Singaporebrides | The Groom Room

May 2011

Get Yourself Involved In Your Wedding!

No matter what the media says, the wedding is for both the bride and the groom. Yes, the spotlight may always fall first on the the blushing bride, but it is the silent, supportive man behind her that will get the approving nods. Here are some tips from Max, our writer and experienced groom, on how you can prevent a Bridezilla situation.

Setting the date, choosing the venue, writing down the guest list, sending out the invitations, deciding on the decorations, getting the perfect flowers, writing the vows, having your pictures taken for the album, and the dress, the cake, the speeches, the bridesmaids, the band of brothers, and so on and so on. Did reading this list get you all excited? Do you look forward to getting these things done? Yeah? Yeah! Oh, but that means you’re probably the bride. It also means you have to stop reading. Sorry about the ruse, but this article is not for you. Shoo, shoo!

On the other hand, if your throat is constricted, and your breath became irregular, and you suddenly felt very, oh! so very poor, you’re probably the groom. You are therefore most welcomed, and even encouraged to read on.

What we need to realise here is that the playing field isn’t level. Not one bit. As the story goes, girls start to forge a mental image of their wedding at a tender young age, while we, guys, spend our childhood teasing them and doing a good job of convincing ourselves that we’ll never be with a girl because they are, well, boring and clueless about tanks and trucks. You remember that time? Yeah, we’re such fools. And now the world’s gone around and we are the clueless ones. About weddings, I mean.

So let’s at least establish a base-line of the bare minimum the groom should do in order to be involved in the wedding preparations.

Get Involved #1: Write Your Own Speech

Write your speech! Simple enough? Because, well, please don’t let your fiancée write it for you! Not because she would include girly vocab or references to things no guy would understand, but really because the speech should be in your own voice. No need to worry though, as you are not alone in this world and some authors took their time to guide you along the way. The book ‘The Groom’s Speech & Duties’, from Octopus Publishing, is good help, and you can even get it for free from the library.

Get Involved #2: Get Your Own Wedding Outfit

Amal Kiran, a manager of 34 who’s been married for 8 years (but feels like it’s been 80), is the kind of guy who takes it easy. “I went to this Indian wedding dress place in Serangoon, chose one for $500, and never wore it after my wedding day. My wife still harps on it and insists I use it, but it’s an ethnic dress and can’t be worn to work, unless I want to look like an Indian groom each time.”

Get Involved #3: Get inspiration from your own life

Apart from the speech and your suit, a wedding’s not always about flower bouquets and table decorations. There’s also the music playlist to organise, photographers and videographers to hire, maybe a band, some booze to choose and friends to invite. What’s so terrible about that? It’s just like regular Saturday night! Get out with your friends, sample some bands and DJs, and uncork a few different bottles of wine to compare them. And if you don’t want to haul your friends around, then you can bring your bride; it’ll just be like dating!

Get Involved #4: Have fun like a man!

In the likely event that you don’t really know what to do to help, settle for what you feel is manly, or what you think you may regret not having been in charge of when it’s all done. Things like managing the budget, bargaining the prices, or doing hardcore decorations that demand carpentry skills. There’s some fun stuff too, like making a video montage of your childhood and dating pictures, especially those where you think you look bad. And for the diplomatic intellectual in you, there’s always the need to set ground rules, and confront Uncle Wilson about his excessive drinking habit, or Aunt Sally about her loud gossiping.

Get Involved #5: Getting advice (or not)

Don Rodrigues, a lecturer of 40, married 9 years, remembers one thing above all else from his wedding: “It was exactly how my wife and I envisioned it. Sure, we had to listen to input and ‘advice’ from many friends and family members, all experienced in the ritual by the sheer fact that they had gone through it. Once. Some of it was useful, the rest, well, not so. Ultimately we did what we felt we liked.” Building on Don’s words, it is also a good idea to keep a mother-in-law (well, both mums, in fact) out of the planning, as much as possible. It’s a question of keeping your sanity.

Get Involved #6: Marry a wedding planner!

And in case you think it’s a lot of work to organise the reception, well, Richard See, 34, and his wife Eileen, 33, organised THREE of them! Some might say they cheated a bit, because Eileen’s a wedding planner by profession, but still… THREE! And here’s what Richard’s got to say about them: “The first one was in Bali, followed by one in Eileen’s hometown of Tanjung Tualang, and finally at home in Petaling Jaya. At the end of the third reception I was experiencing a real wedding withdrawal syndrome! I really missed it! Haha!

“The whole thing wasn’t so stressful. Eileen was a lovely, considerate and wonderful bride. She knew what she wanted and also had her industry friends to help in most of the preparations. And whenever she couldn’t decide, she would let me make the decision. If I were to provide advice, it would be to give each other encouragement, not to take things ‘too seriously’ and remember that it is ultimately about the both of you. And the most important thing for me was to ensure that my bride was happy throughout the wedding planning stage.”

In short, there’s plenty of ways a groom can get involved. And you are, of course, permitted to ask your fiancée, at any time, if she needs help with anything, proving exactly what a good and supporting husband you’ll turn out to be.

To recap, a wedding is just a nice big party, where all your family members, your work colleagues, your boss! and your friends will gather together for the first and only time – quite a big deal, yes, but it’s not a moon-landing. So don’t worry about perfection, because, well, your wedding won’t be broadcast live all around the world, like a certain one we saw recently. You just focus on making certain the little girl who became your bride will have that wedding she’s been dreaming about for so long. And look on the bright side, it’s a wedding! It’s not like you’re having a baby. No, that one’s for later!