The contemporary man's guide to weddings

With insight from Toronto Star reporter Rob Cribb and expert fashion advice from stylist Erica Wark.

The modern groom is no longer restricted to the black tuxedo. As Erica Wark showed Kate McKenna, colourful suits and accessories are in!

Rob says: “The practice of seeking the blessing of dad is on the wane. Data I've seen says the modern man is emancipating himself from the restraints of the tradition.  I say it's less about personal revolution and more about laziness and cowardice. Go to dad and make your case. It's a rite of passage you earn. Some rituals are timeless in their elegance and grace. Marriage isn't a uniting of two people. It's a uniting of two families. And making your intentions known to her dad is a classy move that signals your serious intent, your maturity and your desire to ingratiate yourself to the family you're merging with.”

In order to ensure the much anticipated proposal goes off without a hitch, some men are turning to professional proposal planners! 

The experts at Truly Yours Planning give their clients a detailed questionnaire in order to put together the best custom proposal ideas possible and according to Balance in Style Concierge Services, groom involvement is on the rise. The company has gone so far as to incorporate pets, children and parents from across the world in their proposals! Just Because Vancouver has planned proposals worth upwards of $13,000 which includes all surprise logistics, speech preparation and vendor communication. NYC-based Brilliant Event Planning has gone BIG with their proposals, arranging proposals involving marching bands, screens in Times Square and flash mobs, just to name a few.


According to the experts at Epoch Getaways, the days of booze fueled strip club stags are beginning to dwindle. Though they still exist, sports weekends and adventure weekends are on the rise. Think a trip to Boston to take in 3 different sports games, or a float plane fishing trip to Alaska, or a trip to Toronto to do archery tag and escape rooms followed by a great steak dinner. Experiential drinking is also on the rise - things like brewery tours and whisky tasting.

Rob says: “The name "groom" says it all. This is the day grooms max out on self-pampering. So here's the move - The groom and the lads gather together in the hours prior to the big moment. They recline in chairs and drink while sharing a pedicure. It's the one and only time in your life they’re going to do it together. And it's the right thing to do.”

The numbers seem to back up Rob’s advice. According to West coast Vida Spas, “gone are the days where only women had bridal parties at their space.” The spa offers a popular “The Groom’s Grooming” package which includes a facial, manicure, and pedicure. Toronto’s Mankind Grooming Studio for Men also offers a groom’s package that is completely customizable – the studio offers things like beard razor shaves, facials, paraffin wax hand treatments and hand massages. They even allow the wedding party to take over the space, bring in the photographer and prep in style!

Photo courtesy: Mankind Grooming Studio for Men Inc.

Rob’s advice: “The speeches portion of receptions is where otherwise great weddings go to die. This is your biggest possible pitfall, lads.  Fact is, most people cannot speak in public. Deal with it. We all need a good editor. Some grooms are hiring professionals/toastwriters.  I'm a big do-it-yourselfer on most of these things. But on this one, if you can't write or speak with efficiency and power, hire a pro.  Best money you'll ever spend.”
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