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Planning a Wedding -- Groom's Perspective
Wedding: Not for the feint of heart
Tradition dictates that planning a wedding is the responsibility (or pleasure) of the bride, her family and her friends. I am believe that this tradition is not only ready to be changed but that marriages will benefit from that change. I believe that a bride and groom planning a wedding together will bring the closer together and make the event so much more personal. I wouldn't espouse this theory if I didn't test this theory on myself.
Image Credit: Marc Angel Blog
Philosophy on Weddings
How many people say that the wedding is really for the bride, the groom barely knows when to show up and is just there for the alcohol and food. While I am sure there are some couples, perhaps even many couples who have that mindset I believe in general that is changing. Grooms do care about their wedding. Perhaps not planning their wedding since they were just a wee child, but later in life they are inviting their friends and family and probably have strong feelings how the weekend should go.
Is this bad? Absolutely not! If there is one thing I am learning is that married life is about compromise and open communication. Imagine starting that married life with one of the most important days of their life without any joint work. How can a couple feel fully committed to each other for life if they don't both feel truly a part of the wedding that marries them? I believe I have some recommendations for couples.
Bridal Shows -- NOT just for Brides
Have a groom that is a little nervous about jumping into the wedding planning? Wedding shows is an excellent way to get their feet wet without too much pressure.
Almost every week venues and private groups host what was commonly referred to as bridal shows (now called wedding shows). The purpose of these events was to introduce consumers with wedding vendors including DJs, Photographers, Caterers, and of course wedding venues. Free food abounds at these events as bakers and caterers woo potential clients. Barring the obvious of getting free food which should be enough to entice any groom-to-be, meeting vendors that you will be working with for the next 10-18 months is quite important. Keep in mind that both Bride and Groom will have to deal with a vendor that doesn't respond to emails or is incredibly difficult to work with in-general, thus much better to have two opinions.
Ensuring both parties feel comfortable with their vendors is not just important to put on a great event but also to make the planning and execution fun and stress-free and frankly can be one of the best gifts a wedding couple can receive.
Would you want the groom to help in planning?
To Buy or Not to Buy
Anyone who as ever been involved in planning a wedding knows that weddings are not inexpensive occasions. No matter how simple you try to go, there are always unexpected expenses and surprises that will come up. In most cases the top source of arguments pre-wedding is about money. The best advice we ever received was to identify the one thing we each cared about the most and that is where money was no object (for me it was photos, for my wife it was the invitations), everything else is a tougher decision.
Even if you are not paying for your own wedding, you should be planning it as if it was your own money. It will allow you to make good decisions that will hopefully not cause father of the bride to have an early heart attack. This is where the groom and bride working together comes in so handy. Both the bride or groom can get excited about a particular plan (decoration, gift bag, etc) but while the two of them talk about it, they can help temper their own excitement. In our case we loved the idea of having a sea of large balloons filled with helium along the ceiling with white streamers hanging down that our guests would walk through to get into the reception. While visually exciting, for a cost of $1100 and only seen when guests walk in and then leave 6 hours later, we reasoned we could spend our money on a photo-wall that would be used all night. By talking things out (just like you will probably talk through big expenditures throughout the marriage) you will make better decisions you are both happy with.
The best compliment we received about our wedding is that it felt very genuine and represented both of us. We both worked together to plan our wedding bringing in elements of each of us that helped represent our future life together. I will admit, there were tough spots when we strongly felt differently about certain things, but then we talked through them and got to a good place. Call it practice for life, or maybe just an early education, it was extremely useful. Not only do I think our relationship became stronger, but I can guarantee we both enjoyed our wedding so much more.
To the brides: Include your grooms, ask for their opinions and try to get them excited. I know it means giving up a little bit of control, but it will be worth it!
To the grooms: Get involved. Older co-workers might question why you are helping with your wedding, but I guarantee you will enjoy it so much more. Give it a shot, you might be surprised in what you find out.