Imagine my best boxing announcer's voice coming through this blog post...
"And in the Groom's corner, standing 6 ft and a few inches tall, the guy with the baby green's...Briiiiiaaaaan Derrrrrck...."
Quite the dramatic introduction, I know, but in this case it's completely worth it. Traditionally, we have a bride and a groom. The wedding day is all about the bride, and the groom is, well...Where is the groom? Most of the time, people aren't sure until he magically appears at the altar, or unless he's late for his formal pictures. And yet without this guy and his rocking proposal, the wedding wouldn't be taking place.
That's why I always ensure that, come the wedding day, I have someone with me whose sole responsibility is to be "in the groom's corner". What does that mean, you ask? And who is this person? What qualifies them to hold this very special (and highly unusual) position?
More often than not, the guy in the groom's corner is Brian Derck. Brian, who owns and operates both BD Marketing and Design as well as Mixture Group Sales, is one of my most valued partners. His experience in sales, marketing and events brings a unique perspective to the execution of a wedding, but it is his experience having been a groom (one of my past grooms, actually) is what enables him to bond with a guy on his wedding day and, like a tiny little Xanax or a quick shot, just take the edge off.
"You know, I've been in that guy's shoes," says Brian. "I know what it's like to wake up on the wedding day and be nervous and excited, and sometimes confused about what you're supposed to do and when. It's your girl's day, so you can't really call her every 5 minutes, but it's the guy's day, too. That's why I love getting to be 'in the groom's corner' - I want him to feel that same level of attention that we typically hear about a bride getting."
When asked what special touches he's brought to the groom's experience, Brian finds that his experiences have varied vast and wide.
"With smaller weddings and elopements I'm typically the guy standing there, giving the groom that look, telling him it's going to be alright, psyching him up for the moment. Other times, it's reminding him to do and say all off the things we guys get too nervous to remember - like, 'hey, let's send her a note' or running out to get her a little gift."
That said, Brian's favorite thing to do has nothing to do with the bride. It's that little thing that add's the to groom's experience. "I like to call it the Gentlemanly Arts, which to me really just means taking that one extra step to pull yourself together and make the whole experience your own. For one groom, that meant raising the sock game of him and all of his groomsmen - They had me running 2 hotels over to find the perfect grouping of multi-colored socks for all of the guys to wear. Another time I had a groom who's cufflinks just weren't working of the day of the wedding, so I popped over to the nearest Boss store and came back with new selections for him to choose from."
So, what does Brian recommend for our Grooms-to-Be out there?
"Well, from a fashion and looks standpoint, I'm all about the pocket square right now. With a suit, that could mean a pocket square matching the bridesmaids dresses. Which means that you have to pay attention to the bridesmaids dresses. It will come up, I promise. If it's Black Tie and you're rocking the tuxedo, then I'm loving a thick, white satin pocket square in a simple fold. Discrete, classic. Very James Bond. And a killer set of cufflinks. Always cufflinks"
"But the biggest thing I bring to the wedding, the most important thing I do, is just be there for the guy. As men, we internalize a lot, and expressing emotion to our friends and family can be hard. Sometimes a guy just needs a guy standing there, giving him the nod, letting him know he's not alone, that there's someone in his corner. Pun intended."
Of all the things that my team and I do on the day of a wedding, this is one of the small touches that I am the most proud of. Ensuring that the groom is well taken care of and pampered is one of those things that sets us apart from the rest.
And to those getting married, it's one of those things that makes all the difference in the world...