Groomsmen in the pool with a bar of soap. Upside down boutonnieres. Missing rings. Ripped pants. These sound funny but on a wedding day it can feel very stressful. On MY wedding day, the guys were going to get dressed in the church and our ceremony was to be held at the park across the street. I don’t recall how the church got locked or how my brother lost his shoes, but he ended up running down the street and across the hot pavement to the park barefoot to practice his music piece for the ceremony. We look back at that now and laugh but in the moment, it was really stressful.a
You’ve made your lists, you’ve checked them THREE times. You have your Pinterest board, your mom and Maid of Honor keeping everything straight. Surely you’ve thought of everything. There is so SSOO much to research and know for your wedding and chances are this is the first and last time you’ll ever do this! You’ve done an AMAZING job with all the details. But here’s the thing… your groom may not be as into the details as you are. If I could draw you a pie chart with percentages of snafus, who they involve and what part of the day they happen, the section of the pie chart that would have the largest percentage would be the groom and groomsmen while they’re getting ready. There’s enough pressure on your groom that he shouldn’t have to deal with these issues that can totally be avoided! And after all you’ve invested in your wedding photographer, I want you to give you the best opportunity to get great photos of all parts of the day! Here are five groom snafus that we’ve seen on the wedding day and how to avoid them!
1. Know when hotel check out time is (better yet, get ready in a room someone is staying in that night!)
The Situation: The groom and groomsmen are out swimming in the pool when the Best Man says, “hey guys, what time is checkout? Oh CRAP! It’s in 10 minutes!” At that moment, Andrew arrives ready to photograph the groom’s details and the guys getting ready and finds them rushing around like chickens with their heads cut off. Not only does this cause undue stress on the groom and groomsmen, but also means that getting ready photos will end up being rushed or not happening at all.
- Ask your groom if he would plan out his morning and make a brief timeline. I suggest he builds in 10 minutes of buffer time for every transition. For example, if the guys are traveling back from the golf course to the hotel and he thinks it’s going to take him 15 minutes, have him plan 25. If the guys are grabbing lunch and they think it’s going to take 30 minutes, have him plan 40. A few weeks before the wedding, I’ll sit down with you and make a timeline for your day. I’ll ask when checkout time is and we’ll plan Andrew’s arrival time accordingly. So when your groom makes his “Morning Of” timeline, be sure he has that photography timeline in front of him when he does so.
- To avoid having to check out, get ready in a room that someone is staying in! Your groom could move all his stuff to, say, his Best Man’s room earlier in the day so when the 11AM check out rolls around, he doesn’t have to worry about running out of time or where his suitcase should be stored.
- If your groom IS getting ready in a room that needs to be checked out of, make sure that he and the groomsmen are packed and ready before checkout.
2. Have all the Groomsmen (and other VIP’s like Dad) get ready in one place so you aren’t missing anyone in pictures
The Situation: 11AM arrives and with it, the groom and groomsmen time slot for their portraits. The issue is we’re missing the Best Man because he stayed at a different hotel, he’s late and now everything on the timeline gets pushed back.
The Tip: Have all your groomsmen stay in the same hotel. Either that or have them all arrive 45 minutes before you ACTUALLY need to start getting ready. One time Andrew showed up to the groomsmen’s room, captured all their getting ready pictures and then they all headed out for photos. It wasn’t until they were ¾ of the way through their portrait time that someone mentioned they were missing a groomsmen because he had stayed at a different hotel. They had to reshoot all the photos again when he did show up. Thankfully they had the time but it would have been easier on all the groomsmen if everyone had gotten ready in the same place and let’s be honest… pictures aren’t usually the groomsmen’s favorite part of the day so having to shoot everything twice isn’t high on their to do list.
3. Know how to tie your ties, fold your pocket squares and put cuff links on BEFORE the wedding day
The Situation: Andrew has shown up to the hotel room only to find the groomsmen frantically searching YouTube trying to figure out how to tie their ties and fold their pocket squares! While Andrew does know how to tie ties and is happy to help, all this takes time away from the photos he could be getting!
The Tip: Have your groom (and ideally a groomsmen or two) figure out how to tie their ties, fold pocket squares and put cuff links on BEFORE the wedding day. Andrew actually learned to tie all his fancy knots from “The Tie Guy” on Youtube! If you need to, rent ties that don’t actually have to be tied!
4. Have the Boutonnieres (Bouts) delivered to the groomsmen with LOTS of time to spare BEFORE their portrait time
The Situation: The Groom and Groomsmen portrait time and/or the First Look is, of course, before the ceremony time but most often the bouts are delivered to the church resulting in photos where the groomsmen don’t have their bouts on. After all the thought, money and effort spent on these, the bouts aren’t where they need to be when they need to be.
The Tip: Communicate clearly with your florist about where you’d like your bouts delivered and when you need them by. I’d even suggest requesting them 45 minutes before you actually need them in case they’re running late. And speaking of timeline issues, make sure you plan the time to pin them on and have someone (or a couple people) in your group that knows how to pin them on (see tip #3!) Again, Andrew is always willing to help but it will most likely cut into your picture time!
5. Make sure that everyone EATS!
The Situation: The guys are dressed and ready and hanging out at the church. Half an hour before the ceremony Andrew asks, “did you guys eat lunch?!” Everyone goes silent and looks at each other… “Uhhhh, no actually” they respond. Andrew literally drove himself and a groomsmen to Arby’s to grab lunch for everyone (see below for THAT behind the scenes picture!)
The Tip: Is it just me that gets hangry when they get to busy and forgot to eat or is it just me? Don’t forget to have food ready for the guys! After your groom has made his timeline, figure out where they’ll be around lunch time and plan that meal accordingly. Bonus tip: if they’re going to be eating AFTER they’ve gotten dressed, plan a “non messy” meal!
I truly hope this blog post is helpful to you and your groom as you plan! Snafus do make for funny stories in the years following your wedding but you’ll always remember the stress surrounding that event. I would, however, LOVE to hear about any funny wedding day snafus that you might know! Share below in the comments!