I’m not into enforcing boring stereotypes, so I’ll try to be as open-minded as possible, but it generally goes without saying that a majority of the decisions made regarding your wedding will come from the bride (or somebodies mother). In all the meddling, mayhem and mashed potatoes of the day itself, it’s easy for the groom to get forgotten. The little man in the back corner raising his hand to ask for a bathroom break, who gets promptly shushed because he doesn’t have any idea what colours look good with what, or how to pair a white with salmon, and if he can’t be helpful then no, he doesn’t get bathroom privileges. To be honest, you’re right not to trust him - if he had his way you’d probably be married on a speedboat and go hunting rabbits for dinner*.
It doesn’t mean, however, that groomy boys can’t have a blast both before and during the wedding if you take what he likes into consideration (boats and dead rabbits aside).
My groom was a snappy dresser, a fan of a good shave, and smelling like a dreamboat, so the list I’ve complied are all in that area, but if you are into something different, I’m sure I can come up with something.
Barbershops are getting more and more popular among bridal parties for getting ready photos and a session before the wedding. Since it takes the fellows a little less time to get ready**, there is often enough of a gap between breakfast and ceremony time that leaves room for a trip to the barber where you are offered hot towel treatments, as well as a drink and an excuse to sit in old-timey leather chairs and a room smelling like mahogany, cologne, car oil, BBQ ribs, the memory of wartime and whatever other manly man stuff that comes to mind.
I can highly recommend The Ironclad Barber in the Riverina. Kev knows how to look after a jittery pre-wedding gent.
2. Cologne and oils
Nothing like a spiffy-smelling gentleman waiting for you at the alter***. Beards at weddings are in - it’s no longer respectful to have a clean shave. If anything it makes you look too young to be getting married at all. But a beard is like any kind of hair that you decide to let grow long and scraggly - it takes maintenance. A trim, clean and oil ensures you’re not collecting dirt, smells and small birds on your face, and saves any and all itch, if you get the right products.
I can recommend~ Dear Barber & Milkman products.
3. Tie shops
The tie is the one thing you will buy that can be your own, and you can have a little fun with. There are online stores in particular that offer ranges or accessories specifically for men, and for dressy occasions only. You can find materials and colours that will fit with any theme right from your positions as pre-wedding couch potato, and you won’t feel like that same old codger who was dressed head to toe in Conner because you couldn’t be bothered to go shopping again.~~
I can recommend: The Brothers at OTTAA
4. Personalised suit
This is non-negotiable. I don’t care who you are or what you’re about - a suit that fits properly will make you look like you’re supposed to be getting married rather than picking up rubbish in the Pizza Hut parking lot. It’s very rare to walk into a men’s shop and buy a perfectly-fitting suit right off the rack, because people aren’t built that way, and unless you have the rigid and rock-hard body shape of a store mannequin, I suggest you just go online or to an actual tailor and have your exact measurements taken. If you’re going to be in it all day, you may as well spend the money to feel like a perfectly-proportioned human burrito.
Note, too, that even if you aren’t prepared to spring for a entirely customised suit, you can buy one that sits fairly close to the mark, and take it to be altered.
I can recommend InStitchu.
Fun socks have sort of been done to death, but it’s a weirdly satisfying way to rebel against everything else that is happening at your wedding. So clean, pressed and scrubbed up from head to toe that nobody knows you have sushi in your shoes.
There is no getting around it - you probably won’t have the most significant amount of say in what you wear, so get the loudest, most ridiculous pair of socks you can find and live in smug satisfaction knowing that you’ve successfully fooled them all, and you made a cracking contribution to a wedding decision, even if nobody can share in it.
I can recommend Fun Socks and Sock It To Me.
I guess my point here is, look after your fella. Don’t make him feel out of place at his own wedding, because you will most likely need him there in order for the whole ordeal to go ahead. If you insist on planning the entire day without him, at least distract him with a colouring book or a packet of chips and hope that he still agrees to marry you.
*not actually the worst idea, feel free to add that one to the “maybes”.
** why is that? I’m all for taking the time you need, but just know that the longer you make people wait, the higher risk you run of Nanna missing the wedding altogether.
*** I assume.
~ I have not used any of these products on my own beard, but have heard great things from my man friends.
~~ Conner store is a good egg, but as boring as an oat biscuit.