Breaking Societal Norms – Man Planning for Your Wedding

Today I would like to hit on some road blocks that grooms may face in creating that perfect dream wedding for yourself and your bride-to-be.  Planning a wedding is stressful in many ways, there is no doubt about it.  If it isn’t the pressure of pleasing your partner, your family, or friends, then it’s other pressures like financial costs, where the time will come from, and even the pressure of possibility.

Overcome the Stereotype Hype

For many men and women, the stereotypes and even fantasies that have surrounded weddings and wedding planning are significant.  Many cultures and many countries have traditions that have been followed for centuries.  Whether that is a tradition that says the man must pay for the wedding, or pay a dowry, or that the woman makes all of the decisions or even that the “big day” is all about the bride, these concepts can make it difficult for a bride and groom to make all the different pieces of a wedding puzzle come together.

For my fellow grooms out there I want to say this.  It is perfectly okay to have an opinion and want to help with your wedding.  Think about it this way, we all want our significant other to be happy in the end, and what better way than to ensure the success of your wedding by being an integral role in planning, creating, and finding lots of money saving deals while you are at it?

Let’s overcome that stereotype that a groom’s most important role before the actual ceremony is to drink beer at a bachelor party or in the pre-wedding dressing room.  Decide on how much time you and your partner have available and divy up roles that you both feel comfortable completing.  If you don’t care for design, fashion or decorating, then maybe you can be in charge of scoping out bakery prices for wedding cakes, or researching tableware rentals.  If you both want to contribute to the design and theme ideas, then pick several things that are important to you to spearhead.

Communication is Key!

Perhaps one of the biggest pitfalls for wedding planning and even on the big day is poor communication.  But it doesn’t start there.  Keep in mind that we know your stress levels will naturally be higher.  You are spending money, allocating time and resources to something that isn’t your job, or regular daily living.  Therefore, with increased stress, you and your partner are already at risk for communication failures!

Schedule times with your partner to sit down and actually discuss your ideas, interests, needs, and even problems you are encountering from the beginning of your wedding planning journey.  This may be as early as the day you propose! Don’t avoid opening communication about your interests and needs in regards to what you want with your wedding.  This includes what roles you want to play and which roles you feel you do not want to do or cannot do.

Communication Bullet Points

  • Discuss BOTH of your “must haves” for your wedding
  • Commit to scheduling time to check in with each other (i.e once a week, every 30 days, etc.)
  • Discuss your weaknesses (“I really don’t know how to find catering, I hate decorating” etc.)
  • Explore your expectations together and separately for your wedding
  • Right down and discuss your wedding features, or make a list, use a whiteboard, etc. such as How many guests do we want? Or, What kind of food do you want to have at our wedding?

Don’t Forget to ASK for Help

So many brides and grooms take on this monumental task and either do not ask, don’t know how to ask, or feel bad for asking for help.  Seek close friends or family to confide and consult in.  This can reduce the daily stress and help provide valuable input and feedback into your relationship and wedding planning needs during this stressful time.

Be open to pre-marital counseling.  Another big stereotype we all face in this day in age is feeling “weak” when it comes to going to counseling.  Many churches and even private therapists specialize in couples or pre-wedidng counseling services.  Don’t look at attending pre-marital counseling as a weakness or fall prey to “You shouldn’t need that if your relationship is good”. As a marriage therapist myself, I can tell you that a strong and healthy relationship is one that is willing to go to counseling together in hopes of bettering the relationship, and not one that believes you should “wait” until there is a problem.  EVERYONE can benefit from relationship help.  There is no such thing as a “perfect relationship.  Good relationships work, and lots of it.  This is especially necessary when confronting the challenge of having your wedding come to fruition.

Check out www.psychologytoday.com to find local premarital counseling near you.  Type in your zipcode and search.  You can then select premarital counseling under the issues section.  This is a great resource for people to find all sorts of counseling services, and will your premarital counseling may even be covered by your health insurance!

Trust in Yourself, Your Relationship, and Ultimately, Your Love

For the future groom looking to make his wife’s dream wedding come true, I hope that you can accept two concepts.  First, it is perfectly okay to have this day be as much “your” day as it is your wife’s.  It is through taking ownership of your needs and your role to fulfil your needs that you be available for your partner. By being an active and helpful factor in your wedding planning, you can provide more to your future wife than any fancy engagement ring or wedding band will ever do. Second, asking for help, or seeking support is a trait of a strong partner.  Remember, the goal is to have a happy life together.  Not a happy first year and nothing else.  It’s about the long haul and you should want help!

Remember that you both wanted to enter into marriage because you love one another.  Trust goes both ways in a relationship, and if you can both trust each other’s decision, needs, and tastes for your wedding, than you you will both be happy at the alter.

 

4 thoughts on “Breaking Societal Norms – Man Planning for Your Wedding

  1. I was nervous as could be with my wife and my wedding. We did so much together but I was ultimately unable to deliver on key desires due to financial constraints. We agreed that we will save money up and do things right on our 25th anniversary including having both our dreams realized. The planning in advance is a big thing. You and your soon to be spouse should be in tune or neither will be happy on this important day with anything but the love shared.

    1. Andy,

      Such a great point that I did not mention. Be realistic. If your needs and wants surpass your ability, there is no shame in compromise.  Ultimately it’s about preserving and promoting love and caring.  You can always revisit these wants when the budget allows like you say, for an anniversary, etc.

      My hopes are to help as many future couples with savings to allow more to be obtained without breaking the bank or sacrificing things now.  But, ultimately, a bit of realistic expectations can help, and if you discuss these before, during, and after, you and your partner will always be happier, have less resentment, and have a loving relationship.

      Thanks Andy!

  2. When it came to planning our wedding about 26 years ago, my husband and I were living on his income, just out of high school and completely clueless.
    Thanks to friends and family we got everything planned, in place and the wedding done within a week for less than $200 dollars. It was a miracle, honestly.

    These days it floors me how many women drive themselves to distraction planning a wedding, excluding hubby-to-be from just about everything. Somehow it has become so much more about pageantry and excess than the love you have for each other. Some couples spend enough on the wedding to buy a house for cash!

    Enlisting the groom-to-be in any aspect he feels comfortable would free up time to relax and just be excited about the beginning of your new life together as a couple.

    My daughter’s boyfriend is currently paying for a ring for my daughter. I don’t know how much it is, but he showed me a picture of it in March.

    He is from Africa, so they have certain wedding must-dos that we aren’t aware of. They went to his sister’s wedding a few weeks ago, and afterwards, they were tapped for cash until they each got paid.

    I don’t want my daughter to be stressed to pieces planning a wedding. I also don’t want her to go into debt having one. She has already said she does not want anything big and crazy. Thankfully, she doesn’t believe she needs it.
    I will be forwarding your link to her so she can keep your tips in mind when her boyfriend pops the question.

    Thanks so much for your insight!
    Gwendolyn J
    (Looking forward to being a mother-in-law!)

    1. Gwendolyn,

      So glad to meet you! I agree with you completely. I think its summed up best in shows such as Bridezillas and that 4 weddings show. Or even Say Yes to the Dress.

      It’s nice if you can afford a planner and are alright with a $15,000 gown. 

      There are so many cultural traditions we must always keep in mind. I think perhaps our typical stereotypes may actually be easier to overcome. 

      In the following weeks I will be writing about some amazing ring options and alternatives, DIY decor ideas and listing online resources for venues, catering ideas etc. 

      If even one of them helps your daughter or future son-in-law I’ll be grateful! 

      I hope that they work on being open with one another and communicating. Too many times we are too strapped for mental energy or time and basic communication gets lost which can help us overcome these obstacles.

      Thanks so much for reading and your for your insight!

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