In all the years I have been photographing weddings, most of the focus is quite rightly on the bride. For most weddings I photograph in Manchester, Cheshire and the North West I’ll start at a hotel or the the bride’s house and capture all of the details of that morning. Most of the time there’ll be the bride, bridesmaids, mother of the bride all nervously going about their business. I love this time of the day, it’s easy for me to get creative with the photography. The boys though, are now also getting in the on the act and lots of their brides want to see what their other half’s are getting up to, so I give you the groom preps. Here’s a few Groom Prep Wedding Tips to help you and the boys have a stress free morning before your wedding ceremony.
Above: Dan getting ready at The Cottons Hotel in Knutsford. The wedding was at Larkspur Lodge just a few minutes down the road.
Below: All of the boys at Stay City Apartments in Ancoats, Manchester just ahead of the wedding at Nunsmere Hall in Cheshire.
Location, location, location
Maybe you aren’t going to spend three hours on hair and makeup (but if you are, I’m fine with that), but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about booking a nice hotel room for the groom and groomsmen preparations. Getting ready in nice surroundings will set the tone of the day for you and the lads.
Below: Another from Phil’s wedding at Nunsmere Hall in Cheshire. This photo was taken around 9.30am in the morning at Stay City Apartments in Ancoats, Manchester.
Pick a suit that suits the style of wedding
You don’t want to choose a suit which will clash with the wedding colour scheme. If you’re having a black tie affair in a stately home venue, a country tweed suit may not be the best choice. Also, if your wedding is in the middle of winter, a pastel coloured suit will probably look out of place. Take a look in magazines and online websites for inspiration.
This is the most important suit you will wear so you really need to nail it. As well as getting the style and colour right, it’s got to be really comfortable. You’ll be wearing it most of the day, so make sure you can walk, stand and sit comfortably.
Below: Ade made the right choice with the wedding suit for his Manchester wedding at Didsbury House.
Think cuff links, watch, pocket square or handkerchief here. Pay particular attention to your tie, maybe use a tie bar as well. For something different how about a bow tie? Don’t forget to choose the correct belt. If it’s going to be sunny take a pair of sunglasses with you. Not only will they look great in the wedding photos during the outside drinks reception, they’ll also be protecting your eyes.
Below: Dan, fastening his rather natty cufflinks.
Below: Ade again with a rather lovely old pocket watch.
The bride and bridesmaids will be having their hair done the morning of the wedding but you probably won’t have that luxury. Think about having a hair cut a few days before the wedding, don’t leave it until the day before. Don’t forget your beard as well.
Below: What a beard! Mark, getting ready in a hotel in Ellesmere Port just before his Cheshire wedding at Inglewood Manor.
Do something special for your bride on the wedding day
Have a present waiting for her in her room on the morning of the wedding. Maybe something sentimental or something she could wear. A simple love letter is the most personal thing you could send her, hand written, just go to town on it. There won’t be a dry eye in the house when she reads it.
Below: Big softy Mark had left a letter for Beth to read at their Inglewood Manor wedding
Below: Same idea, Joe had done the same thing for Vicky at their Manchester wedding at The Worsley Marriott.
Work on your speech
You have to get these right, no matter how much you are dreading talking in public, it’s just got to be done. If you are nervous though, think about having the speeches before the wedding breakfast. That way you can get them done and dusted and just enjoy your meal.
Below: Leicester Warren Hall (now known as Larkspur Lodge, click to see more Cheshire wedding photography)
Below: Karl had everyone in stitches one minute and in tears the next with a real top drawer speech at The Monastery (See more Manchester wedding photographer photos)
A pint or two?
Many grooms plan a couple of pints in the morning before the wedding ceremony with the groomsmen. It’s a great idea, and really helps to take the edge off any of those pre-wedding nerves. But please lads, keep it to one if you can. No one will be impressed if you turn up half cut and smelling of booze.
Below: Richard, just before his Cheshire wedding to Kelly at Cherry Orchard Lake.
Below: Don’t forget the smaller guests too!
Below: Mark again, in the bar this time with a pint of Guinness. (Cheshire wedding photographer)
Those flippin’ button holes!
Yes it’s one of life’s mysteries, how do they work, what side of the jacket do they go on and how do you stop them falling off? I’ve been to many a wedding and tried photographing the groom struggling with the button holes. So much so that I decided to teach myself how to do it. So I watched a couple of Youtube videos and now offer my services as a button hole expert.
Here’s a few tips.
Traditionally, the men wear buttonholes on the left lapel of their jacket (while the mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom wear the buttonhole pinned to the right side of their outfit).
If you are doing the buttonhole yourself, take your jacket off and lie it flat on the bed so you aren’t struggling. if your jacket has an actually buttonhole then pop the stem through this and then pin it to secure. If the jacket doesn’t have a buttonhole then lie the stem flat across the lapel, pointing towards the left shoulder, and use the pin to secure. The pins are notorious for popping out and a safety pin works much better. Here’s a handy video.
I hope your enjoyed these Groom Prep Wedding Tips and if you’d like to incorporate them into your wedding photography package just let me know.
Below: Matthew with his bespoke buttonhole at Sale Town Hall. See more Manchester wedding photography here.