Thinking positive and including grooms!

If you ever hear me talk about “the bridal industry” you can shoot me. It makes me squirm, like nails on a blackboard… you know the feeling?

Cambridge wedding by Chris Hanley Photography (28)

Photo credit Chris Hanley Photography:

Do you think the wedding industry’s sexist?

I kind of understand where the phrase “bridal industry” comes from: brides are often more involved in wedding planning, especially in arranging all the finer details and decor. Many grooms aren’t interested in the flowers and favours – which is fine! If you’ve made the decision as a couple that those jobs are for girls, then great!

However, if you head to your florist together for a chat about wedding flowers, and the florist ignores you and talks to your fiancee instead… or worse, assumes you’re only there because it’s your wallet – then that’s just wrong!

And you wouldn’t be the first to find yourself in that situation either.

Most weddings involve at least one groom!

Let’s not forget that grooms start off the whole process by getting down on one knee and asking, “will you marry me?”. And I’ve heard from so many grooms who love being involved in the search for a venue, a photographer, and in choosing stationery, cakes and flowers. I love that so many of my calligraphy orders come from grooms! So why do I get the feeling that so many other wedding suppliers just assume they’ll be dealing with brides, and only brides?

I do get the impression that suppliers are ignoring grooms. Especially when I read about “the bridal industry”… I wish we could start from the assumption that couples are planning weddings together. But it’s not necessarily suppliers’ fault – because of the way the wedding industry is these days, it’s easy to forget there are men involved too. It’s become habit to talk to brides about “their day”.

Your day, your way…

One of the most popular phrases I hear – on forums, on blogs, in wedding magazines. But who is the “you” in that sentence? I don’t think it’s the groom 🙁

And weddings are just as important to men

Think forward to walking down the aisle or waiting at the altar for your bride. One of the most significant moments in your life – and a nervous, exciting and emotional day. I see plenty of grooms with tears in their eyes, proof that weddings actually mean a hell of a lot to us all.

So maybe grooms just don’t care about the fluff?

You know what I mean… the lace and pearls, the wishing trees and invitation wordings. Some aren’t interested, it’s true. Then again, some brides aren’t too bothered about all the frilly bits either.

My suspicion though, is that grooms are shunned by the wedding industry. Not in a nasty way, just from habit – a chicken and egg situation. Brides read magazines, are swamped in information (which mainly comes in pink) and given advice on everything from lingerie to canapes. Grooms… well grooms aren’t. And because the industry’s focus is on brides, suppliers forget about grooms.

Grooms: get aware, and get involved!

I’d love to hear more about grooms being involved in wedding planning. I love hearing wedding stories from grooms – in last week’s Cambridge wedding Sam and Amanda both shared their wedding report with English Wedding Blog.

The (ick) “bridal industry” is responsible for budgets spiralling out of control, and for pressure to accessorise every wedding with more frills and fluff than Marie Antoinette’s boudoir.

Grooms – don’t let suppliers put you in the back seat. If a wedding supplier directs all their talk to your bride-to-be, walk away. They shouldn’t dictate what you need for your wedding – it should be a joint decision from you and your bride.

Cambridge wedding by Chris Hanley Photography (22)

Photo credit Chris Hanley Photography. Click to see Sam and Amanda’s Cambridge wedding on the blog

The best thing about wedding blogs is we’re all about the real weddings. The bit we get to see is the bit where the groom always plays a big part. The frilly bits come way down the list – and the love in his eyes, the ring on his finger and the triumphant smile is what it’s all about in the end.

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



  • Lianne potter
    8 years ago

    We at are all about wedding day equality and always make sure the groom feels just as much a part of the whole process as the bride- afterall it’s their day too! At our first wedding fair we were exhibiting at when we first started, we had a few of our albums on display for people to look through. A groom was looking through one of our albums and he came across a portrait we did of the groom wearing a skinny black tie and sunglasses. He looked the business! The groom looking through the album turned to us and said “I’ve seem this picture before. It comes up if you type in ‘cool groom’ in google.” That made our day and also became a big part of our ethos to make the groom feel as special as the bride!
    One thing we do say to our grooms if it seems like they want to take a bit of a step to the side and let the bride take charge (which is fine if that’s what they want to do!), is ‘ how often do you get photographed by a professional photographer? Treat it as an opportunity to get some really awesome photos of yourself look your very best!” This usually opens up any of the more passive grooms.

    • Claire Gould
      8 years ago

      Brilliant comment Lianne, thank you!
      What a fantastic thing to hear from a groom at a wedding fair – and it says a lot about the groom in question that he’s googling: he cares.
      I love seeing grooms in wedding photos – and especially the guys who avoid Moss Bros and find their own style. Did the groom in question book you, out of interest? If he did, I’d love to see your blog post of his wedding!
      Claire x

  • Dearest Claire,
    You are such an excellent and engaging writer! But this fact is SO TRUE! Guess it starts already with baby-girls. If we head out to the Osh Kosh outlet stores to splurge for yet another niece or nephew, it is always MORE for baby girls. For boys you have a real hard time to find things. So why is this? Once again my bet is that most pry on emotions and for that target, women are mostly easier to influence. Most men are more rational and know exactly what they want. I might be wrong but that is just my feeling…
    Have a great new week. Hugs to you,

    • Claire Gould
      8 years ago

      Hello Mariette, and thank you. That’s a fascinating theory and I think you have hit on something there. If you’re right, then the wedding industry is less sexist, more patronising!
      Claire x

  • Julie Dawson
    8 years ago

    HI Claire,
    I love this blog post! You are so though provoking. I have just put this on my blog and written a few comments. I so agree. I have four weddings for next year that are full on and I can tell you that the groom is so involved in the whole process. What’s more the bride wants them involved. Maybe its the kind of couple I attract but they are definitely a team. If I disregarded the groom I think I would loose their business! thanks Claire again for giving everyone food for thought. xxx

    • Claire Gould
      8 years ago

      Hi Julie!
      I read your blog post and loved it. So good to hear your perspective from working so closely with couples as a wedding planner.
      I’d love to spy on one of your meetings with couples – I imagine your calm, kind and common sense approach is very welcoming for both grooms and brides.
      You’re so kind to me with your comments too – thank you. xx

  • chris hanley
    8 years ago

    Great article my friend. Good point from Julie about attracting the right clients in the first place. Its about engaging with people before they’ve even spoken to you. Very often assumptions are made from distance or by online presence be it Facebook, Twitter, websites blogs or posted literature. Perceptions, Personalities and Professionalism.

    • Claire Gould
      8 years ago

      Thank you Chris – another good point. Behind the scenes, are wedding suppliers designing their websites with grooms in mind? Or do they remember him only when he actually gets in touch or turns up for an appointment?! For some I suspect the latter!
      C x

  • Wedding DJ Cardiff
    8 years ago

    Really liking the post, I difinitely think that grooms are now playing a larger part in the wedding organisation, I’ve worked at several weddings over the last few months where the groom has done 100% of the organising!

    Having said that, it’s still normally the bride who does the majority of the ground work and often all of the work.

    When I get married, I’m going to do as much as I possibly can.

    Kind regards,

    Matthew from Desire Disco

    • Claire Gould
      8 years ago

      Hello Matthew and thank you for your comment. I wonder if DJs – as well as photographers – are more traditionally seen as something the groom can get very involved in planning. (Said by a girl who would judge potential boyfriends by the size and quality of their record collection!)

      Good luck with your wedding planning – I look forward to hearing your tales of choosing stationery, flowers and wedding decor. All great fun to do, I promise!
      Claire x

  • Peter Minney
    8 years ago

    I have a saying that I have always used as a toastmaster.
    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
    I have used this for over forty years, where will our younger contempories be in forty years time?

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