The Role and Duties of the Groom

When one imagines the organisation of a wedding, one always imagines that the whole thing is put together by the bride and her mother and that the groom's tasks extend to no more than accepting congratulatory rounds in the pub and buying a few trinkets for the best man and ushers.

One imagines wrong.

The groom's duties start at the beginning of the whole affair with the purchase of the engagement ring. The first few months of organisation are when the major decisions of wedding and reception venues are decided as well as the choice of photographer, videographer and caterer. The decision also has to be made as to what kind of wedding it should be. It would be unfair to the bride to expect her to reach any of these decisions alone.

Next comes the guest list; who is to be invited to the ceremony and who to the evening festivities? The groom should co-ordinate this with that of his parents and present a finalised list to the bride's mother.

The Wedding Day

The bridegroom and the best man should arrive at the wedding venue about twenty to thirty minutes before the service is due to start. The groom would generally not engage in much conversation during this time but would wait quietly, seated on the right front pew or row of seats.

After the ceremony and signing of the registry the groom walks back up the aisle with his new wife on his left and then usually on to the formal photographs.

After the photographs the next event is the reception. The bride and groom stand at the end of the reception line up and at this time the groom should introduce the bride to members of his family or his friends who she has not already met.

The meal and speeches are next and the groom's speech follows that of the bride's father. His speech should thank everyone who helped organise and who contributed to the wedding, to thank the bride's parents for giving him their daughter and should always end with a thank you and toast to the bridesmaids.

Following the meal and the speeches comes the cutting of the cake, and then shortly afterwards the first dance. Traditionally, the bride's father cuts in and the groom invites the bride's mother to dance. The bride's father cuts in again and the groom resumes the dance with his new wife.

After this, the bride and groom have no more duties as such, and can spend the rest of the evening mingling, dancing and chatting.

If you are leaving on honeymoon from the reception you should change at the reception venue, make sure the best man and bridesmaids are left in charge of any clothing and gifts that you may leave behind. If you are not leaving from the reception and plan to stay until the end, get the best man and chief bridesmaid to make sure that everyone knows this, since some people won't expect to leave until the bride and groom have done so.