What Are the Groom's Responsibilities for Wedding Planning?

Details on the groom's responsibility for wedding planning and more – besides showing up on time for the ceremony.

Grooms most commonly show interest in the food and entertainment; however, if your groom just wanted to go to city hall and is doing a big wedding for your sake, below are the minimum requirements for groom involvement.

real wedding photo of actor model nick bateman wedding photo groom portrait tuxedo bow tie
Photo: Jenny Quicksall Photography

With all the talk of weddings being “the bride’s day,” the groom – and often the groom's family – may be under the false impression that all they have to do is show up for the rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, and the reception. In actuality, it’s really best if the groom is involved as much as possible throughout the planning process and the actual wedding – both to support the bride and also to make the big day about two people joining together... not one person’s party.

Planning a wedding ceremony and wedding reception is hard work and takes a lot of time; therefore, it’s unfair to heap all of that responsibility on the bride-to-be, the bride's mother, or the bride's family. Of course, hiring professional wedding planners can do a lot to alleviate the pressure for couples, but it’s still a nice gesture for the groom to be involved in the wedding-planning process.

While not all men can be expected to have strong opinions on stationery or linens, finding a few aspects of the day to care about can make a big difference. Though they're perhaps not traditionally responsible for having groom duties leading up to the big day, the wedding will feel more like a celebration for both parties if the groom's duties and the bride's duties show through.

Though the groom may feel like his wedding responsibilities are complete after purchasing an engagement ring, perhaps asking his future father-in-law for his blessing, and proposing of course, the groom's responsibilities are far from over – unless his bride absolutely insists that he be completely surprised on the wedding day. Even then, most brides say that they appreciate when their groom gives his input when asked.

There are certainly some grooms who enjoy planning events and want to be part of the entire planning process from start to finish so they know exactly what is being planned, that's certainly not always the case. Even if brides share with their grooms that they want to plan the entire wedding, the groom should still be available should she have questions and help with things a wedding planner may not be able to help the bride with – like narrowing down the guest list for the groom's family, choosing wedding rings, or having an honest conversation about how to budget wedding costs.

What Are the Groom's Responsibilities?

Historically, grooms most commonly show interest in the wedding food and entertainment while wedding planning; however, many Inside Weddings grooms share that their best advice for other grooms is to not only let the bride have her day, but also be available to make decisions if she needs help.

A number of our featured couples have stated that the groom was essentially the decision-maker if the bride couldn't decide on something – and above all else, offer their brides the support needed during the stressful planning process. If your groom just wanted to go to city hall and is doing a big wedding for your sake, below are some of the minimum requirements and responsibilities for grooms leading up to the big day and at weddings.

Wedding Planning Groom Responsibilities:

- Help with the guest list.

Many couples cite putting together the list of wedding guests as one of their most stressful aspects of the wedding planning process, so having the groom involved in this particular part of the big day can be a huge help to the bride – even if just for the moral support.

- Assist in organizing and creating the budget, unless the bride's parents or groom's family would like to host or the family pays for everything.

Deciding on a spending limit for the wedding day is one of the most important parts of the planning process as it essentially opens the gates for the other wedding planning responsibilities. Make sure you're on the same page – you don't want your marriage to start out on the wrong foot.

- Choose a best man and groomsmen, if applicable.

At minimum, the groom will want to choose close family members or friends to be the best man or groomsmen. The groom-to-be may also help choose other wedding-party members, such as flower girls and ring bearers, ushers, or even friends, immediate family, or loved ones who the couple may ask to do a reading at the ceremony.

- Select wedding attire for himself and groomsmen in the wedding party.

The bride may have a vision of how she wants the wedding party to dress for the wedding ceremony, but the groom should take the lead on sharing the details with his groomsmen, organizing any tuxedo or suit rental options, etc.

- Get his travel documents for the honeymoon.

Unrelated to honeymoons, per se, the groom may also help organize contracts and paperwork related to wedding professionals and vendors, marriage licenses, the officiant's fee, and so on.

j.p. rosenbaum bachelorette groom at wedding groom's wedding responsibilities

Photo by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography; From Real Wedding: The Bachelorette's Ashley Hebert & J.P. Rosenbaum Say "I Do"

- Traditionally, the groom was in charge of planning and paying for the honeymoon; however, nowadays couples often choose to do this together.

Since brides historically have been the primary planners for weddings – along with their parents and family – grooms have taken the lead on planning the honeymoon. However, this is not always the case. Should you decide as a couple to have the groom organize the entire trip, by all means feel free to do so, but many couples want to plan this special trip together to ensure they both get to do what they want.

- Purchase the bride’s wedding band, and give both wedding bands to the best man for the ceremony.

If the groom also wants to hold on to the marriage license in addition to the rings, that's an excellent way to keep two of the most important aspects of the ceremony secure and together.

- Transportation for the wedding party from the ceremony to the reception, if applicable.

Not all couples provide wedding transportation – especially if the ceremony and reception are in the same location – but if you'll be having shuttles, trolleys, or cars take friends and family to a different venue, this is a great opportunity to ask your groom to help out.

- Make decisions and offer opinions when asked by the bride.

Every bride will feel differently when it comes to wedding planning, so follow the bride's lead. Even if she wants help deciding between napkin colors or something else that may seem insignificant to the groom, he should make sure to at least have some sort of opinion.

- If following tradition, the groom's parents or groom's family pays for the rehearsal dinner, which means he should help pick the location and send out invitations.

The rehearsal dinner often sets the tone for the entire wedding celebration, so if brides have opinions on the décor, grooms and the groom's family should consider them but also feel as though they can put their own stamp on the pre-wedding event as it's traditionally hosted by the groom's parents.

groom at wedding with personal photos in lining of suit jacket groom's wedding responsibilities

Photo by Haley Ringo Photography; From Real Wedding: Poolside Wedding Ceremony + Nightclub-Inspired Reception in Las Vegas

- Pick out and give gifts to the groomsmen.

Some grooms will present their groomsmen with these gifts at the rehearsal dinner, while others will wait for the morning of the wedding while getting ready for the ceremony. Make sure to be thoughtful with the gift selected – don't just choose something with your names and wedding date on it.

- Offer a simple wedding toast to express gratitude at the reception.

In your wedding toast, thank your bride, her parents and your parents, and all of your friends and family for making you who you are and joining you on your wedding day.

- Assist the bride with thank-you notes.

Even if the groom has horrible handwriting, he can still help organize the thank-you notes with his bride, stamp the return address on envelopes, or place postage stamps – any assistance will go a long way. The same can be done with wedding invitations!

For more tips and advice, discover who pays for wedding events based on parent and engagement etiquette, and find out how to avoid wedding regrets.

Opening photo by Jenny Quicksall Photography; Planning & Design by Bluebell Events. See the full real wedding: Actor + Model Nick Bateman & Maria Corrigan's Malibu Wedding on 11th Anniversary