Helpful tips for the husband-to-be
By Monique Mansour
The beautiful, blushing bride is often what first pops into our minds when we hear the word “wedding,” but the handsome and eager groom plays an equally valuable role in the wedding process. Event planners Lawrence Yaldo and Andrew Keina from Top that Table, Dalia Atisha, CWPTM from The Event Planner, Inc., Suhair Kallabat from Eventfully Yours, and June Abro and Lauren Waterstone from A June Event shared their favorite tips for grooming the groom for the big, celebratory day.
Yaldo and Keina of Top that Table in West Bloomfield believe the wedding planning works best when both the bride and the groom are involved. “By harnessing the strengths of each partner – where they naturally flourish –the planning process will become more fun and the outcome fantastically unique. Let the wedding be reflective of a couple’s style and tastes. For example, if the bride and groom have a sweet tooth for a specific dessert, they may incorporate that into the wedding for all of their guests to enjoy,” said Keina.
The groom should never overlook the communication lines to his groomsmen. “I’d suggest that the groom oversee his groomsmen to ensure they understand the schedule and what is expected of them. He should choose gifts to give to the groomsmen as well. A fairly new trend for the groom is to wear a lapel pin instead of a boutonniere. The pin will look good all throughout the special day, because it won’t wilt like flowers do. Lapel pins also make for great groomsmen gifts,” said Yaldo.
Practice makes perfect and this rings true for wedding preparations as well. “The groom should always practice vows before the ceremony.” Another big tip for the groom –remember to think of the bride before the ceremony. “Traditionally, the groom gives his bride a thoughtful gift before the wedding. It doesn’t have to be lavish, but something thoughtful like a letter and a bouquet of flowers will help make a special day even more meaningful,” said Yaldo.
Both Yaldo and Keina agreed that both couples should decide on a budget before the process begins to avoid “sticker shock.” “Even the smallest things add up very quickly in the realm of everything considered. A dream wedding is a dream, unless you’re prepared to pay the price!” said Keina.
Atisha of The Event Planner, Inc. in West Bloomfield has noticed a variety of patterns from grooms over the years –and, in particular, something they especially love to be part of. “Most grooms really want to be involved with the food selection and the cake tastings.” You know how the saying goes – the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!
Atisha stressed that couples should use the entire wedding planning process as a vehicle to recognize how one another communicates. “Planning a wedding is a great way for the couple to understand each other and find ways to compromise, as that is just the beginning of the rest of their lives as a couple.” In order to avoid wedding-talk burnout, Atisha recommends the following. “Plan a date once a week and agree to not discuss anything about wedding planning. Also, consider a couple’s retreat, celebrate mass every Sunday, and attend the classes the church recommends for engaged couples. I’m going to get philosophical here, but couples who put God first in their relationship will have a state of grace throughout their wedding planning which will guide them through the ups and downs of their marriage.”
As far as advice for the groom goes, Atisha said pre-planning is key. “Follow a timeline. Make your grooming appointments well in advance of the wedding and, on the day of, early enough in the day to alleviate time constraints on the wedding schedule.” Something the groom should really consider? “The first dance! Think about the timelessness of that moment and make it more than just a wedding ritual. Embrace that moment as being husband and wife for the first time. If taking dance lessons will enhance that experience, then I highly recommend that.”
Kallabat from Eventfully Yours in West Bloomfield urges all of her brides to bring
their fiancés to important planning meetings. “I always make sure that for the vital meetings, the groom is present. Sometimes incorporating the groom into the wedding planning
process is as simple as adding him into a group text with the bride and me,
and other times it’s more detailed and includes one-on-one meetings or phone calls when the groom has an idea or wants to plan a surprise for his bride,” said Kallabat.
Is there a magic number of hours the groom should put into wedding planning? No. “There really is no one-size-fits-all amount of right or wrong involvement for the groom. I do, however, appreciate when a groom is involved in the planning process. After all, a wedding is about the union of two, and it’s always more special when both the groom and bride’s opinions, likes, and interests are reflected in the wedding,” said Kallabat.
Kallabat had an important piece of advice for couples struggling with trying to please everyone during the wedding planning process. “Couples can make their wedding more about the both of them by ignoring the outside noise. When you’re planning a wedding, everyone around you has an opinion. People are excited and truly mean well, but sometimes it’s overwhelming and leads a couple to make choices they otherwise wouldn’t make. Couples can make their wedding day be more about the both of them by simply doing what they want!”
In terms of the perfect time to start planning a wedding, Kallabat had some wise counsel. “I always say that there really is no such time as too soon to start planning a wedding. Our Chaldean community especially tends to rotate between the same venues and vendors, so it’s always best to plan as far ahead as possible to ensure that you get the date, venue, and vendors that you want.”
Abro from A June Event in West Bloomfield had a fun idea to offer as it related to incorporating the groom into the wedding day celebrations. “Something special to do is dedicate the cocktail hour to the groom. Maybe implement darker tones into the space, incorporate food he likes, have a tequila bar, a cigar bar, and perhaps even late-night snacks that he enjoys,” said Abro. Waterstone agreed, and she can’t stress enough that a wedding is “the first party that a couple will host together as a Mr. & Mrs. It should be a reflection of exactly that!”
There is one area of wedding planning where the groom’s meddling isn’t necessary, nor welcomed. “By no means should a groom get involved with the wedding dress or the bridesmaids,” said Abro, with a chuckle. As far as tips for the groom on the day of? “I always say the best grooms are the ones that stay sober. You can catch a buzz but you still want to be proper!” said Abro. “Also, I know the groom often gets annoyed with the many photographs on the wedding day, but it’s one day out of your life...remember to smile as you go along with it. It’s an exciting time for everyone involved,” said Waterstone. Both Abro and Waterstone value the importance of communication in the wedding planning process. “It makes for a better day instead of surprises that you do not care for,” said Abro.
All helpful tips to consider. And, after all the planning has been done, and the groom has been groomed and the bride begins her walk down the aisle, one unifying thought should be at the forefront of the minds of everyone involved –the love the couple shares for one another.