Why can’t men be involved in the planning?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 25, 2014

Clearly, the process of wedding planning is designed to appeal to us women. But I say, why can’t the man get involved? After all, it is his wedding too.
Based upon my own non-scientific research and the men I’ve encountered lately, most couldn’t care less about a wedding. They just want to show up and eat cake at the reception. I’m proud to say that hasn’t been the case with my fiance, Vanzie Walker.
We became engaged the weekend of my birthday in November and since that time, we both have been planning for our September nuptials.
If you haven’t read my three previous columns, again, what are you waiting for? Post columnist Mark Wineka suggested I take readers along on our planning journey and even coined the Altar Ego column name.
Vanzie is a Salisbury native and I’m a South Carolina transplant. We met not too long after I moved to Salisbury. He’s a quiet fellow, but knows what he wants out of his wedding, and for that I’m grateful. I’m excited to share the responsibilities, especially since it takes some of the pressure off me. He also makes the decision process easier, especially if I’m undecided on flowers, food, save-the-dates, music and other things.
I don’t think Vanzie has enjoyed every aspect of wedding planning. I do think there have been some highlights, though, like picking our song list. He’s very into music. Vanzie is a drummer and is learning to play the piano and organ. He also sings a little. Music is very much a part of our lives and relationship. We joke about certain songs being a part of our life soundtrack. We plan to have a deejay at the wedding. I wouldn’t call either of us great dancers, but I do like to cut a step.
Wedding planning is notoriously a “woman thang,” as I’m sure most married men can attest. I’ve discovered most men had no clue how their wedding came together. Let me tell you now, it’s with the help of an army, or in some cases an army of one. Vanzie and I have a small army that includes his and my family and our friends.
I’ve found the process of wedding planning has its ups and downs. I think I’m in a down right now as we get closer to our wedding day.
The beginning was easy, because frankly I had some of the details planned before I even met Vanzie. But now we’re getting into specifics, like what kind of flowers do we want, what do we want our reception tables to look like and what do we want our invitations to say.
I’ve gotten lots of help from my boss, aka my sister De’Nitra, who routinely gives me homework. Actually, this month my homework is to create a unique wedding invitation, come up with the guest list for my bridal shower and search for Vanzie’s ring. Don’t tell her I haven’t actually done my homework.
I’ve even gotten some questions and well-wishes from the male readers of the Post who have either shared their wedding experiences, congratulated me or asked me if I’ve found a dress.
I went to a fire a month ago and ran into a Locke firefighter who, after battling a mobile home fire, asked me, “You got your dress?” I found it both amusing and interesting.
This man who puts his life on the line fighting fires was likely following my adventures of wedding planning. A sheriff’s deputy admitted he was reading my column, he said, because he knows me. I don’t think he cared one way or the other about our colors, but it was nice that he was following the process.
But for you men who are following our journey, I’ll answer some of the things you’ve asked.
• Have you found a dress?
I found my dress at David’s Bridal. I can’t say much about it because the fiance does read my columns. I can say it’s gorgeous and has a vintage feel, which is what I was going for with the whole wedding. I wanted ivory and I got it.
• Does my fiance really help with the planning?
Yes, he does. He chose one of the colors, which are lavender and slate gray (purple is my favorite color so that was easy). He also chose the date; well, we both settled on the date. Vanzie also attended every bridal registry session, and we’ve had three. I think he mostly enjoyed the session at Bed, Bath & Beyond because there was food. He also enjoyed wielding the scanning gun.
• Have you picked a place?
We will get married at our church, Outreach Christian Ministries, on West Horah Street. Our pastor, Bradley Taylor, who has known Vanzie since he was a kid, will officiate.
• Still working out?
Kinda. I wrote about bridal boot camp in my last column and since that time have gotten back on track. Mark Wineka’s wife, Lindsay, told me the other day she’s noticed a difference. I guess the boot camp is working.
In all of my columns I add a space for tips. Here are a few:
• Don’t settle.
I recently had problems with a linen company that everyone assured me was affordable and the owner very accommodating.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the same reception. So instead of going with a company that didn’t make us feel accommodated, we decided to go elsewhere. Rather than stick with someone because they are cheaper, sometimes it’s worth it to invest a little more money for good, quality service.
• Don’t be afraid to ask.
We selected a Charlotte-based deejay company that we had some initial issues with because they simply didn’t answer the phone or emails or text messages. At any rate, we hired them and later wanted out of our contract. I was able to negotiate another service so that we would not lose out on money we’d already paid. You never know until you ask. Now we have a dance floor.
Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts as well. If you’ve attended bridal shows like we did, then you’ll encounter some of the same vendors. Remind them they met you at the show and they may quite possibly throw in a savings.
Vanzie asks me regularly what’s left to do this month and digs in to see how he can help. Well, we have invitations to create, babe. I guess we have homework to do.

Shavonne Potts is a reporter with the Salisbury Post. She can be reached spotts@salisburypost.com or 704-797-4253. Find her Altar Ego board on Pinterest.