– Propose. It’s senseless to start planning a wedding until you’ve taken this obvious step.
– Figure out who’ll foot the bill. Legendary family feuds have begun with discussions over who’ll pay for what. The key to survival is a combination of direct action and diplomatic intervention. Think Durfur, but ideally without the genocide.
– Decide where you’d like to get hitched. The sooner you establish your preferences, the sooner she can ignore them and decide for you.
– Tell your family and friends. Take advantage of as many offers of celebratory nights on the town as you can, as lord knows you won’t be allowed once the New World Order has been established.
– Work out the guest list. Bear in mind that whatever list you devise will probably have to be pruned at some point, so be discriminating. As with the note about wedding finances above, this is an area where you can really monkey things up if you’re not careful. Remember that the seating of ex-spouses and spurned lovers should be given a little extra thought.
– Think gifts. Don’t spend the next 20 years moaning about how ugly the dinner service is. If you’ve any sense at all you’ll realize that this is the chance to get that table saw you’ve always wanted. Or, if you’re a worthy type, you could nominate a charity for guests to donate to instead.
– Choose the best man. Rememeber that the best man has certain responsibilities, so you should really pick someone who can be trusted to remain calm in a crisis. Also, the ability to make a speech that won’t offend half the audience is a plus.
– Pay a visit to the officiant. That’s the person who’ll do the actual marrying bit, in case you weren’t too sure. They may also offer prenuptial counseling, which could be handy. Any plans you may have to play “The Ace of Spades” as you walk down the aisle will need to be approved by the officiant.
– Go talk to photographers, caterers and the rest. This probably isn’t the task you feel you were born to accomplish. But it needs to be done, and it’s only fair that you make at least some effort to help on this front. Don’t be tempted to lean too much on family and friends for catering ” it’s a pretty onerous responsibility and not something you want to saddle your friends with. The same advice goes doubly for photography ” getting great results on the day needs the skills of a professional.
– Think about what you’re going to wear. Rememeber that all the guys in your wedding party are supposed to wear the same thing as you, so best to give this some thought. Of course, this is likely to be another area of nuptial negotiations where your input may end up being somewhat limited. But is she wants you to put ribbons in your hair, it’s way past time you made a stand.
– Put on your dancing shoes. That’s right, get some lessons. Your spouse will be mightily impressed, and you’ll feel less anxious if you have at least some idea what you’re doing.
– Decide on what music you’d like at the wedding. As well as a DJ or band, an iPod is an option nowadays. Whatever you decide, spend some time with your spouse finding out just how many killer songs from your childhood she can’t bear the sound of.
– Ponder the honeymoon location. This is really the part of this whole process on which you should focus your efforts. For many couples, the honeymoon is the most extravagant vacation they’ll ever take, and should provide dinner party material for years to come. If you’re stuck for ideas, try giving a couple of travel agents a call. Most have extensive experience with planning honeymoons so should be able to put together a killer trip.
– Find a wedding ring. This could take a while, so don’t leave it too late. It’s now possible to buy diamonds that are ethically produced, so this might be something to consider.
– Sort out the paperwork. Get in touch with your local county clerk well ahead of time as there’s a mandatory waiting period between the license being issued and getting married. Check out all the exciting legal details at http://www.usmarriagelaws.com.
– Write the vows. Allow yourself plenty of time to fine tune your vows. There’s a good chance that whatever you end up saying will be remembered for a lifetime, so best to get it just right.
– Make sure all the details have been figured out. It’s really getting close now, so anything you wamt to go right needs to be sorted out by now. It’s also about time to begin your stag night.
– Greet every guest. Many of your guests will have traveled a long way to celebrate the big day with you, so make a special effort to greet each one. Even that weird aunt on your wife’s side who never really liked you much.
– Make some toasts. This should really be a progression. The early (sober) toasts should be family-friendly and focused on thanking everyone who contributed to the wedding; the later (somewhat less sober) ones should concentrate on legendary events from the shared past of you and your mates, and should aim to offend at least half of the audience.
– Make some moves on the dance floor. It’s only your entire family, her entire family and a whole bunch of other folks, so what’s to lose? Disco never goes out of style.
– Spend some time contemplating the future. Life as you know it has ended. A new era has begun. Sit back and ponder on this incredible truth for a while, ideally with a good Scotch and a fine cigar in hand.
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