Groom's magazine helps men plan the big day

September 04, 1998|By Judith Forman | Judith Forman,SUN STAFF

As a soon-to-be groom, Paul Kuntz says he was only "marginally involved" in the planning of his Sept. 5 wedding -- but not because of lack of interest.

"My fiancee and her mom are aggressive planners," said the 23-year-old research chemist from Bel Camp who tomorrow marries Michelle Lizardo, 23, of Newark, Del. "They are organized and do things in advance. They beat me to the punch. There were a lot of things I didn't realize I could have helped her with beforehand. If I had known to ask, I would have been more helpful."

Editors at Bride's magazine had wannabe-helpful honeys like Kuntz in mind when they created Groom's, a 32-page supplement packaged with copies of Bride's October/November issue. The magazines are on sale at newsstands through Oct. 21.

The first-ever edition covers issues for engaged men ranging from the anatomy of a tuxedo to gifts for groomsmen to 50 ways to thrill your fiance. There's also a groom's calendar, relationship advice and tips on rings, cummerbunds, bow ties and boutonnieres.

Millie Martini Bratten, editor-in-chief of Bride's, said more and more men are becoming interested in wedding plans.

"We started to get more mail, e-mails, letters and faxes from guys telling us ideas about weddings, asking etiquette questions and giving us input on food and color schemes," she said. "We are hearing an increasing number of stories about grooms who )) are going to appointments with the bride that she formerly went to with her mother."

She said that five years ago, less than half of grooms went to the bridal registry with their fiancees; today, that figure is at 80 percent. Also, she said that since now three of out 10 couples pay for the wedding themselves, they are more involved together in all of the decisions.

"There is plenty of advice written for men on how to invest or buy a car but no one resource for men to answer questions" on wedding plans, Martini Bratten said. "Groom's has things in it he wants to know but might not want to ask -- things he suddenly needs to know that he didn't before he was engaged."

Kuntz, who thought Groom's magazine sounded like "a great idea," said his fiancee told him what he needed to know -- things like the necessity of buying gifts for the ring bearers.

"No one really gave me direct advice," he said. "While we were dating, we went to five or six weddings just to see what was going on. I asked some other grooms."

But not all grooms-to-be said they wanted to read -- or shell out five bucks -- for such a magazine.

"A lot of it depends on the man himself," said Andrew Sawyers of Baltimore, a 30-year-old doctoral student in geography and environmental engineering at the Johns Hopkins University.

"I'd rather sit down behind the desk and read an environmental engineering book. I'm much more concerned about my studies than flipping through some groom's magazine."

Sawyers, who is marrying 30-year-old Greta Owens of Baltimore on Sept. 27, said he helped his fiancee choose a menu, a site for the service and make plans for the rehearsal dinner.

For the most part, his attitude has been that "whatever Greta wants to do, I assist her.

"Women are generally much more excited about the day, the intricacies and the details," he said. "Men are on the outside looking in, waiting for the day to come."

Pub Date: 9/04/98

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