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The FAM Editors
By Emily Howald Sefton
By Real Brides-to-Be
By: | Posted: 01/25/2013
You finish each other's sentences. You feed one another from across the table at the restaurant even though you know you're being "that" couple. You know being "meant for each other" is such a cliche but it applies to you two, it really does. Everything is just soooo great that it's slightly unnerving . . . and then the last six months of wedding planning hits.
OK, who is this person and why is he so adverse to making any decision about what's supposed to be "the biggest day of our lives"? Why are we fighting about imaginary deadlines and which set of dishes get scanned on the registry (or whether we have a registry at all)? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY MAN, WEDDING PLANNING?
The fact is, a couple could be the most outwardly perfect, annoyingly calm pair in the world and a wedding would bring out the inner troll in them both. I admit I've probably been less than agreeable. From the beginning, I told myself that Ian and I would not fight about a single detail (OK, maybe just one in a weak moment), and that's just another example of a perfect lie we brides tell ourselves. Never have I been more aware that men are a "different species" than during this process, and at some point in these last three months before the wedding (!!!) I decided to sit down once and for all with my usually better half and lay our cards on the table.
In a few hours (and after about three fights over time), Ian and I understood each other. I told him I didn't want to plan this thing myself, that I didn't want to resent him on our wedding day for not taking a more active role. He told me he wasn't expecting a "non-traditionalist" wedding would take so much work, and he wondered what had happened to his logical future wife. He admitted he would do much better with a checklist, so I sent that to him today, trying not to overwhelm.
When it came time to sit down and write this blog, it occurred to me that many grooms probably feel isolated from the planning process—whether that's self-perpetuating or not. The man needs to be truly heard and understood throughout, just like his bride. Exploring "the other side" a bit more, I began a quick Q&A session over e-mail with Ian in hopes he could shed some light to share. One thing I'm learning is to remember it's that it's about you both, no matter how hard mounting details threaten to cannonball your sense of reason clear into La La Land. Remember your love for one another before you launch into a fight over napkin rings.
What's your overall opinion of wedding planning thus far?
It revolves around the idea that the people who have hired a wedding coordinator are somehow both surficially lazy and incredibly smart. I'm convinced that envisioning, planning, executing, and being in a wedding is some kind of superhuman feat, like a super-marathon people train for years to run.
Has the planning been as you expected it to be?
I had a MUCH different idea about it, one that said approaching it in a non-traditional way would somehow make it easier. It does not. While I did promise that I would not get bogged down in the details, the details themselves apparently have other plans. I realize that I'm a massively frustrating, stubborn person to deal with at times, and I'm sure that I've complicated the planning process more than necessary, but I'm learning to be more helpful and less hardheaded. I'm sure that learning process will continue beyond the wedding day.
What are some common traps you feel women get into when it comes to planning their wedding?
Building up the day too much. There's a whole life to be lived after that day, and that's what most people should be planning for.
What's been the biggest hurdle to overcome?
Trying to figure out attire for groomsmen scattered across the US without resorting to Men's Wearhouse. But I'm up for a challenge. And I dislike Men's Wearhouse that much.
What makes you nervous?
Reading the vows has me nervous, because I'll be beyond emotional and the resulting video will probably be something less than flattering. It'll probably end up on YouTube. But I'm crazy excited to see everyone we love in one place. Planning a wedding has an impact on your social life, and it'll be nice to get together with everyone you haven't seen in a while.
Kara is a communications manager at U.S. Bank. See her engagement story.
Taylor is a magazine editor at MSP Communications. See her engagement story.
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