Society, we need to do a better job at not making men suck so bad when it comes to helping with wedding planning.
The other week, A Practical Wedding ran an awesome piece called “My partner says he’s feminist, but he’s not helping with the wedding.” The comments are pretty amazing (as they always are on APW — LOVE that site), and the consensus seems to be that society doesn’t expect men to know much about weddings. Many men say they want big weddings but completely fail at the nitty-gritty of actually planning the thing — and society seems to think that’s OK.
In fact, the most frustrating part about being the female half of an engaged hetero couple is hearing that “men don’t like doing all that wedding–planning stuff.” Oh, because *I* like making spreadsheets, pricing out caterers and doing venue walk-throughs in my precious spare time? I do it because it needs to get done, and that doesn’t make me a “bride,” but a fucking ADULT.
Lest you think that I’m a crazy bridezilla dragging my poor, poor fiance to pick out table runners and flowers, I’ll have you know my own fiance was the one insisting on having the big-ass wedding. I was dumb enough to assume that meant he would help. Instead, I’m having crazy-making conversations like this one.
Me: Hey, our officiant wants to know how we want to do our processional.
Him: What’s that?
Me: The processional. You know, when we walk down the aisle to music. Are our attendants going to walk down together, or line up beforehand, or what?
Him: Wait … what? Walk where?
Me: To the altar. Wait, have you BEEN to a wedding before? You have. You’ve been IN weddings. Do you not remember fucking walking to the altar as a groomsman? I SAW YOU DO IT AT YOUR COUSIN’S WEDDING.
Him: Why are you so mad?
I’m so mad because we’ve conditioned men to basically sleep through weddings and then condition women to be expert wedding planners with binders and clipboards and Martha Stewart magazines.
To me, my fiance and I should be planning this co-hosted event together, but because it’s a wedding, he’s allowed to, well, sleep through it.
Early on, I turned to the Internet for tips on getting my fiance “involved.” But, because I’m a stressed-out, frenetic mess, I haven’t exactly followed it calmly:
Internet advice: “Is he creative? Ask him to design an engagement announcement card online to be sent out to family and friends.” ~Bridal Guide
What I did: My fiance volunteered to design the save-the-dates. We agreed to a deadline. When he missed that deadline, I started sending him texts every day at noon. Then twice a day. Then three times a day. That’s when he finally decided to just design the fucking thing. Hey, stress-bells were constantly dinging in my head because we hadn’t sent the save-the-date cards. I just wanted to share that joy with him.
Internet advice: His mild interest in the details doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about the wedding – it means he trusts your tastes.~ The Knot
What I did: HAHAHAHAHA if I have to care about the details necessary to pull this circus off, so should he. Our venue sent us an exhausting list of questions about how we wanted the reception hall configured, what kind of tables we needed, etc. I asked my fiance to sit down with me and bang it out and he lasted about 30 seconds before his eyes glazed over and he wanted to talk about it “later.” Since then, I’ve cc’d his ass (AT HIS WORK EMAIL) on every single email I’ve exchanged with all our vendors (and instructed them all to cc him on all communications). I’ve got him on a never-ending group text with our day-of coordinator and my mom.
I know for a fact he ignores many of these emails. I also know that new work emails make his phone go PING! and that, at least, satisfies me.
Internet advice: You can’t ask him to be involved and then shoot down all of his ideas. He’s gonna get frustrated with that pretty quickly and then you’ve blown your chance to have him as your partner in planning. — Offbeat Bride
What I did: For things that sounded like a lot of work that I didn’t want to do, I told him to go ahead and plan it, and I’d keep right on ahead with the 98 billion things I was already planning without help. This surprised him, mostly because he was hoping I’d just do all the work. And then we had a fight about how I crushed all his dreams and didn’t care about his ideas.
Internet advice: This may sound like a “no-brainer,” but often the groom doesn’t get involved because he has been under the impression that his help wasn’t desired. — BrideandGroom
What I did: Believe me, my fiance knows his help is desired.
Internet advice: Offer to let him plan the only things he really cares about anyway. We’ve covered this before, but to recap, that’s the food, the booze, the music, his and his groomsmens attire, and the honeymoon. For some guys, you can throw in the gift registry and cake planning, use your judgment. And yes, using this tactic unfortunately means he gets to plan all the fun stuff. But you wanted him to participate, right? — Brides
What I did: As if I’m going to let him do all the fun stuff and do all the sucky stuff myself. When it came time to stuff the invitation envelopes, my fiance started to burn out about 15 minutes in. He asked me if we could stop for the night and pick it up the next day. I reminded him that I was the one who got the envelopes printed so we wouldn’t have to write the addresses ourselves. I reminded him I’d collected all his friends’ addresses. I reminded him that I drove to his parents’ house four hours away to sit down with them and hammer out their guest list. And then I told him to stop being a PUSSY and start putting stamps on envelopes.
Can we just stop treating grown-ass men like children who won’t do their homework? Can we stop assigning wedding duties to women and then calling them “silly” and “bridezilla” when they crumble under the pressure of doing it all alone? Can we stop acting like we need to “make” wedding planning “fun” to convince grooms to do their fair share?