Groom's father doesn't need GPS to navigate his wedding role

July 13, 2008|By TONY MULIERI

When you are the Father of the Groom, there's not a whole lot for you to do.

I found this out recently when my oldest son, Andy, got married.

I was basically asked to show up.

As the Father of the Groom, I was to attend the rehearsal dinner, give a toast at said dinner (which was optional) and walk with my son to the altar at the ceremony.

That's about it.

As the father of four sons, I will have this Father of the Groom thing down pretty well eventually.

The wedding was held at Aberdeen Proving Grounds and the thing we found out we had to "prove" was that we were who we said we were. You had to show a photo ID card at the gate to get on the Army base.

"Do you know who I am? I'm the Father of the Groom."

"Let's see the ID card."


The wedding was held at a banquet hall called The Top of the Bay, which sits on the North Chesapeake Bay. Finding The Top of the Bay can be a test, however, with all of the twists and turns on the base.

Luckily, we had "The Voice" to get us there. We rode to the wedding in a car that had GPS (Global Positioning System), and the great thing about this device was it had a woman's voice that talked to you the whole way from Hagerstown to the wedding.

"Take a right turn in 2 point 4 miles."

"Continue on I-95 for 33 miles."

"You have arrived at your destination."

We used to have something similar to this when I was growing up. It was called BSD (Back Seat Driver). It wasn't as accurate, and it used to drive my Dad crazy.

"You are crossing the yellow line."

"You should have turned left back there."

"Are we there yet?"

This GPS thing gets in your head. I kept hearing this woman's voice in my head all weekend. "You will get to the elevator in 14 steps."

"The ice machine is at the end of the hall."

"You will get to your seat in 2 point 4 seconds."

The wedding was exceptional. The outdoor ceremony was planned for 7 p.m., but it rained all day, forcing the seating and altar to be set up indoors. About 6 p.m., the skies cleared and the Bride said, "I want to get married outside."

The wedding party quickly moved some 200 chairs and the makeshift altar to an enormous porch that had the bay as its backdrop. The Father of the Groom did not have to move any furniture.

The wedding and reception all went off as planned, thanks mostly to the Father of the Bride, and more importantly, the Mother of the Bride, who planned it all out for months, down to what color napkins would be at each table.

The bride was beautiful and I got emotional when my son said, "I do."

As we rode back to our hotel, The Voice said, "The Father of the Groom will be asleep in 15 minutes and 10 seconds."

Tony Mulieri is community editor of The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 7647, or by e-mail at

The Herald-Mail Articles