I love this picture of Melody and Michael – one of my couples!
Michael really impressed me when I first met with them. Not only did he know how long they’d been together, he had clear ideas about what he wanted their non-denominational ceremony to be about. Heck, he even knew the color of their table cloths!
Michael worked with Melody in creating their wedding day. And as corny as it sounds, the satisfaction and joy and so much more of all that “work” is what this photo captures.
I always remind a couple that a wedding is the celebration of their life together and that it is not the bride’s coronation!
I feel disappointed when a groom shrugs his shoulders, smiles and says, “whatever she wants is fine with me.” No! That’s not what your celebration is about. Granted, a groom doesn’t necessarily have to go to the florist, but. . .
Several years ago I had the pleasure of working with event designer Colin Cowie when I officiated the non-denominational wedding ceremony of Survivor reality show sweethearts, Rob and Amber. Colin is wildly creative and has a great, wry sense of humor.
In one of his articles at The Huffington Post he offers several suggestions for how a groom can become involved in the planning. His ideas are spot on and I invite you to read his post: Finding Your Niche In Wedding Planning.
I especially agree with his opening insight:
Whatever style of wedding you and your fiancée prefer, as the groom you need to decide early on how involved you want to be in the planning process, and make sure your bride understands and is supportive of your role.
In my book How To Plan Your Wedding – and Stay Sane! I show how good, healthy communication is the surest way to vaccinate yourself from the insanity-inducing moments of wedding planning. And so I agree with Colin that you and your partner need to talk about preferences right from the start.
I’d also add to Colin’s list the ceremony itself.
I’m often contacted first by a groom and this is because either the couple did strategize at the beginning and scouting potential officiants was put on the groom’s to-do list or because the groom grew up with a stronger church-going affiliation.
While some grooms are so detached from the planning that it even extends to their opinions about the ceremony, my experience is that most grooms want to have a say in creating the ceremony. Ritual crosses the gender divide in ways that much of the wedding does not.
Last winter I officiated down in Orange County the ceremony of a couple where the groom is a professional football player. If you were going to go stereotype you’d think there’s no way this guy would have any coherent thoughts about the ceremony. But Logan was not a stereotype – he was a groom who had a shared vision of his day with his bride, Kelly.
As we talked about the ceremony, his insights were so astute that he managed to calm Kelly who was nervous that the ceremony was going to be flimsy (it wasn’t).
I was moved by how he cared for Kelly and understood that they wanted me to officiate a ceremony that was going to celebrate THEM!
I love creating wedding ceremonies for many reasons – whether those ceremonies are non-denominational or inter-faith or cross-cultural. But the chief reason is that every ceremony reminds us that for those who keep their hearts open to love, all things are possible.
Create that reminder together!