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Grooms play a larger role in today's weddings

Photo courtesy of Dan Manley

Wedding planner Dan Manley said that modern grooms are often skilled at picking out color schemes and decorations, and are playing a larger role in wedding planning than grooms of yesteryear.
Photo courtesy of Dan Manley Wedding planner Dan Manley said that modern grooms are often skilled at picking out color schemes and decorations, and are playing a larger role in wedding planning than grooms of yesteryear.
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Planning the perfect wedding may be typically seen as every little girl’s dream. And more often than not, the bride may take the lead in preparing for their big day, while the groom is just along for the ride.

But the times are changing. According to Fairfield resident and wedding planner Dan Manley, who owns Whiteswan Weddings and Events, men are playing a larger role in the lead up to “I do.”

Manley said this is especially apparent in the “millennial generation,” whose men are well aware of the many challenges and stresses of planning the wedding.

“I see the couple splitting the planning between them,” Manley said. “While the bride may be doing one thing on the list, the groom is doing a different thing on the list.”

Manley said there are many talented men out there who are great with color schemes and decorations, and their brides appreciate this.

“It takes the pressure off [the bride] and both are happier,” he said. “As a wedding planner, I believe it’s marvelous to see both bride and groom deciding their day. The bride usually has the final word and that’s due to the fact the groom wants her to be happy.”

Manley said the rules and etiquette for weddings have changed since the millennial generation, too.

“It’s no longer a white dress and tux,” he said. “The dresses are all different colors, the tuxes are now simple suits, and the bridal party wears what the wedding theme is all about.”

Manley mentioned that if a wedding’s theme is surfing, the wedding party will be dressed for a day at the beach, with “beach balls and surfboards included.”

“Another example is the ‘first look,’” Manley said. “Back in the day, it was bad if the groom saw his bride before the wedding. Now-a-days, couples are taking the time to get all their photos completed so they can be with the guests right after the ceremony.”

Manley said the bride is usually the one who reaches out to him for advice.

“At the meeting, I sit and listen to their vision of what they want in their wedding and how they would like to go about achieving it,” he said. “From the millennials to present, both groom and bride are deciding the wedding.”

Who gets to call the shots at the wedding depends on much more than traditional gender roles. It depends a lot on who is bankrolling the occasion.

“If both parents of the bride and groom are paying for it, they have a big say in the wedding planning,” Manley said. “Many brides hate this option, due to the fact the parents want their way and the bride and groom want it another way, usually causing friction between everyone.”

If the bride and groom are paying for the wedding from their own pocket, they’re totally in charge.

“If the parents are paying, we [as wedding planners] do listen to everyone on both sides,” Manley said. “But if the bride are groom are paying, it’s their wedding and I will listen and do what they want. After all, it’s not the parents who are getting married.”