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Congratulations! You've found the girl you plan to spend the rest of your life with … so how do you get from here to eternity?

Unfortunately, you may notice that the vast majority of wedding-planning resources are geared primarily toward brides. Many wedding books come packaged in pastel sheaths with bows attached and the words “Bridal Planner” screaming from their covers. (No, no one really expects you to accept these as your Wedding Primers. Even the most expressive man on the planet has his limits.)

The best way to truly appreciate the significance of your wedding is to get involved from the very beginning. Don't just slide in the week before you say, “I do” and give your opinion on the dinner being served at the reception. Go and look at that hall with her before she books it. If it's too small, tell her. If you think it smells kind of weird, say so. Don't wait until you arrive at your reception to voice your concerns. Get in the game early on. Your fiancée really is listening and will love you all the more for it.

Weddings are chock full of details, so be forewarned: You're embarking on a time-consuming venture. Brides have been known to lose their heads while planning their nuptials — but perhaps these particular brides didn't have a partner who was willing to take on some of the responsibility of the wedding arrangements. Helping your bride is going to be your duty for many, many years to come. There's no time like the present to start.

This book is meant to serve as a little guide for the man who has absolutely no idea where to begin this prewedding journey. Women have an unfair advantage in the wedding planning arena, as they routinely dream of their wedding day decades in advance of the actual event. Women pay attention to every minute detail of their friends' and relatives' weddings, and file each item away in one of two separate memory banks: Things I Would Do at My Own Wedding and Things I Would Not Do at My Own Wedding. (You think this is a joke? It's not.) Men tend to do something far less insane at weddings: They attend and enjoy the party. They generally don't spend the evening whispering to their friends about the cheap quality of the table linens.

As you make your first foray into this foreign territory, you may feel as though your fiancée is speaking another language. Think of this book as your translator. It covers everything you need to know about weddings from the most rudimentary responsibilities (e.g., choosing groomsmen, arranging the rehearsal dinner, and behaving at your bachelor party) to the big picture (e.g., preparing the guest list, finding exactly the right spot to say your vows, picking a china pattern). You decide where you fall in the scheme of things — your information is right here.

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  2. Groom
  3. Introduction
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