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Bridal Club Magazine

How to Get Your Groom Involved in the Planning!

  • Just got engaged? Let him help spread the good news. Divvy up your list so he can call his family and friends.
  • Is he creative? Ask him to design an engagement announcement card online to be sent out to family and friends.
  • If he never failed a math test, managing the wedding budget is the perfect task for him. "Simply put, the man likes to be in charge of the money," says Samantha Goldberg, owner of Gold Events, in Bridgewater, NJ. Software programs, like Quicken, and wedding-planning programs that include a budget tool might make this task even more appealing to him.
  • Does he have negotiating skills? Ask him to work out the prices with vendors, and see what kinds of "extras" he can manage to get included in your packages.
  • In wedding planning, no task is unimportant. Have him take charge of tipping the vendors. Suggest that he create the tip envelopes to hand out at the reception.
  • Nowadays many couples write their own wedding vows. Bring out his romantic side by asking him to express his thoughts. Collaborate on writing the vows, or ask him to research any special readings that the two of you would like to include.
  • If carpentry is one of his skills, put him to work (and save money!). Goldberg worked with a groom who built a plywood canopy for his ceremony, which was then covered with orange-and-fuchsia organza fabric.
  • Remember those exciting nights out on the town when you first started dating? Have him research bands and DJs, and arrange for the two of you to go out on "dates" to take notes and compare. Once you choose your musicians, he should take charge of providing them with a list of the tunes you both want to hear (and don't want to hear).
  • If you've decided to set up your iPod and speakers at the reception, have him create the playlist and enlist a willing tech-savvy guest to help out with the process.
  • Ask him to work with your photographer and videographer. "Men want to make sure they won't have to pose for too many photos, and they don't want the photographer to be invasive of their space," says Goldberg. Your groom can lay out your mutually agreed-upon rules with your professional.
  • "The wine and bar menu for the wedding reception is a very big deal for a lot of grooms," says Sharon Naylor, author of 1000 Best Secrets for Your Perfect Wedding (Sourcebooks). Suggest he throw a wine-tasting party for a group of friends to test out different wines. "Grooms also love getting behind the bar and making up their own drinks," adds Goldberg.
  • If your guy's a "foodie," let him determine the menu, suggest Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski, authors of The Smart Couple's Guide to the Wedding of Your Dreams (New World Library). Even if he isn't an expert, be sure he accompanies you on your taste-sampling visits to caterers, adds Naylor.
  • What groom wouldn't jump at the chance to pick the big-day transportation? "Exotic car rentals are huge right now," says Naylor. "The Rolls-Royce, the Bentley, the Lotus Esprit, the Hummer stretch limousines-guys get to test-drive all these exotic cars."
  • Is he a secret fashionista? Have him enjoy choosing his own big-day ensemble, whether it's a linen tux for a beach wedding or a black tux paired with a colorful vest for a more formal affair. Ask him to help you play matchmaker and create seating arrangements for your reception tables. "Matching personalities can be fun and exciting for the couple to do together," says Goldberg.
  • These days, people register for all kinds of nontraditional wedding presents. He can take care of signing up for a flat-screen TV, a DVD player or even a computer.
  • "A lot more grooms are taking charge of the diplomatic issues that come up between all the people involved in the wedding planning," says Naylor. Does he have the skills to mediate between you and your respective families if disagreements arise and discussions heat up? If so, then by all means let him be the official peacekeeper!
  • If you're worried about the best man's (or anyone's) toast, ask your fiancé to have a heart-to-heart talk with them about your concerns, suggests Sherven. Nervous about his Uncle Bob's tendency to party a bit too hearty? Let your groom know about your concerns beforehand, so that he can handle any situation that might arise (it's always better to be safe than sorry!).
  • Make him the unofficial tour guide for your out-of-town guests. Ask him to create a list of sightseeing spots, restaurants and bars in your area so your guests can enjoy your wedding location.
  • "More and more men want to take dance lessons because they don't want to make a fool out of themselves during the first dance," says Naylor. Have him research local instructors and studios.
  • Ask him to put on a show to wow your guests by creating a PowerPoint presentation that includes childhood photos of each of you, as well as ones that document your dating relationship and your courtship. This is a surefire crowd-pleaser!
  • In regular "wedding update" meetings, get his input on decisions. As time goes on and the big day gets closer, he'll become more and more involved with the details of the day-and that's just as it should be. After all, the wedding belongs to both of you!

Here are some ways that men have pitched in with wedding planning:

"My husband helped me with the seating arrangements for the reception-this was a good task for him because he could visualize them,and I couldn't." -Suzan Kerner. Wedding: August 2002.

"Since we combined Jewish and Greek customs, my husband was in charge of finding the stefania (traditional Greek crowns) that were placed on our heads during the ceremony. He was also involved in choosing the band and making sure they could find a bouzouki (a Greekstringed instrument player), so we could have Greek music and dancing."-Marci Goldstein. Wedding: November 2004.

"My husband did one thing-kept my mother-in-law out of our plans!-Jill Rosenthal. Wedding: August 2002.

"The most gratifying part of the wedding planning for me was when I got our photographer to agree to throw in digital photos for free.-Rob Coviello. Wedding: May 2003.

"For our upcoming wedding, I got my fiancé involved in the food. I also schedule time to discuss the wedding. This way, I resist the urge to harass him with wedding issues, and I have his full attention when we do sit down to talk." -Tamar Ben-Moshe. Wedding: January 2007.

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