I think a Marc Jacobs accessory would be awesome for my wedding day. Le sigh.
A commenter brought up a good point a few posts ago – he mentioned that us grooms-to-be tend to not have any focus when it comes to the Bridal Industry. We’re told where we have to stand, what kind of suit or tux we’re suppose to wear, and we’re also told what “entertainment bar” we’re suppose to go to on our Bachelor party but we’re ignored when it comes to the nitty gritty of the actual wedding process. The current trendy advice given to grooms-to-be is to look at the wedding day “things”, find one or two that you like, and take those over from your bride-to-be. If you like to take pictures, find the photographer. If you like to eat cake, pick the cake. Then, once you’re done with your little bit, go ahead and pat yourself on the back while your bride showers you with love, affection, and thanks for helping her out in one small way. After that, you go play a round of golf or fire up the video games and let your bride stress out over escort cards.
Sure, there are plenty of brides-to-be who, when it comes to the wedding, want complete control. They’re stressing themselves out because they’re managing every aspect of their weddings. They’re even taught that they SHOULD be this way. I’m not here to argue what’s right or wrong about that – in the end, society teaches us a lot of things and gives us a lot of social and cultural baggage that can be either good or bad – but why, through the entire wedding day process, are grooms given the advice to merely only take care of one thing? Why, on our wedding day, are we patted on the back for taking a very minor role in its planning? That’s like patting us on the back for taking out the trash or cleaning up after ourselves. Why cheer something we should be doing anyways?
So I’ve thought about ways for a groom, for myself, to help my fiancee through the wedding day planning thingamajig. I consider myself engaged in it – though I sometimes feel I could be doing more. This entire blog is devoted to me trying to figure out weddings and what my bride and I are going to have at our big day. I’ve looked at my own wedding planning and seen how grooms-to-be react to their own wedding planning, and I think I’ve come up with an easy trick on how to help the process go as smoothly as possible. Besides not being the idiot who drags his feet and acts like getting married or having a wedding is the worse thing in the world, the one trick is to merely never say “I don’t care” even if you really “don’t care” about something.
It doesn’t mean you have to care as much as other people about chair covers or the food or whether you have napkin rings at your reception. If it doesn’t matter to you, it doesn’t matter to you and there’s nothing wrong with that. But saying “I don’t care” when your bride-to-be asks you your opinion is the dumbest thing in the world you could possibly say. Why? Because if your bride-to-be is asking you a question or is pointing something out to you, she obviously does care about it to some degree. It matters to her. You might not think it’s important but it’s obviously been brought up. Saying “I don’t care” does not typically mean that you don’t care – it is one of those phrases that implies that the other person shouldn’t care either. And when your bride is asking for your opinion, saying “I don’t care” is almost like saying “This is unimportant. Why do you care?” and I have never seen anyone, when confronted with that way of thinking, ever not get more stressed out, angry, or upset than they were before.
So how do you not say “I don’t care”? You can’t merely substitute another phrase for it. Rather, you have to engage in what’s going on a little more. If your bride asks your opinion on red tablecloths or white for the Guest Book table and you don’t have the foggiest feeling either way about which one to pick, actually pick one and give a reason why. “I like the red one because it matches my college colors” or “I like the white one because it reminds me of ice cream”. And if she decides later to go with a purple one, that’s okay. You weren’t emotionally invested in it to begin with so if the decision changes later, it’s no skin off your back.
But, and I can already hear you grooms saying this, “if she’s not going to follow my opinion, than why should she ask in the first place?” That’s a valid point and I know a million grooms who have felt this way at one point but I’m going to break it down for you right now and say that you need to man up and stop being a child. Being listened to does not mean being followed. Stating an opinion about something you don’t care about doesn’t mean that you get to care about that opinion later. If you actually did care, you’d be more insistent on the decision making process and you’d make sure that the purple polka dotted tablecloth would be ready to go on your wedding day. If you care, say it. If you don’t, state a preference anyways because when you do that, what you’re really doing is telling your bride (or your wedding planner or whoever) that you value them and their spending the time and effort to think about something that you aren’t thinking about. And then you can go back to watching the Denver Broncos lose 10 games this season and realize that you really should have made that tablecloth blue and orange. Ah well. When you renew your vows, you can do that then.