Monday, March 3, 2014

DIY Wedding #6: the Suit.

Last week was quite the extensive post on "the dress." Tips for all those little accessory details, hair styles, and a reminder to remain sane--you can read it here. But this week, it's time to stop thinking about yourself and consider your groom. He's the man that you can't wait to sleep next to, the man that makes you laugh, knows all of your quirks and passions, and has made such an impression in your life that you can't imagine living without. He is the man that is offering to share his last name, adventure through life together, and promising to care and provide for only you, with an expensive ring as a token.

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. But before I jump into suits and guy stuff, I want to throw this thought out there.

Because we women need the reminder.

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. 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. It would be nice if the "wedding day is all about the bride" slogan would just go away--it's truly a poor picture of marriage and the purpose of the wedding in the first place. But we've already discussed that. 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 full reign. But DO take time to ask for his thoughts and know what he would wish to be involved in. What he does choose to care about, you should find the time to care about it, too. 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 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, others want to be extremely involved, and Andrew, chose a few things that he was concerned with and let me inform of the rest.

It sort of surprised me which things were important to Drew, but 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.

He cared a lot about his suit--he wanted a nice one that he could wear again and he wanted to look "gooooood" or so I was told. He also cared a lot about when the pictures were taken--he didn't want our guests to have to wait around for us after the ceremony, the party needed to get started! He cared about the song that we danced to. He cared about the song that we were announced to (I struggled with that, because his choices didn't match my cutesy, coffee-shop vibe that I was going for. But I'm glad that I realized it was OUR wedding and that the mixture of the two genres would truly represent our personalities together). That left a lot of things that he didn't really care about as far as making decisions go, so I felt it important to honor the things he really wanted.

I could go on about that for days, but we'll stop there and talk about the actual suit.

the Suit

Like I said, Andrew cared a LOT about his suit. He wanted to look fine on his wedding day. And to this day, whenever he sees a picture of our wedding, he says, "I looked gooooood!" I'm so glad that he was able to feel that way for our wedding--I wanted to feel beautiful, he should feel handsome. 

We were long-distance at the time of engagement, so we planned to visit Jos. A. Bank during one of our visits. If we would have had more time, we would've done more shopping--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, summer suit--linen or something similar. Something he wouldn't roast in, but still nice enough to wear later. It's hard to remember the exact colors, 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 stores like that, they take care of you. They point you in the right direction, do all of the measuring and tweaking for you--once you've found the one, you sign the slip, and pick it up later. Done.

Like I mentioned, suit stores will offer great discounts or deals if you buy more than one suit there--that's if you're looking to dress your wedding party in one spot or with a similar style. We didn't do this, but we still got a great discount on it from a sale or something like that. 

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 or like stores. They still do the measuring and tweaking, but without the high dollar amount.

Man Accessories

Those 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 got Drew's shirt at JC Penney on sale for $15. I wanted an off-white shirt, which is slightly more difficult as opposed to pure white. But with some time, I secured the off-white shirt for a great price. Granted, it wasn't the "nicest" dress shirt for that price--but who's nit-picking that?

I purchased the suspenders through Amazon for roughly $5 a set. You can go fancier, with real leather and such. But I knew my guys weren't huge on suspenders in every day life--so I just bought something that matched for cheap, something that would get them through the wedding.

I got his tie on Amazon--a really nice, soft, peach tie to complement the guys mint accessories. But there are other alternatives--like I mentioned in the wedding party post. Part of our gift for the guys were their ties and bow-ties. I would pick one up as I found them in the clearance bin in JC Penney or on Amazon. They were all mismatching, so it was bit more time consuming for me--but 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'm not really sure where he got the shoes--he purchased them while in SC and apart from me. But I do know if you send your man shopping for a standard black or brown shoe, there shouldn't be any problems--no arguments over style, and it'll will take a lot less time and stress than if you were to go.

Andrew's socks were part of the set of "crazy" 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 it's the little things. 

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.

Other Thoughts

Make sure that your man makes 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 pro hair cut and facial "buffing" or whatever they do. Not all men like that, I was surprised that Andrew did--but it's ok for them to get extra cleaned up for their day, too.

Along with that, it's ok for him to do a bit of the ceremonial "beauty routine" that brides take part in. I mean things like, whitening his teeth and exfoliating his skin. I had a coupon via a store or wedding site--most likely Target from 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 kind for under half the 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 iron it a few days prior.

And above all, make sure to make time for your man in the middle of it all. The pre-marital counseling, the planning together, that doesn't count--make time to be together and have fun. Make sure that he knows that you value him above the favors, the food, and the music.

Make time to love your man!

Next week, we'll be diving into the abyss that is Invitations & Save the Dates! It's a big topic, but we'll break it down and make it fun! Looking forward to it!

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