Last week was quite the lengthy conversation on your dress and all of the details that go along with that–there are so many things to remember for us women! But this week, it’s time to stop thinking about yourself and consider your groom. He’s the man who laughs at the same jokes, uplifts & supports you, knows all of your quirks & passions, loves you exactly for who you are, and has made such an impression in your life that you can’t imagine living without him. He is the man that is offering to share all that he has, adventure through life together, promising to love, care, and provide for only you (with an expensive ring as a token reminder). All that to say, he’s a pretty important figure and the wedding would still be a day dream without him making it a reality, in fact the two of you being together forever is kind of the whole point.
But before I jump into suits and all that guy stuff, I want to throw this thought out there. Because we women sometimes need the reminder when we’re lost in life and wedding planning.
CARE FOR YOUR MAN
It may not always be the case and kudos to you if it’s not. But generally speaking, what I’ve noticed is that there is a great big fuss over everything that the bride is or does and the groom is caught in the middle with little to no consideration. Almost as if the emphasis is entirely on the wedding event and not the marriage or the both parties involved. There is a reason that you’ve chosen to marry that one, specific man and he too, deserves to feel special and loved on his wedding day. Yes, that’s right. It’s HIS wedding day, too. IMO it would be nice if the “wedding day is all about the bride” slogan would just go the way of the dodo. It’s truly a poor picture of marriage and the purpose of the wedding in the first place. But we’ve already discussed that in our last conversation. Water under the bridge.
Take it upon yourself to be selfless with the planning and let the groom be as involved as he wants to be.
DON’T expect him to care about every detail–consider that a good thing, it gives you more reign for your own ideas.
But DO take time to ask for his thoughts and find out what he would wish to be involved in.
What he does care about, you should find the time to care about too. I think so often we women assume that the men won’t care about all the wedding details and neglect to even ask. I’m not saying that you have to adhere to whatever he suggests but that you should have open communication on this stuff, give him the chance to share some thoughts, share some of your own burden. After all, you’re not marrying yourself and this is a great reality check for those about to embark into married land. The rest of your life will a complex, learning process on “how to mesh two lives into one.”
I’ve found in several conversations with my newlywed friends that each groom was different in the things that he thought important or imperative. Some grooms completely trust their bride and want them to pick everything out for them while others want to be extremely involved. Andrew offered up a few things that he was concerned with and was perfectly fine with me handling the rest.
It sort of surprised me which things were important to Drew. I chose to respect those wishes and I’ll never regret that. He had a lot of good insight or reminded me of things that I simply forgot.
For one, he cared a lot about his suit. He wanted a nice one that he could wear again and he wanted to look & feel “gooooood”–actual quote.
He also cared a lot about when the pictures were taken (lucky for me, I had the same idea & couldn’t have agreed more). He didn’t want our guests to have to wait around for us after the ceremony, the party needed to get started!
Finally, he cared about the song that we first danced to and the song that we were announced to. I wanted us to make the decision together on our first dance song. But I actually struggled with the song we were announced to because all of his choices didn’t match any of my cutesy, coffee-shop songs. Still I’m glad that I realized it was OUR wedding and that the mixture of the two genres would truly represent our personalities together. The song that we entered with wasn’t my first choice, but it was so much more fun! I don’t regret letting him have that one at all.
That left a lot of things that he didn’t really care about as far as making decisions go, so I felt that it was important to respect the things he really wanted. I could go on about that for days but we’ll stop there and talk about the actual suit.
Like I said, Andrew cared a LOT about his suit. He wanted to look fine on his wedding day. Not that I complained about that. I loved that he was able to feel good in his suit just like I was able to feel special in my dress.
We were long distance at the time of engagement, so we planned to visit Jos. A. Bank during one of our short visits. If we would have had more time, we would’ve done more shopping around: Men’s Warehouse, JC Penney, etc. But we knew that Jos. A. Bank would have what we needed and offer a discount. I had already picked out a certain color/style palette for him to follow in regards to the theme and colors but everything else was on him.
We went for a light colored, summer style suit. Something he wouldn’t roast in but still nice enough to wear later. It’s hard to remember the exact colors when you’re shopping, they can all look the same in the store so I recommend taking a picture or color palette with you to compare.
The nice thing is that at these nicer stores, they take care of you from start to finish. They point you in the right direction, do all of the measuring & tweaking for you, once you’ve found the one, you sign the slip, and pick it up later. Done.
Like I mentioned when we were talking about the Wedding Party attire a few weeks back, suit stores will offer great discounts or deals if you buy more than one suit there. So if you’re suit shopping for the groom, entertain the thought of all of the guys buying from the same spot. We didn’t do this with the mismatched style we were going for but we still got a great discount on Andrew’s suit from some sale at the time.
We loved Jos. A. Bank–they produce nice stuff but it’s probably not the cheapest route. We looked at it as an investment in his wardrobe. But if you can’t spare the expense, I recommend trying Men’s Warehouse or JC Penney. They still do the measuring and tweaking but without the high dollar amount. You can even rent, though I haven’t researched that to any great extent.
Those same stores will also offer shirts, ties, socks, shoes and every other man accessory under the sun. We found that the variety and price range were a lot better elsewhere although it’s nifty if you want to get it done all in one trip.
I purchased his shirt at JC Penney on summer clearance for $15. I wanted an off-white shirt, which is slightly more difficult to find as opposed to pure white. But with some time, I secured the off-white shirt for a great price. Granted, it wasn’t the greatest quality dress shirt for that price but who’s nit-picking that?
I found the suspenders on Amazon for roughly $5 a set–the same set as the groom’s men. You can definitely go fancier, with real leather and such. But I knew these guys weren’t huge on suspenders in every day life so I just bought something that would look good, matched, & was affordable.
I also got his tie on Amazon. It’s a really nice, soft, peach tie to complement the groomsmen’s mint accessories. But there are other alternatives for combining colors & patterns if you’re veering away from continuity, just like I mentioned in the wedding party post. Part of our “gift” for the guys were their ties and bow-ties. I say “gift” because what guy really yearns for a tie? I would pick up random mint ties & bow-ties as I found them in the clearance bin in J.C. Penney, on Amazon, or even the thrift store. They were all mismatching so it was bit more time consuming for me to find, but it allowed me to save money by finding each one over time. I recommend JC Penney, Etsy, Amazon, or even the thrift store if it suits your style.
I can’t say that I remember where he got the shoes and if I asked, he probably wouldn’t remember either. He purchased them while living in SC and apart from me. But I do know that if you send your man shopping for a standard black or brown shoe, there shouldn’t be any problems. It will take a lot less time and stress than if you were to go along, trust me.
Andrew’s socks were part of the set of funky socks that I got for the guys on clearance at H&M. Who doesn’t love that store? I printed off a simple quote on card stock and made a band around his socks, which said, “so that you don’t get cold feet.” He found them when they arrived to get ready for the wedding. Cliche, maybe. But I liked it and he thought it was cute.
Of course, be creative and come up with something fun to surprise your man–you know him best and what makes him tick. I love to give little gifts or surprise notes, it makes me feel like I’m actively loving Andrew even though he already knows that I do. I’ll talk about my wedding gift in another post.
Remind your man to make a timely appointment to get his hair cut before the wedding and cleans up the beard or shaves altogether. I had a coupon for a salon in SC that I would never use, so he got to have a really nice hair cut and facial “buffing.” So fancy.
Not all guys prefer extra pampering, but it’s not going to kill them to do a bit of the ceremonial “beauty routine” that brides take part in. I mean things like, whitening their teeth and exfoliating their skin. I received a coupon from Target after registering there for a bride and groom special on Crest Whitening Strips. In addition to the mail-in rebate on the box, I got the really good stuff for less than half the normal price.
Not to be unloving, but if your man can be forgetful or lives far away it might be best for you to keep the suit /rings where it will be ready to go for the wedding day. Make sure to leave a lint roller & an iron out for him just in case.
And above all, make time for your man in the middle of it all. The pre-marital counseling, the planning together, that doesn’t count–intentionally make time to be together and have fun. Make a point to remind him that you value him above the favors, the food, and the music. It’s good for your heart, too! Next week, we’ll be talking about invitations & save-the-dates so bring your espresso. Looking forward to it!