April 27

Bride vs. Groom: The Division of Duties in Planning the Hen Wedding

When we got engaged, Rooster and I had been dating for four years and lived together for three. There was no mystery left. Even when it comes to wedding planning.

From day one, it was perfectly clear that I, and not Roo, would be taking lead on the wedding planning. And not just because I’m the bride. It comes down to three things: (1) I’m obsessed with weddings, (2) I’m known to be a crafty gal and love to plan parties and (3) I care way more about the details than Rooster does.

wedding-magazine-stack
Rodney Bailey via Groom Sold Separately

I thought that “taking the lead” on wedding planning was going to mean making most of the decisions myself, but Rooster has surprised me with how much he wants to be involved. He’s been right there with me every step of the way—choosing a venue, caterer, photographer and everything else—with just as many questions and opinions. We’ve even split the legwork 50/50. It just worked out that we take turns handling vendor contacts and signing contracts. At the start of our engagement, I didn’t expect planning would be such a united process.

Reflecting on how we’ve split wedding responsibilities has me wondering how other couples make it work. Does the bride do most of the planning in most weddings? What tasks, if any does the groom seem eager to help with? Did you get any planning help from family or friends?

Here’s how our division of duties shaked out with some of our decisions:

  • Venue: We both wanted to have input on our venue. I did the bulk of the searching, but we talked over our options together. We visited Monday Night Brewing—our only site visit—together (but I’d been there before). Once we picked it, I negotiated and signed the contract and paid the deposit.
  • Catering: We both cared about this one equally (what can I say… we love good food!). Like the venue, I searched for options, but we discussed it together. We visited our food truck, Ibiza Bites, for a tasting together. Roo handled the communication, contract and deposit, since I did the legwork on the venue before. (That’s f***ing teamwork! Tenacious D? No? Just me? Okay.)
  • Photography: This was all me, pretty much. I had such a vested interest in picking our photographer that I did the legwork and decision making by myself. Rooster did give me his opinions on potential photographers’ portfolio websites, though, and he attended the first meeting with our eventual choice, Paige (I had a good feeling about it and I wanted him to meet her).
  • Day-of-Coordination: Roo wasn’t convinced we needed a coordinator, but I knew better based on advice from every bride ever. I did the research, made the phone calls and made the decision here. I consulted Rooster on cost, but he didn’t weigh-in on the decision and trusted my judgement. I decided on Kristine of Simply Charming Socials and handled the meeting, contract and deposit myself.
  • Event Rentals: As soon as we realized we would need to add some tables and chairs to the brewery’s existing decor, I started searching for rental companies. I shared some of my findings with Roo and had him weigh-in on costs and styles, but he ultimately wanted me to do what would make me happy (as long as it fit the budget). I chose our rentals from Blue Eyed Yonder’s vintage catalog and handled the contract and deposit myself.
  • Hotel Room Blocks: I assigned this to Roo, and he handled it completely! I just met up with him one weekend to check out the rooms (and at one point I went alone, because I know he hasn’t actually been inside our wedding night suite).

In the interest of not boring you with too many planning details, I skipped over some other key vendors, like our DJ and Officiant. Rest assured that we split most of the legwork on the other vendors between us, although we did fall into somewhat of a pattern: I search, he calls, he signs the contract, I pay the deposit. It’s worked well so far! Although I’m guessing that since our remaining tasks are a lot of decor decisions and do-it-yourself projects, Rooster is going to be much less involved than before. Sigh.

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