My partner, Alex, and I took a day off from work to attend to some wedding-related appointments. First, we went to the event rental place to look at linens, extra chairs, silverware, etc. When we got there, the "Wedding Specialist" introduced herself to me and shook my hand. She then turned around and started walking us back to the conference room without even acknowledging Alex. During the consultation, she addressed all the questions to me, without asking Alex his opinion on anything. After she asked a question, I would turn to Alex and ask his opinion (partially because he's better at things like color and design than I am, but mostly because IT'S HIS WEDDING TOO AND I WANT HIM TO FEEL INCLUDED). He'd give his opinion and she'd just stare at me like he hadn't said anything at all.
It was weird but we got through it, only to encounter it again!
He felt like everyone was judging him and he was afraid to give his opinions because he thought the sales associates would think he was trying to take away "my special day."
Next, we went to David's Bridal to look at a few dresses. When we walked in the sales associate that was assigned to us introduced herself to me (while squealing and smiling) and completely ignored Alex. She didn't even introduce herself. After I tried on the dresses, I (with Alex's help of course) decided on one and bought it. We left without the sales lady even saying a word to Alex the whole time. She did however congratulate me numerous times and thanked me profusely.
Now I know why men often don't want to be included in wedding related appointments. It's not because they're not interested, it's because they know that when they go they'll be ignored and treated like crap. This makes me so sad!
Alex and I talked about the events of the day that night and he told me how uncomfortable and offended he was. He said that he felt like everyone was judging him and he was afraid to give his opinions because he thought the sales associates would think he was trying to take away "my special day" and control me. It's just not fair that even when he tries to be a part of these decisions, he's basically told that this wedding has nothing to do with him. It seems the wedding industrial complex just wants him to shut his mouth and open his wallet.
In hindsight, I should have introduced him to the sales associates and forced them to acknowledge him, but I think I felt too shocked to do anything. I still feel really guilty about that.
But more-so, it hurts my heart that he's being excluded from this very important event in his life. The wedding industrial complex should be ashamed.
Who's got suggestions for ways to talk to vendors who may not acknowledge both partners' roles in wedding planning?