When my friend Lauren was planning her wedding, her mom was doing the most.
She lived three hours away in Lauren’s hometown but you would have thought she was right next door considering how much input she had into Lauren’s wedding. From insisting they invite her entire 400-person church congregation to the wedding (and feed them) to shutting down the option of having a bridal shower in the city where Lauren and her fiancé live, I fully understood why Lauren didn’t move back to her hometown after college.
When she went wedding dress shopping with her mom and bridesmaids, her mom made the bridesmaids leave the room so as not to see Lauren in her wedding dress. Clearly, her mom took that silly groom-cant-see-the-bride-before-the-wedding superstition a little too far. But it was Lauren’s mom and she was excited, so I didn’t think much of it – until I heard her refer to the wedding as “Lauren’s Big Day” and told her future-son-in-law that all he had to do was show up at the ceremony. Did I mention he and Lauren were paying for their own wedding?
I couldn’t believe her mom took it there and I wondered, are we still doing that?
Are we still expecting the groom to not be involved in wedding planning at all? I sincerely hope not. It’s not just the “Bride’s Big Day”, it’s his day too. There are two people exchanging vows, so there should be two people determining how the day goes. When the groom is making suggestions the response from the bride (nor her mom) shouldn’t be: “We got this. Goodbye.”
On the flip side, the guy should want to be involved with the wedding planning. Just yesterday on this site, we posted a promo of “Marrying The Game” which is a new reality show special showcasing rapper Jayceon Taylor’s aka “The Game’s” wedding to his fiancé Tiffney Cambridge. In the promo, Tiffney is visibly upset because The Game isn’t really helping her plan their wedding and in fact he scheduled a trip to France while she is in the middle of preparing. Some women might prefer the groom to be nothing but a blank check writer while she’s planning, but it’s a red flag if the guy doesn’t want to be involved at all.
Why? Because it’s not even about the wedding planning really. Most of those details people freak out about during the planning, they don’t even remember 15 minutes into the honeymoon anyway. It’s more than about knowing you both gave equal input and came to an agreement on the color scheme. Planning nuptials together is a sort of last-ditch opportunity for couples to observe the level of respect, ease of communication, and willingness to compromise that will definitely be necessary for a solid marriage. If a couple can’t get along when planning their wedding, then that’s probably a wedding that should not happen.
Stephen Fabick, a psychologist who specializes in conflict resolution told CNN:
A wedding is a healthy way of making a public commitment to each other and acknowledging that you’re part of a web of family and friends that helps to nourish the relationship… sometimes, the extensive planning of a costly wedding can expose a couple’s differences in compatibility, values or beliefs. Surviving the task of planning a wedding together and ultimately living together for years and years means being able to support each other during basic decisions.
Of course, there are going to be some things that the groom just flat out isn’t interested in. Or things that the bride wants to keep a surprise from the groom. But overall, the planning should be a joint effort.
The best way to facilitate this from the outset is for the couple to sit down together and the bride can make a short list of 5 things that are important to her and five things that aren’t and the groom can do the same things with things that are important to him and things that aren’t. That way, the bride isn’t running around planning her “fairytale wedding” without a clue what her future husband wants or is interested in helping with.
The truth is, planning a wedding together that both individuals will enjoy will probably make at least the first year of married life much easier. I’m not saying my friend Lauren or Tiffney and The Gamecan’t have a happy marriage. Plenty of successful marriages have begun with a groom whose sole responsibility was to fit into his tuxedo on the day of the wedding. I am suggesting however, that we do away with this whole “this is the Bride’s Big Day” silliness and embrace the fact that at its core, a wedding is the beginning of a marriage and therefore a Big Day for both of the people involved. Right?
Do you think weddings are too often viewed as the Bride’s Day?