You know he loves you. You've planned the big day. But what occasional fears are still swirling around in his head? Recently married man Logan Hill reveals what's really on his mind.
1. 'I do want to be a part of wedding plannıng'
Some grooms will be right there with you, mapping out seating charts with the same passion they bring to their fantasy football league. Others may have strong opinions about the venue or what sort of meat is on the menu, but say, 'Whatever makes you happy' when it comes to the flowers. At the outset of planning my wedding, I quickly realised just how many things I really didn't care about: napkins, chairs, envelope liners for invites - the list seemed endless. If I had mapped them all out on a Homeland wall of drawing pins and string, it would have looked like a vast web of indifference. But as the wedding planning progressed, I gradually began to discover the things I did care about - a welcome-night karaoke party, a set list peppered with our favourite house music - which made it really feel like our wedding.
2. 'One (or more) of the following is unnecessary:'
a) A bridal shower 'Wait, how is that different from a hen do? Why don't I get a groom's shower?'
b) The morning-after brunch 'Didn't we just feed them?'
c) Matching bridesmaids' dresses 'Are they, like, a team?'
d) A self-tie bow tie 'Who's going to tie it if we're not getting ready together?'
3. 'One (or more) of the following is necessary:'
a) Flowers 'Which ones are lilies? Ugh, no. What about, um, peonies? Yes.'
b) Invitations 'Can we hire someone to do calligraphy by hand?'
c) Seating 'My cousin Matt can go anywhere. Just not next to Ken. Or Annie. Or Mike…'
d) The first-dance song 'We did say At Last, but here's a list of 67 other options.'
4. 'Cake is cake'
The last time he really loved a cake, he was six years old and it had a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle on it. He's happy to let them (the guests) eat cake - and to let you pick it out. Don't overthink his ambivalence on this one.
5. 'Can we please put some boring stuff on the gift list?'
What's more useful, a crystal serving dish you'll use once every five years or a £30 grinder he'll use to make you freshly brewed coffee every morning? I was perhaps most thrilled to receive an Ikea gift card, which I used to buy bookshelves to combine our two libraries. Practical gifts might seem dull, but there's nothing unromantic about imagining a lifetime of normal days together.
6. 'I don't enjoy arguing about who gets a plus-one.'
If a wedding is a machine with many moving parts, each disagreement adds friction. Create enough friction and the whole process feels like a grind. If you find yourselves arguing to no avail, put down the spreadsheets and go out to dinner. Planning can resume the next day, when cooler heads prevail.
7. 'Hear me out on money.'
A wedding is expensive. Fearful of looking cheap - or unromantic - he will bottle up his financial worries. When he finally blows, allow him to vent, consider his opinion, and make any pricey decisions as a team.
8. 'If you really want my opinion - not just a co-signature on the decision you've already made - don't present options as equals if they're not. If you have a preference, explain why, and I'll probably agree.'
9. 'Your frenemies are exhausting.'
You know that bridesmaid who needs all the attention, who complains about stupid things but you're still oddly protective of and will not let him utter a critical word about? Your groom doesn't get it and will ask himself why you even want her in the wedding. But he knows now is not the time. He will keep his mouth shut and listen when you need to vent. Because he knows there will be plenty of time to dodge conversations and skip dinners with her - after the wedding.
10. 'The whole stag-do thing is kind of embarrassing.'
It's rare to find a groom who truly loves a stag do. His friends, on the other hand, love that it grants them permission to party like students. When he tells you, 'Nothing that interesting happened,' don't press for details. First, the groom often gets so wasted that he really can't remember. Second, he's likely embarrassed for his friends - and, possibly, for the way he's behaved in the past.
11. 'Yes, give me monkey work!'
Wedding planning can feel endless because it's largely invisible: you don't see results until the big day. This is why he loves a tedious, repetitive task. When he licks envelopes, folds orders of service or stuffs favour bags (preferably done with his bride and a cocktail), he sees progress that makes it all the more real.
12. 'My mum isn't going to change.'
He doesn't want to hear you pick her apart but knows that he may have to run interference to keep the peace. He can offer these services:
a) The emotional weather report.
Though he can't prevent psychological storms, he can forecast what might set her off. Always consult your local weatherman.
b) Parental peace offerings
He knows how to defuse tension with a thoughtful gesture that Mum will appreciate (Instead of a spa-day gift voucher, show respect with something personal.)
c) Take Your Mum To Brunch Day A little attention can go a long way. Have your groom take his mum out to brunch, just the two of them. No one will serve as a better ambassador for you than him.
13. 'I get the white-dress, princess fantasy, but I want you to look like, well, you.'
14. 'I also want you to look hot.'
As my bride thumbed through wedding magazines, I worried that she might look less like the woman I love and more like a sparkling cloud of sequins and white satin. But when I saw her step onto the aisle, I reeled with the feeling I'd had that first night I met her as I noticed the way her elegant, simple gown hugged her hips. Her wedding dress wasn't just pretty; it was hot.
15. 'I want to look hot too.'
It's not only the peacock groomswho want to look good. He knows all eyes will be on the bride - but he wants to feel like he belongs next to her. And he wants you to think that he looks good. Gently steer him with positive comments such as, 'That suit is gorgeous on you, and it would be even sexier if you had it tailored.'
16. 'Writing vows is way harder than I thought.'
I've been a professional writer all my adult life, but after months of wrestling with my vows, I couldn't think of any better lines than 'for better, for worse' and ''til death us do part'. Why? Because they carry the weight of all the other tongue-tied grooms who have spoken them before - including my father.
17. 'This is really happening.'
As you walk down the aisle, his internal monologue will proceed as follows:
a) 'Wow, she looks gorgeous.'
b) 'Keep it together. Keep it together. Don't cry.'
c) 'I am so hungry.'
d) 'I do. A thousand times, I do.'
18. 'I'm afraid of becoming a cliché.'
Leading up to the wedding, some of his idiot friends are going to make stupid, retrograde jokes about how his life is over: no more sex, no more excitement. He's going to laugh them off. He knows they're wrong; he's excited to marry you. He wants to be a husband - just not the lame sitcom version of one. To that end, plan a few hot nights together before the wedding. This will help ease his mind - and yours.
19. 'I'm sad the wedding is over.'
Your groom might gripe over the hassles of planning with an occasional, 'I can't wait until this is over'. But when it is, he will feel something unexpected: sadness. He'll miss the weekend venue tours, the calls from old friends, even the arguments that brought you closer. He'll truly wish the party never ended. That said, he will never want to get married again. Because he loves you. (And also because weddings are a lot of work.)
Words by Logan Hill