Ask the Experts: Guy Style (or Don’t Fear the Boutonniere!)

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Words by Molly Fellin Spence | Photos by David S. Spence
Spence Photographics

Back when my parents got married in the 1960s, most (probably all) of the wedding planning was done exclusively by the ladies. (Think: Steel Magnolias, ”My colors are blush and bashful…”).

All eyes were on the bride, and little attention was paid to the guys. But modern grooms are stepping up to the plate and getting way more involved in the planning process. (Think: midnight taco trucks at the reception; engagement sessions featuring his favorite ride; or a signature cocktail mixed up for the cocktail hour.)

During the last decade or so, guys have really started to show off their personal style on their wedding day, with great results. For some guys, this comes naturally. Others may need a little nudge.

So, in the spirit of nudging, here are 6 ways to show of your Guy Style on your wedding day:

1. Take inspiration from the season. Having an outdoor, summertime wedding? Consider going without a suit jacket and throwing on a vest or an interesting pair of suspenders, like Lucas and his guys did (below). Bonus points for completing the look with colorful bowties!

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2. Get creative with headwear.
 Love wearing hats? Trade out your baseball cap for a vintage fedora or stylish newsboy. Or, go old-school, like Jon Paul, and add a pocket watch, too.

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3. Don’t fear the boutonniere! Flowers can be fun… and manly! (Sort of.) Try a single flower or small succulent instead of an elaborate rose. Or ask a crafty friend to create something unique (See Jon Paul, again, above). One of the most creative ways we’ve seen florals on guys is Henry’s lapel decoration (below). We love how his flowers were set inside an old shell casing, a nod to his military service.

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4. Shoes can be comfy AND cool. Love to wear cowboy boots, Doc Martens or Chuck Taylors? (I feel you.) Then buy a nice, shiny new pair and don them on your big day! The casual and formal can work well together!

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5. Show off your heritage. Got some Scottish blood? Go for the kilt, like Raymond did on his wedding day.

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6. Even if you’re feeling conservative, add a little bit of flair. Sure, it’s always OK to go with a traditional, classy tuxedo. But try to add a little something fun and unexpected to your outfit. How about a great watch or cool cufflinks? A pair of stylish sunglasses at an outdoor wedding or colorful socks anytime of year are some small but great ideas.

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Molly Fellin Spence is an editor for Heart of Frederick, and co-owns Spence Photographics, a Downtown Frederick photojournalism studio, with her husband, David (who has quite a bit of Guy Style himself)!

Megan + Alex’s lush August nuptials | Real Frederick Wedding

Megan and Alex had been together for 10 years before their wedding day last August. They chose Turf Valley for its central location and staff’s attention to detail. Not to mention the garden on the property! It’s in full bloom at that time of year, complimenting the wedding’s fresh colors of green, white, khaki and lilac. Megan and Alex’s gorgeous day was captured and submitted to us by Kirsten Smith Photography.

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Wedding planner: Stephanie Day Events
Flowers: Laura Gibson at Floral Legacies
Hair/Makeup: Lisa Hawks at The Chop Shop
Dress: Paloma Blanca, purchased from Elegant Touch Bridal and Tuxedo

Ask the Experts: Beyond the ‘Highlight Reel Days’

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by Jenna Shriver, of Jenna Shriver Photography

With Valentine’s Day just behind us, it seems like the perfect opportunity to talk about love and relationships! On holidays and special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, and most notably, on our wedding day, that we celebrate love and those we love.

But what about the hundreds of normal days before, in between and after? Isn’t it in those regular days that true love is shown, experienced and most needed?

What I want for us all is to prepare for and invest in those regular days that make up our lives. For us to go beyond just that one “special” day in the highlight reel of our lives.

As a wedding and portrait photographer, a wife, and a mother, I am extremely passionate about encouraging others to continually commit to building their relationships before and after the wedding day. Your venue, food, floral arrangements, decorations and even your photographer are an important part of your wedding day that help to celebrate your love; but they all pale in comparison to the love of your spouse in the difficult times in life.

If you want your love to be strong, it takes a deeper commitment beyond just choosing the perfect linens and getting the most creative bridal portraits! My advice to couples who are preparing for their wedding day, or even those who have been married for a decade, is to invest in your relationship with each other.

Please know that will look different for each couple.

For my husband and I, before we were married, it meant that we made absolutely sure that we shared the same foundation on things that matter to us. We share the same faith, dreams for the future, plans for parenting our children and managing finances, among other very important foundational decisions.

Through three years of marriage, we have not always seen eye to eye, but we still share the same foundation. While we were engaged and planning our wedding we took the time to attend marriage preparation classes together through the Marriage and Relationship Education Center in Westminster, Md., as well as some with our pastor.

They prompted us to talk about unfamiliar things that we had not faced since we weren’t yet married. They also helped teach us how we give and receive love so that we could better understand how we were trying to communicate our love to each other.

We learned how important it is to take time to do what fills us up individually so that we can be more fulfilled for each other. It means that we continue to come back to reevaluate that we are growing together and making decisions in unity.

I also strive to know and love my husband better today than I did yesterday. I want to look back on our wedding day as one of the days of our lives that I loved him least because, for me, that will be the reward of a loving marriage.

One of our goals this year is to make more time for date nights as well as time to just rest. That can be very difficult to do while raising young children and with both of us working jobs with odd hours. But I believe that our son deserves parents that are not just happily married, but also fulfilled in their relationship. We should be best friends who are loving life together, even on the difficult and regular days.

I encourage you to seek out counseling or classes as you prepare for your wedding day. Attend a retreat or conference or go on a vacation to help you reconnect or deepen your relationship with your spouse if you’re already married. It is so worth the investment of time and resources into your relationship!

It helps both you and the person that you love to ensure the days before, in between, and after your “highlight reel” days are just as joyful and fulfilling.

Jenna Shriver is a wedding and portrait photographer with a natural and timeless style serving Maryland and surrounding areas. She’s passionate about her marriage, family, faith and creating beautiful images that stand the test of time. Find her at jennashriverphotography.com or on her blog at jennashriver.com.

Amanda + Tony’s Lavender-Filled Day | Real Frederick Wedding

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JacqieQ Photography shared this lovely summer wedding with us recently. Here’s what she told us about the day:

Tony and Amanda were wed mountainside at the beautiful Springfield Manor Winery & Distillery in Thurmont. The guys wore Converse sneakers with their tuxes and the bridesmaids wore pewter dresses. The electricity went out during the reception, but the guests barely noticed as Shew-sical Entertainment Services came prepared and the venue opened the doors to the patio, bringing the lovely mountain air indoors.

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Photographer: Jacqie Q Photography
Bride’s Gown: Allure, purchased at Posh Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Nina Shoes, purchased on Zappos.com
Guys’ Suits: Men’s Warehouse
Hair & Make-up: NUVO Salon & Spa