Wedding Boot Camp: A Primer For Men

Wedding season is upon us. And I don’t just mean that wonderful time between March and September when thousands of men and women dress up, say “I do,” and watch as friends and family get pleasantly drunk on the couple’s tab. No, I mean that four to seven year period during your 20s and 30s when destination weddings become proxies for summer vacations, and where a church service doesn’t seem complete without a big kiss and some wild applause to wrap things up. Since most guys don’t dream of their big day from the time we’re 8 years old, this big day baffles us a bit. But, by following this handy-dandy program, every dude can successfully navigate perils of the season. Begin the regimen, after the jump.Tying Your Knot: Like it or not, weddings always have been (and hopefully will remain) reasonably fancy affairs. Remembering these sartorial tips will ensure the focus remains, as it should, on the bride, and not on the hideous tie you found in the back of your closet.

  • No Jacket, No Tie, No Service Gentlemen, we’re not boys anymore, so it’s time to dress like a man. That means a jacket and a tie. The bride and groom went to the trouble of inviting you, and you should take the time to look presentable. Oh, and please, please shine your shoes for goodness’ sake.
  • Think Ahead If you’re getting something new to wear for the occasion, make sure to allow at least a week for alterations (yes, they are always necessary). Any less than that calls for a rush job and will cost you extra. Why do you think couples sent you that “Save the Date” so far in advance? Also, try going down a size on your jacket. Most men where them too big, and a closer fit actually has a pleasant slimming effect.
  • Puttin’ On The Ritz Conventional wisdom says a black suit is either for a night on the town or a funeral. That said, a sharp black suit with a black tie works for a black-tie wedding. If you’re into details (and you should be), buy yourself a French cuffed shirt to snaz things up. Brookes Brothers makes a nice slim fit that lasts forever.

Decorum, It’s Not Just For The Brits Anymore: Nobody wants to be “that guy,” so here are some things to remember as you’re ordering that third scotch and soda.

  • Tell The Bride She Looks Beautiful Sure, she might be highjacking your best drinking buddy, but it’s her day first and foremost.
  • Sign The Guest Book Seriously, just do it.
  • Dance Exuberantly Yeah, you might move like Elaine Benis, but who cares; it’s a celebration and no one likes a wallflower.
  • Don’t Be Creepy Be your most charming self around that cute, single bridesmaid, but no one likes a weird college buddy who can’t keep his hands to himself.
  • Don’t Get Wasted Okay, maybe get a little bit wasted, but if you puke on a centerpiece, it’s your own fault.

Be Prepared: A little bit of forethought, and the happy couple might remember you for something other than your feeble attempt at a proper twist and shout.

  • Jump On The Gift Registry Early As a (fledgling) man, I can empathize with the sentiment that nothing worth doing is worth doing ahead of time. But just think how much cooler you’ll be when you get the bride and groom that sweet martini set they registered for, as opposed to, oh, I don’t know, a sterling silver ladle?
  • Pick Up Some Stogies This goes double if you happen to be in the wedding party. Hanging out on the patio at the reception, smoking cigars, and sipping scotch — that’s where proper memories are made. You might want to bring some Listerine breath strips too.

So there you have it. With these words of wisdom in tow, you’re all set to eat, drink, and watch people be married. Did I overlook any crucial pointers? Have a go in the comments.