Blue Bulls prop Marcel van der Merwe got married to Merike Jonker and has a few manly words of wisdom and ideas for all you grooms-to-be out there …
Where did you get ready?
I got ready at Boschenmeer Golf Estate in Paarl where my groomsmen, dad-tobe and I spent the morning having drinks, snacks, chatting and smoking some cigars – celebrating the day! We also flew our hairdresser in from Pretoria (Maarten from Creative Cutterz), so he was there doing the gents’ hair and grooming!
What helped you make the decision when choosing a best man?
My best man and I have been great friends for a couple of years. We were at school together, played rugby together and just have a connection that is sometimes unexplainable. We have been through good and bad times, and through it all our friendship has never, ever been shaken. For me this is what I want in a best man – a friend that is more than just a friend, he is like my own brother. He loves my wife, respects our relationship and has always been there to lend a hand of support to either of us. Thanks to Bauke Hanekom for being my best friend, my best man and my ‘brother’.
Did you give your grooms party any gifts?
Yes, we gave them cigars, customised pink designer socks by Nick Harry (we did this to honour my mother who passed away from breast cancer), a couple of board games and bow ties to wear on the day. We also gavethem each a personalised hipflask with their names on and the date of our wedding. Tell us about the bachelor’s party. My bachelor’s party was spent with close friends and family. We went to a shooting range in Cape Town, where we got to shoot AK47s, Desert Eagles and a couple of other really cool guns (a real guy thing). After that we went to a beer bar, had a couple of beers and snacks and headed home. At home our parents had arranged for all of our friends, my fiancée and her close friends as well as family to get together. We had a braai, with cocktails, champagne and of course beers and brandy for the guys. So we all got to celebrate the evening together.
Did you do something special for your bride before the time?
Yes, the day before the wedding I booked us both together for a spa day. I just wanted to spend the day with her, relax before a very busy day to come, and make her feel special and pampered.
What advice would you give to future grooms?
Just relax and enjoy. Try to take in the whole experience. Try to take part in everything – it is truly great fun and so much more special when you can say that you guys did it all together.
What was the highlight of the wedding dayfor you?
The moment I saw my wife-to-be walking down the aisle. It was more than I imagined. She absolutely took my breath away.
What is one special attribute you would like to mention about your wife?
This is very difficult. I know it might be a cliché, but there are so many and to name just one would not make sense! She is the most considerate person I have ever come across, always taking into account others and the way they would feel and think about something. She is compassionate, and loves to love. She is the most breathtakingly beautiful woman, she is intelligent, strong and confident.
Photographer: Laura Leigh Photography
Groom’s suit: Carducci
Groom’s shoes: Florsheim
Groom’s jewellery: Tag Heuer and Jenna
Wedding rings: Jenna Clifford
Gifts: Carol Boyes
Hair: Maarten, Creative Cutterz
Here that icon of style and wedding know-how, Aleit Swanepoel of The Aleit Group, gives us some trends as well as do’s and don’ts for men’s wedding day attire.
For far too long the boys have played it safe with their wedding day attire. In the future we will see more gorgeous grooms expressing their unique styles and letting their personalities shine through.
Fashion might dictate certain key looks, but the most important trend for this season will be ‘different’ – grooms joining our brides in wanting to put their own stamp on their wedding day style. Here to inspire and excite you are five of the trendiest looks for the new wedding season.
Choose different shades of the same colour for all of the groom’s party for a smart and cohesive look, or mismatch accessories but keep the trousers and shirts the same, or choose a style and colour palette and leave the rest up to them.
Gone are the days of the shiny, silky bow ties that your mum loved to see you in. There are plenty of bow ties now in wools, flannels, tweeds and even denim! You may also want to pay attention to the style of tie that you choose, because they do all carry certain connotations.
A pair of vintage cufflinks will add an individual touch to your look. Geometric and simple engraved cufflinks have the most timeless appeal, and you’ll find use for them on other occasions.
As a decorative accessory the pocket square adds an undeniable touch of elegance and individuality. It can be used to spruce up even the drabbest of suits. What makes the pocket square most appealing is not just its ability to elevate an outfit, it also garners attention without being flashy.
Men’s wedding shoes should generally be as narrow as possible with a slightly pointed toe, to give the impression of long, slender legs. The most popular style of men’s wedding shoe is a slightly pointed loafer without laces.
Do’s for men’s wedding attire
1. Make sure that the width of your tie matches the width of your lapel;
2. When buying a ready-made suit, first check how the shoulders fit;
3. Your belt should be the same colour as your shoes;
4. The top button of a two-button jacket, or the middle of a three-button, should fall above your navel; and
5. Sleeve cuffs are meant to be exposed about 2 cm for a formal look.
Don’ts for men’s wedding attire
1. Not getting your jacket sleeves hemmed or tailored;
2. Forgetting to remove the brand label off the jacket sleeve;
3. Forgetting to cut open the thread on the back vent and the pockets;
4. Wearing pants with pleats; and
5. Choosing shirts that are too big.
Jacques Potgieter got married to Suzanne on 21 September 2013 at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town. He gives us some insight into preparing for and enjoying your special day.
What helped you make a decision when you selected your best man?
Selecting my best man was a fairly straightforward decision. I picked my best friend of 15 years to be the best man. It is really important when selecting a best man to ensure that he is reliable, trustworthy, and has the ability to keep you as calm as possible on the day, since nerves can cause unnecessary worries.
Did you give your groom’s party any gifts?
Yes, I got them each a hipflask (filled with a little ‘juice’) as a token of my appreciation and as a memento for them to remember our day.
Tell us about your bachelor’s party.
My bachelors was held in my home town of Jeffrey’s Bay in the Eastern Cape.
Did you do something special for your bride before/on your wedding day?
Yes I did! On the morning of the wedding I woke my bride-to-be up with a fresh cup of coffee – and a diamond necklace that I purchased a few days prior to the wedding. Once the day got started I made sure that everything was going according to plan, and I made a point of it to try and sort out any potential crisis without even informing the bride. (Gents, this is crucial, as your bride has more than enough to worry about on the day!)
What advice would you give to a groom?
Enjoy every second of the day. Savour every moment, as it goes by in a heartbeat! Surround yourself with positive people on the day – this is where your best man/groom’s party will play a vital role. Laugh and have fun – yes, it is the biggest day of your life, but that does not mean that you cannot enjoy it. Practice your smile beforehand, as it is all you will be doing once the guests start to corner the bride (and you) for photos – all day! Keep your speech short and sweet; if you can make your bride cry ‘happy’ tears then you have done well!
What was the highlight of your wedding day?
The most unforgettable moment is without a doubt the moment I saw my beautiful bride walking down the aisle. That’s the moment I will cherish till my dying day.
Any advice for grooms for after the wedding – on the honeymoon or advice about life together?
Make sure the honeymoon is booked well in advance; the importance of the honeymoon and planning thereof cannot be emphasised enough. Make the best of every day that you and your bride share together. Your time together is a gift – cherish it! u
Photographer: Vivid Blue Photography
Make-up and hair: Alicia Buckle
Groom’s suit: Polo
Groom’s shoes: Martin Delport Men’s Outfitters
Groom’s jewellery: Polo (cufflinks), Mario Brother’s (watch)
Wedding rings: Van Deijl Jewellers