Grooms? Who? Oh right, that guy that’s standing next to the bride.

It’s true — when it comes to wedding planning, the groom often takes a backseat to, well, whatever it is that the bride wants. And oh boy, do vendors know this. Go to just about any bridal fair and you’ll see brides on a pedestal, looking out at a sea of wedding consultants and vendors, all pawing to get her attention.

Well, move over brides. There’s a new fair in town and it’s aimed for your groom-to-be.

The Minneapolis Wedding Boot Camp and Grooms’ Night Event has been coined as a “lively, no pressure event” that’s aimed to “reveal your inner groom.”

The event, which starts at 5:30 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m. Thursday at Pinstripes in Edina, will offer happy couples a chance to talk with vendors of the Independent Wedding Association in order to help the planning process.

“The idea is to have an association of wedding professionals who all share these core values of — creativity, they’re all locally owned, they care about the value of what they’re delivering and they’re close to their product,” said Becca Dilley, founder of the Independent Wedding Association.

It’s a group that began about two years ago, looking to give today’s brides another option when it came to planning the big day. That option? Local and laid back.

Dilley said their approach to wedding planning is to give couples a chance to have a real conversation with the local vendors that are out there — in a non-competitive, casual setting.

And for this Thursday’s event, the groom will be the man of the hour. Cigar tastings, unlimited bowling and cocktail sampling are just a few items on the agenda.

“We’re trying to empower grooms more, because I think more and more people are planning weddings as a couple and that absolutely makes sense,” Dilley said. “And all of the wedding stuff out there is bride-focused, which has totally made sense, to an extent. But I think a lot of grooms are looking to participate and personalize their wedding, beyond just picking the DJ.”

This is the first time the group has catered an event for the groom — which Dilley admits is a bit of a risk — but she said the feedback so far has been positive.

“I think probably what we’ll find is that a lot of brides are able to convince their grooms that this will be a more tailored event for them,” she said. “We have a lot of stuff that is a good selling point.”

The Minneapolis Wedding Boot Camp and Grooms’ Night Event starts at 5:30 p.m. and goes until 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13 at Pinstripes, 3849 Gallagher Drive in Edina. Tickets are $15 for two, which includes participation in any of the mini-courses, bowling, plus food and cake samples. For more information, check out the group’s website.


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