Beards and lap dances: what will you “let” YOUR groom do?

Guest post by littleorangemonkeys
Photo of Louis and his awesome beard by Hildreth Weddings. See the full wedding.
Photo of Louis and his awesome beard by Hildreth Weddings. See the full wedding.

What will I let my groom do?

I've been running into this phrase a lot lately. I understand there's this idea floating around that the wedding is entirely the purview of the woman, and she controls all the minute details. I also know there's a marriage philosophy that states that a woman is in charge of her husband, and has to “train” him to be the good little gofer that she needs to serve her every whim.

Anyone who knows us as a couple knows that if I pulled that domineering girlfriend bit, he'd shut that shit down in a hurry (by respectfully telling me to knock it the fuck off already). As well he should, since I personally don't think it's acceptable to treat your life partner like a three-year-old. We're both fiercely independent people, and our relationship works on a system of allowing each other do to our own thing, after discussing boundaries we can both agree upon.

So am I going to “let” him keep his beard for the wedding?

Since when am I in charge of his facial hair? I love him with his beard, and his beard makes him happy. Why on earth would I make him shave it off just for wedding pictures?

Am I going to “let” him wear a kilt?

Uh, he doesn't get to decide what I wear, so why should I dictate what he's wearing? We've had a conversation about the vision of our wedding attire, and I expect both of us to follow that vision.

Am I going to “let” him go to Vegas for his bachelor party? Or “let” him go to a strip club?

If I were uncomfortable with these things, I would express my concern and ask him if he would consider something else. But no, I'm not pulling the “you are not ALLOWED to get a lap dance!” Sometimes I watch those wedding shows and literally cringe in horror when a bride crashes the bachelor party and throws a hissy fit in the parking lot.

You're “letting” him plan the ceremony music/pick the menu/figure out the honeymoon flights?

Why yes, I am, because he's a big kid, who's more than capable of making plans. It's not like all his adult-type skills disappear when they are pointed in the direction of A WEDDING.

Many of these questions are coming from friends and family that haven't batted an eye at our offbeat wedding plans. The beard one really threw me for a loop. I guess I figured that if I “allowed” him to have it in real life, it would follow that I was “allowing” it to stay for our wedding.

I think that compromise is bedrock to a good relationship. Therefore, one of us might get to do something the other one isn't really thrilled about or impressed by. And yes, there might be things that I am flat-out not comfortable with him doing. But if that's the case, then as an adult I need to express my concerns and feelings, and let him know how that particular action would effect me and our family. And then he decides if those concerns are enough to keep him from doing said behavior, or if this would be a deal-breaker. Having a hissy fit or giving out ridiculous ultimatums just seems… sad.

Comments on Beards and lap dances: what will you “let” YOUR groom do?

  1. AMEN! I cannot stand the fact that in this culture, the media decides to portray (and glorify) the control-freak, overbearing, domineering woman. Want to be a strong, powerful, independent woman? Be big enough to let people make their own decisions and deal with it like an adult.

    Well said, littleorangemonkeys.

  2. My groom will have a full beard, is wearing a top-hat and has helped me choose all the clothing and decor for the wedding. He wanted these really cool silver wine glasses for our first toast, totally his pick. I love them.

    I get a lot of “Oh he’s helping too? How sweet!” condecending bullsh*t comments from friends (mostly co-workers. My friends are cooler than that.) And it’s getting old. Of course he will have a beard, he’s had one our entire relationship… of course he gets to pick out his clothes… He has to wear them! Of course he gets to choose music, it’s his party too.

    Thank you for this article. Totally feeling this right now!

  3. These “Are you letting him…?” questions are totally what leads to the whole equally awful “Doofy husbands” phenomenon:

    Fiances: they have to get permission for their facial hair!

    Husbands: they can’t do ANYTHING without your help!

  4. Love this!

    Seeing as my guy’s beard is as much a part of him as his nose, I would be mad if he DID shave it for our wedding. Especially since I am his barber, and every element of that beard has been painstakingly crafted just for him. I want to see the man I know and love in those pictures lo many years later, not some “cleaned up version.”

    My soon-to-be sister-in-law, on the other hand, told my dude that he WOULD be shaving it for her wedding. Which, by the way, they announced would be held on our first anniversary. Really lady, you couldn’t have picked one of the other 364 days of the year?

    She was told in no uncertain terms that she had her head up her ass (she was a bridezilla before she was even engaged – do not care for her much) and her fiancee could have his brother in the wedding, or a clean shaven wedding party. Not both.

    On the bachelor party issue, again, he can do what he likes. Although for my first wedding, all of the boys were coming from all over the country, and no one had the wherewithal to put together a party. So I did it. From what I hear, I picked quite a good…dancer…and a blast was had by all. No way I was letting my groom go down the aisle without a hell of a party – unless he didn’t want one, which wasn’t the case there.

    If you want a great wedding and a great marriage, it really is as simple as communication and letting your partner be who they are.

    • It’s funny with the beard. My fiance’s had his since years before we started our relationship, and while I might beg him occasionally to shave it (just once, so I know what he looks like without it) I wouldn’t want him to do it for the wedding.

      Because he loves his beard. He feels comfortable and attractive in it. It’s part of his most authentic self, so why should he be asked to be any different at his wedding?

      • This is exactly me and my guy. He had it when we met, and it used to break me out so bad on my chin for a long time. I asked him if he wouldn’t mind shaving it once, so I could see him without it (since I never had) and so I could get my chin to heal up a bit. Between that and a good facial, it finally went away.

        I love his beard and it’s such a part of him, but I’m so grateful that he did do it once for me.

  5. This kind of thing drove me insane when we were wedding planning! What makes anyone think that I am so controlling? I’m really not his mother or his babysitter.

    • YES! I get this all the time. “are you going to let him do that?” or the accompanying “you have to make him do this” Excuse me??? WTF??? I’m not his momma. I’m not in charge here. If you have issues with something he’s doing or want him to do something, YOU talk to him! That’s what I do, TALK to him. Then he does what he does. You don’t ask me to control the weather, why would you ask me to control another adult?

  6. “I guess I figured that if I ‘allowed’ him to have it in real life, it would follow that I was ‘allowing’ it to stay for our wedding.”

    And how! I feel like people want us to look a certain way on our wedding day, and that’s fine. But I also want us to look like us. And Groom has always had a beard, ever since high school. It would be insane of me to expect him to lose it, just for the sake of some pictures. Especially if the kids we may someday have, wouldn’t recognize the man in these pictures as their father.

  7. THANK YOU! I’ve been weirded out by the whole “the wedding is the brides day” bit. No, folks, not the BRIDES day, the couples day. I love my guy the way he is… why would I force him to change something for the wedding day.

    Surprisingly I’ve also gotten it about my wedding party. One of my besties has a buzz cut, she’s nearly bald… AND SHE LOOKS ADORABLE!!!. But I’ve had a couple people say things like “Will you make her grow her hair out/wear a wig?” Umm… no. As a member of my party, she’s one of my best friends. I love her as she is, part of that affection extends to her rockin a buzz cut. I would never make her or anyone I care about change something for one day… because some airhead thinks it will make the pictures weird or take the focus off of me. I got news for you, I have enough confidence to “allow’ people to be themselves and I also realize that as the bride, all eyes are on me (and my groom) regardless.

    (and the strip club thing… Hey, my guy is coming home to me… so, I don’t really care.)

    • Maybe it’s cause you are a Sarah as well; but I completely agree with every word of this. Who gives a flying F if you’re bridesmaid gets a haircut? Isnt that person in your wedding party because they’re important to you? Isn’t that what actually matters about that person to you?!

      • Totally with you on the bridal party. Shortly after we announced our engagement and I choose my maid o honor, she shaved her hair into a mohawk. AND IT’S FABULOUS! My mom is going bonkers over it. I literally could care less.

    • My mother asked me if my MOH sister was allowed to get a pixie cut. I still don’t understand why anyone would think they need my permission for that. It’s my sister I want, not her hair.

    • My fiance’s brother got married last year and I was not invited to be in the wedding party but his sister-in-law did make some demands about the colour of my dress because, as family, I was to sit at the head table. She also dictated the dress style of her mother-in-law, and the vast majority of the aesthetics of anyone and anything else who would listen. The wedding was beautiful, like something from a magazine. And I had a pretty miserable day and felt entirely self-conscious. The tone of that experience really influenced my fiance and I in our plans for our own wedding.
      Our dress code is “funky formal” or “wear what makes you feel most fabulous” and we are not asking anyone to match with anyone else. People are asking our permission to wear certain colours or styles and are so surprised when we tell them they don’t have to ask!
      I agree with those who said the wedding is not only about the bride and add that it’s not only about the couple for us, either. Yes, our marriage is what is bringing our families and community together… and it’s a day for all of us to be ourselves, feel blessed and have fun!

    • Love it!
      I have sported bright blue/super short hair for a very, very long time– it’s what I’m comfortable and it’s how people expect me to look at this point, and I swear to the gods, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve gotten “oh….you’re not coming like THAT to our wedding, are you?”, I’d be rich. (Of course I always follow that up with “Of course I won’t be coming like THIS to your wedding…I won’t be attending!”
      I can’t imagine telling ANYONE that they can’t be themselves on my wedding day, be it buzz cut, beard, bright blue hair or otherwise! My life…and wedding…will be a celebration of love, and that love includes the love I have for all of my friends’ unique looks, personalities, styles and trends.

  8. The whole point of getting married is announcing to the world that this person, right here with the stubble and mismatched socks, is the one I love and want to be with for the rest of our lives, so why should I have to dictate how he looks/behaves as we legally and publicly join our selves? His opinion is just as valid and wonderful on the wedding front as it was on our first date

    • My man has stubble and refuses to match his socks too! I love his stubble and mismatched socks, but he is insisting on shaving and wearing ‘good socks’ to the wedding. I keep telling him he doesn’t have to, I love his scruff, but he wants to dress up too. So I have to respect his wishes that he wants to dress up, when I’d rather see him scruffy lol. Doesn’t really matter though, cause I’d marry him in a tux or board shorts, I just want to marry him

  9. I had the issue that my husband wanted to be told what to do, though I felt really wrong telling him. I kept expecting him to pick his cloths, the food etc but he seemed to think I was about to blow in 10 seconds time. I really didn’t have opinion 90% of the time. Took most of the planning for him to get it.

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