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Over the past few months I have watched many, many episodes of Four Weddings on TLC. I don’t have a good reason for watching this show other than the fact that I like seeing the different interpretations of what makes a perfect wedding day. And friends, I’ve learned that there are several ways to make that day “unique” and “special.” (You might be surprised to know that getting married in a castle is NOT one of those ways. Apparently castles are everywhere on the East Coast. Who knew?)
Despite the understandable desire to have a totally one-of-a-kind wedding, my dedicated research has shown there are plenty of areas for generalization, so I’ve made this list of guidelines to keep in mind should you ever be a contestant on a wedding-themed, competition-style reality show.
Becky here, straight from the altar to share firsthand my thoughts and newly acquired wisdom regarding the wedding planning process – and how not to go crazy, homicidal and/or suicidal as you prepare to tie the knot.
1. Get Over Yourself. Someone wants to marry you! That’s awesome. You deserve love, congratulations, well wishes, and maybe even a crock pot on this momentous occasion. However, you have not been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. You have not been elected President of the United States. You have not published The Great American Novel. You have not Cured Cancer. Furthermore, your wedding day will (hopefully) NOT be the best day of your life. There are (hopefully) many, many, MANY more days of joy, transcendence, emotionality, and pride on the horizon. You have so much to look forward to, like family, babies, travel, career success and more. You’ll be sharing it all with the person you love, to whom you will be married.
So be grateful, above all else. Don’t act like you’re the sh*t. Don’t make unreasonable demands of your friends. Don’t indulge in psycho-drama with your mom, wedding planner and assorted relatives. Conduct yourself with humility, sanity and perspective, and you will find that the wedding planning process and all the loved ones around you will morph into more sane versions of themselves as well.
Hello blogosphere. Well, er, columnosphere? Yes, two sentences into this and I’ve already created a word. You heard it here first.
You remember me, right? I’m the guy who fell in love with an amazing girl and then had to watch her move halfway across the country to pursue her dreams of business school. Nine lengthy long-distance months later, I also became the guy who managed to slip a ring on her finger and convince her that we should spend our lives together…don’t worry, it was an easy sell. And since we last spoke, I finally packed up my things and made the move abroad (or at least it feels like it sometimes) to Texas. For those of you who are fans of a good origin story, you can find the more dramatic version of that tale here and here.
Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Everyone all caught up? So here’s the latest. After a year apart, an exciting engagement, and a move back in together, Gertrude (I’ll be calling her Feyonce from here – tell you why in a few weeks) and I are now planning that special day. Or as I like to call it, the day we’ll become “Captain & First Mate.”
You know, our wedding.
Here is the one thing that you need to know, right off the bat. Between the two of us, I am the driving force behind planning this wedding. To give credit where credit is due, my future mother-in-law is the jelly in the PB&J of wedding planning, whereas I am the peanut butter and Feyonce is…the apple in your lunchbox that squishes the sandwich. Part of a well-balanced meal, but not all that critical to the PB&J.
To be fair, Feyonce has been insanely focused on business school, and on all the stress of finding a job, through this whole thing. We also, as a couple, needed to decide if someone who has habits of walking into walls, starting 70% of her days with her shirt on inside out, and looking for things that have been in her hand for 30 minutes was ready to take on what is necessary to make this day happen, let alone happen smoothly.
So picture the traditional bride/mother-of-the-bride tandem, and then go ahead and cross out bride and pencil “groom” in there. It’s just me and my mother-in-law, e-mailing back and forth about napkins and table settings every day and debating whether or not violin/cello or violin/violin makes sense for the ceremony music. (Thoughts?)
So far, I’ve lived to tell this tale – and that’s exactly what I intend to do in this column for the months leading up to my June wedding. Because at the moment, no one out there is really telling us wedding-focused guys how we’re supposed to do this. The process is completely alien to most of us. So from one man to another…let’s figure out how to plan a wedding (without completely losing our minds – or our masculinity).
In the traditional wedding planning world, the bride takes the reins while the groom stands idly by or keeps himself busy “finding the band” (which ultimately turns out to be busywork when that one doesn’t quite make the cut and, surprise, a replacement has already been found!). This poor guy then gets slapped with the, “there goes another groom who could care less” label and finds himself looking from side to side, wondering, “What the hell just happened!?”
Plus, real men let their grandmothers pick the musical talent…yeah, I’ll tell you that in a few weeks, too.
Anyway, the way I see it, when it comes to the overall role of the groom in wedding planning, there are a few different flavors of groom – none of which are strawberry. There are grooms that don’t care, can’t care, and dare to care.
Sure, there are guys who generally don’t care what happens, and are just looking forward to the vacation that comes along with the honeymoon. Lame. Perhaps this rings true, gentlemen? The bride takes over, and that is quite alright with these guys.
Our can’t care comrades are much more interesting – they want to care, but their opinions are blocked at every turn by the “wedding-wiser” bride and her posse. These guys are likely threatened with things like, “Keep talking, and we’ll see how many raw bars end up at the wedding!!!” when they express opinions that go against the train–I mean grain. This particular threat works in direct correlation to how much the groom likes/wants/needs shrimp cocktail at the event.
And then there are, of course, those of us who not only dare to care, but who embrace it and take on a level of planning and responsibility usually reserved for the bride.
Hi, I’m Bryan, and I’m not a Groomzilla, it’s just that…I care.
This column is yours, to have and to hold, from this day forward. We’ll talk about the wedding planning from my point of view: the clear skies and the squalls, the good times and the bad, in sickness and in [top] shelf [vodka], as long as the Internet shall live. Stay tuned.
Image via Lori Photography
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