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It's the Groom's “Big Day” Too, Dammit!

Anyone who’s been reading my stuff on the site for the last few months knows I got engaged in November. My fiancée, Kory, and I have been planning our wedding, at least in the hypothetical stage, ever since. We’re planning on a wedding in the late spring or early summer of 2012, so anything past hypothetical at this point is a little nuts.

We’ve been getting a lot of congratulatory messages from friends and family and whoever else for this whole time, and that’s great. One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that all of them seem to be slanted toward “her special day” or “her big day.” Even my own father referred to it in this way when we returned to my home state of Connecticut for my baby brother’s wedding. What am I, dad, a hat rack? I don’t blame him, though, it seems to be societal programming that makes people think this way.

Before I go on and start to sound like some kind of aggrieved guy, let me lay out a few things:

1. If there’s anyone who deserves exactly the wedding she wants, it’s Kory. She’s the sweetest, kindest person I’ve ever known, always willing to see the best in people and give them the benefit of the doubt. Plus, she loves me, for whatever reason. 🙂

2. For myself, I want nothing more than to marry the person I love more than anyone else on the planet. The particulars of how that occurs are less important to me, as long as the end result happens.

3. We both think this gender bias is dumb, and have taken to calling it “our big day.”

I still think the bias is odd, though, even though we don’t especially care about it. Considering that the United States looks at itself as an advanced culture, why is this view, almost some kind of reverse misogyny, still so prevalent?

I know Kory has female friends, whether they’ll admit it or not, who consider my views on the proceedings completely irrelevant. Hell, I remember being told by a female friend many years ago that if I ever got married, my duties were simply to smile and nod at all of the planning and make sure I show up at the ceremony.

Kory’s going to be attending a bridal expo this month so that we can be more aware of what our options are in making decisions. You don’t see these things for grooms.

By the same token, I’m sure I have male friends who are wondering why I’m taking such an active role in the planning process. I’m sure they’d say something like “Dude, just worry about the bachelor party and the honeymoon.”

I don’t object to people having these views, it’s almost ingrained at this point. I’m guessing most people wouldn’t even know why they feel this way, if asked. It just points out how outmoded we still are in some respects.

It’s as if we still have still have some cultural remnant that says a wedding is the highest point of a woman’s life. Have we been paying attention to how the world has changed, folks? Weddings and marriage are still a big deal, sure. But we’re not in the 1700s anymore, where a woman’s only real option was to marry a man with a desirable social posiiton. It’s not like Kory’s parents are going to give me cattle and money in exchange for marrying her. I just get welcomed into her awesome family. I’ll take that over a cow any day.

I challenge everyone to examine their views on the gender bias of weddings and marriage. The whole thing is just as much of a commitment and life change for the groom, even if no one wants to acknowledge it.

10 responses to “It's the Groom's “Big Day” Too, Dammit!”

  1. paypar paypar says:

    Good for you for realizing that this is as big a day for you as it is for your fiancee. And before I go further, congratulations to you both. I wish you a lot of success as a married couple. Having 5 years under my belt, I can tell you it is a lot of work, but the payoff is simply invaluable.
    In my (Indian) culture, I felt I had to fight a lot of the typical 'traditions' as well. I fully expected my husband to be to be as involved in the planning as I was, and expected this to be OUR wedding (though I'll admit it kinda turned into my parents day but that's another story).
    I agree very wholeheartedly with you. I feel the wedding day is a symbol (or a test) of a couple's relationship – how you manage this day will be an indicator of how you deal with bigger things in your life and relationship. Marriage is a partnership, and the quicker you realize this, the longer you'll stay together, and the happier you'll be.
    I hope that you don't let what society or your friends say to you. What matters most is how you and your fiancee view and manage your lives.

  2. Avatar The Tailor says:

    That's exactly how we've approached it. Thanks for the input and for reading.

  3. Avatar MegG says:

    I have to agree with Sam, why would only Kory go if this is a big day for BOTH of you?? Now take your happy ass to that "Gridal Expo" (Groom+Bridal=Gridal) and have a blast!
    Happy Planning!

    • Avatar The Tailor says:

      I didn't go for two reasons:
      1) This thing was mobbed and she and I figured it wasn't worth two of us going when the odds of trampling or other crowd related injuries was so high. People will clear a path for her, otherwise they get run over. I don't have that going for me.
      2) The friend of Kory's who offered to take her and help her plan somewhat doesn't think my opinions matter, largely because I have a penis. I just didn't want to waste 4-6 hours being told to shut up every time I tried to speak.
      Anyway, it was much more fun to go over the stuff with Kory after the fact when she was all giddy. .

  4. Avatar The Tailor says:

    The "aww, yay" is always appreciated. We'll leave space at the reception for you to do the dance. 🙂

  5. Avatar Amy Taboe says:

    This column is the perfect example of why you have been welcomed into this family. As mother of the bride I want nothing more than to know that my daughter is marrying someone who truly loves her and will be by her side always. You can be part of all the planning you want!!!!

  6. Avatar Amy Tabor says:

    Can't even spell my own name right because I was so dazzled by what you wrote.

  7. Avatar The Tailor says:

    Thanks, Amy. The highest compliments are the ones from future in-laws. 🙂

  8. Avatar disperse says:

    I’m sure I’ve said this before but: congratulations!
    (down here)
    (is your future mother-in-law still listening?)
    (one word of advice:)
    I kid, I kid.
    (no, really)

  9. llxt llxt says:

    i've had both types of weddings–the plan for months and the "oops, we forgot to plan this"–and i strongly recommend the latter. but, seeing as you & your fiancee may just be sold on the former, i have only one piece of advice: get a really good videographer. because you're not going to remember one single moment of these life-or-death details that are plaguing you now.
    p.s. even in the most liberal of settings, weddings are still one place where tradition reigns. i personally believe that if you're going to have a wedding, you're going to have to be comfortable with the traditions. in other words, choose your battles. 😉

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