While brides usually take charge of wedding planning, it's important to remember: Grooms, it's your day, too! And whether a groom takes an active or backseat role in planning, the engagement period can be just as stressful and confusing for him as it is for his bride. Grooms are expected to support and assist their fiancées, even if she has taken charge of the details – leaving many grooms uncertain regarding how to stay involved (or wondering if they should remain in the background). Alternatively, some grooms have strong opinions about the details of their wedding, resulting in conflict with their soon-to-be wives.
There's no better person to turn to for advice than someone who has been in your shoes. So, we gathered some of the best words of wisdom offered by men who have just wrapped up their own weddings. These former grooms have been through the challenges that plague every groom, and they know exactly how to deal with them. Future grooms, listen up: Class is now in session!
Support your bride, no matter what.
"Be involved as much as possible and go to all the planning meetings that your bride wants you to attend. While you may not have much input with the decisions, it is important to be supportive and understand what is going on." - Lucas
"Make sure your fiancé is happy – let her take charge if that is what she wants! Request the small things you want, but leave the big decisions to her." - Randy
"Be patient with your wife-to-be and have an opinion on everything but also be amenable at the same time... good practice for marriage." - Kenneth
"I would recommend not rushing the process. Baby steps along the way is key. First pick your venue and date. Then take it one step at a time. Also, over-communicate with your partner. Talk about what is most important to you. And above all else, enjoy the ride." - Matt
Make sure your wedding represents you.
"Before you sit down and actually plan anything, talk with your better half about what’s really important to you. When the ball gets rolling, it’s easy to start thinking that little details really matter – and the fact is, they don’t." - Stephen
"Bring original personality to the wedding. It’s not hard. Just don’t lose yourself in it all. Don’t do things if they aren’t 'you.'" - Landry
Use this time to get ready for being married.
"While she’s busy planning the wedding, get busy planning the marriage. Use your engagement time to prepare for 'two-becoming-one' in every sense of the [phrase] so that you’re prepared for anything that may come after you both say 'I do.'" - Anthony
"Always respect your bride and never do anything that would compromise what you’ve had from the beginning. You two are going to become one soon, so think of her first in everything you do and you can’t go wrong. Don’t let the details of the wedding or anything minimal create negativity in your relationship." - Ryan
Carefully consider which areas are worth a splurge and where you can save money.
"Hire a great wedding planner. Don't be cheap and think you can do it yourself. Amortize the cost of your wedding planner over the next 40 to 50 years of your life, and it's a few dollars a month." - Aaron
"Be realistic about how much you want to spend vs. how much you will spend for your wedding. Weddings are not cheap, they are costly ventures, and if you or your bride-to-be are very particular keep in mind that will increase your costs." - Leonard
Put the guests first.
"My opinion is that having all the people in your life who are closest to you present on your wedding day is more important than the décor, favors, and menu. Sacrifice or save on those things, so you can invite more people." - Ryan
"Focus on the guest experience. Even though everyone attends your wedding to celebrate you, your guests will remember the little touches that made their experience better." - Chris
Slow down and take in every minute of your big day!
"Take as many pictures as humanly possible. They will be cherished forever." - Saul
"We pulled out our phone on the first night of our honeymoon pressed record. We popped a bottle of Champagne and talked for an hour about our favorite memories, the little conversations, and what we were thinking about each other during the day. While eating cake is great on our first anniversary, I think pressing play on that conversation will be really special." - Andrew
"Be 100% in the moment. Don’t look forward to anything, because time is going to fly by and if you get excited about something in the future you will miss the moment. If you are thinking about the honeymoon during the wedding then in a blink of an eye you will be on an airplane and the wedding will be over." - Cole
Opening photo by Aaron Feldman