How to look your best for the photos –The groom

Published date: 20th March 2019

Contrary to rumours, the wedding is not all about the bride. She will maybe get three looks to every one for you, but that’s still a lot of scrutiny – and remember you’ll be the total focus during your speech. So we thought a few tips wouldn’t go amiss.

Let’s start where the sister piece about the bride ended: think about what people – perhaps including your kids – will think 25 years hence when they see the pictures. In other words think several times before you opt for this week’s fashion, quirky or (please no) ‘themed’, and if you are not 100 per cent sure edge back to classic. Would your dad in his massive 70s shirt collar or 80s New Romantic ruff have been less embarrassed now if he’d gone with a rented morning suit?

A few things to consider when you are thinking about the clothes side. Where and when are you marrying? If it’s Tahiti outdoors forget tails. The countryside in winter suggests formal (and warm). What style suits you? Don’t be persuaded to endure something you hate. And (forget at your peril) what style is the bride going for? It’s your duty to match and enhance her choice – get used to it. Are you renting or buying? Formal wear you’re better by far renting. Any other look may cost more for a full outfit, but you should get further use from it. And do you want your best man and ushers in the same, or contrasting gear?

Happily there are several looks likely to remain classic: the Bohemian thing – maybe light tweed jacket, blue Oxford button-down shirt, light chinos and tan brogues looked good 30 years ago and still does now, so maybe it will last forever. The perfectly tailored grey or navy suit in a restrained style is another that ages gracefully. Some are going for the dinner jacket – Tuxedo – look, but for us that’s a bit American (and head waiter) still at a wedding.

Some practical tips. For goodness’ sake wear in your shoes if they are new: in the house for an hour one day and a couple the next so they stay clean but start to be comfy – you’ll be on your feet a lot on the day. It’s not girly anymore to have a facial, but do experiment with one at least a month before the day in case (though it’s unlikely) you react badly to any of the treatments. If ok, have another a day or two before the wedding. And have a manicure at the same time – especially if you are having a ring as most guys do now – as your hands will be keenly observed. Go for a hat-trick with a trim (by a professional) of your eyebrows – trust us, it sharpens the look.

Unless you favour facial hair, consider a proper barber wet-shave that day, but again try it well in advance – a red rash on the photos if you’re unlucky is not a good look. But don’t have your hair cut then too – go to a great barber or hairdresser and have it done between seven and four days before: no itchy hairs and not new-haircutty. As for waxing, we’re going with no.

The most important thing for the photos is to smile, and for that to look good you want shiny white teeth. Start using whitening toothpaste now, or pay a small fortune to a dentist nearer the day. And not a crooked smile – careful with the booze, and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated and healthy, as wedding receptions get very warm. Plus you’ll be busy, you’ll sweat – it’s natural – so don’t forget the anti-perspirant as you dress, and maybe retouch the pits as the evening wears on. And if you use after-shave don’t go overboard, and don’t try anything new on the day in case – again unlikely – you react badly to it.

And a tip we gave to the brides: don’t hit the gym hard a month before you marry, having avoided it for two or more decades. Sprains and hernias won’t make the wedding night great. If you’re reading this well in advance and could do to tone those muscles, go for it – with guidance. Which is a tip applicable to your style choices too, whether from your fiancée or a trusted friend.

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