Dear Men: Why We Should Be Equally As Excited To Plan Our Weddings
"You gotta pick your battles."
If you have planned a wedding, are planning a wedding or will plan a wedding one day, it's likely you've heard this.
And it's more likely you've heard this if you're a man and you're marrying a woman.
But don't listen to it.
Let's break down the idea of a wedding: Two people who claim they love each other decide to bond together for as long as they live.
Together they will wake up, eat, drink, enjoy company, talk about life, change their life and possibly introduce children into the world.
To celebrate this mountainous decision, they invite their friends and family members to watch them officially pledge this bond.
Then they celebrate with a party.
So what's all this crap about picking battles?
Well, start with the whole root of this "picking battles" nonsense.
Watch TV or a movie, listen to music or just observe the world.
You'll find that men are conditioned to think that women — especially their wives — are bossy and shrill, always whining to them about getting up off the couch and doing a few chores once in a while.
Let's just stop that right now. It's not true.
Stop giving in to this antiquated conditioning of gender roles, which indirectly props up the man as the working breadwinner. Yes, this is about patriarchy. Don't simply accept it.
Women aren't merely homemakers and childcare experts. If you think that, get out of the 1950s.
Men also aren't merely the bumbling oafs you see parked on the sofa, watching the game with a beer on television.
If you fall into the conventions shoved onto us, you're doomed to repeat a life of misery that simply reinforces a limitation of the human potential.
So men, if you're about to marry the woman you love and you hear the advice, "You gotta pick your battles," reject it.
You're better than convention, and you're better than battling.
Weddings are incredible events meant to show a special human bond that can't be duplicated.
But let's be real: Is the bride likely to want an immaculate white wedding dress? Of course.
Is the groom not likely to understand everything there is to know about floral centerpieces? Probably.
But the realities presented early in the wedding planning process can help educate both parties, leading them to be more accepting, and hopefully, more knowledgeable and careful.
Instead of rejecting a trip to the florist to go over centerpiece options, join your loved one in perusing Pinterest and Instagram options.
Ask questions about the meaning of specific flowers and colors. And if you know very little — or nothing at all — about color palettes, ask about that, too.
The more you ask, the more exciting the process becomes for both of you.
Consequently, weddings are best when both parties are represented in their own special way.
What's the bride's lifelong passion? What's the groom's lifelong passion? How can we bring them into the wedding?
Maybe the groom collects vintage records; how about hanging some old 45s from the rafters of your reception venue? Or maybe suggesting specialized drinks inspired from famous album titles?
Maybe the bride is a comic book nut; how about using comic book typeface and design on the wedding invitations and thank you notes?
The more you can inject your personality into the wedding, the more it feels like your own. Why wouldn't both parties want that? So why battle at all?
Is compromise necessary with wedding planning? Of course. Just as compromise is important in every part of life, especially in relationships and marriages.
But please, just don't think that because it's a wedding, you should just mentally check out and come back when it's time to wait at the altar.
Don't give into convention or else you won't evolve, and your marriage won't evolve, and you'll never understand what it feels to be perfectly and uniquely bonded.
Life is not about battling. And love especially, is not a place where battles should reign.
Start with your wedding. Don't battle; compromise. But do talk, and talk about everything.
You'll find that in the end, the result is not to simply have a perfect day to symbolize your happiness, but to show that your happiness is real and and will be for years to come.