Image: One Love Photo


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Thursday, September 16, 2010

#87: BRAVE GROOM INTERVIEW: Bret (aka, every planning bride's wet dream)

Ladies and gentlemen...boys and girls...Lady Gaga and those of us who *don't* wear outfits made of raw meat...I am so very excited to unveil my first BRAVE GROOM interview! It's about time I got  a dude's perspective on here, yes?

After you get a look into the mind of wedding blogger Bret (mastermind behind All Things 'Zilla), you'll agree: If Bret decided to become a polygamist, you'd totally mail him your photo and resume. Why? Because you'd get to experience the joy of planing a wedding with a smart, funny, and creative guy who is totally involved in the planning process! And now, put on your scrubs and rubber gloves...because it's time to dissect the groom: 


How would you describe your involvement in the wedding planning process?

I would describe it with one word: totes. I'm totes involved. I used to believe firmly that 'totes' didn't sound right when placed before the word it was modifying and worked much better as a reply; for example, "Wanna go see Piranha 3D?" gets a reply of "Totes!" whereas "I totes love Justin Bieber despite myself" sounded wrong. But now I've come to accept both. Although I haven't truly accepted Bieber into my heart yet.

Anyway, um, I'm totes involved, and I fully expect to be so all the way through. I mean, I have a wedding blog, after all; even though I'm starting to realize that blogging about weddings is not actually the same thing as planning one and so "Baby I posted today!" doesn't mean "baby I hired a vendor today!"

I think about our wedding all the time and have already done quite a bit myself - I hired a photographer, secured the venue, have been trying to figure out the feasibility of making some of our food myself, have been composing music for the wedding, and more. My fiancee Jessica and I have been having meetings recently where we discuss our progress and have even gone so far as to assign Project Managers for the various aspects of the wedding. It's a team effort and neither of us would want it any other way. The fact that we are both really excited about planning it is sort of inherent to our personalities and to our relationship - if I claimed that I wasn't interested in planning our wedding, Jessica would look at me cock-eyed and assume I'd been body-snatched. It just wouldn't jive.

What is the coolest/ most fun/ most interesting part of planning?

For me, it's the creativity I get to weave into nearly every phase of planning. Need to pick a song for the first dance? I'll write one instead. Need to buy favors? How about we make our own pop tarts or candy! Potluck dinner? Let's put photos of the cook next to every container of food at the buffet with a little paragraph about the dish! And I'll make bread! And our friend is brewing beer! And our other friend is canning her own pickles! And so forth. Every piece of the planning process is an opportunity to inject our own personality into it.

Well, except the budget. That sucker is dry and boring.

What aspect of planning has surprised you?

I may not really be able to answer this quite yet since we're so early in the process, but if The Brave Bride were to hold a gun to my head and demand an answer - though I hope she doesn't because, come on, that's mean, and not really very Brave - I'd have to say: how much our friends have family have offered to help.

This is not to say I wasn't expecting people to be excited, but Jessica and I have both been blown away by the outpouring of love and excitement from the fine folks in our lives. Offers to cook, brew beer, make crafts, design and make clothes, and general help with all pieces of the process. I've been sent spreadsheets of photographer research, a completed budget, been given planning books; a friend of ours basically designed our entire wedding website in a couple days and did all sorts of bridesmaid dress research; a friend will be taking our engagement photos and then designing our save-the-dates and invitations along with the help of another friend.

Anyway, we feel really lucky to be surrounded by such great people, and it's amazing how much confidence it all gives me that the wedding will be awesome.

I've also been surprised - nay, shocked - at the staggering amount of wedding blogs that are out there. When Jessica suggested I start one of my own I had no idea that three out of every four young brides* have their own wedding blog. So then of course I had some trepidations about adding yet another one to the cyber-mix, but when I realized how few grooms blog about weddings, I decided it was still worth my while.

*[Citation needed.]

What part of planning makes you want to set fire to a nursing home (or some other less dramatic act of fury)?

Speaking as someone who has actually set fire to numerous nursing homes, I'll say that I only did it because I had solid intelligence suggesting that aging terrorists were being harbored within the walls of the homes, and frankly, it was my civic duty to commit arson. As for irritating aspects of wedding planning, I'll say that more than anything up to this point the most frustrating part has been trying to deal with caterers. They've been inflexible, unfriendly, expensive, humorless, and even impossible to reach on the phone in some cases. But we've managed to grab our frustration by the balls*, wrangle it to the ground, present it to the cheering crowd, and make something awesome out of it: a self-catered/potluck hybrid wedding.

*[Obligatory reference to testicles.]

And of course, with that we've created a whole new slew of possible nursing-home-fire situations. But really, if the choice is dealing with loving friends and family who want very much to cook for us and to help us in any way possible, rather than a company that refuses to let us provide our own damn linens for crying out loud, I feel quite confident that we can navigate any of the pitfalls that may arise.

We are still over 10 months away from the wedding, so it's possible that the most frustrating aspect of the planning process has not yet emerged, remaining dormant below the surface, simmering, bubbling, ready to pounce. But I'm sure that when the time comes we'll grab that aspect by the balls, wrangle it to the ground, and so forth.

If the TLC network created a wedding-related reality tv show geared toward engaged men, what would the title and premise be? Why do you think men would benefit from this show?

After some thought I think it would either need to be called Don't Assume The Groom or Fiance what? or Groom Raider. The more cynical, marketable vision of the show is that it gathers together a bunch of newly engaged men and pits them against each other, Project Runway style, but instead of designing clothes they're designing a wedding. One of them gets voted off each week by a panel of B-list celebrity judges (plus a professional wedding planner or two), and the winner is the one who designs the coolest wedding and wins a free honeymoon or something. The brides would be nominally involved but it's the groom's show.

But a more practical, helpful show would simply be about dudes planning their weddings WITH their fiancees, because as silly as it sounds, even that is sort of unconventional - at least nontraditional. A show that follows couples planning their wedding but that focuses more of the groom's point of view would be great and might show grooms-to-be that the old "just show up on your wedding day" style of groom-wedding-planning is pretty lame and outdated.


  1. I heart him. Not nearly as much as I heart Ben of course, but truly, I heart him. His creativity and sense of humor are awesome :)

  2. Awesome post! Thanks totes :)

  3. great freaking post. we loooooove bret, so glad you interviewed him as your first groom! he's flipping awesome.

  4. I agree, y'all. He's totes da bomb.

  5. Thanks for the lovely comments, gals! I am flattered that Kim would even ask me to answer these questions.

    Smiley face!


Babbling about weddings is so much more fun when people babble back. :)

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