Marriage / weddings

Is It All About the Groom?

I’ve attended many a wedding lately; as true to statistical form, we children of the baby boomers are traipsing down the aisle somewhere around the age of thirty. Besides the older median age of marriage, many things have changed about getting hitched since our parents’ day. One is the shared responsibility couples often take in planning their weddings. Gone are the days when the bride’s mother arranged the whole shebang. Grooms today are often heartily involved in everything, from the menu, to the playlist, to the décor.

In fact, a few months ago I received a phone call from a bride-to-be who was beside herself because her groom would not compromise on his elaborate wedding vision. What could I say? The man wanted his linens and china just so, and by golly he would have his way. So, too, when I married did Hubby have an opinion. There were many details that he cared about far more than I did, including having a cheese tray with dessert and which candle holders to use. As I remember it, he was downright emphatic about the GD cheese tray.

In any case, the wedding was certainly “our day.” The cliché has always been that a wedding is “her day.” But is it possible that this norm is slowly morphing into “his day?”

Recently I’ve heard of a couple of weddings where the groom was the star of the show. Okay, maybe I’ve been to one or two, but I’m not naming any names here. Besides their increasing influence on cuisine and ambience, some grooms leave an impression in another way: effusive wedding speeches and Power Point presentations made in their honor. To be fair, this isn’t always the groom’s fault; it’s often a symptom of doting friends and, ahem, mothers. And yet, in these cases, a montage of the groom’s 1980’s hairstyles can easily become more memorable than the bride’s strapless, off-white gown.

It’s clear that equality in gender roles is changing the dynamics of weddings and marriages—as I see it, for the better. I’m all for men sharing in raising children and doing housework. But is this equality leading grooms not only to share in the wedding-planning experience, but also to outshine their brides on the big day? Maybe not quite yet, since the bridezilla cliché still seems to be the norm. But as for whether the grooms of tomorrow are sitting around dreaming of their butter cream, layer cake and perfect tuxedo (and not just homosexual grooms-to-be in the state of New York), we shall see.

If in the next few years you hear of a new reality show called Groomzillas, just remember: you heard it here first.

First published on Betty Confidential

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