How to Handle the Agonizing Bull**** of Wedding Planning

My scheduled November wedding will cost about the American average, i.e., we could buy a fucking new car for that much money, a really nice one that would last ten years. Now, I have to deal with all the agonies of planning with my fiancee. The amount of tedious crap involved makes me not want to get married at all–seriously.

Guys, how did you handle this? My best idea so far is “honey, I don’t give a flying fuck except about the beer and the music, so just do whatever you want, and don’t tell me, or ask me, because I don’t care and I don’t want to know.” This solution probably leaves much lacking. But I just have no enthusiasm for this whatsoever, I mean none.

I would say this is a subtle psychological clue that my inner psyche isn’t ready to get married, but honestly if she’d go to the courthouse with me tomorrow, I’d do it. With the better part of a year between me and destiny, how should I try to deal? Thanks. Happy for female perspectives too but thought guys who’ve been there might have the most insight.

Female here. My fiance and I opted for a very small wedding in Las Vegas. We are getting married on Saturday :slight_smile: The venue does everything - photos, DVDs, officiant, food, DJ, cake, open bar, centerpieces for what I consider a very reasonable price. We just have to show up in our fancy clothes to get hitched. I made some wedding favors and got my hair highlighted, easy peasy.

I’m too cheap to pay for a huge shindig, I wanted something small and special with closest family and friends. We picked Vegas because it’s close to relatives who could easily drive (everybody else has to fly anyway, might as well fly to Vegas).

For my advice to you, try to summon some interest. Have opinions. If she’s planning a big hullabaloo she might have been dreaming about it since she was 11.

Your approach describes pretty much exactly my husband’s approach when we married. Though his choice of drinks was somewhat more expansive, and his concern for the music less so. He more or less aid that I should just tell him when to show up.

He did decide to pick my dress. Since we have about equal tolerance for this kind of thing, I chose the location, and then we turned the whole planning aspect over to my mother and those of my sisters who enjoy that sort of thing. We arranged travel and so on for his family who had to come from overseas. Oh, yes, and in a small-world story, I did arrange the officiant — the priest who performed my first confession, first communion and my confirmation had since left the Big RC to become an Epicopal priest, and I asked him to marry us. He was married to my, let’s see, then - roommate’s ex-wife which was how I found out he was around.

It was a great wedding. There was nothing to deal with, it was just a party.

Man up. A wedding takes a huge amount of planning and it’s not fair to put all that on your wife.

How about you sit down with your wife, make a list of all the decisions that need to be made, and decide who will do the investigating for each before coming back together to discuss and make the final decision.

In this economic climate, if there were a Quartzette (I live in hope), it would definitely be a low key registry office job. The wedding’s made by the people, not the money spent.

Yes it is, if she’s the only one wanting the big wedding. He’s made it clear that he’d rather something simple. If she wants to play Fairy Princess for the day, let her do the work for it.

Female here, btw.

I understand wanting a ceremony and a party rather than a courthouse wedding, but it seems like a couple should be able to come to some kind of happy medium between “fairy princess wedding” and “I couldn’t care less about what we do.”

I have no practical advice to offer. My friends are getting married this summer and while the girl is doing most of the planning, the guy is involved in it as well, and they’ve decided on a small backyard ceremony with a party afterwards, 80 guests. Both of them seem happy with it.

It just seems like a wedding ceremony should satisfy both parties rather then being a one-sided affair. But I’ve never had to plan one myself, so I’m talking out of my ass here.


Mrs. Dvl and I threw ourselves a kick-ass engagement party. Much lower pressure, as everything didn’t have to be exactly perfect and the parents were minimally involved. Had a blast.

Ug… then the wedding planning. Fun, yes, mostly fun, but a lot of tedium and a lot of balancing.

So there we were with things in the air, then we moved and reorganized our business–lots of things in the air and the actual date was shifted.

About a year after the party a close friend was visiting from out of state. He asked about the wedding and what was going on. With nary a beat skipped, I said something to the effect of “look, you fly with us to Vegas this weekend and we’ll get married right then.” There was little discussion of seriousness, everyone was on that plane; and eventually on the plane to Vegas.

Fantastic time. Got hitched in a gondola at the Venetian. Everything was perfect. Absolutely perfect.

That’s pretty much what my brother did. His fiancee wasn’t grokking it at all: she has a very strong need for Control, so the notion of someone saying “whatever you like, honey, it’s really the same to me” and meaning it was making her head hurt. Mom and I pointed out that “he’s never failed to give his opinion when he really has one, has he? So, when he says he doesn’t care, it’s because he doesn’t. You don’t care about the alloys used to make car gears, he doesn’t care about the flower girl’s dress so long as any flower girls happen to have clothes on.”

If she tries to do something that makes you want to run away to the Moon, make sure to say so, of course.

Elope and have a justice of the peace wedding or a vegas wedding with the best friend of each of you as best man and bridesmaid.

You can still dress up in the ubiquitous tux and wedding gown, and horrid bridesmaid dress, or you can dress business casual.

Even eloped you can get wedding pictures, have a bouquet, get a shower of rice/confetti/tiny mealworms to feed the birdies.

Nothing says you cant have any acompaniments when you elope … you just don’t have to invite ANYBODY YOU DON"T WANT and avoid conflict.

If she wants the huge princess wedding thing, she gets to deal with it. All you do is decide how much you are willing to shell out, anything over that she has to scrounge up. You agree on the date, and location or let her tell you when and where to show up.

Can you tell I am not a fan of huge fairy princess weddings? Not that I wanted an elvis impersonator presiding, but if mrAru had wanted one, I would have gone along with it and tried to have fun.

Elope. Of course, she has to be on board for that, which doesn’t sound likely.

I would have gladly eloped, but he didn’t want to be disowned by his parents. These days, he’s reconsidering whether that would have been a bad thing.

Who knows, you might find part of it interesting. My husband thought he’d hate the registry part but suddenly found china patterns and creating a nice place setting arrangement to be something he could get into. Not to mention when we went to Sears or Target to register, we could register for neater items. :smiley:

Otherwise, I recommend a conversation to the effect of, “Guys don’t get the ‘fairy princess wedding’ push when they’re growing up; I don’t care to have any input on the wedding itself, I trust your judgement completely; a wedding is one day but the marriage is for a lifetime, and I’m looking forward to the marriage with you.” Hopefully that’ll melt her heart and get her to see your viewpoint. Maybe throw something in from Nava and her mom about how you do express your opinions when you really have them, so she’ll know if there’s something you do care about.

The OP did say that the wedding will cost about the US average, not a bazillion dollars. I don’t think it’s fair for so many people to be saying that his fiancee wants the fairy princess wedding. It is not a character flaw that she wants a traditional wedding.

It’s a ton of work planning a wedding. My husband and I were lucky in that our parents stayed out of it 95%; however, I do hear how hard it can be to balance family interests. It’s not fair to push everything off onto her - there is a good chance that she is trying hard to make *your *family and guests happy and comfortable as well.

Here are my suggestions:

[li]Let her do legwork for the things you really don’t care about, like flower girl dresses. Ask her to present her three favorites. That way, you are a part of the choice without having to spend much time on it.[/li][li]Go look at venues with her. Really, do it. It will mean a lot to her.[/li][li]Be in charge of beer and music if that’s what you feel is important. You should get together all the information and present her three choices.[/li][li]Suggest for things like flowers that she go with her mom/your mom/her girlfriends. Some women like that stuff, and it lets them hang out and bond without the pressure of the wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses.[/li][li]You should care about the food as well. If you go to tastings, it’s free dinner out. Same with the cake.[/li][li]Schedule a time to talk about the wedding. If it’s the early stages, make it an hour a week just to check in on how things are going.[/li][li]If there are family issues on your side, deal with them yourself. If there are family issues on her side, let her deal with them. Both of you should be supportive of the other though.[/li][li]Don’t tell her every time you talk about the wedding that you don’t care. It’s not nice. When looking at flower girl dresses one of them will be 0.0001% more to your liking than the others.[/li][/ol]

You’re half-way there with the I don’t give a flying fuck bit, this was my feeling and I think it’s entirely healthy to focus on just making sure it’s a big party with all your friends and family having a good time. So a clear agreement with your fiancee that you’re not going to get bogged down in all the bullshit minutiae is the order of the day.

However, how the fuck do you expect to organise a party for 100 or however many people without lifting a finger, and have it be any good? It would be shite. So get stuck in to the heavy lifting of the planning - choice of venue, bar, meal, music, honeymoon (if that applies) etc and don’t sweat the small stuff.

FWIW, we found it helpful to clearly assign tasks in the planning to one or the other of us. We obviously shared all the decisions, but if we hadn’t done this my wife would have ended up just doing everything and it would have caused resentment.

[quote=“Mithril, post:12, topic:529304”]

The OP did say that the wedding will cost about the US average, not a bazillion dollars.

The average US wedding cost is [a bazillion dollars.]
(average wedding cost - Google Search)

Have a serious talk with your bride-to-be about what she wants, what you want, how much work the both of you are willing to do, and how much the two of you are willing to spend. Don’t know how far into the planning you are already, but this is YOUR wedding, so make sure it’s right for you; some compromise will be required here aqnd there, don’t be shy about making major changes if current plans will leave you seriously unhappy.

“what you want” refers to both cost and complexity, and the scale runs from just the two of you in jeans and t-shirts at the courthouse, up to “Princess Diana” with a few hundred guests.

My wife and I got married in Vegas in '05 - just the two of us in a secluded courtyard at Caesars Palace. Short, simple, low-cost, but nice. People laugh and joke about the cheesiness of getting married in Vegas, but the reality is that you can have a really elegant wedding there if that’s what you want. Package deals make it easy to plan, too. Take a look at major casino websites and look into their wedding options; you might like what you find there.

Seems like a slightly non-traditional definition of “in charge”.

I don’t know about the OP, but I’m not sure this would be true for most men. My ability to decide among fine gradations of flower girl dresses is extremely close to nil. And brides in particular often want not someone else’s opinion but confirmation of their own. So the best strategy in many wedding-related choices may be to offer no opinion.

He would be just as much in charge of the beer and music as she is of the other stuff. The point is not to have a pissing contest, but to have both people working together at an appropriate level of involvement based on their wishes and abilities.

I think you are getting your information on brides from reality TV. Most women don’t want to be unilaterally making all decisions for the first party that a married couple throws. The less input the OP gives from the beginning, the more his fiancee will be forced to take charge of everything, and the worse it will be for everyone in the end.

In my experience, a lot of the wedding bullshit comes from the attitude forced upon the bride by the wedding industry that this must be “The Best Day of Her Life,” and “Her Perfect Day.”

Look - you all are about to stand up in front of all your friends and family and promise that you will spend the rest of your lives together. Think about it. That’s some pretty heavy shit right there. You don’t need the added pressure of making sure everything is Absolutely Perfect[sup]TM[/sup].

You and your bride should try to plan a fun party for your friends and and family. If you just shift your priority to achieving a realistic Good Day, instead of the unrealistic Perfect Day[sup]TM[/sup], a lot of the bullshit will disappear.

What will take care of most of the remainder is if you man up and help her. Telling her that you don’t care about anything except the beer and music is, in fact, the opposite of help. If she needs to find a bakery for the cake, take the thirty minutes to call some bakeries. Then go with her to the bakeries. You may lose a Saturday, but she will appreciate it, plus free cake!

Some people just don’t enjoy planning parties. It really is a lot of work. Some people don’t enjoy having a big wedding, because they don’t enjoy being the center of attention. This has to do with your attitude toward big, formal parties, not marriage. I know. I felt the same way you do about the wedding, right down to wondering whether it meant I wasn’t ready to be married, but now, 6.5 years on, I love being married.

I had the big wedding, and wish I hadn’t. I didn’t enjoy it. I don’t like being the center of attention, and I don’t enjoy party planning. I have nightmares that I have to go through it all again, and feel extremely relieved when I wake up and realize it was a dream.

It’s possible she’s doing this because she thinks someone expects her to. That’s why I did it. I didn’t enjoy wedding planning at all, but I thought Mr. Neville’s and my families would expect us to have a wedding, so I did it anyway. I shouldn’t have. Reasonable people don’t get mad at someone for not having the “right” kind of wedding. If the person who expects her to do this is not reasonable, well, there’s nothing you can do to make a non-reasonable person like you, because they will always have unrealistic expectations.

If she is doing this because she wants to, you should at least be willing to listen when she wants to talk about the wedding planning. I’m sure there are things you talk about that she listens to, even though she is not really interested. Mr. Neville talks with his father about his father’s job when we talk to him on the phone, and I listen, even though it bores me to tears. I listen when my mom talks about doing stuff at her church, even though I’m not interested. It’s just something you have to suck it up and do sometimes in a relationship. Just like you don’t always get to pick what’s for dinner when you’re living with someone else, you don’t always get to pick the topic of conversation when you’re talking with someone else.

Note that this does NOT necessarily mean you have to make decisions about it. A lot of times, we women just want to talk to you guys about something. We don’t expect or want you to come up with a solution to whatever it is we’re talking about, we just want someone to listen. This is a very common dynamic between men and women and a common source of misunderstanding in heterosexual relationships. We’re not always looking for a solution when we talk to you about our problems.

Fuck this shit. If your wife-to-be wants a much fancier wedding than you do, she can handle the lion’s share of the work involved. It is enough that you are willing to go through (and pay for) the ceremony and crap she wants. If she doesn’t want to do all that, remind her that you would be happy to help plan a much smaller affair.

ISTR I went with my wife to “pick out” wedding invites. Meaning I sat there and pretended to care while she chose. And I picked up my own tux, and gifts (flasks) for my groomsmen. That’s about it.

IMO, anyone who pays 20 large for a wedding had better be seriously wealthy, or else they are brain damaged. Can’t begin to count the number of things the average young couple could better spend that kind of coin on.

Dude, this is her day. You are just a very important part of that day. Be upfront with her that you are going to be supportive of whatever she wants to make this the most special day that she wants. That you aren’t really going to have strong opinions one way or the other, except for the beverage and music selections at the reception.

Since you don’t really care…let her have it her way. So when she asks if you like the cake that she picked, or the flowers, or the colors of bridesmaid dresses, or the menu, or which neices she wants as flower girls, or the china for the registry…just smile and say that you think that the choice she made was excellent.