groom straightening his tie
Camille Leigh Photography

I'll be the first to admit it: I didn't grow up dreaming of being a groom planning a wedding. I've always looked forward to getting married and having a family, but the actual wedding itself was never something I cared about. I don't think many guys do. It's just not part of our culture. While little girls are encouraged to play make-believe about walking down the aisle, boys are often more interested in throwing dirt at each other.

As a groom planning a wedding, I dove in with gusto. Why would I make my future wife take on the burden of planning everything herself?

My mom was always surprised when I told her how involved I was in the planning process. I would tell her about a vendor I had just booked or the invitation I designed and she would tell me how impressed she was that I was a groom contributing to planning my wedding. I'm pretty sure I told her to stop living in 1956. In today's modern world, if you want to have a marriage based on equality and respect, you better share the load when it comes to just about everything and that starts with the wedding.

Becoming a groom planning a wedding wasn't just some chivalrous act to help my wife out. I genuinely believe that my role in making decisions about everything from crafting the menu to picking out the tablescape made me more invested in the wedding itself. More importantly, my involvement led to a greater sense of accomplishment once the big day finally came. It wasn't “what a special day this was,” it was “what an amazing day we made together.”

It's not okay for a groom to just show up and let the day play out. It's your day, too, pal. Have some pride and take ownership of your role in everything. Wedding planning is a massive undertaking. Whether or not you care about how the dessert table looks, it's not fair to leave it to someone else to decide all on their own. In fact, think of planning your wedding as a test drive for your marriage itself. Planning an event of this magnitude is probably the first major undertaking with your soon-to-be-spouse. It involves a ton of moving parts and an endless stream of decisions. If you can team up and develop efficient decision-making skills together while you get things ready for the most important weekend of your life, you'll have the piece of mind to know that you can handle just about anything together.

The one area I really didn't contribute to was deciding on flowers. It's not that I have no interest in floral arrangements – although to be fair, I have no interest in floral arrangements – it's that being a groom planning a wedding also means knowing your limitations. There's a difference between collaborating and forcing your way into final decisions just because you can. I know absolutely nothing about flowers. I don't know what looks good and, frankly, I don't care to learn. That's part of the beauty of the planning process. You and your eventual spouse can focus on areas that you enjoy. That's why I let my wife handle the bouquets while I designed the beer koozies. Just kidding. We didn't have any money left for beer koozies.

By the time we got to our actual wedding day, my wife and I both felt like we had created something really special. Every decision made was not only a reflection of who we are as a couple; it was also a testament to our ability to work as partners and successfully make something together. If I had taken some macho “women plan weddings while men drink whiskey” stance, I never would have felt the immense sense of satisfaction I felt when the wedding was over. Grooms have a responsibility to give their future spouses the best wedding day possible and that includes working together throughout the planning process to make a special day that neither of you will ever forget.