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The Bride's Guide Blog

Etiquette: It's the Groom's Wedding, Too, Right?

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Posted by Talley Sue Hohlfeld, Etiquette Expert

I just got a note from a reader via our AskMartha e-mail box asking how she can do something special for her groom. (He does sound pretty wonderful, too; he goes out of his way to make her feel special, and to take on her problems as though they were his.) She wrote, "Help me to make this 'our' special day, not a day devoted to me alone."

The bride does get pretty fussed over. She gets the spotlight-grabbing dress; he wears the background-inducing formalwear. In the stereotypical wedding, she makes the grand entrance, while he discreetly enters from the side. Classic toasts include toasts to the bride—but not to the groom.

Etiquette allows women to propose toasts now; that might be my suggestion. Although my husband seems to think I've rewarded him for his care and generosity just by marrying him!

She's got several months of planning--her wedding isn't until Spring 2010. Got any ideas for her?

Comments (17)

  • I like when brides do a grooms cake dedicated to the groom's interests. Especially when it's a surprise. If there is a fun song related, you can have it played while the cake is being presented. Like sweet caroline for a Red Sox groom's cake.

  • A grooms cake or a special song are great. We've even had a guest appearance of a sports figure to bring the grooms cake in. BUT the one things that grooms REALLY appreciate from their brides to be....a boudoir photo (or even better an album). These photo shoots are being done by amazing photographers! They are more comfortable to do and more fun than you think. All of our brides who have done them (and we've had a lot) have LOVED doing it for themselves and for their grooms! And trust me the grooms go NUTS! The smile from ear to ear!

  • It's always wonderful when a wedding has elements of both individuals represented. Maybe instead of a typical flower boutonniere, have something custom made that's tailored to him,
    My husband's favorite meal is a Big Mac, so during our dinner I had arranged for the reception staff to bring out a Big Mac meal on a silver platter, he was quite surprised!

  • While a grooms cake or a special song are indeed great ways to make him feel special. (we've even had a favorite sports figure bring in a themed grooms cake once) What grooms REALLY love is a boudoir photo (or better yet album) There are a ton of amazing photographers out there that do them now! And trust me - all of our brides who have done them (and we've had a TON) have all said they were way more comfortable and more fun then they ever imagined! They loved the the way it made them feel but even more was the reaction of their grooms to be! Talk about a smile from ear to ear! Trust me...this will be something he treasures and remembers forever!

  • I like the boudoir book idea, I've done them and like Maya said, the grooms love them. We choreographed our first dance, which my husband totally got into. Any activity that they do together will make him feel included.
    But the bridal boudoir book - honors him and her :-) A winner.

  • Any NON-boudoir-book ideas?
    I got the impression from our reader that she wants something that will help her make it clear to ***all their guests*** how special he is.
    I don't think a boudoir-book photo session is going to help with that.

  • I love the idea of a groom's cake as a surprise. My fiance recently forwarded me photos of a zombie cake with jokes about how he was sure that would NEVER show up at our wedding. Not my thing! But now I've really got the idea that it will be a great surprise. :) Other ideas - does he have a preference on transportation? Fancy car? Classic Car? Bicycle?

  • In this day and age,it is totally unnecessary for a bride to be "given away". Why shouldn't BOTH the bride and groom walk together down the aisle, hand-in-hand, on equal footing, signifying unequivocably-- "This is OUR special day"?

  • As a groom, I would really appreciate hearing how she feels in her vows. She could write her own additions to the traditional vows, and express specific reasons why she loves him. This would make it quite clear how she feels (he may also want to do this as well). She could also do a special picture slide-show (digital or a wall of printed images and the ceremony and/or reception) that show all the things he does that mean so much to her.

  • This is just a small idea, but one thing I'm doing to bring some focus to my groom is, when he's getting ready with the guys, I'm sending over a box of cigars, some personalized match books I made, and a monogrammed cigar cutter to use. I did the b-pics too, but will give those to him in private the night before, so I wanted to have something small to give on the wedding day. I have asked the photographer to be sure to get some shots of him giving them out and of the guys smoking their cigars together (hopefully they will!), so that we get some special guy photos. So often all the pre-wedding pictures are of the girls getting ready, and I wanted him to have something similar, so hopefully this will do the trick!

  • Grooms cakes are good, but they are usually expected, especially if you're in the south. There are a few ideas that I've would involve the bride walking down the aisle to the grooms favorite song or love song, having their pet or their favorite college team's band make an appearnace at the wedding or the reception. I love the speech to her husband idea...she also might consider adding an accent color or theme that involves the grooms favorites, such as songs from his favorite tv shows/movies on a cd as favors, mini post-wedding snacks of the grooms favorite snack foods, or a copy of his or even your favorite movie as a takeaway favor.

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  • My fiance feels like the groom's cake indicates that the real wedding cake isn't *our* cake, so we're having just one cake.
    But-- to surprise him and his family, I'm secretly hiring a bagpiper to wait outside the church and play for us and our guests as we leave--as a nod to their Scottish heritage.
    Similarly, there is an old Scottish poem that has always been used in his family's weddings-- during the reception, I will surprise him (and everyone else) by serenading him with this verse in song. (A groomsman will accompany on violin.)
    These two moments also give the photographers and guests a great chance to focus on him.

  • @Stephanie--that's fascinating! And I can totally see the logic in your fiancé's reasoning.
    But I think that song is going to be GREAT!

  • I honestly can't think of a better way to show your groom that he's part of the wedding too but than including him in the planning. I think a lot of women assume the guy won't care, but mine has surprised me.
    I casually mention details to my fiancé and he'll suddenly get very interested and start asking tons of questions. By not putting a lot of pressure on him to make decisions and agree with you 100% of the time, I think he'll feel like a part of the wedding if you just share the process with him.
    And listen to him — guys generally have some idea of what kinds of things are important to them. True, they can come up with some pretty wacky and nontraditional ideas, but isn't that part of having a wedding that celebrates both of your uniquenesses?

  • the cigar idea is awesome! very thoughtful!

  • I had a grooms cake in the shape of a soccer ball. It was cool - it's my favorite sport. Was a nice surprise.

    More for Grooms and the Best Man: Groom and Best Man Wedding Info

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