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We asked Maria Ferragine, the owner and principal wedding consultant of In Style Wedding Planners in Toronto, to share her tips on how to include your fiance in the wedding planning process.
1. Is it 'your wedding' or 'our wedding'?
It's not uncommon for a bride to hijack the planning process so that she has control over creating her perfect day. But when the bride refers to the wedding as "my big day" or "my wedding," it can make the groom feel as if his opinion is not necessary. When consulting with a couple, Ferragine often takes note of the vocabulary that is being used. "I always listen in for 'our wedding,' because I think that it really speaks to the couple and how much input the groom is going to be lending," she says.
If you find yourself referring to your wedding as exactly that -- "yours" -- take a step back and think about how this might make your fiance feel. "I think the first thing, if you really want to incorporate your fiance, would be to make him feel that his input is wanted, appreciated and needed," says Ferragine. "I think the vocabulary that you use should be reflective of that desire."
2. Consider your groom's interests
When you're putting together a big production like a wedding, every available bit of help is welcome. If you want to get your groom involved, put him to work by giving him tasks that you know may interest him.
"I think that it's important to delegate duties to your fiance in areas that he's either really experienced in or really passionate about," says Ferragine. For instance, take a little pressure off of yourself by asking your fiance to choose the DJ, the entertainment or the caterer -- or whatever aspect of the wedding he's most interested in.
Page 1 of 2 -- Discover three more great ways to get your groom involved in the wedding planning on page 2
3. Listen well and ask questions
In Ferragine's experience there have been times during the wedding planning process where she can tell a groom has something to say on the tip of his tongue, but doesn't manage to get it out because he may not feel that it's his place to have an opinion.
"You really have to listen," says Ferragine. "It's all about communication. A marriage is going to be built on communication, so if the groom, for instance, really hates the colour pink, just try not to get pink." If you're not sure if he has a colour preference, make sure to ask.
4. Be respectful of your fiance's personality
It's very important to avoid making assumptions about what you think your groom is going to be OK with. "Just be respectful," says Ferragine. "For example, if somebody is really shy, you can't expect him to go and do a choreographed first dance. A dance lesson is awesome, but a choreographed first dance? It's probably not going to fly so well," she warns. "You just have to really listen and know the person and know how far you can push him."
5. Learn to compromise with the groom
Sometimes you may be dealing with a very hands-off groom and it may be difficult to know exactly what he wants, but Ferragine says it's always easy to know exactly what he does not want. If you are going to involve your partner in the process, be ready to compromise.
"There has got to be understanding, open communication and compromise," she explains. "You don't want to get off on the wrong foot by making your groom feel pressured."
Ferragine also stresses that it's important to not go overboard on the planning process. Learn to avoid stressing about your wedding every minute of the day -- and remember to take the time to enjoy each other. The key is to communicate with your soon-to-be spouse and to remember that you're a team now.
"I think really engaging your partner is also a matter of making him feel wanted and letting him know that it's actually his big day, too," says Ferragine.
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