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A Groom's Survival Guide To...

Before, During & After The Ceremony

by Rusty Fischer, author of SUPERGROOM: 101 Ways to be the Most Romantic Groom EVER!

Here it is - the calm before the storm and your last chance to make a good impression before the pomp, circumstance, and chaos of your wedding ceremony begins. So use our ten tantalizing tips to make the calm before, during, and after the storm as reassuring, and romantic, for your bride-to-be as possible.

(Tissue) Paper Trail

It's a foregone conclusion that tears will be shed come your wedding day. From mothers to daughters, from fathers to sons, and everyone in between, crying jags are as common on your wedding day as something borrowed, something blue!

So won't your bride-to-be, the bridal party, and the family of the lucky couple be surprised when, just before the ceremony, you present them with personalized tissue paper. (Well, sort of.)

No need to cry over an empty wallet -- just sneak down to the local dollar store and stock up on bulk packages of travel-size packs of tissue paper, you know, the kind that can fit in a purse or briefcase, as well as nametags or blank stickers, and (waterproof!) markers.

Back home, slap a nametag on each of the packs of tissue and inscribe each one to your dearest friends and family members from the very top of the guest list.

Wait until the front pews and bridal party are assembled, and then instruct your groomsmen to pass them out a few minutes before the bridal march. Your guests will appreciate your gifts -- and your new bride will appreciate your thoughtfulness!

"Ad" a Message

You know those weekly bulletins they pass out at the end of church? Well, try turning one over sometime. See all those ads on the back? Got any good ideas? Okay, Mr. Sensitive, then here's one: Call up the church, and place a romantic "I Love You, Mrs. Fischer! From Your New Hubby!" ad on the back of the bulletin for the week you get married.

Not only will this make a great souvenir of your beautiful day together, but your friends and family members will be able to take them home as well. (And for some of them, this could just be the most religious reading they do all year!)

Make sure that the church puts them out ahead of time for your wedding, or instruct the ushers to pass them out as they seat your guests. Either way, your "ad" space is sure to be appreciated by the church, as well as your guests!

Sign-In

If possible, arrange for your church to announce your wedding on the sign out front. This is a simple thing to do, but one that few wedding couples, and even fewer grooms, ever ask the church to do. A simple message such as, "Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Fischer" is enough to bring the tears to many a guest's eye as they pull up to the church, but why not put your walking shoes on and go this idea one better?

In advance, map the route your bride-to-be will be driving from on the way to the church. Don't assume it's from your house, either. Many a bride-to-be swings by to pick up her mom and dad on the way to the church, so it's best to figure this out in advance. Next, approach some of the more independently owned business, with signs out front, natch, and ask them if they could put the same message on their signs the morning of your wedding.

Hey, some will, some won't. That's the breaks. But even if only one or two take you up on your romantic reading, that's better than not trying this idea at all. And think how romantic it will be for your future bride to see those heartwarming words as she's "going to the chapel!"

Jog for the Jitters

This one may not sound romantic, but trust me, your bride will appreciate it! Many's the groom who nonchalantly glides through the wild and wacky "wedding week" without jitters, cold feet, or the slightest upset in his tummy. But come his wedding day, neigh, the very minute his bride walks up that aisle and the music stops, the same groom breaks out in the coldest, sweatiest cold sweat of his life! Dripping from head to toe and shaking like a deer caught in the headlights, this poor soul is indeed "the weakest link" in his matrimonial chain!

To avoid not only those cold sweats but the accompanying jitters and jangles as well, why not take a nice, long run as close as possible to the ceremony. No, we're not talking about sitting in a bar until five minutes 'til and then "running" across the street to the church. Slip into your running shorts, your tube socks, and your Nikes and lope around the neighborhood a few times. If you're not used to this, any exercise will do: walk, swim, ride a bike, play a game of racquetball with your best man.

No matter what you choose to do, your sweat glands, and your bride, will thank you!

Comic Relief

Those tense moments before a bride-to-be makes her walk down the aisle are anything but funny. But why not? Shed a little laughter on the subject when you hunt down the world's funniest wedding joke on the Internet, in the bookstore, or at the library. Print it out, cut it down to size, mount it on the back of a leftover invitation or other such wedding-themed material, and have your flower girl or other friendly female deliver it to your waiting bride as the church fills up and she anxiously awaits her big entrance.

Not only will she appreciate the comic relief, but the gesture is sure to go down in her personal history as one of the most thoughtful moments ever!


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