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What should be in the welcome toast? Advice for a nervous groom.

ALL TOPICS | Emotional Questions

Q: What should be in the welcome toast? Advice for a nervous groom.


Oh, a nervous groom. I’m sorry you’re even in this position and stressing about it. But I do have some ideas. Try not to do it alone. If your bride is going to be up there with you, then share the microphone and keep it short and sweet. So maybe you do the first part, she does a longer middle part and then you do the end kind of bookend her comments. Or if you’re willing to be creative and a little cute and funny, maybe kind of do like a mad libs kind of thing where she does most of the talking, but then you have figured out in advance certain words that you’ll say so she could say well, we want to thank you all for being and then you say here it really means a lot to us that you all took the time. Something like that could be cute. But I say, number one, definitely be yourself. Don’t try to be something that you’re not because it’s going to come off as inauthentic. So don’t be funny if that’s not your normal way of being. Don’t be serious if that’s not your normal way of being. Don’t try to be super emotional if that’s not who you are. So stay true to yourself. Don’t drink too much before you do it. A little liquid courage is fine, but don’t go overboard because that’s not going to be a good luck. And maybe have something waiting for you when you’re done, but definitely in advance. Keep the drinking reasonable. And I would say share that spotlight, share that microphone with your bride. And the things that you should make sure to say are thank yous. Thank yous to your guests for coming. Thank yous to your bridal party, for being so awesome and supportive. Thank you to your families, especially your parents, grandparents, siblings, and definitely, ah, say some wonderful things about your new wife and that’s really all you need to say. So keep it short, keep it sweet, share the mic if you can, and just be yourself. Bye.


I don’t like being the center of attention. How can I set up my wedding day so I can feel more comfortable?

Q: I don't like being the center of attention. How can I set up my wedding day so I can feel more comfortable?


Girl. Yes. Yes. You can definitely have a fantastic wedding day with 240 guests without having their eyes on you all damn day. Okay? So first thing you have to remember is that the only thing that actually has to happen on your wedding day is some paperwork needs to get signed and you need to be pronounced married. So go through the list of all the things that you think your wedding day needs. You know, think about anything that just makes you feel like it would be the most terrible thing in the world and get rid of it. Maybe you don’t want to do a couple’s or a parents dance. You definitely don’t want to do a cake cutting. Just like get rid of it. And if it makes mom and Dad’s feelings hurt a little, then replace it with something else. Maybe you have a special day with them ahead of the event or you have a private dance or whatever. So just one by one, remove anything that doesn’t feel good to you and then what do you add back in? That’s where the fun part comes in. So make your wedding an event for your guests. Make them feel like they are immersed in something. Have performers that take the stage and the attention away from you. Hire actors that maybe play people from history or people from your favorite comic or whatever. Your thing is to entertain your guests and again, take the attention away from you. Even the dress code, the flow of the event. Keep in mind, how can you make them feel like royalty so you aren’t the only person looking fabulous in a dress. Up the dress code a little bit. Tell them to pretend they’re coming to the Grammys. Give them a red carpet entrance as an officiant. I get this a lot from my couples saying things like, I hate being in front of people. And so their ceremony is like their biggest fear when it comes to their wedding. There’s ways to get over that too. So one thing you can do is tell your efficient to instead of focusing on you or your story, what have you. One, keep it short. I would say 20 minutes is your perfect amount of time for your photographer to get as many shots as they need, but to keep it short enough for you if that’s something you prioritize and value. And then two, to make the verbiage more about them, about your guests, have them remind them of what it feels like to be in love, to think about ideas rather than putting all the attention on you. And then including kind of like I was saying with the rest of your wedding, think about incorporating other people. Invite someone to do a reading, invite someone to do a performance, whatever would feel really good to you, incorporate that into your ceremony as well so that you don’t feel like you’re sweating and hating the most important day of your life.


How do I deal with divorced parents that won’t be in the same room together?

Q: How do I deal with divorced parents that won’t be in the same room together?


You. So weddings are emotional and family dynamics can play a big part of that. If we have parents that are divorced and parents that maybe haven’t seen each other since the divorce or don’t get along, it can be very tricky on how we navigate through a wedding without any outbursts and ensuring that no matter who the parent is and their side of the family, that everybody feels comfortable. Comfortability is a big part of the wedding day and it should be considered. So one of the things that we like to do is if the parents do not get along at all and it’s not a good idea to have them in family photos together or things like that, consider breaking it up. So for instance, a lot of people do a first look and after your first look, you do your wedding party photos. Many times we can try to get knocked out a few of those key family photos such as bride with mom, groom with dad, those kind of things. So what I would say is split it up a little bit, maybe for the before the wedding family photos, you focus on your mom and her side of the family. And during cocktail hour you focus on your dad or the other parent and their family during cocktail hours. So that way the two groups don’t really have to intermingle too much and they don’t have to cross each other’s paths. So think about it from that standpoint that you can break up family photos. They don’t all have to be done at once and they all don’t have to be done at the same time. And another thing that you can do as well is assign immediate family seats at the ceremony. We think of it very often at a reception, but we don’t think of it for a ceremony. And if you have family that just does not get along or should not be sitting near each other during a ceremony, we want to make sure that we are assigning those seats and we can go over that at the rehearsal. So everybody’s clear on where everybody is going to be seated. We have been known if a set of parents don’t get along, we don’t actually put them on the same side. We actually go super untraditional and we’ll split them up. So for instance, if we have a mom and dad that are divorced that can’t sit together, we’ll actually put one set of parents on the opposite side with that set of parents as well. And so that way they split up. Everybody’s still on the front row and everybody is getting along for the most part. So one thing I would just really encourage you though is just to consider the feelings of everyone and comfortability and making sure that again, that you’re not awkward in your photos, that they’re not awkward. But I would really consider those two things is making sure that the family photos are broken up and not done all at once, so people aren’t just standing around waiting for their photos. It’s really awkward. Assigned seating at a ceremony and then just making sure at the reception that they are on opposite ends or their Baxter to each other during dinner. And this should help you break up some of that.

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