How to Keep Your Fiancé Interested (in the Wedding Planning)

Wedding photographer Paul Barnett reveals how to deal with a disinterested groom.

Be sensitive to your fiancé’s wedding- planning threshold and you both can enjoy what should be a fantastic experience.

By the time most couples visit my studio for the engagement photo shoot, the bride and groom are deeply entrenched in the wedding planning. The once-romantic idea of getting married has turned to seating charts, endless décor, floral and color scheme mock-ups, spreadsheets, and budgets. It’s very easy for couples to lose sight of why they are doing this in the first place! 

Making matters worse is the disinterested groom. Instead of golfing with friends, his weekends are now spent being dragged from one appointment to another. Boredom turns to alienation, which soon can turn a once-nice guy into a disgruntled and resentful partner. Instead of feeling excitement for the approaching wedding day, many grooms simply detach themselves from the process and wish it were over.

But don’t despair; it’s not all doom and gloom. Be sensitive to your fiancé’s wedding- planning threshold and you both can enjoy what should be a fantastic experience. Many of my clients simply ignore the early warning signs of their groom’s fading interest. 

Early Warning Signs of a Disinterested Groom 
The glazed eyes. You will see this immediately after you start comparing centerpieces with your florist. 
The cell phone grab. Like a gunslinger, your fiancé will whip out his smartphone within the first two minutes of you trying to decide between the peony and the ranunculus flowers for your bouquet. 
The heavy sigh. You’ll hear this deep exhale about 20 minutes into a color scheme discussion with your wedding planner. 
The yawn. Two minutes after the heavy sigh. 
The faraway gaze. Ladies, this one is dangerous. When your beloved stares out the window, he’s thinking of other things he would rather be doing. Few of his thoughts are centered on you or the wedding!

Rather than pretend that your groom is different than 99 percent of mankind, and that he is enjoying this laborious process, I suggest you simply target what does interest him, and ask for his involvement in those areas. For example, at the start of the planning, map out the responsibilities. Who’s in charge of what? Remember to keep it basic. 

Most men will enjoy some or all of the following: 
The tastings. Catering, cakes, signature cocktails, etc. As the popular saying goes, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” 
The music. Careful here: for the most harmonious results, you definitely want shared input from the both of you. 
Photography. Fifty percent of my clients’ photography choices are driven by the groom. 
The men’s attire. Allow your fiancé some freedom of expression. Let him choose what he likes, regardless of whether or not it’s your first choice. 

Finally, for the few men reading this blog post, I offer this bit of advice: If you have had little to no involvement in the planning process or décor selection, you have little room to be critical. If you happen to attend the final floral mock-up and your bride says, “Well, sweetheart, what do you think of the charger plates/linens/chairs/ centerpieces/stemware/napkin rings I selected?” Take a deep a breath, throw on a big smile, and simply say, “It’s perfect!” 

Opening photo by Paul Barnett Photographer