It's YOUR Day Too
There are two categories of grooms, and you are one of them.
If you're Type #1, you understand that your wedding day is the most important day of your life to date; an opportunity for you and your bride to share your love and commitment with those who are dearest to you in a way that is deeply personal and memorable.
If you're Type #2, you've probably said something along these lines at least once since you announced your engagement:
"I don't care about the wedding itself, I'm just looking forward to being married."
Some Type #2s will be sincere when they say that they are not invested in the details of their wedding day. Others may be capitulating to their bride's very specific vision, reasoning that - as tradition dictates - it is 'her day'. And some - you know who you are - are just hoping for an easy ride in the run up to the ceremony.
If you do fall into the second category, for whatever reason, a word of advice… Wake up, wise up and get involved! Every time you say 'I don't mind', your bride hears 'whatever'. Every indifferent response to venue suggestions or menu choices feels like a lack of investment in what should be the happiest day of both of your lives. If you have an opinion about walking boots, diesel engines or the starting line-up of the LA Dodgers, you can sure as Hell find something to say about candles and party favours. Believe me, when you look back on your wedding day, the memories will only be sweeter if you shared in the planning and squeezed a little of your own identity into the proceedings.
Not only that, but the shared experience of planning your wedding can provide a rich vein of warmth and humour to inform your speech on the day. You'll have spent a lot of time together, fussing over budgets and details, so use the experience in your speech:
"I fell in love with Linda the moment I set eyes on her… But it wasn't until I watched her haggling with a florist that I knew for certain I'd made the right choice."
"Linda and I want you all to have a fantastic time today. Providing a feast for 150 people takes blood, sweat and tears… If that's a problem for you, I hope you remembered to tick the vegan box on your invite."
That said, you should never be tempted to poke fun at your bride from the top table. You may have a relationship that thrives on mutual teasing or off-colour banter, but unless your wedding is the most intimate of affairs, that fact will be lost on a good portion of your audience. Without a solid understanding of the dynamic of your relationship, they'll most likely write you off as an insensitive, boorish idiot. Remember, if anyone's is going to get into trouble on your wedding day, it should be your Best Man. As far as the Groom's speech is concerned, the golden rule is it's a TOAST, not a ROAST. If you happen to have a mischievous streak that just won't be silenced, leave your new wife out of it and take a swipe at the best man instead, like the groom at this wedding. He's a safe target and he'll probably give as good as he gets!
One final word of warning. Weddings are expensive. You know it. Your bride knows it. Everyone in the room knows it. And while the father of the bride might be able to get away with a gag about maxing out his credit card on four feet of tiered fruitcake and a string quartet, the same joke from the groom will only dent your image. The merest hint of dissatisfaction - even in jest - can sour your speech and set tongues wagging in the crowd, so don't go there. Your bride thinks she's found her knight in shining armour. She doesn't want to find out on her wedding day that you're actually a miser in thrift shop slacks.