Men are awesome. Their sense of humor, their smarts, their mad skills in sports, their ability to sweep us off our feet, their business savvy, their logic, their creativity, their team-centered attitude, their strength, their ability to melt a heart just by wearing a well-tailored suit… the list goes on. Suffice it to say, men are awesome. Which is why they make for a great groom and make for an amazing teammate in marriage. And if you’ll believe it, a great teammate in wedding planning.
Why plan together?
I know we don’t know much about each other, but there’s something you should know about me as a wedding planner: I am a firm believer than wedding planning is better, more fun and strengthens a couple more when it’s done together. You wouldn’t believe how many amazing things come as a result of it. I’ve seen couple’s relationships improve (theirs and their family’s), seen their stress levels go down, seen them as individuals thrive. More importantly, their wedding days are not only a reflection of their love, but their enjoyment of the day is noticeably deeper than those who plan more traditionally with just the lady at the helm. (Don’t worry ladies, I know we can do it all, but just hear me out!)
I know for many guys, wedding planning isn’t the most “macho” thing you can think of doing with your weekend. So I challenge you both to think about it as project planning. There’s so much mixed-perception mumbo-jumbo wrapped up in the phrase “wedding planning” that redefining it for yourself, and as a couple, can go a long way to get you both engaged and excited. There are inevitably things you won’t be interested in throughout the process, that goes for either of you, and that’s fine! Not interested in flowers? Maybe your partner in crime is. However, working through the menu, bar and presentation of the menu might tap into your interests and give you way to take ownership and invest into this special time in your lives.
There are bunches of traditionalists who may differ on this stance, and that’s cool. For those of you ladies who think weddings are solely for women to bond over girly stuff, this article is not for you. And for you grooms out there who think a groom’s role is just to show up on the wedding day, say “I do” and get your party on, this article is also, not for you. But for those of you who think there’s something wonderful about creating a wedding day that reflects the two of you, who enjoy the teamwork that comes from accomplishing projects, and well, just plain old like spending time together, this perspective might make your planning journey an adventure! These tips are generally for the ladies, but gents, I’d love to know if you agree!
#5. Gives him a chance to shine, too!
I bet there is an extensive list of why you're marrying this man of yours! His wedding day is a perfect opportunity to let everyone else know why, too. By involving your groom, it gives him a chance to shine! (Don't worry, the bride still takes the cake.) I think there are too many times the groom is lost in the bride's shadow. And seeing how he's soon-to-be your other married half, sharing the spotlight on your wedding day only seems appropriate.
Yet, it's likely your groom won't make a point to find ways to show himself off or draw attention to himself without your encouragement. From the start of planning, ask what he likes about going to weddings. Ask what he's excited about on his own wedding day. What is he passionate about? In what ways does he feel confident? What's his groom style?
Your encouragement and creativity in bringing out ways to show off how awesome he is, will make the planning journey together even more awesome.
#4. You'll discover even more of why he's awesome.
It's amazing what we learn about each other when we work together toward a common goal. Wedding planning simply is a serious of decisions to make, and by making them together, you'll learn so much more about each other! Decision-making is a refining process, for three reasons especially: there's money on the line, it's an important time in each other's lives, and it will only happen once-- which will inevitably bring up good and ugly things to work through. Our character is made in through our decisions/actions, so naturally, you'll discover more about who each other is through the process of planning!
Also, planning together means you'll spend more time together. Instead of planning solo, where you would spend all that time alone or with a favorite lady in your life, (which of course is needed in doses!), you'll plan with your partner. Time, conversation, ideas, laughter, resolving conflict, and plans will all happen during the process, resulting in bringing your bond closer (I hope!) and getting to know each other even better!
#3. Deeper Relationships
When your groom is invested in the planning process the whole thing is a lot more real to him. The more real it is, the more invested, and the more opportunities arise to connect with the important people in his life, not just you, but also siblings, parents, bros. More fun times happen, more conversations, more moments to share and make into memories. The whole wedding experience is so much more meaningful when shared with those we love. All these "more's" make it more awesome.
#2. Bring out his personality!
Not only is the man of your dreams your favorite person, but he's likely dear to many of the guests at the wedding. Why? Because of his personality! You get to enjoy his personality day in and day out, but many of his loved ones don't get to experience him, and is fabulous characteristics often. By infusing the wedding day with the things that make him unique, you give your guests a chance to enjoy him, his best attributes and his crazy antics, too!
Through the planning process bringing out his personality is such a great way to ease the intensity of mounting a wedding. It's a heavy load to carry all alone, and since you do life together, I'm betting his personality will help make the wedding planning burden lighter. I know my now-husband's sense of humor, his ease of approach, his perspective, his talents and gifts all added in making the planning process memorable and a LOT more enjoyable!
#1. It shows him you respect & value him.
This one is number one for a big reason! This action transcends lovey-dovey and goes right to the core of what makes men thrive in a relationship. You've got a lot of years ahead of you beyond the wedding day. Starting to make little choices every day in how you love each other now, will create healthy behaviors that extend into your marriage. Beyond the wedding, you'll to continue to discover each other, to do projects together and celebrate life. You'll experience ups and downs, but mostly, you'll live life in the normal, everyday kind of way. While wedding planning is a very special time in your life to share, it's also an opportunity to set yourself up for an awesome marriage. But when it comes to choosing each other and proving your love every day, (which is the work of marriage), it speaks most loudly to your man in the language of respect and value.
When you ask for his opinions and compromise to make his ideas a part of your wedding plans, you're proving you value him. When you incorporate him in meetings; or compromise healthily in an area you don't see eye-to-eye on; or when you surrender something that means more to him than to you; you express your respect for him. It's easiest to show your love to him, as it comes naturally, and while he appreciates it, respect and honor speak louder. I know that's pretty deep for an article that uses the word "awesome" in the title. But, by engaging your groom in ways that only you can, to make him feel your respect and bring about confidence that comes when you know you're valued-- that's the stuff that takes a wedding and makes it a marriage ready to go the distance. And that's awesome.
I know these concepts might be a little out-there for those of you who have dreamed of planning your wedding in a way where you get everything you want! Or for the groom who always thought is was a girl thing. I totally get it and this planning together thing might not be for you! But I would totally, whole-heartedly encourage you to consider it.
Now, ladies, warning. Engaging your groom in wedding planning is different than dragging your groom into it and treating him like an accessory-- it won't make happy the process or engage his potential-- and it will give you both a false sense of togetherness.
The amount of planning together you do will vary from couple to couple, but the important part is that you both invest into this day that shows off how awesome you are as individuals and how unstoppable you are together.