Monday, March 12, 2012

It's his wedding, too.

Photo from Emerald Weddings
You know the story: Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Girl wants to get married, but boy doesn't. Girl tricks him into proposing, and then plans the entire wedding. Boy makes jokes like "She's just telling me what to wear and what time I need to show up." Everyone laughs and shakes their heads knowingly.

The modern wedding industry is sexist toward men*, casting them as reluctant grooms so turned off by the thought of marriage that they can't possibly be involved in planning their own wedding. Going even further, the WIC has invented a reality where grooms aren't just incompetent, they're actually a barrier to wedding planning. Brides Magazine does a feature every month in which they make their lone male editor do some sort of wedding-related task and then laugh about how bad he is at it. I've read "advice" in wedding magazines that tells you that your fiancé probably wants to help, but he is "too lazy or distracted" to follow through with his plans (actual quote from The Knot).

Part of the idea behind feminism is that strict gender roles aren't good for women OR men. The idea of women as weak homemakers who are bad at math is just as detrimental to women as the idea of men as sports-loving, beer-guzzling macho men who just want to eat chicken wings and get in fights is detrimental to men. In the wedding world, women are expected to plan the whole shebang (and love doing it), and men are expected to show up reluctantly the day of with no idea what to expect. But weddings aren't surprise parties for the groom.

I'm glad that women and men are recognizing that this is all total BS. Some guys are so into wedding planning that they are blogging about it.

In our planning journey so far, I have conducted the majority of the planning. There are several reasons for this, including my more flexible schedule as a student and my love for planning parties. But Adam is still very involved. We meet with most vendors together and CC each other on emails. When I take the bar exam this summer, all wedding planning power will transfer over to him temporarily, and I'm confident he can handle it. Why wouldn't he be able to? I chose to marry him because I want to build a future with him, and I anticipate buying a house, parenting children, and planning our retirement together in that future. Planning a wedding is way easier than any of those things.

Is your fiancé equally involved in planning, or does one of you do more work?

*Not to mention that it's extremely heteronormative. Sometimes there are two grooms and sometimes there aren't any grooms at all! What then, wedding industry?

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