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It’s A Man’s World…

It’s A Man’s World…

An image of five men in kilts
Commando or not? What do you think? Photo credit Zain Kapasi

Hello People!

Hope you are all well. Once every couple of weeks I take myself off to the library, so I can sit in almost near perfect silence and write my blog. It’s perfect, there are other people around you furiously beavering away with their work which acts as the perfect motivation to get on and although there is free wi-fi, the login process is akin to trying to get into GCHQ, you can’t actually be bothered to type in your password for the 946th time and logging in on all my devices would take half the day! To be honest I like to come and sit surrounded by books – it satisfies the nerd in me. I like doing old-fashioned research, to anyone born after the year 2000 this is what we had to do before the nice folks at Google came along.

So I was sat here having a think about my blog topic for this week. I had a root around in the recesses of my brain and I had a flash of inspiration. There have been a few items in the news agenda recently about sexual equality and it made me think about my blog and Bridal Reloved specifically. Now obviously we sell wedding dresses and cater to a female market but suddenly I felt conscious that a lot of my blogs were aimed solely at women. But weddings are not just about women! What if a man wanted some advice about his wedding, what if he was taking a hands on approach or what if he wanted to take charge but not have his wedding end up like a bad episode of Don’t Tell The Bride? So this week’s blog is going to touch upon some of the main aspects of a wedding that are important to the Groom, the things he should be involved in and the things that are solely his domain. In these modern times when the financial responsibility of the wedding is borne by the happy couple themselves it seems only right and sensible that they should both be responsible for making the decisions.

Hopefully you will have got through the most nerve-wracking part of this whole ordeal with a beautiful proposal. If you haven’t yet proposed or are just about to, the first thing I am going to say is relax and breathe. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to try and organise a completely over the top proposal with flash mobs and hot air balloons. If you as a couple are more low-key then your fiancée to be is more likely to appreciate something more intimate that involves just the two of you. Obviously if you know your beautiful bride-to-be loves big gestures then that is the green light to go all out with the biggest proposal ever. A good way to lose half an hour is by going on You Tube and having a nose through the various proposals posted on there – they range from the sublime to the ridiculous!

An image of an engagement ring and wedding bands
The ring is all about sentiment and not size…Photo credit www.rebeccaweddingphotography.co.uk

In terms of the ring – DO NOT PANIC! As long as you’ve got the correct size then the style, cut and carat of the ring won’t matter. Most women are touched that their better half has picked something out with love and are thrilled with the new furniture that adorns their hand. You can buy off the peg or get one designed, but in terms of price only you know what you can afford. Tradition used to dictate that it was a month’s salary that you had to spend, however sometimes it pays to be realistic. In this day and age with mortgages, student debt, childcare fees and the cost of living in general you have to be sensible not stupid. Don’t let anyone pressure you into spending more than you want to. However, if you know from experience that when you buy things for your fiancée and you always have to keep the receipt, might I suggest you do the proposing first (with a novelty or candy ring) then go out and pick a ring together, that way you can be assured she likes it.

An image of a newly engaged couple
Farzana and Ali looking radiant with that newly engaged glow. They are getting married five weeks tomorrow!

You proposed, she cried and then said yes. If only that was it right? Now comes the bit that requires patience, co-operation and compromise. Have a chat and see how much your vision of a wedding and her vision of a wedding match up. If it is quite similar with certain aspects in common then you should have a relatively easy job, if it is wildly different then this is where compromise starts to play a part. If you find that the discussions are getting tense or heated, then a good thing to do is call a time-out. Arrange a date night and stipulate that any wedding related conversation is strictly off limits. Hopefully a couple of glasses of wine and fun conversation will remind you both of the reason you are getting married in the first place and hopefully mean that when you return to wedding planning it will be a much smoother ride.

Another quick tip -if you are a sports mad groom or indeed couple then remember to check the date of your wedding against the sporting calendar, because let me tell you ultimately you will be the one held-responsible if your male guests are trying to have a sneaky listen to the radio or disappearing off to find a TV.

An image of a Groom and his Best Man
BFFs! Your Best Man is one of the most imporatant people to have by your side – choose wisely. Photo credit www.rebeccaweddingphotography.co.uk

You’ve got a date, you’ve found a venue and by some miracle you’ve both agreed and signed off on both the budget and guest list. As the groom you can probably see the finishing line in touching distance – NO! Let me just shatter that illusion swiftly! Your next big job is choosing your best man. You would think that this was a relatively simple task, but it is in fact one of the most important decisions you will have to make. The best man is a key individual, not just during the wedding, but also before and afterwards. You need someone responsible and reliable. Someone who can be trusted to get things done without the constant need of reminders and with minimal or no supervision. Before the wedding he will be organising your stag do, helping you arrange suit fittings for you and all the groomsmen and arranging transport and logistics for different venues. On the day of your wedding he will be your constant companion, he will get you to the ceremony, he will arrange payment for any suppliers that need paying on the day, he will guard your wedding rings with his life and as if that wasn’t enough pressure he will give the most amazing best man speech ever heard! After the wedding he will be tasked with getting outfits returned in perfect condition. But above all that the most important thing he has to do is be your support. If you have any worries or doubts he should be able to provide a listening, sympathetic ear and give you good advice.

An image of groomsmen
If your Bride can have a cast of thousands then why can’t you?! Equality! Photo credit www.rebeccaweddingphotography.co.uk

Nowadays some men are choosing to have two best men – you could have two brothers (if you have them), a brother and a mate, two mates etc. It is a great idea – you can divvy up the jobs so that the burden of responsibility doesn’t fall on just one person leaving them feeling overwhelmed. Remember even if you can’t ask someone to be your best man, you will still need groomsmen (Ushers etc) so pick a nice mix of guys you know will work well together and have fun.

Also while you have the best man on your side, it might also be a good idea to buddy up with the maid of honour so she can tip you the wink and warn you of any potential disasters coming your way so you can do some damage control before your bride-to-be finds out!

An image of cufflinks
Cufflinks are a great idea as a gift and the variety available these days means they can be as personal as you like. Photo credit www.rebeccaweddingphotography.co.uk

Once you have chosen your best man (men) and groomsmen you will need to think of gifts for them. They don’t have to be elaborate or massively expensive but they do have to have some thought behind them. Engraved cufflinks are a good idea or a pocket watch or hipflask. Other more modern gifts can take the form of
• A year’s subscription to a magazine
• A nice bottle of whisky
• Tickets to a sporting event
• An experience day
These gifts no matter how big or small will be very appreciated, so put some thought into it, personal gestures do go a very long way.

An image of a cigar
A cigar as a gift…for you and your Best Man to snatch a quick five minutes respite before the madness of the day takes over. Photo credit www.rebeccaweddingphotography.co.uk

Speaking of presents, you might want to think about what you would like to buy for your blushing bride-to-be. She should receive this on the morning of your wedding along with a handwritten note or card. Consider a piece of jewellery that she might be able to wear on the day. Again with this gift it isn’t about spending thousands of pounds, it’s about the sentiment behind it. A sweet idea is to buy her some perfume that she has never worn before. Ideally she would then use the new perfume on the day then after the wedding, whenever she uses that perfume the scent will always remind her of the memory of your big day.

An image of a grooms tie and buttonhole
It’s not just about the Bride’s dress – you need to look pretty dapper too! Photo credit www.rebeccaweddingphotography.co.uk

With regards to your wardrobe, let’s not kid ourselves. We all know the #OutfitOfTheDay belongs to the bride. Everyone is going to be looking at her and what she is wearing – BUT you still have to look worthy of being on her arm. Decide if you want to go for the full top hat and tails, a formal suit or something a bit more casual. The most economical way of getting you and your groomsmen kitted out is to use a hire company. Shop around for the best deals, you’ll almost certainly get a good deal if you kit out the whole party from one place.

An image of a barber shop
Visit the Barber shop a day in advance. You should definitely pamper yourself. It’s de rigeur!

Sartorially you need to remember:
• Get a haircut a few days before to let your hair settle.
• Men’s grooming is taking off – facials, manicures and massages are now no longer just for women, use your wedding as an excuse to pamper yourself too!
• Cut off all labels from any new items and take the stickers off the bottom of new shoes. If you are kneeling at the altar Great Aunt Betty doesn’t need to know that your shoes were reduced from £75 to £30 in the Next sale.

An image of a pair of shoes
Remember to take the price stickers off your shoes – nobody else other than you needs to know they were in the sale! Photo credit www.rebeccaweddingphotography.co.uk

Your last job is to book an amazing honeymoon. Somewhere you can relax and unwind, take lots of #selfies to upload to social media and make everyone you know wildly jealous. You can go for a mini-moon to start with and book a bigger holiday for later on in the year. A tip is to use a travel agent to go through all the options – it can be confusing and often actually using an agent can save you a few hundred pounds. Using a company like Langley Travel can be a big help. www.langleytravel.co.uk

An image of a bride and groom
Enjoy being the Groom! You are half of the reason all those people are there…it’s your day too. Revel in it!! Photo credit www.rebeccaweddingphotography.co.uk

Being the groom is important – if it wasn’t for you there wouldn’t be a wedding. Relax and enjoy yourself it is your day too! Try and take in all the moments of the day and when you finally get a moment alone as a couple you’ll really appreciate sharing each other’s special moments and highlights.

I wanted to say a big thank you to Rebecca from www.rebeccaweddingphotography.co.uk for allowing me to use some of her beautiful wedding photography in this week’s blog. We are very lucky that so many talented photographers are kind enough to allow us to use their images – we are very grateful. Rebecca can also be found at www.facebook.com/rebeccaweddingphotography/ and www.instagram.com/rebeccaphoto

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s blog – I’ll be back next week with more ramblings from the world of weddings – give me a follow on Twitter and remember to sign up and subscribe if you don’t want to miss a post.

Till then toodles,

Zarina xx

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