THE FINER DETAIL
This weeks’ guest blogger is Paul Bolt. Paul and his now wife, Alexandria got married at Malcesine Castle, Lake Garda, Italy on the 5th September 2016.
But, before we reveal all of Paul’s hidden wedding day secrets, we thought we’d better ask how he ‘got the girl’. Paul reminisced of a banquet at the Celtic Manor, where ‘I filled her belly, fed her copious amounts of wine (just to be sure), then went down on one knee outside the hotel, and proudly asked, Alexandria Morris, will you marry me’? How could she say no Paul?!
Paul and Alexandria’s wedding looked the perfect balance. Timeless elegance mixed with the ever so important personalised finishing touches. From unique wedding gifts to unusual groomsmen attire, this was one of a kind planning. Paul recalls that his Groomsmen all wore boxer shorts on the day with photos of pugs on them (we have a pug called Missy) so we thought this would be an appropriate addition’. Oh Paul, you naughty pugger!
Even though he may not wish to admit it, we think Paul is one for the finer details. When asked what he bought Alexandria for a wedding present, Paul said, ‘A tree of life personalised bracelet from Mercia Maman and, I also had champagne waiting in the hotel room on our wedding day for when Alex and her bridal party arrived back from the hairdressers. Oh, and of course she couldn’t go without a Tiffany & Co. Bracelet’ …Smooth operator!
But Alexandria wasn’t shy in pulling out the stops either. Paul fondly recollects his wedding present, ‘she got me a personalised watch, and a personalised bracelet with indivisible beads. Each bead with different personalised sayings. From one saying, ‘love your pudding’ (a personal joke), to the exact co-ordinates of Malcesine Castle where we tied the knot!
Paul told us that everything about his wedding was absolutely perfect! Watching the fireworks over the lake and having a drink with the lads the night before wedding, to the boys jumping into the lake in their pug boxer shorts before the wedding breakfast to ‘cool off’ – The real Italian stallions! Paul finished by saying, ‘I wouldn’t change a thing! Well – maybe the bride?! Haha, no seriously it was perfect!’
Missy the Pug
if the shoe fits…
Beginning life in Wales’ Capital city in November 2013, The Brogue Trader is now the go-to retailer for quality footwear throughout the UK.
Set up by the Macnamara family, the business has grown to 10 stores nationwide but continues to maintain the core values of a small family run business. I caught up with Keiron Macnamara after a number of visits (and a few pairs of shoes later) to their Cardiff and Bath stores.
Why did you start the brogue trader?
The Brogue Trader family set out to bring back the lost art of traditional retailing. With great customer service and exceptional products being the driving force behind the business. The decision to open the Brogue Trader was because we felt that the current offering for this type of quality of footwear with exceptional customer service did not exist, so we took it upon ourselves to change the status quo.
why should we buy from the brogue trader?
At the Brogue Trader we only stock the very finest shoes available to the modern man. From British historic brands such as Loake Shoemakers, Crockett & Jones, Trickers, Joseph Cheaney & Son, Sebago and Herring.
Our main ethos is that customer service and a quality product is paramount, and if you visit any of our locations you will understand that. We strive to make every single person who walks through our doors feel special and cared for. However, don’t just take our word for it, why not ask the Welsh Rugby and Football National squads, as we are the official footwear supplier to both teams!
Finally we have a loyalty scheme that is unique in the footwear industry, whereby after 6 shoe purchases your 7th pair of shoes is free! This Loyalty scheme is perfect for large wedding parties as the groomsmen can buy their shoes and then gift the Groom with a free pair!
what is the difference between the brogue trader and other high street shoe stores?
The biggest difference is that we have taken a step back in time to a more traditional way of retailing. Too often do you see high street stores follow the lazy “Stack ‘em high, sell ‘em fast” approach and we are far removed from that.
Where else on the high street are you able to enjoy purchasing footwear of this kind, whilst sipping on a complimentary beer and having your feet measured by a professional to make sure you are buying the correct size and style of shoe?
These little things are standard practice in our business, and we thrive off knowing customers are walking out of our stores with a smile on their face and confident they have purchased the right shoe for them.
what is the brogue trader’s vision for the future?
We are currently launching our brand new website, this will feature an e-commerce system for customers who are unable to get into one of our stores, with the ability to purchase from us online and fill up their loyalty card.
Along side this, we are working on our own brand of footwear which will be exclusively available at The Brogue Trader, in-store and online. This new brand will feature classic styles but will also be very reactive to current trends and one day hoping to set them!
So if you’re looking for a quality pair of British made shoes with excellent customer services, I cannot recommend The Brogue Trader highly enough. Again, an investment purchase that treated correctly, will last you for years to come.
And, for you Grooms, 6 is the magic number!
The Brogue Trader | Bath | Cardiff | Canterbury | Chester | Edinburgh | Exeter | Glasgow | Leeds | Manchester | Oxford
A suit fit for a Groom
Overlooking the bustling streets of Milsom Street in Bath, City Tailors is a hidden gem and a must-visit for grooms looking for a suit that will truly fit them on their wedding day. I met with Ben, the owner of City Tailors after being recommended by a friend and it was soon clear what a passion Ben has for the industry and giving guys (Grooms) a tailoring experience to remember.
How did it all begin?
I started in 2010 with my brother Mehmet Aydin and now have team of ten tailors and dressmakers offering clothing alterations to most high-end retailers and boutiques in Bath as well as offering our services to the general public.
I would like to think the main reason we have been the first choice for tailoring in and around Bath for many years is due to the attention we give to detail. Even for the small jobs, we want to complete any work in the best possible way. As well as clothing alterations, we offer bespoke suit making for both men and women and made to measure suit making for men.
Where did you learn your trade?
I have been in the clothing business from a young age. With 25 years’ experience I have worked on most types of garments for both ladies and gents.
Having been a master tailor for the past 15 years, I learnt bespoke tailoring (English Tailoring) from my master called Mr. John Verger who is now a retired master tailor. John has been a tailor for around 60 years.
What sets City Tailors apart?
We make fully bespoke suits the same way as traditional English tailoring would, using top quality cloth from British fabric suppliers such as Holland and Sherry, Dugdale, Harrisons etc.
Our Jackets are full canvass and mostly handmade, chest, lapels and collar hand shaped to achieve the best possible fit.
What is the process and timescale of creating a fully bespoke suit?
It takes around three to four fittings to complete a suit which can take between six to ten weeks. Initial appointment would be a consultation, deciding on design, choosing fabric, lining, buttons etc. Then within two to three weeks there would be a first fitting where we just hand tuck a basic shell to try the shape.
Two to three weeks later, there would be second fitting where the pockets and canvass are completed.
Third fitting and the trousers are finished, jackets are all but complete, apart from collar and sleeves. The final fitting would be just to check if suit fits perfect and to collect it.
With this process we can make suits for any size and shape and are still able to achieve the best possible fit!
What’s the difference between bespoke and made-to-measure suits?
Made-to-measure garments are constructed to fit each customer individually based on a few body measurements to customise the pre-existing pattern. Made-to-measure garments always involve some form of standardisation in the pattern and manufacturing.
Bespoke tailoring is entirely made from scratch and based upon a customer’s specifications and body shape with far more attention to minor fit details. By using multiple fittings during the construction process, this achieves the best possible fit.
For me, a bespoke suit is an investment. An experience that can be enjoyed time and time again. I knew that I really wanted to look and feel my best on our wedding day, and this meant having a suit that fitted perfectly. Yes, it’s more expensive and arguably a little extravagant, but it wasn’t just a wedding suit, it’s was a lifetime investment!
So, what’s your choice? #Bespoke #MadeToMeasure #OffThePeg
City Tailors | 1st Floor, 25 Milsom Street, Bath, BA1 1DG | 01225 920 263
NO MORE FREEEEDOMMMMM!
This weeks’ guest blogger is Alan. As you can see from the awesome photos, Alan is a proud Scotsman and married his English bride Kimberley with a fantastic display of ‘Scenglish’ character! Alan and Kim got married on the 7th April 2012 in the breathtaking Roman Baths.
When asked how he proposed, Alan said, ‘We were in the Dominican Republic and I dressed up as the one and only Santa Claus! Why not, it was boxing day! The problem was that Kim couldn’t hear what I said because I had a beard over my mouth!’ – Nearly a lucky escape Al – Nearly!
Alan quickly learnt that to be a good wedding planner, you have to enjoy the process! He recalls, ‘I actually secretly enjoyed the planning. I liked tasting the different menus, designing the stationery and going and visiting live bands. I even enjoyed dance lessons in prep for the first dance!’ Ashley Banjo eat your heart out! However, Alan did say that if he could change anything about planning, ‘I would start it as early as possible as we packed in too much.’
Prior to getting the vows pronounced, there was a stag weekend to attend. Alan’s groomsmen took him to Bath on the Friday night for a ‘cheese and wine tasting’ evening – Pinocchio was number one on the guest list! Saturday was an activity day, including quad biking and go karts, followed by a cheesier affair in Bristol in the evening – Pop World being the location of choice!
Alan and Kims’ wedding sounded top draw from start to finish. Alan commented, ‘The wedding was pretty bespoke as we were organising everything separately ourselves. As such, we had total control over everything, which meant we could do things exactly the way we wanted. As I’m Scottish and live in Bath, it had some Scottish themes, i.e. pipers, kilts etc.’
‘We also used some pretty cool venues such as the Guildhall and the Roman Baths. Above all though, we had a brilliant group of friends and family there who really made it. We also hired out a great venue the day before the wedding to allow everyone to meet and get to know each other beforehand.’ Alan also had his groomsmen around his house the night before the wedding just so they could get to know each other better. Alan promised that, ‘Only a couple of whiskies were consumed – Nothing too heavy!’
On the day, the couple had some great entertainment such as a brilliant band, a string quartet. Alan added, ‘My wife had organised dancers from her school to come in and perform and we also had a Scottish pipe band at the Roman Baths and musicians in the church’. We asked Alan what the best part of his wedding day was? In true gent style, Alan said ‘It’s a bit cliché, but seeing Kim walk down the aisle!’
The happy couple decided to get each other a present for their wedding day. Kim opted to get Alan an engraved iPad (as Alan is a bit of a tech geek), whereas Alan got Kim a set of diamond earrings to match the engagement ring – Well played sir!
We asked Alan to tell us a funny story about his wedding day. Hiding the smirks, Alan said, ‘We were the last people standing on the dance floor at the end of the night and had to be practically chucked out of the Guildhall. My wife and I had planned the wedding down to a tee, except for how WE were actually going to get home. We therefore had to walk to the taxi rank in our posh frocks and hail down a cab! So much for ending the night in style!’ – Don’t worry Alan, no one saw you, the kilt and wedding dress was very inconspicuous!
Bath Chauffeur Services – Wedding Cars | Watt Brothers Glasgow – Groomsmen Presents (crystal galsses)
WHEN IT RAINS. MAKE RAINBOWS LIMONCELLO.
Our first guest Groom is Mike Fraser from Porthcawl, South Wales. Mike married his bride Kirsty at Villa Tolomei in Florence on 30th May 2018, and absolutely loved his experience of getting married in Italy.
Mike and Kirsty had been together for a good few years when he decided to pop the question. He revealed ‘It wasn’t the most romantic, but I proposed on the anniversary morning of our 8th year together. We then got married on the anniversary of our 10th year together – I’m never going to forget an anniversary card, that’s for sure!’
Mike and Kirsty decided to get married abroad, opting for a ‘traditional Welsh family having a traditional Italian wedding.’ Mike recalls that the best thing about wedding planning was ‘being able to travel back and fore to Italy, searching out venues and trying the food! The night before the wedding, everyone who had travelled went for a night out in the centre of Florence, it was amazing!’
Mike and Kirsty’s wedding was as personal as they come. One of Mike’s best-men actually married them. ‘We had two best-men. On the day I had one as a traditional best-man holding the rings and the other married us. He did a class job, it made the whole thing so personal!’ He then went on to say, ‘He could have done a course to legally marry us, but we decided to just have the ceremony there and the legal stuff back home to save on the cost.’
When asked why the couple decided to get married abroad, Mike said, ‘We wanted to get married abroad for many reasons, but one big reason was the weather! Each time we had been over to Florence the weather had been great. The wedding day was slightly different, the heavens’ opened!
Plan A was to always get married outside, obviously the weather then scuppered these plans. However, Plan B worked out incredibly – so much so I felt it worked out better than the original set up! – The best thing about our day was watching Kirsty walk down the aisle – I’m a lucky man!’.
Mike also had a run in with ‘The Beast from the East’, which postponed his Stag Do to Amsterdam. But, that didn’t put Mike and his groomsmen off, a spell of quick thinking and they were on the train to Cardiff. Now armed with their new sunglasses as wedding presents, they have decided to keep Amsterdam for another ‘rainy day!’
The moral of this story – When the weather gives you lemons… Make limoncello!
It was a miracle she said yes and with the 2 weeks of Facebook and Instagram hand selfies all but over, it’s time to chat about the reality… ‘When are we getting married?!’
Your initial 5 year thoughts are firmly overturned with a mere raise of the eyebrow!! Moving in 6 monthly increments; if you’re lucky you agree between 2-3 years, or if not, the words ‘I don’t want a long engagement’ go down like a warm Guinness on match day, and it’s agreed; 18 months and counting!
Checking your bank account, you knew the repeated weekends of jaeger bombs and cheeky chilli’s at 3am would catch up with you at some point. The harsh reality hits.. You couldn’t buy your socks for the wedding let alone anything else!
You sit around a computer spread sheet and tentatively work out the cost of your wedding. Everything in multiples of thousands and you wonder why the hell you proposed in the first place!! Sweating like a nun in a cucumber factory, you don’t know whether to laugh or cry!
After 2-3 painful hours you finally agree your monthly saving rate and know that even that isn’t going to cut the mustard. You’ll need help… What are family for ay?!
With family contributions looming you spend your weekends confined to the house with a glass of water and a worm for sustenance (ok, maybe a bit too far!) But the reality is, you know that if your family are saving for YOUR wedding, you can’t be seen to spend money on takeaways, clothes or nights out on the town!
The lads torment you, and after the 10th time of saying no, you sneak to a house party like a covert ninja and get absolutely shit faced by 9pm!
Nursing a hangover the next day (without a Maccy D’s due to cost), you suddenly realise the true sacrifice made in the name of love. The days of freedom and lavish spending are over… you’re a husband now Harry!
The decision on location had been made, and there I was, removing any metal before walking through the airport detector. An engagement ring hidden deep inside my hand luggage and my heart beating like Ringo Starrs’ foot drum! Please don’t stop and search, please don’t stop and search…
‘This way please sir… is this your bag?’ Holding back the palpitations, I nodded as a gloved-up security woman started to unzip my bag. Toothbrush, moisturiser (yes, I moisturise, I’m a modern man!) aftershave and finally, the travel wallet… Oh sh*t! To my amazement she placed it to the side. Was I home and dry? The moment of elation quickly dwindled as she pulled my favourite eyebrow tweezers from a hidden pocket. ‘You can’t travel with these sir!’ TAKE THEM. TAKE THE WHOLE BAG, JUST LEAVE THE TRAVEL WALLET!
We were with friends; both were in on the big secret. My blissfully unaware fiancée-to-be was all set, G&T and snacks in hand – Vegas here we come! Nobody mention the ‘E’ word!
We spent a few days in LA before taking Interstate 15 and heading North through the desert. A number of pit-stops later and we were approaching the bright lights… The King was in touching distance. We turned downtown in search of our hotel as the sun was setting. What a place!
The night was here. New Year’s Eve. If you’re looking to splash the cash, you can spend upwards of $3K for a table in a swanky hotel and drink champers on tap. I wasn’t feeling that flash after blowing six months wages on ‘the rock’. We took to the street party, armed with our retro ‘2013’ plastic drinks containers filled with vodka (Natalie’s filled with extra lemonade to ensure she would actually make it to midnight), we hit ‘the strip’, ending up at the Bellagio Fountains at 11:45.
This was it. The moment of truth. The minute countdown to New Year had started. Our friends slowly retreated to ‘watch the fireworks’ as Natalie and I stood watching the fountain display. 10, 9, 8… As nervous as a turkey at Christmas, I took the ring from my pocket. 5, 4, 3… I started to bend my shaking knee (for a moment I considered tying my lace – jokes!) 1… Happy New Year! – As I took to one knee and opened the box. I remember Natalie looking at me for a split second with a bewildered face and then a squeal of a YES! – I had pulled it off!
Many kisses, selfies and phone calls home later, we were in a hotel lobby with Natalie and her ring (that was about four sizes too big!) She insisted on wearing it, so a bit of Blue Peter DIY and we had the ‘perfect’ ring. As pissed as a fart in a vacuum cleaner, she decided she wanted to ride the rodeo bull… only in Vegas?! Now I could relax, I sat at the bar enjoying a well-earned drink with one of my best-men to be while we watched the bucking bronco have his wicked way with our women!
For those men who have dirtied the knee, we’re looking for ‘proposalspiration’ and the best suggestions for an engagement to remember.
The thought hit me. I put it to the back of my mind! And again. REALLY? This can’t be right? Am i Ready? Is this the one? What if she says no..!?
As a 25 year old rugby lad, the thought of getting married was an all too distant thought through my early twenties. Then suddenly, from nowhere, the thought was ever prevalent in my mind.
Natalie and i had been together for 3 years with fun and good times forming the basis of our relationship. If i’m honest, I suppose i knew early on that she was the one, but the thought was pushed firmly to the back of my mind. I’m a lad, the weekend warrior, enjoying myself far too much to get married. Right?!
Before I knew it I was in the jewellers, massively out of the comfort zone!! I left with the bank account a lot lighter and a little black box. Could i really pull this off? How was i going to do it? What an idiot. I should have thought of this before!
In my haste I was now in struggle street and in need of THE BEST proposal idea ever!
For those lads in the same boat, Groom to Groom are on the hunt for the 10 best proposal ideas of all time…
Email us at email@example.com or comment below.
The thought makes you shake like a squatting dog! How am I going to pull this one off? More to the point, What’s he going to say?
You dwell over the perfect moment, but in reality, it never comes. The other half pops out and you know it’s at least a half hour hair appointment of shopping trip. This is your chance! You tell yourself ‘You’re the Daddy’ and this is going to be a breeze, but in reality you stumble at least 10 times on ‘The Green Mile’ march!
The 11th time and you’re too far gone to turn back. You have to say something. You consider making small talk but you’re here now and this is YOUR MOMENT! You stammer slightly as you say something like, ‘I was hoping we could have a chat.’ – This outlaw knows the crack! They smirk under their cold exterior.
Again you stumble trying to find the right words, and eventually, somehow end up in a big future son- in-law man hug! Back slapping and handshakes consume the situation and a celebratory pint is suggested.
Now you’ve asked the main man, sh*t just got real! The mother-in-law to be needs to keep the inevitable secret while you begin the psych-up session for the biggest moment of your life – No pressure!
For those feeling the heat, stick around, the best is yet to come! We’re looking for your #proposalspriation
Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.
Grooms, Ushers, Bestmen and anyone else that will listen… I’d like to introduce myself and explain to you what Groom to Groom is, and how it came about.
I’m Greg from South Wales, 5ft11, dark hair, green eyes and struggling with strawberry facial hair (awkwardness over).
Now thats out the way, let me start with where the idea of Groom to Groom began. In 2014 I married Natalie, a graphic designer and overly zealous Pinterester. Like many guys I was really struggling to get excited about the wedding planning. Whilst my fiancée was trawling the internet on a daily basis and planning for what seemed like twenty weddings, the only thing I had to look forward to was a new pair of shoes and a tie i’d never wear again. I do joke, but in reality, I found there wasn’t anything out there tailored to men getting married, and very little to get me anywhere near as excited as my wife to be.
Now I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy my wedding, in fact, I absolutely loved it. And I did manage to find a great suit, awesome cars and had an amazing Stag Do – But I did have to work pretty hard to find it all. What if there was a place us grooms could visit, with the inspiration we need all in one place…
So post wedding, I set about thinking up the Groom to Groom idea. My wife and I discussed it over a few beers and I bought a domain name. And, drum roll… That’s where it all ground to a halt! Work, baby, two house moves and renovation later, the idea dwindled into the abyss (a bit like my bank account leading up to our wedding day!).
Then, during a catch up with a mate (who happens to be a best man at his friend’s wedding), I mentioned the idea. Many flat whites later, ‘The home of Groomspiration’ was alive.
So how does it work? We’ll share inspiration of the latest trends and artisan makers in the wedding industry all focused on the Groom. From the suit to the stag and anything in between. We’d love to work with bijou companies to showcase what there is out there for guys and, how easy it is to find these places if you know where to look.
But ultimately, allow guys a place to interact, share ideas and to enjoy the wedding process as much as their better halves, because if we’re honest, this is probably the most amount of money we’ll ever spend on one day in our whole lives!