Whether you’ve already proposed to your spouse or you’re planning on doing so, you should have a general understanding of what to expect when it comes to the eventual wedding. What are the important facts that every guy should know prior to getting married? The last thing you want to do is show ignorance at your own wedding ceremony or reception, so it’s best to prepare wisely and remain knowledgeable of all the goings-on.
Which Hand Does the Engagement Ring Go On?
Western folklore has it that there is a vein in our left ring finger (finger located between the middle and pinky fingers) that leads directly to the heart. While this old wives’ tale has been debunked—in that there is no sole vein which leads from the ring finger directly to the heart—tradition has still held on over the last few centuries. For this reason, it has become commonplace to wear the engagement ring on the left ring finger. While this might be common in Western culture, it’s not common in all Western countries.
Some European countries and South American countries, including Brazil and Colombia, will wear their engagement rings on their right hands and move the rings over to their left upon completing their vows. Other European countries, like Germany and the Netherlands, do the opposite, placing their engagement rings on their left hand and wearing their wedding rings solely on their right.
Differences abound within the LGBTQ+ community, too, where couples have chosen to wear their rings on the right hand instead. The reason here is to differentiate themselves from heterosexual norms and to keep part of the marriage ceremony unique to themselves.
How to Find Your Spouse’s and Your Wedding Rings?
Set a budget.
So, you’re trying to find a ring but don’t know where to start. Different people have different opinions—some say spend whatever you like, some say you should spend no more than one month of your annual salary—but you should make the decision based on your own gut feeling.
While you might be ready to purchase the best option available, weigh your options before making a final decision. There are some great rings out there for an affordable price—one that will allow you and your spouse to put more into your wedding ceremony, reception, or honeymoon.
While you could reach for the top shelf to impress your friends, family, and spouse, it might be a better idea to pick something more specialized. Custom rings for men can be paired with a chosen ring to give you and your spouse the perfect balance between originality and wholesomeness. More exciting, you can create a ring for your spouse and you based around the design of your engagement ring. Consider designing a wedding band that is beautiful in color, possibly featuring a shimmering inlay or sleeve to make it as personal as possible.
You and your spouse can even have your custom rings engaged to connect to each other on a deeper level. Inside your band can be an engraving of an inside joke, a quote the two of you both love, or the shared nickname of the other person. Whatever it is, you want something that binds you together.
Think about the future.
When purchasing a wedding band, you should think of it as an investment, too. If you’re planning on this marriage lasting, you should purchase a ring that can stand the test of time. Beyond simply going for a soft gold, consider shopping for a ring made of highly durable materials, from cobalt chrome to carbon fiber. If either of you is in the military or works a hard-labor job, a durable ring will be a must.
Who Pays for What?
Weddings can become expensive rather quickly, but who pays for what? While the share of payment might be different due to one family’s financial situation compared to the other, both families usually cover the following:
In traditional wedding, the groom and his family will pay for the engagement ring, wedding bands, wedding license, rehearsal dinner, priest/preacher, and honeymoon. Sometimes they will also pay for the flowers carried by bridesmaids during the wedding ceremony. Traditionally, the bride’s family will cover the costs of most everything else, including her dress, wedding invites, wedding photography, and the reception—including flowers, music, alcohol, food, venue, and more. Of course in today’s age, these traditions aren’t always the case!
What’s Your Groomsmen Lineup Look Like?
As the groom, your groomsmen matter—if you’re Jordan, then your groomsmen are your Pippen, Rodman, Longley, and Harper. While you might be the star of the show, you want to ensure you have the perfect team to support you from start to finish. That means recruiting the best of your male friends, which most likely doesn’t include the guy who bought you two free shots on your birthday last year.
First off, you’ll want to figure out how many people you’ll have on your side. Talk to your spouse-to-be to find out how many they have selected for their side—you’ll want to make sure it’s even, both for aesthetic purposes and so all people involved have a date. A usual number of groomsmen is anywhere from four to six, so you’ll want to begin planning around this.
Next, you should consider the first few men who come to mind in your life. These should be the men who you’ve been friends with the longest, who you have the closest relationships with, and who you can say you truly love like a brother. Whichever man comes to mind first should be slated as your best man—there’s a reason they were the first you thought of. If you’re not entirely sure about your decision for a best man, think it over: You want a man who is trustworthy and someone you can expect to stick by your side throughout the marriage process.
The following consideration is keeping a list on hand. Why? You want a backup if one of your groomsmen drops out at the last minute. While you don’t want to throw this on any man at the drop of a dime, you should consider keeping some already invited wedding guests in the mix. This will guarantee a level of protection in case anything goes awry leading up to the day of the wedding ceremony.
Last, consider the schedule and finances of your potential groomsmen. Do these men have the time and finances to commit to your wedding, from renting their tuxedos to taking the necessary time off from work? While you don’t want to disqualify anyone from the running due to their finances, you also don’t want to place any strain on your closest friends.
If you know one of them is in a tough situation, pull them aside and talk to them one-on-one. Let them know that you’re willing to cover some of the costs to help them be a part of your wedding—they mean that much to you. This is an honest and considerate way to respect your friend’s situation without making them feel judged.
Writing Your Own Vows or Sticking to Tradition?
The vows are your moment, before family and friends, to state your open, undying love for your spouse-to-be. In such an intimate moment, do you decide to write your own vows or rely on pre-written ones?
The decision comes down to how confident you feel about writing your own. It might be a good idea to stick to traditional vows if you’re not a good writer or public speaker to begin with. Yet, you can still write a heartfelt set of vows without being the most eloquent man out there. Here are some considerations to take to heart if you’re writing your own vows:
- Give Yourself Enough Time: Don’t wait until the last minute to write your vows. They should be completed weeks in advance of your wedding, not the night before as if they’re an Intro to Academic Writing paper written while hungover.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Be Emotional: Men aren’t required to always be stoic. It’s your wedding day; you’re confessing your love for another human being. Take this day to wear your heart on your sleeve.
- Have an Editor: Is one of your groomsmen a particularly good writer? Give them editorial duties. They can help you clean up any language and odd sentence structure, ensuring that your vows are easy to read while on the spot and under pressure.
Who Holds Onto Your Vows?
Once your vows are written, who holds onto them during the wedding ceremony? The choice falls on you. If you feel confident enough to keep them on you, then, by all means, hold onto them during the ceremony. Consider placing them in the inner breast pocket of your tuxedo to ensure they are safely put away. Furthermore, double- and triple-check prior to the ceremony. The last thing you want to do is be on the altar, having your officiant ask you to begin your vows, only to realize you left them at home.
If you’re really concerned, entrust your vows in the hands of your most reliable groomsman. Any anxious type might want another line of defense, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In this case, consider making copies of your vows, keeping one on you, your best man, and a groomsman. There’s nothing wrong with being over-prepared. It can even be made into an on-altar joke, with each groomsman pulling out a set of vows alongside you, making for a lighthearted laugh among the congregation.
Who Holds the Ring?
You’ve scoured through the options of custom rings for men and designed the perfect wedding band that matches both your personality and the ring chosen for your soon-to-be spouse. Now, what happens with that ring on the day of the ceremony? Tradition has it that someone else holds onto the rings leading up to the moment when they are shared between the newly married couple. So, which of your groomsmen do you trust with them?
The choice is a personal one, but this task is often filed beneath best man responsibilities. There are no specific laws or regulations dictating who has to have this grand responsibility rested on their back, but it’s easiest to pass it off to your best man. Once the ring bearer—likely one of your nephews—brings the rings down the aisle, they can be handed off to the best man, where he will secure them in the pocket of his tuxedo pants. You’re welcome to make the endeavor more exciting if you want to, but this is the easiest and most reliable option.
Which Hand Does the Wedding Ring Go On?
Similar to the lore surrounding engagement rings, the wedding ring is often worn on the ring finger of the left hand due to the belief that a vein runs directly to the heart. Called “vena amoris,” the vein of love, this tradition continues to today, seen as the ultimate way to signify a couple’s love for one another.
Other cultures have different opinions as to which hand the wedding ring goes on, though. Countries that often wear their wedding rings on the right include:
This isn’t true for all cultures within countries, but they can be commonly seen—most often among Orthodox Christians.
Who Gives the Reception Speech?
The answer here is straightforward: The reception speech is one of many of the best man’s responsibilities. The job is meant for your closest friend, so it’s someone who should know both you and your newlywed spouse well if not better than your own family.
You want someone that knows you in and out, someone who can tell a story that is humorous, heartfelt, embarrassing, and considerate. They should also be able to read the room—they won’t cross any uncomfortable boundaries and tell a story that will make Grandma Gertrude pass out from shock. Further, getting a little tipsy during the reception won’t throw them off their game either. Rather, it only helps to loosen them up to be more honest and emotional about the love they feel for you and your new marriage.
Now It’s Up to You
If your marriage is around the corner, the information provided here will cover the basics for you. Moreover, you’re going to need to perform some regular check-ins with your soon-to-be spouse to guarantee the two of you—especially you—have got everything covered to make the perfect wedding. Nervous? It’s understandable to be. Reach out to your father or future father-in-law to talk about your nerves and hear about their own wedding(s). The camaraderie will help.