From The Straits Times    |


It used to be that the groom stayed in the shadows while the bride basked in the limelight and parents were the wedding planners.

Now, the modern groom is a little different. He doesn’t mind rolling up his shirt cuffs and getting involved in the planning nitty gritty! After all, it’s his big day, too. So here are a few ways to get your groom-to-be nudged in the right direction.

Define his role
It’s always easier to get involved if it’s work he’d like to do rather than work he has to do. Ask if he’d like to pick out the bridal car or floral centrepieces for the reception. Defining his role early makes your life a little easier during the planning phase. 

But before he does, discuss with one another on the duties you’d each prefer to take on, like picking out the band or wedding photographers.

Let him help with the research
Whether it’s gown designers, venues, jewellery, photographers, or honeymoon destinations, it is usually a case of too many choices, too little time. There are hundreds of choices to make, and it helps if someone can whittle down the list of “possibles” into a more manageable list of “probables”.

You can guide him towards wedding magazines, or, if that’s too girly for him, the Internet is another huge resource. Set a date and compile a list of tips and tricks on how to plan and execute a wedding – you’ll have a clearer idea for organisation.

Seek his help with the nitty gritty
Most women prefer to dictate the where, when, why and how of the wedding. But they dislike making the actual arrangements like asking for quotes from hotels, making appointments with florists and scheduling meetings with the photographer.

To begin, prepare a list of people for him to help call or to make appointments with. Also, see if he can help with any paperwork, like preparing documents for the Registry of Marriages and vetting contracts with vendors.

Let him be the accountant
When you’ve both decided on the wedding budget, someone has to keep track of the spending.

If he’s better with numbers, let him take on the role so you don’t get bogged down juggling them. Both of you should keep all the receipts and depost slips for everything you buy or book, and keep track of your total expenditure (in a small notebook or on your phone) so that you can tell where and when you’ve overspent.

Learn to use a spreadsheet application like Microsoft Excel to track where each cent goes. If you do overspend on one aspect of the wedding, a detailed budget overview on a spreadsheet lets you see easily where costs can be trimmed elsewhere.

Let him pick his own wedding wear
He would know what suits him best, so send a few men’s fashion magazines and Pinterest pins his way as reference. There, he can check out the styles, fabrics and colours he would like for his own outfits. Get him to snap a few pictures or make clippings of what he likes and show them to you so that you can both decide together what you’ll be wearing when you say “I do”. 

Get him to start your wedding website
It’s the “must-have” wedding accessory of the digital age. So while you’re busy with the mainstream concerns of the wedding, ask if he can help put up the site.

You can suggest bulletin boards where friends and family can offer words of encouragement or advice during the planning stages of the wedding.

Many sites also offer online software applications to help with the budget, manage the guest list, and even allow your guests to RSVP online.

Put him in charge of the wedding party
If you’re tied up with other last-minute errands on your wedding day, seek his help to hold meetings and brief the wedding party on their duties for the day. Also, you should both appoint an able deputy to run the operation, so you can both sit back and enjoy your special day while the wedding runs itself.

Being the host
This is something you should both discuss before the actual day arrives. Depending on who prefers the task, it’s usually onto the groom to play host during the hour before the festivities begin, while the bride gets her hair and makeup perfect for her walk down the aisle. 

So make sure he’s up to it before asking him to take on the responsibility of greeting your guests and making them feel at home.

The work doesn’t stop when the wedding is over. Seek his help with the honeymoon, the house, renovations and finances. A lot of these can be done concurrently with the wedding planning, so you don’t have to wake up the morning after with a whole new bunch of chores to deal with.

This article was adapted from the original, which was published in Her World Brides Dec 2004 – Feb 2005.