Weston & Emily


Now we’re back with Part II of Emily & Weston’s wedding grad post, this time from the groom’s side. (And may I tell you, his advice and perspective sounds so much like my own husband’s, that it makes me wonder why we don’t all listen to our eminently sane partners more often.) Now, grooms and other partners who are reading this post? Get writing on your own already! And now, I bring you Weston himself:

Weston & Emily | A Practical Wedding

My wife, Emily, began reading APW during our wedding planning, and she would often send me posts to read. Once she started writing her thoughts for a wedding grad post, we figured I should share some of mine as well. Weddings take two people, and a lot of the stress of wedding planning comes from the different perspectives and opinions we each bring.

Weston & Emily | A Practical Wedding

As a guy, we’re taught that we shouldn’t care about wedding planning, that it’s the “bride’s day.” That always bugged me because it was my wedding, too! None of my guy friends ever asked what the wedding was going to be like; it just didn’t register for them. My female friends would ask me, “What’s Emily planning for X?” or “Has Emily done Y?” There were a few times when I wanted to tell people, “Hey!  I’m getting married, too!”

Weston & Emily | A Practical Wedding

Thankfully, Emily was very clear that she wanted it to be “our” day. And it’s true, a wedding is about the couple. Marriage is about the two of us going through life together, and we get to start practicing that in our wedding planning.

Weston & Emily | A Practical Wedding

The idea that it’s the bride’s day might be why Emily seemed to feel more pressure than I did. Not that the feelings she described weren’t valid; I just didn’t feel them. I would keep telling her that everything was going to be okay, that she didn’t need to worry so much about what people would think. She would respond that people would only be judging her, not me, because they would assume that she did all the work even though that wasn’t true in our case.

Weston & Emily | A Practical Wedding

I think now, looking back on it, she would finally agree that it really is possible to just relax and give up the stress. It’s hard for a type-A personality to admit that, which is why, if you’re the type-A one in the relationship, you should listen when your partner tells you to calm down. Emily would have gone through a lot less stress if she’d just listened to me in the beginning! (I’m mostly kidding, but I do think that’s why it takes both people to plan the wedding – you’re in a relationship because you balance each other out, so you should use the wedding-planning as an opportunity to let the other person complement you and shape you into a better person, just as you’re trying to do the same thing for them.)

Weston & Emily | A Practical Wedding

I think part of the reason I look back on our wedding planning as a great experience is that it gave us so many opportunities to learn more about the other, and to spend time talking about what we want in marriage and life. Sometimes that’s stressful, but we found that as we focused on getting ready for marriage, we got more and more excited about the person we were going to walk alongside for the rest of our lives.

Weston & Emily | A Practical Wedding

Photos by: Evan Chung

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  • Faith

    You sound much like my fiance as well. Those men, they can be pretty smart, ya know;)

  • http://nickandnoragettingmarried.wordpress.com Annie

    First of all, the dual husband/wife post is awesome. I love getting two full posts with both perspectives. Second, Emily and Weston are both so honest and open and sensible. I just love their reflections on the day. In Weston’s post, I love the discussion of how society tends to focus on the bride as the main planner of a wedding, when really it’s a wonderful opportunity for both parties to grow and help each other.

  • http://www.laughterinthelou.com Emma

    Just wanted to post a note to say that it bugs me as much if not more than my fiance when people direct questions only to me or refer to it as “my” choices or ideas! I correct them with “our” and “we” as much as possible, but it’s just the norm to turn to one and not both. This is SO silly when, regardless of gender or sexuality or even personal preferences, the entire event is happening because an I is becoming a WE.

  • http://youngsandinlove.blogspot.com valery

    I didn’t even finish reading this post yet. I teared up halfway through, because it hit SO.CLOSE. to home. Yesterday was one of those wedding planning days where we were both at each other’s throats and so friggin mentally and physically and emotionally drained from being two weeks out from the wedding. I’m the type-A one, and he’s the one telling me to calm down. And this paragraph: “…eally is possible to just relax and give up the stress. It’s hard for a type-A personality to admit that…you should listen when your partner tells you to calm down…that’s why it takes both people to plan the wedding – you’re in a relationship because you balance each other out, so you should use the wedding-planning as an opportunity to let the other person complement you and shape you into a better person, just as you’re trying to do the same thing for them” had me choking up because I realized that is what is happening between us, but I was fighting it tooth and nail (huge stubborn streak). This post helps me realize that the “calm down, no one will notice” comes from a place of love (not an inability to relate or understand what is important to me) and even though some of us type-As have a hard time listening to that, it helps me to know that he is balancing me out and we are making each other better. Sigh. I think this one of those times when my heart understands it quicker than my head. Hopefully my head will be able to listen to his coaxing to calm down and let go at his coaxing soon enough. Thanks for a great post at a perfect time.

    • Weston

      I’d add that him saying “calm down” is a substitute for “share it with me” and “you’re amazing and awesome, so trust yourself”. The first comes from a perspective where he’s asking you to lean on him, and the second from a perspective where he looks at you and sees how accomplished you are, and wants to let you know. I know for me and Emily, those were the main things that I wanted to convey to her when she’d get stressed.

      • Amandover

        Weston, I love that!
        As a Type-A who occasionally gets frustrated, I’d just like to say to Type-B spouses everywhere that when we are in an agitated state already, “Calm down” can sound dismissive and insulting. So, since you feel that you have a better perspective and are able to remain calm, it would be exceedingly helpful if you can, in fact, say, “share it with me” and “you’re amazing and awesome, so trust yourself” instead.
        Then we can go back to being the exciting, passionate people you love. : )

  • http://jolynn.wordpress.com Jo

    YES.

    As a control freak, the hardest part for me is listening when C says to stop and relax. It actually does start to make me angry, and I have to let that go.

    It’s also interesting how much pressure I feel to be a trail-blazer. EVERYONE assumes the normal patriarchal WIC stuff about our wedding, and at first I thought I had to fight that. Now I just feel that I need to calmly do what I would be doing, and that it’ll be okay quietly.

  • http://blametheweatherman.wordpress.com Melissa

    Ha. This sounds exactly like something my other half would say. Weston, you are a wise man.

  • Heather G

    I sent this to my guy to read. His response was the copied and pasted type A paragraph about complementing each other–that was all.

    Ha. Clearly, he identifies with these wise words. (And so does my more centered, calmed-down self, if I’m perfectly honest.)

  • http://koruwedding.blogspot.com Koru Kate

    What a wise Groom! Thanks for your perspective Weston. I wish we heard from more Grooms!!

  • http://realizingself.wordpress.com Krista

    I LOVE the dual husband and wife posts. It’s great being able to see both sides of the wedding planning. I hope there will be more guys willing to join in on this! And more guy thoughts in general. Perhaps I should poke my guy into sharing his own thoughts once we are engaged and planning/married…

  • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny- Adventures Along the Way

    “It’s hard for a type-A personality to admit that, which is why, if you’re the type-A one in the relationship, you should listen when your partner tells you to calm down.”

    Very true. I am the type A one, and it is good for me to hear the perspective of my very not-type-A husband. Unfortunately, in the moment, it is often hard for me to convince myself to completely relax about whatever I was stressed out about. Although, I am trying to learn to let some things go and to heed his reminders sometimes. At least a little. :)

    • http://www.linseykitchens.com Linsey

      Amen to that. Thanks, Weston, for reminding us why we love you men in the first place: because you help make us sane!

      Type A’s–unite! And then find yourself an amazing type B to settle you down!

  • Kaitlyn

    There were a few times when I wanted to tell people, “Hey! I’m getting married, too!”

    It is SO interesting to read this perspective!! You’re so right, the day is just as significant for both parties… and yet – in everything from the fact that women are traditionally the sole party wearing engagement rings, dressing in undeniably “wedding” clothes, being targeted in wedding marketing – we’re receiving constant signals that it’s the “bride’s day”.

    My fiance isn’t from a Western culture and these forces often make him feel alienated. He wants me to have a ring so that everyone will know his intentions are sincere – but then, why doesn’t he get a ring, too? He’s dreamed of the first dance at his wedding since he was a little boy – so, why does all the unsolicited junk mail about lighting and deejays arrive in my name?

    Seeking a balance in decision-making and who will get attention at the wedding is so important to us. I think this is important practice for future work that we’ll do together — especially raising children. As parents, we’ll face similar mom-centric attention…. yikes!!

  • http://www.brindey.com brindey

    I think I am reading this wrong. It sort of sounds like an I-told-you-so to his wife…..which also doesn’t address that the standards of most wedding planning do fall against the bride. If she hadn’t stressed, would the wedding have been as beautiful as the pictures show it to have been? Did I read it wrong? I must be…. Re-reading.

    • Lindsey

      I read it the same way. Though he does have a line in there to make it seem more tongue-in-cheek. Of course, I’m still in the stage where I get annoyed when my fiance tells me to calm down, so that could just be my perspective scewing things.

      • Weston

        There were plenty of times I did not say anything helpful, and Emily (rightly) would get annoyed with me. I had a lot to learn about how best to encourage Emily, and offer my perspective. And probably still do…

    • Carreg

      Um, hmm. Um, I think it might well have been as beautiful — most people’s faces are beautiful when they’re smiling. And you know, if my wedding has bloggable photos it will be largely coincidental. As long as the people in the photos look like they’re enjoying themselves, I won’t regret a thing.

      No idea if Emily would have felt the same way if her photos hadn’t been so pretty!

      • Weston

        Very true! Our photographer did a great job, but the reason we loved our wedding in the end was that we had a great time, and our guests had a great time. Plus, our friends are really, really, ridiculously good-looking.

        • Ris

          I only hope that your friends realize that there’s more to life than being really, really ridiculously good looking. And that they plan on finding out what that is.

          • ReallyReallyRidiculouslyGoodLooking

            As one of those friends, I hear words like “beauty” and “handsomness” and “incredibly chiseled features” and for me that’s like a vanity of self absorption that I try to steer clear of.

          • http://fromasmallstep.blogspot.com/ Kinzie Kangaroo

            I think Weston wrote that as a joke? At least that’s how I read it…

          • Ris

            For anyone that didn’t pick up on this, both Weston (I’m assuming) and I were quoting Zoolander. Very tounge-in-cheek.

          • Ris

            Oh, and @ReallyReallyRidiculouslyGoodLooking… I wasn’t talkin to you. I think you got it ;)

    • Weston

      It does a read a little bit like an “I-told-you-so”, but I don’t mean it in a negative way. I think that comes because I didn’t understand all the crazy wedding media (I think most guys don’t understand the pressure that brides feel), and so I would talk to her from that perspective. When Emily and I realized that we could ignore the crazy media and pressure, we found that we could relax and enjoy the process of putting together a beautiful wedding. Most of the decisions that led to the beautiful wedding came because we listened to each other and helped each other pick things that we both loved. I think the wedding would have been beautiful even if Emily hadn’t stressed so much at the beginning; and it was beautiful because we ended up having a great time planning it together.
      For the standards falling to the bride, I think a big thing for guys during wedding planning to learn is how to shoulder some of that burden. Emily is amazing at coming to me and asking for help, and I’ve learned how to say in a loving way “how can I help with that?”. There are lots of times in life that the pressure falls on one person or the other, and the way you get through those times is by leaning on each other.
      Also, if I could write a post just for guys, I’d say “Your fiance (or wife now) feels a ton of pressure that you won’t ever feel about wedding planning. Listen to her. Sit next to her while she reads the wedding blogs. Give her a hug when she feels stressed out, and suggest that you take a walk outside. Think about why you are excited to get married, and share that with her. Tell her how you can not wait to see her on your wedding day and how beautiful she is going to be on that because that’s the day you’re getting married! Share with her how you are nervous as well, and scared about the commitment you’re making. Be specific and list all the ways you think she is going to be most amazing wife ever (she is.).”

      • Emily

        To second what Weston just said…

        Yes, I think he was saying I-told-you-so a bit. He deserves to. Women feel the most pressure from the wedding industry. We feel it, it’s real to us, but that doesn’t make it reality. That’s why we need our partners to give us a healthy dose of who-cares-about-floral-arrangements reality. Yes, they also need to be a shoulder to cry on when we freak out, but sometimes it’s okay for them to tell us we’re taking it too seriously. Did I feel this way in the midst of my freak-outs? Of course not – I told him he was an idiot and could never understand the depth of my feelings. But looking back, he WAS right, and I’m okay with him saying so.

        As for whether the wedding would have been so beautiful without my stress… yes, it would have. Almost all of the actual planning took place after I went through the emotional turmoil I described in my post. I got that out of my system and then went on to plan a beautiful wedding with Weston.

        By way of example… the beautiful non-matching bridesmaids dresses came after I searched and searched for perfect dresses, then threw up my hands and told them to wear whatever they wanted.

      • N

        Weston, I loved hearing your perspective and your advice to guys here should be heard round the world!

        I think the hard thing is that “don’t worry it will be fine” to a bride who is under pressure is somehow not a very far cry from “what is wrong with you that you are so stressed out?” There is a dual pressure in my experience to both pull off a perfect wedding and not gain a single wrinkle or have any stress about it. It can feel very damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

      • http://justneedthisspace.wordpress.com ddayporter

        this additional comment from you made me feel a lot better about this post. I wish you had included that message to the grooms in the original! I know you were trying to be funny, but the “listen to your fiance when they tell you to calm down” just really hit a nerve. but getting this extra explanation from you on what you meant by that makes a huge difference. so thanks!

  • NF

    This post is great! Truly planning the wedding jointly was the best (and easiest) decision my husband and I made when we got engaged. I don’t think either of us made a decision without consulting the other, I even offered to let him see my dress beforehand (since I got to see his tux it was only fair!). Having both our perspectives made planning much smoother and less overwhelming, and it made the day much more meaningful.

  • http://emuhleem.typepad.com Emily

    This is absolutely the perfect post for me (and my name’s even Emily–so I felt like you were talking right to me!). I’m most definitely the Type-A in our relationship, and you’re exactly right:

    “I do think that’s why it takes both people to plan the wedding – you’re in a relationship because you balance each other out, so you should use the wedding-planning as an opportunity to let the other person complement you and shape you into a better person, just as you’re trying to do the same thing for them.”

    It is OUR day, not just mine. And planning a wedding should bring you closer together, not drive you apart (if so, maybe you should rethink the getting married thing!). Besides, the focus of the day should be on becoming husband and wife, not on the details and centerpieces and stuff.

    Thanks again!

  • Anna

    I love this post. I love how grounded you sound about all of this. And understanding what the different expectations meant for your experience.

  • Clare

    I love how Weston talks about how planning together is like practice for being married in itself- how you get to have amazing convos about marriage and the life you want to make, and makes you love your partner all over again

    Thanks for this. Hope we see more husband posts in the future

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  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    Weston sounds like he’d get along with my husband.

    After reading this post I asked my husband what he learned about stuff planning our wedding and what it was like to him. Hilarity ensued. No idea if he’d ever write it down, but it was fun for me to ask him about it.

    • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

      I did the same, and I took notes. I told J that if he wants to hang out with Meg & David when we move to San Francisco later this year, he should make Meg happy and write it up in a post. He’s considering it, which is further than we’ve gotten up till now…

  • EmmyLou

    Weston. YOU ROCK!
    You guys are blessed to have found each other. I wish you and Emily many blessings. Congrats!

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