What He's Really Thinking Before the Wedding
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Groom Musings1 of 11
By Brett Smiley
The thrill of engagement can quickly turn to anxiety: Now we must plan the wedding. While many brides-to-be have their noses in flowers, grooms often have one eye on the checkbook. (“$850 on invitations?” as one man I know shouted about the expense.) But cost is not the only pre-wedding concern. Here's what newlyweds, a couple men with nuptials this fall and some guys who've been married for a while say really goes on in a man's mind before the wedding.
Conversation Starters2 of 11
"Can we talk about something else?" Getting married is big news, but not necessarily the only thing a guy wants to talk about. “It was a little awkward [telling everyone], 'Hey, we're engaged!' But Facebook made it easier," says Brad, 27, who married last Memorial Day weekend. "Then I couldn't wait for it be over so people can start asking me about other things. I wondered what would change once we were married. Turned out, nothing—just titles."
Planning Perils3 of 11
"Why does it have to be so complicated?" Apparently guys can't just nod their heads and smile during preparations. "Wedding planning is the worst," says Greg, 29, who will be married this October. "Deciding on the tables was way more complicated than I imagined,” Brad recalls. "Figuring out who can or should sit with each other was like planning an Israeli-Palestinian negotiation."
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Family Matters4 of 11
"I hope that everyone will just be civil." Every family has its issues; ideally differences will be set aside on the big day. "I was worried about the families getting along at the wedding," says Brad. “Especially because my parents are divorced and their families don't get along well. Add another family in the mix and it could get messy.” For Dave, 29, his fears were realized: “I prayed that my [divorced] parents wouldn't make a scene. They did. Come wedding day, my mom refused to be in some family photos with my dad."
Must Be Dust5 of 11
"I can't cry." Ravi, 30, married two months ago, reveals what many of the other grooms probably think too. “I was flat-out afraid of getting a little too emotional during the ceremony. My brother-in-law told me how his brother was a slobbering mess at his wedding, and I did not want that to be me.”
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Boots Knocking6 of 11
"Someone will inevitably hook up." There's just something about weddings that makes people take off their pants, which is fine with the grooms, as long as it doesn't end messy. "I can envision a couple of pairings that might want to have some fun together," says Greg. "I can also envision a few that could end badly."
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Game Time7 of 11
"I hope my team's not playing." Sports fanatics aren't any less invested in the wedding, but they would just prefer that a big event doesn't kick off while they're at the altar. "I checked the sports calendar when we were picking the date," says Brad. "We ended up with the weekend of the PGA Championship, but I decided that was OK. Plus, we would be done by Sunday afternoon, so I could watch the end of the final round."
Down the Hatch8 of 11
"How much should I drink at my wedding?" This is a question Greg asked himself, with his wedding only three months away. "I don't want to get bombed and either make an ass out of myself or forget part of the night.” Brad echoes the sentiment: "I thought, Better make sure I don't get too drunk. You don't want to be 'that guy' at your own wedding." "But then again," says Greg, “all of these other people are drinking on my dime. … Why should they have all the fun?”
Making The Rounds9 of 11
"I want people to know I appreciate them being here." Some guests come a long way for the wedding, many of whom the groom doesn't often get to see. "I wanted to make sure I spent some time with each guest," says Sean, 31, married this past April. "I still managed to mess it up. At the rehearsal dinner, I made it to two out of 11 tables. At the wedding, I made it to maybe five out of about 18.”
Is This Registering?10 of 11
"I hope people buy from the registry." "Please, I beg of you, don't go off the grid and buy us a crystal candy bowl for a gift," says Ben, 32, who will be taking the plunge soon, speaking to the imagined cavalier gift-giver. "There's a reason we didn't put it on our registry in the first place. I would likely end up putting coins and paper clips in it and wish you had just followed simple protocol.”
List Service11 of 11
"I wish I could invite everyone." Most guys grapple with the difficulty of narrowing the invite list and the associated cost of having everyone they desired attend. "Do we have to send one to that relative no one likes who won't come anyway?" Brad asks. "Our reception room fits about 150, but we have to invite 180. So if everyone decides to come, then we may have to seat people outside in a tent or in a separate room. Yikes.”
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