Real Jewish Brides: Jos’s Grooms’ Eye View into Wedding Planning

Jos will be marrying Daniel on 28th June 2020 at Hackney Town Hall, London, UK. Click here to read all Jos’ planning posts to date.

THREE FACTS: (1) Before meeting Daniel, Jos was known for her torrid dating tales – so much so that her friends used to call her Bridget Jonestein! (2) Daniel proposed to Jos in the Greek island of Naxos! (3) Jos is a member of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club!

The lead up to Daniel and I getting engaged was one of great anticipation. My mum called me one day and said ‘just tell him, the minute he proposes, I’m ready to get organising’. I too had tentatively started googling things… not wanting to tempt fate, but just to prep.. you know… just in case. Fast forward to the week after Daniel proposed, and I received of the biggest shocks of the wedding planning process so far.

Daniel, had an opinion. 

And I really don’t blame myself for the surprise I felt. We’re conditioned to believe that the wedding is the biggest day of a girl’s life. That the bride is the centre of attention. And if you think about popular culture, that’s really not surprising.

Take movies as an example. A cursory google brought up 99 films with ‘Bride’ in the title. These of course don’t include films that focus on a bride, but don’t specifically call it out in the title (i.e. almost every Disney cartoon). It does include the ‘Bride of Chucky’, which is not exactly within the romantic genre, but this isn’t an exact science.

Guess how many films I found with the word groom in the title? Five. Four of those films were made in the 1930’s, and one, confusingly, was called ‘The Well-Groomed Bride’, so, it doesn’t count. TV is another example. 

The only TV show I can think of that really features a groom is called… ‘Don’t tell the Bride’. So, I think I can be excused for the surprise when it dawned on me that this wasn’t the movies, it was real life and in real life, the Groom has a say. 

So, in true British style, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to the underdog. The most underrepresented demographic in the wedding world. The Groom.


From left to right: Jen, Jos, Charlotte and Jocy, all Brides Club Members and actual/former Real Blogging Brides. Their partners have been interviewed by Jos.

My Interview With Three Grooms

When I had this idea, I was so excited. I approached Daniel with my usual enthusiasm for any idea that I like and I will do, with our without his approval and asked to interview him. To my chagrin, he immediately declined my request, citing that he wasn’t comfortable with this idea.

It dawned on me that as much as I love the limelight (and being a blogging bride feeds my extrovert nature perfectly), Daniel is more comfortable with in a group. So, I set about finding some other grooms to feature alongside him.

Before long, I had roped in the partners of my most excellent Brides Club posse – Stuart of Jocy and Stuart, James of Charlotte and James and Charlie of Jen and Charlie. The partners of three other STG Blogging Brides (who incidentally have come together through Brides Club). And over the obligatory roast at the Stag Pub in Hampstead, I asked the boys some questions, all in service of representing The Groom.

I asked all four grooms the same questions, intending this to be a humorous piece about how the groom should sit back and let the bride do all the grunt work. After all, this is what happens on telly, except on Don’t Tell the Bride where they inevitably make a pig’s ear of it. What I found was a very different picture.

What touched me most was that the boys experienced anxiety, but largely on behalf of the bride. They care so much about us having a great time, that it makes them stressed, in fact Charlie said ‘I spent most of run up to the wedding hoping that Jen would enjoy it. I didn’t want anything to go wrong that would ruin her day.’

So, in the same way as some of these posts aim to be as helpful as possible to the bride, here is my attempt at doing this for the groom, taken from a small sample size of (slightly tipsy and very full) grooms, who, unlike us, do not have the benefit of a club or a girl gang to get them through this process.


Jos and Daniel

Tip #1 Set your vision, together.

One thing that overwhelmingly came through from listening to the boys is that times are changing and they also want to be involved. The days of the groom turning up on the day to a bunch of surprises are over, as couples want more autonomy over their day and have more financial input.

However, us brides clearly have a tendency to take over (guilty!) and perhaps have been thinking/dreaming/hoping for this day for a lot longer than the grooms. Daniel was quick to point out ‘It’s very easy to let your fiancé run away with organising the day’ (and I felt suitably guilty for at least 30 seconds when he said that).

James noted that one of the most important things to do was to set your vision together and stick to it, and Charlie was very clear about not compromising from what you, as a couple, want your day to be. Finally, Stuart was most focused on ‘good music and good food. I don’t care about flowers and stuff, I just want people to have no choice but to enjoy themselves.’

So to any lovely bride who is reading this, armed with Trello boards and Google docs, shooting off multiple emails to suppliers whilst choosing which charger plates will complement your centrepieces, remember that this is an opportunity for partnership and a joint effort.

And to the grooms wanting to play a part in wedding planning but not sure where to start, this was Daniel’s advice: ‘we sat down early on and discussed what we definitely wanted. We knew our parents would be heavily involved, so it was important for us to know what we cared about most, and then we knew what we definitely wanted to be making the decisions on. After that, we worked out a way to divide the jobs so everyone had a role in the organising.’


Jen and Charlie – see their wedding here

Tip #2 It’s not ALL about the Bride   

There are plenty of moments during the wedding process that are dedicated to the groom and the boys were very keen to talk about them. Lets take suit shopping as an example. Both Charlie and James implored any groom in the market for some new threads to go and visit Dom at The Wedding Gallery.

James made it clear that you should go for a suit that reflects who you are, not just tradition, as it’s the only time in your life that a suit can represent such a special milestone. Saying this, looking back Charlie wasn’t sure that buying a suit that you can literally only wear for one day was a good plan (cue a conversation between him and Jen about whether or not you can dye said suit…)

Daniel chose a different route, choosing to buy a bespoke suit from Drake’s on Saville Row, and made a morning of it, with his mum and dad coming down from Liverpool for his first fitting. 

Another moment that is literally just for the groom is the speech. And whilst I fully plan to grab the mic and do my own speech at my wedding I ask Daniel pretty much weekly whether he’s thought about his speech yet (the answer is usually, no).

Charlie on the other hand, wrote his speech well in advance of the day. For him, the speech was the only part of the day that was a total surprise for Jen, and he wanted to make that moment count. ‘My speech was written for Jen, it was the only part of the wedding that she didn’t know about in minute detail, I worked really hard, just for her reaction’ (as a guest at that wedding I can confirm that it was well worth it, it was a great speech!) 

Saying that, all four boys talked about how, during the planning process, they wanted to make sure that they were as supportive to their bride as possible in a way that was right for them as a couple. Charlie’s advice was ‘Ignore the misconception that the bride should do everything and be clear with your partner with what you want.’


Charlotte and James – see their wedding here

Tip #3 The Silver Linings

There is no doubt that the wedding planning process can be immensely stressful, not least because you have the rest of your life to lead at the same time as project managing the biggest celebration of your life so far.

I write this whilst taking a deep breath before embarking on an incredibly busy few months, including surgery for my endometriosis, the wedding of my amazing brother and future sister in law, whilst balancing our wedding plans, hens, stags, work, friends, family, the list goes on (I’m hyperventilating just thinking about it).

So, the final theme that came through was to focus on the special moments, the things that were most special for those who are married, and are most exciting for those who are waiting to get married. In the spirit of perspective (and calming my own anxiety right now) focussing on those moments you are most looking forward to could be helpful.

James talked about the food tasting, seeing the venue all dressed up, and seeing Charlotte in her dress at the badeken. Stuart is most looking forward to ‘people’s reactions to the venue. The thing is, we’ve been together for 9 years. We’ve done all those bits. I’m really just excited we are having a day for just us, and that our friends and family can enjoy with us.’

And as for Daniel, his initial reaction was ‘it being over’… which to be fair, in the context of the first part of this section, I can see why he’d say that. However, it was swiftly followed by (without any coercion, I promise) “Also, try and enjoy it. When things get tough, focus on the fact that you’re marrying the one that you love… especially during the times that you just want to go and elope!’


Stuart and Jocy

A Team Effort

And with that, I’ll wrap up my entirely selfless attempt at being the voice of the underdog. It was so interesting to me how different reality is from popular culture and how much most of the boys cared about the day, it was so at odds with what I expected before getting engaged.

Last night I sat down with Daniel and we went through a few wedmin points that we’d done in the day. Daniel, is working to find us a new rabbi, and him and my dad were speaking to our wonderful caterer about drinks.

It occurred to me that he not only had an opinion, but he has taken on large chunks of the to do list, allowing me to focus on prepping for my surgery next week, our wedding prep truly has become a joint effort.  So, you never know how things will evolve in the future, at this rate, maybe there will be a Smashing the Glass Grooms club!


Click here to read all Jos’ planning posts to date.


Jos & Daniel’s Wedding Vendors booked so far:

Venue – Hackney Town Hall
Videographer – Dreamcatchers {offers 10% discount to all members of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club}
Honeymoon – Abby Taubman of Colletts Travel {offers a travel guide to the chosen destination to all members of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club}
Events agency – WORK HARD / PLAY HARD
Flowers – Alice Vine
Singer – Katie Plus Juan
Caterer – Black Pot
Cake – Belsize Cake
Photographer – Rachel Takes Pictures
Band – Stylus
Stationery – Hart Creative Studio
Hair and Make up – Camilla J Collins
Grooms suit – Drake’s

 


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The post Real Jewish Brides: Jos’s Grooms’ Eye View into Wedding Planning appeared first on Smashing the Glass | Jewish Wedding Blog.

Real Jewish Brides: Jos’s Grooms’ Eye View into Wedding Planning