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Exploring the [Wedding] Man Cave

neon man cave sign recently unveiled their 11 Wedding Trends for 2011, and #6 on that coveted list, immediately preceding “Pre-Wedding PJ Parties,” is Wedding Man Caves:

“Blackjack tables, brandy bars, PlayStations and stogies. The man cave has officially moved from the home to the wedding, so create your own and don’t be surprised if you see all the male wedding guests in the new “groom’s corner” at the reception.”

Wha–wha–what’s this we hear? Caves? for Men? at Weddings?

Admiral Ackbar It's a trap scene

A man cave at a wedding? Yea, I’m pretty sure we’re all thinking the same thing.

Imagine you and your better half making your way into the reception venue at her little brother’s wedding. While she scurries to the ladies room, you beeline to your happy place (yes, the open bar), behind which — in a space the venue might normally reserve for guest books or coat racks — you behold an odd but alluring glow. You creep closer and suddenly find yourself immersed in the musky radiance of manly sanctuary: brown leather Martini Cigar chairs and ottomans surrounding a Foosball table built for 20, boxes of imported Cubans, a flat screen TV with Blu-ray, the opening credits of Wedding Crashers, and a top-of-the-line golf simulator currently occupied by — yes, I believe that’s Mad Men’s Jon Hamm.

Chances are you probably won’t even enter the sanctuary. Clearly this is one of two things: (a) a cruel mirage or (b) a trap of some kind devised by the women in attendance. What bride would ever agree to a designated corner of man pleasure? Is she asking us to disappear for the remainder of the wedding, to socialize with our fellow XY chromosomes and pay little to no attention to the evening’s events? Good god no. It must be a clever ruse to determine which of us men are strong enough to resist the temptation and actually (gulp) enjoy the wedding.

Ugh! This is hard!!

But fear not, men. Thanks to the ladies at The Knot, 2011 is our year not only to incorporate man caves into our modern wedding vocabulary but also to push the boundaries of what is acceptable. Bring a dartboard to the next wedding you attend, set it up in a vacant corner and invite the men folk to play a few rounds. Call it an emerging wedding trend. Begin a local message board and swap stories of success and disaster, i.e. 3/5/2011 bare knuckle boxing ring FAIL. If any of the women question it, blame The Knot.

For starters, I’ve created a suggested Wedding Man Cave outline for the calendar year — things we can gradually incorporate into the caves on a month-to-month basis:

FEBRUARY – Tournament-edition billiard tables
MARCH – Old-school multi-player GoldenEye on N64
APRIL – Astronaut gear
MAY – Throwing knives
JUNE – Laser tag
JULY – Live re-enactment of The Godfather
AUGUST – Bobby Flay working a grill
SEPTEMBER – Mario/Luigi impersonators
OCTOBER – Boa constrictors
NOVEMBER – Straight up bounce house
DECEMBER – Straight up bounce house with boa constrictors

Dream big, men. Dream big.

With love and encouragement,


the groom says

Brian Leahy is founder of The Groom Says — a safe haven for grooms who need a hand with wedding planning and brides who need a hand with their grooms. Check out the blog for some laughs and inspiration, and be sure to follow The Groom Says on Twitter and Google+.

Would you consider having a man cave or groom’s corner at your wedding? Do you think this trend is here to stay? Let us know by posting a comment below.

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