Grooms As Wedding Planners? Men Taking More Active Role In Big Day

By Angela Hill
Oakland Tribune.

Groom-to-be Conor Healy has what he calls an “expansive” definition of something blue.

“It all started because I said I wanted blue ties. But it was a lot harder than I thought to get a certain shade of light blue,” says the San Ramon, Calif., banker, who has been eagerly engaged in every organizational aspect of his July wedding.

His fiancee, Heather Vilhauer, who fortunately likes the hue, too, because will it match her groom’s eyes, was amazed at his highly specific azure ambitions, taking him through multiple floors of Britex Fabrics in San Francisco to find the perfect shade.

It was a decision that would naturally affect the color of the dresses for the seven bridesmaids, two junior bridesmaids and three flower girls, not to mention the table linens and decorations for their event.

“It kind of dominoed,” he says, “so I get teased for therefore having chosen the colors and the flowers.”

Indeed, such vital decisions usually are considered the bride’s domain. Yet as relationships evolve and more couples pay for their own celebrations, the notion of the “Bride’s Day” may be fading away into the figurative photo album of the past.

Now, instead of merely getting fitted for the tux and just plain showing up on time, more grooms are helping choose the cake, the location, the music and more.

Many brides think it’s a turn for the better, not worse.

“It’s fun that he’s so excited,” says Vilhauer. “We talk through all these decisions, and it helps it go a lot more smoothly.”

Jolene Rae Harrington of the “Here Comes The Guide” wedding-planning resource says she’s actually seen two major shifts in bridal decision-making.

“When I started 18 years ago, back when most parents were paying for weddings, the mother of the bride had a lot of influence,” she says. “Then we started seeing working women showing their independence, and taking more control.

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