Well, if you read my first article last month, you know I’m one of the guys that do! Do what you ask? Get involved in planning the wedding, that’s what. Or better yet, grabbing the reins, digging in your spurs, and holding on for the utterly frustrating, exhilarating and extremely rewarding ride as wedding coordinator. Unrealistic? Ludicrous, you say. I intend to show you just how simple playing a leading role, or at least an active one, can be. Then, it’s up to you to decide how involved you become in the planning process. Because, as far as I’m concerned, every man should at least be given this choice.
The universal constant of this daunting problem is simple — knowledge. The age-old adage that “knowledge is power” holds true not only in the boardroom, but also the bedroom — where your most difficult compromises will be brokered. Getting smart fast is the key to overcoming the disbelievers and nay-sayers, i.e., wedding vendors, wives-to-be, in-laws and even your own family, who may question your intended role and, possibly, your capabilities.
How, then, do you go about gaining this knowledge? Wisdom that has remained guarded for as long as the bride’s family has been responsible for financing this old-fashioned affair? In most instances, you’ll need to look outside the immediate family for insight into the mysteries of the ritual of joining two as one. So, for purposes of this exercise, we’ll deal in worst-case scenarios and assume that you will be completely on your own.
Fortunately for you, where to turn and what to look for is no farther than a “click” away. My recent experience has shown that by far the easiest and cheapest option, as with just about everything these days, is the Internet. The proliferation of online resources related to weddings is staggering. And in most cases the information and associated tools are free! In a matter of minutes, you can use USABride, or other similar websites, to get everything from advice on how to hide those laugh lines, to dealing with the “monthly visitor” on your wedding day. For now, that’s just the way it is — most of the available advice, printed or electronic, is provided for the bride. Don’t fear, though, folks like me are lobbying on your behalf to ensure that the guys get their due. And the information is coming, albeit at a slow and measured pace.
So, while sites like this gear up to address men and marriage, skip over the wedding dress guides, beauty tips, and advice on table centerpieces and go directly to your ace-in-the-hole — the planning timeline. This is the most important document in your quest to get educated. By committing these timelines to memory, you can easily dazzle any detractors with your understanding of the most critical aspects of the planning process. You are then ready to implement the key elements of my first article — divvying up the responsibilities.
Unfortunately, the Internet is not a panacea. At least not yet anyway. I would also suggest supplementing the Internet with books and magazines. Both these mediums are particularly useful from a visual perspective. They tend to provide many pictures, which, you’ll find, are invaluable for getting ideas on just about everything from overall themes, to colors, to layouts for the ceremony and reception. In keeping with my thrifty theme, I suggest you start with the library. Why buy a $60 hardback book when you can find many of the same things at your local public library.
Magazines can also be useful, but they tend to be incredibly frustrating unless you’re in the market for a wedding dress. By advertising standards, these voluminous periodicals offer less hard facts and worthwhile information (our objective here remember) per square inch than any other magazine on the rack. But you just never know when there might be a needle buried on page 1,243 of these unwieldy haystacks.
The bottom line is this: by getting smart, you can demonstrate your capacity to be a contributor and, possibly, to even make yourself indispensable. Take it from someone who’s been there, the planning process is an emotional roller-coaster, but knowing that you can make a difference, that you can help weave this tapestry, is well worth the effort. Good luck, and hit the books!