When it comes to something as big as wedding planning, most men take a passive approach. After all, most women have been planning for this day since they were little girls. While this works in favour of a bride who knows what she wants, it often isolates the groom-to-be.
There are many ways you can involve your man in the planning so that he doesn’t feel left out, and here are just 10.
1. Delegate sections that might interest him
He may be a Sensitive New Age Guy, but he’ll never match your feminine wisdom when it comes to the “fuchsia versus lavender” or “butter cream versus fondant” issues. Instead, there are other things you should be able to leave safely in his hands, such as choosing the photographer and videographer, and other big, manly things such as outdoor tents and making transportation arrangements.
2. Give him choices instead of just information
Most men respond much more enthusiastically to options. If you really have to ask for his opinion on the girly details, narrow down the options before presenting them to him. For example, when asking him what colour scheme he’d like for the wedding, ask if he’d prefer a black-and-white or the pink-and-champagne “look”. This way, he’s less likely to feel overwhelmed, and more likely to feel like the important person that he is.
3. Sometimes, all you have to do is ask
Men are incredibly simple creatures. They see that you’ve taken charge of the entire situation and decide that you’re capable enough, so they leave you to it. However, let him know how important his input is to you and that you can’t do it without him, and watch as your man rises to the occasion. Guys like to be needed, so your request for help may pull him out of his comfort zone.
4. Compartmentalise your tasks
If you can tell that your man wants to help, but feels uncomfortable having to deal with being Art Director (colour schemes, table settings, floral arrangements), appoint him the Production Director. Have him handle the payments, supervise catering and décor arrangements, do up your own wedding website, or settle venue and music issues. Having him manage these jobs will take a load off your shoulders while freeing up time for you focus on the aesthetic stuff you probably enjoy doing anyway.
5. Get everything down in black and white
Men are visual creatures. Get a planner and write down everything that goes on before, during, and after a wedding. Remember that your man most probably hasn’t got a clue at all. Once he gets over the initial shock, make a list of the tasks and agree on what each of you should be responsible for. At the very least, he’ll be more supportive when he sees what you’re going through.
6. Give him full rein with the honeymoon plans
While it may be very difficult for a bride-to-be to let go of such an important facet of the wedding preparations, this may be an area that your husband-to-be will be very willing to play an active role in. Men love surprising their sweethearts and seeing the smiles on their faces, so this is most likely the most interesting part of the wedding planning for him. Tame that Bridezilla in you and trust your man!
7. Shock him into action
One year may seem like a long way ahead, but knowing brides-to-be are aware that one year could mean huge savings in terms of venue and catering booking. But if he’s like most guys, the wedding won’t become real to him until it draws uncomfortably near and he hasn’t done anything about it. Expect him to jump when it is six months before the actual day, and then break into cold sweat about one month in advance. Refer him to the list the both of you made in Number 5.
8. Take a break from the wedding occasionally
Once in a while, talk about something besides the wedding. Men aren’t the only ones who complain about their future wives taking about nothing else. Even the brides’ own girlfriends run away overwhelmed by all the wedding chatter. Take a breather one day a week, and do things together that have nothing to do with weddings altogether. Watch some DVDs, spilt a hot fudge sundae, or better yet, watch a football game with him and not complain.
9. Don’t hurt his feelings
Tempting as it might be, make sure you are not patronising towards your man when he is trying to help. When you ask for his opinion, take the answer seriously. And when you’ve delegated work to him, don’t second-guess his every step. Giving him some control over the wedding preparations will encourage him to help out more.
10. Experts come from having experienced
While you were watching your friends’ wedding ceremonies like a hawk, your man was probably simply looking forward to the “Yam Seng” part of dinner and ignoring the goings-on. Brides really have to sit back and cut the men some slack. After all, the day is yours, and if you’re happy, he definitely will be. Chances are, your own wedding will open your man’s eyes to the wonders of an actual wedding by the time the night is over and he will, from then on, be looking at friends’ future weddings with a practiced eye and a knowing smile.