The well-groomed wedding planner does it

00:32, Mar 10 2013
Craig and Marlene Smith successfully said I Do after Craig organised the whole wedding.
I DO: Craig and Marlene Smith married this year after Craig organised the whole wedding.

Craig Smith is proving that even though usually a man's involvement in wedding planning starts and ends when he puts the ring on his beloved's finger, it doesn't have to be the women who organise it all.

Marriage celebrants say an increasing number of men are taking a more active role in the ceremonies.

Canterbury marriage and civil union celebrant Anne Stubberfield said their involvement was changing.

craig smith
Well planned: Craig Smith, 47, of Christchurch has taken charge over the organisation of his wedding.

"Previously men used to stand outside and not want to be a part of it at all. Now they're realising that they can be things and can make a difference."

Stubberfield said the "most amazing" male organiser she had seen was Craig Smith of Christchurch, who organised his whole wedding. It was held in West Melton last night

The 47-year-old, who has never been married before, said he became involved because he wanted the day to be "as special as possible" for his fiancee, Marlene.


"I realised it's important to her and I'm only going to do it once so I wanted to help as much as possible."

Smith popped the question just over a year ago and took over organising the venue, the flowers, ceremony and the wedding night.

"There's a few surprises that she doesn't know about. It's going to be a very loving day." He also took charge over the honeymoon. "I Googled the top 10 holiday destinations and Hawaii came up as the No 1. She's my No 1 so I just went for the best."

Geoffrey Trotter, who has been a wedding celebrant in Christchurch for 14 years, said that in the past the groom often didn't appear until the wedding day.

"Now, they're there from the very beginning and often have as many questions as the women."

Smith's workmates had expressed similar attitudes.

"They said, ‘All you have to do is show up.' I just thought it was wrong."

Celebrant Julie Lassen says more men are writing their own vows.

"They're a bit intimidated at first but they often surprise themselves with what they can do," she said. "Often they end up making their brides cry with the effort they've put in."

Stubberfield was thrilled to see men become more involved.

"It takes pressure off the women and I think it makes it a nicer experience if everyone plays equal roles," she said.

Smith now has new respect for women's organisational skills.

"I've renovated a house with a partner before but this has been much, much more stressful. It's brought us closer together."

He encouraged more men to become involved. "It's your big day too, guys."

The Press