Fiancé What?

Does She Want You to Help, or Does She Just Want You to *Want* To Help?

While we’re pretty full of ourselves here at The Plunge, we admit that sometimes we have no idea what women want out of the wedding planning process. That’s why we turn to our friends at BRIDES whenever we need an honest, female point of view. Check out this latest insight from the bride’s side.

It’s 3:08 pm on a Tuesday and your fiancé has sent you nine text messages—nay, paragraphs— in a row about your wedding favor cookies. Through her iMessage novella, you discover she’s already coordinated with the baker, negotiated the price, and decided these cookies are special to you two in a way that no other wedding favors have been to any other couple in the history of baked goods and bonding ceremonies.

So…uh…what are you supposed to do?

See the above hypothetical scenario as evidence of a very real question for most grooms: “When it comes to wedding planning, do you want me to help—or just want me to want to help?”

The answer is simply yes; we want both. Easy, right?

“Can I get a little help here, please?” is a sentiment that rings true for many brides. Granted, that assistance comes in many forms depending on said bride-to-be. Figure out what your partner needs by…wait for it…asking her. You’ll probably be thrilled to find it’s less than you think.

Some brides want an effort at enthusiasm; if she sends you a message with approximately ten exclamation marks, don’t you dare respond with a one-word “Cool.” text. (Try a funny GIF instead!)

Others prefer occasional troubleshooting and soundboarding; “I like doing most of the planning myself,” said one newly-engaged lady. “But he helps me problem-solve when I’m stuck, and he’ll always hear me vent.”

But for most of us, it’s about the trying, not the triumphs. Think of it like gym class, boys: we’re just looking for active participation.

“I want his opinions, but I don’t need to push my own wedding expectations on him,” another fellow bride acknowledges. “I just need him to ask me ‘What’s new in wedding-land?’ every day. Otherwise—even though I know he cares—I’ll convince myself he doesn’t.”

Oh, that’s another point: Grooms, you are allowed to care!

In 2018—when “groomzillas” roam rampant, and the Queer Eye reboot inspired a skincare regimen in some men far more involved than that of their partners—feel free to give us all your thoughts on florals and linens and cake flavors and invitation suites. Nothing is off limits! Unless you or your soon-to-be spouse is a certified wedding planner, neither of you is more equipped to do this thing than the other. Gender norms are increasingly being thrown by the wayside, and thus gendered wedding planning feels increasingly silly. Instead, know your strengths as individuals and delegate responsibilities accordingly.

Sometimes those do fall into more traditional buckets: if she’s always fantasized about fairy lights and farm tables, while you’re more concerned with sourcing the best whiskey for your signature cocktail, so be it. But some men obsess about table settings and centerpieces, while their future wives find no joy in comparing seventeen shades of beige napkin options. You do your “I do,” man.

While both of you can manage yourselves and your respective tasks, check in with each other anyway—not in a passive-aggressive or obligatory way, but with a “Hey, I love you” approach. Again, it doesn’t take much: One well-placed Cookie Monster GIF, and we’ll remember why we literally couldn’t do this thing without you.

A couple sit on a bench, the woman with her arms around the man's neck, kissing him on his temple.
Photo by Almos Bechtold

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