Singaporebrides | The Groom Room
Beware The Groomzilla
Wedding planning has long been the domain of the bride-to-be. But these days, a new breed of men is threatening to take over. Fu Jinming dissects the Groomzilla, and shows how not to turn into one.
The wedding. It used to be every girl’s dream. Now, it’s most boys’ too. That is, judging by how involved men have become in the planning of their weddings.
According to a recent survey in the UK*, 60% of couples say grooms are more hands-on in wedding planning than years before. Over 50% of grooms say they decided on the final date and venue of the wedding. 42% think they are as competent as the fairer sex when it comes to organising their big day. And one in 20 had a say in the floral arrangements.
Hardly surprising. The stereotype of the man who only wants to be there for his suit fitting is about as dated as Hokkien wedding singers. These days, it is the grooms who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty in marital matters.
After all, why should women get all the fun? We’re calm in the face of danger. We’re decisive. And we have an innate ability to leave our emotions at the door, and give clear-cut directions to vendors.
Besides, the sheer scale of a modern-day wedding requires more than a one-woman show. There are meetings to be had. Arrangements to be made. And tasks to be shared. Weddings are not for the faint-hearted, but two heads are better than one. Two pairs of hands too.
And since it’s our special day too, chivalry dictates that we help the one we love get through the event of our lives. It’s an opportunity to be at our gallantry best.
All well and good. Until a few of us carry the obsession a little too far.
Where the bridezilla is a control freak, the groomzilla is an annoying, micro-managing man-diva who wants the final say in everything – including what his bride will be wearing to the altar.
You know the type. You might even have seen him before. He’s the one interrogating the bridal designer on the hemline of the bridal gown. The one terrorising the venue coordinator for chair options. The amateur auteur who insists on doing his own wedding montage – badly.
What you don’t see is the bride turning every shade of red when he raises his voice at a bridal fair. Or her parents smiling awkwardly as he questions the florist on the freshness of his boutonniere. Or his own folks as he attempts to art-direct the wedding photographer.
The fact is, nobody likes a diva. Much less one in a tuxedo suit fussing over the fabric of the dinner napkins.
How do you stop yourself from turning into an incredible hulk of a groomzilla, so your wife-to-be stays sane enough to walk down the aisle with you – without punching you in the face?
Let us count thy ways.
1. Play as a Team
It takes two to tango. Being actively involved in the wedding planning means your bride doesn’t have to do everything herself. She’ll appreciate the extra help, while you’ll earn precious brownie points down the road.
Just remember to complement each other. For example, she might be good with colours, while you’re better with people. So let her make the call on the aesthetics of the wedding, while you focus on liaising with the venue staff. If she’s into party planning and you’re into finances, let her organise the banquet entertainment while you sort out the budget.
That way, you play to each other’s strengths. And every one is clear on his or her responsibility.
2. Trust Her
Once you’ve decided on the duties you shall each perform, give her your complete trust. That means not calling her incessantly about the venue, the food, or – heaven forbid – the cupcakes for the reception. If you don’t want her to nag at you for the rest of your wedded life, extend the same courtesy to her now.
An important part of that trust will come from how you conduct your meetings together. Always come away knowing what needs to be done next, and who will be doing it. Then set deadlines.
If your lady can be a scatterbrain at times, politely ask if she needs a reminder. Otherwise, give her the chance to be a responsible adult. If she does forget something, she’ll feel lousy about it even without your nagging.
3. Keep Calm and Marry On
Whatever you do – or she doesn’t – don’t lose your cool. Blowing your top rarely solves anything.
If a problem arises, or if something doesn’t go to plan, stop. Take a deep breath, and calmly think about what you can do to resolve it.
Ranting and raving at the people involved – the bridal designer, the tailor, the banquet vendor, your groomsmen, or (gasp) your bride – doesn’t help anyone. It makes the situation tenser than it already is. Worse, it reflects badly on you, upsetting and demoralising every one – including your wife-to-be.
4. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Nothing is perfect. Unfortunately, that goes for your wedding too. While you’d want every little detail to be immaculately planned for, it’s impossible to account for every button, petal, and canapé crumb.
Accept that not all will go according to plan. The good news is, unlike heart surgery, a wrong move at a wedding won’t kill anybody. And honestly, nobody’s going to notice that little jump in the dinner muzak.
Know that you can’t do everything yourself. Involve your best man and groomsmen early in the planning if you can – with your fiancée’s blessings, of course.
You can appoint someone to be in charge of the alcohol. Another to take care of the wedding favours. And someone else to work out the day schedule. Just be sure to brief each appointment holder thoroughly on his role. Then let him fly like a peacock.
6. Be Realistic
Sure, you deserve the wedding of your dreams too. But keep it within reason.
Pulling up at your bride’s place in a flaming red Lamborghini reeks of showiness. Lining your big entrance at the venue with fireworks will invite the cops. And assembling 20 groomsmen on your big day takes bromance to a new, comical low.
So when in doubt, KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).
You’re not marrying yourself. So when your fiancée has an opinion on the wedding plan, stop what you’re doing and listen up. She may have noticed something you’ve missed. Or she knows a way to organise the seating arrangements better. It may even be that she has an idea that will make your life much easier. All you have to do is put your ego aside, hold your tongue, and lend her your ears.
And while you can have an opinion on her bridal gown, accept that she’s the one who’s going to be wearing it. It’s something she’s dreamt of her whole life. So don’t go dismissing her design ideas, or dictating what she should be wearing instead.
You may think you’re wearing the pants in this marriage, but trust us – she’ll be deciding which ones you’ll wear.
*UK study by Austin Reed