I’m happy to say that from my experience as a Destination wedding planner in Tuscany I’ve found that in recent years it’s been the groom that makes the first contact to ask for information about getting married here. Let’s face it we all have busy lives, and work, the home and social life can get in the way and the modern man is learning to take responsibility.
Once they have narrowed down several venues they will both come out and look at the potential venues and although the bride may have the final say they do talk to each other about the pros and cons of each venue according to their wish list and the guests that are coming to the wedding. During the planning process they then actively take joint decisions on what they want and divide up the individual elements so that each person has their role in creating their perfect day. Possibly a huge difference between weddings at home and weddings abroad is that both parties actively take part.
But as a romantic old softie and lover of all things to do with weddings I have to admit that I have become addicted to the BBC3 show Don’t Tell The Bride. The concept of the show is brilliant and the fact they are currently looking for couples to take part in Series 6 means that like me lots of people tune in to see whether the poor groom is going to pull off a wedding fit for his FW2B and if the B2B is going to throw her teddy out of the pram, she usually does, Fantastic TV!
For those of you how haven’t seen it, there is a couple, usually very strapped for cash and desperate to get married. The producers of the show Renegade Pictures give the couples £12,000 to spend on the wedding and in the presence of a solicitor they agree that they will have no contact for 3 weeks until the actual wedding day, so no phone calls, meetings, text messages oh and the groom gets to make all the decisions!
The thing that strikes me of all the couples on the show is that the girl that will openly tell the viewers that she wears the trousers, makes all the decisions, and generally thinks that the poor boyfriend has no clue about anything, pretty standard in a relationship I guess where us women think that there is only one way to skin a cat and that would be our way…thank you very much,,,but it does make you wonder why they’d want to hand over the reins of organizing their most important day of their lives…but they do!
As one bride told her boyfriend before leaving, “don’t mess it up, it’s my day and you should make me happy” my jaw dropped but quick as a flash he replied “but it’s our day and we both should be happy” tearfully she replied “but if I’m happy you’re happy!” Absolutely no pressure then!
But I do think that quite often we ladies do forget that a wedding day is about 2 people becoming one, it’s a partnership and decisions should be made together, I love the Italian wedding ceremony as it focuses very much on the fact that you are a couple and decisions taken about your family life together should be made together, that you are both important in the relationship.
But back to the program! With a tearful goodbye, the bride generally moves out of the family home to stay with mum while the groom who is then joined by his best man sets about planning the wedding, which usually involving a trip to the pub and countless bottles of beer to pluck up the courage to face the task at hand of getting in touch with his feminine side and start planning the wedding.
The poor groom, who has often never been able to make a decision and probably has no idea about what the love of his life would want has to plan the wedding from scratch..but the thing I don’t understand is that if these girls have been planning their big day since they were little why don’t they share their ideas with their partner? To be honest it’s probably best that he hasn’t got a clue as he is then free to put his own stamp on the day and include his own personality rather than just turn up which is often the case in weddings organised solely by the bride.
The world is his oyster and he sets off to choose the venue, flowers, invitations, favors, cake, cars, hair & make up, colour scheme, entertainment, photographer, menus, his suit, hen and stag dos and most importantly the wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses shoes and accessories all in three weeks…god love him!
Meanwhile the bride is generally bitching about whether he’ll do a good job, looking at their dream location for the wedding which would probably blow the whole of the budget for the wedding alone trying on their perfect wedding gown and sobbing that if the dress he picks isn’t up to their liking then they’ll stamp their pretty little feet and refuse to wear it.
I know that it’s probably all part of the format of the show but why would you put yourself through all that…why would you go to a fancy smancy stately home when you know that you’re not going to get it, let alone afford it? And why oh why would you try on wedding gowns that are worth thousands of pounds when you want a wedding with a hundred guests and you have a budget of £12,000.. I know a girl can dream but I do think that some of these girls do need a bit of a reality check sometimes!
As the wedding day approaches the groom is often getting a little stressed bless him and having made the crack about becoming a professional wedding planner at the beginning of the program have come to the conclusion that there’s a lot of work involved in organising a wedding and they can’t wait to get back to work!
The feel good factor of the program is the wedding day itself, the poor groom is a nervous wreck usually rushing around putting the finishing touches to things, dropping off bridesmaid’s dresses and feeling sick with worry about whether she’s going to like everything he’s done. Generally they do and even surpass the expectations of the brides. Way to go boys! Many of the brides do admit that they probably wouldn’t have done such a good job. Hopefully they go into their new married life with a new respect for their partners and hand over some of the responsibilities that they so staunchly held onto before the groom showed what he was made of.
I take my hat off to all the grooms in the program and admire the girls that can admit that they did a fabulous job, and I love the girl that does the commentary her down to earth approach and funny comments make me laugh out loud. If you haven’t seen it then you must you’ll become hooked like me. It’s on BBC3 on Monday night at 8pm or like me you can catch it on BBCiPlayer.