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How to Be a Supportive Groom

Updated: Apr 25

…even if your bride's upset and you don’t know what to do.

Groom carries bride in his arms with snow and mountains in background
Lyndsey Leach Photography

What’s a Groom to do?

Nothing’s more defeating than seeing the love of your life in a state of distress and feeling helpless to do anything about it. The thing is, wedding planning is inherently stressful. But with the right communication and mindset, you can significantly lighten the load on your bride and your relationship as the big day approaches.

Be Present - Emotionally and Physically

Brides often feel abandoned by grooms when it comes to wedding planning. The most straightforward remedy is to attend as many wedding planning meetings as possible. Doing this successfully is simple: 1. put dates in your calendar; 2. confirm with your fiance that you’ll be there; 3. show up on time.  

Emotional presence, on the other hand, requires a bit more finesse. Touching her hand, looking her in the eye, or saying something like, “We’re in this together,” can accomplish more than hours of trying to “fix” the situation. 

Practice Active Lessoning

If you want to be a supportive groom, learn the art of active listening. Active listening is a highly effective method to smooth out relational tension and create constructive dialogue. Show your fiance that you care about what she’s saying by reflecting it back to her. Use phrases like, “What I hear you saying is ________. Am I understanding that right?”

Share Your Opinion

Meeting with the wedding planner is a great time to share your opinion. We’ve seen many a bride’s heart sink when we ask her groom’s opinion on something and he just shrugs. Remember, as much as society says the wedding is all about the bride, this is your day too! Make some time to figure out what’s important about the wedding to you, and you’ll be amazed at how much your engagement breathes life into your relationship during the planning process. If it’s brainstorming time, let your ideas run wild, and don’t throw a wet towel on them by immediately listing the ten logistical concerns that come to mind. You do the imagining, let the pros (that’s us) handle the nuts and bolts.

Discover What She Needs

Listen to the difference between these two statements:

  1. “Tell me what you need!

  2. “What would feel supportive right now?”

It’s an issue of intent vs. impact. You may intend to express your desire to support your fiance but come across as sounding frustrated, demanding, or combative. So, work with open-ended questions and accept that she might not have an answer for you on the spot. You can also ask the wedding planner and the maid of honor if they’ve noticed anything you might be able to take off her plate. 

Become Fluent in Her Love Language

You might be surprised at how much pleasure you derive from coming up with love-language surprises for your bride. First, discover what her love language is for receiving love. Once you’ve figured that out, here are some ideas for how to make her heart sing:

  1. Words of affirmation: write her a love letter; put sticky notes with affirmations on her steering wheel, inside her laptop, on the inside of her compact mirror; text an audio message of things you appreciate about her; pause an activity to tell her, “I’m so happy to be spending the rest of my life with you.”

  2. Physical touch: book a massage or facial; give her a scalp massage; draw her a salt bath and surprise her with a warm towel from the dryer; initiate a hyper-present cuddle session; kiss or caress her with something soft from head to toe. 

  3. Quality time: block out your schedule and turn off notifications; play pickleball, watch a movie, cook her dinner, or take her to the botanical gardens. 

  4. Acts of service: wash her car, do the laundry, meal prep or order food; make her a cup of tea in the morning; take care of a chore she’s been dreading; make the bed; make a decision that she’s ambivalent (but stressed) about.

  5. Gifts: order something off her wishlist; pick up some handmade truffles from her favorite local chocolate shop; make something by hand for her; have her maid of honor help you shop for something; bring her on a surprise date where she can pick out the gift. 

Take Care of Yourself

If you are anxious or running on empty, your bride’s going to feel it, no matter how helpful you intend to be. You must prioritize your own well-being before you can be of any help to others, so, get enough sleep, and do whatever it is that keeps your energy levels where you want them. Exercising, spending time with friends, and going to the bar to watch the game can all be valid self-care practices. The more you replenish your energy levels, the better able you’ll be to show up for your bride as a pillar of support. 

Day of: Don’t Add to Her Stress

When the big day comes, you’re likely going to face some nerves and emotions you’ve never come up against before. Don’t turn to your bride for guidance. Instead, invite your groomsmen to join you for an activity that’s calming but not distracting to those who are preparing the ceremony, such as: eating brunch, going on a hike, attending a yoga class, or playing a round of golf. Remember, you’re surrounded by people who want this special initiation and celebration to be one of the best moments of your life. So, sit back and enjoy every moment as you can. After all, you’re only going to see her walking down the aisle once, so be here for it, inside and out.

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