few hours of quiet. Leave your cell phones in the car and just hang out together under the shade of huge tree. Bring a good book, take a much-deserved nap, or just catch up on non-wedding related gossip.
- Have a night out with your friends
Take a night to catch up with your friends. Plan a girl’s or a guy’s night out. More likely than not, you have not seen your friends in a non-wedding related setting since you have been engaged. Take some time to see what’s new in their lives. Don’t talk about the wedding at all, your friends are probably tired of hearing about it, and not having to talk about it will relieve some of the stress of planning it!
What to Wear
Since there are many different wedding styles, deciding what to wear can be difficult.
- To a formal evening wedding
Tuxedos are the appropriate attire for a formal evening event for the groom and his attendants. Also, tuxedos for the fathers of the bride and groom help them stand out as well. The tuxedos for the groom and his groomsmen do not have to match, but should all complement each other.
- To a daytime wedding
If it is a formal wedding, a morning coat is your best bet. This is a gray coat, often worn with an ascot and matching vest.
- To an afternoon wedding
While tuxedos are traditionally not to be worn before 6 p.m., the style today is for the groom and groomsmen to wear tuxedos to an afternoon affair.
- To a destination wedding
A cotton suit would be best for a beachside wedding. This is a lighter option than a tuxedo, and can be dressed up or down depending on the formality of the event. Be sure to check out Al’s Formal Wear’s suit section!
Picking the Perfect Tuxedo
Once you know what the style of your wedding will be, it is time to pick your perfect tuxedo.
- About 3 months before the wedding, head into your local Al’s Formal Wear and meet with one of our associates to help you pick the tuxedo that is the ideal match for your big day. When choosing your style, you can have your groomsmen match you exactly, or you can vary the tuxedo styles or colors, so that you stand out. Make sure to let your groomsmen know to go get fitted at the Al’s closest to them.
- If a groomsmen lives in a state that does not have an Al’s, have him go to a local tux rental shop and get measured. You can find an online measurement form on our Web site. He can then fill out his measurements on this form and submit it to the store where you registered your wedding party, and his tuxedo will be waiting for him when he arrives.
- A day or two before the wedding, make sure to pick up your tuxedo and try it on in the store. This will ensure that it fits on your wedding day.
On the day of your wedding, if you are getting ready somewhere besides your house, make sure to gather all of your accessories (especially the rings!) before you leave your house. If you do get dressed at your house, make sure to stow the rings somewhere safe before entrusting them to your best man
The Rehearsal Dinner
While the bride’s family is probably paying for most of the wedding, the rehearsal dinner is your family’s time to shine. This is a dinner hosted by the groom’s family the night before the wedding. It usually follows a run-through of the ceremony so no one is confused on the big day.
- The rehearsal dinner can be held in a fancy restaurant or in a loved one’s backyard. This dinner usually includes the immediate families of the bride and groom, their wedding party and respective dates, the officiant and significant other (if applicable) as well as out-of-town guests that have traveled far to be a part of your special day.
- This dinner is traditionally the time for toasts. This is the chance for all of your attendants to get up and say a few words or share a few embarrassing stories. It is also the time to give your attendants and your parents their gifts and express your thank you’s.
Wedding Party Gifts
All of your best friends have most likely been there every step of the way, and you want to show your appreciation for all they have done. Knowing how to truly thank your buddies can be a mystery, but don’t worry, Al’s Formal Wear has a wide variety of engravable groomsmen gifts to suit every taste.
- They sell everything from a personalized poker set to personalized picture frames. With 16 categories of gifts, so there is something for everyone. All of the gifts include free engraving, and all are reasonably priced to help the couple stay in budget.
- When you book your wedding with Al’s, you receive a 10% discount on groomsmen gifts.
- Your parents, as well as your future in-laws also deserve some thanks. Make sure to get them something to show them how thankful you are for everything they have done for you. Whether it is a photo frame with wedding pictures in it, or a nice dinner and night out, make sure it is tailored to them and shows just how appreciative you both are to them.
- Also, don’t forget to get a present for your lovely bride to tell her how much she means to you. Whether it be diamond earrings to match her ring for the wedding day, or a framed picture of the two of y’all from your first date with a note telling her how excited you are to spend the rest of your lives together, this will make her realize how lucky she is to have you.
Now that wedding plans are underway, it’s time to pick out the wedding bands.
- It is best to pick them out early, so that they can be ordered, and if there are any mistakes, there will be time to fix them!
- Normally shopping for the wedding band is something you would do together. How you pay for it is up to you, whether you split it or buy them as wedding gifts for each other.
- Remember, they do not have to match each other; they just have to suit you. Make sure that in 10 years, it will still be a style you like!
The Groom’s Cake
An increasingly popular, if not standard, trend is to have a groom’s cake that represents the groom.
The groom’s cake is usually a smaller cake than the wedding cake, but it is usually tailored to the groom. It can reflect hobbies, favorite sports teams, colleges, etc. Most bakeries that deal with wedding cakes can make artistic, unique groom’s cakes that suit your style.
How to make your beloved pet play a tasteful role in your wedding day:
- Once the families have all agreed to the idea of including your pet, you have infinite options for what you want your pet to do on your big day.
Most often, pets are the ring bearer and can be trained to walk down the aisle.
- The flower girl can also walk with your dog down the aisle.
- If you like horses, you can always make your big exit on horseback.
- If your pets have a mind of their own, and don’t always want to cooperate, you can always have your pictures taken with your pet, so they will always have a place in your special day.
While your bride will tackle most of the wedding plans, it is your job to plan what you look forward to the most, several days of relaxation and bliss, aka the honeymoon.
- If you have yet to decide on a location for the honeymoon, ask yourself what type of honeymoon you want. Do you want to relax on a private beach, go skiing, or cruise around the Caribbean?
- Once you have figured that out, research the type of honeymoon you want. Do you want to go all-inclusive? This has many advantages, as everything is included up front, so there are no extra costs. All-inclusive resorts are usually the cheapest way to go, and usually offer you the option of traveling to their other properties at no cost to you.
- If you are planning on going to the east coast, the Caribbean or Mexico remember that hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th. Also, make sure to get a passport if you don’t already have one!
- Since this trip will probably be your first week as man and wife, you want to surprise your wife and remind why she agreed to marry you. Call ahead to the hotel and have the concierge place flowers in the room, rose petals on the bed, and champagne chilling when you arrive. Your wife will be so pleasantly thrilled; it will set the mood for an even greater week.
The Marriage License
When the wedding day gets near, it is time to apply for the marriage license. Just like you need a license to drive, you need one to get married.
- The duration of the marriage license depends on the state you are getting married in. To get your marriage license, go to the county clerk’s office and apply.
- Both of you need to be present when applying for the license. Most of the time, you can get married immediately, but some states require a waiting period, which can be as long as 3 days.
- Make sure to bring the license with you to the ceremony, or else you can’t be legally married.
- Once you have signed the license post-ceremony you have to apply for a certified copy. This way you can receive a marriage certificate from the government.
- Once you are married, your wife might want to take your last name. If she chooses to do so, there are many places to apply the change.
- Once you receive your marriage certificate, your wife needs to apply for a new Social Security card. In order to do this, you can fill out an application at the local Social Security office, or fill out an online application and submit it to the office.
- After the new Social Security card arrives, your wife needs to get a new driver’s license.
- You wife also needs to change her information at her work, her bank, as well as her car registration, voter registration, and all bills and accounts.
Congratulations, you now know how to handle everything from Bridezilla to planning the honeymoon! At Al’s Formal Wear, we hope you treasure this special time before your wedding. Best of luck to you and your new wife, we hope you have a very happy future together.