Wedding planning is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. Most brides-to-be find immense joy in browsing venue brochures, searching for the perfect dress, and excitedly planning the décor.
But if you’re like many brides, you’re probably wondering why your future groom doesn’t seem all that interested in making wedding-related decisions, or helping to organise things.
Women are normally more excited about wedding planning than men. Many grooms-to-be are reluctant to help out, and have a habit of leaving things completely up to the bride. “I really don’t mind” and “whatever you want, love” are phrases often heard during the wedding planning process.
This can lead many brides-to-be feeling annoyed, or even hurt. Weddings may be more of a ‘girl thing’, but you shouldn’t have to shoulder the entire planning burden by yourself.
This guide will teach you how to encourage your fiancé to get involved in the wedding planning process, and make it a tolerable experience for both of you.
Why Do Guys Hate Wedding Planning?
Of course, some men love weddings, and can’t wait to start planning their own. It would be unreasonable to tar every man with the same brush. But for the most part, grooms tend not to be as interested in wedding-planning as their brides.
Make no mistake: this does not mean that your fiancé is not looking forward to being married to you. He wouldn’t have proposed to you (or accepted your proposal) if this was the case. It’s just that there’s a huge difference between a ‘wedding’ and a ‘marriage’.
Men don’t really care what their wedding is like, as long as he’s married at the end of it. This is understandable. Does it really matter what colour the napkins are? What music you dance to? What kind of canapés are served?
Not really. At the end of the day, a wedding is basically a big party. If your fiancé isn’t generally interested in planning parties, he’s not going to be now, just because this particular party happens to be his wedding. A wedding is only one day, but your marriage is supposed to last for the rest of your life.
That being said, weddings take a lot of planning. This can be quite stressful, particularly if you aren’t hiring a wedding planner. Even if your groom-to-be doesn’t much care what the wedding ends up like, he should still help you out. Otherwise, feelings of resentment will undoubtedly build up, and this could result in arguments.
How to Encourage Your Groom to Help with Wedding Planning
Let’s face it – women tend to care more than men about things like wedding colour schemes, attire, and decorations. Most men would happily leave all of the wedding-related decision-making to his future bride, and simply be told what time to turn up on the big day.
But it’s simply unfair for a groom-to-be to expect his fiancée to do all of the hard work, simply because he has no preference on what kind of table runners are used, or what flavour the wedding cake is. Here are some valuable tips to help you encourage your groom to take an active role in wedding planning.
Establish the Rules
Before you do anything else, assess who is the biggest stakeholder here. Out of you and your groom, who’s the most enthusiastic about the wedding? Who cares the most about the venue, the food, the colour scheme, the décor, etc.?
In most cases, it’s the bride. So, mentally prepare yourself that you’ll be making most of the decisions. If your groom tells you that he doesn’t care what the centrepieces look like, or which wedding invitations you go with, then take him at his word and make the choice yourself.
But make it clear to your fiancé that you’re expecting him to help you with the execution, even if he isn’t involved in the decision-making.
For example, he might not care which photographer you choose. But he should still be willing to send the deposit across, or arrange the initial consultation. He might not care what the bridesmaids’ dresses look like, but he can still go and pick them up from the tailor.
Let Him Choose His Areas of Expertise
Next, establish which areas of the wedding your groom is enthusiastic about. He’ll be most likely to want to help with areas that interest him, rather than areas that don’t. For example:
• Is he a creative kind of person? Is he good with computers and technology? If so, he might enjoy designing and maintaining the wedding website.
• Is he a foodie? In that case, maybe it could be his job to choose the caterer, plan the menu, and attend tasting sessions.
• Does he like crafting? Is he into carpentry? Maybe he’d like to make the wedding signage, place cards, or wedding post box (to hold cards and gifts).
• Is he a music-lover? Perhaps he could choose the band or DJ for the evening reception, and make the set list/playlist.
• Does he love to travel? Maybe he’d prefer to take charge of organising the honeymoon, rather than the wedding.
Most men are more interested in the big, important things, rather than the little details. For example, he might be quite excited about helping you choose a venue, but not at all interested in the decorations or the flowers. You can certainly ask him for his opinion about something, but if he doesn’t have one, don’t force him to.
Assign Him Very Specific Tasks
It’s easy for men to get stressed when given a huge wedding-related job to do. It’s common for grooms to end up procrastinating and leaving things until the last minute if they feel overwhelmed, or like they have too much responsibility – especially if it’s something they don’t really care about (like flowers).
To make his life easier, give your fiancé very specific tasks to do, and a deadline by which they ought to be done. For example, don’t tell him “it’s your job to find and book a caterer”. This could be too overwhelming.
Instead, say: “here is a shortlist of five caterers that I think might be suitable. Please could you phone each one before Friday, and see whether they’re available on our wedding day. Ask each one to send some menu samples over with a quote.”
Include Him in the Budget
Weddings can be extremely expensive affairs, setting you back thousands of pounds. One reason why men tend to stay away from the wedding planning process is because they are terrified of how much everything is going to cost. Ask a reluctant groom how much he’s spending on the wedding and he’ll likely say “I dread to think” or “I’d rather not know”.
So, it can help to actively involve your groom in planning the wedding budget. In fact, he may even be happy to take complete charge of the financial side of things – setting a maximum allowance for each part of the wedding and seeing that the budget is adhered to. This will help him feel more confident and enthusiastic about the big day.
Trust His Decisions
Remember that although many people consider a wedding to be ‘all about the bride’, it’s not. There are two people getting married, and therefore two people whose decisions matter. Neither of you is more important than the other.
Try to suppress your inner perfectionist/control-freak. The wedding planning process won’t be enjoyable for either of you if you’re a ‘bridezilla’ who wants everything your way.
If your groom-to-be comes up with a suggestion, or offers his opinion on how something should be done, try not to reject it straight away. Even if you have a specific idea in your own mind, hear him out. And if you’ve tasked him with a specific job to do, actually trust him with it - don’t be a backseat driver. Otherwise, you’ll push him away from wedding planning entirely.
Compromise as Much as Possible
Following on from the above, be prepared for the fact that you probably won’t see eye-to-eye on absolutely everything. There’s bound to come a time when you disagree about something. For example, he’s probably not going to challenge you on what colour the napkins should be, but you might struggle to agree on a suitable budget for your wedding dress. You might have contrasting opinions about how big the wedding should be, or who to invite.
When situations like this arise, compromise as much as you possibly can. Try to meet in the middle - don’t dig your heels in and insist that it must be your way or the highway. The lead up to the wedding is stressful enough without unnecessary arguments.
Have Plenty of Wedding-Free Time
Our final point is probably the most important one of all. Men simply aren’t as naturally excited about wedding planning as women are – so make every effort to have regular breaks.
The best way to do this is to arrange specific times of day for wedding planning. For example, you might dedicate every evening from 7pm – 8pm to wedding discussion, or else dedicate 5-6 hours to it every Saturday.
But outside of your allocated wedding planning time, ban wedding talk completely. Ask your fiancé how his day was when he gets home from work, rather than immediately bombarding him with fabric swatches or sample menus. Over dinner, talk about anything else except the wedding. This will prevent your future husband from feeling overwhelmed and fed up with it.