Photo: Andy Barnhart Photography
Far more grooms are participating in wedding planning than ever before. I've watched the change with fascination in the past few years, and it's really cool. And by "participating," I don't mean they sit there and say "whatever YOU want" to their bride when she asks what they think.
These grooms have real opinions and no fear of pushing back if their choice isn't what the bride has selected. They participate in wedding planning conference calls and communicate with the vendors along with the bride. I have noticed that when they disagree with their fiancés, they tend to pick their battles very carefully.
While every couple is different, most grooms are willing to let their future brides take the lead on the venue selection, the décor, choosing the photographer, and picking a cake. Most grooms don't surf Pinterest and Etsy, while their fiancés do it like it's a job. But I find that they do consistently care about the following four things:
1. The Attire: The groom is the one who has to wear the tuxedo, or the suit and tie, if the wedding is formal or semi-formal. The bride will be wearing the wedding gown of her choice no matter what attire they choose for the gentlemen in the wedding party and their guests. I've seen more than one groom put his foot down about wearing a tux for an outdoor summer wedding.
2. The Cocktails: Grooms have very definite opinions on the bar offerings — and they usually go from one extreme to the other, with very little middle ground. In my experience, the gentlemen either want a premium bar with all the bells and whistles, or they want a limited bar that will cost them as little as possible. And I've noticed most grooms usually get what they want on this point.
3. The Music: Although they're not as concerned about ceremony music as brides, most grooms have firm opinions on the music for the wedding reception. They're definite about wanting a DJ or live band, and they're clear about the list of songs they don't want to have played. Some even want to control the timing of the entire playlist, although we discourage that — the DJ can do a much better job of gauging what's needed on the dance floor at any given moment.
4. The After-Hours: While brides frequently poo-poo the need for another party after the wedding reception, grooms are big fans of after-hours parties at bars, on the beach, or another venue. Perhaps it's because the idea of shutting down the fun at 11 p.m. sounds awful to him, while the bride's thinking that she's going to be up at the crack of dawn and getting ready all day, and she's sure she'll be exhausted by then.
See More: The 50 Mistakes Grooms Always Make
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events and author of How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show Wedding Island, about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques.