"I am engaged to be married this September. My wife is, of course, going to wear a designer gown and I can’t wait to see her looking her best and being the envy of all the single guys on our big day. I am partial to wearing a barong but I want to stand out too! How do I not get drowned in the sea of barongs? Your suggestion would be helpful."
-- Well Groomed, Quezon City
It’s good to know that you belong to the new breed of grooms, where it seems that you are as involved in and excited about your wedding as your fiancé. It used to be that the guy’s role in wedding planning was just to write the check and show up on that faithful day. Having worked with many groom-to-be’s over the years I’ve noticed this fascinating and welcome evolution of how men are now as into looking their best for their weddings as their future brides are. I suppose this all happened when men discovered the importance of moisturizers, spa treatments and planning their wardrobes. Thank you, David Beckham.
Now to your question on how to be a stand-out, barong-wearing groom... let me just get this out of the way – DO NOT wear a colored barong! Your bride may look like she’s getting married to a member of the choir.
The elegance of your barong depends on two critical elements -- fabric and style.
As the groom you should opt for an intricately embroidered pure piña or piña silk barong fabric. There are fabric suppliers that can customize the embroidery to add to the uniqueness of your fabric. Piña and piña-silk fabrics would set you back anywhere from P 4,000 to P 8,000 depending on the embroidery.
Have your and your groomsmen’s barongs made by one tailor so you can have a hand in choosing the type of fabric and style your groomsmen’s barong will have. They should typically be less expensive than yours. For example, if you are using piña-silk your groomsmen can choose to use piña-jusi blend or plain jusi fabric.
On style, don’t be afraid to play around with the collar, cuffs and buttons. Regardless of the collar, I personally favor French cuffs, where your buttons match the cufflinks you will use on your cuffs.
A Mandarin Barong Tagalog is also a stylish way to be different.
Many forget that a wedding is the Groom’s day too. And, oftentimes, the Groom needs to be reminded that the old practice of leaving wedding preparations to the bride-to-be and just showing up on the day itself died with the double-breasted suit.