Help! I’m giving a speech at my Dad’s wedding: what do I say?

glasses_01Dear HTWB Agony Columns

My widowed Dad is finally getting married again to a really nice lady and they’ve asked me to give a speech at their wedding next month. What on earth can I say? I’m stuck for words!

Karen from Toronto

No worries, Karen – [Read more…]

Words of wedding wisdom: THE GROOM – how to keep him busy

Welcome to this series of articles based on my popular book, “The A to Z of Wedding Wisdom” … a few juicy extracts that you might like, to give you a taster of what the book can do to help make your wedding (or a friend or relative’s wedding) superbly successful.

This time, we look at…

The groom

What is it about weddings that makes some grooms develop total allergy syndrome and run for the hills until it’s time to go to the ceremony?

A cynical view would be that organizing a wedding is far too daunting a prospect for men to cope with, so rather than be shown up by the superior organizing skills of women, they avoid as much contact with it as possible!

More realistically, I think it’s a case that men aren’t as good at dealing with detail as women are. They can see the point of, but can’t gain much enjoyment from, all the agonizing women do over color schemes, floral choices, menus, dress designs, etc., etc. We women on the other hand can cheerfully lose ourselves in a snowstorm of color swatches, brochures, pictures and other material that would drive most men mad.

As weddings are a time when emotions can run at a pretty high voltage, some grooms are concerned that if they do offer opinions they might upset the wrong person. Well, that’s their excuse, anyway. And some men … well, just aren’t interested. They want to be married, but are intimidated by the fuss of a wedding.

Now, before we go any further on this topic let’s get one thing clear; you need to make a decision on whether the groom should be involved in the wedding plans or not. There may be some circumstances in which the bride, her family and friends are more than delighted to run the whole show without interference from elsewhere. If that’s the case, fine! If not, and you want the groom to be usefully employed in the wedding process, read on here.

What he can do (and still be “macho”)

Most of the wedding etiquette books and websites will give you chapter and verse on the groom’s duties on the actual day of the wedding. However there are a number of tasks he can take care of before the day without being obliged to try on different colors of chiffon or select from 87 different designs of table decoration.

Take a cue from the groom’s natural capabilities:

**Is he an accountant, finance executive, budget controller? Get him to be in charge of the wedding spend and manage the invoices/payments.

**Is he a project manager or co-ordinator? Ask him to oversee and manage the suppliers working together to create your reception (caterers, florists, entertainers, etc.)

**Is he good at decorating, carpentry and/or DIY? Get him to organize a crew to erect decorations – balloons, floral displays, etc – at the wedding venue.

**Does he like food and wine? Put him in charge of selecting the menu and wines for the reception – or even get him to create a new cocktail or wine-based drink specially for the event.

**Is he knowledgeable about cars and transport? Ask him to research the best deals on wedding cars and negotiate with the final supplier.

**Is he a keen photographer? Set him to work researching wedding photography services and deciding on the right one to do your wedding.

Other things

One thing the groom has to do whether he likes it or not is to decide what he, the best man and the other male attendants are going to wear, and then to organize those outfits.

Needless to say if he is going to hire clothes for all the guys – especially if your wedding is during the high season – he must do this in plenty of time if he wants to be sure of getting the right styles and sizes.

If he and the other male participants are to buy their clothes, once again this should be done in plenty of time to ensure the right fit and design. If they don’t want to go to the expense of buying entire outfits, they can create an attractive overall look in plain suits (hired or their own) with color co-ordinated shirts, ties and buttonholes.

And it’s helpful if the groom consults with the bride about what the boys should wear!

For all 174 pages of helpful tips and advice, grab your copy of “The A to Z of Wedding Wisdom” from Amazon (USA), Amazon (Canada), Amazon (UK) and all other Amazons.

Wedding speeches: need to give one? Here’s some help!

No matter how many etiquette books and speech guides (even mine!) you might read, once you’re up close and personal to a wedding date and you’re due to give a speech, you need some basic, down-to-earth advice on what’s required. So, here it is.

For a list of ALL our articles on wedding speeches for everyone from groom to granny, click here.

Who says what, and when?

To a certain extent this depends on a) if your wedding is a religious one and if so what the traditions are for your religion and culture, and also b) what your personal preferences are. However let’s assume you want more or less to follow current Western culture and schedule the speeches accordingly. Here’s how it goes in the old-fashioned way, and in this order… [Read more…]

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