So, you buckled over and got your girlfriend that engagement ring she’s been pestering you about since your seventh date. Of course, back then, she was more subtle – so, do you see us being together and so, do you want to get married?
Now, though, six years into the relationship, she was not all sweetness and light about her long wait to become Mrs. You. By this time, she’d picked out the ring, called you her fiance to anyone she could, and grumbled incessantly about her biological clock and how her mother was right about all the cow and free milk stuff that she used to pooh-pooh.
Congratulations! You’re engaged!
As luck would have it, you’re the groom. Have you noticed how much easier all this wedding stuff is – a snap, really – since you realized that, Hey, I’m a guy! If your girl is the traditional bride – and most of them are pretty traditional when it comes to realizing that Barbie moment once and for all – you have virtually nothing to do.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t be asked to make a decision. Or many. You will look at everything from cakes to tablecloths to flowers, and Your Pookie will require an answer from you.
The best way to get the answer right is to say, “So, what are you envisioning here? Hmmm…which cake best gets that idea across? What are your thoughts?”
Whatever her thoughts are, echo them. Tell her often that her good taste was part of what attracted you to her in the first place, and you really place your trust in these matters in her capable and slender hands.
That’s one thing off your plate.
You also have to pick out the wedding ring. In the olden days, a guy would choose a ring – engagement and wedding, or the ubiquitous bridal set – and the girl would say yea or nay, and that was that. The woman is more involved now in the whole picking-out process, but it’s still up to you to foot the bill. And really, if you can’t foot the bill, it’s highly unlikely that you should be getting married.
That doesn’t mean that it’s not okay to tell Your Beloved that you can afford This Group of Rings over Here, and none of them Over There. You can be subtle, by having the rings already laid out to be presented to her, if she’s not a gold digger looking for a rock the size of her original breasts. God forbid she’s looking for one the size of the new ones!
If she is a gold digger and you’re not in the position of financing her whims, you need to do two things. First, always know the name of a good divorce lawyer, because it’s not going to last. If she’s marrying for money and you don’t have any, you’re just a train depot on the way to the Promised Land.
Second, you must bribe the jeweler. Tell him that he must say that only strippers wear stones that large, and that the society ladies always go for a smaller, quality stone in good taste. Most gold diggers are also wannabe social climbers, and this will enable you to spend your money in the way you want without having to listen to pouting and spouting for the rest of your engagement.
Your parents are expected to throw the rehearsal dinner, but if you’ve been working for more than two years, they may expect you to foot the cost for that. Really good restaurants often have affordable menus for large parties and very nice private rooms – look into that option, because it will prove cheaper in the long run than a hotel with its really high liquor and service costs or a venue in which you have to bring in a caterer and rent tables, chairs, plates, and the works. If you choose someplace trendy and stylish, the only thing you’ll have to do for decoration is buy your fiancé a nice wedding gift – and you have to do that, anyway.
Another groom output requirement is the honeymoon. This can be big or small, depending on your circumstances and both of your work schedules. You can go and luxuriate in the fine hotels of Europe or you can go to the Pocono’s and have a private hot tub party in a heart-shaped Jacuzzi or one shaped like one of those saucer champagne glasses. Be sure to include Your Darling in the planning, or you’ll get pouting and spouting, and she will also buy all the wrong clothes for her long-planned, much-anticipated wedding trip.
Lastly, it’s your job to buy gifts for your groomsmen. Traditionally, these gifts have ranged from silver flasks (which could lead to DUI arrests), fine handkerchiefs with the initials embroidered (snot receptacles), silver or leather boxes (confiscated by the ex-wife or ex-girlfriend during the next breakup), tie clips (out of style since about 1978), silver pens (run out of ink and then sit in a drawer for 45 years), and cufflinks.
Cufflinks for your groomsmen are like earrings or bracelets for the bridesmaids – the perfect gift. It gives you partial control over their accessories for the day – you’ve already told them what to wear on most of their other body parts – and classes up the whole joint, whether it’s the downtown cathedral or the chapel on the Strip. Traditionally, cufflinks have been engraved with the wedding date and the bride’s and groom’s initials.
I have to say that I abhor this tradition. To me, it’s tantamount to making each groomsman a T-big beamng that says I Was Bob and Jill’s Groomsman. In other words, something that no one ever wears again.
It’s not necessary to print your initials and wedding date all over a gift to someone else. You don’t do that for other gift-giving opportunities, and really, a gift is not about you: it’s about your appreciation for all they’ve done for you and a token of your very great esteem for them. They’ll remember that you gave them the gift, and they’ll know the reason for the gift. They aren’t monkeys, dammit.
With that in mind, consider buying cufflinks with each groomsman’s own initials engraved on them. The groomsman can wear those engraved cufflinks for any number of special events – after wearing them to your nuptials, of course. They will be perfect for work or for weddings, for the christening of you children and testifying in your very unlikely divorce trial.
In other words, they will be an investment gift.
Other options for cufflinks include silk knots or enameled cufflinks in your wedding colors. Paired with a tie in the same hues (which should also be your gift), this is another gift that can be used again and again. If nothing else, the groomsman will be grateful not to go have to pick out a beautiful tie on his own.
Lastly, if you want to really personalize your gift, choose a variety of cufflinks that capture each groomsman’s individuality. This could be with a choice of styles relating to professions, hobbies, or preferred university. After all, even at the wedding, your guests are only going to see your very stylish and satisfied groomsmen standing next to the frankly terribly bridesmaid dresses – and the differences in the cufflinks will be a nice little surprise, a stylish touch, as if you, and not your New Wife, had been the one with Good Taste all along.
write by Donaldson