Archive for March, 2011

Thinking Outside the Boutonniere Box

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

A boutonniere can’t get no respect!

Boutonnieres get no respect.

Imagine for a moment that you’re a boutonniere. From conception, you and your band of boutonniere brothers are undoubtedly one of the less crucial elements of the wedding. You might say that you’re slightly more significant than the guestbook on the wedding website … but still less important than the stationary hors d’oeuvres at the reception. Despite your potential, the only real purpose you serve is to “look nice but not as nice as the bouquet.” You’re an afterthought. Other groom attire elements have risen to varying levels of stardom (socks, ties, Converse sneakers), but sadly, you lag behind.

Last I week I stumbled upon a site called Fritts Rosenow, a company specializing in bespoke boutonnieres, and I thought — Now here’s a glimmer of hope. Fritts’ custom-made collection spans several styles and themes (nautical, vintage, bachelor pad) and even includes an impressive wall-mounted deer head. Per their “About” page, Fritts believes that grooms should express themselves through their boutonnieres.


But can’t we go further, men? In the spirit of homemade crafts and handmade gifts, let’s invest some time and design some boutonnieres on our own. Even, in a wedding flowers how-to article, suggests that we leave the “tough stuff” to the professionals but perhaps tackle the groom’s boutonniere at home.


Well, we’ve taken that advice, Knotties, and then we took it even further. And then we took it too far. And further still. We ended up giving boutonnieres WAY too much respect and a giant, unattractive ego.

Introducing, the RESPECTFULLY EGO-CENTRIC BOUTONNIERE COLLECTION, by The Groom Says. Shipping not included.

Toiletries Groom

Toiletry Groom
A darling bouquet of toothbrush, cuticle scissor and razor, complemented by a cluster of chic Q-tips and a touch of Kleenex. It is fastened with a fine, mint-flavored dental floss and accented with an elegant white ribbon crafted from Charmin toilet paper.

executive groom

Executive Groom
Nothing says “I’m a big deal” like a half-used roll of Scotch tape drooping delicately from the blazer that you wore to work earlier that day. Also available in double-sided and duct.

Techno Groom
An exquisite spray of both L and R ear buds. Sleek off-white cords may dangle or tuck discreetly into a chest pocket.

pastel groom

Pastel Groom
An array of bright yellow Craspedia (with elegant green stems), adorned with mini gladiolus bulbs and tied with an unobtrusive lavender string. Remove with lukewarm water.

vintage groom

Vintage Groom
A touch of the olden days — a crisp, timeless $2 bill that lets your guests know precisely who paid for their steak or chicken. Recipient of the Strip Club Boutonniere of the Year Award.

s'more groom

Gimme S’more Groom
On the “fun” side — a slightly toasted marshmallow, sandwiched between two pieces of Godiva chocolate, sandwiched further between two graham crackers, and all tethered to a branch of hand-whittled mahogany. Also available in bouquet.

All photos © Joanna Wilson Photography

the groom says
Brian Leahy is founder of The Groom Says — a safe haven for grooms who need a hand with wedding planning and brides who need a hand with their grooms. Check out the blog for some laughs and inspiration, and be sure to follow The Groom Says on Twitter and Google+.

Lies My Jeweler Told Me

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

shady jewelery business

By early adulthood everyone should realize the realities of retail. According to Wikipedia: “Retail consists of the sale of goods or merchandise from a fixed location,…for direct consumption by the purchaser.” Retail stores are “for-profit” businesses that purchase products at one price, then, sell them to the consumer at a higher price that yields them a profit. This involves adding a markup amount (or percentage) to the retailer’s cost.”  By the nature of retail, each store carries an inventory of products that is in their best interest to sell to consumers in order to make profit and remain in business. This became resoundingly clear to me on a recent shopping trip when I attempted to buy jewelry as a gift for my sister.

Left – Simon G: Platinum and diamond band by Simon G. Jewelry, $1,870, Right – Whiteflash: Platinum and diamond heart pendant by, $710

When marking a special occasion with jewelry, it’s only natural to want to buy “the best”. Nobody approaches this quest wishing to buy “what’s adequate”. I wanted a quality piece to reflect the importance of our relationship, something that could be worn for a lifetime and something precious that provided long-term value.  I did homework on sites like and decided on platinum and diamond stud earrings. It was only when I went to my local jewelry store to purchase them that I learned when shopping for platinum there are many myths and misconceptions.

First, I found that if the jewelry store didn’t carry platinum in his inventory he was very anxious that I didn’t go elsewhere to get it. The sales associate made a number of claims to justify platinum’s absence, such as, “Platinum is too expensive” and “it’s too soft”.  Having done research, I was able to reply that I had already seen platinum pieces from approximately $1,000. I asked the sales associate why most of the world’s most important gems were set into platinum. Gems like that wouldn’t be put into soft settings that didn’t hold them securely forever. The associate told me that because white gold was plated with rhodium that the diamond would sparkle just the same as platinum. Again, I knew that white gold was in fact, yellow gold, made to look white my mixing the natural yellow metal with whiter ones to disguise the color. It is then plated with rhodium in order to make it look whiter. So he was partially right, except for the fact that he wasn’t telling me that over time and regular wear, the rhodium would wear off, exposing the less white color underneath. I told him that I knew that platinum was a naturally white metal that didn’t need to be plated – ever- in order to enhance its whiteness. It was then that the associate tried to reason with me. He asked, “Why get platinum when you can get the same look with gold?” My answer was simple and direct. “Because I want this gift to be worn and cherished for a lifetime, something she can wear everyday and only the best is good enough.” The question really is, why wouldn’t I want platinum?

Stuller: Platinum and diamond stud earrings by Stuller, $810

Stuller: Platinum and diamond stud earrings by Stuller, $810

Have you been given any words of warning about dealing with jewelers? If so, share some in the comment section below.

[giveaway] Your Wedding Video: Unrated

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Fact: many couples don’t hire a professional videographer.  If you asks past grooms why that is, the answer you’ll most likely get is that they don’t want to spend the money. In reality, it’s because they want don’t want a video that captures the “boring” moments of the wedding… they want one that captures the offbeat, unique memories that their friends experienced. One that features their bride dancing on a table at the end of the night or their Best Man downing a shot of tequila as he tries to sweet talk a bridesmaid. You know, the unrated version. With so much going on during the festivities, it’s easy to miss some of these hidden moments.

Lucky for you, our friends at Storymix Media have launched a new service called My Flip Wedding to help couples easily capture and re-live the best moments from the entire wedding experience – from bachelor party through honeymoon. The process is simple.   Storymix sends Flip cameras for you and your guests to shoot video throughout the wedding experience. After the wedding, you send the cameras back in the provided pre-paid box and Storymix turns the footage into a cool 15-20 minute highlight video with the scenes you want. [editor's note -  it's great because grooms can exert some control over what will be filmed by putting the cameras in the hands of their buddies.]  And the best part of all, prices start at only $99.99.

Take a look at this sample Flip Wedding footage (and pay special attention to Grandma’s beer pong challenge).

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we’re teaming up with Storymix Media to provide one lucky couple with a free My Flip Wedding package worth $225. To enter, go to and enter your first name, last name, wedding date and e-mail address.

For an additional entry:
1. “Like” either The Man Registry or Storymix Media Facebook page and leave a comment on the page letting us know how bad you want to win.
2. Leave a message (with a valid e-mail address) in the comments section below telling us what the three scenes you’d want captured from your wedding are.
3. Post this tweet to your Twitter account: I want my wedding video UNRATED with help from @storymixwedding and @themanregistry

The contest ends March 25, so enter today!

storymix media

storymix media is a sponsor of the man registry’s groomsadvice blog. employees & friends/family of employees of the man registry and storymix media are prohibited from winning. winner will be notified via e-mail, facebook or twitter on the day after contest ends.

Make Your Wedding the Hottest Ticket in Town

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Let’s face it, sports are a huge part of the lives of many men. Personally, there isn’t a weekend that goes by that I don’t watch at least two or three sporting events in their entirety. We’ve always been huge proponents of grooms incorporating their team spirit into the wedding day. However, this isn’t always as easy as its sounds. If your colors, theme and venue have already been decided upon, where else is there to go? Enter:

hockey themed wedding invitation

NHL Hockey Themed Wedding Invitations

This fantastic website creates custom designed sports wedding invitations and wedding programs. Their personalized invitations feature a photo of the bride and groom designed into the familiar ticket style for sporting events. Section, row and seat are replaced by date, month and year. A portion of the ticker, errr invite, can even be torn off so that your guests can easily RSVP. It’s one of the most clever wedding invites we’ve come across.

With the gameday program, you’re given the option to use several photos in the design. It also gives you an outlet to list the names of people who will be sharing in your big day. These names range from parents, readers and wedding party members. In other words, it takes the place of the boring wedding programs you’re used to seeing and replaces it with a man-tastic guide chock full of team spirit. Click here for an example.

A few favorite program/invite designs from SportsThemedWeddings.

If you’re fiancée is looking for a more traditional wedding invitation, never fear. Rehearsal dinners and bachelor parties are also manly events that require an invite. Or there’s even the possibility of choosing a non-sports related theme. SportsThemedWeddings has recently begun expanding into designs including movies, goth, gangsters, Star Wars and more. Just like wedding planning, this is all about the creativity and customization that best fits the couple. This is your wedding day… make it one that you and your guests will always remember!

Grooms, which team would you feature on your ticket invites? Brides, would you be willing to use a sports-themed wedding invitation? Discuss in the comments section below.

disclosure: is a sponsor of the man registry’s groomsadvice blog

Book Update #1: For Men, By Men

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

If you haven’t heard, we’re in the process of writing a wedding book for men. Unlike a lot of the books and magazines that currently exist for grooms, ours is being written and designed by actual MEN. This means that instead of reinforcing the idea that you’re just an accessory to your bride’s “big day,” this book will promote your involvement in the planning process and demonstrate ways to leave your manly mark on the festivities.

I recently completed the first chapter of the book which focuses on the pre-wedding parties (bachelor parties, showers and groom roasts.) Next up, I’ll be tackling a chapter that’s all about setting up your (wedding planning) plan of attack. One segment of this chapter will focus on surviving wedding shows. I’d love to hear some feedback from former grooms that attended a wedding show and made it out alive. If you’d like to share your experience, please post in the comments section below. I’ll be including several real groom success stories in the book, so you may just end up being immortalized in print.

More updates to come soon…


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