How to get an apathetic groom interested in your wedding

This piece is inspired by an email I received from an exasperated bride at the end of her tether. She’s marrying a wonderful man who would go to the ends of the earth for her. It’s not that he doesn’t care about their wedding, it’s that she feels she’s planning it all alone. He instantly switches off when the subject comes up and she’d love a bit more help.

It’s not the first email I’ve received of its kind and I’m sure it won’t be the last, lamenting the lack of interest from an otherwise-fantastic husband-to-be about wedding day. I’ve never been one to generalise, and I certainly don’t think that all grooms find all things bridal a bore, John did his best to be really excited about everything – even helping to choose the flowers, but it does seem to be a theme amongst friends and readers that they struggle to inspire the same excitement in their groom that they are feeling. So I’ve put together a little guide on upping his enthusiasm… hope it helps!

How to get an apathetic groom interested in your wedding

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so play to that strength. One way I made sure John was included in the planning was by handing over the food choices to him and my mum, giving him the booze budget and telling him to go nuts and doing fun things with him like cake tasting. A lot of men feel a bit lost in all of the pretty (not all of them, I’ve seen some Groom-zillas in my time) and feel a bit out of their depth. Something like food is universal, and it’s something they can put their mark on.

A groom’s cake might not exactly go with the aesthetic, but it shows you care about it being his big day too. I’ve seen everything from rugby balls to Star Wars cakes. I know it sounds more child’s birthday party than elegant wedding, but a cake for his inner kid can be a really sweet touch and a way to make him feel more excited about the details.

John making falafel in my mum’s kitchen before the wedding

He might not be interested in the flowery details, but he’ll be interested (or at least he should be) in the vows and the ceremony. Sit down and plan the ceremony together, including both of your cultural traditions and things / people that are important to you. Don’t assume that because he doesn’t know what a wedding favour is that he doesn’t care about the important bits too.

Tell him how you feel. In the weeks before the wedding I was yelling at John a lot. Of course, all he heard was someone yelling at him and was slightly less open to listening to what words were being yelled his way. Once I’d calmed down enough to just say I needed some more help, he got the message.

Enlist his friends. Some men are very independent, some work better as part of a team. When John’s friends flew in for the wedding, he probably got more done than in the entire year and a half leading up to it. Having them around him really motivated him, and there was a certain camaraderie that came with being bullied into forming a production line to cut, sew and trim napkins. One of his friends was even the only person who knew how to thread a sewing machine, as he learned from his mum. His friends were totally up for kicking each other up the bum to get things finished on time, and they even surprised me by cleaning the house top to bottom while I was staying at my mum’s so I’d come home to something lovely after the wedding.

Not all grooms are interested in the details of wedding planning, some really are – both are OK as long as you’re getting enough help and you’re not overloading yourself with tasks. It can be disheartening to get a disinterested mumble back when you’re really excited about something, but find ways to do things together, do the things you can’t do together with more excitable friends, and most importantly RELAX and enjoy it all! 

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