Cookie cutter. Very Traditonal. That was “nice”. Or worse yet, “that was kind of awkward!”
Not exactly what you want people to say after your once-in-a-lifetime wedding? How about none of the above!!! Why not just go for awesome? If ever there was a time to display the Awe Factor, your wedding is a pretty good candidate, no?
As with most things in life, if you closely follow a set of time-tested guidelines, listen to the advice of someone who you trust who has walked the path before you, your odds of avoiding awkward are 99.9%. That’s a good start. But, since you are well above average, shall we shoot a little higher?
To create the awe factor and have people (especially you and your Bride) remembering your wedding in the fondest of terms for years to come, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Don’t miss your own wedding.
I’m not suggesting that you might just forget about it, sleep in too long, or get seriously cold feet at the last minute. What I’m saying is – be present. Be in the moment. Often times the participants in a big event, be it the Super Bowl or your wedding, get so caught up in the both the minutiae and the hoopla that when it’s over the events of the day are at best a surreal, blurry memory. You don’t want to have to watch the video to remember your own wedding.
West coast client, Jack S., recounted to me that the best piece of pre-wedding advice he received was to take a brief “time out” with his bride during the reception. The advice giver told him that everything is going to move so fast, so many people are going to want to greet you and congratulate you, that I suggest you take a few minutes during the reception, pull your bride aside to a private space, and just talk about what you’ve been experiencing together. Tell her again how beautiful she is, how much you love her, and how excited you are to be spending the rest of your life with her. Jack said, “In retrospect, that was the best five minutes of the entire day.”
Look and feel your very best.
It’s time to bring your “A” game. Get plenty of rest. Groom the groom. Get dressed in a suit of clothes that makes you feel like the King who today is getting married to his Queen. The color needs to be right, the cloth must feel amazing, and the clothes should fit you like they were made for just one person – YOU.
3. Enlist extra Help.
Married just a few months ago, Brent F. designated one of his groomsmen (other than the Best Man) to keep an eye on everyone to make sure that they kept their ties tied, jackets on, and sunglasses off (His preference. In your case, the weather may require them…or you may just plain want a shot like the one above). “Seems like easy instructions for the pre-ceremony pictures,” said Brent, “but I was glad to have someone other than the photographer or myself reminding them.”
4. Get to Know your Guest List
We all know the feeling. You see someone whose name you know you should know, but you draw a blank in the moment. At best, you feel slightly awkward. There’s that word again. We want to avoid that “A” word. Leave the awkward moments to the less prepared. At worst, you embarrass yourself…in front of your bride….on your wedding day. Way to go, slick!
How about we try this: Before the wedding, get a copy of the guest list (especially her side of the family) and study it like it will be on the final exam. Ask your fiancé to tell you about these people, especially the ones you have yet to meet. If you can get a list with pictures, all the better. Then on your wedding day, one of those relatives will approach you and you will heroically say, “Cousin Bill, great to finally meet you. How did trout fishing go this year?” Yes, you really are that good. I know! You’ve got to care a little bit extra, beyond the average to do this. But she’s worth it, right?
5. Put on your Dancing Shoes!
Every wedding reception is different, but pretty much every one of them throughout all of history has included dancing. There are special dances: The Father of the Bride dancing with the Bride for example. But no dance is more important or potentially nerve racking than your first dance with your new bride. All eyes will be on the both of you. This is your opportunity to cinch the deal, convincing any remaining skeptics from your bride’s side of the family that she just married the smoothest dude on the planet. Not already giving J.T. (Justin Timberlake) or Gene Kelly a run for their money. Then take a few lessons. No shame there.
Not a comprehensive list, but some pretty good tips I think. The rest is up to you. Now go have some fun, groom. And don’t forget to thank me and the legion of other people who will help to make your wedding day awesome.
Awesome every day,