What’s a groom supposed to do
besides stand there?
Plus one groom’s perspective on wedding coordinators
It’s three to one in favor of the Brides. Try a Google Search. Enter “Bride” and you get 47,800,000 hits, while “Groom” comes back with just 16,400,000 hits. The first hit on the groom list was for a law firm, Groom Law Group, specializing in employee benefits. And appearing fifth was a listing for surveillance over Groom Lake, NV better known as Area 51.
OK, so maybe grooms are still not as involved in the wedding planning process as a bride. But the stereotype used to be that a groom just needed to show up. Not so today says Allison Fuller.
“More and more of the grooms I work with are getting involved in the process and have opinions on what they want at their wedding,” said Fuller, a wedding coordinator with Every Little Detail.
Another professional wedding consultant, Lora Ward, owner of A Day to Remember Wedding Consultants, offers her perspective.
“Be involved and don’t give the line, ‘Just tell me what to wear and where to be on the wedding day.’ That isn’t going to cut it,” Ward said. Have an opinion if the subject matter is important to you.
And how about this?
“If the bride wants to talk about the wedding, don’t fall asleep during the discussion,” Ward counsels.
Umm … this seems like a really good one to remember.
She stressed it’s really not necessary to insist on a groom’s complete attention to matters that are not of concern to him but he should be involved with the photography, menu, bar arrangement and reception music.
“If your groom isn’t inclined to have an opinion about the seating chart, the color of the flowers, or the style of the font and color of the ink on the wedding invitations, then don’t ask him or demand his attention to these areas,” Ward explained.
But some guys are already in the loop. Eric Stein is one of those grooms who got involved.
“I would say that the break down would be 30-70 with me handling 30 percent of the planning and my wife handling 70 percent of it,” 37-year-old Stein recalls.
Stein and his bride were married in 2005 in Capital Park with a reception for 161 guests at the Sterling Hotel. After a three year courtship, Stein, who obviously understands romance, proposed on the summit of a mountain above Lake Tahoe.
“I chose this spot because it was beautiful and private,” Stein said. “We had taken many trips to Lake Tahoe during our courtship and had many fond memories of our time there.”
Stein and his fiancé then began planning their wedding. One aspect they had a major debate about was the timing. With their busy lives he wanted to wait until the spring. She wanted to get married in the fall.
His fiancé was beginning a new job in San Francisco. Over the next three months Stein had to move the previous roommate out, move his fiancé in, paint and re-carpet their apartment, and move his future bride to a new job in a new city.
Stein says that he and his fiancé “were for the most part on the same page” about the type of wedding they both wanted, but admits he would have liked to have had more time to plan the wedding.
His fiancé and future mother-in-law opted to plan the event themselves to help save money. While the intention is a good one, Stein offers a different perspective.
“I insisted that we have a wedding planner for the day of the wedding and she was a tremendous help,” Stein recalls. “Worth every penny—I’m convinced that the money we would have paid her to handle the entire event would have been recovered in the money and time she would have saved us.”
One area in which a consultant can really help is with choosing vendors. Because of the time crunch, Stein and his fiancé were in a rough spot. In the weeks leading up to their wedding, difficulties arose with the venue but they’d prepaid a huge deposit and were pressed for time. In Stein’s words, “We dealt with it the best we could.”
He offers these tips to other grooms: Shop around and get referrals, do your research regarding the hotel and caterer you choose, and don’t let vendors fleece you.
“It’s amazing how purveyors will jack up the prices on their goods and services if they know it’s a wedding they are serving,” Stein said.
It seems at a wedding the saying “time is of the essence” becomes very real.
“The day goes by so fast and in the end you may regret not being able to see everybody as much as you wanted to,” he said. “I wish that I’d stretched the day out a little better.”
“Remember, above everything else that this is your day. It’s all about the bride and groom. So many times parents, family and friends just will try to help and end up being anything but helpful,” Stein said. “Stay above it and enjoy every moment of this day because the memories will be yours forever.”
But what counts are the friends and family you’ve surrounded yourself with on this day.
“This is really the only time in your life when you will have so many of the people you care about together at the same time,” Stein said.
So what’s his favorite memory?
“When I was standing in front of my friends and family and looking out at all of the happy faces as my bride was walking in.”