So you finally took the plunge and popped the big question. Of course, she said yes! So now it’s time for you sit to back, kick your feet up and wait for the big day, right? Not so fast there, buddy boy – you’re not off the hook just yet.
Does the very thought of floral arrangements, coordinated colour schemes, wedding cakes and table linens make you want to run away and hide? If this sounds like you, I have assembled some tips and suggestions for all would-be grooms on how to navigate the crazy, hectic world of wedding planning. Ladies, it can’t hurt for you to read this as well.
Start off with an open and honest conversation with your fiancé.
First off guys, it’s important to recognize that it’s easy for us gals to get swept up in all the pre-planning excitement, particularly in the beginning stages of planning. A heads-up: you’ll probably want to take this into consideration when broaching sensitive topics.
During these early stages, it’s a good idea to choose a time to sit down and talk about how you both are envisioning your day. It’s important for both of you to share your thoughts, feelings and preferences for your wedding day. Of course, having this discussion all hinges on what may be a very difficult decision…
Are you all-in or all-out?
From my experience as an event planner, a lot of guys think they don’t want to be involved in the decision-making process until they start to see the event coming together in ways that are totally different from what you thought. You need to decide – together – whether you’d like to be actively involved in the planning process or prefer to leave most or all of the decision-making to your fiancé. Whatever the decision, choose wisely and don’t flip-flop. There’s nothing worse than bottling it all up only to lose your stuff over a disagreement on napkin folding (yes, it happens!).
So if you choose all-in, you’ve got to mean it and be prepared to be there every step of the way! If you opt for all-out, then remember that she will be making a lot of the decisions (along with her family and bridesmaids) and you may not get the things that are important to you. Whichever you choose, be sure to be open and honest with your fiancé and with yourself about how involved you wish to be.
Take care of the items that are important to you!
Do you have an idea of what style of suit you want to wear on the big day? Are you an audiophile with a strong preference in music selection? Perhaps there’s a certain photography style you prefer? Let your fiancé know your “must haves” and ideally, lighten her workload, by taking on these important tasks yourself! Not only will you score major brownie points, but if it’s something you’re really interested in anyway, you will be more likely to complete the task and complete it well. If you’re stuck doing things you don’t enjoy, like choosing invitations and things that are not important to, you might make quick and fast decisions just to get the task out of the way. A sure-fire way to make a mistake and possibly end up in the dog house or on couch duty.
Be prepared for tears and meltdowns.
Sorry guys, but even the most calm and prepared bride will likely shed some tears along the way. Yes, it may seem crazy to you (kind of like why we consider it a big deal whether a bridesmaid wants to wear her hair up instead of down) but these decisions are important to us and chances are our “less than optimal state of emotions” are related to all the stress of planning the most important day of our lives! Be calm and reassuring and listen to her thoughts – even if you think it’s the craziest thing you’ve ever heard!
Take her on a date!
During the planning process, it’s easy to get swept up and constantly talk about the ever-growing to-do list and what decisions have to be made. Plan at least one date a month where wedding talk is strictly off limits. It will allow the two of you to reconnect and reinforce the bond between you. After all, once the wedding is over, you’ll need to make sure you still have other things to talk about =)
Yup, you’re going to go over budget.
Little things add up. So do big things. Ever been to the grocery store to pick up three things and leave with six because you “forgot” something or saw that chips were on sale? It’s kind of the same thing, but not.
There’s no two ways about it: weddings are expensive. The important thing is make sure your budget is realistic from the get-go. Be sure to leave some wiggle room for the unaccounted and inevitable extras that come up.
Plan the honeymoon!
This may actually be the most fun thing to plan! Imagine you and your future wife on a beach or exploring the world. Take that off her plate and handle the arrangements yourself (even better if you can surprise her!). But remember, this is not the time to scrimp and save and wait for a last minute deal. Find a reputable travel agent to help you put the arrangements in place so there are no surprises at the airport!
When in doubt, hire a wedding planner
Believe it or not, a wedding planner can actually save you money. Sounds counter-intuitive, but if wedding planning is not your thing, you’ll save time, money and a whole lot of headaches. A wedding planner can also act as a marriage counsellor and financial planner of sorts: helping guide you both through important decisions while simultaneously keeping you on-budget by finding great vendors who fit your price range. This means she (and by extension, you) will be able to truly enjoy the day together instead of worrying over trivial matters such as gathering the groomsmen for the ceremony or whether the guest favours are coordinated properly on the tables.
Guys, let’s face it – planning a wedding is a lot of work and can be a real test of your relationship. Adjust your perspective and focus on how close it brings you together, planning one of the most important day of your lives. Set realistic expectations on yourself and your future bride and communicate openly and often. Follow these not-so-simple rules my friend, and you will set yourself for total wedding bliss – and likely a much better honeymoon as well 😉
About the Author: Amy Stevenson has spent six years into this action-packed, thrilling and incredible industry and has been loving every minute of it!
Being the Lead Editor at EventSource means I get to experience a whole new level of wedding and special event amazing-ness! Every morning I open up my inbox to a whole new set of jaw-dropping event photos submitted by the industry’s top leaders and get to share their work with you! You can follow our work on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.