Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Grooms go online to commiserate, access resources

a groom's torso with a flower on his lapel
(Photo source: Bride.net)
By Jovana Rizzo

From the arrangement of every flower petal to choosing an invitation font to making sure each strand of hair is in place, brides spend months sweating wedding details. Meanwhile, many grooms think their only responsibility is simply showing up on the big day. But that doesn’t mean many husbands-to-be don’t have questions about wedding planning and marriage. And that's where several online resources can help out, with gift ideas, forums to pose questions to fellow grooms, vendor reviews and more.

Tons of websites for brides populate the Internet, like the incredibly popular TheKnot.com, but grooms were at a loss when searching for resources specifically for them. In came Chris Easter, who co-founded the online grooms website TheManRegistry.com with his two brothers-in-law in 2007 when some friends and family members were getting engaged.

"This led us to create The Man Registry as a comprehensive resource where grooms could register for wedding gifts, purchase groomsmen gifts and research the wedding planning process," Easter said.

Easter said that his site tries to offer unique gifts that aren't available at most bridal registries, and some of their most popular products include a grill topper that sears the logo of your favorite team onto meat, a remote-controlled beer cooler and mini burger grill. In contrast, over at TheKnot.com, some of the best sellers include personalized Hershey's chocolates, a name changing kit for brides and engravable beer mugs (so both the bride and groom can appreciate the beer accessory).

Also on TheManRegistry.com there is a "Grooms 101" page which offers tips on wedding topics, from writing vows to having an environmentally-friendly wedding and wedding night advice for virgins.

Over at another grooms website, ThePlunge.com, editor Jeff Wilser said grooms’ most popular questions deal with choosing groomsmen (what do you do if you have eight best friends and only four groomsmen spots?) and the ethics of lap dances at bachelor parties.

Wilser, author of the book “The Maxims of Manhood,” said it was important to create a website that “spoke to guys in their voice,” and that ThePlunge.com serves up sarcasm with wedding wisdom.
“We make fun of the pageantry of wedding planning,” Wilser said, adding, “but we don’t believe in mocking the institution of marriage.”

Although they do get some hate mail for their jokes, both brides and grooms have consulted the website. In fact, Wilser said a bride once sought advice from ThePlunge.com when her fiancee’s friends didn’t plan a bachelor party, and she wondered if she should plan one for him. And TheManRegistry.com’s Easter said since the website launched, he has received positive feedback.

"The grooms that wrote us were relieved to know there was an outlet where they could read content from guys who have actually been through the wedding planning process before," Easter said. "Brides told us that they would be forwarding our link on to their fiancées."

And it’s clear that brides who have enjoyed connecting with their peers on bridal websites are encouraging their grooms to do the same.

At ThePlunge.com, which launched in the summer of 2009, there is even a forum thread titled "My Bride to be sent me here." The commenters answered each other's questions about buying tuxedos, and also commiserated about their fiancées' obsessions with TheKnot.com.

A commenter whose user name is Kryptoson wrote: "My bride-to-be sent me this link so here I am. She is on 'The Knot' website all the time..."

Another commenter called CPrime wrote: "Yeah, my girl sent me here too. She lives on 'The Knot.' I think she loves those girls more than me at this point."

Kryptoson replied: "Man I wouldn't sweat it too much. Look at it this way, the more she is on The Knot and consulting with 'those girls' the less you get pulled into every little detail of the wedding. Plus, it gives you more time to play X-Box or whatever."

1 comment:

Fabio Acapello said...

Chris Easter once told me that I had fat eyes. I don't have fat eyes Chris Easter, I don't.

Come on England!

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