This post is about trying to make the whole process easier for the guys. And in doing so make it easier for all those involved in the planning of a wedding. Be it a same-sex ceremony or otherwise. So guys your job, now that you have popped the question, is to continue on the path of supportive fiance and hence make your Bride / Partners life as easy and as pleasant as you possibly can. Just as I wrote in a previous post: The Roller Coaster Ride marriage is an “All-In” deal and the same applies to wedding planning; it is not purely the domain of your other-half. That process is knowing and taking responsibility for some of the wedding plans that revolve around the guys and saving your better half from having to chase you up on areas that you can, with a little study and research get a better understanding of and make her / him proud.
The Speech: It’s important which is why I put it first. Again I have a post that covers that here: The Grooms Speech . If you get no further in your exploration then at least remember this one thing “Write it down”. Think about how proud your new bride / partner will be when you get up in front of your friends, relatives and guests and present a well written, well presented speech that you have written down and practiced. The link above can help but ultimately it is you who has to do the hard yards. Don’t leave it to the last minute – Start today.
Suits – Hiring vs Buying: If you are like many of my grooms then hitting the shops for a new outfit may not be your idea of Heaven. For some, taking the opportunity to get a re-fit is something they look forward to. The question then becomes do you hire outfits for yourself and your attendants or do you buy.
Hiring your suits and accessories from a formal hire-wear supplier will allow you to perfectly match your outfits in colour and style and get outfitted in a suit you may not otherwise ever wear again. It is one-stop shopping that you simply have to book an appointment for and co-ordinate times with the groomsmen; picking your choices for future pick-up and payment. It is not unusual for the costs to come very close to what you could purchase a reasonable suit for. If your reason for hiring is that you want to have a certain look such as a 3/4 length coachman style jacket or a colour that you may otherwise not be caught dead in (other than at your wedding) then hiring may well be the way to go. Keep in mind that very formal attire such as dinner jackets are best kept till evening or at least late afternoon. Not many can really pull off a formal “tails” look and stay comfortable looking for an entire day, especially in an Australian summer and slowing stripping off throughout the day defeats the purpose of choosing that option in the first place.
Hiring also means a minimum of three trips to the supplier, one for fitting, one for suits to be picked up and another for their return. If you book well ahead of time you risk the chance of having your attendants gain or lose weight which will mean they are not going to be comfortable or look their best on the day.
Many suppliers will push certain styles and colours of outfit which are fashionable at the time, but in retrospect make you look like a 1980’s magician. If you do decide to hire… Stick to the classics. Years from now when you are looking at your photos (you spent a small fortune on) then you don’t want to be cringing over the choice of outfits that in a moment of weakness you went with because the cute sales assistant said you looked amazing in it.
Buying: Now if you have gotten this far, you may be thinking doesn’t everybody just hire their suits and accessories for their wedding day; and the answer to that would be No. Why put up with something that may or may not fit well and may or may not make you feel like a million dollars on your wedding day. I’m not going to suggest that you run off and pick yourself a high-end, tailor-made suit that may set you back as much as your beloved’s wedding gown, but I am suggesting you at least head to a few purveyors of men’s apparel and check out a few of your options. Shop around, compare prices and remember you get to keep this, you don’t have to return it.
If your usual work does not require you to wear a suit on a daily basis that does not mean that you will not come across opportunities to wear your purchase again. You are likely to be invited to other’s weddings, take your new wife / spouse to dinner, and wow them at your next job interview (or court case). Just pick up a few alternative shirt and tie combinations and you will get maximum bang for your bucks that hiring just can’t match.
On your best behaviour: There is a delicate balancing act that takes place on the day of the ceremony. Firstly you may be hanging out with your best-man and groomsmen from early morning till mid or late afternoon and this can lead to a few beverages being consumed with little or no food. I mention this because it is against the law and the celebrants code of practice to marry anyone that is intoxicated to the degree that capacity to fully understand what is being committed to is impaired. So keep alcohol consumption to a modest level and you will not be tempting fate or the anger of your betrothed by not being able to proceed with the full, legal ceremony.
The Boutonniere: This is usually chosen to match the bride’s bouquet and the groomsmen (and fathers of the couple) may have a slightly different selection than the Groom. If unsure on the day, look for the odd one out and that will be the Grooms. They will normally be supplied with a small pin for the attachment to your lapel. To attach – the location should be decided upon (not too low), and the lapel lifted and the pin pushed through the lapel from the back and driven into the stem / bud of the flower and the point taken back out under the lapel so it is not seen. Many now come with strong rare-Earth magnets and are far easier to attach. Make sure that the bud is firmly in place and positioned so as not to move around, or worse still come off. The groom and his attendant’s buds should all be in a similar location (and on the left hand lapel). If you’re going with a dinner-jacket (evening wear) with a shawl collar (no notches) then a boutonniere is not normally worn, but having said that, it’s your wedding and plenty do opt for that combination so it’s your call.
The First Dance: It may be that you are not a huge fan of Gene Kelly and or Fred Astaire or couldn’t care less when the next instalment of dancing with stars returns; but you are expected to perform a dance with your bride / partner at the reception. It wouldn’t hurt to also get the mother-in-law and you mum up for a quick dance on the night, because your beloved will love you all the more for doing so.
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. You will not be expected to create the latest You-Tube sensation, and to be honest… it’s been done and done again, so why go there. Simple and elegant will usually suffice. Mastering a simple waltz or two step will help the nerves settle and give you confidence through proficiency that may well surprise your mates.
It may well be that you actually enjoy hitting the dance floor, which is even more reason to put some time into the choice of music and the style of dance. There are many dance schools around that will cater for your ability and your time frame so finding one close by and affordable should not be a problem. Taking a few lessons will take the pressure off you and your partner’s toes. Make your new bride / spouse proud and make the effort. It’s a small investment that will pay big dividends in the long run, trust me.
I hope these hints and tips are useful to you and that your big day is all you hope it to be.
Regards, Ron Gallagher http://www.yourcelebrant.com.au