Indianapolis Wedding Photographers | 5 Things Every Groom Needs to Know Before the Wedding Day
It’s almost that time of year, again… wedding season!! Last year brought me my busiest wedding photography season, yet, and at the end of it all, I found myself jotting down a few notes to share with my grooms (and grooms everywhere!). Let’s be real, there’s A LOT of information out there about wedding planning and preparation… and the majority of them are geared towards the bride or the couple. There’s not a ton of ‘real talk’ for the grooms out there, but they’re 50% of everything that happens on the wedding day! So after many hours of detailed observations, and a few more hours of coaching grooms through the need-to-know parts of the day, I decided to put it all together and hand it over. It’s up to you, now, grooms! Here are 5 things every groom needs to know in advance of their wedding day:
1. Your prep is just as important as hers.
Yes, much of the wedding day revolves around the bride. Okay… most of it. There is a lot more prep that goes into the bride’s getting-ready part of the day. The hair and makeup take hours, it can take an army to get the bride into her dress, and to help her put her shoes on.The girls arrive hours before anyone else and start getting ready sometimes before the sun even comes up.
The guys, on the other hand, usually have to arrive 1-2 hours before it’s time to be ready for photos. Most grooms and their groomsmen spend the morning hanging out – they go out to lunch, play a round of golf, or just soak up the time they have together before the celebrations begin. Most weddings, the guys arrive just moments before the photographer walks into the room to shoot them getting ready. In an average timeline, this will only last about 30 minutes to an hour. It goes by very quickly and this time is valuable!
Photographers will start their day taking shots of every little detail or the attire the dress, the shoes, the jewelry, the bouquet, the rings, and so on. But this also means the tie, the shoes, the cufflinks, the watch, the belt, the colorful, crazy socks, the boutonniere and more. The groom’s time with the photographer is just as important as the bride’s Having these items on site and ready to be photographed in advance is a huge help in getting the groom most on-camera time during the day.
My advice? Send your wardrobe over with a family member or a bridesmaid so your photographer can have these shots done before you arrive! Try on your whole ensemble before you arrive (and ask your groomsmen to do the same). Make sure everything fits and you know how it goes together. If you’ve purchased the pieces of your outfit (rather than renting), remove all tags in advance of your wedding day. Taking care of both of these items prior to arrival will give you more time with your guys and the photographer, and less time looking for scissors or worrying about somebody running out to buy another belt or shirt!
2. How to tie a tie or a bow tie.
I once saw a first look delayed by over 45 minutes because the groom didn’t know how to tie a bow tie (and neither did any of the groomsmen) and there was no wifi or service in the venue building. YouTube can be a lifesaver if you want to learn on the fly, but what happens when it doesn’t work? Always learn how to tie your tie before the wedding… and practice it, too! Here’s some help to get you started!
- How to tie a tie (double windsor):
- How to tie a bow tie:
3. How to fold a pocket square.
What’s the perfect accessory to go with that tie? A pocket square!
Like any great accessory, there are numerous ways to wear this perfect add-on. And who says every groomsman has to wear his the same? You choose! Here are 12 ways to fold a pocket square:
4. How to pin on a boutonniere.
Being a wedding photographer also means being many other things… especially on a wedding day! While some couples may have their florist on-site to help pin boutonnieres, this isn’t common, especially in the height of wedding season when florists are busy dropping off goods to all their couples who are getting married on that same day. In other cases, you may have a wedding planner or event coordinator who is on-site to help manage the details. When none of these options are available, the photographer becomes the stand-in-boutonniere-pinner. However, this becomes a multi-step process, because this is a moment we like to document among the guys! Having a photographer pin your bout means pretending to pin them on for photos-sake and then having them actually pinned on. What better way to save time (and create even more awesome photos) than by learning how to do it yourself!
The basics are simple:
- bouts go on the left lapel
- pins go on the underside of the lapel (and will not be visible from the top of the jacket!)
- push the pins in towards the folded part of the lapel so all sharp edges are protected
- use two pins for heavy boutonnieres (they will come with one pin in the bag and a second pin on the bag to hold the top closed)
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do it!
5. Top button or no button?
Way to go! You made it! You’re ready for photos, but now what do you do with all these buttons? Your photographer will give you direction while they’re shooting (and depending on the look they are going for), but a general rule of thumb is buttoned=formal, unbuttoned=casual.
So which buttons do you button? That depends on how many buttons your suit has! For a 2-button suit, only ever button the top button. For a 3-button suit, follow the sometimes, always, never rule ensuring the middle button is always buttoned, the bottom is never buttoned, and the top will depend on the look you or the photographer is going for.
As always, any times arms are going up around somebody, be sure to unbutton so that your suit coat shoulders rest naturally and don’t bunch up around the chest. The unbuttoned look is great for more casual shots or for any hands-in-pockets poses.
And that’s it! You’re officially set for your wedding day! And now that you’re prepared and you’ve removed the tags and tried everything on, learned how to tie a tie or a bow tie, fold a pocket square, and pin a boutonniere you can go on to teach all the groomsmen how to do the same! If all else fails, you can always pull up this blog post on your wedding day and quickly scroll through to find what you’re looking for. 😉
casey and her camera was voted one of the top Indianapolis Wedding Photographers specializing in couple, lifestyle, family and wedding photography for Indianapolis, Indiana and the surrounding areas.