From time to time we think it’s nice, to offer readers some advice!
“My fiancé keeps talking about having a party for all of her girlfriends before the wedding. I assume they are going to be spending hours doing hair and makeup, so what am I supposed to do during this time? I don’t necessarily want all my friends drinking from the time we wake up.”
This is a super common question we get all the time, so to get a groom’s perspective we’ve asked Becca’s husband, who was once a groom himself, to help us out.
Ah, yes, how to curtail your cavemen groomsmen’s all day drinking ambitions. A dilemma that dates back to the earliest of nuptial celebrations.
“Take it easy on the mead, Ragnorak, the sun is very low in the sky and you still have your speech at dusk!” – Ivan the Concerned
“SKRUUUUU-AAALLLLL” - Ragnorak
“Cool” - Ivan
Luckily, since those times, we’ve come up with ways to make it easier on the groom and his guys to have a fun, relaxing, day without the worry of drunkenly missing the ceremony, forgetting the ring, and/or pillaging a village.
Here are three tried and true distractions that will keep any group on the straight and narrow until the reception (then all bets, bowties, and suspenders, are off).
Set up appointments at an old-school barbershop
This is a boss way to start the day (after maybe one Bloody at breakfast) and prepare for the big event. If you’ve never done this before, treat yo self! Not buying it? I’ll let the Art of Manliness sell it for me:
Many barbershops still give traditional single-blade razor shaves. You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced the pleasures of a great shave at a barber. This past weekend, I went to a barber here in town to get a shave. I reclined in the plush old school barber chairs that had ash trays in the arm rests, a throw back to a time when people could smoke in public places. Then my shave commenced. The barber first wrapped a hot towel around my face. Next, the barber massaged in a lemon-based cream to clean out my pores.
After that, several more hot towels were applied. By then, I was feeling nice and relaxed, on the verge of falling asleep relaxed. The barber then massaged in some cocoa butter to soften my beard. Next, the barber brushed a warm lather into my beard that smelled like man and not like that crappy artificial goo you buy in a can. The barber then took a piece of razor sharp metal and scraped my beard off for the closest, best shave I’ve ever had. Allowing another man to hold a razor to your neck is a good way to remind yourself that you’re alive.
To finish it all off, I got another hot towel wrapped on my face along with a final face massage with a soothing vanishing cream. When I stepped out of the shop, I felt like a new man, ready to take on the world.
Sold yet? You get relaxation, the best shave of your life, and you level up your manliness all in one stop. This a must do.
Many barbershops have special wedding/groomsmen packages so make sure to schedule the appointments well in advance and carve out about 30-45 minutes/guy. And don’t worry my bearded fellows, you can also opt for the hot towel/head massage and beard treatment without cutting one solitary hair. For bonus (brownie?) points, invite your father and soon to be father in-law for some additional bonding time. Some of the best around:
**Warning most high end barbershops do offer complimentary libations with their services, but in my experience the gentlemanly digs tend to keep the goons in line**
Get together some balls, clubs, racquets, and go for it
Now that you’re feeling right as rain from your shave, there’s no better way to spend the next few hours than sporting it up with your amigos.
Sure you could go mainstream with golf, tennis, basketball, soccer or whatever but I highly recommend the recreational variety instead – kick ball, dodge ball (another great opportunity to include your father-in-law + it gives him a chance to peg you in the head), billiards, bocce ball. Don’t sleep on badminton either. Whenever you can get a shuttlecock involved, it’s a win. If you’re feeling extra planny, whip up some matching t-shirts/jerseys you all can wear while fighting for athletic dominance.
Final tip on this front, steer clear of casinos and/or setting up a “poker tournament” at one of your groomsmen rentals. The danger here is a few of your more knuckle-headed friends going all in on a deuce/seven with the sole intention of busting out and being left to their own devices (i.e. blacking out).
Grub down and build a solid base for the night of booze that’s to come
If you planned this thing right** you should be rounding the corner to a nice late lunch/pig out session. Pizza. Burgers. Po’ Boys. I say more is more!
***PRO-MOVE: get your groomsmen involved in the planning as early as possible. Ask for their input on activities get a consensus of what everyone wants to do, and then pass all the actual work off to your most reliable friend (not always the “best man”) to delegate setting this up. The more the group is on-board the more they’ll understand what the day is going to be about and what it’s not going to be about (puking at a church).
Go to a place that is a little more casual and check out outside seating if you can find it. With the night ahead most likely being a formal affair this is a great time to kick back, relax, have a beer or two, enjoy the fresh air and talk about the good old days.
Also, definitely pick a spot where the food is good, but make sure it’s not too demanding. Loading up on a ton of spicy food might not be the best idea. You want everyone to be fully satiated and comfortable standing with you during the ceremony and prepared to party it up all night when you’re officially a married man. Beer gardens, Gastropubs, sports bars all work. Some favorites:
Bayou Beer Garden – 180 beers to choose from and disco fries, disco fries, disco fries!
Second Line Brewing – amazing line up of beers with rotating local food trucks
Nola Brewing Tap Room – Best barbeque in the city (McClure’s) and 32 beers on tap
Mix and match from the above, and you’ll be a respectable few drinks in over a span of 5 or so hours with a good chance of keeping everyone out of jail.
I mean listen you’re not the most important part of this day, that’s HANDS DOWN YOUR BRIDE, but you are the groom and you are somewhat important, so get these lazy schmucks to lend a hand and act right on your big day!
If for whatever reason this thing does end up going south just make sure your groomsmen are all accounted for and standing up straight when it’s time for the group pictures. They’ve been known to wander off at the worst times in search of another beer….good luck!