A few evenings ago, I told my husband the next Linga Longa blog would focus on ways in which grooms could be more involved in planning their own weddings and, in the hopes of garnering useful insider knowledge, asked if he had any ideas to contribute. I should have seen it coming when he replied with the age-old, yet ever-helpful adage of , “whatever you like, Honey,” and with those four little words not only did he reveal the crux of the issue in vivid technicolour, he also managed set my blood boiling. After all, if I didn't want his help, I wouldn't have asked. Right?
Now, I do understand that while a lot of men out there consider the proposal to be their wedding duty done and dusted (newsflash; it's not!), there are others who would love to be more involved in the planning and decision making but either find it completely out of their comfort zone or simply haven't got a clue where to begin. To be honest, when I first contemplated the topic myself I felt much the same way! However, after much brainstorming and research I think I have found what it all comes down to.
A wedding is supposed to be the beginning of a life long partnership, so why not start practising your team work from the get go? Ladies, this means making sure you include your husband to be in the big decisions, and actually listening to and appreciating his input on elements of the day he actively cares about. And men, this is your opportunity to step up, burden some of the stress and ensure the wedding represents the both of you as it should. This way there will be no nasty budget surprises, no guest list disagreements, and no men feeling as though they aren’t represented on what is supposed to be one of the biggest days of their lives.
Still unsure on how to make this dream a reality? Read on for some ideas on how you and your future spouse can successfully collaborate on the wedding. Your day will be all the more magical for it!
Extra bonus for the men; your chances of encountering a fearsome, stressed out bridezilla decrease in direct correlation to the amount of effort you put in.
Ah ha! Now I see I have your attention!
The right person for the job:
You know each other arguably better than anyone else, so why not start a discussion about delegating tasks to suit your individual strengths, paying special attention to what the groom can bring to the table. Is he a particularly good negotiator? Perhaps he could be the liaison between you and your vendors, making sure you get the very best deal for the very best price. Does he have a good understanding of computers and web development? Put that man in charge of creating a functional, eye catching wedding website!
When you take away the stigma of any and all wedding tasks solely being the responsibility of the woman, and instead approach them with a “right person for the job” mindset, you may be surprised by how much he has to offer. After all, there is so much more to a wedding than just flowers, place settings, and invitations. I can guarantee any future groom will have a greater enthusiasm about taking on a task if he knows he can do it with confidence!
Turn tasks into treats:
Two words; 'Food' and 'Drink'. What man out there doesn’t like a good food sampling? This is a task any future husband can thoroughly enjoy, so ladies, take him along to every cake tasting, menu sampling, wine sipping appointments you may have and be sure to listen to his opinions. Encourage him in this and he will likely be more willing to offer input into other areas as well!
Conversely, if you are happy to hand over the reins completely, suggest he hold a tasting party with his groomsmen. Not only will it take a load off your plate (as it were) it will also create a fun, bonding experience for the boys. Obviously, any final decisions should be made together, but you can pat yourself on the back for including him in an element he will naturally be looking forward to, come the big day!
Speaking of things he will be looking forward to, why not share the responsibility of creating the perfect party playlist? Music is such a defining display of personality, and as such it should never be left up to a solitary member of the couple. Set aside a night where the two of you can sit down and pick out a selection of songs representative of you, not only as a couple, but also as individuals. They can be fast, slow, romantic or party classics, but put them all together and it will be uniquely yours. Your friends and family will immediately realise this is no average, run of the mill wedding playlist!
Don't shoot down good ideas:
No two people have the same tastes. It's only natural you will disagree on certain decisions but try to remember that this is his wedding too, and should he come up with a suggestion or idea don't immediately shoot it down. If you reject every idea he presents you'll end up with a passive groom, reluctant to contribute on anything wedding related whatsoever. Don't get me wrong, if he suggests something completely ludicrous such as having the ceremony take place in a tank inhabited sharks, by all means feel free to say no! However, if his idea is reasonable or something he genuinely thinks would be great, give it the consideration it deserves and work together to find a way to make it happen. Honestly, is a cake made out of wheels of cheese such a bad idea? At least give it some thought.
Brides, let go of the urge to control:
Ladies, I hate to break it to you, but your wedding day isn’t (and shouldn’t be) all about you. Rather, it's about two people coming together, and you are only one half of that whole. You need to trust your man to do a job and to do it well without micro managing every choice he makes. Allow him to inject some of his own personality into the day and accept his opinions on things he actually cares about. Maybe he simply cannot picture himself in a three piece penguin suit, prefers the idea of a sit down reception over a cocktail party, or perhaps he would just like to arrive in his favourite type of car rather than a traditional limousine (or that horse drawn carriage you have tucked away in the pages of your scrapbook).
Compromise on these things and, in the end, you won't even care that certain elements weren’t exactly how you had originally envisioned. Instead, you will see all the things that make him who he is, alongside all the things that make you who you are, and you may actually be surprised by how harmoniously those two worlds meet in the middle.
Men, be prepared and invested:
Men, this one's for you, so pay attention! Weddings are stressful not only on the actual day but also in the months leading up to it, and generally speaking it's usually the bride who bears the brunt of it. Do your part to help her out by being prepared and getting things done in a timely manner. Have your groom's and groomsmen's attire picked out well in advance and bank plenty of time for alterations and fittings. Additionally, complete any tasks you agreed to take on as soon as is feasible, ensuring the closer you get to the date the less you will have on your plate and the fewer last minute issues you are likely to encounter. This way if something should go wrong later on in the picture, your preparedness allows you to handle it without putting any unnecessary strain on either you or your fiancé's mental well being.
In a similar vein, whatever you do, do not leave the writing of your vows, speeches and toasts to the last minute. Take the time to properly think about what you want to say to the woman you are marrying, and to your friends and family and write it down in the weeks leading up. Not only will your speeches be more heartfelt, but when the wedding inevitably arrives you can be one hundred percent present and invested in what’s actually going on around you instead of breaking a sweat trying to come up with that sublimely witty remark for your toast. It's just out of reach though, isn't it?
Do us all a favour and have it sorted and practiced days in advance so you can truly nail the delivery!
Trust me guys, winging it is never a good idea.
There you have it. A marriage is a two person affair and as such a wedding should reflect each 's individual personality as well as who they are as a couple. If you ask me, the only way this can be achieved is by both people being actively involved in the planning, which means it's time for the guys to get involved! So if you're a bride to be, and wanting more input from your man it's pretty simple; encourage him to voice his opinions, give him tasks he's naturally good at, and let him have a little fun along the way. Remember, it's his wedding too!