A year after they got married, a client of mine asked her husband what had been the most surprising thing about planning their wedding.
"How much work it took," he replied.
"How did you not know?!" she said.
The amount of work had been the least surprising part to her. In fact, she'd known all too well how much work planning a wedding would be; it's why she'd asked her husband to wait to propose until things quieted down at her office.
Why don't men get it? As easy as it is to chalk it up to them just being dumb, unhelpful, or obstinate, it's not that simple.
If you're a girl, you've been sold on weddings since the day you were born.
"They market it so beautifully," one woman told me of weddings. “They're pointing at you. They're telling you, 'It's going to happen to you one day so this is a concept that you need to remember because you're going to need to plan this someday.'"
Women are, shall we say, groomed to be brides.
So is it any surprise that you may find yourself asking, "Why do I feel more connected to this wedding and planning it than he does?"
Having worked closely with a number of straight couples, let me tell you: It's not because he doesn't care and it's not because he doesn't want to marry you.
It's because until this very moment, a wedding, to him, was an abstract celebration that happened to other people.
His role in it was always peripheral: He initiated the action (a.k.a. he proposed) and then his job was done until the actual day.
That's not fair to women. It's also not fair to men. I see the stress of it in my clients. So often, the guys are just as anxious as the gals. Neither set wants to do "something wrong" though in the groom's case, "getting it wrong" often means "saying something stupid and upsetting my fiancée."
Who wants to make their loved one feel stupid? Not the women I work with.
The burden of fixing this problem doesn't fall solely on either the bride or the groom; like the wedding, it should be a joint effort. It's about fighting the default "oh, well, she'll do it" or the "oh, well, he won't care so I'll just decide."
It's about conversation, both between yourselves and with your vendors. Call them on it when they only direct their questions to the bride (a phenomenon many a client has told me about). When people ask how the wedding planning is going, include your partner ("Honey, what do you think?" or "You know, [insert partner's name] has actually been handling that").
You won't always win but you can remind the world — and yourself — of a vital fact: A wedding is about two people, not one.
Have something to share? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org