So, you finally did it. You spend a ridiculous amount of money on a ring. The four C's of diamonds have no more secrets for you. You proposed. She said yes! You thought the worst was over.
Now you find yourself planning wedding, an almost impossible task. For her, it is OK; she has her perfect wedding planned out in her head. You're faced with a million dilemmas.
Let's start with the big enchilada. The much feared B-word: the budget. Somehow this task is bestowed onto you. Hear your lovely bride: "We need this, we need that, wouldn't it be nice if we got these elegant seat covers at the reception, and topiaries, and a grandparents photo album, and cute party favors and save the date cards for our out-of-town guests. And oh! I forgot to mention the gifts for the bridal party, ..." You hop from vendor to vendor and she is like a kid in a candy store, like a bride at a bridal show.
The guest list is another one of those. We don't want kids at our reception, but we don't want to say 'adult only?' Why do we have to invite the relatives from Alaska that we have met twice in our lives, but there is not enough room for the neighbors? The mother in law needs to add 10 guests at the last minute, even though we had already invited more people than we can afford. Do we need to pay for food for our vendors; can't they bring their own food, we pay them enough already?
And somehow... it's up to you to make it all happen. You have a couple of choices:
- Find an endless supply of money - highly unlikely
- Tell her NO - highly unlikely to be successful
- Try to compromise and plan the budget together. Luckily there are plenty of budgeting tools available online and elsewhere.
Next there are the impossible choices. "Do you prefer the Lilac or the Lavender ink for our invitations?" At first you might think to yourself: "Gee, I could have sworn lavenders and lilacs are flowers. I thought we had covered the flowery stuff last week." When you finally realized that different shades of the same color (purple) have flowery (lilac, lavender) or fruity (plum) names, the following conversation might occur:
She says: "Do you prefer the Lilac or the Lavender ink for our invitations?"
You think: "I don't really care it looks the same to me."
You say: "I really have no opinion; I'll leave it up to you."
She says: "See, it's always the same with you. You don't care about anything. You don't care about this wedding. You're so frustrating"
You think: "I guess I need to have an opinion, I'll pick one of the colors."
You say: "I guess I prefer the Lilac"
She says: "Why do you like the Lilac better?"
You think: "Oh no, it's not enough to have an opinion about flowery colors, now I have to have a reason for it. I picked one because you wanted me to pick one!"
At that moment you have a strike of a genius and you say something really great like:
You say: "I think your mom would like the Lilac better"
You say: "I think it would match better with the bridesmaid dresses"
She says: "Yes, you might be right... but I really like the Lavender. It is so much more us. Is it OK if we go with the lavender?"
You think: "Why in the world did we go through all of this if she was going to get it her way regardless and I was OK with either option anyways?"
You say: "Of course sweetheart!"
This was just one example. In a similar fashion be prepared for the following conversations:
So, here is some advice:
- Should I ask my friend Sue as a bridesmaid, even though she has not called me on my last birthday?
- Do you think those taper candles would look nice or should we go with a more contemporary look and go with a couple of votives?
- For the menu: Chicken Cordon Bleu or Chicken Saltimbocca?
- This one photographer seems OK; however the second one we saw seems to really 'get' me, but he's twice as expensive. What should we do?
Luckily there is hope.
- stay away from saying 'I don't care'
- act interested, be involved
- keep your cool
- be prepared to give your opinion, knowing that most likely it might not even matter and she'll go with her choice anyways
You're not alone; 20 million weddings a year equal 20 million grooms a year. And millions have been there before, including yours truly. We have paved the way for you. In a way, this wedding planning exercise will give you a little taste of what is ahead in life, even if it is in a very concentrated form.
Help is available online as well. In preparing this article, I found out that there are several resources available for lost groom souls such as you.
Finally, don't forget to have FUN!!! Good luck.