Wedding Planning - From My Fiancé's Perspective
For this week's wedding planning post, I thought it would be interesting to get a different perspective on things. Not even from a wedding planner, planning her own wedding...but taking it a step further and seeing the man's side of things. I am lucky enough to have a supporting fiancé who was willing to guest blog for us and share his insight.
Here are Jason's words of wisdom for recently engaged men going through the wedding planning process...
"So guys, like me you probably spent countless weeks, months, maybe even years finding the perfect ring for the woman you love. You mentally exhausted yourself finding a meaningful way to pop the question...and you finally did it. Congratulations, you're engaged!
Now what? Our job is done, right?
Now is when our soon-to-be-better halves unleash their wedding scrapbooks, Pinterest boards, and mountain of wedding magazines...wave their magic female wedding wand and "boom", everything is planned, right? Meanwhile, we can sit back and wait a few months before worrying about the extent of our responsibilities...planning a bachelor party, finding a tuxedo, and making sure we are not late to the ceremony. Yeah right.....
Then reality sets in, and you realize that a wedding is a union between you both, and that your fiancée not only needs, but really wants your input into making your day special for you both.
Do NOT panic...it's going to be okay!
As a recently engaged man, I can assure you that the whole process of planning your wedding will be much easier on you both, mentally and emotionally, if you follow a few simple rules:
- Determine your ideal wedding location. This doesn't mean the exact venue, but rather do you want to get married in your current city...in one of your hometowns...indoors or outdoors...or perhaps even at a special destination (like Vegas, a beach wedding somewhere warm, etc). Knowing and agreeing on the approximate geographic location will help you better figure out the size and budget of your wedding.
- Speaking of budget...make one that you both agree on! Weddings for most women are like automobiles, motorcycles, or sports for us guys. If not supervised, we will gladly pay thousands of dollars for a new exhaust system and headers for our car without batting an eye...and the same applies to wedding details and costs for some women. Don't get mad if your fiancée starts showing the signs of "wedding gaze", that crazed, euphoric look in their eyes when browsing sites like "The Knot" online, or when looking at photos from friends weddings. This is the same euphoric look we get when walking into Home Depot, or Fenway Park for the first time. Instead, sit down at the very beginning and agree on a realistic budget ceiling. Take into account if you will be paying for your wedding yourselves, or if you will be receiving assistance from either of your families. Knowing what you have to spend, or how much you will need to save up, will help you determine the size and scale of your wedding. Trust me, this may be a matter you both don't see eye to eye on, but it is probably the most important part of the whole process...so work together.
- Set a realistic timeline. If you are lucky enough as to already have cash on hand to cover your entire wedding budget, then this point may be moot. For the other 99% of us, use your budget to determine how long it would take you to save the money needed to plan your wedding. This will help you to know if you need six months, a year or more before the wedding date should be set. I would recommend setting up a joint wedding savings account, which you both agree on a set amount of money you will deposit, depending upon your financial situation. Pay all your wedding costs as you go from this account, as it will simplify the tracking of costs and help prevent either one of you from "going off the reservation" and blowing your budget.
- Watch out for wedding pressure! Depending upon your situations, ethnic backgrounds, cultural influences, and social status, you will most likely receive some sort of pressure from family, friends, or other sources in regards to when, where, or how big your wedding should be. Perhaps you want an intimate wedding with just close friends and family...while your family may consider "intimate" to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 people, including "that one guy who you met once at a bar mitzvah twelve years ago". While some familial considerations will almost always need to be made (sorry, that may mean inviting "Crazy Uncle Joe"), remember that this is YOUR day. The worst way to start a marriage is bankrupt and drowning in debt...that's what college is for. Do what is best for you as a couple, and what you can realistically afford.
- Don't lose sight of why you are marrying her! Life is stressful. Planning a wedding is stressful. Planning a wedding while keeping up with work, kids (if applicable), and other personal or professional commitments can be overwhelming for you, but also for your fiancée. You'll probably argue over costs, maybe over details, but it is vital that you always remember why you're getting married. Keep that love in mind, and work together to plan a day that is special and meaningful for you, and you may even enjoy the wedding planning process.
So guys, congratulations on your engagement. Just keep in mind that you are more than just arm-candy for that special day. You and your fiancée are partners...so work with her and help plan the wedding of YOUR dreams!"
xx Jason Payne