Let’s face it… popular culture has convinced us that wedding planning remains solely in the female domain. But gentlemen, we have to remember that her big day is also ours. If you’ve scraped up enough courage to offer your significant other free reign in your post Fight Club life, then your wedding day should be everything that you want as well. How then do we remain engaged (pardon the pun) in the wedding process? How do you help your significant other shoulder the burden of planning, picking, negotiating, buying, trying, looking, and doing for the big day?
Gentlemen, the solution is simple: Focus on the big things.
Sadly, whether or not the napkin holders will be made out of rare Hawaiian Koa wood or a jewel-encrusted titanium alloy isn’t really going to be up to us. The devil, as they say, is in the details, and those will most likely be entrusted to your bride-to-be and her brain trust. But just because your opinion won’t be solicited regarding whether to rent a chocolate waterfall or import African lilacs for the flower girl’s hair doesn’t mean that your opinion doesn’t count. It just means you’ll have to help make the big choices and let the love of your life run with the rest…
The following is the first in a series of tips for the groom-to-be regarding getting ready for the wedding day. It’s no wonder that we’ll start at the beginning, with the wedding planner…
- Wedding Planner:
This should be a no-brainer. However, convincing your bride-to-be to let loose the reigns of her big day can be daunting. Coordinating weddings is indeed an art (do you know where to rent 500 wooden chairs, find a DJ, color match table settings with the flower arrangements, set up one of those ginormous tents, find the perfect candles to fill up a custom acrylic trellis, and hire professional photographers and videographers to capture the wonderful occasion? Didn’t think so). And, like most great art, it should be left to the artists.
As such, make sure to do a little research. Check out the wedding planner’s website. Is it clearly laid out and easily navigable? Are there lots of pictures of their work? Are there testimonials from previous couples? Does it look like they put some time and effort (and $$$) into it? For those of us in the digital age, the website is most often the first point of contact, and a good website goes a long way in making that first impression. In addition, look to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to see if this planner has examples of his or her work elsewhere. Search for your potential planner on sites like Yelp to see if they have any reviews, good or bad. Lastly, reach out to them by phone to talk story for a bit, see where their interests lay, weddings they’ve planned, just a good old “how ya doin” kind of call, to see if the three of you are destined for each other.
If you’ve navigated the calm waters of the sea of initial courtship unscathed, make sure to take the time to meet with a few different wedding planners. Remember, you are inviting this person, whom you barely know, to be a part of the most momentous day (assuming, until you have kids that is) of your lives. As such, look to see if this planner shares your enthusiasm for the event. Are they actively taking notes throughout your meeting? Are they interjecting with ideas or examples from previous experience? Pay attention to how your bride to be interacts with the planner. Is she talkative (read: good), or quieter than a church mouse (read: bad)? You’ll need to make sure that your planner will be able to balance between your personal confidant and wedding taskmaster quite easily. The last thing you want is someone with an outgoing attitude that doesn’t get anything done, or the opposite, someone who crosses their t’s and dots their i’s but is as personable as a rabid alligator. Find the warm center.
While it’s arguable that the wedding planner’s services are invaluable (they… indeed… are…), there is the small matter of compensating this matrimonial artist. Most planners have “package” deals, which may be exactly what you need, however the idea of your wedding day as somehow commensurate with innumerable other wedding days probably won’t sit too well with your significant other. Find out if your planner can put together a “custom” wedding plan for your special day, the best ones usually do. Likewise, see if your planner can come up with a “custom” price. Just like buying a car, the more bells and whistles and options you want, the more you’ll likely have to pay. But you are also negotiating with your planner on price as well so see what the three of you can come up with. Once you consider the absolute relief from the hectic grind of coordinating the day, they’ll be worth every penny.
I’d offer more, but from here on out you’ve done your job. Let the bride-to-be and her new wedding planner BFF run wild with imagination. Just nod your head every time she thrusts pictures of flowers and napkins in your face and you’re on your way…