I was watching the 20/20 episode "Wedding Confidential" about a week ago which was supposedly about insider tips for wedding planning; the hook was to save engaged couples money. What caught my attention the most with this exposé was the focus on grooms. Even though my research on wedding books for grooms was published in 2008, this episode continued to depict many of the findings 5 years later.
What was lauded as a creative new tool for grooms, turned out to be a website that was mostly just about consumption: The Man Registry. They promoted it as a site with advice for grooms, such as what colors are trendy. Take a look at the website: it's hard to get past the commercial ads to get to the advice. I guess that makes it the equivalent to websites for brides.
The framing was consistent with what was found in the books targeted to grooms. The increase in the grooms interest in the wedding is explained as a "Battleground for the Sexes". Whereas the voice over labels the wedding planning as the "first challenge in marital compromise", they go on to divide the tasks by gendered stereotypes: she picks her dress, they compromise on the food and venue, and the groom is in charge of entertainment and transportation. Everything else can just be doubled: the registry, the cake, etc. And, as demonstrated with Evan and Erin, the groom ultimately has veto power over a lot of the decisions ("Evan, won a lot of things"). This veto power is then repackaged as "chipping in" and as a "major contributor" because, in case you missed the quick reference, "he's paying for the it (wedding)".
Now, I am so for groom involvement in wedding planning. But, does it have to be gendered? And, what if we could envision actual compromise and collaboration through the process, rather than constructing gender differences in the tasks and dividing them up. Also, it's not a big win for equal partnerships to just double the consumption (his and her registries, his and her cakes, etc.).