by Linda L. Esterson
From the moment Scott Toth proposed, he knew there would be a “Honey Do” list. His fiancee, Stephanie Barke, was a former wedding coordinator, so he knew there would be a list — and a big one at that.
Stephanie and Scott married at the rustic Party Barn at Farmer Tom’s in Reisterstown on Sept. 30, 2017, after becoming engaged on Christmas Day.
“Everything had to move fast to make it happen,” Scott says. “I was more of a ‘Yes, dear.’”
“When I started in the business, it wasn’t uncommon to see the groom until rehearsal dinner,” said Stephanie Day, who runs Stephanie Day Events and Travel in Manchester. “Now it is common to see the groom way more involved, sometimes every step of the way.”
The Honey Do list for grooms usually falls into three categories: music, transportation and food.
“I just met with a couple and the groom had a Pinterest page. You never would have seen that 10 years ago,” Day added. “I like seeing that involvement because I think it indicates that they will both be involved in decision making throughout their marriage.”
“Grooms definitely take on a much more active role,” agreed Lexi Schafer of Westminster-based Events by Lexi. “They typically do the music — creating the playlist or finding the band or deejay. And food. Most couples like to personalize their wedding, and food — and cocktail hour — is great ways to personalize. They might select a food theme or create a unique cocktail.”
“Grooms often take the lead on finding the perfect craft beers and wines,” Shafer added.
On Facebook in January, Stephanie found the venue. Instantly, she had ideas running through her mind about props for the photo booth and items for the reception.
“I was more like the wedding mechanical engineer,” says Scott. “I was the one that had to take her idea and make it happen.”
Like many grooms, Scott attended the Baltimore Bridal Showcase last February (after being enticed by the bar, he jokes). They got ideas to supplement what Stephanie envisioned and she researched to come up with others.
“‘Whatever you want,’” Scott recalls telling her. “It was more around taking her ideas and making it happen. It was our event, but it was her day.”
Stephanie gives her fiance props. “Scott is very good at taking an idea and picturing it and turning it into his own,” she says.
Stephanie scoured antique shops and found old doors and stools. Scott hinged the doors together, reinforced them so they could stand alone, and created a casing mechanism to hold an iPad and secured it to a tripod. But that wasn’t all. He set up the iPad with an app that stored the photos on the Cloud and allowed them to email the photos to friends and family members.
When Stephanie ordered a cowbell, for guests to ring to elicit a kiss from the newlyweds, Scott created a freestanding wooden lattice stand to match her vision. He also hung a mallet alongside it.
Scott, a software program manager and former machine shop worker, stepped up to the challenge. He says he could visualize Stephanie’s ideas and used logic to find solutions. He travels for work, but said he planned his projects in between trips — and Stephanie’s checklist helped him keep track. He admits taking his time to get things done, however.
“I’m a procrastinator, and it was killing her,” he laughs. “I stretched it out until the last month.”
Stephanie’s to-do list was presented often. After a while, it became a do-it-now! list.
Another of his creative projects was a wooden cupcake stand made from an old wooden ladder fitted with shelves to hold the cupcakes. That project took a while, to Stephanie’s dismay, as did finalizing the list of groomsmen and their attire.
“I didn’t know who I wanted,” Scott says. “I told them in August. Maybe I do it to get attention [from her].”
And in true Scott fashion, the couple attended a family wedding the night before their own. They were forced to decorate the barn in a hurry.
“The difference between me and Stephanie — she has the list and wants it done now,” he says. “I’m not that kind of guy. I know what my parameters are and the time I need in my mind. … I knew I would get it done.”
Stephanie concedes that she’s a planner. She has lists for everyday details. Scott knows what he needs to do, but admits that he procrastinates.
“It’s kind of a joke now,” he laughs.