They may not have grown up fantasizing about their “perfect wedding,” but suddenly men are taking an uncharacteristic interest in everything matrimonial.
Just look at the explosion of Web sites in recent years catering exclusively to bridegrooms and you know something’s afoot. “We men pride ourselves on never having to ask for directions,” Michael Arnot, who started GroomGroove.com in 2007, has said. “But if there’s one time to do it, this is it.”
To those who think we’re witnessing a seismic societal shift, however, please note: Yes, it may be heartening to see men reaching out for help on topics like how to pop the question and the art of gift registering. But the “directions” people like Arnot give grooms are very much from the male perspective.
Wedding toasts? “No jokes about ex-girlfriends,” Groom Groove advises. Scheduling weddings around football season? “The majority of college and pro games take place during the day, so if you schedule an evening wedding you can probably watch the majority of the game,” counsels TheManRegistry.com.
Though 1.2 million men get married every year, they seem to be especially uneducated about wedding jewelry-including the engagement ring, his-and-her wedding bands, and gift ideas like platinum cuff links and watches for their groomsmen.
The engagement ring decision would seem to be of most concern to these grooms, given that 32 percent of them don’t consult their intendeds before buying, according to The Knot Market Intelligence Services.
So what’s a man to do?
“Trust your first instinct,” says jewelry and style expert Michael O’Connor. Because as it turns out, brides and grooms tend to prefer the same setting: platinum.
A high-quality diamond engagement ring set in platinum can cost as little as $1,650-platinum wedding bands can run as low as $800-at even a posh jeweler like De Beers. O’Connor says men are fans of bands from designers like Martin Flyer, Ritani and Jeff Cooper. “Platinum retains its volume over time,” he explains. “Whereas gold will wear more rapidly, especially in pieces that are worn every day like your wedding band.” But brides, he says, tend to take a more romantic view: “Platinum lasts forever, just like a couple’s love.”
Of course, truth be told, a lot of men’s newfound interest in planning their big day seems financially motivated. Thirty percent of couples now pay for their own wedding, a marked change from the days when a bride’s family traditionally footed the bill. And with the average wedding costing approximately $28,000, according to Brides.com’s 2009 American Wedding Study, that could also explain why GroomGroove.com urges men to embrace gift registries: “Every item you put on [them] instantly becomes free.” And who doesn’t like freebies?
You can find tips on jewelry purchasing and style trends by visiting www.PreciousPlatinum.com.