Ever found yourself wondering what thoughts are running through your groom's mind during the wedding planning process? Even if you haven't, the women at Brides certainly have (wait, does he actually care about dahlias vs. peonies?! Unclear.). Thankfully, we've got the guys over at The Plunge to give us some insight into the (often cryptic) inner workings of the soon-to-be-married male brain.
So when you ask, “What do guys actually want a say in for their wedding?” we can certainly give you some super broad, non-specific answer of music, food, booze, the honeymoon, and maybe the registry—you know, the fun stuff. But every guy is different, every couple is different, and every situation is different. We know, that’s one of those “non-answer” answers but bear with us.
You’ve still got your classic, zero-f**ks-given guys. They tend to vocalize that they want no part in the planning process except to complain about how much everything costs. These are the Jay Cutlers of the world. Say what you will about Kristin Cavallari, but you have to wonder how she managed to marry a guy who remains the only, highly paid NFL quarterback who consistently looked like the last thing he wanted to be was a highly paid, NFL quarterback. But, he’s sure to have some redeemable qualities that only she seems to know.
From afar, this type of guy seems, well, awful, but his significant other is fine with that. So unless you’re currently filming an episode of 90 Day Fiancé, you most likely know the type of person that your partner is, especially if you’ve been cohabiting for a hot minute. You know whether your forever roommate is tidy or messy, whether they shower in the morning or the evening, and whether or not they’ll start a new Netflix series without asking first (total sociopath move on that last one, just a warning).
More importantly, you’ve got a good sense of the things they take active ownership of (making a mess) and passive responsibility of (cleaning up said mess). Some things they’ve got on lock, and others, well that lock is either broken, missing, or is still hanging on a shelf at Home Depot. This knowledge base will, in all likelihood, carry directly over to the wedding planning. Some guys will have it on lock, others won’t, and many will fall somewhere in between to varying degrees of “lockitude.”
For example, let’s say Fianc-A is paying for a large part of the wedding while Fianc-B’s family is footing the bill. You could imagine that A might have a lot more to say than B in the wedding planning because he has some skin in the game. Often, when someone else is paying, that can sideline a guy’s ability to say anything. They might feel that they haven’t earned the right to express their opinions on their own wedding. And well, that really sucks because you might lose him from the start.
Some of the big early decisions will have a large sway on how much your fiancé actually wants to say about the wedding. We’re talking about the where and when of the whole thing. If he’s not able to be an active participant in that (or doesn’t want to be), then he’s probably only going to concern himself with the things he’s super comfortable with. Make sure from the start that equal involvement is necessary and expected.
Guys generally (and we hate to speak in generalities) don’t want to agonize over things, especially the things they’re not familiar with or, honestly, the things that they don’t have any interest in. So let’s not use quantity as a measuring stick here, but the quality of his interest and feedback.
Invariably, there’s always going to be some weird little thing that a guy probably wants at the wedding and focuses way too much on—a specific brand of beer, a song that doesn’t quite fit the playlist or a guest you’d rather not attend. That can seem myopic (and a little annoying), but it’s actually an in to hooking him deeper into involvement and having a say.
He just might never be able to reach the same level of enthusiasm for wedding preparation as you. That doesn’t mean he’s not enthusiastic about it or that he doesn’t care. It just means his ceiling is lower (and it’s probably made of concrete). It’s like when you encounter a fellow fan of Westworld and quickly find out that they don’t read every article and subscribe to every fan theory about what the hell is going on. You might get frustrated that their fandom does not reach the same height as yours, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a fan or that their experience with this thing you share means any less for them.
If your fiancé does have some say, the question then becomes, "Will you listen?” This is your version of the “Yes, dear” effect. The quickest way for a guy to tune out is for him to feel that his contributions aren’t even being taken into consideration. It’s like checking his homework. That’s when the shoulder shrugging and eye-rolling may start to develop.
So to come all the way back around to the original question, “What do guys actually want a say in for their wedding?” Damned if we know, and we’re guys. But you know your guy. He’ll be into some things, not so much into others, and he just might surprise you with his laser focus on the decoupage on all of those mason jars.