The following statement is not a scientific fact, but based on personal experience, I’m 100% sure it’s accurate: It only takes 10 days of sporting left-hand bling for a newly engaged gal’s To-Do-Before-“I do” list to completely explode. Sending out invitations. Trying on gowns. Booking venues. Narrowing down décor. While these activities are certainly important, the craziness of wedding planning can make it easy to forget the most important aspect of your wedding day. That would be, um, the fact that you’re getting married.
Here’s the kicker: Although the wedding is often referred to as “the bride’s day,” marriage is all about partnership…with a heavy dose of commitment, communication, listening, patience, trust, respect, and a whole lot of selflessness. That’s why I think it’s important to celebrate your man on the Big Day—so important, in fact, that I set aside an entire chapter in my wedding planning book, Hitched in a Hurry, to focus on the subject (Chapter 8, “Focus on Fiancé”). Because, you know: it’s his day, too.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR MAN FEEL LIKE THE MAN
1. Share Jobs With Him, and Actually Let Him Do Them
Three things he probably wouldn’t mind being in charge of:
- Reception Music—Ask him to compile a playlist or create a list of preferred songs to hand off to the band/DJ.
- The Getaway Car—Someone needs to take care of securing a chartered vehicle or booking a rental car. Why not him?
- Honeymoon Details—Suggested guy duties: Booking room(s), finding flight(s), and generally smiling a lot about the prospect of chilling out on a beach somewhere without a single mention of flowers, cake flavors, or any other wedding details that have been haunting him for the past few months.
2. Write Your Own Vows
If writing’s not your thing, the prospect of penning your own promises might seem intimidating. But scripting your own vows also happens to be one of the easiest ways to publicly celebrate all the things you L-O-V-E about your guy. Not sure where to begin? Here are two methods for your consideration:
Method 1: Write down all of your fiancé’s most irresistible qualities (or if you’re aiming for a lighter ceremony, consider his loveable quirks). Use your list to create unique promises, then fold them into the format of more traditional vows.
I, [bride], take you, [groom], to be my husband. No matter what life brings, I promise to love and support you through it all; if the Cowboys win the Superbowl or have another losing season; when you grow old and gray and can’t remember where you left your glasses. I’ll laugh at your jokes both now and forever, until we’re walking through eternity hand in hand.
Method 2: Put on your serious thinking cap and discuss the following question with your betrothed: “Upon what foundation do we want to build our future?” Reflect and write accordingly. These are the promises you’ll return to again and again throughout your marriage; a verbal representation of the covenant you’re committing to uphold in good times and bad. As Christians, my husband and I turned to the Bible for inspiration when writing our vows. For your consideration, here are the words we exchanged:
According to the will of God and my desire, I, Karley, take you, Taylor, to be my husband. Leaving my father and mother, I cleave to you. Through every year and every circumstance, I will remain constant in my commitment to you. I will always hope all things and believe all things in you and for you, turning your eyes constantly to Him who gave us one another.
3. Personalize His Wedding Band
You know how we girls and all of our moms, grandmothers, aunts, girlfriends, and so on let out squeals of excitement whenever a brand new engagement ring is flashed? Your husband-to-be probably won’t do that when you slip a wedding band on his hand, no matter what lengths you take to customize it. But still—a wedding band will be the first piece of jewelry many men have ever worn on a daily basis. So, some cool ideas to make his ring feel more personal:
- Written on His Heart—Engrave the inside of his band with a date, phrase, or Bible verse that holds significance for the two of you.
- Make Your Mark—Make his ring completely impossible to reproduce by incorporating your fingerprints into the band’s design. Get inspired by browsing virtual shop Fabuluster on Etsy.
- Something Old, Something New—Melt down a piece of your jewelry to create his band.
FINAL WORD: THE CASE OF THE FACELESS FIANCÉ
Gals, a final word on celebrating your betrothed. When it’s time to select engagement photos for your save-the-date cards, wedding website, guestbook, or whatever, help end the trend of the “Faceless Fiancé.” Wedding photographers have been trained to focus on you, because pop culture commonly refers to the wedding as your day. But like we just discussed—it’s his day as well. Meaning your future spouse should never look like an anonymous prop at your personal photo shoot.
Need more defined parameters? How about these: If your guy has his eyes closed, his back turned, is out of focus, or appears otherwise disengaged, pick another photo…no matter how good your hair looks. I promise—as radiant as you are, your man’s momma will want to see his pretty face, too.
I hope that you enjoyed this excerpt from “Focus on Fiancé,” brides-to-be! If you’re looking for additional tips and tricks about how to bring attention to your beau (or general advice about remaining sane throughout the wedding planning process), be sure to pick up a copy of Hitched in a Hurry: The ultimate how-to for a speedy “I do,” available now on Amazon.
A graduate of Pepperdine University with a degree in Creative Writing, Karley Kiker interned for Us Weekly and D Magazine, worked as an au pair in Southern France, and attended parties as a society columnist for People Newspapers before speeding through a 4.5-month engagement and marrying her handsome husband, Taylor. Her wedding planning guide, Hitched in a Hurry: The ultimate how-to for a speedy “I do,” was published in April 2014.
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