Styling your man!


Dictate your terms or leave him to it?

When I got married, I was very much of the theory that if I didn’t get to see the dress, she wouldn’t get to see my outfit until the day either. My outfit, and our wedding colour scheme, was dictated by my happy shoes. Other than that, my betrothed had little idea as to what I was wearing. My wife isn’t the kind to dictate what I wear in any situation but there was something nice about the idea of when she appeared ready to walk down the aisle, she’d be seeing me in my wedding finery for the first time as well.

Sure, this approach isn’t for everyone. I know brides and grooms who’ve been involved in every part of the planning process together and I’ve seen weddings where the bride has the final say on everything. When it comes to the groom’s outfit, I think there should be plenty of room in there for his own personal style. Let your man surprise you on the day. Here are a few ways you can help him look amazing and let him off the leash while keeping a little bit of control.

Grooming the groom

I’ve seen a bride pause before the ceremony begins, reach across and pluck out one of the groom’s nose hairs. I believe her exact words were, “I’m not saying my vows staring at that.”

If you want to make sure your man looks sharp, set him up for success. Booking him (and maybe even his groomsmen) in for a trim a day or two before the wedding is a great way to ensure he’s looking good for the big day. A beard trim or even a wet shave are a great addition to keep him looking sharp.

Plan together

Where are you getting married? And when? Us dudes tend to get a lot sweatier than you ladies, so for a summer wedding, comfort is important. Your guy wants to look good, but chances are in a three-piece suit mid-February he’ll be sweating bullets. There are plenty of ways to get the right combination of formal and relaxed. I’ve worn my best shorts and jandals with a dress shirt and waistcoat to preside over a beach wedding. The groom and his boys were in matching shirts, shorts and jandals. We all looked great!

Talk about what’s right for the both of you. For some, family tradition will play a part and a barefoot beach option is out of the question. You can help him decide the type of clothes he wears without choosing each and every piece.

Choose the accessories

As mentioned, I kept my outfit from my bride until she was on her way down the aisle. She did however know I was wearing my happy shoes and that a red tie was involved. If you buy a tie for your man to wear, he’s going to have to dress to a certain level. Similarly, picking shoes or a pocket square are a good way to dictate the level of dress without choosing his entire outfit.

Do it yourself

While there are some guys like me that love an excuse to suit up, there are a lot of guys that don’t. While you probably had a dress in mind before you even met him, depending on your man, there’s a good chance that he’s still barely even thought about what he’ll be wearing on the day. If you’ve got something in mind, get involved. Go to the fittings and see what works. After all, there’s something pretty sexy about a woman doing up her man’s tie.

Matt Halliday

Matt is a writer and a marriage celebrant based in Snells Beach, north of Auckland. He keeps his ceremonies short, sweet and simple to make them as enjoyable as the party afterwards.

For ceremony advice, opinions or bookings email him at



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