Merchant of Groom

Jeff Trinci, founder of TheGroomslist.com. Photograph courtesy Jeff Trinci

There are two things you should know about Jeff Trinci ’02 and marriage.

First, he’s a romantic. When the Portland native decided it was time to propose to his girlfriend, Tara, a first-grade teacher, he wrote her a stirring (and lengthy) poem about love and—you single fellas out there might want to pay attention—read it to her on Valentine’s Day . . . in front of her class . . . on live TV . . . before asking her to marry him. She said yes.

“I’m very blessed,” Tara, now his wife, says with a laugh. “He’s way more romantic than I am.”

Second, Trinci is a businessman. He’s got the pragmatism, drive, and entrepreneurial spirit upon which success is based. When he put those two traits together, it was like love and, well, you know.

“I really love the idea of marriage and want to help guys succeed,” says Trinci, thirty-two, who has moonlighted as a wedding DJ around Portland for the past decade. When he was preparing for his own wedding, he noticed a serious lack of resources for grooms. “It’s really sad; there are a lot of websites oriented to guys that talk about marriage as a death sentence
. . . . And most of the wedding websites are bride-oriented, where guys are a side note.”

Sensing a void, Trinci started planning TheGroomslist.com, a website that lays out the marriage process from the guy’s point of view. As luck would have it—if you want to call it luck—Trinci was laid off from his job at an ad agency just before the site went live in January 2011, making TheGroomslist.com a full-time gig.

It’s safe to say that planning a wedding can be a full-time gig itself. And the sheer volume of resources available—both online and in print—can be overwhelming.

“I wanted something short and to the point,” Trinci says. “I did as much research as possible and tried to be that human filter that distills everything that’s out there to one site. I wanted to give guys a framework to work within as a way to insert themselves in the wedding process.”

The way the site works is simple. It’s broken down into five main parts: “The Proposal,” “The Wedding,” “The Honeymoon,” “The Marriage,” and “Vendors.” Each section has subsections that further break down the topics. For example, the proposal section actually starts before the decision to propose is made. The appropriately titled “Gut Check” lists fourteen reasons not to propose. (“I want couples to be successful,” Trinci says.)

But the service he thinks might be most useful to grooms is helping them find vendors—caterers, DJs, florists. The website provides a comprehensive list of vendors broken down by ZIP code. Trinci also publishes resource guides and distributes them by the thousands at wedding shows. They share similar properties to the website: short and to the point, with simple tips, a checklist for the groom, and compact lists of vendors for groom-oriented categories like bachelor party ideas, groomsmen gifts, and transportation, all vetted by Trinci.

“I see the woman as the CEO of the whole wedding process,” he says, “while the guy is the project manager.”

If that statement makes you doubt Trinci’s romantic side, consider that über-romantic proposal. Through a friend, Trinci got in touch with a Portland morning show that wanted to televise a Valentine’s Day proposal. Trinci already had the poem and ring, and after coordinating with the school’s principal, getting permission for the kids to be on TV, and convincing Tara that having a TV crew (under the guise of asking first-graders what they think about Valentine’s Day) in her classroom was a good idea, Trinci was ready.

“It was amazing, because he surprised me so well,” Tara says. “He’d always said he’d never propose on a holiday, and I woke up that morning and was blow-drying my hair . . . and I thought how cool it would be if he proposed today, but then I told myself not to think that because I didn’t think it would happen.”

But it did. The video is even posted on www.TheGroomslist.com for posterity.

By Matt Tiffany, MS '07