Is He Interested, or Not? (Male involvement in Wedding Planning.)

‘Guess what????!!!!’, I shrieked when my then fiancé arrived home from work. Judging from the look on his face, after a hectic day, I’m sure he was hoping for my answer to be ‘I bought you a six pack of beer, it’s in the fridge and you can watch as much porn as you like for the rest of your life!!’. ‘Hey sweet girl, what’s up?’, he half mumbled, half spoke, in a very weary voice. ‘Well, I managed to secure a videography and photography package and it’s such a good price!!!’. So, whether he wanted to know the dollar figure, I was going to hand it over anyway. Once I mentioned the price of this very important ‘I must have’ item for our wedding, something very strange happened – he kind of went in to this trance – kind of a cross between a kangaroo in the headlights and utter shock. I wasn’t sure what to do – call 000??. No, come on Lindy, that’s a bit dramatic. In reality, I really had to start preparing myself for him to respond like this to so many things I’d gone ahead and organised for our wedding.

So, when my fiancé emerged from his ‘how much?’ daze, he asked me to perhapscheck with him before I went and spent that much money. And you know what – fair enough too.

The day after, my fiancé confessed to me that he’d had a conversation with his best mate a couple of weeks after our engagement (who he’d also asked to be his best man) about how much he thought our wedding would be. He admitted to his bestie that he thought we’d get away with the wedding for about $10,000. He said he was quite surprised when his best mate threw his head back and laughed, and followed that up with ‘mate, you’re marrying the most low maintenance/non-princess girl I’ve ever met, and I can guarantee you, there won’t be much change out of $20,000’. I think it was at that point, my fiancé had kind of mentally and emotionally checked out of the wedding planning, before we’d even really started. I found involving my fiancé in the planning process quite difficult. He trusted me to engage the suppliers I thought would give us the best bang for our buck. I would run things past him, and he would ever so swiftly find anything he could to try and change the subject. For probably about the entire planning process (ie 15 months) his mobile phone, all of a sudden, took on what I called a ‘silent ring tone’, in that, we’d be halfway through discussing something to do with the wedding, and he would say ‘is that my phone? – that’s my phone – sorry sweetheart, I have to answer it’. I took this as – he’s not interested. I even went as far as thinking – why did he even propose, if he doesn’t want to help organise our wedding?.

After speaking with a couple of girlfriends and work colleagues about it, I very quickly learned that my fiancé’s reaction to discussions about flowers, save the dates and colours was completely normal. I also learned that I only needed to raise issues if that’s what they were or had become – issues. Other than that, he was quite happy to let things tick over with me project managing the entire event. You might be surprised though – two days before our wedding, my fiancé asked me ‘so, when can we head out and finalise the guest accommodation?’. I didn’t quite know what he meant, but I tagged along with him anyway. What unfolded, in front of my eyes, left me feeling completely flabbergasted. We’d made reservations for most of our guests (as many were travelling from interstate), and he was finalizing the final balance of their bill. He worked so effectively and efficiently with the reservations manager, to ensure everyone would be as comfortable as possible , with seamless check-in experience. You might need to work out some strategies for how to bring up the things you really need to talk about. My strategy was sneaky, I admit it. If we had to go out anywhere (as in, take the car), that was when I would raise wedding related stuff for us to talk about – he was in the car, he had nowhere to go. But, my plan backfired, because he would still change the subject, by giving me a running commentary on how bad everyone else’s driving was. I soon discovered this wasn’t working. So, instead, I would volunteer to drive, and that way, I was the one concentrating on the road (and the other apparently ‘incompetent’ drivers), and he was freed up to think over what we were discussing. Undoubtedly, he was staring out the passenger side window, thinking ‘oh please, how can I escape?’.

You’ll tear your hair out over many things. An example of this, for me, was tableconfigurations at the reception. I came up with what I thought was a reasonable plan, ran it past my fiancé (it was on the screen of my laptop) and he said ‘yep – fine, good’. But then, when I was organising the table nametags in to piles, he did the whole ‘hang on – why are those people not on a table together?’. This was, of course, followed by me rolling my eyes, saying he’d given me the OK for the table configurations, but upon closer inspection, he declared it should be changed around to accommodate for this, that and the other. So, I think, for those of you reading this article, it would be safe to assume he wasn’t listening and didn’t pay enough attention to my efforts in the table configurations in the first place. Bottom line – it didn’t matter, it wasn’t a huge issue – we just had to shuffle a few things around.

You’ll find yourself going back and forward on a lot of things (hence why you need to allow sufficient time to organise and plan). We had a beach ceremony, and I had engaged a highly recommended decorating company to assist with the provision and set-up of chairs, flowers, an arbour, umbrellas etc, etc for our beautiful setting. About six months before our wedding, I was having coffee with one of my bridesmaids, and it kind of hit me like a ten tonne semi trailer. I was talking about how the chairs would be set up, and how absolutely gorgeous it was going to look, and that’s when my voice kind of trailed off, followed by ‘oh, actually….’. My bridesmaid touched my hand and said ‘hey, you OK?’. I just shook my head and said ‘oh my god – he’s going to take all the credit!!’. With a blank expression, my best friend said ‘um, I need more information’. I explained that my fiancé and his attendants would be on the beach, greeting the guests, waiting for us to arrive. They’d be saying things to him like ‘wow, this looks amazing’, or ‘you’ve done well!!’. I had this vision of him saying ‘yeah, I did OK, eh??!!’. My friend kinda laughed and said ‘oh honey – they’ll KNOW it was you who organised it!’. At the end of the day – it DID look bloody mind-blowingly stunning, and really, who cares about who organised it??. I was absolutely in awe of the decorators – they put all of my visions together to produce something I’d only ever dreamt of.

As we left the reception venue and headed to our wedding night accommodation – I realised - WE had done it – WE got married!. WE had pulled it all together, WE had endured the difficult times together, WE had sat down together with our heads in our hands, wondering how we were going to keep ourselves sane until the day, WE had proven to ourselves that WE work together brilliantly as a team. There may be days when you feel as if you’re planning your wedding in complete and total isolation. You’ll feel frustrated, because it’s almost like your fiancé isn’t taking the whole planning process seriously, and you’ll ask yourself ‘why aren’t they even interested?’. They are, it’s just in a very different way. I guarantee you – they’ll surprise you – it might be at the 11 th hour, but they will come through for you – for both of you. I realise I finish off all my articles in a similar way, and this one is no different – the way your fiancé looks at you, as you’re walking towards them, on your wedding day will wash away your worries. Just keep your eyes planted on them, because in their eyes is the most beautiful person they’ve ever had the privilege of meeting….they’ll be pinching themselves that you’re walking towards them, agreeing to spend the rest of your life with them….

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