The wedding is the first big project that a loving, committed couple tackles together. It is a test of how well they can work as a team. All that said, most guys would rather poke ourselves in the eye with a plastic fork and run screaming into the wilderness than to go through with planning one. For us, it is a confusing jumble of colors and procedures, a world where things that uwsed to make sense now have unfathomable new rules. It’s like being thrown into a foreign country and beaten senseless with a sock full of confetti. However, we must change with the times. Guys are now expected to contribute to the planning. Luckily, after months of experience, I can give a little bit of guidance on how guys can survive this process while still retaining most of our sanity.

When asked to choose a preference, such as invitation design or party favors, always have an affirmative opinion. Your opinion will always be overridden by the bride, her mother, and her bridesmaids, but the perception of your being engaged in the process is paramount. Never say the first thing that comes to your mind, such as “Who cares? Really, who will actually care about this stuff?” Or “Look, someone breaking into our neighbor’s house. I better go check.”

When forced to choose between colors that look exactly the same, such as “burgundy,” “maroon,” and “brick,” choose the color that is most “manly” sounding. In this case, it would be “brick.” For “cream,” “eggshell,” and “vanilla,” choose “eggshell.” This shows that you are engaged in the process and not just choosing a random color so you can go back to watching the Discovery Channel’s “MythBusters”.

Find stuff from the planning menu that you can tackle that make sense and that you might be good at. For example, finding the DJ, or booking the entertainment. Or getting a fog machine and procuring glowsticks. But make sure to check with your fiancée first before paying for anything. Don’t be surprised if she vetoes 90 percent of your ideas.

What ever you do, don’t suggest Juvenile’s “Back Dat Azz Up” as your first dance song, even jokingly. Seriously, you will get stabbed.

You are expected to give gifts to your groomsmen, manly stuff such as engraved flasks, watches, and cufflinks. As such, it’s best to start thinking of these gifts early so you can save by buying through eBay.

Set clear boundaries for when you do not want to discuss the wedding, such as, “Honey, I’d really like it if we don’t discuss wedding planning during ‘Chuck’, ‘Law and Order’, or ‘Burn Notice’, or while I’m in the bathroom.”

There will be moments when your fiancée will be freaked out by all the planning. During these moments, never say, “Everything will be fine.” She just wants her feelings acknowledged, and the best way to do that, is to ask questions, such as “What are you most worried about?” or “Why do you think so?” Then follow-up with paraphrasing and affirmation of her feelings, like this: “So, you’re worried that the cake won’t be delivered in time? I can see why that might be upsetting.” Then, give her a hug and suggest you do something together that’s non-wedding related, such as seeing a movie.

Above all, have a pleasant and agreeable attitude. Remember the Jagged Noodles definition of love, which is the willingness to do stuff that make those we love happy, and not doing stuff that makes them unhappy. If weddings make your fiancée happy, be supportive. Remember that your wedding only happens once in your life. Of course, circumcisions also only happen once, but don’t think about that. Now, who wants to buy a fog machine?

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