Gone are the days when a groom-to-be’s main obligation was to show up at the ceremony site washed, neatly dressed, and on time. Though there are still those timid souls who cower at the mention of catering headcounts and veil lengths, more and more men are taking an active interest in the planning and execution of their weddings.
The problem, according to Doug Gordon, author of The Engaged Groom: You’re Getting Married. Read this Book and the brain behind PlanetGordon, is that while brides-to-be have been dreaming of their weddings since they were yay high, many men are unfamiliar with the wedding planning process. Gordon helps engaged grooms (catchy notion, no?) find those areas where they can make a positive and thoughtful contribution to their nuptials.
Unlike many other wedding planning tomes intended for guys, this one was written with guys in mind. Don’t expect to open The Engaged Groom and find flowery prose. Gordon does not talk down to grooms-to-be or outline every single nuance of the wide world of wedding planning. Nor does he badmouth bridezillas or make clichéd mother-in-law jokes. He simply does what he can to help grooms-to-be identify the strengths and talents they can use to make their weddings truly special.
Gordon also identifies those dude-friendly aspects of weddings that men will feel most comfortable taking charge of, like music, photography, and food. He gives on-the-mark, practical advice, whether he is detailing how to tie a bow tie, how to format a wedding spreadsheet, how to choose an officiant, how to troubleshoot your wedding ahead of time, or how to create a registry. In every chapter, engaged grooms are given a clear picture of western wedding traditions and then reminded that they are under no obligation to bow to tradition. And in between passages of smart how-to’s and guidance for the male members of the wedding party, real grooms, vendors, and wedding guests weigh in on a variety of matrimonial topics.
The best part about The Engaged Groom, IMHO, is the countless times Gordon advises engaged grooms to take a wedding break. He sees the value of the wedding, but also stresses the value of preparing for your marriage. At the start of the book, he suggests declaring a wedding-free block of time.
“During the time of your mutual choosing, you and your bride should talk about anything…except your wedding…Like a carefully monitored IV drip dispensing 250 cc of perspective and relief, regularly going to dinner, a movie, or a stroll through a park can keep both of you calm and levelheaded as you hurtle toward your big day.”
And at the very end of the book (just before a quickie guide to eloping), Gordon likewise reminds potentially frazzled engaged grooms that while weddings are fun and exciting and special, they are overall less important than the marriage that will result. That is a sentiment I can get behind. So, if you happen to be a groom-to-be or you know one, I’d definitely recommend picking up this book.