Author Archives: Alex Smith

With These Words I Thee Dread: Getting Cold Feet

So you’re freaking out hey? The wedding is just around the corner and suddenly you’re feeling pusillanimous. Pusillanimous means cowardly by the way and has no connection to genitalia, but as an aside do start slipping Pusillanimous into conversation and watch people lose their shitillanimous.

Anywho, as the big day approaches the question thrust upon you by every pulse owning carcass is ‘So have you got cold feet?’ When I was getting married I couldn’t help but think ‘even if I did, I’m not entirely sure that you’d be the one I’d confide in… my mother’s cleaner Cathy.’

On account of being such a nice guy I’m going to talk you down from that apartment ledge of doubt and aim you back down the aisle by putting some things into perspective using an undeniably enchanting blend of mild sentiment and ripping the piss.

I must say I’m only going to point out things that aren’t a reason to call off the wedding. Obviously, if there’s something that’s really changed, or you can’t see yourself living with (like your fiancé now wants to dress as a cat and be referred to only as Mr Pistoffolees) then yes, perhaps call the Registry Office back.

Statistics.

I’m sure that you’ve been told that 1 in every 2 marriages in this country ends in divorce, well did you know that it’s actually 42% which is more like 1 in every 2 n a bit marriages…so… are you calmer now? Ok let’s be brutally honest that doesn’t bode well, but let’s put this into context: Imagine you’re watching a certain morning chat show at 9:25 hosted by an aggressive man, and the tag line reads ‘We met at a bus stop when I threw up in your shin pads two weeks ago, but our marriage is over if you cheated with my Nan.’ If it’s that marriage versus yours to be the 1 out of the 2 (n a bit) that survives then I believe in you guys.

OK I’m being flippant, so let’s play worst-case scenario, there’s a chance it won’t work out, does that make it pointless to do? If someone told me I could spend one hour with my wife then never see her again, or I could never be with her at all, I’d obviously choose to be with her for even a second. Crap, that got very legitimately sentimental and sweet… pusillanimous … phew good save.

Parents

Parents as we all know, always cause more than one issue; with cold feet their issues are three fold:

i. There’s this horrible thing that mother’s do when you introduce them to a partner that they like, they say something like ‘oh, she’s lovely, she reminds me of me at her age.’ Whilst this is the kind of sentence that would’ve sent Oedipus straight down the aisle, for most of us it’s a concern. Am I marrying my mother? To be honest with you: probably, at least a bit. But let’s be fair, you’re turning into your mother too, we’ve all seen you, ironing bed sheets. So, she’s a bit like your mum, you’re a bit like your mum, and do you know whose opinions your mum always agrees with? Her own. You’re perfect for each other. Gosh that was like some straight up Freud shiz.

ii. Many of you reading this will be from a family where your parents are divorced so I imagine the memory of that leaves a sense of distrust for the whole marriage thing. If I’m honest, I think you’re looking for reasons to doom the marriage, when you were 15 and copping off with Natalie Patterson behind the temporary Geography block did you think to yourself ‘Oh Natalie whilst I like you and I feel like one day we might get as far as dry humping outside the Science labs, this romance is ill-fated because my mother and father drifted apart in the early 90s.’? No, or at least I hope not. Your marriage is not going to fail just because 20 years prior another marriage did.

iii. Are my divorced parents going to make a scene at my wedding? This one could be the most stress-inducing issue for all weddings. Maybe it’s not parents, but there’s always some hatred going on somewhere in the family. I can deal with this one really easily. You know when Margaret from HR really winds you up, you go home and you stew on it, you spend hours thinking of all the verbal (and sometimes physical) ways that you will destroy Margaret the next time you see her, ha ha ha Margaret will just be an empty shell of a 42 year old mother of three once you’re finished with her. Then the next day you see Margaret walking towards you down the corridor, now is your chance, melt her like cheese, load your weapons, it’s going to be World War Fondue.

Margaret: Hi
You: Oh hiya.

Yeah, that’s what happens at weddings too. We’re all super fake.

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In Hot Pur-Suit: Alternative Wedding Suit Ideas for Men

As a bride-to-be, you’ve probably spent hours trawling websites, blogs and magazines in search of your dream bridal gown – and in some ways it’s easy. Everyone’s talking about them, everyone’s sharing the latest trends, everyone’s pretty much obsessed with what the bride will wear. Err… But what about the boys? If your man has be struggling with what he’s going rock on his special day, then hand your laptop over to him for a second. Dude, we got you. Regular contributor to Rock n Roll Bride magazine, Alex Smith, has tried out all the wedding suit options you could possible think of … So you don’t have to.

I was having a conversation with a close friend recently about suits for his wedding. He said ‘it’s all too complicated, I don’t know where to go, or how to do it, I’ll probs just let my wife pick or go and hire it from the place we got our prom suits.

Just two weeks later, that friend… was dead! Not really, but with that attitude towards his suit for his wedding day, and the fact that he uses the word ‘probs’ in actual verbal conversation means that he is dead… to me. Also, just so you know for my prom I wore a white tuxedo jacket, black trousers, and dyed my hair black, but had an allergic reaction to the dye. I became the new punchline to “What’s white, black and red all over?” I bet that sunburnt zebra is laughing it up somewhere, smug prick.

Picking a suit for your wedding is extremely difficult, there are absolutely tonnes to choose from. Last time I was in Topshop there were about 30 different types of suit, and three guys in the store, so that’s 10 different types of suit per person, which means globally there are over 70 billion different suits in the world. Don’t look at that statistic like that, Katie Melua told you there were 9 million bicycles in Beijing in 2005 and you’re still rolling it out as a definitive fact, but you have a problem with my 70 billion suits?

Either way, the choice can be overwhelming, and part of that confusion comes from how you are going to acquire the suit. Much like that thing that seems like it would be fun, but will probably destroy your marriage: it’s a three way. Three different choices: Rented, Bought and Custom Made.

I figured the best way to be able to talk you through all the different processes, would be to actually go and do them. So, a few companies generously offered to take me through the process and lend us some suits to show you what you can expect from each different level.

Rent – Moss Bros – £59

Fifty-nine pounds! I mean you could buy 5900 penny sweets for that, or 59 pound sweets, OR almost 6 £10 sweets, but if you’re paying ten pounds for one sweet then I imagine your budget stretches way beyond this, you fancy bitch.

There are thousands of places that rent out suits, I chose Moss Bros because they are everywhere, near enough every high street I’ve ever walked down; there’s a Moss Bros, every shopping centre; there’s a Moss Bros, that time you were walking down a dark alley and you thought you heard another set of footprints; that was a Moss Bros!

The Process

The process is pretty straight forward, you go into a store and say: “Good morning, fine sir or madam (pick one don’t say both) I am looking to hire a suit”.

They will then show you a multitude of options of 40 or so different suits, many of which are made by Moss Bros, but also FCUK, Ted Baker and more (here I have cleverly used ‘and more,’ to mask the fact that I am unaware of any others – journalism!)

Then they’ll do this fun thing where they look at you in a slightly judgmental way and pick up the size that they think you are – act impressed it’s a party trick that they are extremely proud of. They will get it wrong sometimes, and if you are one of the people they get it wrong on then be gentle when breaking the news, imagine watching a sword swallower finish his act and then you see his pancreas has fallen out, you don’t want to scream it at him, it’s important everyone stays calm and sensitive to the situation.

On top of hiring the suit, you can hire shirts, ties, waistcoats, pocket square, even a cummerbund. The cummerbund was adopted by British military after seeing men wearing them during the colonialisation of India. But I find if you don’t spend too much time thinking about its ghastly origin, then it does look nice and works as a great way to keep your gut sucked in.

Why Rent?

To be blunt, this one comes down to cost. If you’re trying to keep things tight then only having to spend 50 odd quid on your suit is extremely reasonable.  You go and grab it a couple of days before and drop it off a couple of days afterwards, job done. On top of that the suits are exactly the same as the ones that you can buy for substantially more, you just have to try and ignore the fact that another man’s junk has been in them before, although knowing your future wife, you’re used to ignoring that HAAAYOOOOOO!!!! – I genuinely apologise, Janine’s a lovely girl.

I personally wanted to keep my wedding suit and with renting that is not an option – unless you skip the country – but I can’t condone that. Also, you do not have the option to edit the suit in anyway, it can’t be taken in, out, up, down, I suppose you could wear it inside out like The Fresh Prince, if you’re having a 90s theme – but I can’t condone that. Moss will get you the best fit possible, but it simply won’t be as good as something altered to you.

I would say that renting is the perfect option for groomsmen, each guy can go in to whatever Moss Bros they are closest too, be fitted, collect, and return the suit. It is so simple, cheap and easy… Much like Janice – HAAAAYYYYOOOO. Again, I’m so sorry for that, she’s charming.

Buy – ASOS – £125

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Custom Made, Handcrafted Men’s Shoes Without the Enormous Price Tag

Regular Rock n Roll Bride magazine columnist, Alex Smith, is here to talk wedding shoes for men… And why the right shade of brown isn’t always that easy to find.

It took me almost a year to get my wedding suit to the point where I was completely happy with it, but I hadn’t even begun to think about shoes. You may not know this, but shoes have rules! No black with blue, no brown with black (unless it’s tan) no orange with anything… What goes with what even comes down to what shade of the colour something is. You will find yourself standing in a store shopping for a pair of brown shoes, holding a pair of brown shoes and saying to yourself “I want brown shoes, just not this brown, and also not that brown.” Of course, the answer to finding shoes that match perfectly with your suit is to have them custom made, but if I had thousands of pounds to spend on my feet, I’d be travelling everywhere by engine powered rollerblades like any other sane individual.

However before you start thinking that your feet are too expensive to maintain and start hacking your leg off at the ankle, may I introduce you to Undandy.

Undandy specialise in custom made, handcrafted dress shoes for the ‘sartorially inclined modern gentleman,’ I’ll pause here while you google the world ‘sartorially.’ Done? OK great. I think I’ve made it pretty clear that your shoes are important on your wedding day. Some of you may be saying “Well Alex, my partner and I are actually getting married on a beach in Guinea so I won’t be wearing shoes.” You’re an adult, put some shoes on, plus you don’t want sand between your toes for the reception. The least forgivable thing to be thinking at this point is “Oh, I don’t need to get new shoes for the wedding, I’ve got my ‘smart shoes’.” If you look through your shoe cupboard, or rack dependent on how you live your life, and you see a pair and think “those are my smart shoes,” please go ahead and burn those shoes, I can picture them and they’re disgusting.

I find when I go shopping for shoes for a specific outfit, for example if I already own the suit, I am always settling with shoes that are ‘just about right,’ or ‘ish the right shade,’ well let me tell you, your wedding day is not the day to feel like you’ve settled, trust me!

Undandy have an incredible 3D design tool on their website where you can personalise exactly the shoe or boot that your heart most desires. You want a bright blue suede and red patent leather loafer with yellow stitching? Then Undandy have got your back. I have spent hours on the tool, it is super easy to use and I have designed about 30 pairs of shoes and added them all to my ‘watch list.’ I’ve decided that I’m going to take up being a nudist and spend all my money on custom shoes instead. I’ll be the person in a prison holding cells with by far the most stylish feet.

Okay, so let me take you through how it works:

1. Pick if you want a shoe or a boot.
Shoe styles: Oxford, Derby, MonkStrap or Loafer
Boot styles: Standard, Chukka or Chelsea Boot.

2. Select the ‘last,’ which is the tip of the shoe.
Styles: Puff Toe, Bold Claw Toe and Round Toe.

3. Decorate: Whole cut, cap toe, half brogue or full brogue look.

4. Choose the material. Each section of the shoe can be in a different colour and material if you want.
Material: Leather (Patent and Standard), Suede and Canvas

5. Finish off with picking the colour of the laces and the stitching!

6. For an extra flourish, you can engrave the sole of the shoe. You could go romantic with your initials as a couple, or the date of the ceremony or send subtle messages to the people you didn’t want to invite, maybe kick up a heel during the ceremony to reveal. “Get lost Auntie Carol!”

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