Q: I was the best man for my brothers wedding and having recently got engaged myself, my brother and my parents have presumed that he will fulfil the best man role at my wedding. I have a real problem with this because although my brother and I get on well, my best friend of 18 years is my preferred choice. I have no doubt that my brother will do a fantastic job, but I feel my best friend is the person I want by my side on the big day.
A: You know that some people say the tradition of a ‘Best Man’ was that it was someone for the bride to marry should the groom not turn up? These days nothing of the sort would ever happen, so the role of the best man can be filled by whoever you like. It has become very difficult for many men to select their ‘Best Man’ and therefore many grooms are opting for ‘Best Men’. Sometimes 2, 3 or even 4 of them! One other useful ‘spin –off’ of having best men is that they can create and deliver a joint speech. Think long and hard about who you choose and do so for the reasons that you want. On the day, it is important that the person(s) standing by your side is someone you feel is your closest, most reliable companion.
Q: My future wife’s dad & brother have presumed they are being invited to my stag night. I have no intention of doing anything untoward, however I don’t feel that I can completely enjoy myself with them there. I don’t want my future family to think negatively of me but I want to have a typically male evening. Any suggestions?
A: I can see your predicament and this is not an uncommon situation. Quite often the solution is quite simple. Have 2 stag nights. Explain to your closest friends that as well as the ‘main event’ you would like them to join you for a more private, personal night that will allow you to really let your hair down. It is up to you who you decide to mention this to but if you feel obliged to invite people that you would not normally socialise with to your main event, this will provide you with an excellent opportunity to ‘impress’ one night and really go for it on the other! One word of warning. Twin stag nights often means twin hen nights!
Q: My fiancée keeps saying that she has bought me a present for our wedding night! I have absolutely no clue about what to buy her in return, or that people even did this. I thought the wedding would have been enough. Could you advise me what the protocol is?
A: A wedding day gift is purely a memento of the day for her to treasure and keep forever. The gift can be given in the morning, evening or both. A morning present would be the better plan because if you opt for evening, and she then produces a gift for you in the morning then you may feel a little awkward. A morning gift could be something small and intimate to remind her that you love her. Maybe a piece of jewellery that she can wear hidden, or a small token of affection. An evening present can be much more personal and could possibly be given in preparation for your honeymoon.
Q: My fiancée is taller than me, not by much, but with her heels on our wedding day I am worried that we are going to look awkward standing at the altar. The difference in height is something that has never really bothered me, but occasionally when I look at photos of the two of us it does look a bit strange. Can you suggest somewhere that I can buy shoes with a thicker soul to add a few inches, or do you have any other suggestions?
A: Yes it is possible to buy shoes that will give you a bit of a lift. There are many top stockists that will have a variety of shoes to give you a bit of height. Visit www.grenson.co.uk for options and custom made shoes. However if it is just the photography that you are worried about, speak to your photographer. They specialise in making sure the photos look the very best that they possibly can and they will adjust the positioning of the couple to ensure the photos look perfect.
Q: My fiancée thinks that it would be a nice idea for us to write our own wedding vows. Even though I think this is a nice touch, I am not the best at being creative. Do you have any suggestions of where I can go to find examples of pre-made wedding vows that I can take ideas from.
A: Wedding vows are an important factor of your ceremony and will have meaning in every word. Writing your own vows can be sentimental and a nice touch to the wedding. Your vicar or master of ceremonies will be able to advise you or give examples from previous couples who have done their own vows, and also give you a guide on how long they should be etc. Also, use the www. A simple search for wedding vows will return thousands of ideas.
Q: I have recently proposed to my girlfriend so we are just at the beginning of our wedding plans. The date has been chosen, but we have not yet decided on a budget or any of the smaller details. Having never done this before, and being one of the first of my friends to get married, I am unsure about what the groom should pay for.
A: Traditionally the brides parents covered most of the cost of a wedding, however these days the spend is very flexible and is sometimes divided between all the parents, and the bride and groom. As the groom it is usually your job to take care of the honeymoon costs, along with the gifts for your best men and the male formal wear. The brides rings are obviously an item on the list for the groom to purchase, along with an optional pre-wedding gift, and the floral arrangements. Everything else can pretty much be discussed between the two families and the bride and groom separately.
Q: We have hired a wedding planner and I am worried that our dream wedding is going to be dictated to us, the way that the wedding planner wants, and not what we want. My fiancée seems to be loving everything the wedding planner is saying, but I am not so keen. How can I tell my fiancée that I don’t want to use the wedding planner anymore?
A: People like to hire a wedding planner to take the pressure off themselves and to have a professionally organised experience. However if you feel that the wedding coordinator is controlling your wedding and making the decisions for you, then its time to bite the bullet and say something to your fiancée. Perhaps you could lightly mention to your bride some things that you would personally like to see happen at the wedding, or hint at some alternatives to what the coordinator is suggesting. This is your day as a couple and your decisions should not only be joint, but should also meet the expectations that you have for your big day.
Q: I am still in the early stages of organising my wedding, and know that I am going to want to wear a tuxedo along with the other males in my wedding party. How long in advance do I need to sort out the hiring and measurements etc? My wedding is next June.
A: June is a very popular month to get married because the weather is getting warmer, so it is probably advisable to secure your grooms wear early. Browse through a few major department stores and smaller boutique shops in the local areas to you. As long as they have the availability, the measurements can be done at a later stage. You should find that the majority of suit hire outlets hold a wide variety of different shapes and sizes, so whether your ushers are bigger, smaller, taller or shorter than average, you should be able to dress them all in time for the big day.
Q: My mother-in-law to be seems to be suggesting all kinds of ostentatious ideas for our wedding that my fiancée is feeling obliged to agree with. This is our day and I don’t want anyone else to have so much influence over it. How can I prevent this from happening with out upsetting anyone?
A: Often, the mother-of-the-bride dreams about the day their daughter gets married for years before the word marriage even enters the equation. They also regularly want to be involved as much as possible in the preparation to make the day perfect for her princess. If your bride really didn’t like all of the suggestions that her mother was making I’m sure she would speak up and make a stand, because after all, it is her day too. If you have suggestions to make, say them loud and clear. No one would want you to not feel important or left out…and at the end of the day, this is your wedding as much as it is your brides, so feel free to get that point across.
Q: On the day of our wedding, how long should I allow myself to get ready? I usually get ready in a hurry and end up rushing out the door. I definitely don’t want to end up looking like a mess on the big day. What do you suggest?
A: Getting ready for your wedding will probably be an anxious time and you want to make sure that you are in no rush. Spend some time calming the nerves, whether it be going for a walk, chatting to friends or even reading a book. Plan to be ready half an hour before you need to be. This will allow for unexpected circumstances, should there be any, along with making sure your best man and ushers are on time. There is no harm in getting ready earlier than planned to make sure that all is in order for arriving at the church on time for your bride.
Q: I work in a fun office and have tons of work mates who all know that I’m getting married. We can’t afford to have everyone at the wedding and breakfast, but I don’t want to feel awkward at work not being able to invite everyone. What should I do?
A: What a tough question and in all honesty, about the 10,000’th time this has been asked. And the answer? There really isn’t one! Perhaps a suggestion is to ‘categorise’ your total guest list. The absolute, must be people who you want to attend (mum, dad, sister, best friend, etc) should be category 1’s and so on… When you do this, pay no attention to the number of guests that fall into each category. When you have finished (and be sure that absolutely everyone is covered) start adding up how many in each category. You can then compare the totals to the amount of people you want to invite to each portion of your day. If a category needs splitting which it inevitably will, you need to be honest with yourselves about the more important people versus the not so important ones in that group. One word of warning, if there is very little difference in the ‘closeness’ of your work colleagues, it is better to invite all or none of them. Rifts at work with you in the middle are never fun!
Q: My fiancée has given me the responsibility of the entertainment for our wedding. Even though I am totally capable of this task, I really don’t want her to be disappointed on the day. How can I make sure that I don’t choose the wrong thing?
A: Why don’t you start by doing a little bit of research into several different types of options? For example, a DJ/disco, jazz band, swing band, instrumental compilation, lounge singer…and see what you can come up with. Then discuss the options with your fiancée one night and see which type of entertainment you would like to go with. Then it will be easy to narrow your choices down. There are several resources for finding a good selections of bands online, and the majority of them will have a lot of experience with weddings, therefore know what they are talking about with helping you choose song selections to fit the style of your wedding etc. The entertainment is an important factor of the evening because you want to keep your guests interested until the end, so keep them in mind too when you make your final decision.
Q: I am not a groom, Yet!! I really want to propose to my girlfriend, but I don’t know where to begin, or what will wow her. We have been together for 3 years, and she is definitely the one for me. I just want to really knock her off her feet when I propose. Do you have any suggestions or ideas of what I can do?
A: You are bound to feel nervous about popping the question, it’s only natural, and as for your girlfriend, this moment will be one that she will remember for the rest of her life. You know your relationship better than anyone else, so do something that will suit you both and not make either of you feel awkward. It depends on whether or not you want to do this in a public place, say at a restaurant or bar, or if you want it to be more personal and propose in a private place like a hotel room or the top of the Eiffel tower. Where ever it is, I am sure that your girlfriend will be over the moon, and be delighted with your proposal, which ever way you decide to do it. Getting down on one knee is traditional, and producing a ring is another. If you are well prepared and relaxed you will nail it.