Damon Hughes by Rick Liston

Dear Polka Dot Grooms.

There are about 20 minutes before the love of your life appears at the end of the aisle when you might be.. well… pooping yourself. All eyes are on you, you’ve got vows whizzing through your head, you can’t remember if it’s left over right or right over left and either way there’s a little bit of sweat on those palms.

However, breath easy gentleman, according to four of Melbourne’s finest and most stylish male celebrants, those pesky prenuptial nerves are not only totally natural but totally normal.

So ‘Man to Man’, here are Melbourne’s top male celebrants’ top tips for the groom on his big day. And they’ve thrown in their favourite groom style for fun.

Damon Hughes

If you could give the groom one tip on his wedding day, what would it be?

Be present. Your wedding day goes by so fast, so do everything you can to try to slow it down. Breathe deeply, look around, soak it all in. Take each moment as it comes – whether that’s standing there looking out at your family during your ceremony, reading your vows to your partner, catching up with old friends during the reception or listening to your parent’s speech – give each moment your full attention.

What’s your favourite groom style?

The best style is whatever style a groom feels most comfortable in. You don’t want to feel like you’re wearing a costume on your wedding day (unless you’re literally wearing a costume, of course) – you just want to be the best-dressed version of yourself. So I like any look that reflects the groom’s personality. Whether that’s chinos or a suit, cocktail or black tie, socks or no socks, bright colours or muted tones,

The ‘no tie’ look is one that I’ve recently come to appreciate. I think your pocket square and/or lapel flowers become much more important without a tie there to add a point of interest.

Photo by Corey Wright Photographer

Damon Hughes: As a younger modern celebrant I’m usually more focused on how a wedding feels than how it looks. The tailoring, the flowers and all the other pretty details are great – but what I’m all about is creating a unique sense of occasion and festive party vibes through cheeky humour and heartfelt words. If my grooms are also well-dressed, that’s a bonus. Facebook Instagram

Anthony Cribbes:

If you could give the groom one tip on his wedding day, what would it be?

I think it’s a general piece of advice that goes with the whole wedding, just enjoy what’s happening. Keep things nice and relaxed and try not to overthink things, whatever is going to happen on your big day is going to happen. Life’s not about perfection it’s about enjoying what is around you. Trust that your suppliers have your back to make sure your day will be everything you wanted it to be.

Image of Erhan by Jai of Free The Bird Wedding Photography 

What’s your favourite groom style?

I don’t mind a bit of personality, so I think I really do sit on either end of the spectrum. I like a classic look but I also don’t mind if people choose a bit of flair. For me, it’s a skinny black tie look, or then why not rock a velvet jacket or even choose something in line with your cultural heritage?

Image of Pro by Fitch Zhang of Eyesonme Photography 

Anthony Cribbes: I became a marriage celebrant to fulfil my mission to help make weddings what they’re meant to be – a celebration! A celebration of how two totally awesome people found each other and true love. This means banishing boring, scripted, heard-it-all-before ceremonies and creating a celebration of each individual couple, with plenty of fun, laughter, touching moments and happy tears.

Matt Finch

If you could give the groom one tip on his wedding day, what would it be?

If we’re talking suits; dress to the season: If it’s mid-summer, don’t wear a heavy 3 piece suit, you’ll sweat like a maniac!  And always bring a second shirt to change into for the reception.

What’s your favourite groom style?
A groom who is prepared to be a little more bold and creative. For one day, step out of your comfort zone and don’t be too generic. Wear a bit of colour or a jacket with a little character.

Matt Finch: I’m the type of celebrant who wants to sit down with you both to dig a little deeper to find the gold to make your ceremony truly all about you; so we can be sure your wedding if full of humour and soul. My aim is to make your guests walk away saying “That’s the best wedding I’ve ever been to!

Benn Stone

If you could give the groom one tip on his wedding day, what would it be?

That it is totally normal and natural to be nervous on the big day! Check the lapel flowers are hanging straight, hair is on form, breath is good and the fly is done up. And then just relax and wait for the love of your life. Be present, trust yourself. You got this!

What’s your favourite groom style?

I like fun, mix match jackets, loafers, three-quarter pants, cool bow ties and just your own sense of style! Sometimes that’s thongs on a beach, others it’s black tie or cool velvet with patent leather. I do love authentic culture and the Indian Kurta with a hanging sword. That has a spot among my favourites! The Irish Kilt complete with no undies can’t go wrong.

Image by Benn Stone

Benn Stone: aka Melbourne Cityside Celebrant  is the finest purveyor of modern, fun & people orientated ceremonies on planet earth. 

Tying a bow-tie can be a mind boggling task. Then add the pocket square and we’re all walking around lost! Luckily, James from James White Photography has made this short but very informative and very easy to follow tutorial vid so you can walk out of the house with pride, knowing you’ve nailed the bow-tie!

About James White Photography: Hey! We are James and Daniela, husband and wife team here at James White Photography, located on the gorgeous Central Coast of NSW! Eccentric, funny, and one of a kind are some of the words most often used to describe us. Between the two of us (James does photography and Daniela does your videography), we focus solely on making you feel comfortable. It’s all about the banter and laughter. If we can achieve this, the stunning, tear inducing photos just come naturally…That’s just how we roll.

Pascal & Richard

When it comes to The Suit Issue, we’re not sure we could think of a wedding that ticked every box more than this one, where every single member of the wedding party dinner wore their own black-tie suit! It’s one of these weddings where not only do you want to pull up a chair, but you also secretly wish you knew the newlyweds well enough to walk beside them. Pascal and Richard wanted a formal vibe to their day, so they worked to custom tailor their own version of a tuxedo, outfitted their favourite people in matching attire and chose a very hot (and humid!) Sydney day to do it all in spectacular style! They invited Gemma Clarke Photography along for the ride and today we’re sharing their beautiful story with you.

The pair met in SA. “We met at the Edinburgh Castle Hotel in Adelaide, 12th Jan 2007. “The only gay pub in the village” remark Pascal and Richard. Their story culminating in a day that as they dreamt of “The atmosphere was vibrant with lots of pink & white flowers filling the space, ” tell the grooms. “We included an array of candles to further enhance the room. We chose live music to get our guests up and dancing.”

The grooms and their groomsmen, alongside groomswomen, wore custom made tuxedos from Brent Wilson paired with Christian Louboutin shoes and accessories from Thomas Sabo and Tiffany & Co.

They share “We wore a velvet black tuxedo jacket with black pants and a tuxedo shirt. We asked to have the sleeves cut short as it was summer and wanted to be cool once jackets were off – and finished with pink velvet bowties.”

Pascal and Richard were married on a beautiful summer’s day at The Rose Garden & Pavillion, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. They explain “We chose the Rose Garden as we wanted the Royal Botanic Garden to really shine. We chose clear Tiffany Chairs so that we didn’t take away from the Garden. ”

The grooms walked down the aisle to “Photography” by Ed Sheeran played live by The 128’s.

Tami Sussman officiated proceedings, the grooms noting “One of our closest friends Chris Turner gave a reading, the only rule we gave her was that it must not be longer than 3 minutes as she’s a world-renowned speaker and academic in the Astrology community.”

“We made sure that Richard’s parents were mentioned as they’d just celebrated their 42nd anniversary. We also wrote our own vows to each other” tell the grooms.

Pascal and Richard were thrilled with their chosen photographer. “Gemma was fantastic, we originally didn’t rate photos high on our priority list but then after visiting Gemma, we decided to put these memories higher up the list. She made us feel relaxed, gave us the confidence to do things we typically wouldn’t do (PDA) and we would highly recommend her as a photographer to others.”

Wandering around Sydney for photos was one of the newlyweds favourite parts of the day if only for the story it resulted in! They share “As it was a hot and muggy day when we were walking back to the Park Hyatt having photo’s taken along the way we spotted some guests at a bar having some drinks so we wandered over and skulled their pints! They then were nearly kicked out of the venue for supplying drinks to people not in the venue!”

The newlyweds celebrated with their guests at a sit-down reception at Park Hyatt Sydney. “We wanted the best locations possible as the majority of our guests were travelling from interstate this gave them the best experience possible to really remember their weekend away.”

Pascal and Richard worked with floral designer Best Buds who created floral details of pink and white roses, alongside beautiful lush hydrangea blooms.

The first dance romantic! The grooms chose “500 Miles a version by Sleeping at last which was performed live by our band The 128’s. This song was a slowed down version of the original by the Proclaimers.”

Congratulations to you both Pascal and Richard! Thank you for sharing the stories of your day with us. Thanks also to Gemma Clarke Photography for sharing today’s beauty of a wedding!


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  • Hair & Makeup Artist
  • Craig McPhail
  • Hairstylist
  • Violetta Igorevna