Classic APW: David’s Only Guest Post Ever

You know how you guys are always begging for David to do a guest post? Well he did one. Once. Two years ago. I know that by now we’ve trod back and forth over these ideas for a bit, but it’s DAVID, and you get to hear him in his own words, instead of through my (rather substantial) filter. So I figured that was the best Friday present I could give you. And now I’m going to go back to prepping Wedding Graduate posts until my fingers fall off. And drinking. But now, David himself:David here, the “better half” at chez practical. I have been asked, well maybe more persuasively requested, to write a guest blog from the other-gendered point-of-view. I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with something to write for this first guest blog and decided that it may be best to use my insights into the male mind to aid you all along in the happiest day of YOUR life.

Which brings me to my point: It’s not the happiest day in your life. There are many reasons for this. First, I hope to God, for the sake of each and every one of you, that your wedding does not end up being the happiest day in your life. Children, grandchildren, promotions, hell, even a great vacation – these should be the happiest days in your life. The point – they’re well ahead of you, perhaps somewhere around the age of 45 (and if you ARE 45, let’s say 75). Most importantly, though, and I know that the industry is myopically unaware of this fact, there is another person there: Your Groom (my apologies to my LGBT friends for this gendered post).

I know, sometimes he doesn’t seem to be listening as you tell him about the great dress you just saw online. But let me just remind you that sometimes you do this in the middle of something he’s watching on tv. But trust me, he’s interested. But here’s the sticky part, he’s not interested in every detail. Think “He’s just not into you”, with “you” replaced by fill-in-the-blank (flowers, placecards, centerpieces). Let me repeat this for the back of the room, he’s not interested. No, this doesn’t mean he secretly-has-an-opinion-but-he-
is-afraid-to-say-it. I have this conversation all the time with Meg – sometimes my mind is a blank slate of opinion.** No amount of sitting down and reflecting on my feelings is going to change that. It’s done. There’s nothing there. Live with it.

But just because he’s not interested in all the details, doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about the wedding reflecting both of your tastes. For example, I put down my foot: No Pastels! I can’t stand the flowery, poofy, pastelly “romantic” look. And you know what? If I really can’t stand it, it shouldn’t be in the wedding. I want to be able to look back at pictures of my wedding day and think that the lack of pale blue/light pink color combinations was because it was OUR wedding, and not just my partner’s.

So just like you need to sit down with your parents and ask them what they feel is important (because it’s not just the collective YOUR day, it’s partly their day too), ask your partner. If it’s only one thing, your job is easy. If it’s more, listen to the reasons. If there are no reasons, don’t push. Sometimes there are no reasons. The male mind is one big Id sometimes, and that’s ok.

**Note from Meg: It’s just that I can’t imagine not having a opinion about something. Heck, if I don’t care, I make up a opinion just so I can have a point of view. One of the many reasons I’m a DELIGHT, I tell you!

Picture: What David secretly dreams our wedding will look like. Or did he say it was his nightmare? Can’t remember. From here.

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  • Great post; always good to hear from the other side. I especially love the "he's just not that into ___" analogy… sounds like the story of my future husband's life!

  • Teehee! I was definitely laughing out loud with this one. This is my fiance to a T. For the most part his standard answer is, "Whatever you want," or "I really don't care." But that also stands him in good stead because on certain things when he does voice an opinion, even a very mildly stated one, it's given great weight. Like last night I thought I had solved the guest list dilemma but taking away the "and guest" from our single invitees. Well, he wants them to have "and guest." So they will!

    But thanks for this post from the male point-of-view. Think you can get him to post any more. Meg?

  • Yeah, my guy pretty much doesn't care and said we should nix fancy transportation and just hitch a ride and he looked at me like I had ten heads on my neck…soooo, we're getting fancy transportation, lol!

    Weird the stuff the dudes get stuck on and the stuff they just don't care about.

  • "I know, sometimes he doesn't seem to be listening as you tell him about the great dress you just saw online. But let me just remind you that sometimes you do this in the middle of something he's watching on tv."

    I love it! This scenario gets played out on the regular in our household.

  • I have one of those (apparently rare-ish) grooms who has secretly cares. He chose our venue before he proposed and took me to see it the day after. I'd always thought we were a cheap-barbecue-wedding-in-the-park couple, but it turns out I have a fancy-wedding-where-we-don't-have-to-DIY-anything groom.

  • It's hard to have an opinion about something you don't know anything about. I have found that when my guy actually spends time researching something his opinions on the matter multiply. The exact same thing is true for me. He likes to pretend he has no opinions on most stuff but in conversation it turns out he does indeed have many opinions. YMMV of course.

    There are also often things I don't care about either, I have no opinion, but something must be done/picked and I'll be damned if I have to do it alone. So if I have to dredge up an opinion so does he.

  • I feel like I'm in the minority here! My fiance (why cant there be a better word for that, jeez) has been 100% in the planning, and actually had most of the ideas for invites, save the dates, etc.

    One thing I found was when making a moodboard to figure out color/feel (I went to school for fashion and costume, I can't help it) he'd yell out things he wanted on it – "old pocket watch! picnic set!" so that kind of exercise might be a good way to get more reluctant grooms involved.

    We also don't have a tv. And he's fancy. So that helps.

  • I had that the, "Whatever you want, I don't care. No, really, I don't care……Wait. Is THAT what you're doing??" fiance.
    I finally had to be like, "Nope, Buttface, you said you didn't care. Now you can weigh in on THIS if you want, but statute of limitations has worn out on THAT." (We call each other lovely names like Buttface. We're sweet to each other.)

    Now since David's given us the guy side on weddings, when do we get the guy side on being a newlywed?? Pretty PLEASE, David??

  • Meg

    Oh, WHOA.

    I hope David didn't imply he had no opinions. He had TONS of opinions, and did a huge portion of the work. He was as integral to the planning as I was. He's also fancy, and a former theatre director (when we had a company together I managed the business end and he co-managed the artistic end, so trust me, much of that held true in planning). He spent more than twice what I did on his outfit, and built the, erm, set.

    Tons of opinions and tons of work and tons of care does not, however, translate into opinions about everything (see: escort cards). And I think his point was, he doesn't not have opinions on escort cards because he doesn't know enough about escort cards. He doesn't have opinions on escort cards because he really, truly, could not give a sh*t. He doesn't care to know a single other thing about escort cards ever in his life, so please shutthef*ckup so he can go back to watching Project Runway.*

    Or bunting, say.

    *Notice I didn't say football. I think he's being mis-read here…

  • I have a fancy fiance as well…who has many opinions about things that matter…and we have been making decisions together all along the way. But since I'm a TV producer and am the "planner" of the family (and the one spending all day on wedding blogs! eek!) I'll go to him with a bunch of ideas…some of which get shot down (most of those are indie wedding trends that seem ridiculous when said out loud to a practical man) and some he would have never thought of but is totally into.

    Neither one of us has a strong opinion about escort cards…except that people should know where to sit.

  • Ha..our issue is that most of the things he doesn't care about, I also don't care about… luckily like you, Meg, I can form an opinion on most anything. I just hate FORCING myself to care about certain stupid details. Maybe next time we come to the battle of who could care less i'll make my boyfriend handle the task. Or there is always my dear mum who has never lacked for an opinion on anything!

  • or rather than "forcing" maybe I should say — that I hate that I do get so caught up in things I didn't previously care at all about because someone needs to think about it.

    (because invites DO need to be sent out…and it's a slippery slope of caring what they look like)

  • David

    David here, asked (cajoled? forced into?) to write something.

    Looking back at my post, I think I need to offer a small clarification. I may have been too blunt/ungenerous towards my brothers-in-the-cause regarding the strength of their opinions. But that sort of makes my broader point: men, in my experience, are, by and large, blunt (and sometimes ungenerous).

    Which is to say there is often no deeper hidden meaning in our motivations. I found this personally an especially fraught topic during wedding planning which is chock-full of emotions (both real and WIC created). I found myself being asked opinions for things that I either a) had a clear upfront opinion about or b) had no opinion about and didn't find it tremendously pressing to form one. Sometimes Meg would press and I'd think about it for a few minutes and figure out what my opinion was. Sometimes she would press and I would have nothing. And that's ok.

    There's a lesson to learn: if you find your partner, or more importantly yourself, not having an opinion, don't push yourself to care. If you have to make a choice sans opinion, just do it and move on. Use a Ouija Board. Roll some dice. Flip a coin. Don't do any research past trying to figure out if you SHOULD care for a reason beyond aesthetics. Because, if you don't have an opinion, it's not important.

    Then have a cocktail. Veg. Let your mind go blank.

    That's what I do.

  • Anonymous

    I'm a guy, and I've been reading this blog for a while now. I guess it's finally time for me to stop lurking. I'm actually quite involved in the planning process of my wedding and DIYing most/alot of the stuff on my own. I do have alot of opinions on the wedding, but I just want to echo David's post to emphasize the point on opinions:

    If the guy says he doesn't have an opinion, he really doesn't have an opinion. (We're guys; we tend to speak up when/if we do have an opinion even when we're not asked.) If you force him to take a stance on something, he'd either try to come up with something you'd like to avoid arguments (not a particularly useful opinion) or mentally flip a coin just to have something to say (also not useful).

    So, after all that arguing/cajoling, you still have nothing. So why bother forcing it?

  • Julianna

    My guy and I had a conversation about how to handle the planning process shortly after we got engaged. I have more time to spend on things and am more deeply invested in paper product aesthetics but I didn't want to either a) shut him out of the process or b) get stuck doing everything alone. We figured out that he mostly had opinions of the "veto" variety…he may not know the vocabulary to describe exactly what he would like, but he can recognize what he doesn't like! Does he care about the exact font used on invitations? No. Does he care about the difference between earth tones with tree images and hot pink + black with chandeliers? Yes. So we agreed to discuss our likes & dislikes in the beginning of a topic, then after a little searching I'd show him 3-4 options so he can veto something if it's too far off track, before I spend a ton of time getting dead set on it. He reiterated what David said about how often, he won't have a strong opinion at all – he might say no to one version and think the other three are all equally good. And no, he doesn't have to be able to pick out a single favorite. (And of course, we're also reversing those roles on things I care little to none about -e.g. music)

  • Meghan

    Oh DA-viiiid. You nailed it buddy.

  • April

    Yay, David! Awesome post.

    I remember trying to have a convo with my husband about appetizers for the cocktail hour, and he looked at me blankly and then said, "If there's drinks who cares about food?" Right. How silly of me. Beer is food. ;) I chose the appetizers myself and he enjoyed them immensely. All works out!

    He also put his foot down on pastels (fine by me, I'm not in the Sweet 16 color palette camp either), and "hell no" to the necktie and a boutenniere…

  • Marisa-Andrea

    Haha. Yes, I really enjoyed this post.

  • Anonymous

    The posts from the men saying how they often have no opinion on certain things, reminds me that I've seen articles written by men on how to talk to men that made the same point.

    Which reminds me of another relationship rule I've heard:

    When people tell you who they are, believe them the first time.

  • I love this post. Also, I totally agree with you on the if-you-don't-have-an-opinion-then-get-one mindset.

  • JOC

    @Meg – My FH also loved Project Runway. But, he likes football, too. (Though, right now, it's hockey and basketball, and in a week it will be — SQUEEEEEEEE! — baseball season! Oh, and let's not forget the World Cup this summer …)