What’s today, the 14th? It’s hard to believe that September is half over, and that means our wedding day is right around the corner. When Erin and I got engaged in June 2008, we thought we’d have all the time in the world to plan our wedding. Sixteen months is probably on the long side for an engagement, after all. When Erin started making plans and visiting venues last fall, I thought she was nuts, to be honest. But sure enough, with less than three weeks to go, we’re still putting things together—and will be right up until the last minute.
This whole thing has been quite the educational experience for me. I always thought weddings just sort of happened. I never understood why people would get upset if you didn’t send back the RSVP, for example. Going forward, I can tell you, I’ll always send them back, and I want to strangle the people who haven’t sent theirs back yet for our reception. As a guy, I’ve never been privy to the inner workings of planning this type of event. I did plan my ten-year high-school reunion, but that was a piece of cake by comparison. Do you think there was an organist? Or singers? Or flowers? Or a seating chart? Or save-the-dates? Or a rehearsal? Or showers? Or thank-you notes? Did I have to arrange for transportation? Or appease both sides of my family? Of course not. I rented a banquet hall and sent out evites and asked everyone else to spread the word. People magically showed up and paid at the door, and the whole thing went off without a hitch. It was so easy, I thought about opening up a side business as an event planner.
A wedding, however, is a completely different animal—especially if you want the kind of wedding you’re used to attending. And we do want that—or at least we thought we did. You can’t really imagine how many details there are unless you’ve been through the process. The idea of hiring a wedding planner used to seem like such an unnecessary luxury—something reserved for the Brangelinas of the world. I can tell you now that those people are worth whatever they get paid, and if we had the money, I would’ve put this all in someone else’s hands.
Erin and I both have admitted in moments of frustration that if we could do it over again, we would’ve saved the money and effort this has required and had a much smaller wedding. Needless to say, if I were planning this thing as I did my class reunion, we’d all be having ice-cream cake and drinking from a keg—possibly in a VFW hall somewhere (this is why grooms don’t plan weddings). But this is the happiest and most important day in a young woman’s life and it deserves slightly more attention. It’s just a shame it couldn’t be less stressful somehow.
Erin, of course, has done much of the work. I’ve tried to stay involved with the bigger decisions and help with the manual labor, but honestly, the wedding day is for the bride. Nobody will be oohing and aahing when I walk down the aisle. I’ll look exactly like the five other schmoes standing next to me (wearing rented attire no less). The bride is the star of the show. That comes with its own added stress, of course, and it’s easy for a guy to forget that. You hear about perfectly normal women turning into bridezillas, and it seems so insane until you put yourself in their shoes. A girl can take only so much pressure. Erin has handled much of this process with the beauty and grace I’ve come to expect from her, but every once in a while, a crack will show. I just hope that when the day finally arrives, it’s everything she has always wanted and that all the effort she put into it was justified. That is, of course, what this is all about.
In the end, I think it’ll all work out fine, and I’ll do my part to make sure it does. In a way, planning a wedding is sort of a dry run for the rest of your life. It’s stressful, complicated, scary, and wonderful. It can bring out the best and worst in you and your family, but if you can make it through the planning process without resenting each other and still find a way to enjoy the day, then I think you can take whatever life throws at you. My only advice to the other grooms out there is to give your bride as much support as she needs, even if you don’t understand what the heck she’s so upset about. Remember that she’s putting her whole heart and soul into this one day, and we’re just along for the ride. But keep track of all the crazy stuff she does so that you can use it as leverage later.
To read Erin's story from the beginning, click here.
To read the latest Bridal Party blog posts, click here.