Award-winning bespoke tailor Alexandra Wood says that, while brides get offered plenty of planning advice, grooms tend to be left to get on with it – even though there are just as many sartorial decisions to be made. So, to kick-start your wedding-day prep, here is her specially compiled grooms’ planner
While there is no shortage of information and timelines for brides, as a groom you may feel like you have been left in the dark about how to approach your wedding, particularly when it comes to grooming, fitness, suits and accessories.
Together with accessories specialist Mr Jenks and fitness coach and founder of Holistic Motions Kemo Marriott, I have compiled a simple 12-month planner to take you through the essentials you’ll need to consider before the big day.
Countdown: 12 months
The suit Talk to your fiancé so you are both clear on the style and theme of the wedding. You also need to bear in mind time of year, the colours and cuts that suit your personal style, and also find a design you will want to wear again – tailors can advise on all of the above.
- If you are hiring, it is best to book in a year in advance. Assuming you have already decided on who your groomsmen are, get an appointment in the diary.
- If you are going for a bespoke suit, book this in now as it is a lengthier process than made-to-measure.
Fitness & grooming Forget about looking great for your wedding day – think about looking great for the next five years! Your wedding day is a golden opportunity to kick-start a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
- Staying constantly active throughout the day has a huge effect on your metabolism. Walk more often, take the stairs and do more active chores (vacuuming, gardening).
- Prioritise protein in every meal as this boosts satiety neurotransmitters that help you not to over-eat. Protein also forms the building blocks of a strong physique, helping to build and preserve muscle mass.
6 months to go
The suit By this stage, you should have plans in place. Don’t panic, but do prioritise this above everything else.
- If you’re hiring, ensure you have booked your suits – this is critical if you are marrying during the busy summer season and recommended at any time of year
- Fittings need to be scheduled, so get your appointments planned and in the diary – remember to ensure your groomsmen do the same.
Fitness & grooming You still have time to make a real difference to your fitness levels six months before the wedding.
- Start using resistance training to improve your body composition and increase your muscle mass. This will also contribute to elevating your metabolism.
- If you’re not sure about your hairstyle, now is the time to try out a different look. You can experiment and grow the style out if the look doesn’t work.
Accessories You know the style and colour of your suit so now you can consider accessories. Use the suit colour to determine the best match for your tie.
- A pocket square is an accessory that can add sophistication, show your personal style and complete any wedding-day look. Paisley is an elegant pattern that will never go out of style A crisp white pocket square is recommended for a black-tie wedding. And yes, your pocket square can be worn together with the boutonnière (buttonhole).
4 months to go
The suit Book now if you plan to have a made-to-measure suit made.
Fitness & grooming Involve your partner in your fitness regime. This has been shown to increase your bond and there’s no better way to be accountable and stick to your plan.
- Find an activity class that you can schedule once or twice a week and lock it into your calendar.
3 months to go
Fitness & grooming Have a test run of the hairstyle you’d like on the day. It is useful to provide your hairdresser (and groomsmen) with photos.
Accessories If you need to order any items online (e.g. shoes, ties, cufflinks), do this now so that you have plenty of time to return or exchange items that aren’t right.
1 month to go
The suit Your suit should be in place, but don’t forget your shirt. Consider buying two identical shirts – it’s a long day and a change for the evening can help you freshen up. A spare is also invaluable if there are any minor disasters (red wine stains, lipstick marks).
Fitness & grooming You will be incredibly busy the week before the wedding, so consider having certain grooming treatments – for instance teeth whitening or a facial – done now.
- Book appointments for straight-razor shaves and haircuts for yourself and your groomsmen.
- Test grow your ‘stubble’ if you are going for that look. You will need to know how long it takes to grow the perfect length.
1 week before
Fitness & grooming Have any waxing done now to ensure all redness has disappeared by the big day. Also have your final haircut
- Focus on regular sleep – maintaining your exercise regime can really help with this as well as reducing pre-wedding stress.
Countdown: 48 hours
The suit If you are renting your suits, you will usually need to pick them up the day before. Try on all pieces as soon as you get them – very occasionally something may need tweaking.
- On the day, allow plenty of time get dressed and do final checks, so that you keep your cool. Ensure groomsmen are carrying wedding-day essentials, such as mints, comb, umbrella, and so on.
Accessories A couple of days before is your final chance to check the inventory. Ensure that you and your groomsmen have the right accessories – pocket squares, socks, cufflinks, ties, braces, belts – and in the right numbers. Also ensure your shirts are properly pressed.
- On the day, get your groomsmen to check your suit and shirt look perfectly pressed from all angles. It is useful to have a clothes brush and shoe cloth to hand for the team. For your pocket square, there are many different folds however the Presidential Fold is a classic while the Puff Fold works well for a more casual look.
Fitness & grooming Have a manicure. Your hands will be on show, so book in for a professional treatment or have a DIY treatment by filing, cleaning, pushing back your cuticles and applying cuticle oil.
- On the day, and only if you have time in the schedule, a professional straight-razor shave or beard/moustache trim is a chance to relax. Also a great way to ensure you and your groomsmen look perfectly turned out.
Our guest columnist
Alexandra Wood is an award-winning bespoke mens’ tailor operating from Savile Row and with a dedicated formalwear hire store in Bishop’s Stortford. alexandrawoodbespoke.co.uk
Kemo Marriott specialises in bespoke personal training, health coaching and nutrition programmes. holisticmotions.com
Mr Jenks is renowned for his elegant pocket squares, which are sold around the world. mrjenks.com