Monday, August 24, 2009

How to Get Your Fiance Involved: Chapter One

Prologue: I've received quite a few emails from brides-to-be asking how to get their fiances involved in the wedding planning. It's not an easy task, but it can be done. I've decided to write a manual on HOW it can be done. I think the majority of women are forcing and pulling help out of their men the wrong way. If you follow a few easy steps, you'll find the help you're looking for.

Chapter One: You're Overwhelming Us With Details

Dear Women,
We're very excited about getting married too. We wouldn't have asked your hand in marriage if we weren't excited to get married. As much as you don't think we're stoked, we're actually looking forward to the wedding too. We're interested in everything you're showing us in "Modern Bride", "Martha Stewart Weddings", and "In Style: Weddings" but you've really got to slow down.... you're overwhelming us.

Love Always,
Your Fiances

It's true. You're throwing too much in front of us as soon as we get engaged. After I got engaged, I quickly realized I should have given my fiance the ring AND a stack of wedding magazines. Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing your enthusiasm. I'm just saying we're a bit different. We're about to enter a world of wedding planning where just about everything looks foreign to us. We've never even really thought about our weddings and you've been planning since you were a little girl. If you want our help, you should start slowly.

The best thing you can do is tell your fiance that he's about to throw one of the the biggest parties of his life (I don't know how much your man partied in college). While it's more upscale than his "red cup" parties he threw in the past, you want your wedding to be fun and memorable. He'll help you with that!

For now, let's skip details like colors, centerpieces, and what flowers to use. Let's start with things we're really interested in: musical entertainment, food & alcohol, and the photographer.

Let him give his advice on whether to hire a DJ or a band. I promise he'll have an opinion about the music. Tell him to start making one of his famous playlists. Chances are he probably gave you a mix tape/cd when he was trying to win you over - let him start making one for the wedding. Discuss the broad strokes. For example, pick the type of music/band/dj you want, let's not stress about "first dance songs", or father/daughter son/mother songs yet.

Give him the task of finding a great signature cocktail for the wedding. While everyone drank the Jungle Juice at his parties in the past he'll know that he's got to find something more widely liked (and less alcoholic than turpentine). Ask him what TYPE of food he envisions at the wedding. Does he see a sit down meal or a buffet? Has he ever eaten something at another wedding he liked?

Wedding photography has come a long way lately. I didn't know that some of the photography could look so cool. Let him know that you can have traditional portrait photography or the more candid journalistic style. Show him the difference. I was shocked to see that some photographers out there have really turned your big day into art. Looking through other people's great photos actually got me more excited about my wedding too.

Starting slowly will get us more involved in the long run. We're not looking to be talked to like children, but we don't have opinions on wedding details yet! We've just gotten over the mammoth task of proposing. Give us a small breather. If you start slowly we'll want to voice opinions in other places later down the road. Even if we don't... and chapter 1 is as far as you make it with your fiance... it's still more help than you had before.

...stay tuned for chapter 2...


  1. I agree that starting slowly is the way to go for both people, not just the groom. That was one thing that you and I discovered the hard way; to take the first month or two to NOT plan anything or discuss anything other than just a few fun things like what you had listed above. Because the moment we got engaged everyone's first question was "When is the date?!" so we immediately felt like we were behind and then we started going into panic planning mode when WE knew we wanted a long engagement....this all made for more fights in the first few days of our engagement than we've ever had in 4 years of being together! (and it really made me scared that our long engagement was going to be torturous!)..taking a step back and just enjoying the excitement of this huge moment in our lives (and the fact that I was wearing a huge freakin diamond on my finger) was the best thing we did.

  2. such sound advice! i'll have to save this for the boy to check out.

  3. This is an excellent post! I agree that wedding planning needs to be taken slow, and not just for the guys but for everyone! Just spending a whole day browsing wedding blogs can start to drive you insane. Some of the weddings people feature in blogs and magazines are so precise, so intricate and detailed. There's no way you're going to have a third of that down in the first few months. It's better to concentrate on the big, fun stuff -- venues, FOOD, drinks, music, etc.

  4. Great advice for brides and grooms. I think it's easy to go wild on the flowers because that's easy and accessible - it's not an event and all the logistics/family politics, it's just a bit of pretty. Instead, we're trying to focus on the non-overwhelming parts of the event, by bit, starting with the venue/feeling of the day. Prices in LA can drive you nuts (grr) but if you start with the big stuff, the details will follow (how can you even really deal with things like colors/dress/centerpieces/invitations before you know where it is you're decorating/inviting people to?!)