“I just need you to be as involved in this wedding planning as I am in.”
How many wives-to-be have said that to their future husbands? Probably most of them.
How many husbands-to-be have said that to their future wives? Well, at least one.
I’m just going to say it. I’ve been shirking my duties. I admit it. I’ve been taking the backseat and letting Christian drive this crazy wedding train right to altar. And I feel very guilty.
I can list my excuses, mainly the fact that I work a second job at Yankee Candle — during the holiday season — that sucks up a lot of time during the week. Regardless, that’s no reason for not getting involved.
The issue came to a head while we were coming home from a weekend of chores. While we sat in the car in our driveway, Christian explained how busy he’s been and that he needed my help. I didn’t realize how stressed out he was about everything, and I had no idea how much he had taken on.
He’s been setting up appointments with caterers and DJs; gathering books for our centerpieces; researching decorations and seating charts; and trying to figure out his and his groomsmen’s suits, not to mention blowing up our Pinterest page.
My fiance thrives on planning and having a project, so I thought he was having the time of his life. At the same time, he thought I didn’t care and became tired of making all of the decisions. Ask for help. Sometimes we just don’t know where to start or how to pitch in.
Instead of letting the pressure of wedding planning build, I suggest talking to your fiance if you find he (or she) isn’t as involved as you’d like. Wedding planning can be very overwhelming, and one person might find it easier to let the other take the lead without thinking twice about it. Christian is super creative and completely throws himself into something when he takes on a project. That kind of gave me an automatic secondary role as he took control of the planning process.
I suggest making a list of everything that needs to be done, and then making a separate list for each person. Since I’m better at functioning directly off of something I can see and check things off to see my progress, we came up with a checklist of a broad view of everything that needs to be taken care of before the wedding. For me, this was overwhelming and almost sent me into a panic attack. I broke the main list down into things I could take care of, then sublists within those lists.
For example, under “find a hotel for guests,” Christian came up with a list of hotels within 20 minutes of Lauxmont Farms, our wedding/reception venue. As a starting point, we looked at prices and reviews. Then, we made a list of what amenities each offered, such as continental breakfast, which would save our guests money in the long run. Then, we looked at their proximity to things in the area.
Try to approach the to-do list by focusing on what each of you is interested in. For example, I’m a huge music person and am more than willing to put together a playlist for our reception. Some people couldn’t care less about this and would be just as happy relinquishing full control to a DJ.
Also, use each other’s strengths to your wedding’s advantage. Christian is ridiculously creative and can come up with a much better centerpiece than I can. I get overwhelmed with all of the possibilities and end up rocking back and forth in a ball on the floor. (Have you searched “wedding centerpiece” on Pinterest?)
Most guys aren’t into the details of the planning, like what salad dressings to serve or how to decorate the cake table. Often, men are (without stereotyping) more likely to want to handle the budgeting, music and definitely the alcohol-purchasing power. BridalGuide.com offers a list of things to you can do to involve your fiance in the planning process, including letting him serve as a guide to out-of-town guests, letting him decide on the day-of transporation or putting him to work if he has carpentry skills.
Invitations by Dawn also gives the following list of things your future husband must be involved in:
• Setting the date
• Determining the budget
• Deciding on the guest list
• Choosing his members of the wedding party
• Choosing the formal wear
• Planning the groom’s dinner
• Buying the bride a wedding gift
• Writing his toasts to the bride and to the guests
Beyond that, find out what your groom’s must-haves are and include him or let him take the lead on planning those things.
One of the most important things to keep in mind during the chaos that is wedding planning is to not take things personally. Just because your fiance is uninterested in the wedding planning, doesn’t mean he or she is uninterested in you. As a bride, when referring to the day as “your” day, take a step back and think about how that might make your fiance feel. It might be psychological, but it’s much easier to be involved in something together if you both think of it as “our” day.
What better way to get used to compromise than with the wedding planning? As someone who wants to take control, be sure to listen to your partner. If their opinion is asked for but not valued, or really heard, then they are less likely to offer it up at all. When you ask what color he or she thinks the table cloths should be, don’t discredit their answer if it’s not the one you want to hear. Also, remember that if you’re making the majority of the plans, don’t forget about your fiance’s interests. Include a little bit of “him” in the wedding.
As the person who’s sitting back and letting the planning happen, don’t forget to thank your partner and ask him or her what you can help with. If you feel their stress, offer to take a load off, even if it’s something small. Tell them you appreciate them, their ability to plan and even their obsessive compulsive tendencies. Because, at the end of the day, that attention to detail is going make sure you both have a perfect wedding day.
What is one thing you wish your husband would have helped with during the wedding planning?