When it comes to wedding planning, if you think your groom should just nod his head, agree with you and write a check, think again. Today's grooms are more involved in wedding planning than ever before.
Grooms even have their own planning resources, such as the website The Man Registry, which was founded by Chris Easter and his brothers-in-law Jimmy and Bobby Horner in March 2008.
The guys got the idea for The Man Registry when a friend of Easter's got married. Easter wanted to buy a gift for the groom, but he didn't like the choices, so they developed an online wedding registry for guys, which grew into a resource for grooms.
"Couples are getting older and spending their own money," Easter says. "They're really paying attention to money. If I'm spending my own money, it leads to more hands-on involvement."
Plus, Easter finds that more than ever, guys care about the wedding. "A new sense of manliness wants to tackle this," he says, noting that marriage is a 50-50 split, so why shouldn't wedding planning be split, too?
"A guy can really have fun and learn a lot about the wedding process," says Easter, who got married a month after launching The Man Registry. He even had a groom's cake featuring the logo of his favorite baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals.
*Groomed for Success
From cakes to color schemes, a new groom is emerging, and he's going to make his mark on his wedding.
Just ask recent groom Jeff Kear. When he got married last year, he created a blog called "Groomasaurus." Its slogan: "Move over bridezilla ... wedding planning is for grooms, too." The blog attracted a following, especially among grooms-to-be.
"I thought I'd post every once in a while, but I got interested in the mindset," says Kear, who blogged on many topics, including lessons learned (he suggests recruiting friends to help plan the wedding) and the importance of including guy gifts on a wedding registry.
"I think guys want to have more of a say in what goes on," he says. "Women are asking guys to be involved, wanting to ask his opinion. They're pitching in."
Between creating a guest list and coordinating activities and other wedding tasks, Kear, who had a destination wedding in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, realized planning a wedding is a lot of work. "One thing I learned about the whole planning process: It's not easy!"
Kear hasn't blogged as much since he's been married, but he's still interested in simplifying wedding planning. He's the co-owner of two planning websites, http://www.MyWeddingWorkbook.com and http://www.MyWeddingWorkbookPro.com.
Many brides are excited, if not relieved, to have the groom's help.
"I think it is great for a bride to have her groom take on some of the responsibilities and not have to solely do it by herself," says wedding and event planner Kathryn Kalabokes. "It makes the bride calmer, and she feels that her husband-to-be really cares about her and the wedding."
Kalabokes says many of her brides and grooms are paying for the wedding. "They want to have more of a say in where the money will be allocated and what the wedding will look like."
Nowadays guys can get very involved in everything from choosing the theme to hiring the florist.
"It is natural for the groom to be interested in the food, bar and music, but I really like getting their input on colors, invitations and some personal touches that represent them," Kalabokes says. "Sometimes their suggestions can make the bride cringe, but other times, they can have some really great input."
Though brides typically take the lead, Kear says more and more guys are interested in planning their weddings. "I'm starting to see it more and more."
He says brides and grooms are questioning traditional wedding roles and doing things their own way.
"I think people have a lot of expectations of what it should be," Kear says. "Throw that out, and make it what you want it to be. It's your day. I think it should just be fun."