Nerds get old. It’s a part of life, and often as we grow up a funny little thing called “Getting Married” happens to a lot of us. Fresh off of my honeymoon and still milking my newlywed status, I was able to take some time and reflect on the big day with a clear mind and a post-wedding mindset. As you may know someone, or know someone who knows someone that just got hitched, you know that a lot of planning goes into making the day unique and special. Normally, we think of brides turning into monsters and future in-laws taking the proverbial piss in one’s Cheerios, all while the groom sits by idly watching the whole thing burn. Well, I have to tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way. Let me show you how…
Disclaimer: I am by no means a wedding planner, nor am I any sort of sage or witch doctor. If any of the following doesn’t work for you, I cannot be held accountable. But look at it this way, – you’re reading this, right? Clearly you had nothing to begin with, so what the hell?
Pt. 1: Be Yourself – Be Nerdy!
Chances are, you like something that others would consider alternative or, less-nicely put: nerdy. Go with it! Unless you are a bum and frankly don’t give a shit (which will make me question why you’ve read this far), bring your idea to the table. Here’s my real-life example: I think steampunk is awesome and can be really stylish. I used resources like Etsy and Google to find all kinds of things that fit what I was looking for. Within minutes, I had Metropolis-inspired cake toppers, typewriter key cufflinks, cog jewelry and other decorative pieces. Whether it’s comic books, a favorite videogame or just a theme show, you actually care about the element by doing the work. You will find that the amount of convincing necessary to get your partner on board will be at a minimum.
Pt. 2: You love technology? Use it!
When no one is reachable, your need a laugh, you can’t find that last piece of the Triforce or you are just feeling antisocial, you turn to the Internet and usually end up on Reddit for hours. Redirect your skills to organize your wedding day. Sites like TheKnot.com are an excellent source of reviews on everything from vendors (for those who are unfamiliar with the lingo, these are the people who take your photos, play music for you, arrange your flowers, etc.) to venues from people who have embraced the Internet’s useful nature. Twenty minutes of research and about five phone calls from The Knot took care of 80 percent of the “hiring,” if you will. Of course, depending on the help you’re looking for, 20 minutes can easily turn into two hours, but at least you’re involved. Pro Tip: Pick some kind of venue that has a bridal attendant. You’ll see why a little later.
Pt. 3: Form an Alliance – You and Your Partner Against The World!
At the end of the day, this is a celebration of the love you and your partner share. Do not, under any circumstances, let someone get between the two of you. Mediation is likely going to be necessary more than once, but never divide or let someone take as large of a stake in the matter as the bride and groom. The best analogy I can conjure is that “too many cooks in the kitchen spoil dinner.” It cannot be truer for weddings, but this is a fine line. You don’t want to ostracize your family and your wedding party. This is arguably where most of the planning stress comes from, but stay cool, Honey Bunny. Make spreadsheets and keep in contact regularly – even if it is just to announce that you’ve made a decision in a certain department. Fire up group SMS or put an address book together like you do for your D&D night. This, unfortunately, was a lesson learned from neglect; you will avoid a lot of unneeded flack and stress if you heed this last part in particular.
Pt. 4: The Big Day and the Dawn of a New Era
Befriend your bridal attendant (yes, you too, gentlemen). This person was the sole reason I didn’t spend my entire wedding playing host. They help you get every ounce of enjoyment out of the food and open bar you are likely paying more money for than you ever thought you would. Think of this person as a real-life Siri: “Hey, Ms. Bridal Attendant, can you make me a White Russian? Oh, and can you remind me to finish it before Uncle Vito tells me the fishing story again? Thanks.” It’s amazing and a totally necessary expense, if you ask me. The wife and I found it immeasurably helpful. Don’t be afraid to direct when necessary, make sure the DJ plays your songs, make sure the photographer gets a picture of you with Grandma and make sure the bartender isn’t skimping on the Grey Goose.
All in all, my experience was pleasant. By no means did my wife and I split the work down the middle, nor would I dare claim that as true. Still, the amount that I willingly (and admittedly unwillingly) took part in was at times enlightening when not infuriating. The important thing was the level of appreciation I gained for things I would have not lent a partial thought to before this. When defended passionately and, most importantly, logically, ideas came to life and I found my personal touches throughout the day. So let your inner geek shine through, and, at the very least, make certain you are in the copilot seat.
Erik’s favorite touch? Computer chip boutonnieres. Follow him on Twitter @Erock88.