Wedding Planning 101: Groom to future Groom
This is a re-post for a fave blog first published in 2012.
Hi guys, this is Pam's husband Tony blogging now. Ladies, nothing to see here, just keep on moving.
Pam asked me to give you guys my take on the whole destination wedding process so here goes…
To be honest, I could have taken marriage or left it. Not that I didn't want to be with Pam forever, but I didn't see the need to have a piece of paper legally grant me the right that I had already accepted and embraced – I wanted to be with Pam and she wanted to be with me. But marriage isn't about the guys is it? It's about the girls, and Pam wanted to have a wedding day where she could feel special and the center of attention, and doing it at a special destination would give everyone else a holiday week and a party to remember. So destination wedding it was.
Now I was a little bit older when I finally got married, so I've been to many weddings and talked to many guys about what goes on leading up to a wedding. The common denominator in all my discussions with male friends and acquaintances alike was that their ladies got a little crazy and demanding as the date approached. I attributed this to the guys not listening well enough to their gals, or not trying hard enough, or not being understanding or supportive enough, etc. etc. Having not been through the groom side of things before, I assumed that if I provided the support and listening attention that Pam needed, then she would be fine and wouldn't react the way I'd heard so many girls reacted. Wrong…sooo wrong.
Not to say that she went off the deep end or anything, far from it, but she did go a little wonky as the date approached, and no amount of understanding listening or helpful suggestion-ing could absolutely eliminate that. Pam used the phrases Bridal Brain and Bridezilla to describe it. Once I learned the lesson that women go a bit sideways before a wedding, and I understood and embraced that fact, I was better able to handle what was happening and to be supportive for her.
It's not ME she's mad at right now, I just happen to be the person she's taking it out on because I'm here. It's not really the end of the world that I haven't completed that wedding planning task I was assigned, but with all the tasks your fiancé is facing, any undone task is yet another straw that can be the camel-back-breaker.
So here are my suggestions to be the helpful guy to an overly stressed fiancé:
- IT'S ALL ABOUT THE LIST. Period. She will have a list of things to do, people to see, questions to ask, questions needing answers…anything you can do to assist her with the to do list is a good thing. Very few of the things on the list will be delegated to you, but any emotional or moral support you can provide will help your fiancé from being overwhelmed by THE LIST.
- BE A GOOD LISTENER. Always make room to listen to your fiancé if she wants to talk, about wedding things or otherwise. Woman need to verbalize things, to say it out loud to someone who cares, and by doing so it makes things better. They don't always need you to solve a problem or suggest a solution, sometimes they just need to be heard.
- HAVE SOME OPINIONS. Remember that the wedding is about your girl, not you, sorry, and that you'll often be commenting on her choices about things. If something about the wedding is very important to you, by all means have a discussion with her about, but try and leave it to her to come up with the choices if she doesn't ask. And it's okay if you don't have a strong preference about what color the napkins should be, just be honest and say that. But do keep in mind that having no opinions about anything will probably prompt some comment about you not caring about the wedding at all, and why am I going to all this trouble for our wedding? (that question is always rhetorical, by the way).
- GET YOUR STUFF DONE. Do your wedding tasks promptly and with due care and attention. If they cannot be completed quickly, then at the very least provide regular updates to her about how things are going. I learned that it didn't matter that it was still months before our departure when my guest familiarization sheet would needed, getting it done sooner was better because it was another thing off the list. Again, it's all about the list. Getting your tasks done promptly and with more care and attention that she expected will make her happy, and by default, you happy too.
- ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE. Take pleasure in the fact that she wants to put this much energy into your wedding day. I know I said before that it was her day, and it is, but you will be a part of it and be able to share in the joy and happiness that a well-planned wedding day gives your bride.
I remember when our wedding day finally arrived and all Pam's planning worked out, I took great pride in knowing that I was the behind the scenes guy, a wedding roadie if you will, that gave her the help and the support she needed through it all.
And when things work out the way she hoped, you'll never forget her smile on your wedding day.