My fiancé and I walked into our meeting at Pulp Papery last week to talk invitations with the owner.
Characteristically, I had nothing with me but the creative thoughts bubbling in my head.
And characteristically, my fiancé had his side bag filled with Martha Stewart Wedding magazine cut-outs, a sample he designed on his own, paper samples and a much more concise plan of what we, um, excuse me, HE wanted.
That’s right, ladies, I am engaged to a Groomzilla.
Needless to say, the lovely proprietor was incredibly impressed with my man’s creativity and attention to detail. I, too, was impressed, but felt like maybe I needed to step up my game.
As a little girl, like most little girls, I drew sketches of my future wedding gown (we’re talking hoop skirt, gianormous veil and flowers/diamonds/pearls coming out my ears) and my stable of Barbies were always planning some “All My Children” inspired nuptials complete with a headless Ken and five women in white metallic gowns clawing over the said headless Ken … but now, as an adult, as a real life fiancée, I feel uninspired.
I hate all the pressure, the responsibility of dealing with budgets, the making everyone happy but still making me happy and being polite to everyone in the guise of it all being so fun and romantic. I kind of just want everything and not have to haggle, so it’s not as fun as 11-year-old Ashley thought it would be. 26-year-old Ashley is not going to be on “Platinum Weddings” anytime soon, and she knows it.
And I have been engaged for exactly a year now, so I think the whole thing has kind of lost some of the original luster. No longer eager blissful bride but grumpy blistered event planner. I mean I’m starting to just accept advertisements of unhappy-looking models in bad bridal gowns as status quo.
So it is very fortunate that my groom-to-be is a Groomzilla.
When we first started envisioning the theme and feel of the wedding, we both got excited over some things more than others. But I knew I was in trouble when he said, “All I care about is the food, and the wine, and the music, and the photographer, and the invitations, and the attire.” Oh, and he requested I wear a strapless gown ‘cause he likes my shoulders. (Let’s be honest, I have great shoulders, but I ended up going with a halter, much to his chagrin.)
In case you missed it, check out Ashley’s article on the “Marriage Name Game.” Should she take his name? Keep hers? Make a fun combo (“Barkinson”)? Check out all the fun HERE.
“So, you are not interested in what? The flowers?” And truthfully, he is not interested in the flowers as evidenced by his playing blackberry poker during our meeting with the florist.
I am grateful that he is taking such an interest – most of the time. And, as I have learnt, the rise of Groomzilla-ism is not uncommon in men these modern days. As men are paying more of the share of the wedding, they become more invested in how their money is spent.
The big day is no longer viewed as the bride’s day, but the couple’s day. Both individuals want their tastes to be reflected and admired.
According to an American Weddings study conducted by the Fairchild Bridal Group, nearly a third of brides and grooms are paying for their weddings. Wedding planners have found that if the bride’s parents are paying, it’s the mom and daughter team, no boys allowed. But if the groom is helping out financially, he has wants and standards that need to be met.
He wants to make sure the wine stands up to his tastes. That his groomsmen are wearing something he would wear. That, you know, he has the best night of his life!
There is so an element of competition. Men want to have the party/wedding of the decade. They want their friends walking away thinking it was the best event they had been to in like a THOUSAND YEARS. Men want to make sure people know he has the nicest stuff, the greatest tastes, the prettiest girl, and knows how to throw the best dang party (in that order).
Another theory for the rise in scaling, clawing grooms is the average age of marriage is higher, so by the time it’s time to pin on the boutonnière, the man has his own style and opinion. In 1987, the average age was 22.3. Today’s average groom is 27.5. Think about 22-year-old men vs 27-year-old men … “Scarface” posters tacked on the wall vs “There Will Be Blood” posters framed.
Also, 70% of couples live together before tying the knot, so there is more familiarity and partnership in planning details. Couples can go out of their comfort zones and nitpick over quartets versus classic guitarists to their hearts content.
One of the funniest articles I have read about the lizard in the black wedding suit was written by a recovering Groomzilla, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/01/fashion/01love.html, and for him, it all started with a tie.
It’s true, I do need to step up my game if I don’t want Thomas Pink ties overtaking my wedding. Or, I could just go along with the ride and enjoy my green lizard’s good taste while he attends to detail.
Hmmm, maybe as a bride I can have everything without the hard work?