Long gone are the days of a nice church service complete with a rousing round of "I vow to thee my country", a glass of champagne and a cucumber sandwich.
These days weddings mean destinations. Far flung and tropical. Once your credit card has recovered from the cost of the stag/hen and the flights, the next dilemma is what to wear?! A morning coat is hardly appropriate on a beach in Mustique.
So how do you honour the occasion whilst staying cool and comfortable??
This is where having something made especially for you comes into its own. Yes you can buy half lined jackets off-the-peg but they are flimsy and often see-through. There is little care taken in their construction, and no consideration given to who will be wearing it.
Last year a tropical groom wanted something smart and unique but cool and comfortable. He opted for a wonderful electric blue cotton from W. Bill. It's 11oz which is a little heavier than I would have liked but by using lightweight canvases and linen instead of domette in the chest, we've managed to keep it from getting too heavy.
His (and my) favourite part is the fishtail back of the trousers. This high waist creates a long leg and the braces mean the trousers can be a much looser fit which will be appreciated in the heat.
And finally, the best thing about having something made just for you is the ability to personalise it. We managed to find horn buttons the same colour as his sunglasses, ensuring he is perfectly coordinated on his big day.
The second suit for this wedding is made out of the most glorious cloth I've ever worked with.
It is 100% Irish linen, and where most linen creases as you look at it, this particular cloth (also from W Bill as it happens) holds itself beautifully.
I J-Gilbert coats are fully canvassed, with great care taken to ensure the canvasses are padded and shaped for maximum comfort. The canvas curves at the side of the chest, bringing the coat away a little allowing for ease of movement and a spacious fit. Particularly appreciated in humid climates.
A famously popular summer material, linen is cool and airy but can risk looking unkempt. This tough Irish linen may cost three times the price of normal linen but it pays dividends as it stays looking sharp year after year. Investing in a really smart linen suit is definitely worth it, especially if you think there may be more exotic nuptials in your future!