A few years ago, a friend asked me to be a groomsman in his wedding. The ceremony was in Colorado, and I decided to maximize my trip out there. I convinced one of my friends to go on a white water rafting trip. It was a great idea. Maybe not on the day of a wedding. Technically, we should’ve been good time-wise. However, you can’t depend on nature nor the elderly couple who fell out of the raft, causing a slight delay. Good news is, I made it back right in time for the ceremony. My hair and body smelled like river with no time to shower, and the family seemed just a little annoyed, but I proudly stood up there with my buddy.
Now that I’ve gotten married, I have seen some error in my ways. It was interesting being on the planning side. I discovered that what may be common sense for every girl out there, has never even been pondered by most guys. Despite the stress some of my single guy friends caused on our wedding planning, I had ample empathy, because I was literally the worst offender ever. Here are three must knows a single guy should plan for as soon as the invitation arrives in the mail.
1. Send back your RSVPs:
This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I have this pile of envelopes sitting in a drawer with stamps on them (I them in desperate situations). I had every intention to send these back when I got them, but I would set it to the side, and the next time I looked, it was too late. I would wait to see my friend at a social gathering, grocery store, church, etc. and I would triumphantly say, “I am coming to your wedding, ok?” Just like I said to all of my friends recently, my buddy would say, “Great, but could you just make sure you send in the invitation?” You see, wedding catering is counted out to the tee. Every single person matters, and your friend has probably invited hundreds of other people aside from you. What I found out is most of the verbal RSPVs do not show up. When you’re talking $80-120 per person, even one no-show or surprise guest can be very costly. It’s basic, but send in your RSVP, make a written commitment, and keep it.
2. Give a gift…FROM THE REGISTRY:
I bought a plane ticket and a hotel room, so that means I don’t need to get a gift, right? I added it up when I attended a wedding last year, and it cost more than $700 just to make it. When I got gifts before, I rarely remembered where the registry was, and so I would go and get something every married couple cringes from…a cheesy trinket. My attitude towards gift-giving has drastically changed in the past few months. I watch how my wife’s friends get each other gifts for EVERY occasion. It’s not about the gift, or that they’re girls. It’s about honor. Much of the jewelry I got for Kristen came from Intagems in Los Angles. This family did so much for us before our wedding, neither of us had any expectations for a wedding gift. However, they lavished us on our wedding day. They are from China, and honor is second-nature in their culture. Gift-giving is just one of the ways you can build honor among your friends. The question I wished I would have asked myself as a single guy is, “How would I want to be treated on my wedding day?”
3. Get all details from the website:
I seriously got a text message asking for the address to the venue 30 minutes before I was about to walk down the aisle. Once again, I wasn’t horrified because in college, I popped into a ceremony just ahead of the bride. Most weddings have a wedding website that can be found on your invitation or “save the date.” The website will have everything from booking a hotel, the wedding venue address, the registries, etc. As soon as you get the “save the date,” add the wedding site to your favorites on your phone. I found myself copying the wedding site info and hitting paste over and over as each text message came in. Don’t wait until the last minute to book a hotel either. The bride and groom probably blocked rooms at several hotels so you can book early, and get a good rate too.
In a nutshell, do that one thing that all of us guys hate: plan. Not only will you be saving yourself the stress the day before the wedding, you will be saving your marrying friends from having an anxiety attack. There is a reason shows like “Bridezilla” exist. Maybe you are really financially strapped? At least get a card. This is the day that a girl dreams about her entire life. All of her hot friends will be out on the dance floor looking for a good guy to sweep them off their feet. If you fail in any of the above, trust me, the bride will remember, and as it goes, her friends will know too.