Traditionally, weddings are all about the bride. Sure, the groom is there also. You couldn’t really have a wedding without him showing up. But he has never really been the star of the show. One indication of this is that when it is time for the big moment, the groom is just standing there with the celebrant. The bride, on the other hand, gets the big entrance.
There is also a subtle difference in formalwear. The groom traditionally wears a tux with few adornments. He looks handsome, not fabulous. There is almost a conscious effort to make sure no one at the ceremony upstages the bride.
The man has a bigger role to play in the engagement because, traditionally, he is the one who has to formally propose and buy the engagement ring. But rather than joyful celebrations, these tasks feel like stressful chores. Ask at the wrong time and get rebuffed. Pick the wrong ring… Well, just don’t pick the wrong ring.
So what is the man thinking and feeling through these very traditional processes? An engagement is a very big deal for a man. And the wedding is also his big day. Here is a brief look into his inner workings on such momentous occasions:
One Ring to Rule Them All
A woman spots a man’s wedding ring and sees, “He’s taken”. A man views his ring as a slightly different announcement. “I’m committed.” “I’m a responsible adult.” “I’m a fully vested member of society.” “I can be trusted.”
It is also a declaration that he has stopped looking at any other woman in the same way as he does his chosen. He is declaring that he has decided on the one other human being to tie directly to his identity for the rest of his life. He is declaring that for you, all he has given up is more than worth it.
He is saying a lot more with that ring than he is usually given credit for. That is why he might want one of those custom men’s wedding bands as opposed to something understated. There is nothing understated about what he is promising. His life changed dramatically. And it is right that his ring should also reflect that dramatic change.
Breaking from Tradition
There is nothing traditional about the man you are marrying. He has his own unique way of thinking. He has an opinion about everything, an interesting and worthy perspective on the world.
That’s why there is a good chance he is not particularly keen on a traditional wedding with all the traditional trappings. He doesn’t want you to promise to honor and obey him. He doesn’t want you to be given away to him as if you were property to be given.
He also might have some thoughts about traditional engagement and wedding jewelry. Given the choice, he might opt for something more eco-friendly and financially responsible. It takes a bit of effort. But one really can source more eco-friendly engagement rings.
The man is seldom consulted about these things. One just assumes he will go along with whatever the bride wants. And he probably will. But that doesn’t mean he does not care.
Weddings get considerably more interesting and innovative when both the bride and groom are involved with the details. After all, it is his big day too. And he may not want to do exactly what his father did.
The Way He Sees You
You are a reflection of his greatest moment. When you are the center of attention, the personification of beauty, he is vindicated. For at that moment, he knows that the world finally sees you the way he does, the way he always has, and the way he will continue to see you when you are 90.
He never sees himself as fully worthy of you. And he will always wonder what you see in him. But he knows exactly what he sees in you. And on his wedding day, he can be sure that everyone else also catches a glimpse of it as well. He did well. And that’s what he’s really thinking that entire day, and every day thereafter.
Does all this sound like an overly romanticized version of the truth? It is. Then again, men are an overly romanticized version of the truth. They care about the rings, the social implications, and the spectacle as much as you, whether or not they ever say so. And that’s the truth about men.