Establishing Your Specialty

Finding Your Niche in Wedding Planning

Whatever your specialty, here's a list of ways to get involved in the wedding planning process.

Some areas of wedding planning are just made for the groom to handle. Not only will it lighten your bride's load, it gives you the chance to make your indelible impression on the affair.

  • For the groom who loves fine dining, why not take control of the menu? This means working directly with the caterer or hotel on the dishes you'll serve your guests. Just be careful not to get carried away--remember that a complicated menu can cause the budget to skyrocket and may be difficult for the chef to execute properly.
  • If you are interested in wine, offer to select--and even procure--the wines for the celebration. Wait until you have the menu solidified and then you can either select the wine yourself from the list the hotel or caterer provides, or you can fax your menu to the best wine retailer in town for him or her to help you pick the wines. (Of course, if you ask a retailer to select the wines on your behalf, you would be expected to purchase the wines from that retailer.)
  • If your interest in booze extends to fine spirits, work with your hotel or caterer to approve the brands of spirits offered. Or pick out one or two specialty cocktails (from an apple martini to a whiskey sour) to be tray-passed during the reception. Guests love being offered an interesting cocktail that they might not have tried before. It can also start the party with the right tone, from fun-loving and beachy to sophisticated and urban.
  • Transportation of the wedding guests can be a complicated logistical challenge, so stepping up to this task will win you huge points from your bride. Depending on your budget, the solutions range from asking wedding guests with spacious cars to drive groups of guests to renting a bus, vans or limousines with hired drivers. Give special thought to the transportation you arrange for yourself and the bride from the ceremony to the wedding reception. A horse-drawn carriage may be a great idea, or how about a vintage Mercedes or Rolls Royce convertible for the most amazing dramatic exit?
  • Are you the one who handles the tunes in your household? Then take on the task of hiring and working with the band or deejay. Your duties here extend beyond just hiring. This job includes logistical issues like deciding when the band must arrive, what they will wear, how many breaks they will take, how long the breaks are, and when breaks will occur. The fun part: providing the leader with a list of songs you'd like to hear throughout the event--and songs you definitely don't want played. Taking on music duties also means you can be in charge of putting together the music for when the band is on break. (Tip: there should always be some music playing at all times during your reception).
  • For the cigar-loving groom, there is perhaps no sweeter smoke than the one shared with friends at his wedding reception. Providing a few boxes of fine cigars is another responsibility you might want to assume, perhaps in consultation with your father or the bride's father if they also enjoy a good smoke. One elegant way to do the cigar presentation is to have a waiter roll a cart through the reception area, offering guests cigars and the use of a cutter and cigar matches.
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