Nine days ago, something miraculous and several years ago damn near impossible happened. I got married. It wasn’t some crazy last minute shotgun affair and not something I was emotionally forced into (been there). This journey, that Stacey and I have been on has been amazing, scary and has taught me more about myself than I ever expected. It inspired me to start a whole new series on this blog about wedding stuff but from a guy’s point of view. Maybe, just maybe I’ll entertain the other bride/groom’s to be while being boldly honest with the other half. This is kind of geared towards guys but some of the info I’ll be talking about might be of interest to the bride as well.
(This year hasn’t been easy as the months inched closer and closer to our wedding day. Earlier this year my fiancé lost her mother and It’s no secret that event took some of the thunder and excitement away from the event and especially for Stacey. How could it not? I never knew and still don’t fully understand what it is like for a bride to be to planning a wedding without her mother helping her or even being there. It’s something I will never fully understand as a guy. As the groom to be I often looked on helplessly since I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to let her work her way through it (the hurt) but I knew things had to be done. I was also smart enough to not make any set-in-stone decisions without her even though some needed to be. I was trapped in this zone of what do I do versus what shouldn’t I do. How do I gently poke and prod, lovingly of course without pushing her emotions to the brink of slaughtering me in my sleep or it ending in waterfalls of tears? I guessed. Took a few chances and more importantly was patient. I think I did pretty good.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting…a Wedding.
The biggest thing that I learned from this was to be involved. I was involved in nearly everything in some way outside of the dress. I helped pick out the food, the cake, helped design the invitations, the DJ, helped design the clothes that my groomsmen and I would wear, who was invited and wasn’t yadda yadda yadda. I had some input on nearly everything. I loved it, it helped her and it brought us together. Guys, it’s 2016 almost 2017 so if you think you can float by and not have anything to do with the wedding outside of the bachelor party and showing up on the wedding day you are a lazy idiot who thinks it’s still the “old days” and the “little woman” plans everything. Get your shit together! Even if you don’t really have an actual say in something at least know what the fuck is going on. Your fiancé does expect you to at least pay attention and your future in-laws will be silently (or not so silently watching and judging).
Brides get overwhelmed when they are wedding planning we all know this; it’s not a secret. This is why there are TV shows about all this stuff. Grooms generally, unless they are young, afraid and not sure if they even want to get married tend to be more calm about things and rational. Don’t fall for the lines, “You don’t need to be there for that” or “Don’t worry I can take care of that,” because you do; you really do. It’s a test man! It’s a test from your future wife, your future mother in law and maybe your future father in law and especially the bride’s sister (If there are any) and friends. You need to be there for as much as you possibly can no matter what anyone says and no matter what you would rather be doing because you will be quizzed on it later and be expected to know what’s going on.
If you are expecting a child you go to every damn doctor’s appointment, right? You do all that pre-baby shopping with your significant other, RIGHT? (Please just say yes and at least pretend you give a shit. I’m giving you a look right now). By the way, if you don’t do those things there is something horribly wrong with you and you clearly are NOT ready to be a dad yet. Don’t be douche and use the “I have to work” excuse. Same rules apply for a wedding. It’s not just woman’s show even though the wedding is really about HER! Even before I was even engaged it always pissed me off when I heard guys say, “I just showed up and didn’t really know what was going on” or “The wedding is her job.”
Remember guys you are getting married too not just her or him. You asked, right? You put a ring on it, right? So, put on your big boy pants and be involved. Ask questions, say things, say meaningful things, at least look like you’re thinking meaningful things, have ideas, have opinions other than “no” and about money stuff. And if you mean no you better be ready to back up it with logic because “I don’t want to” doesn’t cut it. Man. Up.
We forget things
Yes, I forgot things Stacey said in the planning phases, small details, it happens and yes it frustrated her but I tried and didn’t stop trying and that’s a just a good lesson anyways I think; never stop trying. Sometimes when the bride to gets so flustered and stressed it is your job as the groom to make sense of the madness and bring things into some sort of order when shit gets crazy. At least give it a solid effort. It will make your life easier, it made my life easier and Stacey appreciated it and I am sure your bride/groom to be will also.
Guys I think innately want to problem solve and fix things, it’s what we do. In the words of Tim Allen, “We don’t know what to do if we don’t have anything to fix.” Well, you can only fix things if you are involved and know what’s going on otherwise you look like an idiot. I don’t regret a minute of the lost “me” time during all the planning, I don’t wish I was doing other things even writing books or drinking coffee. I am 37 and this wedding was going to be the 2nd biggest day of my life so far only behind the birth of my son. So, it’s important. I had to act like it. I had to treat it like it was important and not like it was something else entered into my Google Calendar like a haircut.
One of the biggest reasons marriages fail is communication or lack thereof and for many couples, wedding planning is great practice for something they will need for hopefully the rest of their life together. For mine, this year so far, I learned even more than the previous years on how to talk to Stacey, how to approach her, when not to and how to say things. I learned to admit when I was wrong without being an ass about it (or try). I paid attention to her, the way she talked, the way she said things, what she repeated and even found new tones in her voice which sometimes preceded anger, frustration and slammed doors. We were talking through the door so that still counts.
In the end, it all came together incredibly well and I am proud of how we worked as a team to problem solve and not the let the wedding stress hurt our relationship.
Check back for the next article in the series where I will talk about the dreaded wedding invitations.