Wedding Survival Tips – The Groom’s Check-List

With so much to organise, there’s always a risk something might go wrong on your big day or in the lead-up to it. This fail-safe check-list will ensure it doesn’t.

Dealing with last-minute nerves
Let’s not beat around the bush. Getting married is one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of any man’s life. As the big moment draws ever closer you will start to get more and more apprehensive.

This is totally normal. Anyone who doesn’t feel nervous at getting hitched isn’t human. But occasionally those nerves bubble over into panic.

To stay in control, think about how much you love your wife. Imagine how beautiful you are both going to look as a married couple. Remember what a great life you’re going to have together. And think of what a wonderful party you’re going to have with all your friends at the reception.

If that doesn’t work then get some reassurance from your best man. Part of his job is to ensure your nerves don’t get too frayed. A stiff drink might help. It’s a tradition at most weddings nowadays for the groom and his best man and ushers to have a quick drink just before the ceremony. Brandy can work wonders in these situations.

Stay friends with your future in-laws
There’s nothing like a wedding to strain inter-familial relations. Why do you think in-laws are often called out-laws? But things will go a lot more smoothly if you remain on good terms with your bride’s parents. You’re going to be spending every other Christmas for the rest of your life with these people, plus countless family weekends, so it’s worth putting in the effort in advance.

Communicate regularly with them in the run-up to the wedding. Remember that your bride’s father is probably paying for the lion’s share of the wedding costs, so he deserves a bit of slack. (And don’t get annoyed when he invites all his mates from the golf club.)

But the most important person is the bride’s mother. Ultimately she is in charge: she will make all the key decisions on the ceremony and reception, even if your fiancée thinks they are her own idea.

There will inevitably be times when your fiancée has altercations with her mother, and you may be asked to intervene. While this puts you in a tricky diplomatic situation, in the long run you’ll be better off siding with the mother-in-law (even if you pretend you’re actually siding with your future wife).

And whatever you do, don’t forget to give both in-laws some very special presents at the reception. As well as thanking them profusely in your speech.

How to survive stag night stunts
Women have childbirth to deal with. Men have stag party humiliation. It’s just a fact of life. You know that at some stage on your stag do you will face either utter public embarrassment or severe pain. Perhaps even a combination of the two.

You may get shaved or stripped. You’ll certainly be forced to consume ridiculous amounts of alcohol. You will be the butt of many a practical joke.

Here’s a great tip: tell everyone that you recently injured your thigh playing football. Strap a bandage around the thigh and underneath it secrete a £50 note. Then even if your cruel friends abandon you somewhere with no wallet, no money and no phone, you will still have the means to survive.

First night as a married couple
With the exception of certain Amish communities, no one in the western world still gets married as a virgin. But while you may already be intimate with one another, that doesn’t mean that your first night as a married couple can’t still be the most romantic time of your life.

Most newly-weds book a luxury hotel for their first night. Make sure you get the honeymoon suite and don’t spare any expense on all the extras. Order the finest Champagne, the most beautiful flowers, romantic music etc, etc. And don’t drink so much at the reception that it all ends up being something of an anti-climax.

Breakfast the following morning should certainly be taken in bed.

What your wedding suit says about you
Morning suit: tailcoats are classic and stylish. While it means you’re fairly traditional, it also means you like to do things properly.

Morning suit with top hat: pompous and a bit of a show-off. Even more so if you don white gloves and a cane. Just look at Chris Eubank.

Prince Edward-style suit: granted, it’s very smart and not quite as traditional as a morning suit. But be wary of what colour you choose lest you end up looking like a footballer.
Lounge suit: modern, suave and not too sophisticated. Just make sure it’s not the same suit you wear to the office.

Linen suit: cool and casual. Perfect if you’re getting married in the Caribbean, but perhaps a little too informal for the UK.

Dinner suit: the sharpest suit of them all. But only appropriate if you’re having an evening wedding.

Dealing with wedding drunks
Alcohol runs freely at wedding receptions and emotions are always running high. There’s a good chance someone will imbibe too much and end up saying or doing something they later regret.

Your best man and ushers will help you with anyone who gets too out of hand. Initially it’s best to lure them away from the bar. Rather than man-handling them, why not tell them there’s an important telephone call at the main house or the hotel reception? Once you’ve got them away from the main party you can then ply them with coffee and persuade them to sober up.

Best stag party destinations
Thanks to cheap, short-haul air travel, there are now dozens of places to visit for stag parties. Some are glamorous and some are tacky. Here are 10 of the best:

1) London: more pubs, clubs, restaurants and vacation places than in any other European city.
2) Newquay: surf capital of the UK and party capital of the West Country. Regular flights from London airports.
3) Brighton: all the sophistication of London without the prices. Plus a beach and a pier.
4) Nottingham: women outnumber men by four to one in this Midlands city, so there’s no excuse for men not to party. For full effect, dress the stag up as Robin Hood.
5) Barcelona, Spain: If you can’t enjoy a party on Las Ramblas then you may as well give up. What about a spot of bull-fighting?
6) Tallinn, Estonia: a major portion of this city’s economy relies on visiting stag parties. Thanks to the Baltic hospitality, you’ll quickly see how.
7) Berlin, Germany: When it comes to beer and nightclubs (both stag essentials), the Germans lead the way.
8) Amsterdam, Holland: With such a liberal attitude to nudity and narcotics, it’s easy to see why this Dutch city is so popular for stag parties.
9) Prague, Czech Republic: party against the backdrop of one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Beware of the local spirit absinthe, however.
10) Dublin, Ireland: head for Temple Bar for some of the most convivial drinking spots you’ll find anywhere in Europe. And be prepared for a lot of Guinness.

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