Weddings are all about the bride? Wrong! The groom is the other half of the day and how he feels and looks are equally important. So this blog is for you, chaps, with top tips to help you feel proud to be the best dressed groom and the most handsome man on the day.
The Groom List says:
‘Let us get one thing clear from the start – there are absolutely no groom ‘uniform’ rules. Anyone who tells you that you must wear tops and tails is lying; anyone who tells you it is traditional is lying; anyone who says it is wrong to wear a lounge suit or black tie is lying. It is your wedding and you can wear whatever makes you feel great.
Now, all that is not to say that wearing a morning suit on your wedding day is bad – far from it – but only if you do it properly. ‘
The Knot makes the point that, just as your bride’s dress will express her style and personality, so your wedding suit should do the same for you. That said, resist the temptation to be outrageous! Loud checks may be fun but will look terrible in photos! Think accessories: cufflinks should be tasteful but can also reflect your personality. And dare I say it (and it’s hard for someone who is pedantic about colour matches!) you might even get away with jazzy socks! Are you and your bride having a boho style or barn wedding? Braces and a more relaxed look would work.
(Photo credit: www.instagram.com/a.wedding.project)
First – the Suit
Sartorial elegance can be achieved with hired suits or ‘off the peg’ suits but they must fit properly! Jackets and trousers should be tried on and assessed critically. If you tend to be impatient with shopping, clothes shopping in particular, resist the urge to take the first suit you try on that looks ‘okay’. Trust me. ‘Okay’ is not okay; you should put in the effort to look handsome and smooth on the most important day of your life! Apart from showing off your own assets, it is a compliment to your bride. An acknowledgement that she is the most important person in your life and you want to show how proud you are to stand next to her! Be prepared to stump up for alterations to both jacket and trousers for that perfect fit. Oh, and by the way – that will mean having fittings which can be tedious but are necessary. All part of your investment in your wedding!
If money is tight and you plan on using your own suit, be honest with yourself; if the knees are baggy or the suit has started to shine on the seat, give serious thought to either buying a new one that you can then use for work, or hire one. And of course, make sure that it is professionally cleaned and pressed. If you are travelling to a venue, your hotel should offer a pressing service so that your suit is crease free.
Next – the Shirt
Whatever shirt you decide to buy and wear, it must fit properly around the neck and wrists. Sleeves must be the right length to show no more than 1 cm (or half an inch) below the jacket sleeve. It must also be crease free!
Cufflinks: Simple and tasteful is the ideal. They can reflect your personality but avoid chunky and garish!
Don’t spoil your beautiful suit by a poorly tied tie or cravat. There is some difference of opinion as to whether cravats should be worn at all, and my preference is for a plain silk tie that is perfectly tied. Bow ties are also acceptable, and, like any accessory, can be part of your individuality BUT keep it tasteful and in keeping with your colour theme. You don’t want to look silly in photographs.
Do not use your work shoes. They may look tired and worn, and will spoil the overall effect. Take the trouble to buy new shoes and make sure that they are a comfortable fit, ideally with leather soles. They can be used for work later. Thick soles (as with Doc Martins) do not work with wedding suits!
Shoe colour is dictated by the suit colour. Black, grey or charcoal suits require black leather shoes. Morning dress should have black patent dress shoes. Strictly speaking they should be reserved for formal occasions, and can seem an expensive item to stay idle in your wardrobe. However, The Idle Man suggests that patent leather shoes can be much more versatile, and can add that extra smart touch to any suit or dress up a smart casual outfit. Worth the investment!
Navy suits can be paired with brown (not tan) shoes but black is so universally acceptable that it is a good option.
TOP TIP – wear calf length socks! There is nothing worse than showing hairy skin above your socks when you sit down.
Pockets – empty! Let your best man and mom keep what you might need such as your phone and your keys. And chaps, when photos are being taken, keep your hands out of your pockets. As a casual look it’s fine, but can completely ruin the overall effect of a handsome, debonair, well groomed man!
Finally, your personal grooming.
Manicures and hair dressing are for girls, right? Wrong! Weddings are gloriously joyful, emotional and nerve wracking for bride and groom. Feeling great is a huge confidence booster, and knowing you look and smell terrific is all part of that.
Lee Knyaston, a men’s grooming expert says: ‘… studies have shown that something as simple as a new haircut or wearing an aftershave can act as an instant mood booster. Knowing you look and smell half decent when you step out the door gives you that extra dollop of confidence – and never underestimate its power.’
(source: The Telegraph, 23.1.2015)
So here are some top tips so you not only look great, but feel like the only man there!
Have your beard trimmed or have a wet shave in the morning. Make sure any nose hairs are trimmed. Moisturise your skin. Your aftershave should be something you are comfortable with but that is not overpowering in aroma. Top Tip: Remember that any sort of perfume changes its aroma and intensity according to the temperature of your skin. You will feel fresher on hot summer days with a lighter scent. Don’t oversplash.
How you wear your hair is part of your individuality. Have a wash and cut or trim on the day. Make sure longer hair is shiny and clean, and properly brushed. If you choose to have your locks drawn back into a pony tail, make it smart!
Have a manicure. Yeah, I know. That sounds girly. But actually, having well groomed nails and moisturised hands will add to your overall feeling of being the business on the day. Don’t forget that there will be a lot of closeup photographs and your hands will be noticeable.
Don’t forget your deodorant! This sounds like a no-brainer, but in all the excitement it is the easiest thing to forget to pack if you are getting ready at a venue rather than home. Or if you’ve left having a shower and getting ready to the last minute.
Don’t leave getting ready to the last minute. You want to arrive at the church or venue cool, calm and collected. Excited but not panicked.
(By the way, the photos of the suits are from Pinterest – click the photos for the link and the relevant blogs.)