By Philip Bedford
Having been a wedding photographer for some years now I’ve seen it all (almost!). A lot of wedding planning falls to the skilled hands of the bride, but there’s important jobs for the chaps too. Enlist some help and have some fun.
- Best Man
Choose a great Best Man. This is not a job for the faint hearted! You’ve probably already got a shortlist, and you can always have more than one, two or even three best men. You want someone who will write a fantastic speech of course, be responsible enough to get you to the ceremony sober and on time and trust with the rings. You also need a person that you think can actually help organise things on the day and support you and your partner with anything you might need. Basically, the ultimate man servant!
This is your team for the day. You’ll delegate jobs for them to do before, during and maybe even after the wedding (clean up duties!). You’ll even look the same if you have gone for a traditional look. It is always great photographing the groomsmen before the wedding day as there’s usually a lot of laughs and general banter, which helps relax everyone before the ceremony!
The Bride will always outshine the Groom in terms of dress. But the groom can have fun buying a new suit, hiring morning suits or black tie regalia. Personalise it too, make sure there’s something you can keep if you’re hiring, like the tie, pocket watch or cufflinks as a memento. I’ve known Groom’s who have gotten a full tailored suit made, which is more expensive, but you can wear it again and again. Most ushers are game to try something a little different so don’t shy away from pops of colour, a bit of tweed or something more laid back.
- The speech
It’s not easy….but probably easier than the best man’s speech. You mainly need to do two things: 1, thank everybody involved in the wedding; 2, compliment your new wife on how great she looks, which I’m sure you’d do anyway!
Allow enough time to draft it before the day, and then just polish it up in the lead up to the big day. If you’re a nervous public speaker, practice beforehand and get someone else to look over it. Also, check how long it is; You only really want it to be around 10-15 minutes long - it’s surprising how long time adds up from just a couple of sheets of paper. Use prompt cards or a full written speech; whatever you think is best for you.
You may need a wedding car for the bride, but it’s nice if you get to have your own car too! When modern men can be such petrol heads, why shouldn’t you get to have a stylish method of transportation to the ceremony? Maybe a good opportunity to borrow a friend's or family’s great car that you’ve aways had your eye on.
For your best man and the ushers, it’s nice to give them a gift to honour their contribution to your day. This can be a hipflask or cufflinks. Engraving the gift is always a great way to add a personal touch.
On the day, ensure you have enough time in the morning to get everything done. If you’re tying a special knot or going for a self tie bow tie make sure you’ve practiced before. Nothing worst than getting hot and flustered before the day starts. You’ll need to be at the ceremony venue first in order to greet all the guests and to set up any last minute decorations. It’s also nice to squeeze in an Usher’s lunch or a quick pint at the pub!
Lawn games are great fun for wedding guests and provide plenty of opportunity for wedding mischief! I once saw a groom put all the ushers gifts at the bottom of the pool, so the only way of getting the gifts was to dive right in!
Have fun! Your wedding day will fly so be a part of as much as you can. And, of course, get great photos ;)