"I want a big wedding."
"We can have a big wedding if you want to plan the thing. That's too much work and it stresses me out."
In August of 2013, I got married. I planned the whole wedding. To put it simply, it was AWESOME. A fun time was had by all.
Our wedding, in 2013
A few weeks later, a friend of mine - a man - was getting married. One of the first things he did was come ask me for advice on planning his wedding, since he was doing all the planning as well.
That got me thinking. When I began planning my wedding, in late 2012, I’d never heard of another man planning his own wedding. Since then, I've had three other male friends plan their own weddings, and I’ve met several other men who have also undertaken the task. What's causing this? Is it a real trend? Three's a trend, right? Stats are hard to come by. But is it so crazy to imagine? Gender roles are changing, or being reassigned. Part of that change includes men taking on tasks that have been traditionally assigned to women.
And hey! What if you're a gay man who's getting married? Awesome. If you guys are planning the wedding yourselves, you're definitely gonna be a man planning a wedding. I'd wager this book will be far, far more useful than your average wedding planning book.
Now why, in this day and age, does a man planning a wedding necessitate a different kind of wedding planning book? Is this a book full of gender stereotyping and dick jokes? No.What this book is is an appendix – a corollary – to traditional wedding planning books. What I found while planning a wedding as a man is that many of the wedding planning how-to books out there provided only minimal value. Additionally they focused unduly on factors of wedding planning that I didn't care about, while completely ignoring areas that were of importance to me. They assumed I knew things I didn't know, and didn't know things I did.
Here’s a concrete example: in dealing with the choice of wedding dresses, most books focus exclusively, and rightly so, on the woman’s needs and the design of the dress. This is all stupendously useful for the woman choosing a wedding dress with her maid of honor and her mother. The groom, however, needs a different type of information. He needs to know how to be supportive in this process. How to help keep things in budget, and how to help his bride not get railroaded by an overbearing mother or bridesmaid. He needs to learn what a bridal salon even is, and why anyone would ever consider dyeing a pair of shoes. There are plenty of books offering advice to the bride, none on offering advice to the groom on what he can do to make this process go more smoothly.
That’s what Man Nup is all about. It’s designed to re-cast the wedding planning process for a different type of person filling the role of planner. It’s a practical, hands-on guide for someone who comes to the task at hand with a different background and set of knowledge.
Wedding planning is a highly social task in which dozens of people participate. Yet at its core, there can be only one planner. You're either in a support role, or you’re the planner. The two roles are very different. Being in a support role to your spouse plans the wedding is a very different act than planning it yourself. This is also true if you choose to hire a wedding planner to handle the grunt work for you from beginning to end. You and your betrothed then move into the support roles. Why is all of this relevant? Because there are lots of books out there for men in the support role, but none if they are the primary planner.
If you’re in a support role, this book may still prove useful. You'll pick up the basics of wedding planning, and will become more aware of potential pitfalls and traps (and there are many). In fact, I'd venture say you'll be much more useful to your future spouse, having read this book, even if you're not the primary planner.
But really, this book is for a groom who plans on doing the heavy lifting of the organization, budgeting and planning the wedding. This is a book for a groom planning a wedding.
Finally, I talk to other real, actual men who have planned their wedding, and share their insights, advice and experiences. How useful is that!