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"A lot has changed in the last 30 years," says Bradley. "These days, 51 percent of couples pay for their own wedding. Another large percentage divides the cost three ways-the couple and both sets of parents." That means modern grooms can and should have a larger role to play in wedding plans. Bradley offers a few ways to help get the guys more involved.
His and her tasks
"Both the bride and the groom should take on sole responsibility for specific areas," says Bradley. "Try to match those areas to your interests." So the groom, for example, might want to handle music for the reception, organize the bar or choose the photographer or videographer. And, just like the bride, the groom should be involved in choosing what his attendants will wear and what gifts they will receive.
Weddings also involve some major, big-budget decisions, says Bradley, and they should be made by both the bride and groom. "You need to decide together where the service and reception will be," she says. "You'll need to set the budget and decide who will pay for what. You also need to agree on the guest list."
Same with the menu. You both need to decide what you'll be serving and how much budget you'll allocate. Plus, think about whether you want a "men's area" at your reception. "Many modern couples are adding a men's corner to the reception with such things as beer or brandy," explains Bradley, "things men tend to like more than women do." It can be a nice nod to the fact that weddings are a shared experience.
Another great experience to share? Registering for gifts. "A lot of men like to be part of the registering," says Bradley. "Go to a big department store together, walk around and make notes as you go. Then you can make decisions about what gifts you'd like to register for. It should be fun experience-talk about it together."
Having fun together is particularly important when you're planning a wedding. Let's face it, all the work can get stressful. That's why Bradley advises taking breaks once in a while. "Go away once a month for a dirty weekend," she says. "It's a good reminder that you love each other. Don't even talk about wedding; talk about the life you're planning." After all, it's not just a day you're planning-it's a whole marriage.
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