Posts Tagged ‘Wedding Traditions’

Taking the Scenic Route to the Rehearsal Dinner

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010


Most of our wedding decisions begin by overturning tradition and slapping etiquette in the face. Wedding guides and how-to’s will steer you toward the “customary” or the “typically,” whereas my 2E’s and I like to start from scratch. Start fresh. In order words, “What’s the purpose of this part of the process, and what are the most effective means to that end?”

We’ve coined this process “the scenic route.”

Take rehearsal dinners for instance — the name implies that it’s a dinner for those who attended or participated in the wedding rehearsal (or perhaps a chance for certain troublesome guests to rehearse eating a full course meal) … but what it really is is an opportunity for your immediate families and their guests to shake hands and swap stories and share a few laughs before chaos ensues the following evening … for two unique families to blend into one on behalf of two lovestruck kids. Two becomes one and stuff.

So what says “our mothers have never met before” like a traditional paintball fight?


Customarily the groom’s family will pitch in for the entry fee, gear, goggles, paintballs and equipment, and the couple will cover any additional costs. Traditionally, the escort cards are hung from the barrels of the guns as they lay across the glass display case — names printed on colored stationery matching the color of your designated team. Mixing up the bloodlines might be best, as the prospect of her brood delivering swift justice to your brood is just too embarrassing to face. Ideally the bride and groom would be on opposing teams as the first of the couple to “take down” the other determines who wears the pants in the household. A BBQ dinner is typically served buffet-style on the various bunkers throughout the field.


What better way to build a familial bond between the groom’s and bride’s families than to pressure them into an irresponsible evening of straight boozing. The image of your brother escorting your fiancee’s sloppy drunk uncle to a nearby alleyway is one you’ll never forget. Proper rehearsal dinner etiquette states that the groom’s parents are responsible for the first five “public houses” on the tour, and any purchases beyond that are the responsibility of each inebriated individual. Dinner is the responsibility of the couple and typically includes fried calamari, potato skins and mediocre buffalo wings.


Etiquette calls for awesomeness, so book a local barn for the evening, set up folding chairs along the perimeter, hang flood lights from the flimsy rafters overhead and pick up some lances from your neighborhood … lance store. Tradition states that men compete and observe while the wenches (i.e. women) serve meat on the bone; but never mind tradition. Get those wenches on horses and watch them battle for holiday visitation rights. Everything is the groom’s responsibility because — for god’s sake, dude — no one is going to think you can actually pull this off, especially your wife-to-be. Dinner will be whatever your future mother-in-law can throw together because you’ll be in serious debt after they’ve charged your credit card in the amount of barn + equine expenses + chairs + flood lights + medieval garb, and that’s not including the additional expense you’ll incur when your cousin drinks too much brew and lances that horse in the eye. Whatever. You’ll all laugh about it at your 50th anniversary.


Brian Leahy is founder of The Groom Says — a safe haven for grooms who need a hand with wedding planning and brides who need a hand with their grooms. Check out the blog for some laughs and inspiration, and be sure to follow The Groom Says on Twitter and Google+.

5 Wedding Traditions Men Can Be Thankful For

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Thanksgiving traditionally kicks off engagement season. For all of you men out there preparing to pop the big question soon, here are five wedding planning traditions to remember to be thankful for as you’re shoveling turkey and mashed potatoes down your throat on Turkey Day.

Rake in the loot at your Man Shower

Rake in the loot at your Man Shower

Man Showers – The man (or groom) shower is a relatively new kid on the wedding block. The average bride has 2-3 bridal showers. Until recently, the average groom had, well, 0. What is this “man shower” all about? It’s not as disturbing as it sounds. If ‘Sex and the City’ is a bridal shower, then ‘Entourage’ is a man shower.’ Think a grill-out at the Best Man’s house followed up with a little backyard pigskin action or Call of Duty 6. Of course, it wouldn’t be a shower without the groom-to-be receiving some gifts from a manly wedding registry.

It wasn't a successful bachelor party unless the groom looks like this at the end of the night.

It wasn’t a successful bachelor party unless the groom looks like this at the end of the night.

Bachelor Party – We all know about this one, so we’re not going to bore you with talk of steak,  booze, limos, casinos wait… that’s not boring. Planning the bachelor party is generally a duty reserved for the Best Man. However, as the groom you should remember to suggest activities/destinations you are interested in. Whether it’s Vegas, strippers or an adventure bachelor party – be sure to get what you want!

The groom is fully responsible for selecting the theme of the groom's cake: make it count.

The groom is fully responsible for selecting the theme of the groom’s cake: make it count.

Groom’s CakeThis cake is all about the GROOM. Are you a hunter? golfer? Star Wars fanatic? Plan your groom’s cake accordingly. While commonly referred to as an “accessory” to the main wedding cake, groom’s cakes are often the more memorable of the two. Serve this baby at the wedding reception or as dessert at the rehearsal dinner. Lots of guys go for a sports-related grooms’ cake like I did.

Don't just remove the garter, make a spectacle out of the removal

That’s right… own that garter!

Garter Removal – As close as you can come to having sex at your wedding reception. You’ll want to plan your garter removal carefully as it’s become a sort of a pissing contest for grooms. Just how sexual can it get? It’s also a great chance to show off your dancing moves (see above). Savor it because it’s probably the only time you’ll ever get to have your hands up your wife’s leg while her parents stand 10 feet away.

Last but not least...

Last but not least…

Wedding Night Sex …and honeymoon sex for that matter. Something tells me that we didn’t’ have to remind you to be thankful for this. Who knows what kind of sexy lingerie your new wife will be waiting to showcase on the wedding night. Wedding night sex is extra important for those who waited for marriage to go the distance. If you fall into that category, might we suggest a very brief engagement?


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What’s a wedding tradition that you’re thankful for. Chime in with your answer below.

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