The wedding world really focuses on the bride. I mean REALLY REALLY focuses on the bride. But what about the Groom? Where does he fit in when it comes to the big plan? I mean, yes he is there but I often feel like the groom takes the back seat to a lot of things in the wedding world. I’m not talking about them WANTING to take a back seat. I’m talking about in the visual sense. Every blog, every wedding magazine, every bit of advice…always focused on the bride. We focus on wedding day jitters from the brides point of view. But what about the Groom?
After shooting weddings for quite a few years now, I have really made an conscious effort to be invested in my grooms and how they are feeling. I ask them what are they nervous about on their big day. I share my experiences about how marriage can be a great thing and just try listen to them as well as their bride. Weddings are stressful for both sides. But you know what? I’ve seen another side. Where stress really begins. I had an idea. What if I was to document a groom before he became the groom? Lots of people are having their proposals captured. I have yet to be asked to do that. (I am a photo ninja and I would love to do it!) But I thought I would go one step ahead of that. Why not shoot a groom shopping for an engagement ring. That’s where the marriage and the story really starts. And since it’s my job to tell a story, why not start at the beginning, right?
The photos in this post are from an actual engagement ring shopping trip with a really cool guy named Matthew. I attended a dinner with him and some friends when I overheard him talking about how he was ready to propose to his girlfriend Paula. My brain when into overdrive and a few days later, I asked him if he was really going for it. When he said yes, I said, “I just had my wedding ring and engagement ring reset by this incredible jeweler that my friend turned me on to. His work is amazing and he’s very honest. They have won quite a few Best of Boston awards. Why don’t you come with me when my ring is done and check out his stuff? Maybe you could find something for Paula there. Oh, and maybe you could let me shoot you shopping for it? Please oh please????” Matt agreed and thus began our secret mission. At first he had mentioned bringing Paula to pick out the ring she wanted. ‘WHAT? DON’T DO THAT!” I said to him. “The surprise is the absolute best part in the world. She will LOVE what you get her and I’ll be there to cheer you on and help you pick if you want. She will love it because it’s from you. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about.” Thankfully, he listened.
So on a chilly Friday morning, Matt took the day off from work and met me at Adamas Fine Jewelry in West Newton. I introduced him to the jeweler, Anto, and they hit it off right away. I snapped away while Matt asked questions, and Anto schooled him on all things diamonds. He showed him options and stayed within Matt’s budget. Before I knew it, Matt had found his ring!
Then I had to wait! And wait! And wait. Because obviously I couldn’t post anything anywhere until he actually had proposed. Well that felt like FOR-EVER! But a few days ago, I was killing time on Facebook and all of a sudden Matt’s timeline stated “Engaged to Paula” What? I called him and he told me about how my engagement story with my husband inspired him to do something similar. When we went ring shopping we did discuss having me photograph the proposal, but I said, “Think about that. Sometimes just the two of you in a private place is best. In the end, it’s really about the two of you, right? You do what feels best for you.”
I learned a lot from this experience. Watching a man go through the stress of engagement ring shopping is intense. I think many women overlook what it’s like to be in the man’s shoes. I know I did. My husband drove across country with the ring in his pocket and then held on to it for about two more weeks before asking me to marry him. After watching Matt look at all these rings, and thinking about the investment he was about to make was really eye opening. It was emotional for him. And when I use the word investment I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about the investment of a man’s soul and his choice to make a commitment with partner in crime.
Thank you Matt for allowing me to tag along and capture this special occasion! I hope I can offer this service to many more men in the future!