Monday, 2 December 2013
Do Grooms Care?
I meet a lot of grooms-to-be every year, I mean a LOT! I supply suits for over 600 weddings every year. Which means every year I meet at least 600 grooms, and that normally means talking to them at least twice, maybe three or four times. That means I talk to 600 grooms at twelve months in advance of a wedding, about three months before a wedding, two days before their wedding and sometimes two days after. I think that gives me a rather unique insight into the mindset of a groom to be!
So what have a learned from this rather unusual perspective? Well for a start I have learned that grooms do care! Men may or may not shrug their shoulders and act cool in front of their mates, or family or even their bride-to-be, but the overall majority, really do care. They care just as much as the bride, sometimes more, some times slightly less, sometimes a lot less but they care.
I am not talking about a ‘modern-man’ in touch with his feelings; I am talking about all different men from all different backgrounds. They may express themselves differently; some men may have particular skills and can articulate their point better than others. But they all really do care about the wedding plans, the wedding day and (most importantly of all) the marriage.
This is not something new but something I have always been aware of. I talk to grooms-to-be and most of them are genuinely excited for the wedding day and know all about which plans have been made and which ones are yet to be made.
Us guys however are at a distinct disadvantage to you ladies! First of all, it is considered bad luck to see the dress before the wedding day. (Why is this exactly?) Not seeing the dress in the planning stage makes helping with the planning (or the dress shopping itself) difficult if not impossible. As you look at venues or meet suppliers often the bride is considering the style of dress and how appropriate that dress would be with that venue or product. So right from the start of the wedding planning us men are on the back foot. Knocked of balance before we have even begun!
Now the groom-to-be is off to difficult start but it gets worse! We pick up a wedding magazine; it becomes quickly apparent that women have edited these magazines from a bride’s perspective. With articles like: “Will you care if your groom gets drunk on your wedding day?” & “Telling Your Groom What you expect of him” (these are actual articles, I have researched today). Not only are we excluded from some of the planning we are now being told what we can and can’t do, with the assumption that we will not do anything at all unless we are given instruction. Or even worse that we will somehow behave terribly unless told otherwise.
I am sure I am making it sound worse than it really is but my point is the wedding industry can be a sexist place. Men are often talked down to and generally the assumption is always that the bride will be making any final decisions with or without the grooms input. But I think the wedding industry is wrong. I think men do care! I think if we looked at this whole wedding planning thing from a different perspective the men would not only take part in the planning, they would enjoy it and maybe even increase their wedding budget (and therefore become a good thing for the whole industry) to pay for things that they really want.
How do we change things? Well for a start, why can’t the groom see the dress? Because of some superstitious tradition? I am pretty sure every wedding rule, etiquette or tradition has been broken over the last few years. Alternative is the word of the day, so why not plan alternatively too? Who better to tell you if you look beautiful in your dress other than the man you want to spend your life with? Whose opinions count more than your partners?
Secondly, we should (and by ‘we’ I mean everyone) all treat the bride and groom as a partnership. Lets not always defer to the bride to make all the decisions. It’s bypassing the groom entirely, as if his opinion is some how not valid, that simply cannot be true, after all it is his wedding too, his opinion (no matter how good/bad) is still valid.
And lastly, Grooms, I know you care. I know you do. I have stood in my shop here on countless occasions and I have seen you excited, apprehensive, nervous and ecstatic. I have talked to you about your plans for your wedding day. I have discussed your hopes, your dreams and I have listened while you describe to me the ‘best day of your life’. So I know you care. It is up to you to show everyone and take an active role.