The Groom

Photo of a smiling groom hugging his bride

Groom is a term shortened from the word "bridegroom" which refers to a man soon to marry or recently married. Wedding etiquette specifies responsibilities, duties, and financial obligations of the groom. In the face of these expectations, some grooms get cold feet!

Cold Feet

For many men, a closely committed, intimate relationship sometimes causes emotional strain. For the man about to enter into marriage, conflicting emotions are often referred to as having "cold feet." This is characterized by:

  • Nervousness.
  • Stress.
  • Anxiety.
  • Irritation.
  • Doubts about the timing of the marriage.
  • Doubs about giving up his life as a bachelor,
  • Worry that his bride-to-be isn't "the one."

A vast majority of men (and women) have pre-wedding jitters and these are usually harmless anxieties that don't impact the wedding . You can address your feelings by talking about them with a trusted friend, family member, or clergyman. He may help you relax and feel calmer about your future marriage.

If there are larger issues, such as you and your future wife having different views having on children, drug or alcohol abuse in the picture, or serious breeches of honesty, your cold feet may be more than nervousness -- and it may be time to talk with your future bride.


While most of the wedding planning is often done by the bride, more and more couples today take on the responsibilities of the wedding planning together. Whatever you and your future spouse decide to do is entirely up to you as a couple. Traditionally, the groom is responsible for the following:

  • Listing people from your side of the family, your friends, co-workers, or others you would like inviting to the wedding.
  • Choosing and notifying the best man and other men in the bridal party.
  • Assisting in choosing and securing DJ or band for the reception.
  • Assist in choosing and getting fitted for a tuxedo or other formalwear for yourself and the other men in the bridal party.
  • Arranging the return of rented formalwear.
  • Planning the honeymoon.
  • Go with your bride to secure your marriage license.
  • Rent a limousine or other transportation to and from the reception for you and your bride, and in many cases the wedding party.
  • Plan wedding toasts and/or thank you speeches.

Many of today's contemporary couples forego the idea of separate duties and instead make joint decisions. Decide mutually what roles you want to play in planning the wedding, and follow through.

Traditional Financial Responsibilities

Traditionally the bride's family pays for the majority of the wedding and reception costs. The groom and/or his family in the past have been responsible for:

  • Paying for the liquor, if any, at the reception.
  • The rehearsal dinner.
  • The marriage license and officiant fees.
  • The wedding rings.
  • The honeymoon.
  • Tuxedo or formalwear costs.
  • The rehearsal dinner.
  • Gifts for ushers, groomsmen, and best man.
  • Gift for the bride.

With average wedding costs continuing to rise, it's no wonder many families and couples plan on sharing expenses, especially since the cost of the reception is usually a bulk of the wedding expense. Just make sure that both families and/or you and your bride are comfortable with whatever financial arrangements you decide upon -- and don't forget to create or assist your bride in creating a budget to manage your expenses!

More Resources

Need more resources? Check out LoveToKnow's honeymoon, bridal party, tuxedo, and limousine articles! If you need more help, take a peak at those bridal magazines your future spouse is always lugging around, or look at a few online. Many of them have checklists and guides for him to reference.

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The Groom