The Bossy Bride
"When the bride takes charge of the wedding and dismisses the groom's ideas, he starts to worry that this is an omen for what's to come after the wedding vows," says Greg Jenkins, partner, Bravo Productions in Long Beach, Calif. The lesson: don't keep him on the sidelines. Even if he isn't jumping up and down when you ask him about wedding colors, he may actually care that you chose lavender over mauve.
The Bar Menu
While it's not surprising that the man is likely to be responsible for the bar, these days, creating a signature drink that's reflective of the couples taste and style is sort of the pièce de résistance at the bar. He is going to put a lot of effort into deciding whether the party should have a bourbon bar or beer flights from local microbreweries, says Kate Franzen, founder of Glint Events, in Richmond, Va. Instead of treating it as one more wedding planning to-do, encourage him to go brewery hopping with his buds to help make the final decision a fun one.
Rowdy frat brothers make bachelor parties unforgettable, but the groom can get nervous about his buddies' shenanigans at the wedding. "No one wants to be embarrassed in front of their new family, and especially the future in-laws," says Kevin Dennis, owner and DJ at Fantasy Sound Event Services in Livermore, Calif. Since he can't babysit friends who may not know their limits, it's best to entrust the best man to keep the crazy ones in line.
Grooms are often the ones who worry about the budget for the wedding, as they tend to be minimalistic and somewhat more realistic than brides. (Think: you want handwritten calligraphy on invites and he thinks a script font from a paper printer will do.) "Once you have a number down on paper, he is going to want to stick to it, no matter what," says Franzen. "It's not that he doesn't understand the emotional investment of the big day, it's just that he's more comfortable spending on practical things, like mortgage payments." As long as you two know how to compromise, consider this a plus since his "two cents" can keep wedding costs from getting out of hand.
Wielding a registry scanner is fun, but at the end of the day he may feel overwhelmed by too many tchotchkes—do you really need a $50 wine bottle opener or another set of monogrammed hand towels? Remember that these items are going to live in your home for a long time, so make sure he registers for something equally exciting, like a grill or a nice set of tools.
The Lifestyle Shift
Even though you've been together for a while and have the His-and-Hers friend time figured out, wedding planning tends to rejigger what one deeps a good use of free time. Suddenly, he's spending weekends going to florists instead of watching the game with his guys. "Fear of giving up his freedom is a concern," adds Jenkins. While he knows that this is all part of the process, the overall idea of a major change in one's life can cause some guys to be edgy.
It's not just the first dance that can make him sweat. If he's not into breaking it down Dancing with the Stars-style, knowing that his dance moves will be in the spotlight can be quite worrisome, adds Jenkins. Grooms who tend to be more shy need to remember that it's all about perspective; it's not a national competition and guests aren't keeping score—they are too busy having fun.