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Ask The Tailor: The Wedding Edition

It’s April and if you’re getting married this June or July, you’re in crunch time for your wedding plans. We asked The Tailor to answer nuptial-related questions this month.

I have a quandary: I want to ask my father to be my best man but I fear that my best friend will be offended. How do I handle this delicate situation?
-- F.X. in Scranton, PA

Sit your buddy down and have the talk with him. If he’s any sort of friend, he’ll understand. Your father must be very important to you if you’re considering him being your best man. Bravo to you! It’s something your Pop will remember forever and he’ll appreciate it.


I’ve been asked to be the best man in a wedding this summer and it’s a formal event. All the men in the bridal party are wearing tuxedos. We can choose our own color and style of tux, do you have any suggestions?
-- Best Man Matt in Lynn, MA

Yes, I do have a suggestion: a handsome navy blue tuxedo. While the tuxedo was originally black satin (most men’s formal attire was black in the 1880s when the tuxedo gained its name), modern tuxes can be just about any color. A navy blue tuxedo is not only eye-popping, it’s also classy. A single-button jacket with satin lapels and a navy blue tie over a white shirt will make you the most popular dance partner of the evening (next to the bride, of course).

Take your responsibilities as the best man seriously, be a gentleman, and remember to make a spirited toast!

My fiancé and I are paying for most of our wedding ourselves and we’re on a budget. What items can we save on and which items should we not be frugal with?
-- Donald in Middle River, MD

Mrs. Tailor was peaking over my shoulder and when she saw your question, she said “Don’t be cheap with the wedding ring!” But, as we know, diamonds may be a girls best friend, but they’re also a commodity (but the diamond thieves don’t want you to know that).

If you’re going to scrimp on something, make it the flowers.  Would lovely, hand-arranged flowers be a nice touch on your big day? Sure, but not at the expense it takes to get them from a gifted florist and most people will look at them and forget them. Instead, make sure to spend everything you can to hire a good photographer. Years from now when memory fades, your wedding photos will still be there. Also spend liberally on your venue if necessary. A unique location can make your wedding and/or reception very memorable. Everyone has been to weddings at churches and receptions at halls, but if you find a special location (a museum, a boat, a park), go for it.

How do I give a best man speech?
-- Willy in Poughkeepsie, NY

Glad you asked. Listen carefully:

  1. Don’t drink much before the speech. No one wants a drunken louse speaking at their wedding.
  2. Stand up straight --- good posture will command attention.
  3. Speak loudly and clearly. Don’t rush through the speech.
  4. Practice, practice, practice. There’s a reason Joe Flacco throws hundreds of spirals before a game --- because practice makes you better.
  5. Do not read your speech. Please don’t do this --- it’s not enjoyable for the wedding guests.
  6. Tell a funny story or joke, but be tasteful. Don’t embarrass or humiliate the newlyweds. We don’t want to hear about the time you and your buddy got arrested for streaking down the road.
  7. Remember that all speeches have three parts: an intro, a middle, and an end. Follow the basic steps of public speaking: tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you said.
  8. Finish with a respectful, memorable few words on love and friendship.
  9. Sit down and let the light shine on the bridge and groom again.

As a member of the wedding party I am going to spend quite a bit of money on my suit as well as travel and accommodations. Am I responsible for giving the bride and groom a gift?
-- Trey in Georgetown

Yes, you should still give the newlyweds a gift. I know you’re shelling out some cash, but that doesn’t matter, this is their big day, the start of their lives together, you are their very good friend. Buy them a gift. Here’s a suggestion: if finances are a bit tight make them something. A “grownup” gift is a savings bond and it’s not that expensive. A $100 bond is only $50 and matures in 10 years. A common practice in recent years has been for the wedding party to pitch in to get a gift for the happy couple. This could range from the honeymoon (if you’re all able to go that far) or something special for their home. Make it something personal that they will remember, but even a cash gift is a wonderful way to show your dear friends that you want them to get off to a great start.

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