A wedding planner’s guide to entertaining the guys while the girls get ready.
Natalie Dawley is a long time wedding planner and the ower of Two Be Wed, a boutique wedding planning company in Houston, Texas offering event design, consulting, and management for your Big Day.
Back in the day, Southern weddings began earlier in the day. It was common to have a church ceremony in the morning and a lunch reception to follow at high noon, ending a few hours later. These days, evening ceremonies with receptions lasting into the following morning are the new normal.
This evening timeline gives the groom and groomsmen an opportunity to plan a fun activity before the festivities begin. Unlike the bride who spends majority of the morning with her maidens at brunch, going to hair and make-up appointments, and taking pictures, the guys don’t need as much time to get ready. (And they all say "Amen!")
Here are some ideas to keep the boys busy before go time. Keep in mind for any outdoor activity the groom and groomsmen should all wear hats and lots of sunscreen. A sunburn can put a damper on your plans. Don't let it ruin a wedding day! Also, a few pre-ceremony beers or cocktails are fine, but do know your limits. There's nothing more unattractive than an over-served groom or groomsman. Whatever you do before your wedding, make sure it will leave you relaxed, not exhausted. A wedding day is a marathon not a sprint. Make the experience last as long as possible!
Golf is a classic option for a guys’ day out. Schedule an early tee time and plan a skins game or match play for a little healthy competition. Personalized golf shirts make for the perfect groomsmen gift and photo op! If the weather isn’t cooperating or you prefer to stay out of the sun opt for a popular alternative like Top Golf. Top Golf provides a fun golf experience without worrying about the logistics of scheduling tee times, slow play, or sunburns.
It’s a good idea to get your blood flowing and shake off any pre-wedding jitters. Purchase passes for the guys at your local gym or invite them to your club and enjoy an intense work-out, swim, or sweat session in the steam room and sauna. You'll feel like a new man and ready to walk down the aisle.
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A morning at the shooting range is an easy way to blow off pre-wedding steam. Shoot clays on the course or schedule target practice with equipment you've been wanting to test out. Gift your guys with monogrammed trucker hats, bullet cuff links, or gear from Orvis.
For the ultimate experience, find a tank driving ranch in your area. What could be more manly than driving and shooting a World War II era tank? A once in a lifetime experience that you and your best friends will never forget. If you can't find one nearby you could consider this for the bachelor party.
Cards and cigars make for a perfect pre-wedding activity. Put on your poker face, up the stakes and play for prizes! A bottle of bourbon, Hermes tie to add to the collection, or a box of Cuban cigars – winner takes all. You can play at the hotel suite, order room service, and ease into the wedding day.
Men need to be pampered too! Skip the risk of cutting yourself on the most important day and let a professional barber do the job. The nerves from getting married can get to anyone. Relax with a quality shave, face steam, or facial massage with your bros.
Remember the ambiance of the establishment is important, research the top barbers in town and make sure their portfolio matches your personal style.
Between the nerves and the packed schedule it’s an easy to forget to eat. Brunch is the perfect antidote to a busy day. Whether at home, the hotel, or a trendy brunch spot in town, it's a Southern tradition that every groom and groomsmen will appreciate. If you're lucky, you may even be able to watch a game while brunching.
Take it easy on the Bloody Mary's and beers. Slow and steady is the name of the game!