You’ve seen the films. There’s the bride-to-be, juggling multiple wedding planning tasks at once. She’s making resort reservations, choosing the cake, finding the perfect dress, and going to a local antique mall to suss out the components of a centerpiece she saw featured in Brides Magazine.
And where’s the groom? He’s off having a beer with his bros and lamenting the fact that his babe can’t chill. He’s on the couch watching the game while his fiancée begs him to check out venues.
Of course, you’re not that guy. You and your fiancée are in this thing together. Still, you have to admit that you’re not quite as interested and involved in the wedding planning as she is. There are times when you wish you could just save the money and elope, and there are definitely times when you feel like a sounding board more than the leading man in this adventure.
There are ways to avoid letting these feelings turn you into the quintessential “lazy groom,” though. You don’t have to play the primary role to be an important part of planning the wedding, and your ability to work with your bride-to-be and compromise on things that matter to you both is, ultimately, what will make the event worthwhile.
Find a Task You Can Excel At
The next time your fiancée is freaking out about how many things she has to get done, don’t just listen and nod. Invite her out to dinner for a relaxed conversation and offer to take over one area completely. Maybe you will design the invitations, plan the reception or hire the entertainment. Maybe you’ll be in charge of arranging the photo shoot, or you’ll be the one to make the honeymoon arrangements.
Whatever it is, be prepared to give it your full attention; don’t just make the agreement to appease your fiancée. Find something that you really care about, summon your creative and competitive energy, and make it amazing.
But Don’t Absent Yourself from Everything Else
All cake tastes the same to you. Your fiancée looks great in any style dress. And you’re color blind, so it’s not like you’re going to be picking out the floral arrangements.
All that might be true, but you’re missing the main point. Being the one who is in charge of the wedding planning isn’t fun unless you can count on feedback and support along the way. Your fiancée actually worries that you might not really want black raspberry creme filling in the cake. She doesn’t get that you really don’t care, or at least you don’t care enough to voice an opinion. You think you are being easy-going; she just thinks you’re lazy.
So go to the cake tasting. Look at swatches. Help choose items for the registry. And be assertive. Tell her you prefer the chocolate cake with mocha mousse filling, and when she protests that it’s not traditional, let her have her way. It’ll make it easier to get the band you want for the reception later on.
Be Empathetic — It Goes a Long Way
While boys are outside tackling each other on the schoolyard, girls are already talking about weddings. They are deciding what season they want to get married in and debating the style of their gowns. That’s why, to your fiancée, the planning stage is such a big deal: It’s the culmination of a life-long dream. She wants to get every detail perfect, and the fear of disappointing her own expectations is what leads to stress and panic.
If you think about it, you’ve likely had comparable fantasies and felt a similar fear of failure. That puts you in a great position to be able to empathize with your fiancée rather than thinking she is obsessive — and when she is extreme, you can forgive her. After all, you’ve been there yourself.
Switch the Paradigm from Obligation to Pleasure
Chances are, you are never going to spend this kind of money in one place again. That’s a weighty thought. And if you let it get the upper hand, the wedding soon will become something you resign yourself to, the first in a series of costly obligations that ultimately leads to your burial in a plot beside your mother-in-law.
Instead, why not embrace the expenditure? You have thousands of dollars with which to throw a killer party. When you think about it this way, it’s easier to forget what everybody does and focus on making the event exactly what you want. Do you want to have nothing but champagne and small batch bourbon at your reception? Will it kill the mood to have children around? Do you want to exchange your vows on a ski slope or a secluded island beach?
It’s your circus. They’re your monkeys. Stage the production of your dreams and look forward to having the time of your life.