One warm March afternoon, I sat with my fiancé Anthony in a plush couch at a Las Vegas florist’s shop surrounded by binders, books, and brochures.

“We’d like calla lilies please,” I told the florist, in anticipation of our June wedding.

“Do you know what colors you’d like for calla lilies?” the florist asked. “And would you like to accent those with other flowers? How about the reception décor?” Well, I hadn’t thought beyond bouquets and boutonnieres. Time to hit the books!

My reception's decor
Reception décor: result of the "riveting" conversation

As I turned the books’ pages, we figured out the details. Let’s go with mango calla lilies for the bride, with a few white lilies and hot pink ones too! Oh, and let’s add a black ribbon. Maybe toss in some tall grass in the bouquet as an accent. Let’s not forget that I’m interested in moss for the head table. What kind of moss? Well, let’s go over the four forms of moss, shall we? And perhaps add a few calla lilies. Hmm, how about some candles? Pillar candles? Votive candles? Floating candles? Clearly, the conversation was riveting.

Suddenly, I turned a page and stabbed my finger at a fuchsia gardenia. “Ooh! Anthony, can’t you imagine those attached to the archway with sage green and beige netting? Anthony?”

I turned to my fiancé. Anthony was slumped in the couch cushions, staring intently at his iPhone. He was riveted all right. But not by flowers. Instead, he was engaged in an iPhone game involving a jet plane and mountains reminiscent of Star Wars’ planet Tatooine. I was confused. Didn’t he care about our wedding? Hadn’t he wanted to help me plan?

Most brides who have been through the wedding planning process have experienced this dilemma. Of course, our grooms don’t expect their brides to handle wedding planning alone. Our guys are sincerely excited about our upcoming weddings. But when we drag them along to pick out minute details of floral arrangements and force them to decide between three shades of green for our invitations’ ribbon, many of our men shut down. If your guy is interested in these details, congrats, girl, and more power to you! But, if your groom doesn’t seem like he’s following through on his promise to help plan your upcoming Las Vegas wedding, maybe you haven’t found the right avenue yet for him to help. Here are a few tips to give your groom opportunities to get involved in your Las Vegas wedding planning:

My happy groom and me, plus a little personality
My happy groom and me, plus a little personality
  • CAKE TASTING: What guy doesn’t like food? At cake or catering tasting, let him have a say. If he likes the chocolate mousse over the strawberry shortcake, don’t ignore his comments. Let your wedding cake have a layer of his favorite flavor.
  • WEDDING WEB SITE: Invite him to create your wedding Web site. If your groom is tech-savvy or likes to build something from scratch, let him create and manage the site.
  • RECEPTION MUSIC:  Choose a variety of music together or each choose your top ten songs. Make sure you respect each other’s likes and dislikes too. Since my groom hates Lady Gaga, I reconsidered my request for “Just Dance.” Likewise, he knows I’m not into Modest Mouse, one of his favorite bands, so he put Death Cab for Cutie on the playlist instead.
  • STUFFING ENVELOPES:  While you may be addressing every envelope by hand, your groom can help with this less-than-fun aspect of wedding planning. Once I finished addressing invitations, my groom licked the envelopes and sealed them while he watched “South Park” on television.
  • GROOMSMEN GIFTS:  Encourage him to choose the groomsmen’ gifts. Even if you think the flasks he chose aren’t the most becoming, these are gifts for his friends. He knows them best, so let him choose what strikes his fancy.
  • TUXEDO AND ACCESSORIES:  At the tux shop, your groom may want your help narrowing down options for wedding day formalwear. Just be careful not to let your opinions overshadow what he likes best. Let your groom make the final decision for his attire. On the wedding day, he needs to feel like the king of the world. If he doesn’t, it’ll show on his face in all your photos. So if he’s not comfortable in Florsheim shoes, maybe it’s time to consider his request to wear Chuck Taylors with his tux.
  • USE HIS STRENGTHS:  My groom is an English major. So, while some grooms may not care about the text on the invitations, my guy was excited to choose a font. He also minored in math. So, he liked being the go-to guy for any calculations we needed. Discover what makes your guy tick, and incorporate his skills into your wedding planning process.
Planning principles become marriage foundations.
Planning principles become marriage foundations.

While these tips are helpful, here’s the bottom line. Treat your groom with respect. Find ways to involve him in your wedding planning. Then, listen to what he says and work his ideas into the wedding. The more you do this, the more apt he’ll be to continue helping. Next time your groom offers an idea, don’t shoot it down if it doesn’t mesh with your vision of the perfect wedding. Learn to listen and to compromise. By practicing this during your wedding planning, you’ll also lay an excellent foundation for your marriage.

Good luck, brides and grooms, and enjoy the process!

(Author: Allyson Siwajian © 2010)

(Photographs: Jamison Frady of Quiet Art Photography © 2010)