Grooming the Groom

I dedicated my last two blog posts to all the ways brides can prep for their wedding photos. Of course, we can’t leave out the groom! Here’s how the man of the hour and his attendants appear their best in their wedding photos and videos, too.

A Valley groom asks: “Last week you gave my wife-to-be some great suggestions for looking her best on-camera. I know that she’ll be gorgeous and do all the right things! So… what about the guys?”

Dear Valley groom: Rule number one: For you and for the men in your wedding party, make sure that what you are wearing fits! (That’s often an issue with rented tuxedos.) Of course, part of what you’re paying for includes being fit properly. Whether renting or buying, give yourself at least three months before the wedding for fittings and additional adjustments; it’s the best way to ensure that you’ll be comfortable on your big day.

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Another note about what you’re wearing: Make sure that all cummerbunds are on with the pleats up. (Back in the day, they were worn this way in order to catch the crumbs at mealtime. Your guys will get a kick out of that!) Also, the best way to tuck in a shirt is to reach into the fly, grab the shirttails, and pull down. (To be more discreet, gentlemen can put their hands into their pockets, and, using the pocket as a mitten, grab their shirttails and pull down.) Many tuxedo pants have a slit that allows access to the shirttails.

On posture: Men often stand in what is called the “jock pose,” with feet shoulder-width apart and hands clasped in front. When the groomsmen (or ushers) are standing at the altar, every guest in the wedding is watching. Try to stand with feet slightly apart, hands at sides — and no slouching!

Your wedding day may be the perfect reason for you and your groomsmen to get rid of huge mustaches, mutton chops, sideburns, and/or goatees (your bride may thank you). Do it right! A few weeks before your wedding, get your hair styled and cut. (The extra time allows for fixing any glitches.) Then, right before your wedding day, get it trimmed. Go ahead and pamper yourself that morning, too: eat a good breakfast, go to your favorite barber shop, and get a warm towel facial and a straight razor shave. This way, your face will be smooth when you go in for the big kiss. (Click here for more information about grooming the groom.)

This goes without saying, but drink in moderation and instruct your ushers to do likewise. Obviously, you don’t want to get so drunk that you can’t remember your day (or even worse, that you look sloshed in your photos). Have fun and enjoy a few drinks if you want, but be sure to eat throughout the day in order to keep your energy up and to hold your alcohol.

During your first dance, look into your bride’s eyes. Forget the photographer — enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime moment with each other! That feeling will be captured in photos and videos.

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If you’re getting married in the summer, it might help to keep a handkerchief handy to dry off sweaty palms (or tears, if you’re the sentimental type). Also, avoid speaking while being photographed — no one likes the awkward open-mouth shot — and try to remember that a wedding is a joyous occasion. Nothing looks better in pictures and film that laughs and smiles!

Finally, I’ll reiterate the advice that a local photographer gives to all her brides: Breathe slowly and just relax. This is a fun day — so have fun!

To submit your own question to the Wedding Guru, email Judy at

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