A Real Groom Speaks Up
Liz suddenly appeared at the front room door and asked, “What’s this receipt for a ring all about?” The cat was out of the bag! It had been raining that day and Greg had emptied his suit coat pockets on the kitchen table, forgetting that the receipt for the ring was among the contents. At that moment, Greg realized that whatever plans he still had for a surprise wedding proposal had been dashed. True love undeterred, Liz still said yes, and Greg made it “official” by proposing a second time a few days later, complete with amazing views of London and a bottle of fine champagne.
It rained again on the day of their wedding, but Greg maintains that, could they do it over, he wouldn’t change a thing. They were married in Northwest, England, in a church adjacent to Liz’s childhood school. Their reception was held in a farmer’s field near her lifelong family home. Being close to one of their homes was particularly special. Fortunately, it was a marquee reception (under a tent), so the rain was not too much of a bother.
“It was a complete fairy tale of a day for us – the church, the marquee, the food, the awful weather, all our friends and family together – one that hardly a day goes by without us mentioning,” said Greg. “One moment we both particular remember is being picked up on our friend’s shoulders on the dance floor with the band playing. Amazing!”
Greg wore a three-piece light grey suit with a silver tie. His ushers wore grey suits with dark grey tie. (The suits were part of their gift for standing up with Greg.) Greg said, “I have never been particularly keen on the morning suit look so was keen to have a smart three piece suit and felt that light grey was the best ‘summer suit’ look.”
“My groomsmen did a great job,” Greg tells us. “I had my oldest mate as best man and three other mates from UNI (short for university. Go figure!), one of which had travelled from San Antonio, Texas to be there. Each had their jobs: master of ceremonies, a reading during the service, being in charge of the music at the church, bride arrival, hymns, etc. But my Best Man really stole the show with his speech, absolutely brilliant. He had people howling with laughter like they had gone to see a stand-up comedian. I am just glad we have it on video.”
Note: If you are planning a wedding, make sure you are having it filmed!
Greg’s and Liz’s story is a reminder to keep it fun, go with the flow, and connect your day with all that is most important to you. Like the song says, Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you,…you can go to extremes with impossible schemes and you can laugh when your dreams (plans) fall apart at the seams…if you’re young at heart. Despite a little rain – and a couple of other small set-backs – they had their fairytale wedding.
Do you have a wedding story to share?
Keeping it real,
Party crashing is a sport that more than a few have successfully executed, especially during those “experience rich” college years. Wedding crashing, however, is a special form of party crashing – one which requires an extra level of preparation and chutzpah. Now, before you start feeling mislead about the direction of this short story, the following will apply to those who have an actual invitation to a wedding (though if one were to crash a wedding, being especially well dressed would certainly not be a disadvantage.)
When you are in the wedding party, the decision about what to wear is easy, since it is mostly dictated by the bride, and possibly the groom (just being honest.) But when you are a chosen, invited guest….now that is a golden opportunity to impress and express with how you dress.
Right down the middle
(It’s a suit, but lighter in color….so not quite as formal)
A few basic rules:
- Similar to other ceremonial occasions, a wedding is a time to dress up, not down, to ere on the side of being overdressed, not underdressed. When in doubt, wear a tie. (You can always remove it if no one else is wearing one.)
- Don’t dress like you’re going to a business meeting. A wedding is not a business meeting.
- Consider how the groom will be dressed. Typically a notch below the groom in formality is appropriate. If he is dressed formal, in a tuxedo, a creative dinner jacket would be a great choice, and you can’t wrong in a dark suit and tie.
- Consider the setting and the time of day. A friend of mine is going to a formal wedding in Los Angeles, set in a botanical garden. In that case, her date could wear a light colored suit if the wedding is before 6pm. Either one of the “leaning casual” looks above would rock! Otherwise, a medium to dark suit would be a safe bet. And since it is L.A., by all means, he should let the character inside of him out to play.
Russ L. (pictured at the very top) is a financial professional by day, generally being limited to conservative Wall Street attire. However, the real Russ enjoys showing a more creative side whenever the opportunity presents itself. At a late summer wedding, high up in the Sierras, he kicked up his style with a look inspired by late 40’s elegance, including braces for his pants, a tie bar, a summer trilby for his head, and a crisp pair of Aviators to finish the look. The other guests loved his style and he and everyone else had more fun because of his extra effort and thoughtfulness.
What are a few other easy ways to let your style shine?
- Think SOCIAL. Wear something that is outside of your ordinary workday attire. I like to wear linen and cotton for late spring/summer weddings and muted plaid, window pane, or dressy shadow stripes for fall/winter weddings.
- Add a VEST. Shown above are two examples. A practical advantage is that when you take your coat off, you still have a more finished, dressed up appearance.
- Rock a BOW TIE.
- Wear some COLOR.
- Definitely add a POCKET SQUARE.
Note: Though it is somewhat rare these days, for a classic formal wedding (i.e., for day weddings – the bridal party is dressed in cutaways, for evening – in white tie & tails) you should go formal. For our purposes, unless you own a full dress suit (tails), you should wear a tuxedo/Dinner Jacket in the evening. For a daytime formal wedding (cutaway/morning coat) the proper attire is the long-forgotten stroller, or Stresemann, outfit. This is a solid black or charcoal jacket, grey checked or striped formal trousers, silver solid tie, and dove gray or buff waistcoat. This is worn with cap toe oxfords and a point collar, French cuff shirt.
Weddings are a celebration. The best ones I’ve been to were actually more like a great party, with lots of fun people, preceded by a romantic, uniquely sacred, and relatively brief ceremony. My suggestion: Dress to respect the ceremony and to enjoy the reception.