My name is Earl Reyes and I love to bequeath advice, especially when it’s not welcome. Hence my becoming a lawyer and my determination to make guest blog posts on topics for which I have marginal knowledge.
I like to think I can be a movie screen writer. A movie where Paul Rudd/Marc Ruffalo/Jason Bateman is getting married to Reese Witherspoon/Katherine Heigl/Kate Hudson, but the planning gets marred by various hijinks involving the groom’s stoner goofball friend played by Jack Black/Seth Rogen/Zach Galifianakis and her single uptight friend played by Judy Greer/Rebecca Hall/Rosario Dawson. My script obviously lacks a bit of originality. Perhaps I could work in zombies, vampires, or some ultra-violent Tarantino-esque gun fight. Or maybe I could have the groom be involved in part of the wedding planning.
This shocking proposition was something that I experienced. Moreover, my involvement made me feel less of a wedding prop. I was a wedding prop with influence. Despite what you see on TV and Movies, weddings are more than the afterthought of a Bachelor Party for us grooms. The man wants involvement too! We will not be as meticulous with the details as you, but we will state our cases why we should not have Hello Kitty ice sculptures as center pieces. We won’t know the difference between ganache or buttercream frosting, but we will tell you whether it tastes like shellac or not.
First, don’t be upset when we respond, “Oh, whatever you think is best,” “Whatever works,” “I don’t know, isn’t this why you have a GIANT stack of Bride magazines?” These responses are not necessarily out of lack of interest or hesitancy in having a wedding. There are going to be some details that actually don’t matter to us or we have absolutely no knowledge about. Asking us whether succulents or calla lilies should accompany the peonies is going to get you a blank stare. The utility of the cake is not a decoration, but a sweet dessert. Invite us to the tasting because we want to give input on, you know, the taste. We’re not going to give input on the cake’s shape, height, or number of jeweled edible beads. Yes, we want you to have a nice looking bouquet and cake. However, please don’t expect the groom to fret over the minutiae.
Second, give us a few tasks and trust us to get it done. Moreover give us tasks during both the planning and on the actual wedding day. During the planning stage, my wife put me in charge of finding musicians during the pre-reception, the limousine service, tuxedos for the men, and I was responsible for getting a set list (including our first dance song) prepared for the DJ. My wife never over-zealously bugged me about any of these tasks, she trusted I could get it done. The day of the wedding, I was in charge of distributing the checks to all the various vendors as well as over seeing other final management duties (more on that later). Therefore, my wife could focus on getting her nails, make-up, hair and eight hundred other tasks complete.
Third, give the groom’s mom something to do. It’s a special day for her. All those years of teaching her son manners, etiquette and chivalry have finally paid off. She doesn’t want to be left out and feel like a 3rd wheel. My mom helped my wife prepare all of the invitations and stuff the envelopes. It was nice bonding time for them both. Further, it allowed my mom to review the names and addresses of my side’s guest list. A second set of eyes never hurts.
I’m going to digress and briefly write about World War II. The Allied invasion of Normandy, was a masterly executed military battle that took months of planning for General Dwight Eisenhower and all the other Generals of the Allied forces. Once the battle had begun on D-Day, General Eisenhower had minimal input on the execution of the process at the field level, especially during the first days. He trusted the junior officers on the field to make the right decisions. They had a shared set of goals, but the little things were decided upon then and there at the lowest levels. Contrary to that, the Nazi Army couldn’t move an inch without approval of the top Generals hundreds of miles away in Berlin. Thus, the Nazis were slow to react and couldn’t quickly adjust to the advancing Allied forces.
Your wedding day should be executed like an Eisenhower battle plan. You have completed months of strategy, and now it is time to let go. Let the day take care of itself so that you can take care of yourself. Management should be at a minimum, and let others (like your groom or mother-in-law) make a final call on some of the last minute decisions. My wife would have not been able to enjoy her day if she was barking orders and, thanks to her thorough preparations, my barking was kept to a bare minimum.
So the moral of the story is: With the proper planning you can have a stress-free wedding with Paul Rudd/Marc Ruffalo/Jason Bateman and defeat an army of Nazis.