When it comes to staying happy and chill during the wedding planning process, most of the concern tends to go to the bride. You hardly ever hear of “Groomzillas,” or the groom breaking down in tears because the flower arrangements were wilted. The popular perception is that the bride is handling all the planning, the groom is waiting it out for the bachelor party, and the stress of the day falls on everyone but him. That’s a stereotype, of course–many grooms are just as stressed out and busy planning a wedding as the bride–but that stereotype can be a trap for an unsuspecting groom. With that in mind, here are five resolutions for a happy groom up to and during the wedding.
Resolve to be involved in wedding planning
What color will the flower arrangements be? What flavor filling do you want in the cake? Do you like the crepe paper streamers, or do these silk ones look better? Should we do luminaries or candles in mason jars to line the aisle? When you’re planning a wedding, there are hundreds of questions to answer. And let’s be honest, for a typical guy, most of them you won’t feel strongly either way. But this is the time for you step up and let your bride-to-be know that you’re there to support her. What matters to her matters to you. So resist the urge to let your eyes glaze over, explore all those endless options, and actually form an opinion. And who knows? You may find you have strong feelings about taupe and sage versus ecru and olive for your wedding colors.
Resolve not to overdo the bachelor party
You know those really crazy bachelor parties you hear about, where there are gallons of booze and other illicit substances pounded down between rounds of ogling and groping strippers? Sounds great, right? How do you suppose they sound to your bride-to-be? If you have to celebrate your “last free night” that hard, are you sure you should be getting married at all? Don’t feel like you have to spend that bachelor party getting lap dances while doing beer bongs. If your best man is on point, he’ll arrange a party that celebrates male bonding without jeopardizing your relationship or giving you a splitting hangover for the big day. Make sure you let him know that although you’re not married yet, you do care about your bride’s feelings, and you don’t need to have the “most epic party, brah” to feel ready to marry her.
Resolve to feel free to cry
I hope that, in the year of our Lord two thousand and fifteen, I don’t need to say this, but just to make sure: showing emotions is A-Okay, especially on your wedding day. If you feel those tears start to well when you look into your new bride’s eyes, let them flow. Just keep a pocket square tucked into your suit pocket to clean up afterward, and let everyone see just how strongly you feel about your wedding day and that you truly are a very happy groom.
Resolve to make couple time during the reception
The reception is a huge party–mine was the best party I’ve ever thrown or attended–and it’s easy to get caught up in visiting with friends and relatives. There will be people at your wedding you haven’t seen in years, and people you see all the time but love hanging out with. With all that socializing, drinking, and dancing to do, you often see the bride and groom working different sides of the room for the entire night, coming together only for the dances and toasts. So make sure you take a little extra time to connect with your new spouse, so that your memories of the reception will be shared, not solo. This can go a long way towards creating a happy groom for many years down the line.
Resolve to be in the moment
All that planning, all that rehearsing, all those nerves, and it’s over so fast. Before you know it, you’ll be off on the honeymoon, the wedding rapidly becoming a series of memories and photos. So try and let the nerves go, stay alert, take it all in. Use all five senses. Make those memories strong ones. And, you know, maybe don’t have that last couple of drinks at the reception–they can definitely blur those precious memories.