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Weddings Target the Bride, Not the Groom

June 01, 1995|JEFF MEYERS | Jeff Meyers is editor of Ventura County Life

Let's face it, men. We're just bystanders at our own weddings.

Does the groom ever walk down the aisle? Does the organist ever play "Here Comes the Groom"? Does the groom get to toss a bouquet or allow his buddies to catch one? Do wedding guests ever weep over the groom? Does a groom wear his outfit only once and then keep it in the freezer so his yet-to-be-born son can wear it as his wedding?

Of course not.

That's why this week's Centerpiece on weddings is targeted almost exclusively at brides. Once the man proposes, his job is basically finished until the bill from the honeymoon comes in. It's the bride who gets her parents to plunder their nest egg to pay for the ceremony and reception. The bride who chooses the site and the size of the wedding. And who goes sleepless over the color of the bridesmaids' dresses.

Free-lance writer Elena Jarvis wrote reams of advice for brides but failed, of course, to come up with any tips for grooms. As if grooms didn't need help? Do you know how hard is it to show up on time with clean nails, rented tuxedo, best man in tow and wedding ring safely in a pocket?

A groom is expected to be perfect on his wedding day. Nobody is very understanding if he shows up just a few minutes late. He can't even have a little harmless fun--smashing the wedding cake into his bride's $200 makeup job would probably not endear him to his mother-in-law.

The Centerpiece was difficult for Jarvis to write: tears kept raining down on her keyboard. No, the long hours and the intense deadline pressure didn't open her tear ducts--weddings make her cry.

"I even get all choked up watching wedding videos," she said. "The beauty of the ritual is so touching to me that I've been known to cry at strangers' weddings."

Her own wedding several years ago was designed expressly to keep her from losing control of her tears.

"The idea of standing in front of a bunch of my friends and family and bawling my eyes out is unbearable to me," she said, "which is why I was married by a justice of the peace with only two witnesses to tell the tale. If I get married again, I always swear it will be by an Elvis impersonator in Vegas. It may be tacky, but it will keep me smiling."

Crying aside, Jarvis did enjoy writing about county weddings. "The people who work in the industry were smart and funny and concerned about the happiness of their clients," Jarvis said. "They love their work, but they also are true believers in romance and creating memories that last a lifetime.

"Here I go, getting all misty-eyed again."

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