My father would always tell me as I left the house, “Always look your best; you never know when you will meet your wife”. As a groom standing at the altar on your wedding day it is apparent you have by now met her, however, if there is ever an occasion when looking and feeling your best is worth it, it has to be as the Groom on your wedding day. Make no mistake; people are paying as much attention to your choice of suit and sense of style as they are to your beautiful bride’s choice of dress and accessories. The photos will last a lifetime and will provide an unvarying reminder of the choices you made in your attempt to be the perfectly groomed groom.
As a man, hopefully you have made it this far through a series of carefully considered choices for those occasions when a suit and tie combination is required. Granted, some men have an advantage in this situation. If your job involves you catching the train from a platform as the sunrises and returning home as the sun is setting then your knowledge of all things suit, ties and style may be far superior. So what makes the perfectly groomed groom?
I always recall a particular scene that made a lasting impression on me and is one that perfectly summarises everything I believe in when making choices as a groom. It was a classic James Bond moment in Skyfall when Bond receives a cut throat shave using a classic cut throat razor technique as Eve whispers in his ear, “Sometimes the old ways are the best”. Think simple choices that reflect your personality and your individual sense of style.
As a perfectly groomed Groom in training I recommend you have a quick look (when she is not in the room, I know you gave her a hard time about them) at any one on that pile of bridal magazines that she now spends more time with than you. It will only take a few pages to become apparent that the days of the tried and tested formula on the black and white suit, shirt and tie combination are a thing of the past. It is important to understand and appreciate this traditional combination of yesteryear and we will call this groom 1.0. With weddings taking a less formal approach and the possibilities of wedding venues seemingly everlasting the options for a choice of suit alone are overwhelming.
Groom 1.0 will never disappoint, it is the embodiment of simple and sophisticated. In 2014, the rise of groom 1.1 is taking over churches, secret gardens and wineries on the back of the establishment of the metro sexual male. Like the metro sexual male, groom 1.1 takes pride in his appearance, has an interest in fashion and will often spend as much time as his XX chromosome associate getting ready for a special occasion.
Groom 1.1 now walks past the black suits and casts a careful eye over the charcoal, grey and navy blue options. He pays careful attention to the fit of the suit, analyses the cut and the pattern of the fabric and in the back of his mind (without even knowing) scrolls through ideas on ties and bow tie options to create the perfect look.
I’ll leave it with you to decide if you fall in to the category of groom 1.0 or groom 1.1. Either way, I believe the following to be essential, non negotiable decisions. A white shirt is the only option to go with your choice of suit. Speak with the staff member or assistant in the shop that you either buy or rent your suit from. The options with a white shirt alone are never ending and will leave you with plenty of additional decisions to make. Classic fit, European fit, cuff links of no cuff links? Be prepared before you walk in to that store, you will have a number of big decisions to make. A white shirt can be paired with just about any combination of suit and tie and will provide the base for you to bring some of your own personality and style to your appearance.
Wear a pair of black shoes. Your groomsmen should wear the same shoes as you if possible (similar, at the very least), and do not always just assume they will pay attention to the styling of your day. You must provide them with instructions; I can assure you a wedding photo is easily tarnished with a pair of steel caps. Like your bride, choose something stylish and comfortable as you have a long day ahead of you both down the aisle and on the dance floor. I need you to make me a promise at this point, no matter how deeply you believe no one will see your white socks I promise you they will, so grooms in training, black socks only! Take the time to make sure your shoes are in good condition, like the fore mentioned cut throat shave sometimes the old ways are the best and polishing your shoes can be extremely enjoyable and worthwhile experience.
Now, I don’t want to push the friendship, however, I need you to make me another promise. Sunglasses are not for weddings. Groom 1.2 does not exist (as yet) and if he did I firmly believe even he would discourage sunglasses on foreheads, in suit pockets or covering your eyes in images throughout your wedding album.
If you fall in to groom 1.1 category you will have to forgive me if I ‘preach to the choir’ over the next few sentences. A skin care regime in the lead up to the wedding is something I encourage you to consider. This can commence months, weeks or even days prior to the wedding. Give your skin the best chance to be full of energy and hydration. By using quality products such as the Dermalogica skin care range of products designed specifically for men I can assure you that the results will be worth the small time spent each day. I can also promise bonus points with your bride-to-be as words including exfoliation and moisturiser now form a part of your daily vocabulary.
Your wedding day really is the ultimate reason you have to look and feel your best. Use the morning of your wedding as an opportunity to relax, spend time with the important people in your life and ensure you are ready to go in the unlikely event she should arrive on time. One last final piece of advice, keep it simple and always have a handkerchief handy for the moment she takes your breath away as she walks towards you down the aisle.
Andy, Em and the team at Mens Grooming Experience offer a unique mobile service that is all about the guys on the day of a wedding. Their popular packages include the ultimate cut throat shave, massages and hair cut and styling to have you looking and feeling your best. The best thing is that they come to you! No dramas with appointments or transport and providing you the opportunity to spend the time with the people most important to you, enjoy a few relaxing drinks and create some great photos for that wedding day album.