Updated: Feb 4, 2019
I’m marrying my fiancee, Laura, in May, and I have a confession to make: I’m super excited about it. We booked the venue a year ago and since then I’ve bought a stack of wedding magazines. I’ve cut out pictures of flowers, decorations, cakes, suits, even dresses for Laura. I bought myself a special wedding scrapbook and I pasted the pictures in their relevant sections. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about themes, music, readings, vows, the wording for the save the date cards and invitations. We’ve had meetings with florists, photographers, booked a band and accommodation. And we haven’t even begun to tackle the table plan or choose the menu.
When it comes to the amount of time and effort we’ve made with the planning, I’d say Laura and I were about equal. Apparently this is unusual. There’s very little groom representation in the media. And what there is often deals in dusty stereotypes – the groom isn’t supposed to care about much beyond the booze and the beauty of the bride. He isn’t interested in cake, he’s not bothered what the venue looks like. And the flowers? Don’t even go there. If he spends time worrying about what he looks like himself, he’s a peacock. If he gets too involved in the planning, he’s a groomzilla.
That’s how I’ve been labelled anyway. Friends of mine have found my level of involvement hilarious. And there are some I wouldn’t even risk telling, for fear of their comments about my manhood.
It’s true I have been getting perhaps a little too intense about it. When an old friend of mine told me he couldn’t come to the wedding because the date clashed with a work event, I blew my top. ‘But I sent you a save the date fridge magnet six months ago!’ I screamed (to myself – I was too angry to even communicate with him for weeks). ‘This is one of the biggest days of my life and you’re missing it for work!’
But it is a big day for me. One of the biggest. The commitment I’m making is as big and life-changing as Laura’s. That’s the whole idea, right? We’re a couple devoting our lives to each other. Marriage implies the biggest form of reciprocity we make in our lives.
I always knew getting married was traditionally a bigger deal for the bride than the groom. Supposedly it’s the day the bride gets to be the princess she’s always dreamed of, and the groom is in the background, doing what he can to facilitate those fairy tale fantasises. But now my own wedding is on the horizon, I realised just how much I wanted the day to be special for me too. I love a good party. Most people do. Isn’t that the main reason we have them to mark special occasions? I want my wedding day to be the best party of my life – a day of fun and joy and colour.
Even in today’s enlightened times it’s hard to admit that. As a man sometimes it’s hard to admit feeling anything – unless you’re drunk or it involves football. I once lived with a bunch of lads who frowned upon any form of sensitivity whatsoever. I couldn’t even comment on the weather. We left the house one morning and I mentioned that it was surprisingly mild outside. ‘Mild? Mild?! What the fuck’s wrong with you, you poof? Fucking mild…’ That was the response I got verbatim. Apparently real men only ever notice the weather when it’s at its most extreme: boiling, freezing or pissing down. Anything in between shouldn’t register on their radar. Maybe it’s no coincidence that men with feelings are now dismissed as snowflakes.
But I can’t help it. I like coloured pompoms and I want them at my wedding, dammit. The same goes for pretty flowers, good music, dancing, and love, don’t forget the love.
I want it to be special; a day I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Is that wrong? If it is, then I don’t want to be right.