It’s coming. Summer. Wedding season. And 99 percent of brides have the same complaint: their grooms aren’t involved. How to rope them in? Follow these 5 strategies:
- Don’t pretend the not-fun stuff is fun.
Don’t whitewash the fence. Even if you’re savvier than Tom Sawyer, usually, this tactic will backfire. We’re just not buying it. When you say, “Sweetie, it’s going to be so much fun to select those ice sculptures!” you lose credibility. Don’t pretend that the not-fun stuff is fun. (Like, say, evaluating the different packages of flowers.) In fact, go the opposite route, which leads us to...
- Join him in the sarcasm (sometimes).
If you are also a bit sarcastic, suddenly we’re on the same page. No, this doesn’t mean you need to smother your excitement, feign bitterness, or pretend you’re bored by the process. (Honestly, we sort of think it’s endearing that you’re crazy-into the wedding, and if you were blase, we’d be troubled.) But. If you take some potshots at the most gratuitous chunks of the planning-vendor meetings, florists, table decorations-the two of you can share a laugh. At that point, we’re more likely to believe you when you tell us that something is fun.
- Focus on money he can save.
There’s one word that will grab his attention: money. Especially if you’re footing the bill, every dollar spent on the wedding is one less dollar for a house, car, TV, college tuition payment, or his favorite brand of Scotch. Remind him that you’re a team, that for the next 70-plus years you’ll be making financial decisions together, so this isn’t bad practice. Appeal to his business acumen: you’re not just planning a party, you’re jointly managing a high-priced project.
- Emphasize big picture over details.
Plenty of decisions are crucially important. Many are not. And you only have so much groom-giving-a-damn capital to spend, so spend it wisely. Use reason. For example: instead of a torturous, stressful, 90-minute conversation about stationery, talk to him about why the guestlist is so important, reminding him that it drives nearly every other cost. Focus on the venue, the date, the type of ambiance-the Big Picture stuff that sets the tempo. If he’s an active part of those decisions, you’re 80 percent of the way there. (Incidentally, this is the same advice we give to the groom.)
- Incorporate his interests.
A buddy of mine was like your groom. He shrugged off all the wedding planning. Then his fiancee whispered two words near and dear to his heart: wiffle-ball. This excited him. As part of a three-day destination wedding weekend, he arranged a wiffle-ball tournament for all the guests, and this transformed his entire perspective. He got more involved, he dove into details like the music, and he even started personalizing things like the website and video invitations. (Seriously.) Once he realized that the wedding wasn’t just a stuffy tradition-fest, but instead could be cool, adventurous, and include stuff that he actually likes, he hopped on board. Get quirky. Think about your groom’s version of wiffle-ball, and see if you can incorporate.