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Wedding Planning with Marcy E. Thornton
Share the load: Who said this was just your wedding?
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    As this is the last column in this series, I decided to bring in the big guns to help me out. See, this week is all about learning to share the load, something that neither brides nor grooms do enough of. So in that spirit, I invited my fiancé, Carl, to write up a groom’s section that’s just for you boys, while I wrote one for the ladies.
    Take it away, Carl:
    Grooms, try this: Fellas, put down the coffee and mute the football game for a moment, because right now it’s all about you, the groom. There’s enough advice, tips and information out there to encompass more than just what you see here, and if you’ve done your homework, then you’re already on the right track.
    But just in case you haven’t, here are some tips to get you started down the road that your wife-to-be probably has a head start on.
    A book that’s been invaluable to me in my research is “The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Being a Groom” 3rd edition, by Jennifer Lata Rung and Mark Rung ($9.95).
    “Chances are she’s probably handling more of the details than you are in planning this event. If you got off lucky and you don’t have to handle much outside the traditional groom stuff, here’s your chance to shine. Be the man she’s always dreamed of. Be her rock,” the Rungs said.
    And the best way to be her rock is to LISTEN! When your better half starts to talk about the wedding, mute the TV and put down the remote. Or better yet turn off the TV (you can afford to catch that play on the highlights tonight, this is more important). Be honest with your feelings, because you are a major part of this wedding, believe it or not.
    If you don’t like the idea of red trim covering everything in the chapel, see if there’s a different color she’d like or if you could put it somewhere else. You’re not really listening unless you’re paying attention and letting her know what you think.
    Also, get involved.  Unless your wife- and mother-in-law-to-be have told you that all you have to do is show up on that special day wearing the tux they picked out for you and say the vows they’ve written for you, chances are they’re going to need help planning this wedding.
    “Now, many grooms have more of a financial stake in their own weddings — and working women and their working mothers don’t have the free time they once did to pore over guest lists and invitations for days on end,” said the Rungs.
    The best thing for you to do is to think of ways to help that you will enjoy, and then talk to your blushing bride so she knows that you’re eager to take part in this wedding, too. For example: if you know she has her heart set on that cute little church where she grew up halfway across the state, then look into hotels in that town and see if you can’t get some kind of wedding rate for all the guests to stay in the same hotel.
    Finally, don’t procrastinate. Weddings, even small, intimate affairs, require months of planning and lots of logistics before the day ever gets close. So start today. Pick up a wedding planning book from the local bookstore, or just ask her if there’s anything you can do. Even if she says, “No, not right now,” it’ll put a smile on her face, and that’s what’s most important, right?
    Brides, try this: Ladies, I want you to read these lines very carefully, because they will save your sanity: learn to delegate. I don’t care how small you think your wedding is, it is way too big for you to plan the whole thing by yourself. You may feel all alone, but you’re not; if you’re getting married, you’ve got a partner.
    Granted, he may need a little prodding. He may never bring up wedding business until you mention it first, he may never understand the difference between silk and silky-satin polyblends, and he may never get it when you explain it the first time; but, honey, I can promise you that he loves you and only wants to make you happy, and he’ll probably jump through fiery hoops to make it so.
     So, what tasks do you delegate and when? Well, according to “Wedding Planning for Dummies,” 2nd edition, by Marcy Blum and Laura Fisher Kaiser ($19.99), it works like this: “Delegate sensibly. The idea is to save you time, not make more work, cost more money or cause hurt feelings.”
    Really, anytime you start feeling overwhelmed, that’s the time to call in for back up. For example, if you’ve got a huge project at work, but all those invitations need to be sent out yesterday, ask your sweetie to take care of the mailing duties. Notice that I said, “ask and ‘not’ order.” You are not Mao, and your wedding is no reason to emulate him. Leave the tyranny to the crazy dictators; you’re too busy being beautiful, sugar.
    Finally, the best advice I can give is to stop calling it “my”(your) wedding. I know it’s an easy habit to get into when you are discussing it with friends and family, but this is “our” (you and your beloved’s) day. Trust me, calling it by any other name will start to make you feel like you’re going to be the only one at the altar.
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