Monday, August 2, 2010

What Should Grooms Do?

A controversial topic when it comes to wedding planning is groom involvement. I have had numerous conversations with married couples about how much the groom actually helped during the wedding planning and the conversation always goes like this...

Any Bride from Anywhere from Anytime: He didn't do a god damn thing! Nothing. I did EVERYTHING!

(cut to the groom with a bewildered and accused look on his face)

Confused Groom: What did you want me to do that I didn't do? What was I supposed to do? I did what you asked me to do.

Now, this is a complicated situation and the basis for many, many, many pre-wedding fights. How involved should a groom be in planning his own wedding day? I say, not very. Let me explain. I love Steven. I think he's great at buying presents. He did a fabulous job at picking out my engagement ring. He's got great taste in women (me). But you know what, if I let Steven choose what we had for dinner for every single night of an entire week, do you know what we'd have? Chili Dogs. Not just on Monday night and then maybe Thursday night. But every single night. We would have chili dogs for seven straight nights. And he'd love it. He wouldn't see anything wrong with it. I've watched Steven fart on Brooklyn and then put a blanket over her head, so she'd be trapped in the fart mist. Then he lifted the blanket up real quick to see her reaction and then put the blanket down again, so she could simmer in his fart for a little bit longer. And I don't think this is unusual behavior for guys. In fact, I'm pretty sure most women reading this right now have had similar experiences with their men. So my thought is this -- do you really want your fiance having that much influence with your wedding planning? I don't think you do.

Because the problem with women is this -- we don't just want our fiances to be involved, we want them to be involved in a very specific way. It's not enough that they are generally excited about the wedding day itself. We want them to really care about tiny details that guys just don't care about. We want them to look at a color wheel and go, "Holy shit...look at the way lilac and canary go together. Now that says spring wedding!" But no guy is going to say that. And if he did -- be honest -- it'd probably freak you out a little. You'd probably have a conversation with your mother about it. You don't want your fiance picking out wedding concepts anymore than he wants you making decisions about his fantasy football team.

Unless you're marrying David Tutera (and you're not), then chances are, you're fiance is not going to do what you want him to do. He's not going to say what you want him to say in the way you want him to say it. He's not going to pick the things you want him to pick. And even when he does, it'll still feel wrong. David Tutera is a professional. He does this wedding stuff for a living. When you watch his show, have you ever noticed that he meets the fiance for like two minutes and then politely asks him to leave? That's the last you see of the fiance until the actual wedding day. There is a reason for that. David Tutera knows what he's doing. He's 86ing the groom out of the wedding day planning because he doesn't want the bride murdering the groom before the wedding.

I watched an episode last night and the bride was dead-set on wearing a hideous purple wedding gown. David calmly looked at the bride and said, "You are a princess. You need to stand out. Let the purple be painted around you, not on you." And that was it. Not only did the bride agree to get a new white gown, but was even excited about it. If her groom would have tried to talk her out of the purple dress, it would have gone more like this -- "You look like Grimace from McDonald's." And that would be it. The bride would still have worn the purple dress, and her groom would be wearing matching purple and black bruises on his face from the bridal beatdown he would have received.

Guys just don't know how to handle wedding planning. Most married women claim that their husband helped very, very little with the planning process. Married men, on the other hand, think they did plenty. The problem is that wedding planning is a lot like a glacier -- you only see the little bit on top (i.e. the venue, the cake, the photographer), but you don't see all the stuff below the surface (i.e. the return address envelopes, the silverware, the serving dish that the cole slaw should go in, are we having cole slaw?, where are we getting cole slaw?, will the cole slaw me made with mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, no wait...his family doesn't like Miracle Whip, but mine does.) See, that's the difference between how men think and women think. Men think about the major things; women think about EVERYTHING else. We don't just think about it; we ponder it. We obsess over it. We toss and turn at night over it. Men just don't get stressed out about cole slaw. And that pisses women off.
Sure, he helped you for several hours assembling the wedding invitations. But what he doesn't understand is that before you got to that point -- you had already spent days designing the invitations, weeks waiting for them, hours and hours looking at wedding websites, driven miles and miles to different stores buying stamps, ribbon, glue, whatever. So that's why he feels like he has helped, but you feel like he hasn't done crap. That's how the drama starts.

With Steven, I made the mistake of involving him in too many decisions early on. Decisions that he didn't really care about. When he didn't have an opinion, it pissed me off. And when he gave me his opinion, I'd dismiss it as being silly and impractical. He would ask me the same questions about things over and over again, and I'd get enraged. Not just a little mad, but boiling-over angry.

He was trying so hard to help and it would just make me angrier. He consulted a co-worker and got a semi-acceptable answer for the parking situation at our reception. Which would have been fine, but I had already spent several hours calling the City of Virginia Beach municipal parking department two months earlier. So I already had my answer...two months ago. Of course, I told him this, but he didn't remember.

There was one day, that Steven actually invented the concept of Save the Dates. I mean, not just the idea of us having them for our wedding, but he literally invented the concept of them in the entire universe. Of course, this was after I had already ordered our Save the Dates. Steven called and said, "Hey, I got an idea. What if we make these cards, and send them out to people telling them about our wedding? We could even put your blog website address on there." Of course, we had already talked all about this, weeks and weeks before. I have heard that with Alzheimer's' patients, there is no point in even fighting with them. It's just best to go along with whatever they say. So I simply replied, "Wow, that's a great idea babe. Let's do it." I think the Save the Dates arrived the very next day.

The thing that has really helped my sanity in regards to our wedding planning is that Steven has gone far, far away. He went all the way across country for work, and it has really made things easier. I consult him on about 10% of the details, and I make 100% of the decisions. About three to four times a week, he asks, "Anything new with the wedding?" I give him any new details and he always seems okay with them.

Because that's the thing about guys, even if they made a big stink about something earlier, they suddenly don't remember being upset about it before. It's like pushing a dog. Two seconds after you push them, they are wagging their tails again. Guys really, truly don't care about what you choose. I picked out the beach house for our wedding. It was not the house that Steven wanted. He loves it now. I booked our honeymoon at a different resort then Steven wanted. He couldn't be more excited about it. To this day, Steven has still not seen our Save the Dates. He's seen the picture that Pilly drew, but he has not seen the final product. He doesn't know the size and the shape of it, or even the font color. It took me two full days to pick that font color. I even printed out several font choices, and took them to work and had random people vote on their favorite. Steven is cool with whatever I choose.

And that's why men marry the women they do -- because they trust you to make the decisions for them that they don't really give a crap about. They don't want to pick out socks, or buy flea and tick medicine. They don't care what kind of fabric softener you buy. So why would they care about the theme of your cake topper? They don't. Guys care about food, music and cars. So those are the things they should be involved in during wedding planning, and nothing else. Not just for his sanity, but yours as well.

Grooms -- you can't kill them, so you might as well marry them.


  1. Two things Lacy:

    Not all men are created equal.


    Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them.

    That is all. :)