Editor's note: Sports writer Blake Sebring of The News-Sentinel usually writes about the Fort Wayne Komets and people involved in a variety of other sports. He wrote this to share tips from another aspect of his life where he has become somewhat of an expert.
After I recently stood up in my 15th wedding, someone suggested my next book should be tips, especially since I'm guessing this will be the last time I wear a tux.
I couldn't come up with enough for a book, but here are 15 tips I've learned. Feel free to add some:
1. Ladies, do not get upset when your man doesn't care as much about the planning and every detail.
Honestly, they don't care, though they'd never dare admit it. What they care about is letting you have what you want for your day, which is not a bad thing. They only care about making you happy, so go ahead and do what you want. You've dreamed of this day, but your guy just wants it over — and for you to be happy.
2. Let the groomsmen wear their own black shoes. No one notices the shoes anyway, and the guys will be much more comfortable, thus in better moods. There is nothing more uncomfortable than walking and standing for hours in rented shoes.
3. Ban all cummerbunds! They are ugly, uncomfortable and always need adjusting. Go with vests.
4. Always, always, always start the food line as soon as people arrive for the reception. Never make them wait until after all the pictures are done and the bridal party is served, because pictures always take much longer than expected. The line could be so long, some guests may be waiting for two hours until they eat. That's just being inconsiderate of your guests.
5. If you are arranging the reception yourselves, designate one person to be in charge of setting up or tearing down so they can direct everyone else. Otherwise, you'll have people standing around willing to help but who have no idea what to do. One person has to be the boss, which means that person does not get their hands dirty, they simply direct.
6. That said, setting up and tearing down is like moving into a new house. Always have twice as many people as you need, and the job gets done in half the expected time. If everyone does half the work they were expecting, they'll be delighted to help again.
7. Photographers, have specific plans for the shots you want and be ready to move, move, move. Don't sit and decide while everyone is bored, hot, uncomfortable in those stinking rental shoes or waiting in the summer sun while wearing black tuxes. The time for artistic expression is in the planning before the shoot.
8. Not every person wants to be involved in the bouquet or garter ceremonies, and no prodding by the DJ is going to change that. DJs can also improve everyone's mood by turning down the volume a notch or two so people can talk to others at their table.
9. A DJ can make or break a reception, so hire a pro, not just some buddy who can put together a mix tape or who wants to be the center of attention.
10. Make sure the rehearsal and dinner the night before are low-key and end early. You're going to experience a very long day in a few hours, so let everyone go home and get some sleep.
11. Have a table of coloring books and games for the children at the reception. It keeps them busy and happy and allows parents to relax. Maybe consider hiring a baby sitter to run the table.
12. If you are privileged to be a groomsman, realize this is a working position. There are always things needing done up until the ceremony and during the reception, and you're elected. Also, always carry tissues because you'll need to dry off or hand them to the ladies who get emotional.
13. Don't forget to assign someone to light the candles. That always seems to be forgotten until a last-minute mad scramble.
14. Men, learn to shut up except to say, “Yes, dear.” It's really her day, and you are an accessory, though an important one.
15. There never has been and never will be a perfect wedding. Something will go wrong, so expect it, laugh about it and just move on. Make it a fun day to tell your kids about.