20 Thoughts That Go Through A Man’s Head Before His Wedding

Universal Pictures/The Five-Year Engagement

Congratulations! You finally asked her to marry you. You’re ready to settle down and leave the single world behind… right? Planning a wedding is one of the most stressful events you’ll deal with in your life — unless it all goes wrong, in which case you’ll find weddings are much, much more fun to prepare for than divorces, but let’s try to stay positive here.

A lot of dudes think that after they slip that diamond on her finger, their job is mostly done—just rent a tux and show up on time, right? Wrong. So very, very wrong. While it’s true that you won’t be making anywhere close to the majority of the decisions over the next few months, you will be heavily involved in the process. It’s almost comical how much work goes into planning a wedding. You’ll be confronted with choices you never even thought about before and you’ll be nickel-and-dimed at every conceivable turn (Cake-cutting fee? Are you shitting me?).

There will be many thoughts swirling around your addled brain during this highly important phase of your life. This is a list of a few of them.

1. Am I sure she’s the one?

Once the excitement of getting engaged wears off and the reality of a lifelong commitment sets in, it’s only natural to do a little second-guessing. Don’t feel bad; she’s probably doing it, too. Take it as an opportunity to hash out all your outstanding issues.

2. Who should I pick for my best man?

The easiest thing to do here is go with your dad or a brother so you don’t have to worry about ranking your buddies. Be careful about leaving any friends out of the wedding party, though. Some dudes can be sensitive.

3. How wild is my bachelor party going to be?

Look, if you’re grown-up enough to get married, you should know what your limit should be. You don’t necessarily need your future wife to know everything that went on, but you have to consider the possibility of her finding out and make decisions accordingly. It’s a simple rule, really. “Strippers: YES. Hookers: NO.”

4. How much is this going to cost me?

According to tradition, the bride’s family is supposed to foot the bill. If that’s the case, then good for you, but you better be worth it. More likely, you and your family will be taking on at least some of the expenses, and they are high, so I hope you didn’t blow it all on the ring.

5. Should I write my own vows?

Well, that depends. Some guys are great at expressing their feelings in this way, but most aren’t. If you don’t think you can hit it out of the park, keep the vows semi-traditional (drop the “obey” part) and save the corny sentimentality for the toasts, of which you’ll be making plenty.

6. What should I be in charge of?

Hey, this is her day. You’re just the dude in the tux. She has the final call on everything, so only spearhead what you’ll be good at. When it comes to the ceremony and the reception, most guys handle the music, the liquor, the marriage license, rings and transportation, with limited authority over food and venue.

7. What kind of ring should I choose?

It’s your finger this thing’s going to be on for the rest of your life, so it doesn’t have to be her favorite. Keep it simple; I highly recommend going for the comfort band.

8. Where should we go for our honeymoon?

This is another one that’s all you; she’ll be expecting you to handle it so do it right. Leave the country, even if it’s just to Mexico. Take her to Panama City Beach and you’ll be lucky if you’re still married by the time you get home.

9. If I have to see one more vendor, I’m going to shoot myself.

Better lock up that gun, buddy, because you probably haven’t even scratched the surface yet. Even though you don’t give the first shit what kind of place cards are on the tables, your presence (if not your opinion) during the decision-making process will be mandatory.

10. Wow, my fiancée is acting crazy.

Yep. But don’t consider it a litmus test. Just because she’s crazy now doesn’t mean you’re marrying a psycho. Perspective is important. Do your part by helping her keep hers.

11. Should I do something special?

The short answer is “yes,” but watch the scale. Everyone wants their wedding to stand out from the crowd, but make sure it fits your personality. Having the wedding party moonwalk down the aisle or choreographing a dance at the reception can potentially be painful and embarrassing for your guests.

12. God, I hope the parents get along.

It’s your wedding, so if your folks have issues with each other or the bride’s family, you need to sit them down and tell them to be on their best behavior.

13. Oh, shit, the Raiders are playing that day.

Idiot. Why are you getting married during football season? This one’s on you, dude. Suck it up. You, your family and all your friends are going to miss the game. Prepare for that to be held against you for the rest of your life.

14. Open bar?

Well, it’s a pretty penny, but everyone will have a lot more fun. Still, if you don’t want your horny uncle feeling up bridesmaids, maybe go with a limited bar — you’ll cover beer and wine, but the liquor’s on your guests.

15. Hey, registering for gifts is actually kind of fun.

Make sure you slip away from the bride and use that scanner to zap a couple of things she wouldn’t approve of. Head over to that “As Seen On TV” display. You’d never buy any of that crap for yourself, but it’s fun to own when someone else is footing the bill.

16. I hope I don’t cry during the ceremony.


17. Should I take dance lessons?

If you want to dazzle your bride and the crowd with some crazy moves, go nuts. If dancing isn’t your thing or you have two left feet, just make sure you can pull off a basic box-waltz without stepping on her toes or dress. You’ll get through it.

18. I wonder if I should invite my ex?

Are you crazy? No. And you don’t want any of hers there, either. I don’t care how friendly you all are; weddings can put people in weird places and the free (or semi-free) alcohol won’t help. I advise against this, but do what you’re gonna do.

19. What should I give the groomsmen?

Since this is such a romantic, girly occasion, this is your chance to inject a little masculinity into it. Monogrammed tie clips and cufflinks are fine, but they’ll rarely be used. Give your buddies something they’ll actually want. I like pocketknives, electronic gadgets or fine cigars.

20. Is it too late to elope?

Not at all. But if you’ve already put a lot of work in, she has to be the one to suggest it. If she does, jump on it. Be ready with a list of “pros.” Buy the tickets to Vegas and hop on a plane before she changes her mind. You’ll be sacrificing about 50 percent of your potential gifts but saving 100 percent of your sanity.