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A Groom's Survival Guide To...

Your Wedding Reception

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

Don't let the fact that you'll be knee-deep in distant cousins, congratulatory handshakes, and camera flashes prevent you from continuing your undisputed reign as the most romantic groom ever. Make the time to use the following suggestions and your bride will think you're sexy -- no matter how many times you do the chicken dance!

The Key to Her Heart

This is a simple, yet perfect, wedding day token that's as heartwarming as it is easy. Find one of those keychain frames that are so popular at the cash registers at Wal-mart or JC Penney's these days. Any size, model, or material will do, but a heart shape would obviously work the best.

Next buy a local newspaper on the day of your wedding and carefully cut the date from the front page to fit into your heart-shaped keychain frame.

Ahead of time, arrange for a friend, sibling, or other family member to replace her old keychain with your new one. Then ask to borrow your new wife's keys for the drive to your honeymoon hideaway.

Better yet, if you're staying at an old-fashioned inn or quaint Bed & Breakfast, quickly slip your room key onto her keepsake keychain and let her do the honors -- if she can stop crying, that is!

Cocktail Coupon

The wedding reception is a little like high school, college, or warfare: People can tell you all about the experience, but there's no way to prepare until you're actually there! One thing you'll find about your wedding reception is the lack of time you have to enjoy yourself. Yes, you'll be partying. Yes, you'll be among friends and family. Yes, there will be music, food, and dancing. But taking advantage of them is often just a distant cousin's or well-meaning aunt's handshake, introduction, or photo album away! To make sure that your blushing bride has enough to drink, however, prepare a quick, cute, and comical "Cocktail Coupon" on, what else, the back of one of your monogrammed cocktail napkins. Simply write something like, "This coupon entitles you to order me to bring you a fresh drink whenever you run dry!" Then present it to your thirsty bride the first time she asks for something to quench her thirst.

It may not be the most lasting souvenir of your beautiful day together, but it could turn out to be the most useful!

Now That Takes the Cake!

Before the ceremony, scout your local Eckerd's or Walgreen's travel sections for one of those clear, plastic, see-through travel containers generally used for creams, lotions, and gels. They will have a twist off cap and enough room for one to two hundred aspirin inside! Just before the ceremony, clean and dry this container out and, come time to cut the cake, present it to your bride.

When she looks at you funny, and she will (nor will she be alone), simply slice off a small piece of cake, open up the container, and deposit it inside. Now you will have a piece of cake, to go, perfectly sealed for a night under her pillow!

I bet even her Mom didn't think of that one!

Matrimonial Muumuu

Some brides change out of their cumbersome wedding gown before they leave the reception, preferring instead a more casual, or perhaps comfortable, outfit. Others wait until much, much later. Either way, your bride is sure to want to get comfortable after what will most likely turn out to be the best, but longest, day of her life.

So if you're not jetting straight to the airport, or going out to a fancy dinner, or stopping off at a trendy nightclub, why not invest ten to twenty bucks in a matrimonial muumuu and have it resting on the passenger seat of your getaway car for after the ceremony.

It can be a one-size fits all sundress, a XXXLLL housecoat, or even a fun and funky, yet modest, terry cloth bathrobe or beach cover-up. Either way, make it big, make it comfortable, and make it cool. While you're at it, throw in a pair of matching, soft, warm, and fuzzy slippers!

Your blushing bride, not to mention her aching feet, will thank you.

Hats Off!

This one requires a trip to your local "Do-It-Yourself" T-shirt Shop, but the after effect is well worth the trouble. Find matching black and white hats and personalize them with "Mr. Fischer" and "Mrs. Fischer," "Mr. Jones" and "Mrs. Jones," etc.

It won't cost much, and you'll only need to use them for those last few pictures, and waves, as your wedding party casts you off with the obligatory rice, bird seed, or bubbles. For one thing, it'll keep any of the above items out of her carefully done hair. For another, you'll be preserved for posterity in your wedding pictures. And, finally, they'll look great on either side of the "Just Married" sign in your rearview window!


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