Inspiration: Tiebreaker Bow Ties
I was reminded a few months ago that a wedding isn’t just for the bride. Crazy, right? We were at Magic Kingdom, standing on line for the carousel - in full-on poncho attire - when my cousin strolled up, flashing a sparkly new rock on THAT finger. She was engaged, to my brother-in-law ((yes, they got together at my wedding years ago)), and I was SO excited for her, because she had wanted it for so long. I immediately grabbed my one-year-old and hugged him, screaming “Kimmy’s getting married, Kimmy’s getting married!!” My mother-in-law (who will now be hers, as well) was in earshot and she very quickly said to K (my baby boy), “Hey! Your uncle is getting married, too!!” She was absolutely right. It was his day, too, and I sounded like a total asshole for forgetting that.
Made me realize just how much we assume the wedding is all about the bride, and kind of just dismiss the dudes all the time. Let’s be honest, they pour sooo much into picking out a ring (although it’s certainly something you can custom make together) and planning out the proposal, they deserve to be included or at the very least, acknowledged, in everything that comes after. As much as they want to be, of course.
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I’d say my guy was responsible for about 20% of our wedding picture, and I never felt like I pressured him into anything or deliberately excluded him from anything, either. For him, he knew I was all about the aesthetics and the creative process, I wanted to make our wedding beautiful, but also emblematic of our love story. He knew I could handle everything at the micro level, so he just posted up on the periphery to make sure I never felt too overwhelmed. And tried to keep things as mellow and stress-free as they could be outside of wedding planning, so that I could stay relaxed and keep my chill most of the time. That obvi might have been a little more for his sanity. But he’d never tell me that 😉.
So, brides, don’t just write it off that your partner doesn’t want to be part of the planning. It might even hurt or piss them off to hear that you thought they didn’t care. They do. Instead of engaging your bridezilla with all the control, consider bringing your fella into the fold. As much as he’s your person, you’re his, so we’re willing to bet that he will let you take the reigns and just be there for support. But you can help get him geared up for everything anyway.
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Here are a few ways to help your groom ease into his new getting-wifed-up role.
Photo Credit: @sarah.brookhart
Yes, guys understand that once they’ve put a ring on it, they’ve committed to a wedding sometime in the near future (everlasting engagements aren’t exactly en vogue RN), but they might not be 100p ready (or as ready as you are) to jump into all the preparations that follow. Yet. Let them take a breath, and give them some sort of timeline for how you want things to proceed. Maybe even give them a heads up that you’re so excited to get things rolling, but know that taking a moment to savor this new milestone is important. So, you’ll get into planning next week, the weekend you get back from X, after he finishes Y (some guys pop the question in the midst of grad school, or an important review schedule at work). They’re going to show up to start. But you don’t have to rush them to it.
One of the things my hubby was hell-bent on from the beginning was doing everything as a team. So, when we finally turned chats about the wedding from hypothetical to ‘it’s actually happening,’ we made sure that we discussing everything together and listening to each other’s ideas, openly and respectfully. You’ve probably had your dream wedding blueprinted in your mind for years now, but now it’s time to release some of that rigidity and recognize that you have someone else to consider. If you can ask him open-ended questions that show you truly care about what he has to say - or what he wants in the wedding - you’ll be letting him know that his opinions matter. Another tip, maybe just keep the first few discussions about your special day a session for the two of you. Welcoming other opinions this early on, especially from in-laws, opens the door up for lots of tension.
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Chances are you’ve talked to a few of your friends or family members who’ve already gotten married - and you have a clue about what the grooms got excited about: food, music, favors, the honeymoon maybe? If they have a sweet spot for one of the to-dos on your list, then by all means, let ‘em have it! Whether that puts them in charge of vetting bands or DJs for the night, finessing the final menu, organizing the transpo options for the day - including transit for the bridal party, shuttles for guests, the getaway car for the two of you - or concepting the favors to take home, they’ll love feeling in control of something. My brother-in-law is a huge home brewer, so my cousin told me they’d be doing mini beer bottles for their favors. I loved what she said, too. “Not exactly what I had in mind for our ‘elegant’ wedding, but he’s excited about it, so I wanted him to have it.” See above ☝️#teamworkmakestheweddingdreamwork.
Photo Credit: @bedbathandbeyond
Boys and toys, amirite? At the expense of sounding too gender stereotypical, this is a shopping trip that both of you should love. So, make sure you’re adding things that you can envision using IRL - while you’re entertaining, Netflix and chilling, etc. If he wants the back massager, the ridiculously expensive memory foam pillow, or can’t see himself cooking in the kitchen with anything but Shun knives, then give him the scanner and let him go crazy. And going back to an earlier point about teamwork, when you start your registries, make sure you’re considering your future lives together and thinking about new ways to have so much fun with your ‘THE ONE.’ Whether you’re thinking about becoming cocktail connoisseurs and want to step up your bar cart game, or want to become the go-to couple for hosting Sunday Funday, strategize what must-haves you need to make it happen, and make that registry a labor of love.
If I’ve learned anything from being in a relationship with the same guy for 12+ years, it’s that guys really appreciate it when their girls gas them up. If your fiancé works in the digital space and can design a sick wedding website for you, let him go for it. If he’s a chef, let him sync up with the venue kitchen staff to plan out a stunning menu (that he can surprise you and your guests with). If he’s phenomenal with his hands / works well with wood, let him go wild with the signage and decor for your day. Once he has something to focus his attention on, he’ll be in the zone in no time at all. And he won’t mind you talking him up at the reception… Hearing “my husband made this, my hubby hooked us up with x, y, z” will be music to his ears.
Photo Credit: Ömürden Cengiz on Unsplash
You’re already stressed to death, so don’t worry yourself about what he and the boys will be wearing at the wedding. If you’re marrying him, you obvi like his style, so trust that he’ll show up in something sexy and suitable for the day, your venue, and your overall vibe. Spend a night showing him a few guys’ guides to fashion+grooming - we’re thinking about The Black Tux, Jordan Jack, Paul Evans, to name a few - and drop a few hints about what you like. Then let HIM figure out how to be flawless. It goes along with the above, if he can tailor his own look, and turn you on in the process, then he’s done his job. No groom wants to hear ‘is that what you’re wearing’ on his wedding day. It’s one of those things women should never say to men.
Pretty sure your groom isn’t getting involved in your bridal shower, bach planning, or gift scheming for the girls, so let him handle it for his boys. That means not making a big deal over how he wants to ask his guys to be a part of the bridal party (he doesn’t need to do it with gifts or anything cliche) and/or not getting involved in what he selects as gifts for the groomsmen. And this goes for the bachelor party, too. While it’s in our nature, as women, to wonder how our guys will be spending the last few nights of their singlehood, we need to remember to trust in their loyalty and commitment. My husband actually broke his leg during his bachelor party, doing a Spartan run type of hardcore obstacle course with his crew. It was stupid, yes, because we were getting married a couple weeks later, but I wanted him to have a good time with his group, so I tried not to throw any shade on the events he had planned. If you can let your fiancé feel things out for his side of the squad, he’ll feel a lot better // a micromanaging bride does not a happy groom make….
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And if all else fails, give him the power of 1 VETO. He doesn’t like your choice in venue, veto; he doesn’t like a particular person in your bridal party, veto; he doesn’t have good vibe feelings about your #1 honeymoon spot, veto. Just remind him that he gets only one, so he’s gotta use it well 😉.