LOVE/HATE: The Sit Down and Shut Up Edition

I’m bringing you this week’s LOVE/HATE a day early because I’m feeling kind of peeved…which should be a big clue into how this edition is going to swing.

Clueless groom

I was reading, as I often do in my spare time, articles about weddings and wedding planning when I came across this little gem:

Here is all a man needs to know about an actual wedding:

1. Sit down and shut up.
2. If it’s your own wedding, stand up and say “I do” at the appropriate time.
4. If it’s your daughter’s wedding, sign the checks.

HATE HATE HATE. I’m so sick of hearing that grooms-to-be are too stupid to plan a party and that brides-to-be are too crazed to let their fiancés have any opinions. I’ll be happy when this piece of common “wisdom” finally dies out. It’s happening, albeit slowly — as more and more couples pay for their own weddings, guys are definitely taking an increased interest in where their money is going. Dudes as a group are neither clueless nor “just scenery,” so isn’t it time to stop treating them as such?

Of course, that’s just my take on it. What say you?

14 Responses to “LOVE/HATE: The Sit Down and Shut Up Edition”

  1. Jennie says:

    Just remember that his participation in the wedding will echo his participation in the marriage. No help in the wedding, no help in the house, with the kids, with the bills, with the lawn, with the remodeling, with EVERYTHING!!! Speaking as one who has been there, done it!

  2. I agree with you on the post, but I have to disagree with Jennie’s comment above. I have been with my fiancé six years, living together for four, and he does a lot around the house: shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry. He does everything on a par with me. However, I am 95% responsible for planning this wedding, because I’m interested in party planning whereas he’s not. Just because a man isn’t interested in planning a wedding, it doesn’t mean he’s going to be a bad husband. He’s there when I need him and offers untold emotional support – weddings just ain’t his thing!

  3. blablover5 says:

    I just wouldn’t let my guy get away with having no say and pulling the old “It’s girl stuff”

    Luckily he was willing to come with me to Hobby Lobby and other “girly” stores. And when I asked him his opinion I really wanted it, didn’t just want him to pretend he was contributing and do whatever I wanted.

  4. Twistie says:

    The one and only thing about planning my wedding that made me want to bang my head repeatedly against a wall and bellow my disgust to the heavens was the fact that Mr. Twistie honestly believed that list above was what I wanted of him and he had no business even having an opinion on anything.

    In the end, I gave up and accepted that he was going to show up and think he’d made me happy by doing what was expected of him…and he finally realized I needed to get some opinion – ANY OPINION – from him about ANYTHING. He finally told me that as long as there was live music and plenty of food, he really didn’t care about much else. Those had been arranged months before, so if he’d just told me that at the outset, we might both have saved ourselves a lot of misery.

    But the thing that really pissed me off in no uncertain terms was the way that up to that point (when I literally broke down in tears and begged him to tell me one damn thing that mattered to him) he thought he’d been doing what any woman would want by staying out of it all. His first wife hadn’t wanted his opinion about anything to do with the wedding, and all his friends kept telling him weddings are all about the bride, and the groom had better not have an opinion on anything if he knows what’s good for him. I think for a while there he forgot that I’m Twistie and not ‘any girl.’

    Since the wedding, though, there has been no dearth of help and support from Mr. Twistie. He’s a wonderful guy…he just listened to the common ‘wisdom’ over what I was trying to say. And that ‘wisdom’ is a crock of the first water.

  5. KTB says:

    I’ve been pretty clear in my expectations of my fiance from the start–I insisted that he participate in selecting a venue, the food, the music, and the honeymoon. I would take care of the details from there. He’s actually pleasantly surprised me a few times with opinions on things I didn’t expect, but really appreciated. I did what blablover5 did as well–when I asked his opinion, I genuinely wanted it and didn’t ask if I didn’t.

    And I also made him register with me, because I told him that he wasn’t allowed to complain if he didn’t participate. And he will do anything to retain the right to complain. 🙂

  6. Melissa B. says:

    Honestly, I think my FI has shaped more of the day than I have at this early stage! I was pushing for a small Sunday brunch wedding, but he really wanted the Saturday night celebration with dancing and a big guest list. Since he (and his family) were willing to put in the $ for the more expensive Saturday night and the bigger guest list, I agreed. We went together to meet caterers and look at venues, and we made both of those major decisions together.

    But even my FI can, on occasion, give in to the “it’s the bride’s day” mentality. When I tried to ask him about a color scheme, he said “it’s your call, you’re the bride.” Gaah! I’m working on training him to say “I really don’t care” when he really doesn’t care, and to give his opinion when he does care. I wouldn’t ask for his opinion if I thought it was “my day” and mine was the only opinion that mattered!

  7. I second your “HATE-HATE-HATE” and all the severity of it. If these women think their husbands are so inept and incapable, can one of them please explain why she wants to marry them?? And why on earth would any man want to commit themselves to a woman who thinks all he’s good for is writing checks?

  8. Mel B says:

    Every guy is different. My husband in the making is really not that interested in anything to do with planning, but he has helped me. He came to look at reception halls with me and will go register with me. If he had it his way, we would be getting married knee deep in gator poo at the Gator Pits in Colorado. Talk about redneck weddings! But he’s good around the house, great with the kids, and is planning the honeymoon. He could really care less what the color theme for the wedding is.
    Keeping that in mind, that he’s low-key no fuss not dressy, my wedding has a theme of nature and informal. Hopefully he will enjoy it, as will I.
    Anyone who takes on the attitude that “This is mine, you have no say-so” had better be prepared to have no say-so in other areas, like when he says “I’m buying this convertable and it’s mine and you have no say-so.”

  9. Mary says:

    I’ll chime in with another HATE on this advice. My DH didn’t do as much as I would have liked of the work of planning, choosing, and contracting with vendors. Even so, he went to nearly every vendor meeting with me and shared his opinions. One florist lost my business by treating him like a cute accessory I’d brought along, instead of as someone who may have a say in deciding to hire her.

  10. Summer says:

    I second Twistie’s comment. My FI was so set on the fact that this was MY wedding, and regardless of his input I was going to have it MY WAY and nothing was going to change that. That, exacerbated by the fact that he can’t make an honest decision to save his life, drove me insane. When we finally had it out about it, I told him this was HIS day too, and while I understand he really doesn’t care what kind of flowers we use, or what the cake and guest book look like, he needs to have what he wants and be proud of this day too, because it is OUR wedding, not just mine.

    So, yes, I am doing most of the planning, but on things he will care about I ask his opinion, and sometimes he gives it, and sometimes he honestly doesn’t care. He wants a good party, good food, good music. Oh, and he is 100% responsible for the tuxedos…AND he picked out my engagement ring with NO HELP from anyone and I love it to DEATH. So he made one, very important, decision on his own, I’ll let him choose the other ones he wants to make.

    I think honestly, it is a combination of the fact that so many brides give their groom no change to give input, and that most guys really don’t care about the little details we slave over…

  11. La BellaDonna says:

    My ex was full of opinions about what he wanted, especially as regarded what he was wearing (which I was making), but as I look back – not a lot of help went along with the opinions. And instructions. And no engagement ring, because he’d bought one before, and they wound up not getting married – but no engagement ring after that, either, despite my asking. Repeatedly. For anything. In the meantime, prior to the wedding, I wore a pearl ring of my own which I had bought on my left hand.

    In point of fact, it really was a road map of how the marriage wound up; he was extremely opinionated, wanted his way, and I got to do the work. It’s ironic that the pearl ring fell apart; so did the marriage.

    Twistie, by the way, I’ve tried to email you a couple of times at the address, and the keeps rejecting it. Is there an email address where you CAN be reached? Thanks!

  12. Twistie says:

    LaBellaDonna, that was a much clearer indictation of how things would go than the average ‘I’m not supposed to have opinions about this stuff’ mindset is. I’d say you’re well out of that one!

    You can reach me at gileswench at yahoo dot com nearly anytime.

    But speaking of menswear at weddings (which, hey, LaBellaDonna did mention in passing), that was the one decision I kind of forced Mr. Twistie into making. I told him at the outset that what he and the attendants on his side wore was entirely up to him and I wasn’t going to even worry about it. Four weeks before the wedding, I got a call from my brother the alpaca rancher asking what he should wear since Mr. Twistie hadn’t told him yet. He said if he didn’t hear soon he was going to show up in a kimono and a top hat. I told him that was fine by me, but I would tell Mr. Twistie to call and let him know whether that was okay with him.

    Mr. Twistie was duly horrified by the kimono and top hat option…and only marginally less disturbed, I think, by the fact that I genuinely wouldn’t have had any problem with it. Anyway, it did kind of force him to make a decision and do something about it. He told his guys to wear whatever sort of formalwear they already had…other than kimono.

    The alpaca rancher wore his own custom, brown Victorian wedding suit. Mr. Twistie wore his own morning suit. The best man wore black tails, another gentleman wore a grey frock coat, and my brother the medieval historian wore his kilt, a poet’s shirt, and a black corduroy jerkin.

    They all looked great, but a tiny piece of me regrets that the kimono didn’t happen.

  13. Jennie: I tend to agree with you, though I will admit that some guys just aren’t that into weddings. That said, planning a huge party is hard work and the groom-to-be should pitch in whether or not he’s enthralled by floral arrangements.

    Guilty Secret: You’re luck that you’re into party planning…but what if you weren’t? In some cases I think a guy who isn’t into party planning needs to step up to the plate to help out, even if that just means making phone calls to vendors or picking things up. Every little bit helps!

    Twistie: I think the problem I had with not just The Beard but with my entire family was that they assumed that because I had a wedding blog and a wedding book with an agent, I could “do it all.” Huymph to that! But yay for fun brothers! A kimono would really have rounded out the men’s side of the wedding, so yeah, it’s a shame.

    La BellaDonna: Talk about foreshadowing. Eep.

    Everyone else: Kudos to you for telling your guys that you actual wanted their input and assistance! They’ll never know, after all, that you need some help if all they have to go on is the old common wisdom.

  14. Serge Dad says:

    As a dad, I agree with the quoted advice.

    Know what I told my son-in-law? I said: Put a sock in it!