You’ve slipped the ring on her finger and now you’re engaged to be married. That is the very essence of it – you’re engaged. Engaged does not only mean to be pledged to married. It also means that you are actively involved. Yet I sometimes wonder to what degree men are involved in the wedding.
When I meet couples, we discuss various options and ideas concerning the ceremony. Many times the response from the groom is that it is her day and whatever she wants is fine. The groom has totally abrogated any responsibility for their special day.
Whoa there guys – it is your day too. She needs you engaged and involved for three reasons. The first is to show your commitment; to work together through whatever may come. This is a test of your teamwork. In the wedding ceremony, I talk about the ability to have shared values and dreams. This is the time to walk the talk and make something happen together. Working together as a team now, sets the tone for the marriage.
Secondly, if a decision needs to be made the day of the wedding, when the bride is in the limo on the way to the venue, the groom better be ready to make it. You need to know exactly what is happening to be able to make those decisions. I once was at the location for a country backyard wedding. The bride was on her way, in the limo. The rain plan was a relocation to the reception hall approximately 10km away. Suddenly, the heavens opened and I thought we needed an ark! There was no place for the guests to go and stay dry. I pressed the groom many times to make the call to relocate. His answer was to wait for the bride. When she arrived, she, of course, said to relocate. By this time, however, everyone was soaking and the decorations were ruined. A timely decision by the groom, would have saved the day.
Finally, the bride needs your balance and perspective. If she feels abandoned by you, she will feel the weight of the responsibility. Stress levels will build. People under stress do not always make the best decisions. Behaviours you’ve never seen in your Beloved, will show up. It is better to share the responsibility, share the stress and not end up with Bridezilla. You can offer other perspectives and kindly say, “Honey, what do you think about this instead?” If you’ve been engaged from the start and know what is going on, your opinion might actually count.
Wedding venues tell me that the groom often is not there with the bride in the planning phase. They are absent in the selection of the venue and the decisions for the meal. Her mother is there, instead of you. So no wonder the grooms who are not engaged look so clueless at the wedding! So the question to you guys is: Are you engaged or are you absent and clueless in your marriage?