My darling fiance and I are going to be building our wedding from the ground up, and as a fellow obsessive planner, I’m enthralled to inject our personalities into every aspect of the ceremony. The only problem is this: I can’t get him to offer much input, as his response tends to be “It’s your day, and as long as we’re married at the end, you can do whatever you want.” That’s sweet, I guess, but it’s not MY day, it’s OUR DAY! How can I get him involved in the planning without making him feel forced or out of his element? -Jess
This is an awesome opportunity for the two of you to sit down and reconstruct the whole “This is the bride’s special daaaaaay, and the groom is just an accessory” bullshit. Your marriage is about the two of you, and your wedding should be about the two of you, too. Many men are raised to believe that weddings simply are a woman’s place — that they owe it to their fiances and everyone else to just sit quietly and nod. That they have no right to have opinions.
That’s bullshit: you’re setting up dynamics for your marriage with your wedding, and each partner needs to ask themselves “Do I want quietly nodding to be the dynamic of this relationship?”
Then again, you can’t make your fiance care about certain aspects of the wedding that may not interest him…
This is actually something I cover in my book. I think the key is this: rather than dividing responsibilities laterally (ie, “We both make all decisions … why doesn’t he care about all of them?”), divide them vertically (ie, “We each make the decisions about the things we care about”).
Check in with your fiance: what aspects of the wedding matter to him? The music? Puppets? Does he really want to include a sword in the ceremony? Have him pick out the corners of the wedding that he has opinions on — and be ready to be surprised when all of a sudden you learn he has strong opinions about unexpected things.
Then, rather than roping him into parts that don’t interest him (“Come on: which flowers do you like better? The peonies or the hydrangeas? Can’t you tell the difference?! FUCKING HELL WHICH ONES DO YOU LIKE BETTER!?”) just let him be completely in charge of the things that matter to him. He wants to integrate your dog in the ceremony? Awesome! He wants to hand-make the chuppah from rebar? Awesome!
I interviewed several grooms for the book who were happy to manage their corners of the wedding, especially since it meant they could skip discussions about the stuff they simply didn’t care about.