1. Have an Opinion
This is your wedding too, so get in on the planning. Pick a few things that interest you (food? the wedding music? photos?). You don't have to wax poetic on the difference between lilies and daisies for the bridesmaid bouquets, but give your opinion on the major planning points; it'll let your fiance know she's not in this alone. And wouldn't it be nice to know a little something about your, for example, wedding venue before you attend?
It may seem like a tedious task, but think about it: You get to wander around a store, picking things you want that someone most likely will buy you -- you can't beat that. Better yet, it's now common to shop beyond the kitchen department. Consider home electronics, power tools, and camping gear. Can't justify shelling out for a plasma screen yourself? Throw it on your wedding registry, and a group of friends might buy it for you!
3. Don't Be a Pushover -- Really
She wants to register for a yellow comforter with little pink flowers, and you don't want to have to stash your bedspread in the closet every time your friends come over. See if you can meet her halfway: Tell her the floral patterns are a bit much, but you're fine with yellow, maybe in another style. You'll make her happy and salvage your manhood.
If she's doing the majority of the planning for your wedding, she's probably bordering on wedding overload. You need to make sure she doesn't have an ulcer (or a grudge!) by the time she walks down the aisle. Give her a night to relax and cook her dinner, do the dishes, rent her favorite movie (yes, even a chick flick), and remind her why wedding planning is worth the stress.
5. Be a Buffer
If your mom is calling your fiance every hour to talk about the wedding, you run the risk of major family conflict, with you stuck in the middle. Your mission: Keep the peace. Call your mom and let her know that while you appreciate her interest and excitement, it's your wedding and she needs to give you two some planning space. Take responsibility for communicating with your family so that you can filter out petty worries from legitimate concerns.
Has your fiance really hit the wall? Suggest hiring a planner for the day to keep wedding venue under control. (Use our local resources to find a great day-of wedding planner in your area.) Your consultant will handle all the little details that neither you nor your bride will want to deal with, and it'll be a relief to have a professional on hand to fix any little mix-ups.
7. Don't Add Insult
Your fiance may complain about her mom who's being a control freak, or about her uncle who wants to bring his new girlfriend, or her cousin who wants to bring all four of her kids. Don't join in on the family bashing. Hear her out, agree with her, but don't take this opportunity to tell her the things about her family that annoys you. Her bad mood will pass, but your careless comments may stick
8. Manage Your Men
Know your friend who loses his car keys at least once a week? Probably better not to make him responsible for bringing your ring to the ceremony. And your buddy who tends to drink too much? Make sure one of your more reliable (or sober) groomsmen keeps him from flirting with your fiance's mom at the rehearsal dinner. Your guys don't have to be saints, but they will have responsibilities, and it's your job to make sure they know what they are.
9. Get Sentimental
The day of your wedding, send her a gift, flowers, or a sweet note to read while she's getting ready. Or, at the reception, pull the videographer aside and tape a special message to her. She'll see it later and we promise, she'll love you all the more.