Five Things Men Love About Weddings

Cynicism, pah! Cynicism went out with Keyboard Cat and saying “lol!” without meaning it. The new internet hotness is rabid enthusiasm about things and general swooning with delight. So, very much in this spirit and fuelled by cheap caffeine, here’s five things that men absolutely love about weddings! SQUUUUEEAAAAAL!

  1. Finger Buffets
    The finger buffet is a timeless catering roulette. It’s not up everyone’s street, but few aspects of catering are quite as adventurous. Is there egg on that sandwich? Are those crisps mixed? Will the couple have gone the extra mile and have fresh bacon sandwiches brought out at about 9ish?
  2. Under Age Boozing
    Usual booze legalities don’t apply at weddings. Most of us had our first secretive beer at a wedding and there’s nothing quite as heart-warming as seeing an early teenager being sick in a pot plant. A wedding wouldn’t be a wedding without at least a few first time hangovers – welcome to the club kids!
  3. Bells Ringing
    If you want the sound of England just fire up a few church bells. There’s genuinely fewer more triumphant, happier sounds than the echo of Church bells. If you’re having a civil wedding get some bell sounds piped in.
  4. Blokes Obtaining the Football Scores
    The perils of a Saturday afternoon wedding are of course, the inevitable football clash. Brides, be wary of passed around phones, unexpectedly helpful trips to fetch stuff from the car, inappropriate whisperings and mood swings. Just don’t jump up and shout “Yes!” during the vows.
  5. Hats
    Sadly the hat has recently become a much-maligned accessory limited to teenage Goths, Sunday drivers and that one bloke in the village who wears a trilby. Fortunately, a wedding allows for plenty of hat madness, as approved by Cilla Black.
    BONUS: Uncles
    Uncles exist in a vague shadowy world where they flit forever in-between weddings and christenings. At these events they will talk traffic with anyone who strays near enough. Usually good for a round at some point, but will go wildly off-list with a wedding present that you really don’t know what it is.

Article by Andrew Shanahan of I am Staggered

Staggered is the UK’s handsomest men’s wedding blog. Stop by sometime, say hi.

How to Handle Your Mother-In-Law

Did you know that an anagram of mother-in-law is “Woman Hitler”? You can draw your own conclusions on that one. Now, I’m not trying to cause a fuss but recently when we’ve been attending wedding fairs, we’ve had more than a few brushes with the bride’s mother and it’s plain to see that the notion of an interfering mother-in-law is a huge issue for many grooms (and brides). To that end we thought we’d put together a few tips for grooms experiencing their own Woman Hitler moments…

Present a United Front

One of the biggest threats that an interfering mother-in-law presents is that it causes a rift in the relationship between the bride and groom. The groom is getting hacked off because his mother-in-law is actively stopping him from getting involved, but if his bride is close to her mum he might not want to cause a rift by telling her. That’s why it’s important that you discuss the issue with your wife-to-be and tell her exactly why it’s annoying you and reach an agreement on the issue before you act on the situation.

Be Tactful

For many mothers-in-law it seems that her daughter’s wedding is the chance she’s been waiting for to create her dream day. Not to put too fine a point on it, but that’s wayyy wrong. The wedding is about the couple and their relationship. If the mother-in-law wants to help them to create their dream day then that’s great, but she should have absolutely no say in how their relationship is celebrated.

That’s still true even if it’s her husband that’s paying for it (which is increasingly rare). If that’s held over you as a means to let her have her way, then you need to have a serious conversation about whether the cost of the financial support is too great. Again though – it’s all about you and your wife-to-be discussing it and agreeing what you want.

Set Tasks

Weddings are essentially long, long lists of tasks that need to be researched, completed and paid for. That might be stripping away the romance a bit, but you get the point. If you are blessed with a mother-in-law who is desperate to participate then focus her energies. Do not give her carte blanche to meddle.

Be enthusiastic about her help, thank her warmly and then set her a list of tasks. Explain that you are covering tasks A to W and it would be great if she could research (or even do if you trust her) tasks X, Y and Z. This way she knows she’s being helpful (and that you’re grateful) but most importantly of all it tells her exactly where the boundaries are.

Ultimately, in our reader’s experience the majority of people loved their mother-in-law (53% loved, compared to 47% who loathed) but there was enough who had problems to suggest that there’s a reason the groom/mother-in-law relationship is such a staple of sitcoms. Good luck…

Article by Andrew Shanahan of I am Staggered

If you’re needing help with your mothers-in-law then don’t forget to stop by where you’ll always find a friendly ear and a funny mother-in-law joke.

Let’s Hear It For The Dads

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Dads. They mend plugs with butter knives, keep half-empty tins of paint in the shed and always, always know where the batteries are kept. So when it came to advice about weddings, Staggered decided that we should go straight to our readers’ dads and see what pearls of wisdom they’d dispensed before their weddings. Turns out our readers’ dads enjoy quotes and clichés.

“He seems like a nice lad, he always has done, and I’m glad you’re marrying him. But remember, if needs be, I’ll bash his head in.” – Lucy

“Marriage is not always 50/50. Some days you will wake up and may have to give 90% and your spouse will give 10%. Other days you may wake up and give 25% and your husband will have to put in the 75%. I never thought of this before but it is so true.” – Roger

“Remember, she does want something for her birthday.” – Al

“At the height of planning my wedding, and when my grooms frustration reached its peak, my father took me to one side and said “You know all the times when you’ve imagined scoring an FA Cup winning goal at Wembley, or taking 5 wickets at Lords, or playing the closing set at Glastonbury, or whatever you imagine when your brain goes in to its screensaver mode… Well for every time you’ve imagined something like that which will never happen, she’s imagined this wedding day and that will – so be patient and cut her some slack – it’ll be worth it in the end”. He’s a genius, my father!” –  Jim

“Don’t cock it up.” – Alan

“The two cornerstones of a wonderful marriage are chocolate and compromise.” – Marie

“Live long and prosper.” – Alex (“Yes, he did quote Spock.”)

“You never suited a bachelor life.” – Andy

“Can we hurry this along if possible; the dog’s getting restless back in the car.” – Colin

Article by Andrew Shanahan of I am Staggered

Let us know if your own dad had something to share prior to your big day. Was it as meaningful as Colin’s Dad’s? If you’re a father of the bride then be sure to have a look at the UK’s leading men’s wedding website Staggered as we’ve got plenty of resources just for you.

Men Crying at Weddings

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Men – we’re surprisingly complex beasts you know? You women look at us and just see the oil-stained hands, our knowledge of football trivia and the leering at women we do as we drive past them on the street, but you completely overlook the fact that beneath these crunchy, sexist outer layers there lies a chewy, emotional centre. Sometimes us men are just big girls in shiny shoes and nowhere is this more apparent than at a wedding, where we can finally let ourselves go. Like these colossal jessies.

Ok, this bloke might be taking the whole emotion thing a bit too far. From the opening seconds where you think you’re going to witness him upchucking his pre-wedding G&T to the stomping and restraining, you do wonder just how eager he is to get on with the whole first night thing…Glory indeed.

All the women in the congregation are sighing and wishing they had a man who could be as open and emotionally honest as this groom. All the men are counting down the seconds until they can laugh straight in his big teary face. His bride dabbing his tears away with a little silk hankie just makes the whole thing unbearable.

Meh. Not so sure about this one. The whole massed audience, the cameras and his pre-prepared speech make us wary that he’s faking it. We’re not going to come right out and say sociopathic tendencies but we’re all thinking it.

Article by Andrew Shanahan

5 Essential Things For The Father of the Bride

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There seems to be a general feeling that the Father of the Bride is often the forgotten man of the wedding planning process. The feeling is that you’re probably experienced enough to cope with the nerves and tough enough to cope with the emotions. But that’s why we often end up feeling sorry for the FOTB (you’ve even got the worst wedding acronym for crying out loud) and decided to round-up some essential advice for all the dads out there prior to the big day.

  1. Deal With The Nerves Before They Ruin It
    It’s perfectly natural and acceptable for you to feel nervous. Nerves about the ceremony and speeches are in the top three subjects that fill the Staggered inbox. Fortunately, both can be cured with some simple preparation. Write and practice your speech at least a month in advance of the big day and do everything you can to make it to the church rehearsal as this will give you an idea of where to stand and when.
  2. Speeches Are Easy When You Prepare
    You can find way more information on Staggered about wedding speeches but this is it in a nutshell. Between 5 and 8 minutes, less is more, stand straight, don’t mumble and speak from the heart. Always write your speech in full (never “wing it”), because even if you don’t use it you’ve always got it in case you need it. Give a copy to your daughter for the wedding memory box. The Father of the Bride welcomes the guests, sets the tempo, welcomes his new family members and talks about his daughter without embarrassing her!
  3. It Will Be Emotional – Get Ready
    Blokes and emotions are never a good mix, for the simple reason that we’re often a bit slower at dealing with them and how they affect us. Take some time before the wedding to talk to your daughter about the wedding and what she means to you. Too many men think they’ll come out with the perfect speech in the car on the way to the church and end up feeling that they never quite explained how they feel – or worse: end up at the church a sobbing mess!
  4. How To Deal With The Money
    The good news is that this generation are getting married later, the bad news being that they’re living with their parents longer. As a result more of them are paying for their own wedding. If you’re still footing the bill and you find that the wedding is placing too much of a burden on your finances then make it clear that costs need to be cut. Everyone wants a perfect wedding, but no one wants that to come at the expense of a stressed dad. Also there are thousands of resources out there on how to get a champagne wedding on beer prices, use them!
  5. Plan Your Advice
    As with the emotions, this is another topic that should be tackled in advance of the big day. It’s tradition that you pass on some advice – whether that’s in your speech or just in passing. This is a big thing both for the bride and the groom and many people remember for their whole lives what was said to them at this point. So make it wise, make it original and make it something personal. Think about your marriage: what have you learned? What can you say that will improve these young people’s chance of happiness? But remember, no pressure…

Article by Andrew Shanahan