A Real Man’s Guide To Wedding Day Nerves

It’s the morning of your wedding day. How do you feel, nervous? Of course that’s how you feel. It’s only natural, it’s perfectly normal, and yet that won’t stop many of the guests you’ll mingle with over the course of the next few hours asking you that very same question, over and over again.

You’ll smile and pleasantly say, ‘Fine, I’m fine,’ and for the most part you will be. But there will still be a few worries rumbling away, deep in your soul. And while the bride – your betrothed – will be frothing over whether she looks fat in her dress (she won’t), whether you’ll turn up (of course you will, you’re punching well above your weight) and whether her best friend will upstage her with her own outfit (she’ll try), you, the groom, have a unique set of concerns. This is what they are – this is the real man’s guide to wedding day nerves…

The vows
There’s only one part of the wedding ceremony vows that worry you. It’s not saying ‘I do’ – that’s easy, that’s only two words – and it’s not repeating your own name – that’s easy, that’s your own name, you can manage that. It’s that bit when the priest asks if ‘any person present knows of any lawful impediment to this marriage, he or she should declare it now’. Beads of sweat form on your brow; there’s a girl sitting at the back of the church – you kissed her 15 years ago. What if she’s been holding a torch for you, all this time, waiting for this moment? And she stands up to tell all and sundry about your torrid little affair? It happens. It happened in The Graduate. Mind you, that was a film. In 1967. Grow up, man.

The suit
You want to look good – you know your brand new wife is going to look utterly gorgeous, a vision in white, and that she’ll be showered in compliments. The least you can do is look half-decent beside her, not some kind of scruffy shambles of a groom in a loose-fitting suit, jacket hanging down towards your knees and trouser hem bunched around your shoes. No – if you stick to the principles of wearing a classic suit in style and colour (navy blue and grey, examples here from Dobell, are sound bets), which fits perfectly, you can’t go far wrong. Relax.

groom with cufflinks on

The guests
Oh, joy – your parents divorced a decade ago and have barely been in the same room since. They can’t stand the sight of each other. However, they’ll be reunited at opposite ends of the ‘top table’ throughout the wedding breakfast and you’ll be fretting over the simmering tension for hours. Fingers crossed they’ll remain civil and courteous for half a day, and keep those fixed smiles in place. Then again, the alcohol will be flowing and it’s an emotional occasion – just hope things don’t escalate to the point where that incident during the family holiday to the Isle of Wight in the late 1990s is brought up (again)…

The best man
Your best friend of all time. Or your brother, the guy you’ve grown up with. Brilliant, brilliant blokes – but you don’t trust either of them in front of a microphone and a room full of increasingly tipsy guests. Yes, the best man’s speech can be a minefield. What’s he going to say? He has a duty to be funny, but there are boundaries, after all – he won’t go into the specific details of your lads’ holiday to Magaluf, or the unfortunate ‘accident’ in primary school, will he? He won’t make inappropriate jokes about your in-laws, will he? Are you sure? Might be best to go through his speech with him beforehand and veto anything that could cause offence or embarrassment. Make sure the wedding toasts are simple too – none of these dreadful examples here.

The booze
A dilemma – it’s going to be a great day, and you want to celebrate it properly. Not only that, but after all the nerves the least you deserve is a couple of drinks to relax. Glasses of champagne will be raised, wine consumed during the three-course dinner, beers thrust into your hand later in the evening. That’s a worry in itself – staying just the right side of drunk and not embarrassing yourself (this article says doing something stupid in front of people is one of the top ten wedding day fears for grooms, as is falling over). No-one wants to see those moves on the dancefloor, and you don’t want the evening to flash by in a blur. Pace yourself and make it a night to remember.