To All the Men Out There...
Whether you're engaged or planning to pop the question, we won’t lie… weddings are hard work. We have the first-hand knowledge about what goes into the big day and just how much has to be done to make sure everything goes smoothly.
But it’s not impossible to get through it without shaving years off your life or damaging your relationship with the person you’re supposed to be spending the rest of your life with.
Lesson 1: Real Men Get Involved in Weddings
It’s actually a bit of a cliché that the ladies do all of the planning while us menfolk sit back and focus on our sole task of making sure that we wear the right pants on the day. Perhaps my wife would say differently but I like to think I was quite involved in our wedding plans: taking pictures for invitations, arranging the playlist and checking with the Irish embassy to ensure that I could actually get married legally in the UK. I guess I wanted to leave my mark on the big day.
Lesson 2: Choosing the Suit
Ours was a casual affair and since my wife and I are low-paid journalists, I wanted to get a suit that I could use again. Somewhat optimistically we hoped that the sun would still be shining in early September, so I went for a simple suit and a purple tie to match the bride’s accessories. I’m a necessity shopper so once I saw the suit I wanted, I went straight into Black Ops mode: Tried it on once, paid for it and was out of the shop before the cashier could offer me a chargeable carrier bag.
Lesson 3: There's No Accounting for Relatives
I had relations flying in from Dublin, and just because my wife-to-be is marrying into my family doesn’t mean that she should be expected to find somewhere for them to stay. So as part of the invites, I compiled a list of ten hotels close to the venue with the idea of making it easier and simpler for everyone. Remember though, just because you give someone advice, it doesn’t mean they’ll take it, as I soon discovered when one half of my family booked a hotel 20 miles from the reception.
Lesson 4: Pick Your Fights
My wife is a self-professed music fascist, so it was important to take a stand when it came to the playlist. No matter how many times you think that you’ve got it down, you’ll always end up finding another way to refine it. It’s also important to not be tempted to choose songs that you listen to in the comfort of your own home. So it was goodbye to Neil Young and hello to some 80s hits guaranteed to stir up some “killer dance moves” despite some pursing of lips from the wife.
A minor victory this may be, but a win is a win. If you want to be involved in your wedding day, you have to be willing to make a stand. Play to your strengths when choosing what elements you want to become part of. And remember, it’s your day too.