February 7, 2011

MC Groom: A new role for men who don't design and brides who need a hand

The most common questions I get from brides are, Madman, what can my groom help out with? What jobs am I supposed to give him? Why do I end up doing everything myself?!

First things first, ladies: you have to be willing to let go. There are those brides amongst us (and you know who you are) who gripe about juggling a hundred things at once but won't let their man come within three feet of their inspiration notebook for fear that they'll stain the pages with their soiled man fingers. (Yes brides, you know precisely who you are.) And I suppose there's nothing wrong with wanting to single-handedly execute your dream wedding ... but you may not get much sympathy while you pull your hair out one strand at a time.

Now assuming that you're willing to share some responsibilities, there are an infinite number of ways in which you can split the workload. If you're one of the lucky brides whose groom is willing to meet you halfway, I've devised a new role for grooms that allows the two of you to divvy up the tasks from the get-go. Introducing:

The Master of Ceremonies Groom

Joel Grey, MC Groom pioneer, heavy on the blush

It's simple: MC Groom is in charge of any and all things related to guest hospitality. His responsibilities include but are not limited to:
  • Male on Mail. MC Groom will stuff, stamp, send out the Save the Dates and the Invites. When guests respond, he'll be responsible for managing the guest list (that means keeping track of RSVPs, updating mailing addresses, hounding guests who don't respond, etc). 
  • MC Groom Inn the House. Your groom will also assume the sometimes unpleasant tasks involved in guest accommodations, like researching hotel options and being the point-person for the hotel's group sales coordinator. It might also involve alerting out-of-town guests about the block of rooms that are set aside and ensuring that all guests get the decided-upon rate.
  • Music and Food. Brides, you won't like what you're about to hear, but just know that you can't possibly book all of your vendors yourself and keep your head on straight simultaneously. MC Groom will manage. He'll do all the research, share his findings, manage contracts and handle all of the correspondence with your DJ/band and your caterer, the two vendors who will please and feed your guests' ear drums and taste buds, respectively. He'll ensure that the music that's played will appeal to all of your guests and guarantee that the caterer caters to any dietary needs of your guests. Don't worry, brides, you can still help him choose who those vendors will be and help decide the menu for the evening. And an added bonus -- you're still responsible for the venue(s), the coordinators and planners, the officiant, the florist/designer, the photographer and the videographer. Win!
  • The Mini-Wedding. What a blessing it is that MC Groom is accustomed to eating, because he'll be in charge of choosing the venue for the rehearsal dinner and working hand-in-hand with his parents (assuming they're hosting the event) to plan the festivities.
  • Favors. I know this is a touchy territory; some brides revel in the fact that they can send their guests off with homemade chocolate chip cookie-scented candles, and we wouldn't dare take that joy away from you. But for those brides who aren't as crafty, your groom may have some ideas to run by you and may be the perfect sounding board for yours.
MC Groom Charles hand-drew these cartoons and quotes on these otherwise ordinary containers. Every drawing was unique. 
(Photograph by Joanna Wilson Photography)

  • Information Hotline. MC Groom will assume the daunting task of ensuring that everyone knows exactly where everything is being held and how to get from this thing to that other thing. And in the days leading up to the wedding, he can field all of the phone calls from your long-winded guests who have inane questions. Someone needs to tell cousin Mark that, no, he shouldn't wear open-toed shoes to the reception.
  • Liquor Cabinet. And yes, he will gladly take care of the booze, which makes sense since he's going to be communicating with your caterer directly. He'll select the beer and the liquor and mix some specialty cocktails for you to sample at home. He's such a gentleman... 
  • The There-and-Back. If applicable, MC Groom will be responsible for researching transportation options for your guests, whether that involves a taxi, a trolley or an eight-person bicycle.  
  • We Love Our Garlic Press. My 2Es can attest to the unanticipated burden of sending out thank you cards. You planned a wedding for over a year, and once it's through (while you're genuinely stoked about your new Calphalon stick-free wok), the last thing you want to do is sit down and put those feelings on paper. The fact that you're given a full year to complete the task doesn't help either, as you only end up delaying the inevitable. So let MC Groom express your gratitude. Buy some stationery you approve of and put them in his trusty hands, confident that he can mail out four or five dozen envelopes in twelve months time. 

MC Groom will also be charged with the traditional groom responsibilities -- his own attire; attire, rentals, accessories and gifts for his men; and the gifts for his parents.

MC Groom Charles took "arranging the groomsmen footwear" to the next level. Photo by Joanna Wilson Photography.

Granted, this list is by no means comprehensive. Each wedding is its own beast. You may decide to hire a guitarist for the ceremony or rent a photobooth for the evening, either of which you could add to his to-do list. Or you may want to book some reception sitters to care for the infants and toddlers when they turn loopy; MC Groom could certainly handle that task.

Grooms, if you look at this list and think, But I'm doing everything now!, I'll be more than happy to provide you with a longer and infinitely more horrifying list of all of the things that you're not doing. And brides, if you're hellbent on hunting down a chic, dilapidated old school bus to transport your guests from place to place -- I think we can let that slide.


    1. Great article! As an involved Groom myself, I was surprised at how little "involvement" I was going to be allowed by my Bride AND her team. Having wrestled away a few small tasks,and having successfully accomplished them, I was finally allowed to pick out our booze and the music. I was also allowed to write the Thank You cards, and that was very enjoyable. You just never know how deep your capacity to bullshit truly is until you gush all over hated cousin Ethel's Nacho tray.
      Your list is awesome, and a great place to start.

    2. Good for you, Earl. You gathered enough Groom Points to handpick the liquor. I bet all that booze came in handy while you bullshitted your way through those thank you cards. Cheers to you, sir.