Q: When my brother got married, I was the best man at his wedding. I have recently got engaged and both my brother and my parents have already assumed that he will be undertaking the role of my best man. This is a bit of a problem because although I get on well with my brother, my best friend of over 18 years is really my first choice for best man. I think that my best mate is the one I want by my side on the big day.
A: Some people often say that the tradition of having a ‘best man’ was that it was someone for the bride to marry should the groom not show. Of course, this would never happen now and so you may choose whomever you wish to fill the role of best man. It is becoming more and more common nowadays for a groom to select more than one best man. Some weddings have been known to have 3 or even 4 ‘best men’. Another advantage of having best men is that they can jointly create and deliver a speech. Obviously, choosing a best man takes a lot of thought and you need to consider the reasons you want a particular person to stand by your side. This person should be your closest and most reliable companion.
Q: My future wife’s dad and her brother have presumed that they will be invited along to my stag night. Of course, I don’t intend to do anything untoward, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to completely enjoy my last night as a single guy if they are there. I don’t want to upset my future family, but I still want to have a fun evening. What should I do?
A: This is a tricky but not uncommon situation to be in. The solution however, is actually rather simple. Just have two stag nights. Pull your closest friends aside and explain to them that as well as having the ‘big night’ you would also like them to join you for a slightly more personal night that will really allow you to let your hair down. Feel free to decide who to mention this to but if you feel obliged to invite certain people that you do not normally socialize with to your main event, you will have an excellent opportunity to ‘impress’ everyone one night and really let loose on the other. However, we must warn you that twin stag nights can often mean twin hen nights too!
Q: My fiancé has told me that she has bought me a present for our wedding night. I don’t know what to buy her and had no idea that people even did this sort of thing. I thought the big white wedding was enough! What is the usual protocol?
A: A gift for the wedding day is just a memento of the day itself and is meant for her to treasure and keep for always. A gift given in the morning is the best idea as if you decide to give her something in the evening, and she offers you her gift in the morning, this could make you feel awkward. Something small and intimate like a piece of jewelry that she can wear hidden under her clothes is a good idea. A present to be given in the evening can be considerably more personal and something to offer in preparation for your honeymoon.
Q: My fiancé is slightly taller than me and if she is planning on wearing heels on our wedding day, I am worried that we will look awkward standing together at the altar. Our difference in height has not bothered me before but occasionally when I look at photos of us, I do notice the difference. Can I perhaps buy shoes from somewhere that have a thicker sole to help add a few more inches to my height? Or is there anything else I can do?
A: You can buy shoes from many top stockists that will give you a bit of height. Although it sounds like you are most worried about the photography? Just talk to your photographer about the problem. They specialize in ensuring that all wedding pictures look perfect and so they will often adjust the positioning of the couple to make sure that all photos look just right.
Q: My fiancé is keen for us to both write our own wedding vows. I think this is really nice but I am actually not the most creative person. Is there anywhere I can go to find examples of pre-made wedding vows that I can get a bit of inspiration from?
A: Wedding vows are, of course, a very important part of the wedding ceremony and each word will be filled with meaning. Writing your own vows can add a nice touch to the wedding. Contact tour vicar as he may be able to offer some good advice of give you examples of what previous couples have written. Use the internet as well because just a simple search for wedding vows can show up thousands of ideas to inspire you!
Q: Recently, I proposed to my girlfriend and we are now beginning our wedding planning. The date as been set but a budget and other smaller details have yet to be decided. I have not done this before and neither have any of my friends and so I am not sure about what exactly the groom is responsible to pay for.
A: Tradition states that the bride’s parents should cover most of the cost of a wedding. However, nowadays it is very flexible and is sometimes divided by both sets of parents and the bride and groom. As the groom, it is your responsibility to cover the honeymoon costs, gifts for your best man and all the male formal wear. Naturally, the bride’s rings are something you need to purchase as well as the option pre- wedding gift and any floral arrangements. Everything else can be discussed separately between the two families.
Q: My fiancé and I have hired a wedding planner and I am now concerned that our dream wedding will be dictated to us in a way the wedding planner wants instead of what we want. My fiancé adores her ideas but I am not sure. How can I explain to my fiancé that I really don’t want to use our wedding planner anymore?
A: Many people hire a wedding planner to take the pressure off themselves. However, if you do feel a little like your wedding planner is taking over your wedding and making all the decision, you need to say something to your fiancé. Take her aside and gently suggest that there could be a few alternatives to what the coordinator is suggesting. Do not forget that this is your day and decisions should be made as a couple. Furthermore, the decisions you make should also meet the expectations you originally had for your big day.
Q: I am still only at the beginning of my wedding planning but I do already know that I want to wear a tuxedo along with all the other men in my wedding party. My wedding is next June, how long in advance do I need to sort out measurements etc?
A: June is often a popular month to marry in because the weather is just starting to get a little warmer so we advise securing your grooms wear early on. Go out and look through the most popular department stores and smaller boutiques in your local area. Providing the tuxedos are available, measurements can be completed at a later stage. The majority of suit hire outlets have a wide variety of shapes and sizes to suit men who are bigger, taller, shorter or smaller than average and so they should all be suitably dressed in time for the big day.
Q: My mother–in–law is suggesting all sorts of wild ideas for our wedding and my fiancé is feeling obliged to agree with most of them. This is our special day and I want us to be making the decisions, without anyone else having so much influence over it. How can I stop our wedding day turning into my mother-in-laws dream day, without upsetting anyone?
A: The mother-of-the-bride will have dreamed about the day her little girl gets married for many years before marriage was even mentioned. Due to this, they will want to be involved as much as possible to make the day perfect for her princess. If your fiancé genuinely didn’t like all of the suggestions, we are certain she would have spoken out about it because it is her day too. If you do have any particular suggestions to make regarding the big day, say them loud and clear. Nobody wants you to feel left out and as much as this is your brides wedding, it is yours too. So don’t be afraid to get your opinion across.
Q: When the wedding day comes around, how long is it advised to leave to get ready? I’m used to getting ready in a hurry and flying out the door. I don’t want to look like a mess on the big day. What’s your suggestion?
A: During the ‘getting ready’ stages of your big day, you will be feeling anxious and so will want to make sure that you aren’t in any particular rush. Calm the nerves by going for a walk, talking to friends or just sitting down to read a book for 20 minutes. You should aim to be ready half an hour before you need to be. This gives plenty of time for any unexpected problems to arise as well as making sure both your best man and the ushers are all ready on time. There is absolutely no harm in being prepared and getting ready earlier than you had originally planned.
Q: I work in a really fun office and I have plenty of work friends who are all aware that I’m getting married. My fiancé and I can’t afford to invite lots of people to the wedding breakfast but I feel guilty not being able to invite everyone from work. What can I do?
A: This is a difficult but common question to be asked. There isn’t really a perfect answer we can give but perhaps you could ‘categorise’ your guest list. For example, those who absolutely must attend (such as mum, dad, best friend, brother etc.) should be in category number 1 and so on. Whilst doing this, don’t look at the number of guests that fall into each category and when you have finished, start totalling up how many people are in each category. This then allows you to compare the totals to the amount of people you want to invite to each portion of your day. If a certain category needs dividing, which it undoubtedly will, you need to be completely honest about those who are very important and those who aren’t in that group. We should warn you however, that there is little difference in the ‘closeness’ of your colleagues and it is better to invite all of them or none of them, as rifts could be caused with you in the middle of them!
Q: My fiancé has allocated me the responsibility of hiring entertainment for our wedding. I am capable of successfully completing this task but I really couldn’t stand her being disappointed on the big day. Is there a way to stop me from choosing the wrong thing?
A: Perhaps you should begin by doing some research into the different options available to you? There are many out there, for example, jazz band, swing band, DJ/disco, instrumental, lounge singer and many others. See what you come up with and then discuss all the different options with your fiancé to see what kind of entertainment you would both like to go with. This will allow you to narrow down all your different choices. There are some very good resources available to you to help find a good selection of bands online. The majority will have plenty of experience with weddings and will know what they are talking about when helping you to choose a song selection that fits in with your style of wedding etc. Entertainment is an important part of the evening and you will want to keep your guests interested until the very end. Keep them in mind when you make your final decision.
Q: I am not a groom yet!! I want to propose to my girlfriend but I’m at a complete loss as to where to begin or what will impress her. We have been together for 3 years now and I know she is the one. I want to completely blow her away when I propose so do you have any suggestions on how I can do just that?
A: Understandably you are feeling very nervous about popping the question and it will be a moment that your girlfriend remembers for the rest of her life. You know your own relationship so do something you know will suit you both, without making either of you feel awkward. The deciding factor is whether or not you want to do this in a public place or somewhere more personal and private, for example in a hotel room or the top of the Eiffel Tower. Wherever you decide to do it, we are sure your girlfriend will be delighted with your proposal. Just be prepared and relax and you will absolutely nail it!