The Groom's Role in Wedding Planning

There's a long-standing tradition that it's bad luck for the groom to see his bride in her wedding dress before the big day. However, times have changed, and more and more couples are breaking with tradition. This guide will help grooms (and brides) shop for that perfect gown, together.

In years gone by, your bride's mother was very influential in planning the wedding. Modern grooms are stepping forward and taking on more responsibility, and it is becoming more and more common for couples to do co-ed gown shopping. If you and your fiancee are a younger couple on a limited budget, this can be hard--because money is so tight, you may have to have more input as far as the price of the gown is concerned.

Still, it's important for your fiancee to look and feel beautiful, and it's equally important for her to "wow" you when she walks down the aisle. She may spend weeks or months looking for that perfect dress, and even if you don't go with her to pick it out you can give her some pointers or a general idea of what you'd like to see her in.

If you're really concerned about how your future wife will look in her dress, you'll have to bite the bullet and go shopping with her. It may not be your idea of fun, but if you're investing in a designer gown, you'll want to have an idea of what you are paying for. Also, if you are buying special bridal jewelry as a gift for her, you will know what to look for and what will look best with her gown.

As far as wedding wear and jewelry are concerned, most of us focus on the bride and her bridesmaids. That's natural--but you need to look good too! You can go traditional and wear a tuxedo or three-piece suit, and add your own style with a colorful tie, cummerbund or boutonniere. You can even decide to wear a different color tie or vest than the rest of the men in the wedding party. If you are afraid to break from tradition yourself, you can wear a black tie, and have your groomsmen wear ties that match the bridesmaids' dresses. A lot of couples these days want to do more than stuffy, boring old "black tie", and this is a great way for you to do it.

There's more for you to do before the big day. You'll need to plan for the honeymoon--select a destination, book a hotel, and decide what you're going to do when you get there. You'll need to rent a car, too--whether you want a limo, a sports car or one of the classics, figuring out how you'll get there is your responsibility.

No two weddings are exactly the same, and you and your bride should approach wedding planning in a way that suits your personality and your budget. You and your fiancee share everything--and she probably wants your input a lot more than she lets on. Shopping for a dress and planning a wedding together can be the start to an enduring partnership.