We’re not very good at math, but we’re pretty sure that when it comes to wedding planning, the odds say this: you’re part of the group that’s clueless.
Wait. That’s not entirely true. You have a very good idea about the real stuff, the important stuff, like, “I want to marry this girl.” You don’t need a website to tell you that. We’re also guessing that, quite frankly, you don’t really care that much about “wedding planning” or “groom duties.”
Here’s our little secret: we don’t take wedding planning too seriously either. We are serious, however, about helping you survive the process and avoid major missteps. There are plenty of pitfalls in the journey. Here are the 5 biggest mistakes you can make:
Mistake 1: Completely Shut Down
We get it. You think the words “wedding planning” are the two most disheartening words in the English language, or at least in the Top 5, right up there with “Erectile Dysfunction” and “Account Overdrawn.” So you’re tempted to let your fiancée do everything.
For one, it’s not fair, as you’re basically throwing her under the bus. You’ll also lose the ability to actually influence the things that matter. Use the 80/20 rule. By helping with the Big Three (guestlist, the location, and the date) you have a say in results without drowning in details.
Mistake 2: Become A Debbie Downer
This is the #1 complaint we hear from women: that their fiancés say they don’t care about the planning, but then, after months of gloomy silence, they criticize at the last second without offering anything constructive.
It’s a fair complaint.
We believe in full honesty, but to keep your Groom Karma good, every once in a while you must offer some positive suggestions, take a stand, and, if necessary, fake enthusiasm for her efforts. (You think she hasn’t done the same for you?)
Mistake 3: Ignore the Gift Registry
It’s only human nature. When your woman suggests that you spend 6 hours at Bed Bath and Beyond to lock down your “gift registry,” the typical male response–coded deep in our DNA–is to go fetal.
There’s a better way. If you take some initiative, you can actually avoid being stuck with a raft of gravy boats, garlic presses, and waffle makers. Learn how to game the system. You can register at places like Amazon, Target, and Wal-Mart that offer a range of non-sucky gifts. You can also exploit generous return policies.
See also: Groomsmen Gifts
Mistake 4: Turn into a Groomzilla
Careful. Don’t let the pendulum swing too far. Yes, you shouldn’t be a zombie. Yes, you shouldn’t be oblivious. But don’t go crazy. Don’t get so pumped for your wedding, so fired up, that you morph into the obsessive, penny-counting, micro-managing Groomzilla. This is the guy that cares way too much about every little detail, grilling florists and poring through wedding magazines and out-briding the bride. Never be that guy.
Mistake 5: Forget That Your Wedding Is a Party
Your wedding is a party—and parties should be fun. This is a fact that often gets overlooked by the very people planning the party. So, as the groom, it’s your job to keep things in perspective. Remember (and remind everyone else) that a good party should have good music, good food, good people, and good booze. To be more blunt: ensure you have an open bar, pick a good DJ/band, and make plenty of suggestions on the guestlist.
See also: Honeymoon Budget Spreadsheet
One more thing about perspective. At your bachelor party, you might be goaded, tempted, and guilted into doing something dumb.
Let’s say, for example, that your fiancée forbids lap dances, but your buddies insist. Don’t do it. We get emails all the time describing how a lap dance has thrown an ugly wrench into the final weeks of the engagement. That’s not to say you can’t negotiate beforehand, but if she draws a line, respect it. (For more on this, check out What Counts as Cheating at Your Bachelor Party.)
Your next step? Learn how to pick your battles. You need to know when you can Wake Up, and when you can Hit Snooze.