What I Learned Helping My Wife Plan Our Wedding


sam ofman wedding planning
Photo: Alex Ofman

In his new book, A Groom with a View: What I Learned Helping My Wife Plan Our Wedding, he proves that experts aren’t the only ones with worthwhile advice. Here, some insights.

Relax. You don’t need a wedding survival guide. It’s a big party you throw for yourself. I promise, you’ll survive.

Planning a wedding is an exercise in disillusionment. Don’t let it get to you. Your wedding may not be special to your caterer or day-of planner, but it’s still special to you.

Stressing about Instagram hearts and cartoon thumbs won’t add to your joy. Skip the photo op anxiety and stay in the moment. Remember: self worth over selfie worth.

Your fiancée may ask you to be more decisive. Don’t fall for it. Never do anything without her approval.

Hiring a costumed-chauffeur to drive you home from the reception in a ’49 Plymouth is a cute idea, but at $33 per minute, it becomes an expensive photo op.

The caterer tasting is fantastic, but not for the reason you’d think. It represents the first return on your investment, when the decisions, money, emails, and aggravation culminate in something concrete. You don’t just taste the hors d’oeuvres, you taste the fruits of your labor.

Read the fine print. Don’t let a $500 confetti fee catch you by surprise.

Tell your mom in advance that she can’t invite Nancy. Nancy is your mom’s friend that you haven’t seen since the previous millennium. Set a precedent early to keep the guest list under control.

Here’s a Weddingese-to-English translation guide: Sage means green. Blush means pink. I thought I wore a beige bowtie, but I’ve since learned it was oyster.

My wife thinks the registry is for things you’d never buy for yourself. That’s why she has three new crystal cake stands. I’m more practical. My favorite gift was a dust-buster. Regardless, gifts are more fun than cash.

Something will go wrong. Our photo booth broke. Twice. Accept it, and take solace knowing no vendor can deny a full refund when you use the phrase, “a great deal of stress and embarrassment for the bride.”

Let your guests fend for themselves. Whether it’s hotels, transportation, or veganism, let their personal problems be personal. It doesn’t matter if your wedding is memorable to them, it matters if it’s memorable to you. Make selfish decisions — all of your guests will celebrate you anyway.

I’ve never participated in a ceremony rehearsal that wasn’t chaotic. Don’t panic. All you’re practicing is when to walk, who to walk with, how fast to walk and when to stop walking. If something goes wrong during the ceremony it’ll get tons of laughs. People are there to share a memory, not critique the choreography.

Vows should be hard. In all of history, only Shakespeare and a handful of romantic comedy screenwriters have found the words to capture the essence of love. Don’t try to match them. It’s less about what you say than how you say it. Practice out loud. People won’t remember the words, but they’ll remember if you stumbled over them.

The best advice for wedding planners? Easy. Don’t listen to anybody’s advice. Especially mine. Who cares what I think? I’m just some guy who got married. Do what you want. It’s your day.

Don’t write a book about planning your wedding. It forces you to relive a lot of vendor scams, frustration, and cash outflows ($800 couch rentals). Read my book instead, it’ll be more fun.

sam ofman wedding
Photo: Misty McLendon Photography

a groom with a view sam ofman
 Sam Ofman’s A Groom With a View (Amazon) offers a hilarious and insightful outsider’s perspective on wedding planning.