By the time my husband finally (and do I mean f-i-n-a-l-l-y) popped the question, I was ready. Binder in hand. Wedding-day details (from the color palette to the cake shape) organized to perfection. Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking. Crazy. Desperate. I won’t go there (cause I’m neither) but I will admit to this: I am obsessively detail-oriented. I like things “just so” and so the day after he proposed, I gleefully opened my wedding binder, organized “just so” with tabs, tearsheets, and names and numbers of my favorite wedding vendors. “Here’s what I’m thinking…” is what I said. And of course, he happily obliged. “Whatever you want.” But I knew he wanted to play a bigger part in planning the wedding than that. So, without making a big fuss about it, I found some easy ways to include him in the planning process (full well knowing that his two cents wouldn’t override any of my major can’t-live-without-this-at-my-wedding decisions). In the end, we were both happy with his contribution to the wedding planning. Honestly, I couldn’t have gotten through it without him (aww). He is the yin to my yang and I am so glad he was able to put his stamp on our wedding-day details.
If you’re anything like me, you want to take the reigns and never let go. And if your groom is anything like my husband he knows when you’ve put your mind to something, there is no stopping you, so he lets you have your way more than he probably should. But, remember, it’s his wedding too and he needs to be more than just “there.” Heck, he probably wants to be involved in the wedding planning. Even if your groom seems disinterested or is all-too-eager to appease you, don’t be fooled. Deep down he’s waiting for his moment to steal one of those reigns from your white-knuckle grip. Still unsure about letting go a little? Here’s some more encouragement—these are the 10 ways we can pretty much guarantee your groom wants to be involved in the wedding planning. Ask him—then come back and tell us if we were right!
1. Choosing special or after-party entertainment. Yep #1 for sure. I have never known a guy to not be music-obsessed. Whether your groom’s alter ego channels Freddy Mercury or Miles Davis, let him live out his fantasies by granting him exclusive right over the ‘special’ entertainer or after-party band. Grateful Dead cover band? Mariachis at midnight? A classical pianist during dinner? He (on electric guitar) and his old college bandmates bringing down the house? He’s not going to go wrong here so trust him to pick the perfect crowd-pleaser.
2. Registering for the manly stuff. If he could care less about stemware, flatware, toasters, and roasters, you’re preaching to the choir. Surely, in addition to the obligatory tableware checklist, you need some camping equipment, tools, golf clubs, a party’s-right-here-folks grill. Am I wrong? Let him register for the “fun” stuff (we can call it the “manly” stuff)—he’ll be happy as a pig in sh-slop. And that’ll make you happy too.
3. Picking the top layer of the wedding cake. If your groom is like any man I have ever known, this might be his favorite part of wedding planning. With so many cake, filling, and frosting flavors it might not be easy to agree. We know you’re going to take control of the decorative details so let him choose the top layer. This is the part of the cake that’s traditionally reserved for the bride and groom to take home, freeze, and eat on their 1 year wedding anniversary. So even if he chooses a less than favorable option, in your opinion, your guests will never know it (but you don’t have to tell him that).
4. Picking his own boutonniere. The groom’s boutonniere really doesn’t have to be so matchy-matchy with the bridal bouquet or any other floral elements of the day. Once you agree on your color palette, ask your florist to provide him with options for his boutonniere that match the wedding-day colors. Your florist will be able to pair down the selection to the cream of the crop. Anything he picks will be perfect.
5. Planning a co-ed bridal shower. Your bridal shower doesn’t have to be about lingerie and ridiculous bingo games. Its really just another excuse for a party! So go informal and make it co-ed. Rent out a bowling alley. Transform your parents’ backyard into a mini circus—jugglers, clowns, acrobats. Co-ed bridal showers can be as simple as a daytime luncheon with volleyball and bocce ball to as elegant as a lounge-y martini mixer with passed hors d’oeuvres and late-night cigars.
6. Concocting the signature cocktail. This will be super fun to do together and will give your guy an opportunity to show off. Lock in a few dates nights at your favorite bar or lounge and start ordering some unexpected cocktails. Get creative with your choices and see which flavors taste and look the part for your wedding. Let him make the final selection on the drink-of-choice that will play the starring role in your wedding. Maybe if you get him lubed-up enough at the tastings, he’ll even agree to name it.
7. Finding his own ring. He may know nothing about platinum versus white gold, shiny versus matte. He may not have a clue what he likes in terms of style, width, engraving. Give him a chance to try on everything and anything until he finds “the one”. Bite your tongue if it’s not your first choice. After all, he is the one who has to wear it—everyday… for the rest of his life… ’til death do you part. So, he might as well LOVE it!
8. Selecting his own suit. Fewer and fewer grooms are opting in to the traditional tux. More and more are getting designer or custom-tailored suits that not only fit the vibe of the wedding but that really show off their personalities (fabric, suspenders, pocket squares). Agree on an overall color (black, taupe, navy) but let him decide on the cut, style, fabric, and accessories. The tie will be a standout so point him in the right direction hoping he’ll pin the tail on the one you have your eyes fixed on but don’t throw a fit if he chooses plum plaid instead of plum pinstripes.
9. Buying the groomsmen gifts. You have enough to worry about. The last thing that should be on your mind is what he wants to give to his groomsmen as a way of saying thanks. Decide on a reasonable budget and let him get whatever he wants (no, he sooo doesn’t want to get them a tie to wear on the wedding day). Whether he wants to gift them flasks, cufflinks, or tickets to an NBA game is none of your business. Just remind him to purchase some wrapping paper and find a way to get his gifts sealed, signed, and delivered.
10. Writing his own vows. Even if you’re having a traditional wedding ceremony with more customary exchange of vows (I take thee, so and so, to be my lawfully wedded wife…), many brides and grooms choose to share a few personal words with one another. Make sure you’re on the same page about this (in other words – you’re both doing it or no one is) and then stop there. No micromanaging involved when it comes to who’s saying what. No sneaking a peek at what he’s going to say about you. These are his feelings, his words, his true and honest expression of his love for you. Stay out of it and you’ll appreciate everything he has to say that much more.
For more wedding planning tips, don’t miss How To Have An Intimate Affair, 8 Late-Night Food Ideas For Your After Party, and 10 Mistakes Couples Make When Planning A Summer Wedding.