He can be the best man in the world. Prince charming, no less (with or without his horse), always happy to dine at your parents’ (wave and smile), always ready to save your life when a giant spider has turned your bed into a cocoon and is just waiting for an oblivious victim (you) to walk nonchalantly in just to parish timelessly in those hairy legs (seriously, I could write horror stories). The man of your dreams is also always there to open cans, jars and bottles for you (those that he himself closed with such a deadly grip like he was actually trying to prevent the Nazis from getting their hands on that apricot jam). He also accompanies you during shopping (“…please God, kill me now…”) and even feeds your cat (“…not to forget to take it to my next duck hunt… & shoot. By mistake, obviously”).
So this is all true and your man is a dream came true. But when you try to engage him into wedding planning, the white knight vanishes into the ether. And even if he continues sitting there, with a vacant stare in his eyes, trust me, he is gone.
Even though I hate to say it but his behavior is hard not to understand… Just picture it: enormous amounts of stress during many months, weird wedding traditions, confusing rules and etiquette… and you, his beloved wife-to-be, running around the house with a spooky smile, always carrying a couple of gazillions of booklets behind you, not letting go of the cell phone not even when you go to the loo and bursting in tears when your florist tells you that there are no yellow tulips at this time of year. No matter that you don’t even like yellow. Or tulips.
So come on girls, what kind of guy would voluntarily throw himself in this wedding madness???
There are, however, a few simple rules which will help you convince your fiancé that wedding planning can indeed be fun (I checked. They work).
Give him a choice…
Sometimes it is quite enough to simply ask your fiancé about what he is really interested in (come on, there’s got to be something that he is interested in – he is sort of invited to this wedding too!). You ask him to choose a song for your first dance (shrug) – okay, try suggesting that he picks music for the dancing party. He will much likely become thrilled with an idea of planning the disco night than having to go through dozens of romantic songs. Another example: you talk about choosing the flowers (yawn) – try asking him which of the two (three, not more) pre-chosen by you he likes best. Men tend to give clear answers when asked a simple question.
…but not a multiple one
Another tip: avoid questions that imply a yes/no answer. When you need him to help you choose guest favors, don’t ask him if he wants to do it (chances are, he’d rather meet up with his buddies over a beer than think what to fill those 140 mason jars with). Just ask if he would like to do it, say, before or after lunch on Saturday. Ta-daah.
When giving a choice, respect his decision
There is really very little point in encouraging your fiancé to make an important decision and then go and completely disregard it. Here is an example. I once was helping a couple to choose their wedding invitations and as we were browsing through different options, I noticed that the groom was actually really interested and willing to contribute. At some point he picked a sample and asked his girlfriend about her opinion. She then looked at him like he had just suggested her to eat a cockroach, and said: “You’re kidding, right?”. I froze, while the guy preferred to no longer participate in the process. Want his participation? Respect his choices.
Do not try to do it all alone
Why do we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders and complain over it when no one actually asked us to imitate Hercules. Yes, women tend to intuitively feel when their loved ones need them and sometimes take it as a sign of indifference (lack of feelings?) when men do not reciprocate. Well, here’s news: men are different. If you want him to step in – tell him. A phrase as simple as “I really cannot do without you these days” can work wonders.
Talk about his talents
Okay, this one includes a tiny element of manipulation – flatter. But hey, who said it’s bad? I mean, you still love him, don’t you??? So go ahead and tell him that there is absolutely no way you can decide on the table centerpiece unless he, with his natural sense of balance and harmony, guides you in the right direction. Choosing music for the cocktail party is also simply impossible if he doesn’t contribute. I mean, who else has such an ear for music and can guess a song when it hasn’t even started yet? Note: in case you are an opera singer, choose something else to flatter him for if you don’t want your man to feel he is being mocked.
Tell him he is doing great
Praising is not only flatter’s close relative but also best friend (just don’t let this couple go out of control. Men are not stupid). Really, you don’t need David Copperfield to make your sweetheart realize that wedding planning can be enjoyable. Just don’t forget to tell him, from time to time, how useful and appreciated his help is and how great he is doing. Trust me, his enthusiasm will triple and even if right now it looks like he is walking barefoot on broken glass when he is rehearsing your first dance, don’t tell him that. I know, it is hard, and it is even harder not to break out in hysterical laughter watching this “live”, but do you both a favor and save the mocking for your bridal shower. For now just try to believe he will eventually do great. And he will believe, too.
Lastly, whatever he does or does not do for this wedding and no matter how heated it might get at times, just remember that you did not fall in love with this man because you saw in him the potential to be a good wedding planner. You fell in love with him because you saw in him the potential to be a good husband.
And if you do need a helping hand, just drop me a line and you will get assistance from someone who simply loooves planning weddings 😉