Tall, handsome, kind to small animals… Not THAT list! This is a checklist of things for grooms to do and bring for the wedding. No matter how great we wonderful men are, we still get stressed in the run up to the big day. It’s nothing to do with cold feet. We want everything to go perfectly for our lady and we’re worried we forgot to book the vicar’s limousine. I’m joking bro. That’s not even a thing.
What’s the opposite of stressed? Lists! I use lists for things I want to do the right way every time. I don’t worry about whether I’ve got enough memory cards, charged all the different kinds of batteries, checked the weather, filled the car, polished the shoes, etc. I just go through my list of 114 things which starts the night before the wedding and walk out the door laughing. Don’t worry, yours isn’t that long.
Obviously your mileage will vary so this will be a starting point for you. Think carefully through your morning, day and going-away, noting everything you will need down to socks and cufflinks. Then list everything you need to do so you’ll have these things ready. Literally think it through – if you arrive in your car and leave in the Rolls, you’ll need to transfer your suitcase to another car that’s going to the reception (the Rolls isn’t at the church yet).
The day before or earlier:
Think about transport – You’ll leave the church in the limo, so have your best man drive you there. If the bridesmaids arrived in the bride’s car, someone else needs to take them and their many bags to the reception. Do you need to pre-drop your car at the hotel to drive your wife home the morning after the wedding? Check they’ve all got petrol.
Send your bride a card and gift – Send it with a messenger, not royal mail. It’s an unusual and nervous night and morning for her without you. Remind her you can’t wait to marry her and say something personal. Don’t over-plan the detail on surprises though. She’ll be really busy in the morning.
Charge your phone – Just for emergencies. Selfie emergencies.
Review the plan – Make a note of local taxis and suppliers numbers, including the photographer. Photographers are extremely resourceful and prepared people that can do amazing things for you in an emergency. Review the timetable for the day. Take charge a little. Check up on the band yourself and don’t keep asking your wife questions about what’s next. She’ll love it.
Relax about the speech – Honestly, yours is the easiest. You’re going to be fine. Just thank people and say how beautiful the bride looks and how proud you are. What do Winston Churchill, Seth Godin and Nelson Mandela have in common? They speak slowly.
Check your clothes – Iron the shirt, polish the shoes. Check you’ve got cufflinks, the full suit, silk hankie (just for show), special socks and pants. Check you know how to tie the tie/cravat, else you’re in for a lovely evening of youtube videos and swearing at the mirror.
Set your alarms – Obvs.
Pack your first night bag – Assuming you’re not going from the reception to the airport but you’re staying somewhere for a night first, get the bag packed now.
The morning of the wedding:
Groom-ing – Get up and groomed plenty early. Sometimes it takes a couple of goes to get the hair right or catch the bits you missed shaving. No point rushing it at the end. And if you’re ready early you get to stand around congratulating each other on how great you look. And you do.
Eat some breakfast – The reception dinner is fairly late in the day. You might even need to squeeze a sneaky sandwich in the limo or a snickers in your pocket. All your guests will. Better?
Brush your teeth – After breakfast and coffee. There’s a lo-hot of hugging and kissing going on today.
Have a quick snifter – If you like but do not, I repeat do NOT overdo it. You will be unpopular for the rest of your life. Registrars are officious types who might not even marry you if you’re drunk. And that’s the kind of reputation that stays with a man.
To pack and take with you: (or check if you packed it earlier)
Rings – Eyes on the rings, not the boxes. If the BM has them, say you just need to check something. Oh good, we did get the round kind. I thought so.
Speech – Two copies to be safe. I don’t think it looks nice reading it off your phone. Print it out.
Buttonholes – Take with you to the church so the seatbelt doesn’t crush them and some nice female will enjoy pinning it on you, even if you don’t need help. By the way it goes on your left (the side with the button hole!) Traditionally woman are the opposite.
Stealthy wet wipes and deodorant – Man those suits get HOT in the summer.
Fabric hankerchief, not tissues – Do you have any idea how superb you will look
if when your bride sheds a little tear, and you produce a nice hankie from your pocket for her? While we’re on the subject, give her your jacket if it’s cold. Don’t ask, she’ll say no. Just put it on her shoulders, being very careful to keep the veil outside it. Hearts will melt and everyone you know will tell everyone they know that you are “one hell of a guy”.
Several big umbrellas – Don’t have to be fancy white ones. If it’s raining, no one will give a damn what colour they are.
Snickers, water, paracetamol, hayfever pills as required
Night away bag
Once you’re all set, step out confidently and enjoy yourself. Smile, shake people’s hands and be proud. Don’t sweat the details, leave that to us. Straighten your cuffs like James Bond and don’t forget to tell your bride how stunning she looks when you see her.