How to Deal with the Non-Groom

The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis fields this week’s wedding questions. Today: How to Deal with the Non-Groom

Darlene asks: “Whenever I ask my fiancé to take over an aspect of our wedding, his answer is ‘It’s the job of the bride, not the groom, to plan the wedding.’ Is he right?”

Dear Darlene: In a word — “No.” It’s been a long time since the groom was a nonparticipant in his wedding. More recently, today’s groom has a significant — and active — new role; bridal couples are all about sharing the responsibilities of planning their wedding. It’s time to sit down with your fiancé to discuss and agree on what specific tasks he will perform and in what decisions he will have a 50-50 vote. If he categorically refuses to participate, then you have a really big problem on your hands. Let’s assume that he is just under a misconception and “educate” him.

Most grooms today want to participate and are eager to be included in the choices that reflect his wants and desires, particularly when it comes to the selection of music and food for the wedding. If there’s a food tasting, the two of you should attend, so he can actively take part in the decisionmaking process. I can’t imagine that the groom wouldn’t want to choose his own groomsmen; he’ll also probably want to make his own choices about what he and his groomsmen will wear. (Of course, you certainly can have input.) There’s no doubt that your fiancé will know his groomsmen better than you do, so he should be the one that selects and purchases the gifts for his “attendants.” When it comes to finances, many brides defer to the grooms, but that’s a decision that the two of you can make, together. In the past, it was the groom who planned the honeymoon, but today many brides don’t care about being surprised and they prefer to participate.

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You can help your fiancé by recommending that he read the several articles from (look for “Groom” in the Wedding Guide). There, he’ll find everything from a checklist to “The Changing Role of the Groom… Newer and Nicer,” to “Good Grooming for the Groom.”

Let’s hope that he comes to his senses after that. (If not, let me know.) Brides, do you have a non-groom? Any advice or good stories you’d like to tell? Write them in the comments box below, or submit your own question to “The Wedding Guru” by E-mailing


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