A gentleman’s guide to planning his wedding

Firstly: don’t panic. Secondly: don’t panic. It’s a wedding and it’s important, but you’re not trying to achieve world peace.

Robert Chilton May 10, 2016

So, you got engaged. Congratulations! Great news, you must be so excited, best day of your life, marriage is a wonderful thing etc etc etc. Now pay attention. You need to get organised and start planning your wedding. Yes, you can hire a planner to take some of the strain out of it, but a lot of decisions will be coming down the pipe and, with a bit of thought and preparation, you’ll knock them out of the park with aplomb. Here’s how…


Planning a wedding is not like making a trip to the supermarket where scribbles on a back of a napkin will suffice. Open spreadsheets, buy fresh notebooks, sharpen pencils, pile up some Post-it notes and get some of those coloured sticky tags to mark pages. There will be a lot of issues flying around and you need to get them down on paper or on screen or you will lose track and feel overwhelmed. Treat this like a military campaign, hopefully one without senseless slaughter.

Take it steady

Sorry fellas, but a band of helpful wedding fairies will not appear while you sleep and plan everything for you. Making your special day come together will be a slow, ongoing process. Some weeks you will tick lots of jobs off the list, some weeks will be frustrating because people won’t reply to your emails. Some weeks you won’t want to do any wedding planning because you’re simply fed up of it all – and that’s ok. Weddings do not happen overnight. Go slow.

Team up

You’re not doing this alone. You have a fantastic woman by your side to talk to. Discuss your ideas, listen to her thoughts, have a calm conversation and make compromises. Ask friends and family for help. Have any of your mates seen a good jazz band lately? Didn’t that guy you met on a work trip last month have a wife who was a florist? Ask questions, seek advice, spread the load.

Save money

If you want to invite four people to your wedding, wear a suit you’ve had for years and then have a shawarma lunch, your wedding will be a bargain. But if you want to make it a day to remember, you’re going to have to dig a little deeper. Don’t overstretch your finances, budget the best you can and be prepared for the numbers to creep up a little higher than you expected. Weddings are stressful enough without having to worry about going into debt too. Do you really need those expensive frills? It’s important to have your friends and people you love at your wedding but you can probably nix those 25 gold swan sculptures.

Suit up

Your wife-to-be will freak out about her wedding dress. That’s what brides do. Don’t add to her stresses by going nuts about your suit. Take a look around the stores, try a few on, flick through magazines, check out websites, and get inspired. Off the peg, bespoke – whatever – just pick a suit that fits you and makes you feel great. Navy blue is a safe bet and looks good on pretty much every guy. A lighter blue, petrol for example, can be a refreshing switch up. Wear good shoes – you’re going to be on your feet a lot on your wedding day and you can’t dance with sore feet. (Yes, you are going to dance.)


The day after your wedding you’re probably going to crash, physically and emotionally, especially if you’re heading straight back to the office. Enjoying a lazy honeymoon somewhere chilled is just the ticket. Get it booked early and look forward to it – it will prolong your wedding day high.

Enjoy it

For goodness’ sake enjoy your wedding. Picking the menu, tasting food, going to see a wedding band, plotting the table plan, and choosing songs for your first dance are fun projects. Getting married is a major milestone in your life so don’t let it whoosh past in a blur of arguments, 3am panic attacks and frantic last-minute planning. It’s your wedding day and it’s supposed to be fun. Good luck – and make sure you say, ‘I do’ in a loud, clear voice.