From the dress to the flowers to the table settings, it is hard to deny that weddings are typically about the bride. At the ceremony, all guests rise as she glides down the aisle, and the bouquet toss—although cliche—is nearly a necessity at the reception.
But don't fret, male readers, the times are changing. More recently, grooms have been finding ways to include their interests and personalities into the Big Day.
"I try to really incorporate things that are important to both the bride and the groom," says Nicole Walesch, the founder, director, and owner of b.inspired. "I try not to make their wedding cookie cutter."
As a wedding planner for couples around the Twin Cities, some masculine trends she has seen include pre-wedding poker parties, post-ceremony cigar rollers, and groom cocktails.
One of her grooms, Mark Geraghty, even had a groom's cake which, according to Walesch, is traditionally a southern wedding component.
"I think it was important for both of us to incorporate elements of our history into the wedding," says Geraghty, who married his wife Chelsea on July 24, 2010. "Chelsea knew that Larry 'Legend' Bird is my favorite athlete and she worked with Gateaux Inc. to ensure that he was part of the night."
However, pre- and post-ceremony elements are not the only way grooms are indulging in wedding-day bliss. Just as women have something old, new, borrowed, and blue, men are dazzling wedding guests with their own accessories. "We add accessory elements--hats, walking sticks, gloves, pocket squares--to embellish [the outfit]," says Anthony Adler, president and owner of Heimie's Haberdashery. "It's the small details that add up to defining a man."
Adler is also quick to emphasize that grooms really do care about the colors, flowers, and cake choices. "Guys are just as sensitive and aware as women are. We live in a new society where men are involved."
According to Walesch, this shift has been inspired by trends such as men getting married at an older age and the increased involvement of the groom's family. When [men] marry older and are spending thousands of dollars, they definitely have an opinion, she says.
In the months leading up to the wedding, it is easy to get wrapped up in the planning and small details that are sure to thrill your guests. However, there is a happy medium between being involved and trying to steal the bride's thunder. Chances are, grooms, your soon-to-be wife has been dreaming about this since since she first saw The Wedding Planner.
Geraghty's advice to other grooms: "Tread lightly and look for the little touches where you can contribute your interests."
Cake photo courtesy of Mark Geraghty; Mark and Chelsea wedding photo courtesy of Kelly Brown Photography.