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Mr. J. Lo
Grooms can do it too
by Jeremy Ohmes
Lately I’ve been really into wedding cakes. I’ll spend hours window-shopping cakes online and con-stantly thinking about flavor, frosting, size, style, really anything cake-related. I’ll catch myself doodling elaborate multi-tiered, hexagonal designs and wondering if chocolate would go over better than plain vanilla — or maybe something more exotic like almond or coconut. Then there’s the question of flowers or fruit … or maybe we shouldn’t get that fancy-schmancy. Perhaps something more minimal? I know, I know. It’s kind of ridiculous that the husband-to-be is this concerned about the wedding cake. What a wuss, right?
Conventional wisdom dictates that real men aren’t supposed to care about weddings, much less wedding cakes. That’s the bride’s bailiwick. I mean, there’s a reason that there’s no such thing as a Groom Expo. When it comes to wedding planning, grooms, like children, should be seen but not heard. Just take a backseat, nod and stay out of the bride’s way. And, according to many wedding planning websites and bridal magazines, even if the groom wants to get involved, the bride should toss a few simple tasks, or chores, his way just to keep him occupied … once again, like a child. OK, maybe we don’t want to get all J. Lo up in the wedding planning. And sure, we haven’t been thinking about our “dream wedding” since we were little. But I think I speak for all the grooms out there when I say that this is a big day for us, too. I for one refuse to stand on the sidelines and passively watch as my whole wedding is planned without me. And I’m not alone.
According to Bridal Guide magazine, more than 80 percent of grooms are involved to varying degrees in the wedding planning. And at least half of them will lend a helping hand once it’s halftime. But seriously, contrary to popular belief, we grooms really do like to tackle that towering to-do list just as much as the brides. Just ask erstwhile groom/recently married Jason Huebsch of Eugene. He and his partner planned a very DIY wedding in Alaska, complete with homemade food, pies, invitations — the bride even made the dresses and picked the flowers. Jason designed and sent out the invitations, helped make the pies and pitched in on other facets of the planning. He says, “I wasn’t really enthusiastic about it, but I wasn’t dreading it either. I knew a lot of stuff had to get done, so I did it.” OK, so maybe not all of us are giddy and super-psyched about the planning, but we know what needs to be done and we’ll do it (with a few helpful reminders).
I think the key is to share the responsibility. Treat the whole process like a science project and your fiancée like a lab partner. Instead of dissecting a frog, you’re planning a wedding. That’s a bad analogy, but you catch my drift. As far as I see it, aside from the more gender-specific duties like the bride and bridesmaids’ dresses and the groom and groomsmen’s suits, everything is fair game. So divvy up the assignments according to what interests you.
My fiancée and I have nine months until our nuptials, and our to-do list is overwhelming. It doesn’t help that we live in separate states and the wedding is somewhere else. But we’ve decided to divide and conquer. I like music, cake and invitations; she likes photographers, flowers and catering. Of course, we’re constantly bouncing ideas off each other and flooding each other’s inboxes with the potential this or that. But planning the wedding this way has actually reduced a lot of the stress and allowed us to collaborate and communicate in new ways. So grooms, don’t be afraid to shoulder some of the load. Picking out flowers and tying ribbons on invitations is not as emasculating as the Miller beer commercials make it out to be. In fact, I’m starting a new slogan for 2009 — Real Men Plan Weddings.
What do you think of cupcakes instead of a cake?