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The Runaway Groom
photographed by: Susan Jackson


Remember your first school dance, the one where you stood at one end with your buddies, with the girls all on the other side of the room? You figured out whom you wanted to ask and knew she would say yes. She had already made the first move–having her best friend pass you a note in math class.

Do you like Jenny?
 Check:    Yes  ?      No  ?    Maybe  ?

You checked maybe. 

Even then, you knew the importance of playing it low-key.  So everything was set for your first dance. Only, you were anxious about how it was going to go.

Several of your friends were already dancing. Some seemed to have it down, moving in sync with their partner. Some tripped over their feet, continually knocking their girl off balance.   A few guys stood on the side, swearing that they would never dance, even though they would eventually make it onto the floor. Nobody wanted to admit to being nervous, worried about getting out there and falling flat on their face.

Your first dance was a lot like getting married; only hopefully, you aren’t holding it in a school gymnasium.

The term “cold feet” is a quaint term. For a guy, it should be called the “cut and run,”  an overwhelming urge to drop everything, steal a car, and drive in any direction until it runs out of gas. 

This feeling is most prevalent in the planning stages that lead up to the big day.  It is natural for a man to feel completely off his game while his fiancée pours over bridal displays with the florist.  No guy wants to sit through numerous cake tastings with his future mother-in-law.  “It’s cake,” you are thinking. “Just pick one!”

And yes, you acknowledged long ago that the pomp and circumstance is for your bride.  You endure the countless seating arrangement discussions and tuxedo selection appointments because you know it matters to her.  But with so much emphasis placed on every last detail, it is easy to lose sight and feel overwhelmed.  That’s about the time you start considering moving to Tijuana and selling novelty sombreros by the freeway.

But it’s not the girl. It’s the situation.

You’ve already come to terms with that exhilarating but unsettling moment when you acknowledge life is far better with her than without her.  You chose the ring, planned the proposal, and popped the question.

Cold feet is a product of the production itself, a natural response to what appears to be over-planning for a guy’s viewpoint. But remember, some women have waited their whole lives for this day. As a child, they cut photos out of bridal magazines and made scrapbooks. They speculated on the features of their future husbands on the playground.

No guy had a wedding scrapbook, at least not the ones interested in brides. Odds are,the girl from your first dance already had a rough idea of the type of wedding dress she wanted. What seems like infatuation is merely a manifestation of twenty-plus years of anticipation.

Step away for a bit.  Take your buddies on a long weekend. In the company of your friends, it is easier to put wedding jitters in perspective.  You might even miss her come Sunday. As for the marriage, better that you charge blindly onto the dance floor than spend all night talking to the janitor.

Read On
The Runaway Groom
10 Winning Moves
Not Those Socks Again!
Wedding Toasts Made Easy
Why Do You Love Him?