Why is it Cool for Men to not Care about Weddings?
Controversial, I know, but stick with me. In my experience in shooting weddings, shooting engagements, and even going back further to when I used to work as part of floor staff catering wedding venues, it became apparent to me, that on average (remember, this is an average insight, it doesn’t apply to everyone), men tended to not care too much about the wedding.
I always wondered why this was. I mean, this is your day too mate, you’re marrying to person of your dreams, what more could you want? More times than not, the girls are all up for it, I’ve not yet crossed a bride who wasn’t pumped up and excited, but for one reason or another this didn’t seem to translate across to a lot of the men I worked with.
Without naming names, i’ve heard statements like “weddings are for the girls” and “girls dream about weddings since they were kids, so it’s for them, not me”. You could not be further from the truth! Well, maybe girls do dream about weddings from a young age, but so do some men, and that is totally fine! In fact, I applaud that. Wear your heart on your sleeve, show that you care, make yourself vulnerable. Good things will come from it.
Again, I don’t mean to piss anyone off here, but this really is toxic masculinity at work here. It’s not cool to show your emotions, and to show you care about something like a wedding, or getting your photo taken. Where did that belief come from? Does it have any validity? In my opinion, no, it has none. I got married last year and I was so involved in the planning process. I went to every meeting, helped choose every vendor, and was so amped for OUR wedding (not Daniela’s, or mine, but ours). It is quite refreshing when I work with a groom who actually gives a fuck, and you can tell. It’s not cool to not care, it’s lame, it’s an easy out and a shit way to start your life as a family.
From a photographers standpoint, let me tell you the difference it makes when you have a groom that is actually invested and cares (of course, we are talking about any wedding that includes at least 1 groom). The day flies, it is so easy. You go across to the groom and his party and they are right up for it. The banter is flowing, they aren’t worried about being photographed, fuck, they are hanging out with their best mate on one of the best days of his life! The shots flow in like a god damn rapid! I love it, I have to drag myself away from them to go back to the other partner.
It creates a beautiful balance to the day. Imagine this for a second. For this hypothetical I will use a heterosexual couple. You go to the bride and her party, they are on fire, absolutely loving life. Champagne is flowing, makeup and hair is getting done, Brittney Spears is blaring on the sound system (or Backstreet Boys, I don’t judge). The shots are epic. EPIC! This is the easiest part of the day for me. I quickly say goodbye as I head off to the groom, but I’ll be back.
I get to the Groom, and they are just sitting around. They see me and immediately start moaning. “Fuck, I don’t want to do photos”, and “let’s just get this shit over and done with”. The vibe is low, and I already am struggling to work out how I am going to perk these guys up. I work all my magic, but they just aren’t invested. They don’t want to seem lame, they want to seem macho and manly.
Fast forward to 6 weeks later when you get your wedding Album back from me, and you open it. The bride looks amazing, and has obviously had an amazing time. It shows. She looks stunning, and so happy, unable to contain herself (as evident by the tears). Then you flick over, and the groom kind of looks a bit angry, or annoyed. It’s apparent that he didn’t want to be there (getting photographed, it’s not cool remember). Already, the album is out of balance. It just does not look right.
Now this is not what happens all the time, let me reiterate. I shoot many weddings where the groom is absolutely into it. You can just tell he has been excited for this for ages, and so has his party. But still, a lot of the time, we do see the opposite. So it’s time to address this. We have addressed toxic masculinity in many forms recently, particularly those surrounding aggression and violence, and that is amazing. Needed to be done a long time ago.
But this one doesn’t get much notice. And it should, because boys, it’s your wedding too! You are paying for half of it, and you amount for half of those required to make it happen. You should be sharing the excitement evenly. Share the planning, it is so fun! If you don’t know what to do or where to start, check out my 8 vendors you need to contact and go from there.
I won’t go on about it, but I do want to leave you with this. Even if you are the biggest, most stereotypical man, it is ok to cry, it is ok to be excited about your wedding, and it is not vain to want to be photographed. Trust me, your partner will be so much happier knowing you are excited, and that will not only make for a better day for you, but also for them. And at the end of the day, their happiness is probably the most important thing to you. So get involved, start helping with the planning, and get excited, I promise, it won’t be awkward, it will be fucking epic, and you won’t be able to wipe the smile from your face all day long. That’s a guarantee.
If you want to chat about booking a wedding, or even just chat with someone about planning one and what to do, drop me a line, I am always happy to help.