Groom's Responsibilities
Traditionally, when you think of the cost of a wedding, you think about  the expenses that the family of the bride has to incur. As a groom, you may not think of all the things that you have to purchase to prepare for the wedding. Here’s a list of your necessary purchases and responsibilities.

1. Marriage License

Every couple in the United States is required to, upon marriage, apply for a marriage certificate. Every state has different requirements and application processes, but most require that both man and woman are 18 or older or have parental consent, proof of immunity or vaccination of certain diseases, and proof of termination of any previous marriages. Though the certificate does not cost much (usually between $20 and $40), it’s the entire legal process that proves you’re married.

2. Officiant’s Fee

Odds are, the guy (or girl) that is marrying you and your beautiful bride wants paid too. You’ve got the responsibility of finding out what the cost is, if any, and make sure he gets paid after the ceremony. The easiest way to take care of that is to give the money to your Best Man and have him pay after you’re gone on your “happily ever after.” If you are being married by the officiant at your home church, he (or she) may not require that you pay anything, or at the very least may not set a price. In this case, it is appropriate to tip your officiant. Typically, you may want to tip the officiant around $75, though more may be appropriate if they have significant travel time involved.

3. Picking out your Tuxedos

If you’re not in the military or a professional ball room dancer, odds are, you don’t already own a tuxedo. Formal wedding attire is some form of tux, whether it be a traditional black and white, or some odd colors that match the theme of the wedding. It is important to make sure that your bride is on the same page, and that the tuxes are exactly what you want before making the final decision. If you pick the wrong shade for your tie, you’ll clash or look out of place. It’s also a good idea for you to be in a slightly different tux than your groomsmen. This sets you apart from the others and makes it easy to differentiate you as the groom.

4. Her Rings

Since you’re reading this, you’ve probably already picked out the engagement ring. Good job on that one! Now, have you thought about the wedding bands? She’s going to want something pretty, but not so pretty that it masks the beauty of the engagement ring. If she’s a simple girl, maybe consider a solid gold band that matches the gold of the engagement ring, or perhaps a simple band with a series of smaller diamonds or other gemstones in them. Make sure that the quality of the gold is the same as the engagement ring. If you pick a better quality for the band, your engagement ring will look dirty or unclean, and if you pick lesser quality, the rings won’t look like they match. If you want your band to match hers, pick something simple for her. It’s easier to match yours if hers is not ornate. Otherwise, go all out. Let her pick, but remember: your ring is on her, and her ring is on you.

5. Gifts for the Best Man, Groomsmen, and Ushers

It is customary to provide gifts to your groomsmen and ushers as a token of appreciation of their attendance to the wedding during your Rehearsal Dinner. They’ve worked hard so far, and they’re going to be working hard to make sure your wedding goes as planned, so make sure they’re happy. The gifts don’t have to be expensive or elaborate, but instead, small tokens of appreciation. Examples include:
Engraved practical gifts: Sports Fan gifts:

- Wallets - Game tickets

- Money Clips - Golf equipment

- Tie Clips - Camping equipment

- Cuff Links - Sports team Logo’d apparel

- Corkscrews or Bottle Openers

- Pocket Knives Other ideas:

- Personalized Drink Glasses - Take the boys out for a night on the town

- Favorite Bottle of Liquor - Put together a group trip

6. Gift for the Bride

This one’s an optional gift, but if she’s getting you something, you better get her something too. Again, this gift doesn’t have to be extravagant, but instead a token of your love and appreciation toward your new wife. The gift should be meaningful and appropriate for your bride. Talk with her and set a price limit for the gifts. If she wants to take photos on your honeymoon, buy her a nice camera. If she collects something, give her a new addition to her collection. If you’re feeling adventurous, surprise her with an extra excursion on your honeymoon. Make it memorable.

7. Rehearsal Dinner

If you’re planning this wedding on your own, the rehearsal dinner’s on you. Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is organized and funded by the parents of the groom. The dinner can be a simple home-cooked meal, an even simpler dinner at a sit-down restaurant, or an extravagant cuisine for the bridal party, closest friends, and out-of-town relatives. Prices range based on the type of meal and location. Remember, if you have a server, make sure to specify if gratuity is included.

8. Wedding Night Suite

You’re leaving the wedding at Midnight... now what? You can catch the next flight to paradise or wait it out until morning in a nice local hotel suite. It’ll cost you, but for the convenience, it’s well worth it. When you plan your honeymoon, talk to your travel agent (Family Vacations, right?) and book your wedding night suite.

9. Honeymoon

The groom is picking up the tab for the honeymoon. The bride’s parents have  paid for almost  everything to this point,  so  the vacation’s on you.  The honeymoon is the time for you and your wife to unite for the first time, and escape the chaos of reality for a while, so that you can soak in the reality of marriage. Make sure you book your honeymoon as soon as possible. The earlier you get it booked, the less your going to pay. The sky’s the limit for honeymoon prices, but to make sure you get the best rates, call your travel agent (Family Vacations) or check out our Honeymoons page.