How to get hitched without any hitches

Planning a quiet trip to the local registry office? Or marriage in a castle, accompanied by a flock of pink doves? With the wedding season upon us, these tips may help ensure divorce isn’t on the cards before you’ve even said ‘I do’. 

Who does what?

The bride chooses her bridesmaids, dress, flowers and music. The groom chooses the best man, pays for the ring, bride’s bouquet, buttonholes, bridesmaids’ presents and usually the honeymoon. The bride’s parents pay for everything else.

Well, these may be the traditional expectations but it’s perfectly acceptable for everyone to chip in. With the average cost of a wedding at £22,000 – and the biggest expense being the hire of a venue and photographer – there’s no point in giving your bride’s dad a heart attack before he’s even become your father in law. Spread the cost between the three sets of adults, if possible, and spread the shock.

As far as you’re concerned, the next most important thing to sort out is choosing your best man. Should it be your brother, your best friend, your dog? You’re going to need someone you can rely on to take care of three key things: the stag do, the rings and the speech. In other words: a soul of discretion, an organiser and an orator.

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What goes on in Amsterdam stays in Amsterdam

Yes, we’re talking stag dos. Your mates’ idea of fun may involve you being tied to a lamp post with your eyebrows shaved off, but you don’t have to spend your last days of freedom on the receiving end of a practical joke.

Of course, your stag night/weekend has to be memorable – but hopefully for the right reasons. If stuck for ideas, there are plenty of companies specifically set up to organise your event. For the active, try a weekend away of clay pigeon shooting, paint balling or even bobsleighing in Latvia. For committed clubbers, the likes of Prague and Ibiza will see you welcoming in the dawn. And for those who just like getting stuck into a good pint, choose from real ale tasting in Edinburgh or a beer festival in Berlin.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, just don’t post on Facebook.

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A wedding of bliss not blisters

What should you wear? At a traditional church wedding, the norm is a black morning coat with striped grey trousers and a waistcoat, together with formal black leather lace ups polished to a brilliant sheen.

A trendy bride needs a stylish groom, so opt for a skinny suit paired with leather boots. But remember – those photos will be around for decades to come, so you could play safe with a timeless and classic single breasted lounge suit. As a guest, you can’t beat a classic linen suit with a great pair of suede loafers.

Above all, make sure your new shoes are a perfect fit as you’ve a long day ahead.

Work the look – shoes for the big day itself

Tie the knot, not your tongue

Should the ideal wedding speech be short and sweet? Or heartfelt and gushing? Jokes and stories always go down well, but avoid any mention of previous girlfriends and gags about mother-in-laws.

Dads – talk about how proud your daughter has made you. And best men – try to avoid using a templated script off the Internet where you just add in the names. Grooms – include lots of thanks and always start with ‘My wife and I’ to ensure rapturous applause.

If speaking to an audience doesn’t come naturally to you, create a slideshow of photos, footage and captions. Job done.

Work the look – shoes to keep you cool under pressure

Two left feet? 

A wedding isn’t just about a ceremony and slap up meal: prepare to hit the dance floor later. Whether opening the evening with a ballroom waltz worthy of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ or trying to hide the fact that you’ve two left feet, there’s no denying that all eyes will be on you. Either have a stiff drink before hitting the dance floor or encourage everyone to get up and join you as soon as possible. Either way, you’ll rock that reception.

 Work the look – shoes to have you dancing all night long

A heavenly honeymoon

After all the wedding expense, a honeymoon doesn’t have to be a flash affair. A fly and flop fortnight in the Maldives or an epic adventure canoeing along the Amazon may be an obvious choice for some, but a long flight and jet lag won’t appeal to everyone.

There’s a lot to be said for the romantic hilltop towns of Tuscany, the azure seas of Sardinia and even delaying the honeymoon to out of season for a cracking deal.

The main thing is for the two of you to relax and enjoy time together. She’s packed a new bikini for every day of the fortnight; you’ve got your shades, floral shirt and one pair of trunks. You’re both sorted. Enjoy!

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